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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all.

I never should have bolted on that CAI. I opened the box and it can't be closed. Previously, I was obsessed with my gaming PC's performance and I have maxed that thing out with expensive parts and overclocked just about everything that can be, and it seems this infectious need to maximize potential and customize has now set its sights on my Eclipse.

However, I've been crunching numbers.

GS Spyder:
RRE Underdrive Pulley: $190
RRE Headers: $480
Magnaflow Catback: $650+
Tune: $450

Total: $1,770

And then there's this.

GT: $4,000
Selling my GS Spyder: -$3,500 (at least, hopefully)

Total: $500 (Possibly $1,200 if timing belt needs doing, I refuse to attempt a job that might brick my car if I fuck it up lol)

It seems to me like Option #2 gives me a faster ride at far less than half of the cost. I already have a few targets located via FB Marketplace and Craigslist since dealership prices would put the GT too far ahead in price. I also totally don't mind switching into a Coupe over a Spyder, actually prefer it. Additionally, I'm close to being in a position where I can buy the GT outright and take my time selling the GS to try and get the most for it; might even sell my gaming PC to close the gap (don't play much anymore).

I'm losing a good chunk of sunk cost due to what I paid the dealership and DMV, and some extra cost to get the new car inspected and registered, but otherwise this appears to me like a no brainer that it makes more sense to buy a GT at this point than it does to try and make my GS faster. Obviously, it would have been preferable to buy a GT from the start, but no point in fussing over that now.

Assuming I get whatever GT I'm interested cleared by a mechanic before purchase, am I missing anything? The GT gives me +100HP and a new platform for even more gains at my own pace.

What do you guys think? Am I overthinking this?

He's probably around here somewhere since his car's got a Club4G sticker, but one GT I found already has a CAI, Tein springs and Evo wheels on it for less than the GT figure above- and with less mileage than my GS. Just need to learn how to drive a manual lmao :scratch:
 

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If you only want basic bolt ons, and nitrous, absolutely, GT all day long will make more power. Downside is more difficult maintenance, and higher operating costs due to 91 octane needed, and 10mpg less. If you do short track racing or AutoX, a GS may still be the way to go though due to the significant handling advantage
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How significant is the difference between GS and GT handling?

AFAIK the suspensions are the same across 4G Eclipses of all sub-models (correct me if wrong, obv you know way more than I ever will about this car), so I'm guessing weight is the main difference in handling? I drive a GS Spyder which is heavier from what I gather. Looking up specs, it looks like my automatic Spyder GS has a curb weight of 3,510lbs, compared to the manual GT I'm looking at which is listed at 3,479lbs. Shouldn't the GT, in this case, handle a little bit better than the Spyder GS?

The maintenance is a little intimidating, since the work I've done on the GS so far has been silly easy with everything right up top in a neat line. I'm a little scared to take on a more complex setup since I'm a novice at turning a ratchet, but I think I can do it. Not afraid of the 91 octane costs, though. I don't drive much since I live 10 min from my job. The most gas I would burn would be from joyriding around the highways at 2am after work (I'm a bartender).
 

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Convertibles will always be heavier than their full body counterparts

There has to be so much reinforcement underneath the car to prevent flex and it weighs a ton, and yes, will make the convertible a slower car
 

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The issue with GT handling is that it has so much weight in front of the front axles. That puts it outside the wheelbase, which amplifies the effects of the weight due to added torque through leverage. It makes it more difficult to change directions. So, it adds extra load to the front tires because of the weight, and the leverage applied by moving outside the rotating base.

Then yes, convertibles are significantly heavier, but the weight is within the wheelbase. So a GT and GS Spyder will NOT handle even similarly, because of weight placement.

Suspension wise, it's near identical. The GT struts are a different model number, but there's been no testing I'm aware of that compared the differences. They're the same length and same bolts though. Geometry is all the same, GT front sway bar is a little softer. That lets it roll a little more, which on a heavy front end will make it more predictable, but understeer a bit more potentially.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That makes perfect sense. Thanks for explaining.

I know I can upgrade many parts of the suspension on the GT with aftermarket parts like coilovers, bushings/bearings and arms. Is the handling so poor that I should expect these upgrades to be necessary?

The one I'm looking at requires me to learn to drive manual, so racing it is out for the near future; I just want it to handle well enough that I can "have fun" without worrying about the suspension too much. The GT in question has been lowered on Tein springs, but also has ripped axle boots so I'd be getting down and dirty repairing the suspension anyhow if I bought it. Any highly suggested upgrades while I'm down there, or will the stock suspension do the job for normal commuting and frequent/occasional joyriding?
 

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Oh, plenty of people have lots of fun with the GT at tracks and on the roads. It's still no minivan or crossover. It'll just have a lot more tendency to plow straight when driven at its limits than the GS.

When it came out, it was noted for being one of the best handling sports compacts on the market, even with the FWD.

