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2G $1500 Gst buy, bad compression and ticking lifters


Probationary Member
Dec 8, 2013
Boca Raton, Florida
So, i've been looking for a dsm for a while now, i wanted something clean, automatic and stock ish. Then this 2g Gs-t popped up for $1500. I was first to see the car, figured what the hell this would be easy to flip even if it has problems, so I bought it. Well, I keep getting the urge to build the car up instead of selling it, but i am lost on where I should start. Buffed out the paint, fixed door handles and oil leaks. Now its leaking water/coolant, lifters are ticking after an oil change, has bad tires and my compression test is coming up as 178, 165, 172, 120. First cylinder is the culprit, and it tested 130 wet. Oil pan was extremely clean, no shavings just kinda beat up. It has 129k miles, 97 Gs-t, stock other than BoV, my plans were to have a quick and clean 2g DD with reliability in mind! But my question is where should I start? Most likely need to take car of the low compression cylinder first, should I get someone to help diagnose and fix it myself, machine shop, send it to a shop, buy a new engine, etc? Any advice or input is much appreciated!
First bought it:
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Buffed out:
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15+ Year Contributor
Feb 27, 2008
Lexington Park, Maryland
Seems like you made out pretty well for $1500, the car looks pretty clean from posted pics. If you did the wet test by pouring a cap full of oil in the cylinder and it only went up 10 psi then its probably your valves which you already are suspecting. But, you stated you wanted a reliable DD so you might as well take out the motor, take it to a machine shop and do a stock rebuild and also do an overhaul of all the seals, o-rings, belts water pump, tensioner etc.


DSM Wiseman
Aug 16, 2004
Columbia, Missouri
I would do a leak down test to find out where it is leaking compression. It will likely be broken ring lands, or a bad valve. If it is just a valve than i would just have the head rebuilt and reinstall with new timing parts. With only 130k miles i wouldn't even worry about a rebuild at this point unless the bottom end has problems. Most of the time these engines have very little wear with that kind of mileage.


Probationary Member
Dec 8, 2013
Boca Raton, Florida
Okay, I'll buy/rent a leak down tester asap. Head would be a lot more easier to deal with. If i have tomorrow off, im gonna figure out where this water/coolant leak is too. The rad cap housing is dry and rotting, might need to be replaced..
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Proven Member
Apr 14, 2014
allen park, Michigan
Good deal man
Once over everything and you should be alright
And if not everything is right here LOL


10+ Year Contributor
Nov 20, 2008
somerset, Kentucky
You might be surprised how well that cleans up or how deep some of the pitting may be. Yours doesn't look too bad. Looks more like rust deposits that might just clean right off.
Usually when I'm tearing into a car most parts like that end up getting taken to work and I'll sand blast them off just to clean them up and expose whats really there.

And like B wheat said you may also be surprised at what the block looks like. Mine had over 140k when pulled and you could still see the cross hatching lines in the cylinders.
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