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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I'll be buying a van to convert into a campervan so we won't put tons of miles on it a year. I'm not afraid of a vehicle with 125,000 miles plus on it. I bought our 2000 4runner with 120,000 miles. It has about 215,000 right now and I have no reason to believe it won't hit 300,000. I'm trying to keep the initial cost of a van low because this is just a toy so I'm mainly looking at 2014 hi-roof models right now. Ideally I'll buy a van with 100,000 - 130,000 miles and get years out of it.

With that being said, I'm skiddish of the 2014 because it is the first year. I had a 2014 ford focus and it was the first year for a major change and ended up getting rid of it because they didn't have a permanent fix for the transmission. So I don't really want to end up doing the same with the van.

I'm looking at a van now that has over 125,000 miles that I have all the service records for. It was well maintained and all the recalls done. At 73,000 it got a new radiator. The intake cam shaft and rocker arm for cylinder #2 was replaced as well. Brakes replaced at 93,000. They also replaced a lot of light bulbs.

He said if the intake has to be done again it is about a $1,000 repair. More than I want to spend but not a new motor. Is this a repair that seems to be needed more than once? I talked to another dealer today and they have a 2014 that they want to dump because they're tired of trying to fix that problem on it. But their bottom dollar at $14,500 isn't low enough for me to take their garbage.

Should I steer clear of the 2014 and wait to let the 2015's come down a little in price?

Thanks for the help.

Josh
 

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I would. It took FCA a while to respond to the early glitches at the factory and a few parts suppliers were not up to snuff. The 2015 seemed to have all the small issues with production solved. Don’t get paranoid about the longevity of the 3.6 engine but read http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61490
 

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Thanks for your thoughts. I've spent hours reading the threads about the engine replacements. Initially I got very nervous about it but I realize there are thousands of vehicles that are fine and this forum is a small sampling. I own a Subaru outback and visit that forum frequently. There are people who come in and act like it is the worst car in the world. Mine personally and most people I know think it's the best car they owned. It's sometimes hard to tell what the true number of vans with problems are.
 

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BTW if your 4Runner is an automatic use Google to search for “strawberry milkshake” to avoid a failed transmission. I had it and caught it in time so that a new radiator and $120 of transmission flush saved it. I have 231,000 and hope for 300,000 too but a $1500 timing belt/water pulp is looming. Bought with 140,000 from my daughter the origional owner.
 

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You make an excellent point. There are thousands of us out here tickled to death with our Promasters but don't post about that. We would come to a forum to post about a problem.
 

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So far as I know, the only real difference between the 14 and 15 is the revised radiator, and possibly a few revised oil coolers. The engines are part number to part number identical for 14,15, and 16 and probably 17. As you may not know, I have 2 2014s, and one was an extremely early build - Oct of 13. It had an oil cooler go, but otherwise it's been basically maintenance free to the 240k it has on it now.

The dealer is giving you the runaround on the head. The front head was revised after a significant percentage of 2011 pentastars started failing. If you have the problem, and replace that head, the new part carries a 150,000 mile warranty. Not a big deal since the head is only $315 brand new, but I assume if the dealer did the work FCA covers the part and labor. Labor for the job is high, probably close to $2000 at the dealership. FCA pays a crappy flat rate to the dealer for warranty work, so dealers do everything they can to turn warranty work into non-warranty work.

Overall, I wouldn't be scared one whit about a 2014, even a very early build (build date is on the door sticker). The worst that can happen vs a 15 is you're roof mounted running lights will leak. You can buy a LOT of caulk for the 3000-6000 you'll save!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So far as I know, the only real difference between the 14 and 15 is the revised radiator, and possibly a few revised oil coolers. The engines are part number to part number identical for 14,15, and 16 and probably 17. As you may not know, I have 2 2014s, and one was an extremely early build - Oct of 13. It had an oil cooler go, but otherwise it's been basically maintenance free to the 240k it has on it now.

The dealer is giving you the runaround on the head. The front head was revised after a significant percentage of 2011 pentastars started failing. If you have the problem, and replace that head, the new part carries a 150,000 mile warranty. Not a big deal since the head is only $315 brand new, but I assume if the dealer did the work FCA covers the part and labor. Labor for the job is high, probably close to $2000 at the dealership. FCA pays a crappy flat rate to the dealer for warranty work, so dealers do everything they can to turn warranty work into non-warranty work.

Overall, I wouldn't be scared one whit about a 2014, even a very early build (build date is on the door sticker). The worst that can happen vs a 15 is you're roof mounted running lights will leak. You can buy a LOT of caulk for the 3000-6000 you'll save!
The dealer said at first he thought they replaced the head but couldn't actually find that documented so he must not have replaced it. He said just the intake and rocker arm. Time billed for warranty was 7.7 hours at $108/hr. BTW the dealer giving me all this info is not the dealer selling it now. Just the service dealer.

Thanks.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

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I'm one of the owners of a 14 gasser. I've been very happy with mine!
 

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Any of the problems with a '14 should have surfaced and been fixed long ago. Squeaky breaks and leaky radiators are really about it and those certainly have been taken care of after 125k miles
 

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My brakes still squeak. But not enough to bother me to do anything. They do a superb job of standing the van on its nose when needed. They literally saved me from an accident once when some dipstick panic stopped his truck at the entrance to a tunnel. And they seem to be wearing very well too. So I'll leave them alone until they wear out.

Mine had the weepy radiator early on. Just after that it had a faulty oil pressure sensor. That has been it so far for problems. Easy stuff to deal with!
 

