Jackaroo (1992) is it always this noisy?

Submitted: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 17:37
ThreadID: 12781 Views:3702 Replies:7 FollowUps:9
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Hi, We are about to buy a little used Jackaroo (1992, LS, 6 Cyl, 3.2, Petrol, 7 seat and electric everything) that has only 125,000 on the closk. It shows very little wear and tear exterior (no real dings underneath) and a bit of broken plastic on the central console.

Having taken it for a test drive, a mechanic friend (a Toyota-man), has remarked the following:

* Engine is noisy (tappets most likely)
* Noisy gear-box
* Oil leaking from sump and rear main seal
* The engine does not rev up to the rev-line - spluttering at about 1,000 rpm before it

Are these normal - sounds and mechanical wear for the 1992 Jackaroo? Or it is symptomatic of something about to become a whole lot more serious? The price for it is $16,990 - which we thought was reasonable given that it was about 100,000 km below the normal reading.

We own two Subarus and are used to a tapping sound constantly from the engine - so most-likely didn't even notice it when we took it for a test-drive!

Can any of you enlighten us or tell us this is ok? i.e. "Just make sure that XYZ gets attended to before you buy it!"

Thanks for your assistance.

Cazo, Canberra.
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Reply By: robb - Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 17:53

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 17:53
Hey Cazo, that 125000k sounds a bit sus, maybe a windback....
AnswerID: 58185

Follow Up By: Cazo - Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 18:17

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 18:17
Well, there has only been one owner, and the service logs indicate that the K's are fair dinkum. The car was always serviced at Dee Why (?) Sydney.
FollowupID: 319911

Reply By: The Banjo - Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 17:56

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 17:56
IMO, you could expect to pay that for a 92 machine with no tappet/gearbox noise, no leaks and a sweetly running motor....IE.....a car that you could have faith in for a few years to come......from your description, its pretty clear why it is for sale.
AnswerID: 58186

Follow Up By: Leroy - Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 22:25

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 22:25
I agree. I sold my rodeo with the same engine at 96k. It had 1 noisey tappet. At the 100k service it was due to have all clearances checked and is a very expensive service (was quoted $1400 from Holden) as its very labour intensive. They also chnge the plugs at $200 a set! I also had a leaking rear main seal. All big $$$ items to fix if you are not handy yourself but I looked at the size of the gearbox for one and I thought there's no way I want to lift that puppy out!

FollowupID: 319957

Reply By: Paul1 - Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 22:27

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 22:27
To state the obvious it sounds that the owner looked after the body, but not the mechanicals. I have a 1990 Jack, yep the old model. I bought it from the original owner a few years ago with 120,000ks. Except for a minor whine in 3rd and 5th everything else is as perfect as could be expected. I have none of the noises you mention.

I have been looking to upgrade to another Jack (looking for a few more creature features). I put up a message here and had some very good advice regarding buying an older car. "The service history is more important that the number of ks."

I feel $17,000 (less $10) is far too much for a 1992 Jack, no matter what the ks. Look on carsales.com.au and search all states for a comparison. There are good pickings in the Jackaroos under the $16,000. You can do a lot better than one that is suspect to start with.

Best of luck
AnswerID: 58251

Follow Up By: Paul1 - Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 08:52

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 08:52
I'm sitting at home with a sick child and have plenty of time to waste. I looked up Carsales - private sales. There is a 1997 SE II Jackaroo, 7 seater, 109,000ks, all electrics, bull bar side steps, no cruise control. $17,000 in Victoria. Its a bit hard to compare this to the 1992 you have inspected. If you don't live in Melbourne it might be worth the plane flight, if you are on the East coast.

FollowupID: 319977

Follow Up By: Cazo - Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 15:17

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 15:17
Hi Paul,

Sick kid? Sorry to hear that, yet it does give the opportunity to do things other than work!.

Your comments are worth reading ... we were not looking at jackaroos originally as the third row seats weren't that comfortable. We have three kids, all getting bigger now that they are all, but 1, in school, the third row seating provides us with a buffer sone around each of them on long trips. Not as much of the "keep your arms and legs to yourself" and the "leave her alone, she wasn't bothering you" type parental dialogue!

The 1992 model, in question, had third row seats that looked like small front bucket seats, complete with head rests and lap-sash belts - we had not seen anything like them on other vehicles of that below $20k price-bracket. This was the main reason for coming back to have a second look at it. The more recent model Jackaroos don't seem to have the same third row seat design.

This said, the $17k 1997 one in Victoria seems like a good proposition, as we live in Canberra, my spouse wouldn't take a flight to look at it, when I'm on the verge of exams and his work-load is huge.

The 1992 LS, is being sold through a GMH Dealer, they have offered to fix anything that their NRMA pre-purchase inspection reveals, probably as there is no warranty on the vehicle as it is over 10 years old.

If it all becomes too hard, we're prepared to walk away from it, there are plenty of other vehicles out there, but we haven't seen many with the same type of third row seating style.

Thanks for taking the time to look up Carsales.com for me ... I did that too - at your suggestion- but didn't take the search out of ACT & NSW.

I hope your kid gets better and that you can spend some time playing with him/her as that is much more fun than boring computers and domestic stuff.

FollowupID: 320021

Follow Up By: Paul1 - Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 17:21

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 17:21
Thanks for your kind comments. If you feel that the 92 Jack suits your needs you may want to negotiate with the dealer. The Red Book trade-in is between $8300 and $10,200. If it needs repairs they would have paid the lower end of the trade-in value. Going by another readers comments, the GMH service costs $1500 approx. You can clearly see their profit margin. My suggestion is that the dealer fixes all problems, you have another NRMA inspection and offer $15,000, or less. $17,000 is a very high price. If they won't budge on the price demand the timing belt and all oils be replaced in the price.

