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yellowbandit

Trying to decide, and I need help!

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16 hours ago, G B L said:

I Agree totally, however I have a friend who is an electrician and he loves his High top Nissan Van.

 

Yeah , people who own them seem to like them i just think they look atrocious thats all.

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On 1/17/2019 at 9:05 AM, tcconvert said:

I had an occasion to spend more than an hour as a back seat passenger in the wagon version. It was about as pleasant and hard-riding as being in a Soap Box Derby racer, and made me glad I didn't pop for that version.

 

Maybe the final word should be what one dealer's mechanic left me with after giving up on silencing the rattling doors - "Hey...It's a van!"

 

I have the XLT leather equipped passenger version and mine sure doesn't ride like a Soap Box Derby racer  -  It's a modified car platform and while it is stiff (which I love, coming from a Miata which is much stiffer) it handles more like a car than a van, which I also love

 

I'm 70+ and had planned to have the dealer do all my service work when I bought it, but neither of the dealers near me proved to be worthy of doing anything to my van, so I've been doing it all myself  -  It's not THAT hard.  I wish the trans was easier to service, but I've even managed to do my own fluid changes to it  -  Oil changes are no harder than any other car I've owned

 

No rattles in my doors, but if I had one, I'm sure I could find it and fix it myself  -  I've had the doors of everything I've owned apart to upgrade speakers and this van is no harder to take apart than any of the others.  Sounds to me as your dealers mechanics are just about as competent to fix things as the ones I've dealt with

 

From my experience, passenger TC's are much quieter inside than cargo versions  -  I would be amazed if they weren't.  It may not tip the scales as 'luxurious'

 but my wife likes traveling long distances in it (which is what we bought it for) and she sure wouldn't describe it as 'commercial breeding'  -  Ours is a van and not a truck

 

No vehicle is perfect in every regard . . . . but with all the plusses you list, it seems this one serves you better than most for what you need  -  I would get to work on your list of minuses and do what's reasonably easy to fix most of those.  Taking the splash pan off below the engine to do an oil change is a 2 or 3 minute job and then there's easy access to everything.  If a feeble old man like me can do it, so can you!

 

Don

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20 minutes ago, Beta Don said:

 

I have the XLT leather equipped passenger version and mine sure doesn't ride like a Soap Box Derby racer  -  It's a modified car platform and while it is stiff (which I love, coming from a Miata which is much stiffer) it handles more like a car than a van, which I also love

 

I'm 70+ and had planned to have the dealer do all my service work when I bought it, but neither of the dealers near me proved to be worthy of doing anything to my van, so I've been doing it all myself  -  It's not THAT hard.  I wish the trans was easier to service, but I've even managed to do my own fluid changes to it  -  Oil changes are no harder than any other car I've owned

 

No rattles in my doors, but if I had one, I'm sure I could find it and fix it myself  -  I've had the doors of everything I've owned apart to upgrade speakers and this van is no harder to take apart than any of the others.  Sounds to me as your dealers mechanics are just about as competent to fix things as the ones I've dealt with

 

From my experience, passenger TC's are much quieter inside than cargo versions  -  I would be amazed if they weren't.  It may not tip the scales as 'luxurious'

 but my wife likes traveling long distances in it (which is what we bought it for) and she sure wouldn't describe it as 'commercial breeding'  -  Ours is a van and not a truck

 

No vehicle is perfect in every regard . . . . but with all the plusses you list, it seems this one serves you better than most for what you need  -  I would get to work on your list of minuses and do what's reasonably easy to fix most of those.  Taking the splash pan off below the engine to do an oil change is a 2 or 3 minute job and then there's easy access to everything.  If a feeble old man like me can do it, so can you!

 

Don

Fifty explained how he gets under the van to work on it , how do you get under there Don ?  Do you have 4 separate jacks ?

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Well Don, I am 70+++ and I get where you're coming from. I'm long past the car ego trip era, and honestly, I don't care if I ever service my own vehicle again. The only reason I would have continued with my own oil changes is that I could get full-synth oil instead of the combo mix the dealer or an oil change shop gives me, for less cost, and would feel entirely comfortable going at least 10,000 miles between changes after the break-in. Not to mention I wouldn't have to waste two hours, and drive 30 miles at every change, like I do now. I don't have room to store car ramps. Maybe I could fabricate something much more compact and store-able out of wood, but I'm not certain how much height I would need to get under there and get to everything. Maybe my time-of-life also explains why I did some partial interior mods to clean up the rear and try to reduce the noise level, and then gave up. I just didn't have the time or incentive to see it through.

