Hello Vibe friends, happy to meet you. I've come here many a time scouring for information and decided to join.
I have an 04 base model 5 speed, it's been a fantastic daily since acquiring it in 2017, until it wasn't... It suddenly had a misfire/uneven engine balance when I was going up a hill a few weeks ago, and didn't have engine codes until starting it later. I checked compression and had ~65psi in cylinder 2. Not 100% sure but I suspect a burnt or sticking valve, I will probably get a bore scope to check the cylinder walls as well (thank you Car Care Nut on YT for putting that possibility in my brain). I'm hoping I can get a rebuilt head or long block and repair it in the next year or so. Until then it will be a lawn ornament that can move under its own power.
Pertaining to the above, I'd be curious what people's hot takes are about Monkey Wrench Racing's rebuilt engines as I evaluate what my next steps might be. I will definitely look in other boards and possibly create a topic as I get closer to making a move.
I suspect my friends and family think I'm nuts for wanting to repair and possibly do a light restoration on this ancient car, but these things are just so special, and I've gotten very attached to mine. It's been great to me, and I want to be nice to it. I've already replaced the entire front suspension and have a newer set of all-season and winter wheels and tires for it, it seems silly to let that all go to waste.
These also seem particularly resilient against rust if washed regularly during the winter. I've never seen one with severe rust issues, but that may be because of the plastic cladding all around the underside. I am interested in car restoration and might also use this car for welding practice repairing what rust it does have.
Anyway, nice to meet you all and may your Vibes run happily!