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In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

 
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  • 1 Post By Handy_Cruiser
  • 2 Post By Macgyverman1123
  • 1 Post By Handy_Cruiser
  • 1 Post By Macgyverman1123
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Old 19 Apr 2020, 09:20 am
Macgyverman1123's Avatar
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Location: Raleigh, N.C.
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Default In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

Hey y'all!

I've been in the market for a "toy" car for some time now, and the wife wants a convertible. There's one on the local market here in Raleigh. It's an '05 GT, autostick, white. It has 77k on the odometer. I did a once over on it, and didn't see anything majorly wrong with it, just a couple little minor things here and there. Seller wants $3,900, we have talked about $3k, which is about what I feel the car is worth.

My questions are about the top. It does have a few small tears/snags in it, but they don't go all the way through the top, just the first layer of fabric. Also, while the seller said they had the top working before and listed it with pictures of the top down, when I tried it, it wouldn't go down. All 4 windows go down and it makes noise in the back, so I know the motor(pump?) Is working, but it wouldn't move the top for some reason.

Tell me some information about convertibles and repairing them.

Also, to the GT owners: I've never owned a turbo car before. Anything I need to know about? Do I need to run 93 octane?

This won't be a daily driver, more of a fun, weekend and road trip car.

Here's the Craigslist listing. As always, thanks a ton guys. And GO CANES.

Since I'm in their local area, I've also been talking with the venerable RcktPwrd.

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/ctd/d...102931000.html
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Old 19 Apr 2020, 10:00 am
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

1. You can repair or replace the convertible top yourself. There are videos online and your can buy tops pre-made. I did this on my past Sebring convertible. It was not that hard.

2. If you can hear the convertible pump working but the top doesn't move, it's often low on fluid. There are ways to add fluid. Again, online videos are your friend. There's also often salvage pumps for sale on eBay. Plus, check to assure the cables have not been cut running down each side of the top.

3. On the GT, most people run premium fuel. It is possible to run a science experiment to see if you actually need it or not. A high-end scan tool can often log the number of engine knocks detected. The PCM may cache these itself for scan tool reading, but I don't remember how long it caches these in the PT PCM. Either way, you try the lower grade fuels and see if the knocks increase based specifically on your car and your driving. For most people, they just run premium fuel.

4. On motor oil, full synthetic oil is thought to be better. The reason is that regular oil tends to burn and crust up in the oil lines that go to the turbocharger. This is likely the primary cause of turbo failure on a daily driver PT. Synthetic oils are more resistant to heat due to factors we've discussed many times on this forum.

5. If you use the convertible top a lot, it will leak to some minor degree. Most tops are not made to be air tight. Instead they are design to direct leaking water away from the car's cabin and drain outside instead. If you car sits for long periods, a car cover that breaths but keeps gross amount of water from go through will stop the inside of the car from getting humid. You may also see water come in around seals while going through a carwash. But you should not have leaks while driving in the rain nor should you have drips while the car is parked in the rain.

6. In my 2007 vert, I believe there is slightly less leg room than in my other two PT's. Others have mentioned this about convertibles as well. At most, I believe you only lose a couple of inches.
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Old 19 Apr 2020, 10:33 am
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

Thanks a ton, Handy!!

If the top does need replacement, how much would that run?
Do you think the couple minor snags will leak, since they're only on the first layer of (cloth?)

What type of hydraulic fluid does the system use and where/how is it added?

Sorry for all the stupid questions.
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Old 19 Apr 2020, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

When I first got my Sebring, it had several small 1" rips in the top. I used heavy nylon thread to sew it and black silicon to seal it.

