WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/29/11 10:26 p.m.

still looking for ideas locally i checked out a lot that is run by an eastern european guy that loves old fiats and tdi swaps and told me that i dont want to DD the 128 he has for sale... i.e. actually honest about it. he even used to run an x1/9 with scca.

anyway, he's got a bright blue 03 turbo 5sp pt cruiser that i didnt even initially check out because i dont generally like them. but one little 'turbo' badge snowballed into a test drive which surprised the hell out of me. I actually really liked it.

it struck me as a useful neon with good power, not srt4 power, but certainly entertaining. this one needs a few things like shocks, brake rotors, perhaps engine mounts, and i'd need snow tires, and it looks like engine bay access is REALLY bad. but overall i loved the shifter, seats were great, handled well enough with bad shocks, and there's lots of neon stuff out there to make it more interesting....

so are they chrysler crap or an overlooked useful semi-sleeper?

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
1/29/11 11:46 p.m.

Aren't they called the GT Cruiser? I think they are slightly down on power capability compared to the SRT4 because of packaging constraints. They are heavier of course because of the big body but other than that I don't know any other reason they couldn't just be considered a fat neon. They get lots of crap here because of the retro wannabe styling but they are overall just fine. Sister has had one since new and the only problem in 100k has been a sunroof drain that disconnected and got the headliner wet.

forzav12
forzav12 Reader
1/30/11 1:40 a.m.

nice little under-appreciated sleeper. If the styling agrees with you, why not?.

BoneYard_Racing
BoneYard_Racing Reader
1/30/11 7:10 a.m.
MrJoshua wrote: Aren't they called the GT Cruiser? I think they are slightly down on power capability compared to the SRT4 because of packaging constraints. They are heavier of course because of the big body but other than that I don't know any other reason they couldn't just be considered a fat neon. They get lots of crap here because of the retro wannabe styling but they are overall just fine. Sister has had one since new and the only problem in 100k has been a sunroof drain that disconnected and got the headliner wet.

Sort of the GT cruiser is 215hp ATX only the PT turbo is 180hp non-intercooled SRT4 engine with a T350HD 5spd.

Both are neat cars anything that works on an SRT4 works engine bays are a hair cramped other than that great sleepers

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 HalfDork
1/30/11 7:49 a.m.

My experience with PT Cruisers consists of a single day with a loaner vehicle. My impression was quite favorable. The car struck me as a competent mover of people and stuff that was halfway fun to drive. I'm sure the turbo would just make it more so.

And I've done a neon timing belt, so that wouldn't scare me.

njansenv
njansenv HalfDork
1/30/11 7:53 a.m.

The early GT's were definitely available with the 215hp+manual 5-speed. Neat cars, and I'm pretty sure the Staged Chrysler kits work on them.

RealMiniDriver
RealMiniDriver Dork
1/30/11 8:09 a.m.

I rented an automatic GT Cruiser for a week. It was fun and practical, but something about the seating position gave me hip issues. A friend also had a 5spd PT that eventually sold it, because he, too, was having hip problems due to the seating. YMMV

carzan
carzan HalfDork
1/30/11 8:17 a.m.

My father has the non-turbo version. He likes it except he says the fuel mileage is crap (like LOW 20s)...even compared to his old Stratus. It seems to be a common complaint. I would imagine the turbo version would be worse.

petegossett
petegossett GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/30/11 8:20 a.m.

We have 2 non-GT PT's for company cars, which have been nothing but trouble over their ~60kmi life. One has had a series of odd electrical problems(which also matches my experience with other Chrysler products) like a PCU failure, wiring for the fuel pump self-destructing, and a random oil pressure light. Both eat ball-joints & control arm bushings way too quickly, and are giving me CEL's for cat failures.

I refuse to drive them, I'd rather rack up miles on my car than be condemned to that hell known as PT Cruiser.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/30/11 11:01 a.m.

my sister had a non-turbo 5-speed PT and she loved it. drunk driver hit it while parked in her driveway, otherwise she'd still be driving it. i drove it several times and also enjoyed it quite a bit, for what it was. she had zero issues with it in 6 years of ownership from new.

so yeah, i'd rock the turbo 5speed PT.

Hal
Hal Dork
1/30/11 12:59 p.m.

My sister-in-law has two 5sp Cruisers. Don't think either are turboed. She bought the first one new 5-6 years ago. It is one of the "woodie" versions.

She liked it so well she just traded her Camry in on another used one.

Only problem I have ever heard her mention is the plastic bumpers color fading.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/30/11 3:05 p.m.

where is this 128?