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Hi Everyone,

I'll be buying a van to convert into a campervan so we won't put tons of miles on it a year. I'm not afraid of a vehicle with 125,000 miles plus on it. I bought our 2000 4runner with 120,000 miles. It has about 215,000 right now and I have no reason to believe it won't hit 300,000. I'm trying to keep the initial cost of a van low because this is just a toy so I'm mainly looking at 2014 hi-roof models right now. Ideally I'll buy a van with 100,000 - 130,000 miles and get years out of it.

With that being said, I'm skiddish of the 2014 because it is the first year. I had a 2014 ford focus and it was the first year for a major change and ended up getting rid of it because they didn't have a permanent fix for the transmission. So I don't really want to end up doing the same with the van.

I'm looking at a van now that has over 125,000 miles that I have all the service records for. It was well maintained and all the recalls done. At 73,000 it got a new radiator. The intake cam shaft and rocker arm for cylinder #2 was replaced as well. Brakes replaced at 93,000. They also replaced a lot of light bulbs.

He said if the intake has to be done again it is about a $1,000 repair. More than I want to spend but not a new motor. Is this a repair that seems to be needed more than once? I talked to another dealer today and they have a 2014 that they want to dump because they're tired of trying to fix that problem on it. But their bottom dollar at $14,500 isn't low enough for me to take their garbage.

Should I steer clear of the 2014 and wait to let the 2015's come down a little in price?

Thanks for the help.

Josh
Hi Josh,

Just thought that I would chime in and offer our experience during the selection process of our PM.

It seems that we were exactly where you are now when we first started out looking for a PM or Sprinter, or the like.

At first, we were set on buying used. I thought that used would be the best value for us. We wanted a van for travel which includes camping, or RVing as many put it. We wanted to customize it so that we had as many home-type comforts as possible—probably the usual list of things without going into lots of detail.

So, we started to look in the early part of 2015. I had many searches on EBay, Craig’s List and the like and each time something looked promising there was always some issue. I think that the issues that we found were related to the first owners use and purpose. I found that most people that buy these vans are contractors of one type or another. This means that they bought to fill the need of a “work van”. Work is what I found, and in order to make money with a work van you have to push it, pour on the miles, haul things that are heavy, and go places where a normal vehicle would not. This is all good for the contractor, they made money and now they are ready to find another work van, so they must get rid of the present work van.

During our search, I also included local dealers. We started to see 2014 left-overs which were priced fairly well. We found that we would only violate our budget by around $5000 if we bought one of these left-overs. A left-over is a new vehicle with all of the benefits, benefits that you cannot get when you buy used.

The bottom line is that we bought a left-over 2014 high-top with 136” wheel base, and we are very happy with it.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Josh,

Just thought that I would chime in and offer our experience during the selection process of our PM.

It seems that we were exactly where you are now when we first started out looking for a PM or Sprinter, or the like.

At first, we were set on buying used. I thought that used would be the best value for us. We wanted a van for travel which includes camping, or RVing as many put it. We wanted to customize it so that we had as many home-type comforts as possible—probably the usual list of things without going into lots of detail.

So, we started to look in the early part of 2015. I had many searches on EBay, Craig’s List and the like and each time something looked promising there was always some issue. I think that the issues that we found were related to the first owners use and purpose. I found that most people that buy these vans are contractors of one type or another. This means that they bought to fill the need of a “work van”. Work is what I found, and in order to make money with a work van you have to push it, pour on the miles, haul things that are heavy, and go places where a normal vehicle would not. This is all good for the contractor, they made money and now they are ready to find another work van, so they must get rid of the present work van.

During our search, I also included local dealers. We started to see 2014 left-overs which were priced fairly well. We found that we would only violate our budget by around $5000 if we bought one of these left-overs. A left-over is a new vehicle with all of the benefits, benefits that you cannot get when you buy used.

The bottom line is that we bought a left-over 2014 high-top with 136” wheel base, and we are very happy with it.

Mike

I haven't really looked at new leftovers but I'm assuming the best price I'd get would be somewhere in the 23 - 24k range? At that point I'd be looking at having $30,000 in this thing and I don't want that kind of money in one of these.
 

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I bought a 1982 Mercury Lynx new, the Ford Escort design variant that was labeled Fords 'World Car' as the third-generation European design brought to the US.

My point? The car was seriously over-built & ran strong compared to later years as their engineers continuously cheapened it up and 'americanized' it, that was bad for my friends who liked my car and bought later year model Escorts were disappointed. Bean counters will count beans, that's what they are paid for.

It was that experience with a fresh European design USA release that had me buy into the 2014 PM w/o flinching. Now some years have gone by and many 2015's, 16's & 17's are tooling around and I'm still happy I got the first years model - no clue what has been changed, but I'm still believing the first year import core vehicle kept the best bits since they were gambling a whole lot of money and they knew certain things would/could be changed over time to streamline/cheapen production...

Now - about buying a 'new' leftover 2014 today in April 2017? Maybe, maybe no. Low mileage 2014 that has been run and maintained? Yes, I think I would.
 

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It doesn’t appear the van has been changed much. Some early production issues were fixed which made it less likely to need a return to the dealer.
 

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September of 2015. Mine stickered out at $33k. They sold it as a one year old left over/demo for $26k with exactly 500 miles on it. Battery was fully charged. The way I saw it, the demo miles had seated the piston rings well. It was sold as a new vehicle although my credit union listed it as used on the loan. But with a 2.75% loan, I didn't worry about it. As it turned out, I was wrong about the rings. The van had 1000 miles on it before it stopped sipping oil. Then I knew it was broken in OK. Hasn't used any measurable amount of oil since then. Driving around town is the best way to break in a motor. All the accelerating and decelerating seats in the rings well. Droning down the hiway on a new motor will not break it in!

I always look for newish leftover vehicles when I buy. Some of the best bargains I have ever gotten!
 
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