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Old 11-23-2015, 08:20 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
starstruck08's Avatar
1976 25' Tradewind
Tallahasee, Fl , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 68
2000 Chevy Tahoe: is the work-horse worth it?

I checked out a few dealerships today, and one of them mentioned an older Tahoe that he'd been sitting on for about 6 months because the interior was ripped up and he hadn't had time to work on it. He offered to sell it to me at cost, basically just to take it off his hands.

It's a 2000 Chevy Tahoe. He bought it as a trade-in for $2500, which is roughly how much I would be spending on it after fees. However it needs some work. See the attachments.

The VIN, in case anyone is fancier than me and can look up a report on the history of the vehicle or something: 1GNEC13T7YJ204123

These are things I noticed JUST today while inspecting it, so this is not a complete list by any means-

The perks:
Towing capacity 6-8k
AC works
Power seats work
The hydraulics in the back door work so well I almost couldn't close it*
The engine runs... but I still have to get it fully checked out
The asking price for a Tahoe is normally 3.5-5.5k
Tahoes get great ratings/reviews (9/10)
The dealer I'm talking to also has good reviews/ratings on Google

The quirks:
Rear Left window does not roll down
The Side Mirror adjustment buttons do not all work
Has been sitting for 6 months
Needed gas and oil
Tires need replacing
Some roughed up door handles and other surfaces
Front two seats will need replacing (probably from a junk yard or online)
The side door's VIN doesn't match the vehicle (who knows how many parts are no longer original)
Lots of small aesthetic touch-ups, mostly in the interior

The dealer was going to have their mechanic put a couple hours into it today and I still want my mechanic to do a full inspection tomorrow. If he doesn't think it's worth it, then I'm walking away regardless. But I wanted some advice.

I am a stupid kid who loves older vehicles that need work and have character - I'm sentimental that way. And I am eager to make SOME progress in the direction of actually accomplishing my goals.

My question to you guys, if I spend 2500 on this and spend another 1000 and/or my own manpower/time fixing it up and making it look nice again - would it be worth the market value? Or is it still too shady/too much of a risk?

*this is a perk because the hydraulics have been broken on my current vehicle for so long, that I nearly got knocked down because I didn't expect this truck's door opened so eagerly lol


I still have at least two other lots (at least) that I want to check out tomorrow morning to check prices, but I did promise to go look at the Tahoe again. the only other vehicles I saw today that MIGHT work are these - from a dealer that offers a 1 year warranty with free labor and parts at cost:

2003 Chevy Trailblazer - 6k Tow - priced at $2000 with an engine fix-up, $1200 as-is
2002 Ford Explorer (not sure which type) - 5-7k Tow - $3000
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee - 5k Tow - $2500

I didn't drive any of those or ask for more information. Just wrote them down. I plan on pulling something between 24 and 27 feet long and 40-50 years old, which tend to be between 3000-5000 lbs DW.

Another thing I need to note is that I currently own a 2004 Saturn Vue that I have a buyer lined up for and plan on selling for $2000 once I get something to register/drive as a replacement.

So any experience with Chevy Tahoes, anyone?
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Old 11-24-2015, 06:22 AM   #2
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starstruck08's Avatar
1976 25' Tradewind
Tallahasee, Fl , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 68
I think my biggest issue with this truck, is that the price isn't... amazing. It was impressive when he initially said $2000 like it was going to be $2000 flat. But he's put $2700 into it - and with fees and taxes and registration fees, it's going to cost me nearly $3000. And that's not including repairs.

I just checked to see if there were other Chevy Tahoes for sale in the area for better prices... and there are. There are at least 3 for sale in that price range ($2500 to $3000 ) that are in better condition than this one. So if I really wanted a Tahoe, I could contact one of them and get it for the same price with less work to do.

So distance makes the heart rational, and as much as I liked the IDEA of getting a truck for a good deal and patching it up and making it my own... this one is just not worth the money he's asking for. If he wants to make a profit on it, he's going to have to get it fixed up himself and sell afterwards.

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Old 11-24-2015, 07:54 AM   #3
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Echelon73's Avatar
2010 30' Flying Cloud
Mocksville , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 231
If it just needed seat recovered, then it may not be that bad. There are plenty of upholstery places that could take care of that. I think you may run into a lot of other problems on this one based on the list you provided though. Just the tires alone could set you back several hundreds of dollars. I would look for one in decent shape, that is still fully stock, preferably with service records, and a factory tow package. My experience with those vehicles is an aftermarket transmission cooler really helps out. The transmissions can overheat and cause early failure. Other than that, the Chevrolet 5.3L always proved to be very reliable for me, even with very high miles. I would look at the others you mentioned in better condition for similar price.
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