 

I heartily agree it handles like a car. I've had nothing but compact and mid-sized Datsun and Nissan pickups going back to the early eighties, needing the occasional hauling capacity for my business. Well, not counting the VW Rabbit diesel PU I owned briefly - possibly the most under-powered vehicle ever conceived! So this puppy doesn't just handle like a car to me, it handles like a "sporty" car. Except for the road noise I really enjoy driving it.

 

The dealers (I have only two within 100 miles) all gave up on the door adjustments, and so have I. I have fiddled with anything attached to the door systems that can possibly be moved or adjusted - to no avail. Even if I reduce it the rattles always return, especially the sliders unless I hit a really big bump - then the clam-shells join in! I could see how this wouldn't bother commercial users. Once they pack a bunch of racks and a few hundred parts and tools into the back, the rattles are moot.

 

It could be that my brief ride in the wagon version seemed so hard because every seat was occupied, but I couldn't help but notice every bump. I guess that because it was a "passenger" version I was expecting something cushier.

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3 hours ago, tcconvert said:

Well Don, I am 70+++ and I get where you're coming from. I'm long past the car ego trip era, and honestly, I don't care if I ever service my own vehicle again. The only reason I would have continued with my own oil changes is that I could get full-synth oil instead of the combo mix the dealer or an oil change shop gives me, for less cost, and would feel entirely comfortable going at least 10,000 miles between changes after the break-in. Not to mention I wouldn't have to waste two hours, and drive 30 miles at every change, like I do now. I don't have room to store car ramps. Maybe I could fabricate something much more compact and store-able out of wood, but I'm not certain how much height I would need to get under there and get to everything. Maybe my time-of-life also explains why I did some partial interior mods to clean up the rear and try to reduce the noise level, and then gave up. I just didn't have the time or incentive to see it through.

 

I heartily agree it handles like a car. I've had nothing but compact and mid-sized Datsun and Nissan pickups going back to the early eighties, needing the occasional hauling capacity for my business. Well, not counting the VW Rabbit diesel PU I owned briefly - possibly the most under-powered vehicle ever conceived! So this puppy doesn't just handle like a car to me, it handles like a "sporty" car. Except for the road noise I really enjoy driving it.

 

The dealers (I have only two within 100 miles) all gave up on the door adjustments, and so have I. I have fiddled with anything attached to the door systems that can possibly be moved or adjusted - to no avail. Even if I reduce it the rattles always return, especially the sliders unless I hit a really big - then the clam-shells join in! I could see how this wouldn't bother commercial users. Once they pack a bunch of racks and a few hundred parts and tools into the back, the rattles are moot.

 

It could be that my brief ride in the wagon version seemed so hard because every seat was occupied, but I couldn't help but notice every bump. I guess that because it was a "passenger" version I was expecting something cushier.

 

Somethings definitely wrong and i'm shocked that it's so difficult to figure out and fix , there shouldn't be constant rattles in the door area . The dealers you went to sound completely incompetent .

 

When you mention "Break in" at what point do you consider a new vehicle broken in ?  Only certain car ramps work from what i hear , some tear up the front plastic area , i'm still hoping Beta Don reveals how he gets under his van.

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8 hours ago, tcconvert said:

It could be that my brief ride in the wagon version seemed so hard because every seat was occupied, but I couldn't help but notice every bump. I guess that because it was a "passenger" version I was expecting something cushier.

 

Passenger wagon & cargo van have the same exact suspension.  They did not retune the suspension for passenger wagon comfort.  The rear suspension is just a coil spring with a shock absorber alongside.  This is designed for cargo weight in the rear to balance against the engine & transmission in the front of the car.  Not engineered for comfort.  The best seat is 1st row driver & passenger, since it is midpoint between the front & rear wheels.  From there on back, it's bouncy time.  The 3rd row sits right above the rear wheels.  

 

It's a better ride than my truck.  But far from luxury car comfort.  Kids don't seem to mind.  My friends don't complain, since the seats are wider, and there's more headroom & legroom, than any of their more expensive crossovers.  As one of my buddies pointed out, it's no more or less comfortable than those shuttle vans that you take from the airport.......i.e. Ford E150 or Transit E150.  Same rubber floor, same cloth seats, same big windows, same bumpy ride, same amount ambient noise.  I just make sure that there's a basket of fruit, warm muffins, morning papers, and fresh squeezed juice when I go to pick them up.  

