CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

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CraftsmanQuad19
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Location: Indiana

CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:13 pm

Recently bought an early 03 GT to fix and flip, but looks like gas prices are about to climb (already on their way up :roll: ) and my current daily, a leveled 94 ranger 3.0 5 speed 4x4 has been getting between 12-14 mpg lately....yeah I’ve got a heavy foot. Anyway gas prices are going up so I decided to fix the vibe for myself as a daily for awhile. Paid 400 dollars (US) and it needed a valve job and timing chain. About 1200 dollars later, including the purchase price, it’s my daily. Just over 210k on it. All black with a metal flake, looks almost grayish in direct light, steel wheels, 2zz/c60 combo, and no pinch welds lol. Loading it on the trailer I thought it was pretty clean, but working on it I realized almost the entire rocker panel under the plastic is essentially completely gone. This will be my daily till something drastic happens to the body, and it will be sold to a friend as a drivetrain donor for his 1st Gen mr2.

Whenever this one is on its way out I plan on finding a lava red one to awd k20 swap, any basic mods (sound, wheels, lights, interior stuff) will be transferred to that one before getting rid of the black one. I’d either start with an awd base, or a stick shift (base or GT) just so the clutch stuff and shifter will already be there.

I feel like I’m rambling so I’ll try to figure out how to post pics now lol

After trying numerous times, it seems like only one pic is the right size to upload. Don’t know how to change the sizes of the others on my phone to allow them to be uploaded.
B96123D3-5666-4EF5-B754-F8AEACF98C3D.jpeg
B96123D3-5666-4EF5-B754-F8AEACF98C3D.jpeg (873.92 KiB) Viewed 304 times
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

CraftsmanQuad19
Posts: 45
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Location: Indiana

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:27 pm

The rear swing arm is also bent slightly so it’s got a little camber on both sides, so I’d like to replace it. Does the independent rear suspension handle or ride better? Would that be a good upgrade or would I be better off with the standard swing arm?

I’ve also seen brass shift bushings are a good upgrade, but which end do they go on? The trans side or the knob side? Both? Don’t know if mine already has them

I saw redline mt90 was the best trans fluid I could possibly put in this thing, but it was an older post. Does this still hold true?
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

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tpollauf
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Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by tpollauf » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:48 pm

CraftsmanQuad19 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:27 pm
Does the independent rear suspension handle or ride better? Would that be a good upgrade or would I be better off with the standard swing arm?
My 2009 Vibe Gt has the IRS and it does make a bit of a difference. Impressive ingenuity for whoever designed it!
CraftsmanQuad19 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:27 pm
I’ve also seen brass shift bushings are a good upgrade, but which end do they go on? The trans side or the knob side? Both? Don’t know if mine already has them
Look up this thread: https://forums.genvibe.com/phpBB3/viewt ... 69#p531269 and go to the near last post where "edisto" a new member like yourself, posted some good info.
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2009 Vibe GT (manual), 2009 G8Gt, 2009 Vibe GT (auto)
2014 Silverado, 2004 Vibe GT, 2003 Vibe GT (project car)

"everything is modifiable"

CraftsmanQuad19
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Location: Indiana

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:39 am

Thank you for the quick reply! Do you know if it’s a dual wishbone with separate coil and shock, or a strut, or is it a macpherson strut setup? The only ones I’ve seen at work had the swing arm, and I’ll be aligning it myself
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

zbyers
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Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by zbyers » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:43 am

CraftsmanQuad19 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:39 am
Thank you for the quick reply! Do you know if it’s a dual wishbone with separate coil and shock, or a strut, or is it a macpherson strut setup? The only ones I’ve seen at work had the swing arm, and I’ll be aligning it myself
It's a strut setup on the rear end.

While the IRS does handle better, in the rust belt, the subframe that the IRS bolts up to is extremely prone to rotting. I am in the process of replacing a third subframe.

https://forums.genvibe.com/phpBB3/viewt ... 28&t=47305
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CraftsmanQuad19
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:13 pm

zbyers wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:43 am
CraftsmanQuad19 wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:39 am
Thank you for the quick reply! Do you know if it’s a dual wishbone with separate coil and shock, or a strut, or is it a macpherson strut setup? The only ones I’ve seen at work had the swing arm, and I’ll be aligning it myself
It's a strut setup on the rear end.

