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95 GSX / 97 GST Spyder

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spyderdrifter

15+ Year Contributor
5,282
720
Jul 11, 2009
Somewhere in, Colorado
New Beginnings

Built in September of 1994 (early '95 model)

I found this GSX right after my 99 GS's transmission seized while heading to work one night. I wasn't really searching for one to buy, but was just browsing craigslist. It caught my eye since it was a GSX for only $1000, and I thought something was wrong with it. It turned out that the owner had an issue where it failed to start for him one night, and he bought a truck the next day. Then fixed the car and just parked it at his mom's house because he was just done messing with it. Fast forward to now. It had just been sitting for two years alone under a tree getting its clear coat baked off. He said he only wanted $1k since it had been parked and he didn't know if it'd still start up. So we hooked the battery to a his truck to jump it, got nothing. I messed with the battery cables and secured them better, and she started. A little rough at first, for the obvious reason, but shortly just started purring like she had never been sitting. We then noticed fuel dripping from the feed side of the fuel rail and quickly shut it off. It needed a new o-ring, and it had a flat tire, so no test drive, but after my inspection of it, and getting to hear it at least run, I knew I wanted it. So my wife and I talked and asked him if he'd be willing to hold it for us for two weeks so that we could gather the cash and come back. He lived an hour from town, so with our work schedules, and now one running car, we had to wait to come back. To our surprise, he agreed, and didn't even want money up front to hold it. His only requests was that his car went to a good home where it wouldn't be riced out and abused. So I showed him pictures of my old spyder and others I've had and he was satisfied. So when we came back, I had new O-rings for the fuel rail, he had the tire issue resolved, and I finally got to test drive it. Most of the switches inside were bad, and didn't work. It was a bit dirty from sitting so long, and had a nice collection of pine needles, but nothing was nasty at least. It drove well, and I was even more convinced I wanted it. The owner even admitted he wasn't so sure he wanted to sell it after the drive since it had been his first car, but now it's mine. I didn't try to lower the price on him since he was upfront and honest about everything, and it all checked out. And since it was more sentimental with selling it, I didn't want to add any bad feelings.

So I paid him, promised to give him updates once in a while and drove off. She runs pretty good after being revived from two years of sleeping, and I couldn't be happier. There are a few little issues, but that's to be expected from a 23 year old DSM. I want this one to be a perfect DD with some extra power, but looking mainly to keep it original. The only issue there though, is I want to keep it a 2GA car, but still like the 2GB body more. We'll see. Depends on if anyone buys the GS. If not, I may do the body swap, but will still keep the 2GA parts so that I have all the original pieces, minus the interior. I'm changing that to black regardless of the 2GB swap.



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It looks like it has a 16G installed (or maybe 14B?). The previous owner said he couldn't remember what turbo it was since it had been several years.

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Got maybe half the interior swapped here.

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Congratulations on finding the GSX. i hope this one is in great mechanical shape.
Thanks, so far it does seem to be, minus a little sluggishness in shifting and some other tiny things, most likely due to sitting for two years.

Looks like a good starting point. Gonna swap anything else over from the OZ? Spoiler? Bumpers? Rims?
I've already swapped the OZ interior to the GSX, and would like to do all the 2GB parts as well. However, my wife wants me to try to sell it since it's done nothing but sit anyway. So, Once I get the gray interior from the GSX put in it, I'll post it up for sale. If it doesn't sell within one month, then I'll remove the 2GB parts and sell the rest to the salvage yard. I don't think it'll sell anyway since it's n/t, automatic, and broken, so the salvage yard route may actually happen. We shall see.
 
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Thanks, so far it does seem to be, minus a little sluggishness in shifting and some other tiny things, most likely due to sitting for two years.


I've already swapped the OZ interior to the GSX, and would like to do all the 2GB parts as well. However, my wife wants me to try to sell it since it's done nothing but sit anyway. So, Once I get the gray interior from the GSX put in it, I'll post it up for sale. If it doesn't sell within one month, then I'll remove the 2GB parts and sell the rest to the salvage yard. I don't think it'll sell anyway since it's n/t, automatic, and broken, so the salvage yard route may actually happen. We shall see.
Either way good luck. Was jealous when you found the rust bucket GSX and was sad when you sold the Spyder. Hopefully this GSX is nicer to you, best of luck to ya.
 
Either way good luck. Was jealous when you found the rust bucket GSX and was sad when you sold the Spyder. Hopefully this GSX is nicer to you, best of luck to ya.

