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KillNThrill24
09-20-2011, 11:04 PM
i love my GAGT. now that i have that out of the way onto the problems its causing me.

its got 184255 miles on it and counting (its my DD)
most if not ALL of the body needs some sort of work done to it (dings dents scrapes etc.)
most of the interior needs to be replaced
its a 1999
engine has been causing me more headaches than i feel its worth. between leaks, rust, and just old age its getting to be one problem after another. after another.. after another...

i would LOVE to spend the time and money to pretty much "restore" the car but my question is. is it even worth it? i mean i would totally hate to see this car go to the yard because i just didnt want to deal with it anymore. so is it worth it to drop a new engine (and tranny since its got the same amount of miles) and turn this into my project car or do i get a new car and start over?

just a side note: i may be attending an automotive school in the next year or so, this is what i want to do for a living so even if its a little bit of a waste i would still consider doing it. im just curious as to how much of a waste it is lol and what you guys would do if you were me :D

GrandAmMe
09-20-2011, 11:16 PM
I was pretty much in your shoes this time last year. My 01 GT1 had about 197,000KMS on it when it started to give me problems. Passcode intermittent, Loosing Power steering fluid, and Mechanic said it needed a Headgasket. I sold it for $1000 as-is, Running and driving perfectly. Reason why? I looked at the worst and figured if a did repair all the issues, something else would most likely pop up and cause me more money.

Your car is coming up on 12 years old. Would you rather spend the money to fix a car that is old and will cost you money no matter what, or possibly sell and make the investment in a newer GAGT or even a different car? I seriously considered buying a newer GA but I got a deal at my work on a Sonata i couldn't pass up on. You could return your 99 to stock, Buy a newer GA and make it just like your current one. You wouldn't necessarily have to 'junk' the car. Someone, somewhere will spend atleast $1000 minimum on it.

Starglow
09-21-2011, 12:10 PM
I sea-sawed back and forth on this issue myself before deciding to fix up the GA for my son to drive. A decent basic no-frills used car that doesn't need a lot of work will set you back at least 3-4K minimum. You can probably get a good used engine & tranny for less than 1K which will take care of most of the mechanical issues except the suspension system. Electrical and interior issues aren't really a big deal given the amount of used parts available at most junk yards.

If you are attending an auto repair school soon then this would be a great project car for yourself and/or the class to work on which could help with some of the labor so you would just need the parts. But if you don't have the time or aren't willing to put your heart into the project, then I'd say get rid of the car and move on 'cause you're committed once you start down the path to fix up the car.

icecats87
09-21-2011, 12:21 PM
I was back and forth on doing this as well. last year I attended a school with a great automotive program. I went to CSU-Pueblo in colorado and had a program called AIM (automotive industry management) it was great but after a year decided i didn't want to work on cars as a profession, i would rather do it as a hobby. My tranny started going bad last summer. I received a free tranny from a member here and did the labor in class. it was a great experience but also made me realize i didnt want to do this every single day of my life. For me cars are a love hate relationship :D.

In may i made my final decision to keep the GA and just continue modding =) lucky for me i have so many family members who have been in the industry, and friends as well. So i have access to shops,tools, and experience. I just re did all of the suspension i now plan on re building my old tranny and doing a 3500 swap. And just like yours i have chips, dents, scratches all that. my uncle has experience in body work so he said sometime next summer bring it over to him and he will teach me how to paint, and do body work.

Im going to do all these and plan on keeping the GA for awhile. Once i graduate college ima buy a toy, something like a 04 SVT cobra. ill keep the GA as a DD and use the cobra for fun =)

bricooper78
09-21-2011, 02:39 PM
OP---> repair bills vs. car payments over 5 years, winner is repair.

Is your car worth keeping? If it's not rusting out, everything else is fixable with elbow grease.

And, if it's paid off, who's going to come get it if you lose a job and can't make a car payment?? nobody, that's who!

paid off is nice, real nice. you'll lose money on putting in a bunch of repairs, but it'll still be less than 30 grand in car payments

KillNThrill24
09-21-2011, 09:24 PM
im certainly glad i belong to this forum. you guys all bring up good points that i may have overlooked in all the frustration this thing has been putting me through recently (granite if i would just fix my dam camaro so it wouldnt leak in the rain i would be fine not driving the GA for a while while i fix it lol).

