Well, I've been pretty quite about my car for awhile. Here's a few updates.
Way back in January, I decided to tackle the "tick tick" from the blend door actuator. I got a custom "tool" from a member on the Facebook group, which is really just a 5.5mm socket that was JB Welded to a flat metal bar. The tool actually worked very well and, though it broke, lasted long enough to complete the work. I chose to flip the gear. If/when these teeth fail, then I'll replace it with a new unit.
On May 31, it crossed 160,000 miles.
Then last Friday, through some generosity of a Vibe friend, the car is now riding on Tein S-Techs.
You may also notice in these pics that the car has been debadged. Story time.
It bothered me that the car was badged improperly, so I decided rather than trying to correct the badging that I would just do away with it. It wasn't even a matter that they removed the "GT", since the "vibe" on the driver's door was a good 6" to far to the rear of the car to be correct. My guess is a previous owner debadged the car and then someone hastily rebadged it (incorrectly) when reselling it. When I was looking to buy the car, I didn't even know it was a GT. It was just listed on Craigslist as an '05 Vibe with a manual transmission (no mention of the number of gears) and when I contacted the seller (a used car dealer), he just was adamant that I was aware that it was a manual. After a previous deal for a different car went south after the seller sold it out from under me before I could get to him to buy it, even though we had agreed to a price and I making arrangements to go get it, I wanted to make sure he'd hold the car for me. So I paid him a deposit to hold the car and I asked him for the VIN to get an insurance quote, which is when I was clued into what the car was. I entered the VIN and Geico spat out "Vibe GT," so my first thought is that he gave me a bogus VIN number. I then looked more closely at the pictures and noticed the chrome shift knob and leather steering wheel. Clues. There weren't any pictures with the hood up and I couldn't get a good look at the rear brakes, but I felt good enough that I was willing to make the long drive to go look at the car in person. A few days later, I drive to see the car. I visually check the VIN... matches what he gave me over the phone. Pop the hood... yep, that's a 2ZZ! Take it for a test drive and I was ready to buy. While doing all the paperwork, he and I start small talking. He told me that the mechanic he had check the car out that morning offered to buy it on the spot, because it had a "special engine," but since I had paid the deposit he saved it for me. I proceeded to tell him that the car was a Vibe GT and what that meant. I could tell he only had a passing interest, since he was mostly concerned about making the sale. That knowledge didn't influence the final sale price.
I have a few more plans for the future. I need to re-tint the windows. The hatch window is bubbling pretty bad and the the side windows got scratched up when I had to constantly scrape frost off the windows to see out during a road trip to the frozen north at Christmas... thanks to the malfunctioning blend door actuator.