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2016-12-31 Tiburon Intro

By
booneylander
840

The Purchase

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As you have all no doubt figured out by now. I have a slight problem when it comes to buying cars. I like to get them all.

This year upon my return to Hawaii I had a big job lined up, a motor-swap for my faithful Toyota T100 which was getting a bit long in the tooth with 220k miles, or roughly 350k km on the original tired lump under the hood.

So I would need a vehicle for 'gettin around' while the T100 is motor-less. I was perusing the local craigslist ads and happened upon this little guy at a dealer in Hilo for the tidy sum of $1995. It boasted a 6 speed manual gearbox, a V6, and leather interior. Worth a look!

I checked it out and when started up, it made a bit of a racket under the hood, a CEL was on, and it ran rough when cold. Upon taking it for a little test drive I noticed there was a pretty annoying clunk from the back end when hitting bumps. I got the salesman to grab his OBD code reader and read out the code for me, I don't remember the P code but it was "MAF signal voltage low". Fair enough, and that would explain the rough running when cold. After some intense googlery, I figured the engine racket was likely caused by the hydraulic lash adjusters. And the clunk from the rear end? I chalked that one up to tired struts, bushings, or mounts. With 138k miles (220k km) on the clock, and with the car being obviously lowered, I figured any of those was quite likely.

I got to talking some numbers with the sales-bruh, and we settled on a price of $1600, which ended up being $1900 out the door and on the road. I figured at that price I could throw a couple hundy at it and still be happy.

I picked it up and drove it home later that day.

Here's some pics taken as soon as I got it up to Volcano.

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Vehicle Specs

So in case you're not up to speed on Tiburons, here's some pertinent info I've come across, mostly from Wikipedia. The first gens were RD, second gen were GK, with RDs having one facelift making an RD2, and GKs having 2 facelifts making the restyled cars GKFL1 and GKFL2. Now that we have that shenaniganry out of the way, there seems to be about 800 different submodels, special editions, including but not limited to Elisa, Tiger Shark, Tuscani, Sport Coupe, SE, F2, F2 Evolution, GL, GT, GTS, GS, GTR, GTS2, FX... the list goes on. It's ridiculous. The best part about all that, in all of those different "models", there's only 3 different motors, a 1.6L and 2.0L I4, and a 2.7L V6. Also, only 3 transmissions, a 4 speed auto, 5 speed manual, and 6 speed manual. Now apart from those differences, all the specs are pretty much the same.

So let's talk about this car. It is a 2004 GK chassis, and as far as I can tell, it is a simple GT model with 170hp, four-cam, 4 valve per cylinder 2.7L V6 and 6 speed manual transmission. It has pretty much all of the bells and whistles including black leather interior, tall rear spoiler, Infinity sound system with 10" sub in the trunk, but without a sunroof.

It's not a bad looking car, at least I think. Only a couple tiny bubbles of rust on the roof. The clearcoat has flaked off on the roof, trunk lid, and right hand side of the car, while the hood must have been repainted because it is nice and glossy. The interior is worn but not worn out, and everything is pretty darned clean inside. It's a very nice cockpit to sit in, and has some niceties like cruise control and A/C that works like a dream. The back seats apparently fold down and being a hatchback, I think it may actually be pretty practical to use.

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Aftermarket Bits

It seems the original owner of the car was a bit of an enthusiast because the car actually has some tasteful upgrades that I enjoy, as well as some ridiculous ones, but more on that later.

The car's been equipped with an Apex'i N1 Dual Catback system, which, despite the name, isn't actually dual almost at all, with a single pipe from the catalytic rearwards, which just splits off on both directions after the rear suspension. Laugh as you may at the "furious-ness" of the exhaust, but the things sounds absolutely sublime. A bit more drone while cruising than I would have liked, but you get on the pedal and the thing sounds, dare I say, almost exactly like a b5 s4 2.7TT, just without the fun turbo noises. Seriously, it sounds awesome.

The car was also equipped with some Borbet wheels, which, if I'm honest, I figured would have been some chinese schweng schwang brand, but upon doing a bit of research I found out they are actually German-made. Bonus. The car's rolling on some pretty-much sacked-out Bridgestone Potenzas, that do the job just fine for my purposes.

You've probably noticed by now the stance, upon close inspection I found that the car is running on stock struts but with Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs.

Someone also loaded the hood up with the Tuscani badge. And that's all I have to say about that.

I'll be honest, when I was checking out a Hyundai Tiburon that was lowered, with big 'ol pipes, and aftermarket wheels, I was expecting the flea-bay special exhaust, china square wheels, and cut springs, but in reality, with brand names like Apex'i, Eibach, and Borbet (who knew?), the thing is actually a pretty nice package.

Now, the struts are pretty sacked, the motor needs some lovin, and the paint is certainly less-than perfect, but for a sub-$2K beater mobile, I think I did pretty well. And it's actually a blast to drive. Now, once we pop the hood on this bad boy I'll show you some of the flea-bay hackmanship the car's been subjected to (possibly by the second owner?), so stay tuned for that story next time!

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For what you paid it seems like you got some good value there. I'm anxious to see these under hood mods. - q20v December 31st 2016
Cool car! I like it. I remember working at Image Auto Care back in 2005 and the owner had a Ford Probe V6 that I drove quite frequently and I remember thinking the same thing about the sound (it had an exhaust as well). - q20v December 31st 2016

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