As for that repair, you'll want to snag a 32mm socket for the axle nut, and a pair of 24mm/15/16" sockets/socket+wrench/whatever combo for the strut bolts. A torch setup may also be needed, as they're (if I recall correctly) 170lb-ft torque, BEFORE years of rust has its way. I actually just did the job last night of pulling my axles again. Even without winter driving the car, I needed to use an oxy torch setup because my 1100ft-lb rated impact wasn't enough alone. There's no need to pull the suspension to do it, I didn't even undo the ball joint, sway bar end link, or tie rod end. Just the 2 big bolts, and leaned the hub towards me
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, some good news. I'm 99% sure I found the GT I've been looking at on this forum. I previously thought it was a manual because I didn't have interior pics and the VIN search indicated it was a stick, but the build thread shows an automatic. I guess I can stop eating and drinking "How to drive a manual car" videos on YouTube all day lmao. I was really ready to try it, but one less thing to stress me out. I suppose that will make the handling that much worse since the auto GT is that much heavier, but ah well.

Between that and your revelation that the axles are manageable for a novice (even if they're tricky to get loose), I'm very much in favor of swapping to a GT assuming the car checks out. Seems like the person has taken good care of it from what I can tell, and the routine stuff it needs like brakes/rotors, plugs etc are things I either did already on my GS or needed to do anyway. All things considered, if this GT works out, I'd be losing a good chunk of money in what I paid for the GS Spyder but getting a car that I consider to be worth it in HP gain.

I think I've made up my mind, just gotta make sure the car is battle-ready for another 100k.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Timing belt not replaced yet but I did it within a week of buying my GS, and if I do end up with this GT, it'll be the same thing. Already budgeting for both the car and the job. The few days I drove my Spyder before changing it felt like I was on borrowed time lol; awful feeling.

Not sure what you're asking concerning the Octane. I know the GT prefers higher octane fuel, but since this guy was a frequent member here and modded his GT and looks like he rolled with a straight up 4G Gang over in TX, I think he probably knows that too. I'll ask about it though.

Does putting regular gas in a GT stress the motor? All of my homework has been on the GS, but I thought I read the GT runs horribly on regular and most people notice immediately if they somehow put the wrong fuel in.
 

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It'll run on 87, so I'm gonna disagree there. It will adjust timing, but it's a hard road getting there. There are a surprising amount of people who run 87 on their GT, if not shocking.
Yeah but it’ll knock and severely pull timing, it will cause damage when it knocks until it pulls the timing, no doubt about that
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Can the reflash by hackish (or stayer) tune the engine to be compatible with a lower octane, and if so, would that even be desirable (other than the financial benefit of buying cheaper gas)? Sorry if the question doesn't make sense, I'm learning new stuff all the time but the depths of actual tuning and what it can do eludes me. Octane isn't something I have to consider with my GS.

Forcing your timing to adjust certainly doesn't sound like a process you'd want to go through if you can avoid it.
 

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It MAY cause damage, depending on the conditions it begins to occur in. Not all knock is equal, and there are parameters in place to filter out so much of the non concerning knock before it changes anything. From the factory, even the GS knocks regularly. Just nobody notices it

Yes Fastworks can do a lower octane tune. It'll cost some power and fuel economy over the 91+ tunes, but it'll be mild. Personally, I'd just see the extra octane and bad fuel economy as the cost for the 100hp gain without going turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sigh. Turbo :(

Unless that next government stimulus is $5000 I think I'll be NA for the foreseeable future.

Good info, though. If I end up in a GT I'll almost certainly stick to higher octane. Gas prices be damned. I'd rather tune it for maximum potential once I have the airflow situated.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I thought he decided not to sell that? I'm going to check it out!

Same $3000 to turbo/SC the GT? I'm willing to save for it if it's in that range. I thought it couldn't happen for less than $5k.
 

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Nah, it's sold.

And no, to turbo the GT is gonna cost more, and you'll have to absolutely make your own exhaust manifolds or rear mount setup or whatever you do. There's currently no plans from anyone to support GT Turbo stuff, as it was found that the manifolds will be outrageous in price and nobody would pay that (eg, GS turbo manifold, $450. GT, $1500 maybe). It's a pretty expensive 450hp doing a stock motor turbo GT. Then built motor GT, you're looking twice the cost of building a GS motor, and they handle the same power. It's not until about 1500whp that they level out in price, and that's with a billet 4G63 block dropped into the GS.

Then of course, at those power levels, or even 400hp, you'll be wishing you had AWD. The evo AWD bolts right up to the 4G69, but not the 6G75. For that, you'll be looking into an adapter plate, custom made, but it has been done

Then you're talking two cars, equal power, but the GS has way less front weight, which will make it more stable in corners and under acceleration without throwing it to a rear bias. So brake weight transfer will still also be smooth, with less tendency to plow straight while braking than the GT with all the front weight. It'll also spread brake load better on the GS AWD, giving less fade.

Then of course, total weight matters too. Getting an extra 200lbs to stop and go matters
 
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