Saving the Blue Vibe

Park your vehicle in a thread here - list your vehicle info, pics, etc. all in one place.
Post Reply
cigvibe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:29 pm

Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by cigvibe »

This is the Vibe that I picked up for $1500 in rough shape. I plan to restore it to former glory, but my budget is $2500 total (not including paint). These are the pictures as I bought it. I sold my 01 Honda Accord which ran beautifully with a nice stereo system for $2500, so this is where my budget comes from.

About me, I am a toyota guy. I have mostly been in the "classic" Toyota Celica community for man years (5SFE, 3SGTE, etc). I do not have a ton of experience with newer post 2000 Toyotas, but I bring my enthusiasm as a Toyota fan.

Current Issues

Terribly dirty interior
bad catalytic converter
Bent wheel
Black transmission fluid
Airbag light on


Planned upgrades

Alloy wheels if I can find them
6.5" component speakers
Polish Headlights (LED bulbs)
Repaint front bumper
IMG_2053.jpeg
IMG_2053.jpeg (965.72 KiB) Viewed 472 times
IMG_2107.jpeg
IMG_2107.jpeg (938.46 KiB) Viewed 470 times
fullsizeoutput_74d.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_74d.jpeg (395.3 KiB) Viewed 444 times
Last edited by cigvibe on Sat Feb 19, 2022 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Cali Vibe 235k Wave Blue

mods
2zz "brown" 320cc injectors - E85 at 50% - K&N airbox insert - charcoal filter delete - 3" fresh air duct
cigvibe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:29 pm

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by cigvibe »

placeholder for interior
Cali Vibe 235k Wave Blue

mods
2zz "brown" 320cc injectors - E85 at 50% - K&N airbox insert - charcoal filter delete - 3" fresh air duct
cigvibe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:29 pm

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by cigvibe »

LEAKS

Appears to be a significant leak at the rear. I am hoping it is as simple as the power steering o-ring to the drain flange, like other Toyotas.

Before and after an engine wash. Hard to reach back there! If it is not the power steering o-ring, then it should be the timing belt tensioner o-ring which is up higher. However, when I felt under it, the oil was not wet.

fullsizeoutput_743.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_743.jpeg (353.42 KiB) Viewed 468 times
fullsizeoutput_744.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_744.jpeg (272.49 KiB) Viewed 462 times
Last edited by cigvibe on Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Cali Vibe 235k Wave Blue

mods
2zz "brown" 320cc injectors - E85 at 50% - K&N airbox insert - charcoal filter delete - 3" fresh air duct
cigvibe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:29 pm

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by cigvibe »

TIRES AND BRAKES

The car had a heavy shimmy above 60MPH. The driver side had outside wear, the pass side also very worn. The rears have lots of meat, generic brand.
I was going to get new tires all around but since I am hunting for alloys, I just needed to get something for now.

I picked up a used set of bridgestone with lots of tread for $100 installed. Not the best deal, but not bad either. The tire guy showed me the driver front wheel on the balancer, it is way bent. So, I have to find another steel one to replace it. Luckily it is only $15 labor to swap it out.

Even though the rim was bent, replacing the tire and balancing it removed the high speed shimmy.




fullsizeoutput_746.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_746.jpeg (319.8 KiB) Viewed 461 times
Bridgestone rated at 70k
fullsizeoutput_749.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_749.jpeg (349.4 KiB) Viewed 445 times
Last edited by cigvibe on Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Cali Vibe 235k Wave Blue

mods
2zz "brown" 320cc injectors - E85 at 50% - K&N airbox insert - charcoal filter delete - 3" fresh air duct
andrewclaus
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:38 pm
Location: Golden, CO

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by andrewclaus »

It may need new struts and possibly wheel bearings, and then an alignment. Check tie rod ends and control arm bushings too. Might as well plan on new brake rotors and shoes. I had to do all that when I got my Vibe. Parts cost me less than $300. I had a shop do the alignment and bearing press.
tpollauf
Posts: 3840
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:37 am
Location: Toledo/Oregon, Port Clinton Ohio
Contact:

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by tpollauf »

Not too bad overall for what you paid for it. I think you'll easily get it where you want within your proposed budget! Thanks for the pics and keep on fixing it :)
Image
2009 Vibe GT (manual), 2009 G8Gt, 2009 Vibe GT (auto)
2014 Silverado, 2004 Vibe GT, 2003 Vibe GT (project car)

"everything is modifiable"
Bookworm
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by Bookworm »

Looks like you got a better deal, price wise, than I did for mine (5500 for an 07 Matrix), but I'm not doing quite the level of work you're doing.

Where are you located? I'll be giving up my 07 Vibe shortly, and it's factory alloy wheels.
cigvibe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:29 pm

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by cigvibe »

I'm in California. Let me know when your vibe is posted bookworm I would be interested!

Did some work today.

Power steering flush. Since the power steering fluid was as brown as the oil, I wanted to flush it out for clean red ATF. I also cleaned out the resevoir as it had tons of black dirt at the bottom. This way, if there is in fact a power steering leak it will be easier to find RED vs brown.



Engine Oil. The oil filter had a sharpie marking of 2019! Good lord! I think this car has been sitting for a year or 2 since it did not pass smog. I changed the oil, but I will change it again within 1000 miles since it was pretty dirty and I want a good starting point.

LED license plate lights. Only one was working and it very dull. I picked up a whole bag of #194 LED lights for $14 which is cheaper than if I would have bought 2 regular #194 light bulbs at the auto parts store.

LED foglights. They came in but I have not installed them yet.