While the IRS does handle better, in the rust belt, the subframe that the IRS bolts up to is extremely prone to rotting. I am in the process of replacing a third subframe.

https://forums.genvibe.com/phpBB3/viewt ... 28&t=47305
I believe I followed you on Instagram just the other day. Yeah I’m worried about finding one. I’ll do the swap if I can find a clean donor
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

Phoneman
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Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by Phoneman » Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:26 pm

CraftsmanQuad19 wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:27 pm

I’ve also seen brass shift bushings are a good upgrade, but which end do they go on? The trans side or the knob side? Both? Don’t know if mine already has them
My 2003 Vibe GT had a horrible shifter feel when I bought it in December. I was looking at aftermarket shifters when I saw that Monkey Wrench Racing (MWR) has the brass bushings for the transmission end of the shifter cable.

They also have a set of aluminum bushings for mounting the shifter more firmly than the OEM steel and rubber mount bushings, so I ordered a set of both.

I haven't had a chance to get the brass bushings installed yet but the aluminum shifter bushings have made a big difference in the shift feel.

It is no longer as vague and sluggish as it was with the rubber bushings. The improvement was good enough that I haven't felt a pressing need to get the brass bushings installed yet.


The video below is how to change the shifter light but it is a good video to show you how to get to the shifter to change the bushings.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=44UV_UF-_Wk&t=195s

Once you know how to get to the shifter, it's not hard to change out the bushings. I was able to do it in under an hour.

I bought the Speed Source branded shifter bushings from MWR but they also sell their own brand for a few dollars less. In the product photos, they look like the same part.

CraftsmanQuad19
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:54 pm

I actually just got the brass shifter bushings in the mail the other day. I too have yet to install them. Had no idea about the aluminum bushings on the interior side.

Around town I can find the gears just fine 90% of the time. It’s when it gets into lift it simply locks me out of gear till the rpms drop to around 5500. Extremely annoying...
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

Phoneman
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:54 pm

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by Phoneman » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:47 pm

I am extremely pleased with the difference the solid shifter base bushings made compared to the original bushings especially since it was much cheaper than an aftermarket shifter.

The shifter on my GT was the worst I've ever experienced, and I own a 76 F100 with a worn out three-on-the-tree.

It still doesn't feel as smooth and precise as the shifter on my 92 Miata, but it least I can live with it now.

Eta

I don't know if it would help the issue that you are having but it sure took much of the sloppiness out of my shifter.

MWR branded bushings ($20)
https://www.monkeywrenchracing.com/prod ... atrixvibe/

Speed Source branded bushings ($26)
https://www.monkeywrenchracing.com/prod ... -scorolla/

CraftsmanQuad19
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:37 pm

The brass bushings are installed. Don’t feel much difference just sitting, but will reserve judgement until I drive it.

Both the links you sent are for the 09-10...

Also noticed tonight that the upper core support is buckled. I knew the bumper looked like it got in a fight with a trailer hitch, but didn’t know the damage went that far back. I’m looking at an awd parts car tomorrow though so hopefully it’ll have everything I need to fix the rear camber, bumper, core support, and a couple of interior bugs
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

Phoneman
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:54 pm

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by Phoneman » Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:14 pm

Thought I had the wrong links for a minute but if you read the description they fit all years of the Vibe/Matrix with a manual transmission.

CraftsmanQuad19
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:09 am

Well, that awd parts car was sold yesterday, so looks like I’ll have to get lucky in the junkyard for that core support
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

CraftsmanQuad19
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: CraftsmanQuad’s 03 GT

Post by CraftsmanQuad19 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:50 pm

Little update on the vibe. Installed a pioneer double din head unit I had lying around and 2 sets of JBL GX series 2 way coaxial speakers. Sounds FAR better than factory. Don’t think I’m going to add a sub because of space and all the plastic panels in the trunk. I feel like it would just rattle everything and be more annoying than it’s worth.

The JBL’s have a great sound and a nice full range. They sound very good just on their own (none are amped or anything like that). I would absolutely buy them again!

I’ve also put about 3300 miles on it since putting it back together, does not seem to burn any oil and I’ve gotten much better at shifting it high in the rev range. I still think the clutch needs adjusted and some fresh fluid in the trans
“I don’t do nothing well.” -Keith

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