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1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

 
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  • 12 Post By ajhockey3
  • 2 Post By RickinPA
  • 2 Post By Carl48
  • 2 Post By ajhockey3
  • 1 Post By soonercruiser
  • 3 Post By Sinbad
  • 2 Post By chuzz

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Old 12 Oct 2018, 05:52 pm
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Default 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

Time fly's when your having fun! according to my text messages I picked up my PT Cruiser on October 25th. Doesn't seem like its been even close to a year with this car, but it has been, so I thought it might be fun to go over what this year has been like with my first car, a $250 pt cruiser I bought on Kijiji (kijiji is like craigslist for Canadians).

Looking through my emails, the owner Alan, really didn't want to sell this car to me, Understadable when a kid who barely has a drivers license says they want to buy your non running PT Cruiser for scrap value. I asked him if I could look at the car on the 25th, and he told me on the 24th, If I didn't come look at it and give a deposit on it that night, it was going to the scrapyard because he had it booked to be picked up. Me and my Dad went to check this car out, his ad said he wanted $300 for it and he was keeping the almost new battery, The seller was actually a really nice guy, I didn't even ask for it, and he dropped the price to $250 (because thats what the scrapyard offered) and included the battery. I gave him $50 and set up a time to pick it up the next day. I originally was going to rent a uhaul car dolly, I happened to live 3km from where this non running pt cruiser was, and tow it with my parents truck, But my Dad had a CAA membership he never used and we thought, might as well try it. Well CAA isn't very happy when you try to tow a car without plates, the compromise was we had to take the front plate from my fathers car and put it on the back of the PT Cruiser to get it towed, so we did, the tow truck driver even put it in the garage for us. My Mom made me promise her that if the car wasn't running in 3 months that I had to call the scrapyard and get them to take it away.



I ordered a timing kit online and started work, My Dad is somewhat mechanically inclined, but we had only worked on our outboards and snowmobiles before, we changed the winter tires on our cars but that was it, we never really worked on cars before. I watched all the youtube videos I could find and worked on it after school every day, it was really hard, as you can imagine, I had never even done an oil change on a car before, and here I am doing a timing job on one of the hardest cars to change a timing belt on. Ever sense I was a kid I always said I wanted to be a mechanic, but this was my first start. I hit lots of roadblocks, i'm sure in November of 2017 you guys probably got tired of seeing my constant threads asking for help, but eventually, the timing belt was on. Looking through my emails with the previous owner, I told him on November 30th I got the car running. I was pretty nervous, I basically just had the timing belt in the car and the engine mounts attached, nothing else was on. I was really nervous to even try to start it, I didn't want to, I knew that if I turned the key and something was wrong I'd feel like an idiot, and that I wasted a lot of time and money. Soon as I turned the key, it fired right up, no hesitation, didn't crank for awhile, it turned RIGHT ON!


I started making the car a complete unit again, I went over the checklist of the Ontario Safety Inspection, making sure everything on my car was within spec to get my plates, I also bought a used set of snowtires for it. It would have been early December the car was on its wheels, and I drove it up and down my driveway once, I never drove it around the block for some reason, But it rolled up and down ok. I called a garage and booked my inspection on a Monday, and they couldn't get me in until Thursday. Legally I was supposed to get the car towed to the garage because I registered it as unfit so I didn't have to pay insurance while it sat in my garage, but I may or may not have just drove it there on Wednesday night. Got my certificate the next day and went to the Service Ontario and got my plates and insured it. That Friday to Saturday I proceeded to put 1,000KM on it driving it to a family members place for our early family Christmas, looking back at it, not the smartest move taking an unknown car that far,but it made it no problem.




Over the next few months I did some minor repairs, It had a wheel bearing replaced, I replaced the thermostat housing, I got the AC functioning in April and a new rad fan, new wheels and tires from my Grandpas PT Cruiser, and probably a bunch of other stuff I am forgetting.

After a year with this car, I absolutely love it, I have put over 14,000KM on it,I drive it to work I drive it to school, I have taken it on trips to Ottawa and Quebec. It was really life changing for me to get this car, I feel comfortable wrenching on cars now, including friends and family members cars. Its had its issues, as expected with a $250 car but I have always been able to get it home. I hope to keep it for at least 2-3 more years until I through college and get a good job, then I'd really really like to buy a red or cream 2006-2008 convertible.

I'm not a guy who takes a lot of pictures, but here is all the milestones I have pictures of with this car



Here is the picture used in the AD for the car:



First day home:



Working on the timing belt:



Timing belt installed:



First time it moved under its own power (wish it still looked like this I have sadly got a ton of rockchips)


Used snowtires on Dodge SX 2.0 rims (Canadian neon)



Showing its new license plate (and being ready for the road)



Before and after its first car wash




Showing its might in a snow storm



The toy Lamborghini I found in the car from the previous owners Grandson vs the real lamborghini that parked beside me




Hauling ass on the track




Ditched the hubcaps+steelie summer tires for some alloys



Thanks everyone for being apart of my journey with this car, 1 year down, I hope I can have many more with this car!
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Last edited by ajhockey3; 12 Oct 2018 at 05:54 pm. Reason: Fixed Images
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Old 12 Oct 2018, 07:09 pm
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Default Re: 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

That car did not deserve going to the scrap heap. Good job rescuing it!
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Old 12 Oct 2018, 07:17 pm
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Default Re: 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

Nice looking PT !
Congratulations on doing all the work yourself.
You are obviously the kind of guy who is very thorough and wants to do the job correctly.
Good luck with your PT and future endeavors.
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Old 12 Oct 2018, 08:34 pm
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Default Re: 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

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Originally Posted by RickinPA View Post
That car did not deserve going to the scrap heap. Good job rescuing it!
I agree but I totally understand why it was coming down to it, I have all the receipts from the guy who owned it before me, he bought this car for his daughter who was a single mom and it wasn't working out well, he paid $3000 for it and over a year and a half spent around another $3k in work on it, so a $1000+ timing belt job wasn't on the table. It has a rebuilt transmission so I think it can last around 280,000KM I think (I hope)
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Old 12 Oct 2018, 09:12 pm
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Thumbs up Re: 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

A worthy effort, I must say!
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2011 GWE Dodge Challenger SRT8 as Show Car
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Old 13 Oct 2018, 02:31 am
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Default Re: 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

Excellent post - kind of backs up my thought that we are now edging into the time where PT's start to become looked at some kind of oddball classic rather than a dog to be run into the ground.

Give it ten years and we'll all be sitting on fortunes
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Old 13 Oct 2018, 07:27 am
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Default Re: 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

Kudos to you for your efforts, AJ. We all have to learn somehow and experience is the best teacher. Seeing as how you tackled a true pain in the neck timing job as a first effort, I'm sure you'll have a successful career as a mechanic, if that's the route you choose. Be sure to study the electrical and computer technical portions extra hard. Computer driven cars are coming, whether we like it or not. They control most aspects of our lives already anyway.
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Old 13 Oct 2018, 08:17 pm
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Default Re: 1 Year with a $250 PT Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinbad View Post
Excellent post - kind of backs up my thought that we are now edging into the time where PT's start to become looked at some kind of oddball classic rather than a dog to be run into the ground.

Give it ten years and we'll all be sitting on fortunes
My next car is going to be a PT Cruiser, its hard to find good ones in the rust belt but I'd really like a red inferno crystal or that yellow cream color they made. 2nd gen convertible GT.
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