View Full Version : Please ease my mind

09/20/2007, 08:10 PM
Hello all,

New to forum, have owned my 99 ebony for aprox 6 weeks now, I bought it from out of state, I live in AZ, purchased in CA. Always wanted one and made the decision to buy one pretty quickly, impulse buy. So far it is everything I thought is would be, however, I have scoured the internet after buying it and have found the known issues with our dream vehicle. Of course my biggest concerns are engine and tranny failure. 79k on the odo at purchase, I can say that the engine starts up great, does not appear to have any knocking or tapping noises. On my drive home from San Diego to Phoenix, aprox 400 miles a few things happened that have got me a little freaked out, but I may be over reacting:

For the 1st 200 miles the temp gauge was normal, for aprox 90 miles after that, the temp gauge rose to just a little above the middle mark, it did not get close to the high mark and the engine was running just fine. After i exited off the highway to make a connection to another freeway, the temp gauge went back to normal(same trip) and has never been an issue since.

On this same trip, aprox 250 miles into it, along a long staight away, i heard a bang and felt a jolt to the vehicle, it appeared to come from the tranny, may the rear diff, but i can not say for sure. The tranny continued to operate normaly for the rest of the ride home.

The last thing on the trip home was the quickest of flashes of the abs light, after leaving a gas station upon a fill up.

Since getting home, I have only driven the VX a few times, this is a 3rd vehicle and far from a daily driver. One of these trips was a 70 mile drive to a family members house, aprox 50 miles into this trip, i had the same bang and jolt, again felt like tranny or rear diff, but again tranny shifts are very good at this time. No temp issues or abs light at this time either, knock on wood.

I am a car person and know more then the average person about mechanics and vehicles. This is no exageration, I have owned well over 30 vehicles in my 38 years of existence. This is my dream car and I can say I am excited about this vehicle sitting in my garage at this time, however, I would like to hear from you guys saying, hey no engine noises, trans shifting ok, don't worry about it, just drive it. I know this sounds weird, but I need a little reassurance about my dream vehicle.

So that my story(sorry so long) and I'm sticking to it.

09/20/2007, 08:27 PM
i sometimes get jolts from the TOD when i go over joints on large bridges, wheels slip over them so tod engages for a second... check your fluids though.. since the VX transmission doesnt have a dipstick, its not uncommon for them to get low on fluid without anyone noticing... if you look in the gallery of user joe_black you will find many helpful photos of the fill plugs of the differentials and transmission, when you remove the fill plug fluid should be right at the bottom of that hole or even a little should be dripping out (just a small dribble) if you cant feel/see any fluid through the fill holes, you are low and should refill (75w90 for the front diff.. 75w140 for the rear and atf in the transmission and transfer case)

from what ive noticed the temp in the vx is kind of sensitive, my when on the highway my temp is usually about 173 deg in cool weather (i have a digital readout of water temp via scan gauge II) after heavy acceleration it will go to 180+ very quickly and stay there for a little bit and maybe 3-4 minutes later will work its way back down

as for the abs light... i would recommend setting off your abs as soon as its safely possible, find a safe dirt road and hit the brakes hard to engage the abs before your module goes bad... mine just went bad.. dealer quoted me 3000 to fix it... of course im going to get a used one from a scrap yard and only expect to pay 200 tops... but still a pita

welcome to the site though.. congrats on the VX anything you need to know about it you can find here!

09/20/2007, 08:36 PM
Thanks Etlsport, I do appreciate the follow up, and will check the fluids this weekend, just one question, can you elaborate on the abs issue and the theory behind getting the abs to kick in to prevent abs module failure.

Thanks again.

09/20/2007, 08:59 PM
Congrats on the purchase!

Funny, I always saw a TON of VXs for sale in AZ when I was looking for one...and you came here for yours.
Did you get the one from Pacific Beach?

There's a camping trip/meet out that way in a few weeks if you're interested, "Triathlete" is organizing it.

Good luck!

