Looking at buying a 7th gen Celica GTS - Toyota Celica Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Default Looking at buying a 7th gen Celica GTS

Hey everyone; I am currently in the market for a new car and have wanted a Celica GTS since they first came out in 2000. I currently own a 2006 Civic LX with a failing transmission; because of the cost behind fixing my transmission and the fact that honestly I don't think I can repair an auto transmission myself I want to buy a manual car that I can fix myself with reasonably priced parts. I want the Celica for that reason, and because of the awesome styling, performance orientated design, good gas mileage, and the usual excellent Toyota reliability.

First of all, how do you guys like the car? or a better question so that you don't have 1000 things list, what DON'T you like about the car?

To give an idea as to what kind of driver I am, I go 'canyon cruising' every weekend and would consider myself a 'spirited driver', accelerating and braking much harder than the average driver. During my 'racing' in the mountains (LEGAL "racing" on roads with a speed limit higher than anything but an F1 car can go the speed limit on) I put extreme abuse on my car essentially either gassing it 100% or hitting the brakes 100% and always turning at the limit of the cars traction. Besides replacing the tires and brake pads often, my Civic has taken to this OK with few problems over the years. Do you guys think the 7th gen Celica GTS (manual) is a car that can handle this abuse with proper maintenance? One of the reasons I want this car is because there is a large market of performance parts for it and the car appears highly tunable; I intend to upgrade things like the rotors, brake pads, roll bars, shocks, headers, exhaust pipes, clutch, and intake manifold.

I live in the LA area and am willing to drive up to a 1k miles to find a car, but it seems like most good options are within CA anyway. So, let me make sure I'm seeing the market right; it appears like the average going price for a 2000 Celica GTS Manual with around 120k miles on it is $5000, and the price for one with 200k miles around $4000. Does this sound about right? Now, here is where I simply need to ask experienced owners to know the answer....is it worth it to spend an extra $1000 to get a Celica with 80,000 less miles on it?

Outside of that, what should I look for/listen for when examining and test driving a Celica to buy? When shifting I know to listen for grinding in the gearbox (caused by worn synchros I believe?) and when accelerating hard to feel for clutch slippage. What else should I be aware of?

Now...if I were to buy one with 120k miles on it (what I'm leaning towards), what should I get ready to repair/refurbish? Probably the clutch will be the first to go, and then the synchros? How many miles can someone generally get out of the transmission gears themselves? Should engine bearings be replaced anytime soon?

I'm mostly concerned about damage/wear that isn't obvious or cannot readily be determined. Things like the downpipe rusting out, shocks going soft, or rotors wearing down I can competently determine myself. But something like the fuel pump wearing down, transmission gears eroding dangerously far, or the steering hydraulic lines getting old I cannot so easily determine or know when to do preventative maintenance on given my knowledge.

Well, I think that is good for now. I would really appreciate any advice anyone has. If I end up buying a Celica I look forward to being part of the community!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 01:00 AM
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I just bought a 2003 with the same amount of miles. I replaced my rotors in front first thing, and I have a leak in a rear strut, so suspension is getting swapped. I'm also on a rebuilt title, so whether or not that is to be taken into account is up to you. Ummmmm....a tune up wouldn't hurt?
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, I'd expect the rotors to be pretty worn down if they've never been replaced after that many miles. The 7th gen Celica GTS has a rear strut? A strut is basically also the shock/dampener right? or am I mistaken. I looked at some pictures of one and it didn't appear to have any rear shocks on it. But yea, I figured the shocks would be pretty worn after that many miles; good thing they can be replaced for $50 each, gotta love Toyotas.

I also think the clutch will need replacement...but I'm not worried about that as much, I'm worried about the synchros in the gear box being worn down, which will be difficult and expensive to fix ($500 for a 6 gear set of synchros!).

So, how do you like the car?
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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No one else? : (

I've done quite a bit of individual research to help find those answers, but some of the questions can really only be answered by Celica owners. I'm still wondering exactly what I should expect to repair on a 130k mile 2000 7th gen GTS manual, specially anything within the drivetrain besides the clutch (though I know certain part wear rates will vary significantly depending upon how the owner drove the car).
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 12:49 AM
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Well my celica needed a heater core replacement and has 195k miles on the body, 45k on motor. Ive seen many manual celicas thats had a bad transmission or motor issues around 150k, from searching for trd parts n stuff for over 6 months on craigslist. My car had some issue around 150k and would have been a expensive fix but the guy knew a manchanic who got a motor and also put in a new clutch in for him. So if you get a celica id keep an eye out on the transmission possibly a toyota transmission flush right away. I also would think a celica with 200k miles would have issues way sooner so 1000$ more is well worth it for a 120k miles one but also a celica with 200k could had some major issues that could already been fixed n could possibly have new parts that you would need to replace soon on the 120k miles one. Its all up to you. I have a 2000 gts 6 speed myself and with 195k miles on the body I still get lift and great preformance with my car

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Heater core replacement eh? Noted.

Thanks for the info. I think I'll probably go with the 120k mile route; you're right that a 200k mile one could have had problems fixed, but I'm skeptical that saving $1k would compensate for all the other problems to come soon and that the owner had kept it in great shape for that long.

The time is coming closer! I'll probably start test driving some Celicas in my area over the next few weeks; hopefully one will be in great shape for a good price!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 07:16 AM
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My 7th Gen 6 speed GTS is for sale right now actually

1985 Toyota Supra P' Type-7mgte swapped and upgraded- SOLD
2000 Toyota Celica GT-S- SOLD
2006 GSX-R 750-wow fast
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-SOLD
2009 Yamaha Raider 1900- current bike
1987 Toyota Celica ST- the DD
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Georgia though : / I live in CA; one **** of a drive it would be, lol. I'm curious though, why are you selling it?
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:44 AM
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I have a kid on the way Need to get something bigger

1985 Toyota Supra P' Type-7mgte swapped and upgraded- SOLD
2000 Toyota Celica GT-S- SOLD
2006 GSX-R 750-wow fast
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-SOLD
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, legit reason. Sucks growing up doesn't it? You have to give up awesome toys like a Celica. Good luck with the family though, perhaps worth such heavy sacrifices

I have another question that came up while talking to some car enthusiasts last night....I remembered that the 2ZZ engine has cylinder walls reinforced with a metal matrix material. When I told them this, they said that if the cylinder walls ever wear out that it will be impossible to re-bore the engine to refurbish it. Is this true? Would a 2ZZ engine ever wear out the cylinder walls within 300,000 miles? They also mentioned certain parts of the engine block warping with time and requiring machining; is this a common practice on the 2ZZ or is it unheard of?

Hopefully ANYTHING that goes wrong with a Celica would be fixable by me in my garage....anything that requires machining/turning I can't do and would rather not pay someone $2000 to do.

Thank you.
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