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Is it worth the work

I own a 90 Toyota Camry DX with a 160K before the transmission went in 2000. I last started the ingine in 2004. I want to replace the tranny, but time has been an issue. I have kept it covered all this time and have moved it from San Antonio, Tx, Detroit, MI., and now to Tampa, FL. would it be worth putting it back on the road with the sitting that it has endured or just send to JUNK YARD? I am a pretty good shade tree car fixer and I have the auto hobby shop available to do these repairs.

Depending on the condition of the body, frame and the engine.

I take it you want to keep it, otherwise why jerk it all over the country?

You would have to replace all the fluids after sitting for 9 years, tires crack as uv rays deteriorate the rubber, (this includes all the seals and weatherstripping) so tires likely need replacing.

If you are really lucky, an army of rodents MAY NOT have camped out in the ductwork and eaten the wiring insulation.

If you haven’t been adding Stabil to the gas tank and running the engine long enough to run the fuel stabilizer all the way through the fuel system, you can bet the fuel system has turned to varnish.

Me? I would have replaced the tranny in 2000 and would not have all the cost of upgrading now.

Take it or send it to the boneyard. But that’s JMHO.

Wow, how much have you spent dragging this relic all over the country? Even that was probably more than the car was worth. Unless you can find a good used transmission at a salvage yard and put it in yourself, you’ll spend way too much. Keep in mind that the car is 20 model years old now. A low mileage tranny will be hard to find. Then there are all the other systems mentioned earlier that will undoubtedly need work by now.

the struts and shocks will need replacing after you drive it for a month.
The timing belt is old and needs replaced.
Water hoses are old and weak, breaks, you get my drift.
Time for junk pile.

The fact that you have taken this car all over the continent makes me think it might also have some emotional value to you. That might change all financial recommendations.

You must be military with all the moves and the “auto hobby shop”. I’ve spent a lot of time at those. I suppose you use the car as dity weight?? Nice. Well you could certainly fix it up and you have pretty much all the tools and guidance you need at your disposal on post. Start up the engine and get it goin, blow out the cobwebs, spend a little money on oil and a filter and hoses, whatever you may need or notice needs replacing. While you’re doing this, look around for a transmission at a junkyard or on craigslist or ebay. You could probably find one pretty cheap. Or you could attempt to rebuild the transmission. They’re not as hard as you may think. Buy a book that covers your transmission and a rebuild kit. Whatever you plan on doing, good luck.

So we as American taxpayers PAID for this ridiculous travel itenerary?

A '90 Camry in excellent shape is worth about $800 according to Edmunds TMV (True Market Value), in rough shape (which this one is with a bad transmission) the value is $308. The car might have been worth fixing in 2000. Now it is just a relic.

The other repairs it will need in addition to the transmission are unknown, but there will be issues. Brakes and brake lines unused for so long will need work, at least the fluid flushed to start. The radiator is suspect, heating core too, both could be rusted by now and develope leaks. And then there is the whole mess of stuff in the motor; new plugs, wires, battery, yadda yadda. You will need to spend hundreds of dollars on parts and fluids alone just to get it running well and road worthy. Then you’ll find out about other items like the radiator, so be ready to spend more money on parts in the 1st year or two of driving.

You have time to do all this now? Ever hear the expression about “good money after bad?” It was a bad decision to keep the car and even worse to spend money and effort moving it 3 times. That is the bad money, you’ve already spent that. The good money is what you’ll spend on reviving it only to spend more money on repairs later. If you are retired now and have lots of time and the body is perfect, and you simply LOVE this car to death - then put out the bucks and fix it up.

If you are a rational person it is time to let this project go. You haven’t done it for 10 years. The wife likely thinks you are nuts. The car is not a classic and will never will be worth what you put into fixing it. It is simply taking up space in your yard, in your life, and in your mind.

Perhaps you can donate the car to a local tech school or high school auto shop. Maybe the local resuce squad would like it for practice using the jaws of life. The high school pep rally may want a car to whack at with mallets, or donate it to a charity for a tax write off. Once you accept there is no significant money or value to the car perhaps you can let it go.

If you simply can’t part with it, get a salvage transmission and install it now. Otherwise in 10 years you are going to have a 30 year old car sitting in the back yard. It is time to pull the trigger and do something.

Financially its a terrible decision. It would be akin to setting a pile of money on fire.

If you have an attachment to this car which to is akin to overhauling a 1990 Almond Amana Fridge go for it. This seems to be more a personal thing with far more factors involved.