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2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

 
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Old 05 Dec 2017, 10:56 am
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Location: Beaumont, TX
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Default 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

So I posted a bit ago about my 2003 GT that I got at salvage with a $525 bid and out the door at $900 after fees and all. The car is in great shape, though with a bit of minor flaws here and there.


Car only has 25000 one owner miles. Sunroof, leather, etc. Everything included right down to the owner's manual still pristine in the glove box. Unfortunately it is an autostick. Kinda wanted a manual, but "could not find one" .... I doubt if there are that many 5 speed cars with these low miles and condition either.

The biggest and most concerning issues:
1) Oil Pressure light is on. Engine seems to be running perfectly, no signs of any noise. Oil is golden and at the right level. Most likely it's the sending unit, which isn't uncommon in cars that are infrequently driven (such as this one was its whole life). Will replace this Saturday.

2) ABS/Traction light was not on when I test drove it immediately after picking it up, but after hauling it on the car dolly for 80 miles back to my apartment, they came on. I think someone left the key in the "run" position rather than just "unlocked", so the sensors were all active and probably having the rear wheels spinning with the front wheels stationary triggered that light. Will pull battery to perform a reset and hopefully this goes away. Otherwise I'll check wheel sensors.

3) Tires are dry rotted to hell. I thought they were original 2003 but I found a receipt in the car where new tires had been bought in 2010. However I wouldn't trust these tires past 20mph. New tires are called for.

Minor issues:
4) Carfax shows "vehicle / pedestrian contact" and thus there is a dented fender right below the driver headlight, and the bumper is slightly warped. Looks like I could straighten out the fender just by hand, and then heat the bumper to pull it back in place. Then a little glazing compound (won't even need bondo) and touchup paint and it'll be good as new. As good as "Light Almond Metallic" could ever be.

5) Paint shows signs of sun damage, and of never being properly cleaned. However the clearcoat is intact and not blistered, so a paint correction should make it shine again.... stupid Light Almond...

Other than that it just needs a good detail and it's ready to go. Needs fluids changed, belts checked, etc. Need to look especially for components that deteriorate with age, not with mileage. Because it is a Texas car, rust isn't even an issue. The exhaust under the car even looks new and is rust-free (from the parts I've seen).

PICS SOON.
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#1: 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth (MAD FIAT)
#2: 2003 PT Cruiser GT

Last edited by aelfwyne; 05 Dec 2017 at 12:56 pm.
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Old 05 Dec 2017, 10:59 am
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

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Originally Posted by aelfwyne View Post
4) Carfax shows "vehicle / pedestrian contact"
any plan to name it 'christine' ?

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Old 05 Dec 2017, 11:06 am
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Beaumont, TX
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

Build Plan:

To build a respectably quick backup daily driver. My Abarth - MAD FIAT - is tuned to an inch of its life. Really, it's a bit too MAD at times. Worse, I still owe quite a bit on the note for that car, and it already has 40,000 miles. I love driving it, but I do a LOT of driving. Having a second vehicle for those long trips will help keep the mileage down on the Abarth.

I do NOT want to build a drag-race beast, an auto-cross beast or a show winner. Just to have a car that's not BORING to drive.

I have decided on a Syked Tuning STAGE PCM. However, I haven't decided between Stage 1 or Stage 2. In either case, I understand that the Autostick is made out of glass. This is ASSUMING that Syked is still in operation... He's been active in other communities, so I hope so.

Am I risking the trans significantly more with Stage 2? Or is it basically the same as Stage 1 in that the rule is to Never Boost In 4th?

So, with that question asked, here's my current build log and plans.

Already Bought
PCM from 05 GT - Core for Syked PCM
Rubber Slush Mats
Mopar Rear Bumper Guard - Hides some paint damage on rear bumper -
Duplicolor LIGHT ALMOND Touchup Paint
Single DIN Dash Kit - for a motorized Android head unit I already have.
New Headlights - Black Trimmed. To replace fogged lights, one has broken clip from "vehicle pedestrian contact".
New Hatch Lifts - Age damaged, they won't stay up.

Planned
Syked ECU (Stage 1 or 2?) - Assuming i can get ahold of Syked.
Injectors (If Needed) (Do I need these for Syked Stage 1 since I have an 03?)
Airbox Mod
Boost Gauge (Phantom II) - Jury is still out on mounting location/hardware. I don't like the triple pod, it has bad reviews, but I might have to do that.

Does anyone have suggestions/comments on the above plans? Glaring oversights I've missed?

Thanks!
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#2: 2003 PT Cruiser GT
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Old 05 Dec 2017, 11:06 am
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob302 View Post
any plan to name it 'christine' ?

It has been considered.
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#2: 2003 PT Cruiser GT
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Old 05 Dec 2017, 01:40 pm
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

Syked does make a good product, however since he is a one man operation and his ECU business isn't his day job, you could be waiting an extended amount of time before you receive your item. Maybe he has help now and that has changed?

If it was me, for a stage 1, I would send it to Cindy at FWD Performance. They are also in Texas and charge, at last contact, $125 if you supply your own core. While Syked's is supposed to be tweaked a bit more than the one originally offered by Mopar, and which FWD sells, it is doubtful that you would be able to tell the difference. I have both in a manual GT and I can't just beating on the car on the street. I can't speak about the automatic. Cindy's number at FWD is: 281-642-3878

FWD Can't do Stage 2. That is a custom deal only since Mopar never officially released a S2 for the PT. So if S2 is your goal, Syked is the only player.

