help with buying sportrak


I am thinking of buying a sportrak and was wondering if anybody had any tips on what to look for and what i should look out for in my search for a good vehicle,and the best model/year to look for.

Honest Dave replies.......

All the usual checks apply, but add the following....

Take for a good run up a hill, the engine should pull cleanly and evenly, listen for clunks as drive is taken up from rest. Go back down the hill in neutral and listen for any whines or rumbles from the drive train. Check it does not pull to one side on both acceleration and overrun.
Find an empty car park. Turn in full lock and circle around, listening for grinding wheel bearings, creaking joints. The turn into the opposite lock and do the same.
Crawl under, check for propshaft play. While your under there, have a look at the rear leafs, shackles and bushes. Look at the X members for excessive rust/welds/overspray that may indicate it's had a bang.

Another good tip is to remove the oil filler cap when idling and place your hand over the hole. You should feel a slight suction which indicates the gaskets are all in good order. And have a look at the coolant expansion bottle for any traces of oil in the coolant.

After that, you pays yer money and takes yer's only detail differences between the post and pre 94 models, except for the single rear leaf setup on the later ones, so hang on for a clean one.. Most were bought as shopping trolleys/second cars initially, and it's not hard to spot looked after examples. There were some limited edition 'Midnight' models made to shore up the sales from 96 onward and are certainly not worth the extra premium for the cosmetic enhancements. Oh, and go along with CASH....It's surprising how many sellers (even dealers) will fall into line with your thinking when they see the moolah.

Dave with a Sporty

Dave with a Sporty

Buying a Sportrak

I agree with everything Dave says about buying a sportrak, however get a good look at the chassis for rust, take the sump guard off and check for rust at the chassis ends and around the radiator, i have a 1996 and was very discuffed after the first winter to find surface rust and some big scabs in these areas. other wise its a great wee machine. best of luck

Sportrak choice

All the previous technical comments I agree with, the Special edition stuff and model choice, could do with more consideration.

It primarily depends what you want it for. Firstly the models, basically the more letters after the name the more features it has, The ELXi models have all the toys and in my experience the price difference between the models is peanuts. Special Editions include the Timberland ('94)(Had one), Midnight('95), Anjou ('96)(Got one)and the Riviera ('97). IMHO the specials give you all the extras with very little price difference

Check out this site, it'll give you an excellent guide to what to look for, models and prices(although the prices are usually on the high side).