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Thread: Question for Rob...

  1. #1
    mrblanche
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    Question for Rob...

    It seems I've heard something about draconian laws in Japan that require very early replacement of engines. I think you've alluded to this on the subject of abundant Japanese used cars. Can you explain this exactly? I can't seem to find any good information on it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Question for Rob...

    There is no formal requirement to replace engines, but three-yearly inspections are very rigorous and repair costs are very high.
    Rather than repair a car which fails an inspection on some possibly minor matter, it is prudent to sell it at auction and export it.

    Documents about condition and service records are routinely forged, as are odometer"checks", but the risks involved in the latter mean that the cost of 'clocking' a car are generally confined to very high value cars. Equally, high value cars like Bentley, BMW, Mercedes are rarely driven outside gridlock, so mileage isn't an issue.

    Cavaet Emptor applies at wholesale auctions, and while those who buy to on-sell often claim 'odometer-verified', they are actually just believing what a seller says. Often they get the more genuine cars if they have a reasonable trading relationship with the wholesaler.
    We look closely at cars here and do forensic tests on things like dashboard screws and odo mechamisms, which show large scale interference but nothing which can be proven, especially with recent elctronic odos.
    Even GM cars here can have their whole history changed with no more than a PC and [very expensive] dealer's software.

    Japanese owners keep their cars for 3-6-9 years and after that it's like driving a Model T

    You can find perfectly good twin-turbo 300ZX coupes from c1991 complete with very radical and expensive mods, but these cars are always snapped up by the friends 'in the trade'. It would not be a good investment to set up an engine-reconditioning shop in Tokyo.

  3. #3
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Question for Rob...

    There is also a huge supply of used engines from Japan. If a car is wrecked, they can't use salvage engines to repair other cars domestically, due to the cost of getting it legally re-certified. So they dump them overseas at low cost. Used cars that aren't nice enough to ship out to Australia or NZ are parted out too.

  4. #4
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    Re: Question for Rob...

    Yes,

    and may I say that it is good to have you back here.

    The Japanese good or bad earn near-zero interest on their domestic money supply and invest in Aus/NZ with bank rates of 6-8%.
    I have absolutely no idea what this means.

    Their engines out of wrecked cars are often a good buy.

    As I understand it the most expensive city to live in these days is Moscow. Tokyo is up there.
    NYC was 14th Wellington was 112th

  5. #5
    mrblanche
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    Re: Question for Rob...

    I was talking to the guy who rebuilt my 350 at the time he did it. He said there was so little rebuilding going on that he was going broke.

  6. #6
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    Re: Question for Rob...

    It's pretty rare for an everyday engine to require a rebuild.

    KBB's 1992 import Susuki Escudo 1600cc auto 4WD has never been serviced and ran out of water regularly a few years ago, and I was enlisted to make running repairs. Just recently it blew a head gasket $500 repair. Her partner has a 1992 760 Volvo. He never services it, never registers it, not the 'warrant of fitness' which is required to register it. He is a skilled carpenter. He has huge tax bills, has already had a heart attack at 40, and smokes and drinks. The Volvo broke down on a long trip several months ago. It was towed to some garage and they repaired it but he hasn't paid....so he borrows other cars off 'mates'.
    He is great with KBB's twin boys. Except when he goes off his meds for bi-polar... when he stops taking for days. He lives in culture where to service a car is a sign of weakness. Certainly not something you would admit to.
    Yet to meet him, you woud think he was normal and friendly.

  7. #7
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    Re: Question for Rob...

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    So they dump them overseas at low cost. Used cars that aren't nice enough to ship out to Australia or NZ are parted out too.
    Many, which are likely low end, end up in Burma which has 'keep to the right' road rules.

  8. #8
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    Re: Question for Rob...

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    end up in Burma which has 'keep to the right' road rules.
    You'd be at home there? They are quite big on political freedom there.

    The worst of the used cars from Japan are diesel 4WDs which often make clouds of black foul exhaust... not yer god-fearing steam-train smoke but poisoous disgusting stuff... and thwe drivers should all be lined up and shot. All 4WD drivers in fact.


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