As far as core goes, sell the GT core and buy a NA core for less than half the price. You may experience a longer life out of the NA core too. After so many years and miles, the GT cores have been subjected to a lot more heat over their lifetime and many of them are failing more frequently. The 02 circuits seem to fail the most often. Any 05 PT or Neon core will work perfectly.

For the 2003 year only, along with the Stage 1 PCM, Mopar also included the injectors used in all 04+ Turbo PTs. They didn't need to supply them for the other years since those were already the factory installed injectors. There has been a lot of debate on this forum as to whether they are actually needed or not. For me, since Chrysler said they were required, then that is good enough for me. It's up to you which path you follow. If you go with Stage 2, then upgraded TIP and MAP sensors, as well as even bigger injectors were supplied by Mopar.

Last edited by myckee; 05 Dec 2017 at 01:47 pm.
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Old 05 Dec 2017, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

Quote:
Originally Posted by myckee View Post
Syked does make a good product, however since he is a one man operation and his ECU business isn't his day job, you could be waiting an extended amount of time before you receive your item. Maybe he has help now and that has changed?

If it was me, for a stage 1, I would send it to Cindy at FWD Performance. They are also in Texas and charge, at last contact, $125 if you supply your own core. While Syked's is supposed to be tweaked a bit more than the one originally offered by Mopar, and which FWD sells, it is doubtful that you would be able to tell the difference. I have both in a manual GT and I can't just beating on the car on the street. I can't speak about the automatic. Cindy's number at FWD is: 281-642-3878

FWD Can't do Stage 2. That is a custom deal only since Mopar never officially released a S2 for the PT. So if S2 is your goal, Syked is the only player.

As far as core goes, sell the GT core and buy a NA core for less than half the price. You may experience a longer life out of the NA core too. After so many years and miles, the GT cores have been subjected to a lot more heat over their lifetime and many of them are failing more frequently. The 02 circuits seem to fail the most often. Any 05 PT or Neon core will work perfectly.

For the 2003 year only, along with the Stage 1 PCM, Mopar also included the injectors used in all 04+ Turbo PTs. They didn't need to supply them for the other years since those were already the factory installed injectors. There has been a lot of debate on this forum as to whether they are actually needed or not. For me, since Chrysler said they were required, then that is good enough for me. It's up to you which path you follow. If you go with Stage 2, then upgraded TIP and MAP sensors, as well as even bigger injectors were supplied by Mopar.

1) May consider FWD Performance. For some reason I got the impression they weren't doing them any more. I was considering visiting Modern Performance (it's not far from me), but it looks like they only have DiabloSports these days.

2) Actually on second look it wasn't a GT core I bought anyway, it was an automatic NA (4 port) core. I knew that at the moment but forgot! Woops. So that's good there.

3) Have been looking at a couple of sources of Stage 1 injectors.

Honestly I will probably just do stage 1. Trying to avoid the crazy cost I hit doing my Abarth with big turbo, plasma coils, etc etc, bought parts multiple times because never happy with what I got, etc. I got the cruiser cheap and don't want to spend too much on it.
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Old 06 Dec 2017, 11:44 am
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

First I would get a tuner device. And use your PCM. Also timing belt. Like your tires time and no mileage kills rubber. The hardware should be fine. ��
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Last edited by Busted_PT; Yesterday at 04:15 pm.
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Old 06 Dec 2017, 11:48 am
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

FWD is near Houston too, in Tomball, so you could visit them too I think. Modern Performance used to sell Syked's stuff. Maybe Syked was/is too busy and couldn't fill the orders fast enough? I don't know. Anyway FWD is definitely still doing it. I have a couple of cores on the way to her now.

I think the Stage 1 adds just enough pep to the car to make it fun to drive and not sacrifice any reliability. I added the blue 'blow off' plate too. It's little more than a noisemaker but it has a nice sound.

Last edited by myckee; 06 Dec 2017 at 11:51 am.
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Old 06 Dec 2017, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
First I would get a tuner device. And use your COM. Also timing belt. Like your tires time and no mileage kills rubber. The hardware should be fine. ��
The 'tuner device', like the DiabloSport, when using the 93 Octane included tune, would give him almost the same tune as the S1...to the cost of around $400 for the cheapest tuner. He already has the core pcm to use, and the S1 programming at FWD is $125. Even with the injectors, he would likely not spend much over 200 for everything.

He could still throw on a DS in the future if he decided he wanted more, and using the S1 pcm, he would have a better base to start from. The stock NGC1 pcm in the 2003 has small, low resolution maps. The NGC3 pcm that is required for the S1, has much higher resolution maps for finer and more accurate tuning. So tuning done using a DS on the S1 base would actually be better than trying to build a custom tune for the lower resolution 2003 NGC1 pcm.
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Old 06 Dec 2017, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: 2003 GT - "PT Salvage"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
First I would get a tuner device. And use your COM. Also timing belt. Like your tires time and no mileage kills rubber. The hardware should be fine. 😎
Yeah, timing belt is definitely something I'm not looking forward to but I'm pretty sure may need done. Will likely do the water pump as well, as it could easily have corroded bearings with this low mileage.
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