Pics will be added soon (I have to convert them to 1MB).
Last edited by cigvibe on Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Cali Vibe 235k Wave Blue

mods
2zz "brown" 320cc injectors - E85 at 50% - K&N airbox insert - charcoal filter delete - 3" fresh air duct
Bookworm
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by Bookworm »

You probably won't want my car, then. :)

It'd give you all the spare parts you could want (It's a Moon and Tunes Vibe), but It's in Texas. That's 15+ hours just driving across Texas to reach Houston.
cigvibe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:29 pm

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by cigvibe »

Today was "filter" day. Replaced the cabin filter, air filter, and the airbox mod.viewtopic.php?p=533290#p533290

High flow insert filter $27
Cabin Filter $13
Mod $FREE

Cabin filter YUCK!
.
.
.
.
.
.

IMG_2405.JPG
IMG_2405.JPG (421.72 KiB) Viewed 402 times
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
IMG_2402.JPG
IMG_2402.JPG (666.96 KiB) Viewed 402 times
.
.
.
.
.
Cali Vibe 235k Wave Blue

mods
2zz "brown" 320cc injectors - E85 at 50% - K&N airbox insert - charcoal filter delete - 3" fresh air duct
cigvibe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:29 pm

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by cigvibe »

updates

3/2/22

4A58D568-0167-4939-BA30-B48E29339107.jpeg
4A58D568-0167-4939-BA30-B48E29339107.jpeg (31.9 KiB) Viewed 330 times

-Passed smog, using the o2 extension/defouler trick. When the o2 sensor is extended out of the exhaust path, it no longer throws a P0420 code. In fact, the Catalyst Monitor cleared in only 5 miles of driving. Finally I get legal tags and title in the savage smog state of California. Someday I may just gut the primary cat because based on what I have seen others have going on in the corolla forum it is probably half plugged and robbing me of 30+HP (kidding LOL), but still.

-Installed LED fog light bulbs ($20). They are more "white" than the halogen bulbs, but the housings are so pitted that difference is not amazing. I think after I get the bumper painted I will put clean housings on to take advantage of the extra brightness.
FEF258A6-9E9C-4529-98BC-8215F2CD6C59.jpeg
FEF258A6-9E9C-4529-98BC-8215F2CD6C59.jpeg (12.98 KiB) Viewed 330 times

I picked up a aluminum jack from Harbor Freight so that I can finally climb under the car. My 3 Ton jack that I purchased late last year was stolen and I have been without since. The 3 ton jack was great for lifting but way too heavy to use daily and keep in the trunk of my car. So I went with the 1.5 ton for $99.

-Drained and filled the automatic trans fluid. The fluid was absolutely gross. I wanted to do a "flush" where I would drain it from the return lines and keep adding new fluid, but I forgot my hose connections to do it. So a simple drain and fill will have to do. 3 Quarts came out and I put 2.5 because that was all I had left. The interesting thing is that the old fluid was very thin like dirty water. I have drained many dirty transmissions in my day, but this fluid seemed not quite right.

I will do another drain and fill when I change the oil again. Everybody I talked to, even my transmission guy, told me to not change the fluid. But, I like being a rebel LOL. I can't drive around with black nasty fluid. If it kills the transmission fine, I will go out with a bang. I would rather know now rather than later if there is a serious internal problem. After a quick test drive, I would argue that it shifts a tiny bit better. But, as we all know, your mind tricks you into thinking there is an improvement.

While I was under there I went ahead and looked at this leak on the exhaust side of the engine. Even though I attempted to wash back there, there is still oil or something everywhere around the power steering pump. Getting a fresh look from the bottom, it is higher than the pump. Again I blame the timing chain tensioner o ring but it is hard to see. Now that I have the jack, I should do an engine wash again but with it jacked up so I can reach those areas and get it fully clean.

I used Valvoline high mileage synthetic ATF ($17 a gallon) which I use in all of my cars (honda toyota and nissan).
Last edited by cigvibe on Fri Mar 04, 2022 7:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Cali Vibe 235k Wave Blue

mods
2zz "brown" 320cc injectors - E85 at 50% - K&N airbox insert - charcoal filter delete - 3" fresh air duct
andrewclaus
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:38 pm
Location: Golden, CO

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by andrewclaus »

That ATF looks fine--it covers T-IV. I got mine to a nearly red color after just two drain and fills a year apart. Next time you might want to drop the pan, change the filter, and check the magnets. Dropping the pan is simple on this car with the drain plug. Count the bolts to make sure you get the right kit.

I had the tensioner leak. It can be reached from above, wiped with a rag to check. I replaced the tensioner and it ran quieter.
Bookworm
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by Bookworm »

You might want to do the light housings at the same time as painting the bumper. You'll have to remove the bumper anyway to get to the housings, so you'll be able to paint ALL of the bumper without risking splash-over.

I did a drain and fill on mine as well, and I need to do one more. Now I know how many bolts it has(18), I can do the pan and filter as well.

I have that 1.5 ton jack from Hazard Fraught as well, and it works fine. The release is really sensitive, so be ready for the car to drop fast if you're not very gentle. Might want to get rubber caps for your jack stands.
sampalya
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2022 3:49 pm

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by sampalya »

Did doing the transmission fluid flush help?
Bookworm
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Saving the Blue Vibe

Post by Bookworm »

It's helped me. I think the main problem with the transmissions, when people say "DON'T CHANGE IT!" is from people doing flushes, not drain and fills.
I've had two cars that didn't get the transmission fluid serviced "on time", and both benefited from a high mileage drain and fill.
Post Reply