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I'm looking at buying a celica gt 04 automatic. The cost of the vehicle is 3,500$ the issue is the car cannot be driven much due to the loud tapping noise. What could it be?Would it be recommended to buy the vehicle and swap the engine out for a vvtl-i engine, Toyota 22R-E or 22R-TE 2.4l I4
 

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A "tapping" noise in the engine? Could be several things but none of them are good. As long as you go into the purchase with your eyes and wallet wide open Offer the seller $2000. and negotiate. It's just not the engine you'll be swapping out but also the ecu {$} wiring harness etc.
IMHO for WIW is walk away and look elsewhere. If you have time and a place go for it but remember if you bite off more than you can chew and have the job half done the car will be worth 17 year old parts.
Another way to look at it....Spend $3500. on your project another $3000. or more for parts you'll have spent over 6 grand for an old car. Look around for a car worth $6 Gs that you can drive and enjoy at the moment. Just the thoughts of a 76 yr old fart with some experience:) Either way enjoy the ride.

Toyota 22R-TE (2.4 L, turbo) EFI engine: review and specs, service data (engine-specs.net)

What is VVTL-i? - Celica Hobby
 

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A "tapping" noise in the engine? Could be several things but none of them are good. As long as you go into the purchase with your eyes and wallet wide open Offer the seller $2000. and negotiate. It's just not the engine you'll be swapping out but also the ecu {$} wiring harness etc.
IMHO for WIW is walk away and look elsewhere. If you have time and a place go for it but remember if you bite off more than you can chew and have the job half done the car will be worth 17 year old parts.
Another way to look at it....Spend $3500. on your project another $3000. or more for parts you'll have spent over 6 grand for an old car. Look around for a car worth $6 Gs that you can drive and enjoy at the moment. Just the thoughts of a 76 yr old fart with some experience:) Either way enjoy the ride.

Toyota 22R-TE (2.4 L, turbo) EFI engine: review and specs, service data (engine-specs.net)

What is VVTL-i? - Celica Hobby
I agree with Sea-J. You're going to have a ton of $$ into this car before you can even drive it reliably. If the rest of the car is just too perfect to pass up, then I can see the lure, but make a lower offer. Every dollar you can save on the initial purchase will be used to help you get it to where it's driveable and reliable.
 

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You look like a young guy. The GT is more like a sedan, boring to drive. You will outgrow it quickly.

The GTS has a quick-revving engine with stiffer suspension and precise steering, which make it very nimble, fast and fun sports car to drive.

I know a few young people who hate to drive, but ever since they got their GTSs I never had problem asking them for rides because they enjoy driving it. They would drive sedans like Camry and Accord or SUVs like RAV4 and CRX and could not stand the soft, mushy suspension and loose steering. They love their GTS so much they wish it would last forever.

I would wait for a GTS with smooth running engine and transmission. You will enjoy it for many years.
 
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