GrandAmMe: yupp iv thought exactly that. the older it gets the more im going to be spending on it in parts (labor is free cuz if my buddy and dad and i cant do it.. it cant be done. i ALWAYS find a way even if it takes alot more money :p) but i love the fact that this car was given to me for free by my aunt, so its almost justifiable to dump the money in it since i didnt pay a dime for it. but i appreciate the fact that you put forth a very valid point, that sometime down the road i may kick myself about haha

Starglow: i failed to mention how much of the interior i have already replaced from visiting the local junkyard LOL! i managed to pickup and entire sunroof and motor assembly for $36 to replace mine which had been broken from the day i got it 4yrs ago (yeah i had it before i had my license.. i drooled all over it everyday till i could drive it) and it also never locked until that very same visit to the junkyard when i picked up the entire lock assembly and handle and replaced them. in the next week or so i plan on going back to pickup a front dash to replace mine since the sides are all folded up on it (although i have no clue how the hell that happened, my cousins rage mode maybe? lol) and with the amount of car audio systems iv wired up in the past as well as other electrical extravaganzas, electrical doesnt scare me at all. i got a monsoon amp for $5 that im in the process of wiring. so all in all when i look back at just how much time and effort iv put into it in the past month its like wow couple more months this thing could run like it shoud!

icecatz87: o yeah cuz a cobra is SUCH a toy... LMAO mustangs are my favorite cars so i can totally understand wanting one. but those cobras still run about 20k+. i would really like to keep my GA and keep it as my DD but it seems like i got awhile before i would take it anywhere outside of 30mi to and from work haha.

bricooper78: yupp yet again the exact thing i was thinking. 5yr loan vs. having got the car for free, and still paying next to nothing for car insurance and nothing payment wise... im liking my current situation lol. plus you never know when that reliable car you bought will need something done to IT so i guess really, id REALLY be getting screwed. so guess ill keep it till it croaks for the last time...

young gun
09-21-2011, 09:41 PM
unless you plan on making it look good and whatnot down the road i would just fix it so it ran and lasted for you.

KillNThrill24
09-21-2011, 09:54 PM
yeah i plan on it bro but its gonna need a new engine and tranny at somepoint otherwise it wont last real long lol its gettin pretty bad

ive noticed scowering ebay for engines that there is a difference of engines. theres a 99 (my year) a 00-02 and an 03-05... now what are the differences? other than the EGR which i figured out from your guys's help. are there electrical differences? would it need a newer wiring harness? or would everything hookup in the old engines place and everything be just peachy?

aslo any experience with milzy's crates? im not sure i wanna spend 2.5k (i built one for the hell of it) on a crate without knowing if it includes anything other than block, heads, U&LIM's, TB, and oil pan (based on what the pic shows)

young gun
09-21-2011, 09:57 PM
you live in ohio..just drive that bish over there and say make it fast lol. But seriously get the 3500 swap kit and drop the lx9 in there because i will never ever DD a non lx9 GA again

KillNThrill24
09-21-2011, 10:01 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-Chevy-GM-207-3-4L-DOHC-S-E-ENGINE-MASTER-KIT-/280701559660?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item415b1de36c

i literally just found this.. any ideas on if it will fix any problems i may have? or should i just get an engine with fewer miles?

KillNThrill24
09-21-2011, 10:02 PM
3400 to the 3500 makes that much of a difference? how much would one of those kits run?

KillNThrill24
09-21-2011, 10:04 PM
lol lol lol i just figured out what you meant by that first part... i had no idea they were located in ohio...

gilzgrandam00
09-22-2011, 08:15 AM
Hey man I'm in the same boat about my car I
just spend 300 on parts to fix it, all engine parts and then thinking about
If it's worth the money, mines a 00 with 130$$$ on it and man I want to keep
It cause I have so much money in it and parts in my basement and things that I make for it just have no more time and passion for it no more.
My next door neighbor is sellin a 01 gmc serria with less them 50k on it and winter is comin so that truck will help me out a lot, and also could start hookin the truck up and make it tight
But hey if u can find the parts u need and fix the car I say do it and then think about ur next move with the GA, like Erik said if u plan to make it look good and modin it spend the money

Starglow
09-22-2011, 10:23 AM
Hey man I'm in the same boat about my car I
just spend 300 on parts to fix it, all engine parts and then thinking about
If it's worth the money, mines a 00 with 130$$$ on it and man I want to keep
It cause I have so much money in it and parts in my basement and things that I make for it just have no more time and passion for it no more.
My next door neighbor is sellin a 01 gmc serria with less them 50k on it and winter is comin so that truck will help me out a lot, and also could start hookin the truck up and make it tight
But hey if u can find the parts u need and fix the car I say do it and then think about ur next move with the GA, like Erik said if u plan to make it look good and modin it spend the money

Not to rain on your parade, but I hope you don't have a long commute to work because that Sierra is a thirsty beast and loves gas stations. I have a '99 Sierra myself and it's a nice truck but you're looking at an easy $100+ fillup to keep it on the road. I only drive mine part-time 'cause as a DD the gas expenses would kill me.

Starglow
09-22-2011, 10:43 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-Chevy-GM-207-3-4L-DOHC-S-E-ENGINE-MASTER-KIT-/280701559660?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item415b1de36c

i literally just found this.. any ideas on if it will fix any problems i may have? or should i just get an engine with fewer miles?

That's for DOHC and I don't think it will work for your engine. Honestly, if you start getting into swapping cams and such that requires tearing into the engine then you are asking for more trouble unless you really know what you're doing and have money to burn. Doing the basic 3500 swap with no added frills is fairly easy and straight forward without costing you big bucks.