Thanks, I really wanted to restore that rust bucket, but my spyder was having too many drivetrain problems to ignore doing the awd swap. In the end I had to sell the spyder to pay for a lawyer to fight a case for me. Despite the spyder's little problems, I loved it. Miss it every day and still wish I didn't sell it. Hopefully it's being taken care of by its new owner. He said he'd send me updates once in a while, but haven't heard anything, as I figured I wouldn't. The previous owner of my gsx seemed to be as attached to it as I was my spyder. During the test drive, it ended up bringing up old memories for him (was his first car) and even jokingly mentioned he really shouldn't sell it. But it was just sitting under a tree wasting away. For now, I only plan to restore it and have it be as great looking as the day it was built. No real plans for performance other than making sure all maintenance is done, and has all the proper parts, etc... Might eventually do small bolt-ons like intake, BOV, maybe a fmic. I do want to get a better turbo though. It does have a 16g, but I'm pretty sure it's a knock-off. So that'll be addressed when the time comes. Biggest thing is paint though. It needs a repaint badly. But that'll come later too. Maintenance first. Just bought new plugs and a fuel filter today. I got new front brake rotors and rear pads that I bought for the spyder, but never installed. Got to get front pads and the rear rotors now, which I priced today. Gonna have to order the rotors since it has the rarer vented rear rotors.
 
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I was actually excited when I heard you got this car. I am slightly tempted to buy off your 2ga set if you decide to go 2gb.. but I've done so much work to go full 2gb already.

Still though, enjoy your GSX!
 
I was actually excited when I heard you got this car. I am slightly tempted to buy off your 2ga set if you decide to go 2gb.. but I've done so much work to go full 2gb already.

I would if you really wanted them, but for now, I just plan to keep them stored and repaint them one day since 2GA parts are harder to find (at least for me) and rarely seen on the road.
 
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I finally changed my spark plugs yesterday and then my car started misfiring horribly when I had to leave for work. CEL came on and gave me a P0304 code for cyl 4 misfire. Since I was limited on time, I quickly checked the plugs and wires to see if I failed to connect something fully. Nothing was found. Swapped a couple plug wires, no change. So I had my wife drop me off. I returned to it this morning and tested the coils, the plug wires, and then decided to test the cyl 4 injector. Everything tested good, but did find out all my injector plugs are missing the metal clip that keeps them firmly attached to the injectors. The cyl 4 plug was indeed loose when I pulled it, and after putting it back on all the way, she started up with no misfires and drove better than before the plug change. So that problem is solved, and may have been the cause of the other two codes I've gotten in the past week. Needless to say, I think these clips being missing is the cause. I haven't had driving issues or misfires since checking the injector plugs.

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Back in Colorado (2 days ago), finally went to the Shootout for the first time. Been wanting to go for years but never could. Met some great people, had fun with friends. Definitely going again next year, and hopefully taking my car along too. Didn't take the GSX since it needs a bit of attention before trusting it on a 2600+ mile road-trip.

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Finally took some better pictures than I already had, but due to my busy work schedule, these are all at work. So they're not very interesting, but show it better than the pictures I took when I bought it.

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My '99 OZ Edition GS hasn't sold since I posted it up for sale (not surprised though), so in the next week or two I'll be starting the 2GB body conversion using the doors, front fenders, hood, bumpers, side skirts, and the trunk. I'll also be swapping the sun roof assemblies since the one in the GS has tinted glass and is in much better condition overall. The doors don't necessarily need to be swapped to the GSX, but they do work a bit better and already have nicely tinted glass and I really hate swapping windows in these cars. I'm swapping the trunk hatches also because of the tinted glass, and the current hatch has horrible tint that I really don't want to struggle through ripping off, redoing the defroster lines, and then retinting. Plus it already has the high rise wing installed. Hood and front fenders are only being swapped so that there's more silver on the car. Also the HID head lights are being swapped over as well as the fog lights. All the 2GA body panels and lights are going to be stored and repainted in the future when I have the entire car repainted. The car will be repainted in its original X13-Kalapana Black. I'm storing the 2GA parts so I can always swap back and forth if desired, or for the Shootout since I saw only 3 2GA cars this year.
 
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Took a few more pictures over the past couple days. I found that I do have an eProm (yay)

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I refurbished my cargo cover with some carpet cleaner and spray glue.

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Also found out the rear subframe could use a bit of clean-up attention...

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Took a shot of the GSX and GS together too.
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Body Swap Pt.1

Started my 2GB body swap from my 99 GS today. Got the interior finished up since I had to drop the headliner for the sunroof swap and trunk swap. The only remaining thing needed for the interior is a black dash. The one in the GS isn't in great condition in front of the gauge cluster where it tends to bubble up. So I'll be searching for a good one and finish that when the times comes. I got a friend here in town that's gonna weld the rear quarter panel holes from where the 3-piece wing ends bolted on. Until then, I got aluminum tape over the holes to keep water out.

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Next up will be the bumpers, skirts, front fenders, hood, headlights & fog lights, and driver side door. Then the GS will be making its way to the scrap yard.
 
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Body Swap Pt. 3

Got the hood on and swapped out the passenger door glass, which I didn't know the door glass had different mount locations between 95 and 99. So I managed to pull out the mount rail and swapped those as well. Should have taken pictures of that headache. I also got my new Bosch o2 sensor installed and the car has been running better since and haven't had a CEL yet. It is still running with elevated engine temps though. Still need to figure that out.

All clean!
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Still got the skirts and rear bumper to swap out.
 
