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Old 01-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default Thinking about picking up a Galant VR4

There is one for sale pretty close to me and I'm tempted to pick it up as my next daily driver. It would be kept mostly stock except for a few things like balance shaft delete, 4ws delete (most likely) and things like that. Might increase power because its irresistible but not for awhile. Suspension upgrades. I doubt it would ever be competitive in autox so I think i'll save my 323 GTX for the fun stuff.

Pros:
4 doors (dog approved)
AWD
Turbo
Strong trans that can be sourced easily
EFI system i'm already familiar with
Comfortable

Cons:
Ugly as sin
Legondary 4g63 reliability
Heavy

Guy wants 4200 but i'm going to offer him less. I think thats a little too much. Has 130k miles. Looks pretty damn straight from the pics. After the GTX i'm addicted to these old homologation cars.

What might I not be considering? If not this car, any other suggestions for under 5k?
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Do you have actual experience with DSMs and 4G63-powered cars?

I love the idea of the GVR-4 and my buddy had one that was pretty legendary, but I often find the romance and the reality diverge. A lot of it will depend on your willingness to constantly tinker on the car and your discipline in modifications.

My experience is that finding an unmolested GVR-4 is exceedingly rare. You will most likely experience a number of "WTF?!" moments at some point in the experience as you try to undo whatever dickery the previous owner implemented.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
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I love the riddle that is DSM. But my time owning one was definitely more than I bargained for.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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I'm tired of older cars.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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DO IT! Great cars, yes ugly, but a ton of potential, and the reliability issue is a myth. If this thing is unmolested then you are at a great starting point. I drove utterly reliable DSMs for over a decade...no reason that this one won't be great. ****, my Miata even runs on a GVR4 ecu and harness lol.

Pics? Link to ad?
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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If I were looking for a mechanic, I would weight long-term DSM ownership more heavily than having an ASE certification.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
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Do like, but here are some other options:
99-01 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
Older WRX
Can't beat $4K though
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
If I were looking for a mechanic, I would weight long-term DSM ownership more heavily than having an ASE certification.


But then you got a mechanic that wants to stick a 42r on any internal combustion motor in existance
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdesigns View Post
DO IT! Great cars, yes ugly, but a ton of potential, and the reliability issue is a myth. If this thing is unmolested then you are at a great starting point. I drove utterly reliable DSMs for over a decade...no reason that this one won't be great. ****, my Miata even runs on a GVR4 ecu and harness lol.

Pics? Link to ad?
here they are.

I've been doing some research and it seems that the GVR4 actually might do pretty well in DSP autox. Can be lightened up a fair amount and can fit some pretty serious rubber under it. Not to mention evo 8 suspension almost bolts right up to it.

Name:  DSC_0014.jpg
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Name:  DSC_0012.jpg
Views: 2
Size:  308.4 KB
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #10
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I've always wanted one. I would consider it as a non-daily for sure.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:47 PM   #11
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Well I think I just bought a 500 dollar volvo daily beater =P

Between that, the GTX, and the VR4 I think the 3 of them would certainly make for one reliable daily driver lol.

And worst case scenario, the integra just got a GSR swap so my gf and I can always carpool haha.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:06 PM   #12
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Must watch Galant VR-4 video

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Old 01-10-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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Classic vid! Watched that a bunch of times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne_curr View Post
here they are.

I've been doing some research and it seems that the GVR4 actually might do pretty well in DSP autox. Can be lightened up a fair amount and can fit some pretty serious rubber under it. Not to mention evo 8 suspension almost bolts right up to it.

pics
Damn that's really clean. Probably worth everything he's asking (for the right buyer)...if everything works and you can get him down under $4K it'd be a great deal. You know about GalantVR4.org I'd guess?
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:45 PM   #14
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PM GreddyGalant over at club roadster, He's Nial's friend and Lazarus co-owner. He might have some good advice for ya.

I personally love Saabs. $4000 could get you a ---- ton of luxury, and most are turbo powered. Reliability is an issue though. Yet after a '94 900 and '93 9000, the only issue I had was the one thing everyone says to stay away from, automatics.

Check them out:
another project:
http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/2781318922.html
Great DD:
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ctd/2788416849.html


That last one is a V6, had one and loved it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:52 PM   #15
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I thought Saabs where unreliable?
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:59 PM   #16
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More than a galant GR4 or $500 Volvo? Not really. They usually have a few kinks to work out when new, which is why they're a great used option.

Edit: Automatics are another matter. They might as well have a piece of bread taped to the engine and shifter. It'd work just as well.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
More than a galant GR4 or $500 Volvo? Not really.

Most of the reliability issues associated with early DSMs (and technically, the GVR-4 is not a "DSM" since it was built in Japan) are really issues associated with the owners. Most of the time, the cars have ended up with younger owners who are inexperienced and poorly funded (think: the average ClubRoadster member).

It's their half-assed "fixes" and generally poor maintenance that causes a lot of the problems.

If you are a competent mechanic, willing to maintain the car properly (including potentially undoing a lot of the previous owner's "fixes") and have the discipline not to try and turn it in to another project car: go for it. They are very cool cars.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
It's their half-assed "fixes" and generally poor maintenance that causes a lot of the problems.
What do belts and oil changes have to do with electric sensor failure and bad suspension rubbers? When I had the VW and complained about reliability I always heard the maintenance argument...the window falling in the door, every sensor in the car failing, computer failing, heater core bursting, suspension bushings failing every 15k miles, and broken plastic parts are no maintenance sensitive.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:37 AM   #19
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I think its both actually: shitty design/materials from the factory AND terrible upkeep that turns them into nightmares.
Some cars, like DSMs, Volkswagens, Some bimmers, etc. Require way more maintenance and upkeep than others. I know some folks that replace the damn water pump every 20k miles on their audi. Some that basically overhaul all bushings on their e36 m3 every 30k miles or something retarded like that. You really SHOULDN'T HAVE TO do that much ---- to a car just to keep it running right. So that's a factory/design flaw.

Then you get kids that buy that car used, for pennies on the dollar, and invest all of 5 bux in maintaining them over the next year or two. The car ultimately ***** itself and they dump it on craigslist for someone like you to pick up: now you're stuck with a heaping tub of **** that needs to be completely overhauled or it will break down every other day.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:37 AM   #20
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Huh. More body roll than I expected in that video.
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