Quandry about 1995 Town and Country

Have a chance to buy a 1995 T&C van. it actually has a lot more than I need, since I am going to use it to carry guitars, amps and a PA system around.
The good things: The body is in good shape, just starting to turn 'brown' in sopts underneath, but no real rust or holes anywhere.
Doors all work properly, leather seats in fiar shape, no cracks or splits. Starts readily. Has what sounds like chain noise that goes away in a few seconds.
The bad: Clunk going into reverse. Reverse only. Gear transitions are smooth. Going from Park to drive OK, going from ANY gear or neutral to revcerse and there is a clunk, seems to be driver's side front (right where the tranny sits...)
Rear end feels loose. Lots of clunking from the rear, and a slight shudder. Everything looks OK, no cracks in the springs, no loose mountings, etc. Shocks seem bad, and perhaps wheel bearings?
The Ugly: ABS light on. Brake light on. HARD brakes; you really have to stand on it to get it to stop.
Listed at $1495(RIGHT!) - $500=$995.
I offered $400, they countered with $700. I would go maybe $600 depending on these problems. The brakes seem the scariest, obviously.
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On Mon, 06 Jul 2009 15:04:51 -0400, Hachiroku ハチロク wrote:

Don't be an idiot. Run the other way.
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wrote:

bet. For $50 it's STILL an expensive vehicle.
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On Mon, 06 Jul 2009 23:10:45 -0400, clare wrote:

SB 3.8 V6...
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You are going to get the same answers here that you got on rec.autos. tech and perhaps other newsgroups.
This thing is a piece of shit, man.
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On Tue, 07 Jul 2009 14:55:02 -0500, HLS wrote:

Yeah...
I posted it here first. Then copied it to the others.
The only thing it has going for it, the body is SOLID. No rust at all. Hard to find here in the salty Northeast...
Mechanicals I can deal with. A rust-ridden body is something else.
They countered with $700. Even I knew that's not a good price for something with this many issues...
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What do you mean, even you? You have a good feel for a lot of these things.
You WANT to buy this, I think, but you know you SHOULDN'T buy it.
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On Wed, 08 Jul 2009 19:37:31 -0500, HLS wrote:

I think that's it. The real scary thing is the brakes. Whatever happened to Gordon (?) the tech that used to be here?
But, I'm afraid I know what he would say, and I'm sure it's what I have been suspecting since I put my foot on the brake pedal for the first time.
It's too bad, since the body is so solid. I would put $500 into it just because of that, but only if I were to get it for $400...or less...
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If so, good question. He was a great resource...
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On Thu, 09 Jul 2009 00:42:56 -0500, Steve N. wrote:

yeah! That's the one!
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Brakes are minor compared to other things that can go wrong. Transmission is about 1700.00 on these things and that clunking should be your first worry.
Could be a bad mount, or could be that the the clutch plates in there are about to go. No way to tell from here.
Brakes and the abs light on? pull the light if you want. What they don't tell you about abs is that when there is a problem with the abs system, the light comes on and the brakes go back to regular brakes. This means that you still have full use of the brakes just not the abs system. Think pre abs braking and you have it.
Would i buy it? Hard to say, i know lots about cars so would have to see and test drive it but based on what you have said about it.....walk away, unless you are prepared for the worst. Hope this helps a little.

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On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 06:54:14 -0500, xenomorf wrote:

I think they sold it. I hope the buyer knows his stuff about these things. It's in the back of the lot with all the markings removed, and I figured after a week they'd call me back.
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