HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

1 RUST CHECK

In­spect the sills and chas­sis rails for cor­ro­sion or poor re­pairs. Lift the car­pets where pos­si­ble to view the floor, es­pe­cially around the seat­belt mounts. The doors, body panel seams and roof gut­ters should be ex­am­ined, too.

2 EN­GINES

Early mod­els had 1.6- or 2.0-litre air-cooled petrol units, su­per­seded by 1.9- and 2.1-litre wa­ter-cooled petrols, all flat-four con­fig­u­ra­tion. Air­cooled pro­duc­tion ended in 1982.

3 GEAR­BOXES

Four- and five-speed man­ual trans­mis­sions were fit­ted. Check all gears en­gage smoothly and lis­ten out for a noisy dif­fer­en­tial. Four-wheel drive ‘Syn­cro’ mod­els, were pro­duced be­tween 1985 and 1992.

4 IN­TE­RIOR

Many T3s have had very hard lives, es­pe­cially the panel vans, but avail­abil­ity for both af­ter­mar­ket trim and sec­ond­hand parts is good on the whole. Check for rain leaks caused by rust around win­dows, and op­er­ate all in­te­rior equip­ment (this is es­pe­cially im­por­tant in campers).

5 RUN­NING GEAR

The T3 fea­tures dou­ble wish­bone sus­pen­sion at the front and semi­trail­ing arms at the rear. Use a pry-bar to check for worn bushes and ball joints. The brakes were up­graded in 1986, but what­ever the era, look for leak­ing fluid at the wheels, and check that no com­po­nent is seized by en­sur­ing the ve­hi­cle stops in a straight line un­der firm brak­ing.

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