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I'm a new member and owned a 93 SL, 5 speed with over 150,000 miles on it. I owned it for over a year, absolutely trouble free. Bad day in my life was when I sold it. I am thinking of buying another 3000GT, and was contemplating the king, the VR4. All I'm reading about are the problems with the 6-speed, turbos, and other engine problems, none of which I had with my first one. Should I be thinking of just buying a nice SL, with a 5-speed or even an automatic? Are there things that can be done to the 222 hp version to make it faster, without spending the extra money on the turbo, all wheel drive version. Or are the problems you guys mention just in the minority of owners. Is the VR4 really worth the extra dough?
Thanks....Jerry New Member
 

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Welcome aboard Jerry,

>All I'm reading about are the problems with the 6-speed, turbos, and other engine problems

There are more options on a VR-4, so more can go wrong. However, if the car not driven too hard and well maintained it can last just as trouble free as your past car. Most posts as well are usually going to be when there is a problem they need help with and not going to be e.g. Hey I have no problems and I own a VR-4
.. at least not usually.

>Should I be thinking of just buying a nice SL, with a 5-speed or even an automatic?

What do you want from the car? If you want to get the SL but make it faster then you should buy the VR-4, but rumor is that you can add a twin-turbo kit for the non-turbos as well, but then you will be lacking AWD, AWS and the 6-speed and some others options.

>Is the VR4 really worth the extra dough?

In my opinion it is, especially if your buying used. New the difference in price is rather large but not so when buying used.

Hope this helps you make a good decision.

Mario 94 VR-4
 

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Most of the people on this board LOVE their cars... even with the problems. The Getrag tranny is the main problem with these cars ('cept maybe the weight!). I have not heard too many motor problems with the 3/S. The 3/S motors are very strong. Some people have had to replace their pistons but look closer at those problems... they are usually caused by detonation... running their boosts way up past what their fuel system can handle.

Another problem I have heard of is with the clutch. If you don't drag race, the stock clutch is more than enough for a mildy modded car. The aftermarket clutches are always a compromise between good holding power, pedal pressure and too much holding power. If you get a ceramic racing clutch that is grabby and DOESN'T slip, you'll be going through trannys and other misc. driveline components if you launch the car hard. I know that many people have had problems with the RPS Turbo Clucth Carbon but mine has been fine... and I do drive the car hard.

A motor problem that is common on our cars is the valve ticking or tapping problem. My car had the problem. After a motor flush with Gunk Motor Flush, the problem went away...

Back to the trannies... THAT is a true problem. The trannies aren't strong enough to handle the traction that the 2-ton 4 wheel drive monsters can generate. But again... if you don't drag race and you just drive the car hard on the street sometimes.... you SHOULD be OK.

To summarize, that VR4/RT Turbo is a very reliable car. Any car driven hard is gonna break. The only prob is the 3/S cars seem to cost a tiny fortune when they do break! Hey, my last car was an Alfa Romeo GTV6.... you wanna talk about tranny syncro problems!!! Or howabout reliability... my Stealth Turbo is A TON more reliable than the GTV6... parts are cheaper and more available too!!!

Any high performance automobile is gonna be less reliable than an econobox. But that's because we DRIVE our cars! I refuse to own an sports car and not take advantage of what it is designed to do! My suggestion... by the turbo!!! Have fun with it and worry about the problems when they come... believe me, it won't be that bad!

Jose Soriano
[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter #4
The other thing is too on a message board like this you see all the people with problems because they are looking for advice. I know lots of people who own these vehicals that are not having problems, they just don't post messages letting us know that!

Jason
 

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There is nothing wrong with the 6-speeds. It is the 5 speeds that seem to be weaker. Again, this MAY be related to abuse. The turbo's? I have not heard of any problems any worse than any other turbo cars. SPorts cars will always be fairly high maintenance. this is because of the abuse they must take, and the complexity in their design. Visit any other board, vette, f-body, stang, they all have things to complain about. As my 3rd perf. car, I would say this is one of the better ones, and I drive, ahem...agressively.
Only other consistent problems I know of, involve the seatbelt uptake, the power window motors, and the power antenna. Not bad altogether. The REAL downside in this car, is the lack of OEM support for replacement parts. Fortunately, we have some pretty good aftermarket support, and are quite industrious ourselves. But, if you want to play it safe, GM are offerring very reasonable leasing rates for Cavaliers. You'll still be dreaming twin turbos though.
 

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Remeber, just like everyone has said, it's only those with problems that are posting that they have problems. I have a 92 VR4, in 7 years I've done the general maintance thing but other than that replaced the driver window motor, $160 and a reverse light switch 4.95.

In all in how you drive it and take care of it and how the person before you took care of it. Check it out well and you should be safe.


You may also want to see if someone who is familiar with VR4s looks it over for you too before you buy. This is not fool proof by it could be helpful.

