Found a Wagon

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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moose-tek
Posts: 6
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Found a Wagon

#1

Post by moose-tek » 13 years ago

I was talking to a Maxi Wagon driver today, hadn't seen him in a while. I told him that I was thinking about a Z swap when he mentioned that there is a diesel wagon for sale at a used car lot down the road.

I had to go check it out. Right there in the lot was a light blue 82 wagon. First thing I started checking for was rust, which didn't seem too bad, about a hand sized patch behind LF wheel on the body panel plus other minor scratches and dents. Interior looked pretty good, the center console was intact with all sorts of power options switches. It also had a nice roof rack on top.
The salesman spotted me and offered to show me more information about the car. A few things on the list he brought with him mentioned that it was an original owner car, and just had some service done recently (hoses, belts, basic stuff etc.), Somewhere around 100K miles too.
He tried to start the car but the battery was pretty dead, his puny jumpstart box didn't help too much.
I will likely go back tomorrow when it is warmer (50 degrees) and see if he can get it going.

In all, I was pretty impressed to see such an original un-messed-with wagon I heard that they might be asking around 2500 - 3000 for it, I tried not to appear too eager and interested so I didn't get a direct price today.

Do you guys think this is a good price for a solid original car? If not, then what might be a good place to start.
'83 Datsun 280ZX
'84 VW Rabbit L Diesel - for sale
'82 Datsun Maxima Wagon Diesel
'82 Datsun Maxima Sedan Diesel

glenlloyd
Posts: 640
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Contact:

#2

Post by glenlloyd » 13 years ago

Consumers are never impressed with a car on a lot that doesn't start. That can be a deal killer with a lot of folks.

I went with a friend recently to test drive a 99 Volvo S70 AWD. It started but the rear brakes were locked up and it wouldn't pull itself out of the parking spot. My friend elected to pass on the vehicle at that point.

I would make sure that nothing has been messed with under the hood, glow system wiring specifically. Ask the dealer for the service history if they have it. See if the IP belt has ever been replaced. At that price it seems a little high unless the body were in terrific shape, which you suggest isn't the case. If it happened to be a manual trans I would be a little more flexible, but I still wouldn't be interested at the price you think they're asking now (personally).

Decide what you want to spend / what it's worth and make an offer below that amount so a counter offer remains viable.

my .02, and I do expect you to post pictures of it BEFORE you buy it!

steve a
97 Jetta TDI, 86 VW Golf D
89 VW Fox diesel, 92 MB 300SD W140

gir - won't the sploding hurt?
zim - silence!

moose-tek
Posts: 6
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

#3

Post by moose-tek » 13 years ago

*56K warning*

Went back to the lot for a better look and brought a camera along too.

It was warmer than last time, so I asked if we could try starting it up. Hooked up a booster pack, glowed for a few seconds and she fired right up. Sounded nice smooth and strong.

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Thats the most major rust that i found.

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The door also had the distinctive 'clunk' when I shut it too.

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The test drive went well too. Drove it down the road to the wally world and back. I really got to test the acceleration and shifting when my lane dropped about 1/4 mi from the stoplight. Got around the grandma in an Intrepid with just a bit of room to spare.
All of the electronics and gizmos work like they should. Doesn't smoke hardly at idle, but puts out a healthy anti-tailgater haze when taking off.

The car was owned since new by a couple in town, they put the car up for sale at this 'we-sell-it-for-you' lot because they just moved and didn't really need it anymore. It spent the past few years as an occasional grocery-getter

I haven't made up my mind yet about getting this Maxima. Buying this means that I will have to get rid of the Rabbit for sure, which is currently inoperable with a cracked windshield and a burning extreme amounts of oil.

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Might be best to let it go, a cancer-free Rabbit has to be worth a little bit, right?
'83 Datsun 280ZX
'84 VW Rabbit L Diesel - for sale
'82 Datsun Maxima Wagon Diesel
'82 Datsun Maxima Sedan Diesel

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asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5347
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
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#4

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

Was a price mentioned?

The mileage is low, and one-owner is always good -- they remember how much they paid for it new, and are more likely to keep up with the maintenance.

For your area, the amount of rust showing is remarkably slight.

I don't know as I'd pay $3k for it, but I might go $2k, depending. Both of mine are at least that rusty (well, the '83 is worse but the '82 -- from PA -- is slightly better maybe).

You sound excited.

I've been driving my '82 Wagon for the past week every day. I'd forgotten how well it drives. While the suspension hasn't got a lot of travel and bottoms easily, it sure corners nice (compared to the Aerostar, anyway) and the acceleration is quite good. Now, if the smoke were only less. I have a couple of hills on my commute, and with the CC on, it's quite a plume I see in the rear-view mirror. I don't know any diesel Maximas that don't do that.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

User avatar
83_maxima
Posts: 423
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Denver

#5

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

That does look like a nice wagon. I'd be interested to know what they are asking too.
asavage wrote:Now, if the smoke were only less. I have a couple of hills on my commute, and with the CC on, it's quite a plume I see in the rear-view mirror. I don't know any diesel Maximas that don't do that.
Mine only passed with 35% opacity at 40 mph (40% is the limit for NA). I was surprised.

glenlloyd
Posts: 640
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Contact:

#6

Post by glenlloyd » 13 years ago

The exterior looks to be in remarkably good condition. Despite the fender rust, which isn't structural, the rockers and rear quarters are in very good condition.

I see a few minor blemishes, and the driver seat is a bit haggared but overall very nice.

I would still have to believe that the preheat system might need some attention given that it didn't start the first time. There isn't a diesel that I've owned where I haven't felt like the preheat system was somewhat lacking. I think you should use this factor to try and pull the price down.

Nice find, and I'll donate the missing hubcap if you pay the postage!

If it's possible, I would try to get the PO name / number and see if they'll spend a little time talking with you about it. The PO of mine was more than willing to chat about the car.

steve a
97 Jetta TDI, 86 VW Golf D
89 VW Fox diesel, 92 MB 300SD W140

gir - won't the sploding hurt?
zim - silence!

moose-tek
Posts: 6
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

#7

Post by moose-tek » 13 years ago

Aha! I finally have my Maxima.

Everything went well leaving the parking lot and onto the busy streets. I stopped at a fast food place to use the restroom. When I came back out and tried to start the car I noticed the GP light lit for only 2 seconds or so and the starter would crank but would not fire up. Here I realized that this is probably the result of the warm no-start problem. I go back inside to get something to eat and wait for it to cool down enough. Go back outside after about 30 minutes and try again. By the 3rd try I could tell the battery had finally had enough and I walk to the Advance Auto parts store and borrow their
'83 Datsun 280ZX
'84 VW Rabbit L Diesel - for sale
'82 Datsun Maxima Wagon Diesel
'82 Datsun Maxima Sedan Diesel

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