 

8 hours ago, tcconvert said:

 I could get full-synth oil instead of the combo mix the dealer or an oil change shop gives me, for less cost, and would feel entirely comfortable going at least 10,000 miles between changes

 

Less cost.  That is true with everything on every car.  Whatever you do yourself, will save what you will have to pay someone else.  There is a gas station near me with a service bay.  If I supply the oil & filter, he will do it for $15.  A dollar a minute.  A couple of neighborhood guys go there, since they don't want to hassle with doing an oil change in the street - like me.  It's just an oil change.  The guy is competent enough that he uses hand tools instead of air tools, won't overtorque, cross-thread, or strip your drain bolt, and he won't over-tighten the oil filter.  

 

It's not the oil change.  That's easy.  It's the fact that he has a lift.  And you don't have to deal with rebottling the used oil and disposal of the used oil and filter.  He told me once that for the same $15, he'll put the car on the lift, and he'll let me turn the wrench myself while he drinks a cup of coffee.  He's seen me doing my own service work out on the street.  

 

Corner mechanic next to my ex girlfriend used to work on her car for free, because I helped him out here and there......just things like when you need an extra hand to hold onto something, someone to pump the brake pedal, unlock the shop on a Saturday to allow customers to drop off cars so that he can spend the morning with his kids at little league, or tell his wife that he was with me at the bar when he was really out with his girlfriend.

Edited by Fifty150

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For oil changes I bought a pair of Rino Ramps - Amazon I think.  They work very well, can drive up on them without much effort, miss all of the plastic in front and have descent stops so I don't drive over them.  They stack together somewhat for storing so take up less space.  With the extra few inches the oil change is easy.  I can get to all of the screws to loosen the under tray.  It is the best one I have encountered.  It stays in place even when the screws and two clips are removed but is easy to slide back and drop.  Doesn't weigh much.  Oil filter is easy to get to and is a spin on so easy enough to remove.  Drian plug is also easy to get to.  Only issue was pouring the oil in - had to dig out the small funnel I used on my motorcycles.  

 

I have a garage but in front of the TC is a metal lathe from the late 1800's so not much room.  On the floor I put some of the square floor cushions I got at Costco.  They make it easy to lay on the floor.  I'm very happy with the engine bay on this car.  My son had a VW Jetta with the turbo motor, very difficult to get to stuff in that engine bay.  

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I also use a pair of yellow Rhino Ramps that I bought about 20 years ago.  I store them hanging from two nails driven in the wall of my garage, but if you don't have a garage, they would store just as easily hanging from nails in the back of a closet, out of sight.  They don't weigh much and take up very little room.  They've been used with everything I drive for a long time and are easily worth 10X what I paid for them.   For servicing the trans, I drive up on the ramps and then raise the rear up to an equal height using a jack and jack stands.  While I don't LIKE getting under cars any more at my age, I just don't trust anyone else.  My daughter bought a new Hyundai which came with free oil changes for two years and the dealer left the oil fill cap off and by the time she got home she had a huge cloud of smoke everywhere.  They flat bed towed it back to the dealer where it took them 3 days to clean up the mess!  At least she got a loaner car to use

 

We bought our '14 used with 13K on it and 2 years of factory warranty remaining.  When we got it, the passenger window would only roll up or down about an inch and a half with every press of the switch and then it would stop and you'd have to press the switch again.  5 or 6 presses of the switch to roll it up or down.  Also, the rear wiper didn't work.  Took it to the dealer and they had it for 8 days.  Ordered a new motor for the window and had to wait for that to be delivered and then installed . . . .  and when that didn't fix it, (same exact symptoms) they decided maybe they better read the book.  All it needed to fix the window issue was a 5 minute reprogram of the computer.  The rear wiper was just a fuse.  When I finally got it back, the bill was $99.  -  That was for changing the fuse, as fuses aren't covered by the warranty.  "$99 to change a fuse seems kinda steep" I complained.  "Well, we have to troubleshoot it to find WHY the fuse blew". the service manager tells me.  "Well, what did your troubleshooting tell you about why it blew?"  -  "We don't know  -  We replaced the fuse and it didn't blow again".  When I pointed out to him that they had offered me a loaner vehicle for what turned out to be 8 days because their troubleshooting of the window wasn't done any differently than the fuse, but I told them I had another vehicle to drive, they agreed to drop the $99 charge

 

I've never been back there  -  They proved to me that if I want to drive a trouble-free vehicle, I need to keep it out of their garage!!  So, I dusted off my Rhino Ramps and am STILL doing my own maintenance.  Thankfully with all synthetic fluids, the 'TC doesn't require me to get under it all that often and since we rarely drive it locally (we have 3 electric cars) it doesn't get many miles unless we are traveling out of state

 

Don

 

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Seems there are different model Rhino ramps .