Travis_K
Travis_K Dork
1/30/11 3:58 p.m.

If you like it I dont think there is anything wrong with buying it if you want. I really dont like them at all, but only for reasons that are obvious right away (seat are very uncomfortable, bad handling, etc).

Matt B
Matt B HalfDork
1/30/11 5:17 p.m.

If you got it you could say you had the same taste in cars as this guy:

just messin' - maybe this will help

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Reader
1/30/11 7:47 p.m.

The bride has a '04 PT GT 5 spd. She's a little old lady & drives like one so the performance aspects of the car are wasted on her. I rarely drive it but when I do I like it. 46,000 miles so far. The only issure has been a camshaft position sensor that went bad & as covered under warrenty. I have read that the timing belts on these cars are a biotch to replace but that's needed only every 90,000 miles or so.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
1/30/11 10:17 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: where is this 128?

boston area. he put is x1/9 wheels on it for pics just because he wanted to see what it looked like... he said you really cant steer it like that apparently he's also got an Autobianchi A112 for sale

here's the 128 http://eurocargarage.com/webtemplate.aspx?iid=675116

Vigo
Vigo Dork
1/31/11 12:19 a.m.

Glad to hear the very reasonable reactions to the PT here.. no 'OMG its a f'ing neon +500 lbs are you f'ing crazy?'.

Anywho, the utility factor is there, the sleeper factor is DEFINITELY there (debadge and different wheels and it aint a turbo anymore to 99% of people), and the power.. the sky is the limit. I know for a fact people have made around 700 hp in 2.4L Pt cruisers before, and people have made over 800 hp in srt4s, and this is based only on my vague, passing knowledge of the turbo 2.4 scene.

miatame
miatame Reader
1/31/11 11:07 a.m.
M2Pilot wrote: but that's needed only every 90,000 miles or so.

That would explain why this is being sold at 89k miles...

miatame
miatame Reader
1/31/11 11:09 a.m.

Interference engine or not?

The mechanic said "no it isn't an interference engine, it has a sensor that shuts everything down if the timing belt breaks". Dave and I just sort of stared at the guy..."ORLY?"

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
1/31/11 11:16 a.m.
miatame wrote: Interference engine or not? The mechanic said "no it isn't an interference engine, it has a sensor that shuts everything down if the timing belt breaks". Dave and I just sort of stared at the guy..."ORLY?"

Can i retrofit that sensor?

Vigo
Vigo Dork
1/31/11 11:20 a.m.

Lol, bald-faced lies!

A hard timing belt is still easier than pulling and disassembling the head AND doing the timing belt, so the wise thing to do is suck it up and do it right away and then forget about it for another 2 years.

ProjectVIN
ProjectVIN New Reader
1/31/11 12:22 p.m.
miatame wrote: Interference engine or not? The mechanic said "no it isn't an interference engine, it has a sensor that shuts everything down if the timing belt breaks". Dave and I just sort of stared at the guy..."ORLY?"

I own an SRT-4 and from my research the 2.4 is sort of a semi-interference motor. The valves can't hit pistons, but if the belt goes in the upper RPM range there's a slight possibility of valve-to-valve contact, but you'd have to be really unlucky to actually have that happen.

fastEddie
fastEddie SuperDork
1/31/11 2:24 p.m.

Didn't someone in another thread just talk about 7-8 hours labor to change a water pump or something like that? I don't know if the WP's are weak points or what but the cramped engine bay in general would be a concern for me.

Duke
Duke SuperDork
1/31/11 3:27 p.m.
ProjectVIN wrote: I own an SRT-4 and from my research the 2.4 is sort of a semi-interference motor. The valves can't hit pistons, but if the belt goes in the upper RPM range there's a slight possibility of valve-to-valve contact, but you'd have to be really unlucky to actually have that happen.

I admit I don't know much about the turbos, but the NA 2.0 is most assuredly a full interference motor, and the NA 2.4 DOHC head is identical to the 2.0 DOHC head. Could be the turbo pistons are shallower to reduce compression and therefore avoid valve contact, but I don't know.

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Reader
1/31/11 3:31 p.m.
ProjectVIN wrote:
miatame wrote: Interference engine or not? I own an SRT-4 and from my research the 2.4 is sort of a semi-interference motor. The valves can't hit pistons, but if the belt goes in the upper RPM range there's a slight possibility of valve-to-valve contact, but you'd have to be really unlucky to actually have that happen.
That's my impresson too.
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