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Author Topic: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!  (Read 938 times)

Offline danf

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I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« on: Jul 12, 2020, 07:34:28 pm »
Well, I did finally buy another car. I've officially upgraded to a car made in the late 90s! I've only driven 70s and 80s vehicles for like 30 years lol.

I bought a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. I wouldn't have bothered with these types of cars but this has the Series II 3800 Supercharged engine. While the engine is pretty reliable, it is known for having leaky valve cover, intake manifold gaskets, as well as plastic coolant bypass elbows that like to crack when it gets cold out.

Car hasn't quite rolled over 200,000 km (or 125,000 miles.) It has been maintained but needs a bit of work. It drives fine but I need to fix the rear valve cover leak (GM's recall, in typical half-ass GM fashion, only changes the front valve cover gasket for the recalls.)

I got the car for a reasonable price, $1500 here or maybe $1100 USD - our dollar stinks right now. Even if I spend $1000-1500 it will be a reliable car to bomb around in, especially in our rainy winter season when I don't want to drive the Celica.

So far, I've found bad rear struts and rear sway bar end links (all fixed now), almost all idlers on the serpentine are squeaking/grinding. The checked the supercharger with my mechanic's stethoscope and don't hear anything abnormal in the snout. I couldn't feel any slop in the supercharger pulley so that checks out OK too. The only thing other than the struts, belts/pulleys, and leaking valve cover? intake? (won't know until I start dismantling...) is the original exhaust. This was a local car, so almost no rust.

The car itself is in decent shape with a few issues here and there. I knew one of the power windows was sticking when I bought it. And a lens is broken on one of the courtesy lights. That's all small stuff compared to the oil leak though.

Nowadays this engine isn't really all that fast. But in the 90s, a car with 300 lb ft of torque/240-260 bhp was pretty unusual. I remember a relative had a 1993? 1994 family sedan something or other and it only had like 130 bhp.

I've been reading some upgrades for this engine (in the $2k area) can almost double the power out of this engine. So a 3500lb car with close to 500 hp. I'm trying to avoid the urge for now...  :heh:
SELECT celica FROM toyota WHERE year<=1985;

1985 GT-S
-Rebuilt engine: bored .020 over, oversize valves, new cam
-Thorley header w/heated O2 sensor at collector & all new exhaust
-Impact6 strut bar
-3.9LSD rearend, which is now slipping
-Lots of bodywork and new paint!
-New cd player to cover up all those squeaks and rattles
-JK short-throw shifter


Offline twotone_ra64

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #1 on: Jul 12, 2020, 11:09:06 pm »
MOAR POWAH!! That amazing how you can double the HP output. Also, do share a pic of this thing!!
Celica the '84 Two-tone RA64 - Phase 2 In Progress! (159k); 1UZ-FE V8 Swap, W58 5-speed swap, Koni x Swift x T3 suspension, 6G Celica seat belts, TRD 2-way LSD, Konig Rewind 15x7" +0, zenki taillights, Cobra Imola Pro-fit seat, T3 seat rails
Mia the '91 Miata - Revived Twice! (264k); BP-5A 1.8L swap, an NB in NA clothes
Lilith the '94 Legend GS - The New Smooth Daily™ :shades: (144k)

Offline ozzie

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #2 on: Jul 13, 2020, 02:13:47 am »
Those engines had problems with spinning rod bearings, keep up with oil changes and don't let it overheat. Other then that, I used to bomb around in a caprice? with the non-blown variant, and it wasn't a bad engine.

And enjoy the torque steer!
'84 Celica GT - 261k mi

Offline danf

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #3 on: Jul 13, 2020, 02:16:37 am »
The torque steer is mostly why I avoided anything in the 90s. This car was interesting enough to try though.

I'll grab a picture at some point. I have one on my phone but using this site on the phone is painful to say the least. I'll have to get it on my computer first. I think I can use my tablet to do that wirelessly, we'll see.