Be careful with the ebay engines and make the seller send you a picture of the actual engine so you can see what you're buying. You need an 05-06 model year LX9 3500. Be careful because some of the 3500 engines are VVT and they won't work for your swap, so make sure what you are buying is in fact an LX9...some ebay sellers get them mixed up. The VVT 3500 engines have a distinct "V" notch in the UIM that the LX9's do not have. Pay extra attention to the shipping charges as some sellers will sell you the engine for $250 but want $650 in shipping fees.

Returning an engine purchased on ebay is another concern and consideration if something is wrong with the one you get and it has to be returned 'cause you eat the return shipping costs in most cases.

I bought an engine on ebay but the seller dropped it off a forklift while taking it off the storage rack which destroyed the engine. After some pressure from me, they hooked me up with a local JY which worked out better in the long run so I'd suggest trying to find an engine locally if you can.

KillNThrill24
09-22-2011, 11:54 AM
yeah honestly my GA IS my winter car so im looking at putting some winter tires on my stock rims and maybe getting a nice set of rims before spring and leaving my winters on my stockers. and my family is FULL of gas hogs haha got an 05 explorer that gets a whopping 12-13mpg in the winter and 15-17 in the summer... and its the 4.0 talk about a joke. my old mans 00 f350 diesel gets better mileage, but we also put an intake and a 4in turbo back exhaust on it so its a mean son of a gun. my camaro and GA are very close in mileage. never really checked EXACTLY but based off miles per tank there extremely close.

and i live right near Cleveland Pick-a-Part dont know if youve ever seen anything on ebay sold by them but they sell ALOT of cars, engines, corvette rolling chassis on ebay... tons of stuff. that would be my first place to look since they seem to house the most amount of wrecked cars that they then part out. that would save me the arm and a leg for shipping. just take the cap off my dads truck and tell em to drop it in lol saving a couple hundred bucks that way could allow me to use that extra money on the engine itself. ill have to look around, dont wanna start anything big before winter tho since like i said my GA is my winter driver. but spring is only a couple looooong months away... thanks for the input guys!

GrandAmGTCoupe
09-22-2011, 05:11 PM
I have a similar problem. I either spend $2000 to fix it, because I am not yet skilled enough to work on an engine, or sell the car. I have 2 bad leaks right now. The timing chain gasket and the head gaskets. My car has 255***KMS on it.

KillNThrill24
09-22-2011, 09:19 PM
i was born into a... i guess you could say backyard mechanics family since we dont have a garage to work on our cars. we do it all in the driveway and store the parts and tools needed in our 2 car garage. my old man has been at the ford plant for 39yrs now and he started as a millwright, which is basically a fancy term for maintenance man (fixed any sort of machine problem, broken belts.. iv never asked him exactly what he fixed) so hes got all sorts of "well if this doesnt work we can do it this way" knowledge that iv picked up on over the years. plus he built a couple cars in his days of prime so between him and the things iv picked up on over the years there isnt a whole lot we cant do. basically were limited to the tools we have on what jobs we can and can not do. like i need a engine lift, i would like a tire machine and balancer since im constantly needing tires changed lol, but other than that we have soooo much stuff its ridiculous we supply my best friend and his dad when they work on their vehicles and still have what we need.

so long story short, im not afraid to get myself into something really, really, big. because i know we'll find a way to do it. hell i just changed the head gaskets on my GA and to be honest that was the first time i ever tore down an engine and i did it solo since my old man was at work, and miraculously when i got done (i replaced head gaskets, exhaust manifold gaskets, and U&LIM gaskets as well as valve spring seals) the engine started first try. i couldnt believe it lol first time doing anything extreme and it worked. so dont be afraid to try it just make sure you take a mental or physical note as to what you took from where because i didnt and it came back to bite me in the azz when all was said and done

drakesrevenge
09-24-2011, 05:12 PM
why is everyone telling you to get a newer engine? i don't get it. my 01 gt has 322,XXX on it an i still get 30mpg on long highway trips. (and yes, i did drive it very hard for the first 5 years of it's life) yeah, i've taken the time to keep a close eye on things as this is my dd, but the most major thing i've ever done to it is get the tranny rebuilt at around 265K. i've replaced the heads, gaskets, and even my air conditioning system recently, but all the things that I'VE done to it, versus the stealership, has saved me thousands over the past 10 years...and i like NOT having a car payment, it allows me to keep my preventative maintainence up on it. good luck whatever you decide, my next car will probably be a newer gagt! (or at least newer than what i have now!)

GrandAmGTCoupe
09-24-2011, 05:54 PM
Well my decision was to sell the car :( but...I bought a newer Grand Am GT :D It's fusion orange and only has 98***KMS on it

KillNThrill24
09-26-2011, 10:00 AM
holy oh my wow 322k?! iv never heard of a gas engine going that long.. diesels yes they can go a million (literally) miles, but wow thats a good engine you got. and yes i would never take my car to the dealership to have it serviced... thats a good engine you got man.

i was considering a newer GA but they still cost like $6k for one with less than 100k miles on it. at least here in cleveland they do..