Good luck,

Dave Best
3Si #62
 
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For what is might be worth ... I sold a '94 3KGT and got a '93 VR4. I am facing the getrag replacement soon (only got 106,000 miles so far on a car with unknown previous abuses status) and I wouldn't get any other car. I've had Porsches and big BMWs and they can't hold a candle to the VR4. Sure I'd like a newer one, and I'd like to pay less for service, but for the fun it gives me, the VR4 is a bargain!

On the SL -> turbo option: remember that you had torque steer on the SL? Imagine what it'd be like with another 80 - 100 hp all going to the front wheels! Remember how easy it was to "lite the tires" on the SL? How well will you be able to 'hook up' with all the added torque going to the same tires?

Am I biased - you bet! And I'm pleased as punch to be a VR4 driver.
 

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The VR4 and Stealth Twin Turbo are, for the money the best exotic sports car value on the planet, bar none. The extras are too numerous to list. Let it suffice to say Consumer Reports called the Stealth RTTT a "Technological tour de force". Motor Trend: "Think of it as an affordable Ferrari 348." Road and Track: "The most outragious bod since the Lamborghini Countach", "it's accelleration earns the Dodge Stealth (RTTT) a place on the eliet registry of the worlds supercars." The Twin Turbo's are also one of the top ten fastest production cars in the world. Nuff said.

As for the problems, the key to avoiding them is finding a car with low milage that has been meticulously taken care of by it's owner and has not been drag raced or abused and taking care of it. Contact the owner, this is vital. Once you get ther car: Redline fluids in transmission, transfer case and Mobile One Synthetic Oil, no power shifts or hammer dropping. It took me almost 3 years to find her using the above criteria, but my 1993 Stealth Twin Turbo AWD is the finest and most enjoyable car I have ever owned. I was advised by nearly every 3SI member I contacted to buy the Twin Turbo model over every other in order to avoid the "not enough power" syndrome. They gave me wise counsel, I took their advise and never looked back. THANKS GUYS!!!

TAKE YOUR TIME, find a good VR4 or Stealth RTTT (1993 or younger) and BUY IT. If your worried about breakdowns buy an extended warranty, if that won't sooth you, buy a Toyota Camery and "forget about it"
(
Jerry S http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Track/6637/1998_october_quickening_misc.htm
 
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WOW...not only were the responses here in a hurry, but i'm convinced...it'll be the VR4, used, and I can't thank each of you enough for filling me in. You'll hear from me again when I find the right car...MOLTO GRAZIE
Jerry
 

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Jerry, paisano!, listen to these people, they know what they are talking about! Like you, I wanted a 3000GT since they first came out in 1991. I bought a used 1993 SL with an auto trans and 48K miles on it. I owned it two years and only replaced the front struts, plus did the 60K service. I recently traded it in with 100K miles on it for my 1995 VR-4 and I couldn't be happier! I asked Dave Best for some advice in an e-mail message, he gave me a lot of good sound advice. Plus I met him and many others at the Ocean City (MD) Gathering this year in May.

I am 44, this is my 15th car, 2nd 3000GT, and I learned a lot about cars and engines over the years because I wanted to, plus having a friend as a Chevy mechanic did help a lot. Most of my cars were Z-28 Camaro's, two of them were really quick. I know my way araound the inside of the infamous Chevy small block and how to get a lot of power out of that wonderful engine.

Like the others have said, sports cars tend to require more care, probably because we drive them harder. I don't beat my VR-4 to death, it's all stock (for now) and occasionally put her into "warp drive" when the need for speed arises. I've only owned the VR-4 for about 3 months and it's been great. I live in NJ and we will be getting snow soon and I can't wait to drive her in the snow. I have the 18" wheels with Michelin XGT-Z4's in the stock size. I need a reliable car and one that's fast and fun to drive. My former SL was great, but the VR-4 just add's more to an already fine car. The VR-4 is definately a female, with curves and a body like that, plus she can be gentle as a kitten or strong as a bull. As you can see, I'm sold! You won't regret it, just have each VR-4 you look at checked. It took me about a year to fine what I wanted that wasn't abused or modified too much.

Ciao paisano and good luck,

Brian - 1995 VR-4
 
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My advice to you is to watch out for the dealer. I have had various problems with my 95 VR-4. Most of these were due to a dealership with incompetent mechanics. I just had the front cylinder head rebuilt at a cost of $2200 with labor due to an incompetent dealership. Now, I find that the rear differential is bad, due to a jack ass towing my car without my knowledge (you must tow these on a flat bed). That will run $1229.06 only for parts. My problems are not typical.
But I hope this makes you scour dealer or mechanics to find one that is knowledgeable.
My grief with this particular dealer, Max Madsen, has been going on for a year and a half. My check engine light has been on for the whole duration. I however did read the code out and am fixing it myself. EGR system problem, code 43. Love the car, hate the dealers.
 
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