Edit: I saw on a thread someone posted a dyno with some pretty heavy mods, and it was making 430 bhp and 480 lb-ft of torque. That's just nuts. I also saw a clip on youtube with a modified one running (not sure if it's the same one as in the thread I was reading) 10.82 @ 126 mph in the quarter mile. Turns out the transmissions are pretty damn weak though, so maybe I'll leave it stock for now...  :heh:
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2020, 02:36:58 am by danf »
SELECT celica FROM toyota WHERE year<=1985;

1985 GT-S
-Rebuilt engine: bored .020 over, oversize valves, new cam
-Thorley header w/heated O2 sensor at collector & all new exhaust
-Impact6 strut bar
-3.9LSD rearend, which is now slipping
-Lots of bodywork and new paint!
-New cd player to cover up all those squeaks and rattles
-JK short-throw shifter


Offline Sigma Projects

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #4 on: Jul 13, 2020, 05:48:12 am »
Those engines were great swap candidates for Fieros.
1984 Celica GT Coupe    sold and missed it
1983 Celica GT Coupe    attacked... will miss it (RIP) JY
1982 Celica GT Liftback  sold and won't miss it, lol
1985 Celica GT Coupe    new love =P

2000 Honda Insight Daily Beater
1987 MR2 now mine because brother in law got shit from the father in law :heh:
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My Website

Offline danf

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #5 on: Jul 24, 2020, 05:59:07 pm »
Those engines were great swap candidates for Fieros.

Yeah, that should've been what they came with from the factory.  :ohmy:

So. I have two lights on the dashboard. A few weeks ago I found a scanner for $120 on sale that was supposed to read them. Turns out GM needs a special scan tool to scan non-ECU codes.  :mad:

I found it needs the GM Tech2 scanner, and about crapped my pants when I saw it was $2500 USD.

So I found a clone made in China for $220 USD, and it should be getting sent my way soon. Shipping was super expensive though. By the time the conversion happened it was almost $400.

BUT

The local GM dealer wanted $170 to read the codes. I'm going to have to do this more than once most likely so it'll pay itself off in no time.

At least I'll be able to figure out why the ABS and SRS lights are on. I suspect maybe a bad wheel bearing but I checked play by hand and don't feel anything unusual. I hear these cars have had problems with the wiring that runs along the control arm. Hopefully that's all it is but I really need a hint (ie which friggen wheel) so I know where to look...

Edit: I just read this clone can also cycle the ABS for brake bleeding. That makes the tool worth it lol.
SELECT celica FROM toyota WHERE year<=1985;

1985 GT-S
-Rebuilt engine: bored .020 over, oversize valves, new cam
-Thorley header w/heated O2 sensor at collector & all new exhaust
-Impact6 strut bar
-3.9LSD rearend, which is now slipping
-Lots of bodywork and new paint!
-New cd player to cover up all those squeaks and rattles
-JK short-throw shifter


Offline Sigma Projects

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #6 on: Jul 24, 2020, 07:13:35 pm »
Yea unfortunate that we have to get chinese gear because of how expensive it is to buy in the US, especially when some of them (looking at you MAC Tools) is just rebranded chinese stuff. We'd use the Launch brand a lot in the small shop I worked at.
1984 Celica GT Coupe    sold and missed it
1983 Celica GT Coupe    attacked... will miss it (RIP) JY
1982 Celica GT Liftback  sold and won't miss it, lol
1985 Celica GT Coupe    new love =P

2000 Honda Insight Daily Beater
1987 MR2 now mine because brother in law got shit from the father in law :heh:
My Instagram
My Website

Offline ozzie

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #7 on: Jul 24, 2020, 07:29:25 pm »
I want to get an HPTuners MPVI2 for my truck. It can do most of the diagnostic stuff, and also tuning. Not sure if it works on your car, but it might be worth looking into. I don't think you need credits for diagnostics, only tuning, and the base unit is $300 USD.
'84 Celica GT - 261k mi

Offline danf

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #8 on: Jul 25, 2020, 01:32:51 am »
I want to get an HPTuners MPVI2 for my truck. It can do most of the diagnostic stuff, and also tuning. Not sure if it works on your car, but it might be worth looking into. I don't think you need credits for diagnostics, only tuning, and the base unit is $300 USD.

Hey, that's interesting thanks for the model. I'm going to keep that around...

Problem is with a lot of the GM models pre-2013/14 the only scan tool that will read other module codes other than the ECU. There's actually a lot of bitching about this on pro forums. Apparently while they started using the CAN bus there's some proprietary protocols on top.

Basically from what I read after days of research: You have to have the Tech2 for GM cars. Otherwise you're locked out of everything but the ECU. The Tech2 is apparently what the dealer uses for their cars and can even do reflashes with some expensive subscription - but the subscription is not needed for the other functions of the tool.

