FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

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FrankenVibe
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:04 pm
Location: Orange County, NY

FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by FrankenVibe » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:55 am

Purchased my vibe about a month ago with 235,000 miles for $600 off of Facebook Marketplace. The 1999 Corolla it’s replacing had 225,000 miles before someone drove through a fence and totaled it while it was parked. The Vibe is a manual, like the Corolla before it, but the previous owner swapped the 5 speed for a 6 speed (I suspect because of the issues I’ve read about on this forum). Everything electrical works other than the fog lights and the lights behind the climate and power mirror controls. I’m surprised the power mirrors, door locks, glass hatch and sunroof all work. Previous owner even had two working fobs and keys. The interior was very dirty though, guy was a contractor, so cleaning is taking forever.

There are a couple of dents and scratches, the passenger door handle is busted and the driver side view mirror appears to be cobbled together after being knocked off. Driver side door check is broken as well. The engine seems to run well, though it idles a little rough sometimes. I may need to try cleaning the maf and throttle body, maybe swap out the plugs and PCV. The transmission sometimes shifts rough into 3rd and 4th, but when I double pump and rev match it happens far less.

Tried to get it inspected, but the right inner tie rod boot and left inner C/V boot were broken, so the parts had to be replaced to pass. I swapped out the inner and outer tie rod (MOOG) and boot (Beck Arnley), as well as the C/V axle (Cardone, New). Tried to get it inspected again, they said it needs a new right bearing and hub, so I’m swapping out the entire knuckle (MOOG) and it should pass after that (fingers crossed). Gonna replace the pads, rotors, grease the caliper pins and flush the brake lines while I’m in there. I imagine the previous owner hit something big on the passenger side which messed it up pretty good.

Stripped a mirror, handle, door check and a bunch of internal and external trim and fasteners from an 04 Matrix in a local salvage yard for $60. Got some more interior trim and a new cargo area floor from Facebook Marketplace for $80 (before I found the Matrix). Original cargo area floor was beat up and the hardware was rusting. Hope to finish putting it all together in the next day or two. I enjoy working on cars and bringing them ‘back from the edge’, so this is enjoyable for me. Especially since the undercarriage has almost zero rust, which is new for me haha. I’m still going to be under a grand all in, so I’d say that’s decent. I’ll post pictures later.

andrewclaus
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by andrewclaus » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:15 pm

Too bad you couldn't buy two at that price. Good luck with the project.

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tpollauf
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by tpollauf » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:16 pm

Welcome to GenVibe. That's a great price, even though it sounds like it was somewhat abused. Post pics & all progress as you upgrade the necessary repairs!
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FrankenVibe
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by FrankenVibe » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:08 pm

tpollauf wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:16 pm
Welcome to GenVibe. That's a great price, even though it sounds like it was somewhat abused. Post pics & all progress as you upgrade the necessary repairs!
When I buy a used car, abuse is assumed, but for $600 running and driving are pretty much the only requirements I have haha. I’ll do my best to get pics as I go along.
andrewclaus wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:15 pm
Too bad you couldn't buy two at that price. Good luck with the project.
Never know, another one might pop up. Thanks.

zbyers
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by zbyers » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:47 am

Glad to hear you are giving the car a new lease on life. After you complete the basic maintenance and repairs (from neglect) the car should serve it's purpose for a long while.

The biggest places to watch out for rust are on the rockers behind the side skirts, and the rear hatch.

No need to clean the MAF, but cleaning the throttle body and doing a basic tuneup is beneficial for sure.
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vibrologist
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by vibrologist » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:02 pm

Welcome Frankenvibe!
I really like your story of bringing cars back from the edge.
Rough running is often caused by vacuum leaks and the intake manifold gasket is a prime suspect for the cause.
Vibrologist
'05 Vibe

"It is important to know the difference between 'accurate' and 'precise' even if you are neither!"

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=43476

FrankenVibe
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by FrankenVibe » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:55 am

zbyers wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:47 am
Glad to hear you are giving the car a new lease on life. After you complete the basic maintenance and repairs (from neglect) the car should serve it's purpose for a long while.

The biggest places to watch out for rust are on the rockers behind the side skirts, and the rear hatch.

No need to clean the MAF, but cleaning the throttle body and doing a basic tuneup is beneficial for sure.
Finished all major repairs yesterday, gonna do the plugs, air filters and oil sometime next week. I’ll check again for rust, but haven’t seen much from underneath (other than typical spots like the brakes). Couple spots on the hatch, but very minimal. I’ll leave the MAF alone and just do the throttle body and pcv then. Thanks for the advice!
vibrologist wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:02 pm
Welcome Frankenvibe!
I really like your story of bringing cars back from the edge.
Rough running is often caused by vacuum leaks and the intake manifold gasket is a prime suspect for the cause.
I’ll check that for sure, thanks for the heads up!

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vibrologist
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by vibrologist » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:46 am

By the way , you could start a thread in the GenVibe Garage and chronicle the work you do for everyone to see and for your own reference. I certainly would follow that thread.
Vibrologist
'05 Vibe

"It is important to know the difference between 'accurate' and 'precise' even if you are neither!"

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=43476

FrankenVibe
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by FrankenVibe » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:36 pm

vibrologist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:46 am
By the way , you could start a thread in the GenVibe Garage and chronicle the work you do for everyone to see and for your own reference. I certainly would follow that thread.
You mean a separate thread from this one? I can do that, not a problem. Passed inspection today btw. Got an alignment done while I was there, it was really out of spec after all of the repairs!

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vibrologist
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Re: FrankenVibe - 2003 Vibe Base

Post by vibrologist » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:19 am

FrankenVibe wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:36 pm
vibrologist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:46 am
By the way , you could start a thread in the GenVibe Garage and chronicle the work you do for everyone to see and for your own reference. I certainly would follow that thread.
You mean a separate thread from this one? I can do that, not a problem. Passed inspection today btw. Got an alignment done while I was there, it was really out of spec after all of the repairs!
No , my mistake this IS in the GenVibe Garage. I did not notice that because I use the "Active topics" button in the Quick links menu. Sorry for that.
Vibrologist
'05 Vibe

"It is important to know the difference between 'accurate' and 'precise' even if you are neither!"

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=43476

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