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Last weekend, we picked up a 1983 505 (XN6, manual) in Austin, Texas that had been off the road for about two-and-a-half years. When we got it it wasn't clear if it was going to be a pile of parts or a project. After spending a few days getting it running again, its status is officially 'project' I'm starting this thread in part to seek advice with issues that the car has, but also to keep track of the state that it's in and how it progresses over time. So, with that said, here's where things stand at present: The car: 1983 505, XN6, manual. Odometer says 155,400 miles but the speedo has the usual issues which mean that it could be 1,155,400 for all I know. General condition suggests that number may be about right, however. The good: Clutch, gearbox, steering, cooling, and electrics all seem to be pretty solid. Body is straight. 33 years of shopping cart dings, some clearcoat peel and minor solar oxidation, but overall it looks OK from 20 feet away. Well, maybe 30. No leaks, drips, or other haemorrhages seem to be taking place. Tyres seem to have somewhere between 40% and 50% of their life left in them. They'll do for now. The known issues: Ignition switch doesn't always engage the starter. A $10 Harbor Freight starter button is attached for the times where it doesn't do what it should. Will order new switch when I get tired of using the starter button. Starter was having a protracted death. Replaced it, everything's fine. Ignition switch problems may have been related to the tachymetric relay; repaired relay, awaiting long-term results. Tachymetric relay repair didn't hold. Replaced it. Speedo needle operates on a 'pick any number between...' basis; odometer and trip meter untrustworthy as a result. Speedo cable is waiting to go in. Tachometer is believed to be a liar. Claims cold idle speed of 2500 RPM, down to 1250 or so RPM warm. Engine doesn't sound anywhere near that. Need to get inductive tachometer to verify. Inductive tachometer confirmed that the mechanical one isn't even close to accurate below 2000 RPM; adjusted idle accordingly. Need to replace mechanical tachometer. Vacuum leaks everywhere were contributing to this. Going to manually reset tach needle to zero rpm when speedo cable is replaced and see what happens. Factory clamps on vacuum line joins are useless after 33 years; many vacuum leaks suspected as a result. Continuing to track these down; will start replacing hose clamps as I go. Failed brake booster was main cause of leaks. Replaced vacuum hoses; saw distinct improvement. Suspect one or two lingering leaks (there's one known one at the ventilation distribution controls) but overall much improved. Sensation of fuel delivery occasionally pulsing. Car came with almost a half-tank of 2.5-year-old fuel in the tank; topped it off with no-ethanol 87-octane and Seafoam. Still running the lousy gas out. Have now run out all of the old gas; car currently has a tank of fresh no-ethanol 87-octane in it. Got slightly better after half-assed throttle body cleaning with Seafoam via fuel evaporative line; will clean throttle body with entire ass and hope for further improvements. New fuel filter en route since I have no idea if the old one is full of mud or not. Replaced old filter; it was full of mud. Solved fuel pulsing issues. Electric radiator fan works when jumpered directly to battery or A/C is selected but does not automatically switch on when driving. Suspect switch in radiator; replacement is ordered and should be here next week. Switch is installed. However, the thermostat has also been replaced along with the coolant. Waiting to see if I can get it warm enough for the fans to kick in. Fan now not coming on at all; will investigate when not Winter. Suspect resistor pack. Warped brake disc at the front. Just going to replace all four discs and the pads plus flush the fluid; everything looks antiquated. Brakes otherwise functional, just not as good as they should be. Much better post-booster replacement. Speaking of the A/C, the compressor is seized and the belt to it has been cut and thrown away. Guessing that pretty much the entire system is going to need replacement. Cabin fan has exactly zero speeds. Fuses look fine. Windows roll down (and up) so will worry about this when it's not 100degF outside. Fan works on speeds 2 and 3 with some jiggling of the switch. Need to pull switch and clean contacts. Sunroof doesn't work, but, given that it's a 505, not an unexpected development. Avoiding this job unless being held at gunpoint to complete it. Still waiting on basic tune-up parts to arrive next week so haven't yet pulled the plugs, distributor cap, etc. to check them - I'd rather not start pulling things apart until replacements are on hand. Overall, it's a decent driver. Despite the running issues, it pulls surprisingly well (yes, I know how counterintuitive that sounds) and will make a decent car for getting around in. Looking forward to seeing where all of this ends up.
I have inherited a 1983 Silver Edition 505s Turbo Diesel with 83,000 actual miles - one owner. The paint is rough and the body is straight. The turbo blew in 1997 and the car has been in a barn for 18 years. Incredibly the tires were up and it rolled onto the trailer just fine. I want to know if I should scrap the car or attempt to rebuild. I do not know where to start. It would need some major work on the turbo and paint. Otherwise it appears sound. What value, if any, does the car have as is? I have a clear title to the car and it is located in Paducah, Kentucky.