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History of all service records would be my first question for the seller, with 120k the timing belt should be on it's second change interval. (every 60k miles) nice part about an all stock car is that you only have to worry about its service history.
Rust! common spots are... the lower back of the front fenders, rear lower rocker panels, both of these areas are hard to determine with the VR4 plastic panels attached. If the suspension/drivetrain and sub frames (front and rear) look super rusted, chances are that the body panels would be rotted or have some decay on them too.
The rear body panel seams near the trunk latch (under the trunk gasket that is on the car) is where my "essentially rust free AZ car" car started to rust.
Also as a side note i wouldn't plan on modding this car over 350whp 300tq unless you're willing to buy a dog box trans, convert to auto or buy a lifetime supply of back-up transmissions, problem with constantly rebuilding the transmission is that most of the transmission parts are extremely limited and or discontinued.
thanks for the tips man. I was planning on keeping it mostly stock in terms of the motor besides some small things like an intake and maybe exhaust and what not. A majority of my efforts will be in cosmetic restorations.
At this point rust. If you can, tow it home, than do a timing belt and water pump job. I needed a used ECU awhile back (even thought I kept the caps maintenance up on mine) and it took months to find one. Just beware.
It's just getting harder to find parts, but if you can find a clean 120K stock one that has little to no rust, that's a good place to start. I agree, don't over do the mods.
Rust like everyone mentioned and check thoroughly the areas that Bonecollector mentioned.
Like most DSM's, GVR4's could of have previous owners that did half ass jobs on modifications or fixes. Inspect the wiring in the motor bay and if possible the interior. Any signs of weird janky installs are a good red flag. Its going to be a nightmare dealing with something with electrical issues.