Believe transmission fluid is okay for the pump. Here's a video:




For the Sebring, I bought a replacement top on eBay. I think I paid around $300. I don't see tops like this today for PT Cruisers on eBay. You may have to look elsewhere online. You may want to also check with a local convertible shop in your area. Since some of the shops make their own replacement tops, it may be almost as cheap to let them do it if you cannot find a good deal on a replacement top online. For replacing the top yourself, here's a video:

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Old 19 Apr 2020, 02:20 pm
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

Myself, if your gonna pay $3900 from a dealer...everything should work.
If you get it for $3000 with a broken top, that's your choice.
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Old 21 Apr 2020, 11:29 am
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

What Handy says....he knows. If the top needs to be replaced scour Ebay for one.... you'll find one. I found one last year from a guy who bought out the inventory from a dealer. I got a brand new in the sealed Mopar box complete top... black, delivered for $338 as a spare just in case. That top new back in the day listed for $3,000...Holy Mackerel. Find a You Pull yard in your area and grab a pump motor too.... I found one, a bit of tight quarters to get the pump out that took a 1/2 hour..... I scored mine for $15. Fluid was clean and filled
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Old 26 Apr 2020, 07:45 pm
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

Final update:

I didn't wind up buying the car. I went back to see it a couple times and was planning on buying it, but in a fortuitous turn of events, I wound up passing on it. The dealer closed at 6:00 and I called them at 4 and told them I wanted to buy the car for the prove we had agreed on. I swung by the bank and arrived at the dealer at 5:07, only to find out that they had left for the day. I was rather bummed, but i decided to take one last look at the car. I started to notice a few things I hadn't seen before.

First thing I noticed was that the front bumper was held on by only a couple of the clips, the rest had broken away. Then, I noticed that the intercooler and condenser were ever so slightly bent. Then, I noticed that they also didn't align up to the supports on the crash bar. The final nail in the coffin for me was that the upper motor mount had no bolts at all in it. It was floating freely and the bolt holes didn't align at all, indicating possible frame damage and, at the very least, that the other motor mounts were broken from the additional strain of carrying all the weight.

The funny thing is, I had paid to run a carfax on the car, which came back totally clean. My guess is, it was in a front end collision of some kind that wasn't reported to insurance and they paid a shady shop to fix it as best as they could. All of this data combined with the fact that the top didn't work, one of the window regulators on the quarter glass was sketchy and that the top had a couple small holes and one big tear by the rear quarter glass and I decided to walk away. I had $3,076 in my pocket, as I was planning on buying the car on the spot if the folks had been there. Perhaps this was a fortuitous way of the heavens to tell me it wasn't the right car to buy.

What a shame though. It was so so so much fun to drive. I've *got* to get my hands on a PT GT no matter what it takes. I must admit, I was rather bummed out. But, I do think i made the right call. The car had a slight "Shimmy" and shake to it at 60 and above, I guess it could have been a messed up frame. After all, it's still for sale, so I could always go back.....

But I wanted to thank you all for the great knowledge that you imparted to me! I had talked them all the way down to $2,800 plus tags, down from their asking price of $3,900.
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Last edited by Macgyverman1123; 26 Apr 2020 at 07:51 pm.
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Old 27 Apr 2020, 09:53 am
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

You made the RIGHT decision. I had a chance to buy a 2008 turbo car from a Manager at work. Car had only 44,000 miles for $3,500 and was great shape according to the guy.... guess what... the car had lived a rough life....and needed a bunch of work and money I wasn't willing to shell out... another fellow worker was 2nd in line, he bought it and had to sink in another $2000 to make it decent.. he said made wrong decision after the fact. His daughter proceeded to trash it now. . Like YOU I'm glad I walked away. I too am looking for that "special" PT to get.. one day it will be there.
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Old 22 Oct 2020, 02:10 am
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Default Re: In the market for a 'Vert. Seeking information

car fax, really is just a digital finger print, and often not accurate, esp on low impact damage, fleet damage, commercial damages, front damage on a turbo with bent intercooler, is a HUGE red flag, boost leaks could be rampant,
I inspect cars getting shipped out of state and country, literally 40% of cars car fax sez fine, they have issues, i find, .,.,. i know the guy in my area that does the car fax in Person check up , the check takes all of 90seconds to 3 mins, and if they fail the car they dont get their 30 bucks, so they are apt to pass things not easily seen, my inspection takes 70-120 mins i dont miss much..
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