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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:57 am
Posts: 5
Location: Western Mass
Hi All,

I've always been quite enamored with these cars and one recently came up for sale in my area. I went to take a look, and it seemed structurally solid NO RUST! (that I could see). The guy selling it says it needs an alternator and he seems to think either a MAF or TPS sensor. I was able to start it off a fresh battery and it seemed to Idle fine. I also got to Drive it (about 10 feet) in first and reverse and it shifted threw all the gears although the shifter bushings were completely shot. someone seems to have done some wonkey wiring under the dash (for an aftermarket sound system?) and neither the dash or tach seemed to be functional or at least not connected. All the lights wipers etc. worked except for the reverse lights. I didn't get a chance to do a compression test or read the codes but the obvious bad(s) are as follows:

front springs have been cut/lowered
passenger side front fender dented/damaged
rough interior
messed with wiring
UNKNOWN MILAGE
aftermarket exhaust

Because of it's condition the seller isn't asking too much $1400 (or is this too much?)

I may go back and look at it again and basically I just wanted to get a sense of what y'all thought about it? Is it worth it? Are there specific things to look out for with these cars?

any insight is appreciated. I'm pretty mechanically inclined but most of the vehicles I work on are a lot older then these (aka no ECUs fuel injection etc.) so this will be a little bit of new territory for me.

Cheers, Sam


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2004 3:52 am
Posts: 1546
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Depend on what you want to use it for... track? project? daily car? If you pick it as daily car... don't consider it because the car is already modified and you need to put some money and times into that car.


For project or track car then $1400 is kinda steep but consider it as very rare... If the mechanical is good condition... buy it... You can replace the fender easily, and of course new springs/struts/shocks.


Generally weakness of GTi is
- Rust... rust... rust!
- MAF/TPS/ISC issue... make sure to drive it at operation temperature and hopefully it runs and idles smoothly.
- Distributor seal leaking
- Possible funny wires
- Dents or other bodywork
- Worn clutch and 1nd/2nd
- Tires

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2003 10:43 am
Posts: 1112
Location: Philly PA
I was talking to the same person. This car has been for sale for over a year. I've asked for better pics than the ones online but never received him. He did mention to me there is minor rust and needs a new alternator though.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 2:36 am
Posts: 885
Location: Vancouver BC
Without looking at any pictures (please post if you can), the price for a GTi listed in your area seems high for the issues and condition you described, unless the car is truly rust free. Check closely for rust in frame horns, floor pan sheet metal, and kick panel to firewall sheet junctions, and rocker panel integrity (behind under plastic skirts).

Think about what a really clean, stock West coast, ready to run GTi would sell for maybe $2500-3000, compared to the cost of your available time and money needed to replace or repair the known as well as unknown/hidden issues on this car. Sometimes, a GT might be better used as a parts car rather than the base for a project car.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:57 am
Posts: 5
Location: Western Mass
Thanks All for the info, here's a link to the ad. https://westernmass.craigslist.org/cto/5655994704.html the location and the price seemed right but maybe I'll have to pass on it. I'd love to find an unmodified one of these around here.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2003 10:43 am
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Location: Philly PA
You and me both.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:43 pm
Posts: 52
Location: burtonsville ,md
What mods are deterring you ? Because i removed my stock manifold in favor of a header. Also those seats look strange .

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:57 am
Posts: 5
Location: Western Mass
Cut Springs, Aftermarket exhaust. the header doesnt bother me but its got a big muffler and no cat. mostly though the condition of the electrical is concerning because it could be hiding a whole host of other problems. that and not knowing the actual milage are most deterring.


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