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$$ of Upkeep

971 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  JeffWVR4
About how much $$ does the 91-94 VR-4 cost to upkeep. On the for sale board, all I see is people saying that they can't afford the upkeep on the car, or that it is draining all of their extra cash, and are selling. I plan on getting on pretty soon, and get some BPU put on it. Will this cause problems with reliability??
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Well, I'm still waiting to get mine too, but figure that there are 100,000 out there, and there are what, maybe fifty people here out of quite a few that have had major problems?

I think if you get one that's in good shape and hasn't been abused that has been kept up with and you don't do 6k clutch drops all the time then everything would probably be fine. Although, I am wishing I could find out just how many people have major problems and whatnot, but every mechanic I've talked to has said they aren't particularly prone to anything and that normal upkeep isn't a big deal as far as cash goes. This is from talking to Mitsu mechanics (the mechanics, not the customer rep guys) and from some guys over at Massey Automotive, as well as every owner I come across - none of them have had anything but praise for the cars, they just say make sure that I can get insured (I'm 18).

I think most of it is that when there is a bad problem, labor is usually a bitch if you can't do it yourself. I'm in college, and I'm keeping mine, and its a '91 VR4.
If you give good care, it won't give ya much problems.
Ive own my car for 4 months and no big problems...
"no big problems"

What problems have you had though?
Due to bad design bearing 6 suffers from low oil and you can end up with a spun bearing. New Motor...(around $3,000-$5,000/new not used)

The trannies are not too reliable and are heat sealed which means MOST tranny shops can't touch it. (new tranny/rebuilt for $2k-$3k)

The Synchros are weak esp in 2nd although my 5th is the only one starting to show some grind if I quick shift in high revs.

Brakes are not the best and warp under the heat of high speed stops very easily. One can upgrade though...($$$)

FUN AS SHIT to drive and still one of the best looking cars out there (Mitsu 3kgtvr4 looks better than dodge tt in my opinion)

Worth the price of admission if you got it!
I've kept records of the expenses on my '92 VR4 since I bought it in 1995. I've spent an average of $1,250 per year for normal maintenance. This includes things like oil, tires, 60K & 120K maintenance, clutch, ball joints, brakes, alignments, etc. Most of this cost is for parts, as I do much of the labor myself. This cost is only for stock replacement parts and does not include any mods or aftermarket stuff, which you can easily spend thousands more on (I'm up to almost $10K in mods now and still adding!). There was also an additional $4K in repairs that were covered by my extended warranty, such as the ABS system, rear turbo, and active aero system. Keep in mind that mine is a high-mileage car (137K) that is driven every day, however it has not been abused much either. I am also forunate that my car has not been plagued with the transmission problems that many others have had.

But cost aside, this is the best car I've ever owned or driven in terms of performance and "fun to drive". It's almost 10 years old now, and it still gets "looks" when I drive it.

Hope this helps.
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Hey Jeff, $1250 average per year since 1995 = $8,500 on mostly parts.

PLUS $4,000 under warranty.

Bottom line is a college kid with little income needs to be very lucky not to have a VR4 consume ALL his/her disposable income.
I agree. They're not cheap to maintain. It's like trying to buy parts for a Corvette or a Porsche (I know, I have one of each!) But if you wanna run with the big boys, you gotta pay the price for the toys!:cool:
U forgot insurance :D
How much is insurance(VR-4) on a 23 yr old male. (clean history)
Parts are expensive, but from the info you get by reading on this forum, it cuts the costs dramtically. This board is awesome for info. Mitsubishi or Dodge and ask them for a quart of oil for your tranny. $23.50. Redline is a great replacement and can be had for $6.00 through info on this forum.

You do have to filter out some bad info like anywhere else. The tranny answers are the best. What a range of answers stated on this forum. :) The output shafts are a weak point due to poor sealing to the transfer case mainly. They are exposed to water and rust. They may be a little soft also and you can get hardened shafts now. I would inspect it before buying a VR4, knowing what I know now. The transmissions are pretty easy to take apart also. If you have a rubber mallet it comes apart with no problem. The reason people won't touch them is because they don't know how to get parts, not because they can't get them apart. Kormex is the place.

The engine seems strong, but like it was said earlier, spun bearings is a problem listed quite a bit on this board. I have not had to touch my engine, so I won't state anything else on that. At least the turbos seem to stay together longer than on those 300ZXs. I couldn't find a Z with turbos working when I was shopping for one! :)

Good luck.
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300zx tt...True that, when I was looking for vr4 or 300zxtt All the good priced 300zx's had blown turbos!
What kind of problems arise with the N/A models, 3000GTs specifically, but stealth info is good too - first gen. Also, as far as audio goes, is there a difference in the interior between NA models and the TTs? Such as, if I get a stereo and do a nice custom job with it, and then decide I need a TT later on, could I take whatever work I do out of one and put it in the other?

Sceptor said:
"no big problems"

What problems have you had though?
I've had problem with the ECS, problem solved with replace to new harness.
And I was loosing coolant but solved when I replaced new radiator cap.

That's it.
KingNothing said:
Well, I'm still waiting to get mine too, but figure that there are 100,000 out there, and there are what, maybe fifty people here out of quite a few that have had major problems?
Actually, there were only about 15,000 ever sold over all 9 years of production and the vast majority of those were '91 through '96.

Yes, there are problems, but mostly because we push these cars hard. How many other cars have you seen where the rotors will glow red hot and still do the job??

If they were so bad do you think dealers would offer extended warantees on used models?? They do you know.

In a few more years these cars will be going up in value, not down.

My guess is that there are fewer than 10,000 left on the road today. Don't wait too long. ;)
Oh, yes, I know there are few of the TT models, I was referring to all of them that were produced... Am I far off on that number?
yeah ~15,000 VR-4's and ~9,000 TT's were made but as for total numbers there is about ~151,454 of our cars out there. Gotta expect to pay a lil more for parts with those kind of numbers... Just think Honda probably thows out that many cars in one week...
As for insurance, I pay about $210/month and I'm 22 with a couple speeding tickets.....:D :D (note to self keep pedal off of floor board)....:D :D
I feel sorry for you younger guys that have to pay the high insurance on our cars. $210/month, WOW!

Just to put it in perspective, I pay more for insurance for my '92 VR4 than I ever did for my '98 Durango (even when it was new)! But my rates are relatively cheap since I'm married, over 40, have a clean driving record, and qualify for a multi-car discount. I pay $650/year for the VR4.
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