The 1992-95 Jacks were a strong verhicle with few generic problems. There is a magazine in the newsagents at the moment covering buying second hand 4x4s. I can't find my copy to give you its name, but it covers all the popular brands and models giving a list of problems and things to watch out for. The Jack gets a fairly good review. (Pajero got a better review.) If the ks are original, as you say, the car should last for years.

We are planning a Brisbane, The Dig Tree, Lake Eyre, Uluru, Darwin, Kakadu, Brisbane trip for next year and my mechanic gave my 1990 Jack a thorough going over and can't fault it. I was looking for a reason to buy a later model. It has only 167,000ks. I can't really justify the cost of the upgrade when the old beast is still going so strong. The Jack you are looking at should give the same level of service if all the problems are fixed.

All the best
FollowupID: 320036

Reply By: Member - Bradley- Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 10:40

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 10:40
16+ is way over the top for that year and mech condition, go a much later year pre the 98 update for that money and get a sweet runner.. All probs listed pricey and sus for those kays.. especially the gbox. WALK AWAY NOW....
AnswerID: 58293

Follow Up By: Cazo - Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 15:24

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 15:24
Hi Bradley,

We agree, $17K is far too much. The dealer has sweetened the deal by offering, the ACT rego transfer from NSW, 12 months rego, new tyres, and to fix anything that the NRMA pre-purchase inspection throws up. We already know about the above listed items. If the dealer, does indeed come to the party to fix all those items, at their expense, then the vehicle may be worth it. We think that the $17K, minus $770 rego, minus $1K tyres and minus however much the mechanicals cost to repair - say $2K make the car a bit more reasonable. We are yet to be convinced - but the dealer is working hard ...

FollowupID: 320024

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 18:20

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 18:20
Hi again Caz, when i was at holden they traded in a 94 jack with 150k on it in absolutely mint condition, and gave the bloke $6k , one week later after a detail and some s/h tyres they sold it quick for $13. It was mechanically perfect.

I think there is at least $ 4-5 grand worth of problems in the car, and the g/box especially is a worry. The post 98 jacks have a gear whine but that is ok, the earlier boxes were fantastic.. Think about how much they will want to spend on fixing it , i say about a grand if you are lucky, and you will only get enough done to get it out the gate, as there is no warranty.

You could look at getting a later jack and fitting the earlier 3rd row seats, as i'm 98% positive they are identical in the body from the b pillar back, and thet should bolt straight in.

I still think walk away as there are heaps of jackaroos in very good nick, and they have a fantastic record, so one showing heaps of probs is definetely one to be aware of.
Check the buisness listing for eric at wholesale cars, he is a nice bloke who may be able to point you in the right direction. Cheers, Brad
FollowupID: 320046

Reply By: Rob W. - Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 12:47

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 12:47
I would look elsewhere, my travelling friends have a "92 Jack with 162,000 Ks on it, has been arund the Kimberly and Qld, and has no leaks at all, the tappets have always been a BIT noisy, but only when cold. There are better, later models around for the same price. Keep Looking.
AnswerID: 58305

Follow Up By: Cazo - Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 15:32

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 15:32
Hello Rob,

The fact that your friends have taken their '92 Jack in places we aspire to get to is nice to know about ... should we take on this vehicle with the repairs done. The noisy tappet sound was when the vehicle was cold - so we'll bear that in mind. I agree there are other vehicles out there - and we have't stopped looking.

FollowupID: 320026

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 18:08

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 18:08
Rob, tapping noise only when cold is 99% the timing belt tensioner. These are a mini gas strut and the seals go hard on then and they lose pressure over time.. They should be replaced at the same time as the timing belt ( every 100k) otherwise it is very expensive to pull it all apart again to do just it..
FollowupID: 320044

Reply By: TonyT - Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 20:07

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 20:07
For what it's worth. my 92 Jack has 225,000k's genuine- I'm 2nd owner (detailed service history etc from 1st)- oil at 5Ks etc., belt done- just keeps going and going- would like to trade up to a ute (another story) but everyone says it's much cheaper to renew the parts that fail etc. - nothing has (well, new rear shocks and a fuel pump)_- has been around the Centre offroad- just thought it might give u a bit of confidence if u do buy one- but $17 sure is pricey- yes, it does have that clickety click but mechanic says to me just live with it.
AnswerID: 58371

Reply By: Cazo - Friday, May 14, 2004 at 16:52

Friday, May 14, 2004 at 16:52
Hello everybody!

Just to let you know what we did about the Jackaroo ... we walked away!

The NRMA inspection revealed a lot of issues in the motor and the gearbox - plus some indications of a fairly severe collision on the right side. The NRMA guy indicated to us that the 3.2 petrol engine is noisier than the 3.5 litre engine. But we don't have enough actual Jackaroo experience to discern that.

The dealership backed off on what they were prepared to do ... I don't blame them. They have a lemon - we don't! The salesman, who was our contact, - was honest and said everything he could without actually saying the words "walk away".

What has this taught us - that the Jackaroo's are worth the look. We are still looking for one that is in much better condition. We like the roominess and the 4WD capability, we are not at all bothered by the fact that it is not as "round towny" as the Pajero.

Thanks everybody for your advice and comments.
AnswerID: 58617

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