1998 Sunfire GT - General Forum

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1998 Sunfire GT
Sunday, June 24, 2012 12:30 AM
Hey all beeen a while since I was around here (used to have a '00 sunfire GT about 5yrs ago) ... anyway I'm back not that anyone cares.

So, I just grabbed a '98 Sunfire GT 5spd for $250 (that's not a typo) and of course it has 'issues'.

1 - broken water neck .... looks like the PO tried to change the thermostat and didn't bother checking the manual ... needless to say he didn't find the thermostat and the waterneck suffered.
2 - shifts from 1-2 rough, 2-3 rough and he says the down shift from 3-2 tends to grind .... now taking this with a grain of salt, he's an auto driver, has piss poor car sense and hated the car from day one (he's had it maybe a month. I'm hoping the trans may just be low on lube, or the cables ned adjusting.
3 - he says the rear brake are in need of repair ... when I looked at it for him the master was almost empty ...
4 needs rear wheel bearing hub ... givenb the stock rear wheel (drivers) is busted up (good chunk out of outer wheel lip) I can see that being needed

Otherwise it's good on gas, has no other leaks (besides the blatant coolant leak - he did have enough sense to park it once he pooched it - and he says it drives fine. I've known the guy for years and honestly this was not his kind of car .... he needs pretty, clean and trouble free or it's a lemon in his eyes ... and if it needs a repair ... must be junk.

The water neck is easy enough, hell even the brakes are fiarly staraight forward (even given the ABS), the rear hub is mickey mouse work ... but the tranny issue has me concerned ...

any advice from the guru's?

This is just going to be my commuter for a once a week trip to work and back (I work 8 days in 6 days out at work on the ocean) I have to travel 248kms going there and then back the following week. Is it work fixing or should I just fix the major stuff and flip it?


Re: 1998 Sunfire GT
Sunday, June 24, 2012 4:30 AM
My trans started to shift a lil harder when it was real low on fluid. Got better after i re-filled it. But the Isuzu trans isn't really the best shifting trans in the world anyways. Also, check the clutch fluid reservoir. The slave cylinders like to go bad and start leaking fluid, once it's leaked all out, it gets harder to shift since the clutch won't fully disengage.

i find it amusing that SHOoff has nothing better to do but follow me around & be an unhelpful dick in even cross-forum. - Jon Mick
Re: 1998 Sunfire GT
Sunday, June 24, 2012 4:56 PM
picked up a new water outlet filled with water (to test). pulled and dielectric greased the plug boots, gave it a good once over and pulled the tropuble codes (P0113, P0118 - expected since it was guishing water). Fired up no issues and let it run for a few then reveed it to 2000rpm for a bit and she warmed up and held a nice even temp ...
toptal bill so far -
$67 for towing
$38 for parts
$250 for the car.

Just need to get a new rim from the wreckers and swap the water out for coolant, an oil change and top things off.

Going to have to do some reading, can't remember where the fill plug for the trans is located anymore.
Re: 1998 Sunfire GT
Sunday, July 15, 2012 5:38 PM
Good find!
I used the dipstick tube to add trans fluid. Look under the brake master cylinder, near the back of trans case.


Re: 1998 Sunfire GT
Sunday, July 15, 2012 9:16 PM
agreed... use the trans dipstick tube...

Re: 1998 Sunfire GT
Sunday, July 15, 2012 9:16 PM
Thanks ended up putting a new wheel (rim) and a new wheel bearing on the drivers rear.
Got bored and piainted the stock GT 16" alloys gloss black.
Changed the trans fluid for new stuff.
Second gear is still grinding over 35 km/h (~20mph) on the downshift so I usually skip it if I can or wait until it's slowed down enough to ease into it. On the upshift from first if I try to shift too fast it'll grind a little, sometimes, so again, I baby second and it seems to work. All other gears are fine. Clutch still seems to grab like new.
Insured it and drove 248km's to work with no issues, temp guage read at the middle of the guage except on a big uphill climb where I had to wind it up a bit ... then it went to the the upper end of the middle ... from what I've read this is normal for the 2.4.
Gets great mileage and rides nice, It's a pretty good car for the price work so far, needs new front brake pads soonish ... and the stock cassette deck is kinda a letdown ... good thing I kept all my favourite tapes (or should I say I just haven't bothered to toss them yet).
For 210,000 km's it's a pretty good ride.

Re: 1998 Sunfire GT
Sunday, July 15, 2012 9:26 PM
Oh, and I'm giving some thought to painting either an offset rally stripe or painting the lower section (below the body line) gloss black as well. It just looks too plain jane, nothing fancy just a (good) rattle can job given I'm hoping the trans will survive a year, or a few more than that.
Re: 1998 Sunfire GT
Friday, July 20, 2012 6:15 PM
Heck of a find!

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