I tried the first scan tool I bought on my truck and it read the ABS codes no problem. Now that wheel bearing is toast and I have to replace it, hopefully tomorrow.
SELECT celica FROM toyota WHERE year<=1985;

1985 GT-S
-Rebuilt engine: bored .020 over, oversize valves, new cam
-Thorley header w/heated O2 sensor at collector & all new exhaust
-Impact6 strut bar
-3.9LSD rearend, which is now slipping
-Lots of bodywork and new paint!
-New cd player to cover up all those squeaks and rattles
-JK short-throw shifter


Offline ozzie

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #9 on: Jul 25, 2020, 07:10:54 am »
Problem is with a lot of the GM models pre-2013/14 the only scan tool that will read other module codes other than the ECU. There's actually a lot of bitching about this on pro forums. Apparently while they started using the CAN bus there's some proprietary protocols on top.

My parent's Escapes have something similar. For the systems other then the ECU, Ford used a standard CAN bus interface, but put it on a different set of pins on the OBDII port. There's a program called FORScan you can use with a modified ELM327 (modded with a switch to swap to the alternate pins) to read those systems.
'84 Celica GT - 261k mi

Offline danf

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #10 on: Jul 25, 2020, 11:50:00 pm »
Picture.
SELECT celica FROM toyota WHERE year<=1985;

1985 GT-S
-Rebuilt engine: bored .020 over, oversize valves, new cam
-Thorley header w/heated O2 sensor at collector & all new exhaust
-Impact6 strut bar
-3.9LSD rearend, which is now slipping
-Lots of bodywork and new paint!
-New cd player to cover up all those squeaks and rattles
-JK short-throw shifter


Offline twotone_ra64

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #11 on: Jul 26, 2020, 06:11:45 am »
I really dig the aftermarket wheels. All too often, I saw these things prowling around Flint MI with the disgusting stock wheels on 'em. Are they XXRs?
Celica the '84 Two-tone RA64 - Phase 2 In Progress! (159k); 1UZ-FE V8 Swap, W58 5-speed swap, Koni x Swift x T3 suspension, 6G Celica seat belts, TRD 2-way LSD, Konig Rewind 15x7" +0, zenki taillights, Cobra Imola Pro-fit seat, T3 seat rails
Mia the '91 Miata - Revived Twice! (264k); BP-5A 1.8L swap, an NB in NA clothes
Lilith the '94 Legend GS - The New Smooth Daily™ :shades: (144k)

Offline danf

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #12 on: Jul 26, 2020, 02:18:52 pm »
I really dig the aftermarket wheels. All too often, I saw these things prowling around Flint MI with the disgusting stock wheels on 'em. Are they XXRs?

That's actually a good question. I knew the wheels weren't stock (the ones on the car are 17" not 16") but I'm not aware of any stamping on the wheel - but then again I wasn't exactly looking for one.  :heh:

The car doesn't exactly stand out, it just looks like a regular car. At least this one is a coupe. Somewhere along the line GM discontinued the coupe.
SELECT celica FROM toyota WHERE year<=1985;

1985 GT-S
-Rebuilt engine: bored .020 over, oversize valves, new cam
-Thorley header w/heated O2 sensor at collector & all new exhaust
-Impact6 strut bar
-3.9LSD rearend, which is now slipping
-Lots of bodywork and new paint!
-New cd player to cover up all those squeaks and rattles
-JK short-throw shifter


Offline Sigma Projects

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #13 on: Jul 26, 2020, 04:11:01 pm »
The wheels do look nice from this angle, but i wouldn't say the stock wheels are ugly, they're probably one of GM's better wheels since they're relatively simple in design.
1984 Celica GT Coupe    sold and missed it
1983 Celica GT Coupe    attacked... will miss it (RIP) JY
1982 Celica GT Liftback  sold and won't miss it, lol
1985 Celica GT Coupe    new love =P

2000 Honda Insight Daily Beater
1987 MR2 now mine because brother in law got shit from the father in law :heh:
My Instagram
My Website

Offline danf

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Re: I bought a new (er) car. It's supercharged!
« Reply #14 on: Jul 26, 2020, 05:22:50 pm »
I'll get more of a side shot later. It's supposed to be hot out today so I'm gonna be hiding in my air conditioned house and play PS4  :heh:
SELECT celica FROM toyota WHERE year<=1985;

1985 GT-S
-Rebuilt engine: bored .020 over, oversize valves, new cam
-Thorley header w/heated O2 sensor at collector & all new exhaust
-Impact6 strut bar
-3.9LSD rearend, which is now slipping
-Lots of bodywork and new paint!
-New cd player to cover up all those squeaks and rattles
-JK short-throw shifter


 

cognitive