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Brake Servicing

Today I replaced all my brake rotors and pads. I discovered that one of the caliper pistons on the driver side front was seized and had a torn boot. It wasn't seized bad, and got it to sink back into the bore. It works, but I gotta find a rebuild kit for that caliper, and may just do both front calipers (and maybe rear) just to be on the safe side. At least for now though, it works, and I gotta use it. The brakes feel so much better and I no longer have to use the force of a pinky toe to apply the brakes and be worried that they'll fail if I use more. Brake fluid looked great, so for now, I'm not flushing it. I'll do that when I rebuild the calipers. Pedal is nice and firm, but not hard like it was, and nowhere near spongy.

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Will be following Jafro's rebuild video once I get the kits and time to do it. Met him at the Shootout this year, great guy to talk to and bullshit with.



I ended up with a sad casualty though. Had this hammer for over 10 years, and the old brake rotors happened to be too much for it after the 3rd one.

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I also got the side skirts and passenger front fender swapped, but no pictures of those yet. Will do that tomorrow. Hopefully will get the rear bumper on Sunday, but we shall see.
 

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Body Swap Complete

I finally finished up the 2GB swap today. Now I can plan the scrapping of my GS since I have no more care for the car. I've stripped all the parts off it that I wanted, so whatever. Here's some pictures.

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Cluster Dress-up

I'm kind of bored here at work, so I decided to pull my gauge cluster out and sand the backs of the faces. Then I pulled the red led bulbs from my 99 GS's cluster that I had in the trunk (keeping it since it has the silver faces) and put them in the GSX cluster.

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You've been busy. You know these cars pretty well, considering that you did so much work on your previous ones as well.

I give you a lot of credit starting this project, because you know what's ahead of you.
 
Thanks. Can't wait to get a few parts I want, like getting rid of the ebay turbo, get all my maintenance completed. And just enjoying it. It honestly feels a bit weird driving my gsx every day since the last 2 years I had my spyder, I unfortunately couldn't drive it much, and had my wife drive it instead. But now I don't have to worry about old issues anymore and can freely enjoy my car.
 
Wheel Dress-up

I put in my Diamante steering wheel that I removed from the spyder before I sold it. Also, not in this picture however, I finally got the side panels for the center console back on, and the little kick panel by the fuse box/etacs box.

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Cooling Off

I got my thermostat replaced today and even with awkward results at first, things seem to have returned to normal for now.

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I also ran a compression test, and though it mostly seems normal there too, it was a bit odd, so I've started a post about that: http://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/odd-compression-result.514051/


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Engine Health.... & Future

Since my compression test from my last post was odd, I decided to do a leakdown test. The results show that cylinder 3 is dead, but the car still drives decent enough for now. So rather than rip the car apart and search for the problem (like I probably should), I'm gonna plan to build up the 6 bolt short block I have sitting in storage. I got a good block, but not sure if the crank is good. I already got a set of main and rod bearings, maybe an oil pump/front case, and most of the other parts. Just need to see if I have a set of rods and pistons still. But if the machine shop visit requires a bore job, I'll just need new pistons anyway. Gonna need to find a 1g CAS and get an adapter harness as well. Once I get all that done and swap it all out, I'll find out what killed cyl 3 and fix it, as long as it's fixable (hopefully). Will also need the Kiggly starter plate adapter for a 6 bolt with 2g auto trans if I keep it auto. Still haven't decided on that yet.

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We also got a storm warning on Sunday for 80% snow and up to 4" of it. So I put on my OZ wheels I kept from the OZ GS so I'd have something other than summer tires with nearly new tread....


...Yet this is all the snow we got :D Oh well, I'm ready for the snow when it really comes.

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Engine Health.... & Future (cont)....

Saturday I finally got my fuel filter and injector O-rings/insulators replaced with all new parts, and hopefully found the low compression issue cause that I've been searching for.


Orange are old, blue are new ones.
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Old filter on top
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Last time I did the leak down test, I only had air coming out of the oil fill hole and nowhere else. Since things didn't really make a lot of sense after that test, I did it again and got more conclusive results. I removed the o2 sensor and cyl 2 and 4 spark plugs. I couldn't feel any air out of any location to include the oil cap. So I got a smoke machine hooked up to cyl 3 and ended up getting smoke out the o2 sensor bung and cyl 2 spark plug hole.

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So for now, I'm guessing maybe a bad head gasket between cyl 2 and 3, and maybe a bad exhaust valve or valve seat. Once I get a new water pump and timing belt set, I'll get a new HG and head bolt set so I can remove the head and inspect the valves. So I'm at least satisfied about it for now, but still might get a borescope so I can at least look down into the cylinders.

I also went with a good friend to the last AutoX event of the season here and rode with him while he raced. So since this is easy racing to get into, I'm going to get my GSX prepped over the winter (hopefully) so that I can at least have fun doing it next year (starting in April) with my own car. That being said, I will be doing a manual swap once I get the required parts. Pretty sure I'll have more fun doing AutoX with a manual instead of an auto.

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