09/20/2007, 09:04 PM
your abs issue could be different as it only flashed for a second but many vx owners have had similar issues to what i have...

regular driving one day abs light came on... no effect on driving or stopping under normal conditions (but abs would not engage and wheels would lock in a panic stop situation) stopped the car turned it off turned it back on.. no more light.... 10-15 miles later it came back on and stayed on for the whole day... next day started it up, no light... 5-10 miles into the trip, light came back on and stayed on the rest of the day etc etc... finally took it to the dealership, dealer says the abs module is dead 2500 to replace the part and another 400 or so in labor.... no real documented proof of this but speculation of a few is that if the abs module is not used eventually itll start to go bad like most mechanical systems that are left unused for too long because of dirt/brake fluid/water buildup (like an AC not used over the winter will crap out eventually) couldnt hurt to fully flush the brake system to get clean fluids in there...

no guarantee that your module is even going bad... this is all worst case scenario stuff that has happened in the past the vx is a well built machine imho.. i have had mine for approx 20k miles and this is the first trip to the dealership its needed (of course i have kept up with my own basic maintence like oil/ filter changes, air filter, PCV valve ect) but asides from that i havent had any major issues with it in 19 months/20k miles

09/20/2007, 09:38 PM

I purchased it from a place called Miramar Motorsports on Miramar road. My brother lives in scripps ranch, I called him and asked him to go check it out for me in person, he called me back, and said, "well, it's a 8 year old vehicle, but its in really good shape for being 8 years old". That was all I needed to hear.

I had been half hartely looking in the Phoenix area for aprox 2 months, on auto trader and cars.com and I could only find VX's in NV and CA, then one day I checked the net and boom, 1 came up for sale in Mesa, AZ. it was silver and had i think around 117k on it, I called the dealer, told them to hide it and i was on my way down to buy it. The dealer was shocked about the quick response to the ad they had just put on the net a few hours earlier, they said it had not even gone through their pre inspection. When I got to the dealership, I saw a pretty sad sight, This VX had been rode hard and put away wet, if it was a horse I would have shot it. It had good size dents in every metal body panel and the cladding was just as bad, the head lights were so hazed, i don't think they were safe, the interior was CRAPPY, and there was rusted antifreeze blown all over the engine compartment, let alone both windows, well you know. I told the dealer good luck and left feeling like the kid that did not get what they wanted on xmas morning. When I called my wife on the way home from the dealership, she said "there is a black one for sale in san diego, if your brother gives it a thumbs up, you can fly out their, buy it and drive it home.

before you all think this was a big dollar affair, let me break it down for ya.

One plane ticket from AZ to CA - $119
brother picking you up from airport and staying at brothers house-free
selling 97 jeep wrangler to family member on same day as flying to san diego-this is what paid for the vehicross-even stevens
gas from CA to AZ, what about $80 - give or take

having the stars align for all the above to happen-pricless :cool:


Thanks again for the info about the abs, I do understand what you mean about mechanical items not being used, then having problems, and going back to my post title, I like hearing you feel these are pretty well built machines ;)

09/20/2007, 09:47 PM
Phx, you should join us for our spring VX camp trip. Info is in the events section on the main page. We will be meeting up in Phoenix and caravaning to our destination. So far it looks like there will be about 8+ VX's going. It will be fun.
Then you will have to start planning on a trip to Moab in May for ZuZoo. You will learn so much about your VXs abilities there...it is always a blast!
Hope to see you in November!

09/20/2007, 10:06 PM

I think i'm in. I can't find a reason why I can't join up with you guys. I will monitor the meeting forums for further details. As for heaven, I mean moab, have been there twice before, once with a 98 Amigo and once with a 98 4Runner. The hardest trail I took I think was a 3. This was a few years ago.

Thanks for the heads up.

09/20/2007, 10:37 PM
Very cool...will be nice to meet another new face behind the name and behind the wheel of a VX! :thumbup:

09/22/2007, 05:44 AM
We have experienced the random "stutter-bang phenomenon" probably 3 or 4 times in the past 6 years, but none recently. We have also had the VX just plain stall out on us going 70 mph on the highway, maybe 2 or 3 times, again not recently. And, our temp gauge has been running around the middle mark for the past year or so, but previously was slightly over a quarter. Finally, we have all the bumps, grinds, and squeaks that accompany a lifted vehicle that's been DRIVEN off-road.

I have yet to notice any serious problems from any of these issues. I just like to think of it as "quirky" :)

Enjoy yours,