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Probing for answers

mc_muench

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Alright, there may be a slim, I mean very slim, chance I can trade my truck for a 89 Probe GT with the 2.2 turbo motor, and a manual transmission. From the ad, all it says it needs is brakes. (ad down below) I wont go by just the ad, cause its not very detailed and there has to be something wrong, for it being that cheap. Thats, my question, what should I look for when it comes to common problems with the body, motor, tranny, suspension, yada, yada, yada with these probes. My truck is rough but it does run right now and I wouldnt want something I need to fix alot to get going well. And I really have no need for a truck at this point in my life, yet.

Thanks much, hopefully this works out well.

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/1777584024.html
 
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adsm08

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Personally I'd stay as far away from any 4 cyl anal Probe as you possibly can. The 4-banger engines were Japanese engineered, over complicated, over complicated pieces of crap. The heads warp, the head bolts stretch, the control systems are horrible and always breaking and parts are hard to come by anymore.
 

mc_muench

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Thanks for your opinion

But yes, its complicated but nothing research cant teach.

It's a mazda design motor and you can get parts for the drivetrain at least, thru mazda because they used the 2.2 turbo and still make parts for them
 

gribly

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It says runs and drives. If it were able to go down the road smooth and worked decent they'd say runs great. I'd expect a ragged out pile of crap if was to look at that car.
 

adsm08

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Thanks for your opinion

But yes, its complicated but nothing research cant teach.

It's a mazda design motor and you can get parts for the drivetrain at least, thru mazda because they used the 2.2 turbo and still make parts for them
I know who made it. That doesn't make them any less junky.

Its the engine control electronics that are hard to come by.
 
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mc_muench

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thats what Im expecting...grade A, pile-o-crap that falls apart as soon as you get out of eyeshot of the pervious owner, while he laughs his head off thinking...WHAT A FOOL!!!!!

but hey, a boy can dream cant he?:icon_twisted::D

and about engine control electronics, did you experience this?
 
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Tedybear

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Spent a lot of time working on the first generation probe GT's with the 2.2 intercooled turbo.

First off? If it has a 'fram' filter? Rip that sucker off and replace it with a napa gold series (made by WIX) and that will shut up most (if not all) of the noise from the HLA's the valve train uses.

Brake wise, not to bad to work with. Drive train? Weak link is the pin in the diff. Doesn't matter if it's a standard or auto. Nail it to hard, and the pin will shear off in time. Very common fail point. Engines are built fairly strong, but opinions vary--ours ran strong, but they are prone to snapping exhaust studs out of the cylinder heads. The turbo units? Use both oil and coolant, so make sure it's kept maintained. Always let the engine sit for about 20 seconds before shutting it down. (on the off chance the turbo is still spinning---that will give 20 seconds for it to finish winding down)

Now the bad part. If you live in an area that gets snow and road salt? Take it to a shop and have them put it on a lift. Key points you want to completely INSPECT!!

Fuel tank: ours rusted out, needed to be replaced.
All lines, including fuel: All our brake lines rusted out.
Unibody frame: THIS IS PARAMOUNT!! Inspect this completely!! Mounts where the rear track bars attach should be rock solid. Front unibody section from the under the seats---all the way forward...complete inspection!! Key fail point--Just where the unibody wraps up at the firewall. (look under, you'll see and feel the unibody where it comes forward and slopes upwards at the firewall behind the front tires.) This is where ours failed. Put it up onto a jack stand--and the stand went through the frame. It rots from the inside out.

Last major fail point. Both front struts use a rubber band glued to the strut housing mating the strut bearing plate. (best way to describe it) These will FAIL!! it's just a matter of time. You will know when it happens, as the steering gets all shades of hard, and a matching grinding sound when you turn the wheel. (the upper spring plate will crush into the bottom of the strut housing---napa sells the plates, and they are reasonable cost--just need a shop bribed with donuts to lend the use of a spring compressor--the hand ones will not work---been there, done that with both sides)

Power steering issues: This car uses VSS. When it works? It kicks butt!! Ensures just enough resistance on the steering for cornering. The bad part? It's a fused system that is linked with your turn signals?!?!?. (found that one out the hard way)

Power steering cooler: It's hidden inside the right front fender. About 6' long, wrapped in a unique shape. All you'll see is two connectors at the fender. They rot out, and you'll have a power steering leak you'll wonder where in the heck it's coming from. Easy fix, we built our own.