Capture.GIF

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My Rhinos are yellow plastic, very solid and rated at 12,000 pounds.  I've had 3/4 ton diesel trucks on them several times, so the TC is no load at all for them.  They still look near new after more than 20 years

 

Those wooden ones look very solid too, but my Rhinos lift the vehicle several inches higher than those do

 

Don

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On 1/19/2019 at 3:59 PM, Fifty150 said:

 

Passenger wagon & cargo van have the same exact suspension.  They did not retune the suspension for passenger wagon comfort.  The rear suspension is just a coil spring with a shock absorber alongside.  This is designed for cargo weight in the rear to balance against the engine & transmission in the front of the car.  Not engineered for comfort.  The best seat is 1st row driver & passenger, since it is midpoint between the front & rear wheels.  From there on back, it's bouncy time.  The 3rd row sits right above the rear wheels.  

 

It's a better ride than my truck.  But far from luxury car comfort.  Kids don't seem to mind.  My friends don't complain, since the seats are wider, and there's more headroom & legroom, than any of their more expensive crossovers.  As one of my buddies pointed out, it's no more or less comfortable than those shuttle vans that you take from the airport.......i.e. Ford E150 or Transit E150.  Same rubber floor, same cloth seats, same big windows, same bumpy ride, same amount ambient noise.  I just make sure that there's a basket of fruit, warm muffins, morning papers, and fresh squeezed juice when I go to pick them up.  

 

 

Less cost.  That is true with everything on every car.  Whatever you do yourself, will save what you will have to pay someone else.  There is a gas station near me with a service bay.  If I supply the oil & filter, he will do it for $15.  A dollar a minute.  A couple of neighborhood guys go there, since they don't want to hassle with doing an oil change in the street - like me.  It's just an oil change.  The guy is competent enough that he uses hand tools instead of air tools, won't overtorque, cross-thread, or strip your drain bolt, and he won't over-tighten the oil filter.  

 

It's not the oil change.  That's easy.  It's the fact that he has a lift.  And you don't have to deal with rebottling the used oil and disposal of the used oil and filter.  He told me once that for the same $15, he'll put the car on the lift, and he'll let me turn the wrench myself while he drinks a cup of coffee.  He's seen me doing my own service work out on the street.  

 

Corner mechanic next to my ex girlfriend used to work on her car for free, because I helped him out here and there......just things like when you need an extra hand to hold onto something, someone to pump the brake pedal, unlock the shop on a Saturday to allow customers to drop off cars so that he can spend the morning with his kids at little league, or tell his wife that he was with me at the bar when he was really out with his girlfriend.

This is exactly it.  I have no urge to deal with mechanical issues these days.  If I had a lift, maybe, but I don't and don't have anywhere to put one.  I have done service work in the street off and on over the years, and still do it on occasion, but if I never turned another wrench, my ego wouldn't be offended.

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12 hours ago, WillMartin said:

 if I never turned another wrench, my ego wouldn't be offended.

 

 

My time and energy is better spent with a cold beer, a fistfull of singles, and girls trying to work their way through college by dancing on a pole.

 

 

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Bustin' my knuckles, getting dirt & grease into fresh wounds, and possibly having a car fall on me.........vs lapdance from young girl who would not otherwise look in my direction in real life.

 

In real life, I've got real $1 bills, and they are really dancing for $1.  Then I see them the next day, at the mall, spending my $1 which they sold their dignity for.

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Gee, I never looked at it like me changing my own oil was saving college girls their dignity  -  See what you learn from helpful forums like this one!!

 

Don

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On 1/26/2019 at 9:05 AM, WillMartin said:

You got good priorities.

 

 

After thinking it over i'm going to have to agree , Fifty has superb priorities,  rock solid .

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I believe in youth, supporting education. and being a patron of the arts.

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