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sluggish 2001 5-Speed

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11 Aug 2007, 10:58 am
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Default sluggish 2001 5-Speed

I am looking at a 2001 touring edition with a 5 speed. It has 9K miles (!) and seems to be in perfect condition. And the price seems good - $7500.

HOWEVER, it seems to be a sleeping dog off the line - has no pick-up or oomph until at least 2500 RPM. And it seems to hesitate and buck a bit even above 2500. My wife's 1991 Honda Accord would smoke this thing, at least off the line.

I have driven some automatics and they seem quicker at take-off, but the upshifting is a bit slow. I have driven a 2006 stick, and it seems OK.

From the forums, I have read about improved low-end torque from the air filter swaps and cold air systems. Is this all that the car needs?

Thanks, Needy in NJ
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Old 11 Aug 2007, 01:18 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

WELCOME to the forum.

With only 9K on the odometer, it's hard to think of a car needing new ignition parts, but then again, 6 years and only 9K means probably a bunch of shorts trips each year, or one long trip around the country and then parked for 5 1/2 years. Either way, new ignition (plugs and wires) plus a decent air intake will put a little oooph! in the pickup. Definitely don't look for burning rubber off the line (unless you dump the clutch) but it should keep up with 99% of the traffic that's out there.

Exhaust adds nothing to the non-turbo performance. If you want one, go for less weight from the OEM exhaust, and a better sound from either single or duals.

The one thing I noticed when I got rid of the OEM intake was a better pickup off the line with no hesitation up to shift change.

If you want to save some money, do a search for OEM intake modifications. Taking the baffles (white rings) out, enlarging and shortening the intake tube and adding a K&N filter also does wonders for the air intake while keeping the same outside appearance of the OEM system.
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Old 11 Aug 2007, 01:28 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

Thanks. I also wonder if the computer has to be "retrained" as indicated in another posting, if the former owned just drove it around town on the weekends. NJRED
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Old 11 Aug 2007, 01:44 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

It is true that the computer learns the way you drive, so not a bad idea to pull the negative cable for about 5 minutes. Then when you put it back on, drive normally the way you will be driving and maybe that's all you'll need.

Also, there's another thread going that may be of help...... Click on the link below.

PLUGS HELP:??

Last edited by CREWZIN; 11 Aug 2007 at 01:52 pm.
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Old 15 Aug 2007, 01:20 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

Agree (as usual) with Crewzin.
9,000 miles on a 2001 means nothing but short trips. The bucking/hesitation you describe are classic indications of ignition - start with that. Also, as you note, the computer has learned "putz mode", so....
Buy some Crane wires from www.RaceAndStreet.Com, get some Champion platinums plugs, disconnect the battery, put plugs & wires in, then take it out on a highway and give it a "highway tuneup" - stomp on it.
I'll bet you'll be fine.
Oh, I'd change the oil and put in Mobil 1 - then you know what's in it and when it was changed - for certain.
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Old 15 Aug 2007, 07:51 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

ok We just changed the plugs on My non-turbo automatic to the 7570 champion platinums (gapped at .040) & changed wires,,kept factory MOPAR wires because they were FREE under warranty..(anyway seems sluggish at times also,),does removing the white baffles really help?I do have a K&N filter already...would different wires (such as Crane?do anything this early in the game (meaning new-- o miles on wires),,I would hate to throw more $$ at it..needlessly..Im in your same boat,,
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Old 15 Aug 2007, 08:07 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

OK, along with the K&N, the people that are staying with the OEM filter box took the white baffles out AND replaced the tube that draws the air from the fender well with a larger tube and cut it right after it enters the first chamber. Having a longer tube that goes into the first chamber (box) directs the incoming air directly against the far wall of the box causing disturbed air flow. (I didn't do this, only read it in a couple of forums).

You say you have a 2001. Look on the drivers door and see the build date. Top line reading something like 08-00. That's mine and it means it was made in August 2000. If yours was built AFTER July 24th 2000, then our local master mechanic (MX-5) came up with a cure for sluggish shifts between 1st and 2nd gear in the automatic PT. It's called "The shift Burp" cure. You cut a single wire and the shift improves 100%. Read all about it in this thread ......

torque managment, how to fix the 1-2 shift burp - PT Forums - The PT Cruiser Enthusiasts and Owners Resource

Last edited by CREWZIN; 15 Aug 2007 at 08:09 pm.
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Old 20 Aug 2007, 02:22 pm
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Default update on sluggish 2001

Thanks for the great inputs

I went back to the dealer and spoke to the mechanic who worked on the car about the slugishness.

First, the mechanic was the most impressive individual at the dealership - well spoken and straight talking. He said that the early 2001's were sluggish, period, no matter what. That later years had improved intake manifolds, head designs, larger injectors etc. to improve performance after customer complaints.

Hmmm. I have no reason not to believe the mechanic. If he was selling, he could have made up a better story than that!

So now I don't know what to do. I am used to a Saab turbo, but know that this car is much slower. It just seems very slow. My wife wants to buy it as an "around town" car if we can get it for 7K or less, but she did ask me if I would be happy with the car.

Any idea if the mechanic was right? I had my hopes up after reading the forum, but now I am not so sure.

Thanks!
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Old 20 Aug 2007, 03:17 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

Ok ...Ive driven both turbo & non- turbo in the PT..Ive had duals,airraid,K&N on and off...I just had the dealer upgrade the software for the PCM($200.00) not happy with price to pay..not mechanic or dealer's fault(could have fault Chrysler for me another story) anway alot better in the drivability department. & to answer your question ,,,the later PT's do drive better in the pep dept. Its all on how the computer is set Im convinced! Toyata's,Honda's etc have ony 4cylinders with 150HP and run fine.The Turbo is only needed for fast highway passing etc...The mechanic is correct,,but maybe he can upgrade the PCM?? ask him..
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Old 21 Aug 2007, 01:11 pm
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Default Re: sluggish 2001 5-Speed

Finally!! I had a reliable rep explain to me why we must pay when out of warranty to flash or upgrade the PCM...its like our home computers(we all know they get slow) We upgrade & change the software thru our manufacturers etc..this unfortunately is controlled by CHRYSYER,,we pay out of warranty,,,its a good thing to do from time to time so my advise is do it,,,it positively will run better!!
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