In a nut shell: Provided it's very well maintained, normal servicing, and the body is as near to mint as possible? Very decent ride---and when that turbo kicks in? Trust me--it's wicked quick!! (we put a cone filter-racing style on ours---made it even faster).

If the underbody has signs of rust---or new paint (some owners will spray paint the underside to hide these problems) I'd walk away, unless a shop can verify the unibody frame.

Ours died due to the frame rails where it goes to the firewall, and slightly upwards. My wife crushed the other side with her hand, it was that far gone---and outward looks? It looked totally normal!

Probably more info then you wanted, but I've a lottttttttttt of time spent working on our 89 probe GT. Fast as it gets---died before its time due to road salt.

S-
 

Tedybear

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I know who made it. That doesn't make them any less junky.

Its the engine control electronics that are hard to come by.
Give RockAuto a try. They have some interesting parts for the probes---but not the exhaust pipe from the turbo to the cat. (got ours via autozone, rockauto had a better price, but the manu stopped making it)

S-
 

martin

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They're a real pig to work on and orible to drive. But that's just my opinion.
 

mc_muench

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tedybear, that is exactly what I wanted, a million points to you!!!! Im sure if I have any ?'s I will go to you...

I do plan on inspecting it thru and thru cause even one thing I dont like or doesnt look right, walkin away. My truck runs fine, no need to trade it, but I want something different, not a truck, to work on besides the DD/escort and bike.
 
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Tedybear

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Preformanceprobe dot com. Yeah I spelled it wrong LOL.....

Spell it right and you've got a huge resource of people that do nothing but work with probes. (great bunch, just like here...)

We had ours for a couple of years before the rot nailed it. So I've had ours apart several times before it gave out.

Let me know how you make out!

S-
 

mc_muench

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If I get it, mine wont see another winter...

and tedybear, did you have or hear of the engine control electronics problem that adsm04 said was a big deal
 
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kemo

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I almost adopted one for free. I did the math on what it'd take to get it street legal again... definitely wasn't worth it. The radiator had a hole. Doors needed to be replaced. The ventilation had mold in it. It needed new cv shafts. Windshield was cracked badly. The body/frame was rusting out. The next guy in line who wanted it drove it home, got pulled over, cop threatened to give him $1800 in tickets for how many violations the car had. He scared the hell out of him and sent him home, had the car towed free too. Sadly, I've seen it down the road again several years later... stupid rednecks will drive anything.

Probe - one of the worst cars released to the general public. Yet for some reason, people take pride in these clunkers (must be due to the fact that it says "TURBO"). And to think that it would have been the Mustang lol.
 
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Tedybear

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Heck, it may say "Turbo" but that doesn't mean a flippen thing if the car is going to fly apart on you.

If well maintained and kept free of rust? Nice ride. But like everything? Disrepair will always make anything fall apart. Plus they could have made the steel much stronger to avoid such problems.

Didn't have any issues with our engine electronics. Other then the fact Ford/Mazda put a couple of sensors in really LAME spots! Oil pressure sender comes to mind..Better off pulling the intake manifold and do it from the top LOL.

Standard setup for sensors, pretty much like any late 80's early 90's car or truck. Tricky one other then the oil sender? The knock sensor is in another classic lame spot. The O2 sensor was extremely well placed. It uses a "Vane" style air intake sensor that if left alone? Pretty solid. Problem is? Back yard idiots love to drill out the covers over the adjuster screws and it'll hose your air/fuel mixture.

The VSS module? That'll be under the drivers seat with a small switch for 'stiff' or 'soft' steering. If you have one with ride adjust? If it works? It's a great feature. (adjustable valve shocks--switch will be just behind the shifter with 3 positions) Problem is? Can't get replacement struts with that feature. Wind up using more of a middle adjustment strut if needed.

Then you have the "hillbillys" that screw with the turbos to the point they start blowing up parts. True you can modify the turbo up almost double the stock setting--But by that time? It's not worth the headache when engine parts start failing.

It all boils down to how well taken care of it is. Any car or truck subjected to abuse or idiot mods? It robs the car of a lot of life.

S-
 

kemo

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nah, it was maintained very well, it was just a terrible car. As of this day, there is not one Probe on the road that I've seen in good condition... heck, you don't see many, if ANY on the road anymore. The ONLY reason I could ever imagine any person ever wanting a probe is because some were equipped with a turbo. no thanks!

If probe floats your boat, then so be it. be it known that I don't need boost to pass one... I'll just fart while goin down hill.
 
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