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Pontiac GTO 2004-2006 The Modern Goat

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Old 10-14-2016, 12:19 PM   #1
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Hey im looking to possibly buy an 04-06 gto. what are some things to look for? i know the suspension is a must change like coilovers but cant remember anything else
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:01 PM   #2
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all the stitching on my top rear seats were ripped...check that when ur looking.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:11 AM   #3
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make sure it hasnt been beat on and was well maintained.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:45 PM   #4
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- Driveshaft carrier bearing. The stock driveshaft is a two piece unit. The failure of the carrier bearing leads to noise and vibration at different speeds.
- Differential chatter. The LSD rear end has a very particular taste for fluid / friction modifier and also leads to noise and vibration, though generally at low (from stop) speeds if it's not right. Easily remedied with a fluid change.
- BCM wiring harness under the glove box. From the factory the wires rub against a metal support causing a number of electrical gremlins if not properly insulated.
- Like Slickgoat05 said, the seat stitching. It sucks. The factory thread dissolves most of the time. Any GTO you look at either has 1) seats with perfect stitching about to break, 2) seats with gaps at the seams, 3) seats with perfect stitching that someone else already fixed.
- The key. The remote / key combo is a sealed unit. It is not designed to be serviced, making battery replacement a skillful challenge. Ask when it was last replaced. A spare key is essential. If you lock the car with the remote (which arms the alarm), you will not be able to start the car until you disarm the alarm (with the remote again). Unlocking the door with the key and inserting the original key in the ignition will not do it. If the remote battery dies suddenly or is damaged somehow, the car will not move again without some programming with a dealer computer or equivalent.

Those are the things that spring to mind since purchasing my first GTO two months ago.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:07 AM   #5
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anyone mention strut rub? i was fortunate not to have this problem though i did break my half shafts and my seat stitching was coming apart plus my CD changer needed to be replaced or repaired.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:23 PM   #6
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- Driveshaft carrier bearing. The stock driveshaft is a two piece unit. The failure of the carrier bearing leads to noise and vibration at different speeds.
- Differential chatter. The LSD rear end has a very particular taste for fluid / friction modifier and also leads to noise and vibration, though generally at low (from stop) speeds if it's not right. Easily remedied with a fluid change.
- BCM wiring harness under the glove box. From the factory the wires rub against a metal support causing a number of electrical gremlins if not properly insulated.
- Like Slickgoat05 said, the seat stitching. It sucks. The factory thread dissolves most of the time. Any GTO you look at either has 1) seats with perfect stitching about to break, 2) seats with gaps at the seams, 3) seats with perfect stitching that someone else already fixed.
- The key. The remote / key combo is a sealed unit. It is not designed to be serviced, making battery replacement a skillful challenge. Ask when it was last replaced. A spare key is essential. If you lock the car with the remote (which arms the alarm), you will not be able to start the car until you disarm the alarm (with the remote again). Unlocking the door with the key and inserting the original key in the ignition will not do it. If the remote battery dies suddenly or is damaged somehow, the car will not move again without some programming with a dealer computer or equivalent.

Those are the things that spring to mind since purchasing my first GTO two months ago.
man that sounds like a blast lol
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:35 PM   #7
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man that sounds like a blast lol
Meh. None of it is super serious. All I've done to mine so far is changed rear end fluid, spark plugs, and wires (and a little paint on random plastic pieces). I'm loving the car.

Two more random things:
- Stock rear springs tend to sag
- Front bumper attaches to the body below the headlights with poorly designed clips that always break. So if you see weird gaps it's just a factory flaw and doesn't necessarily mean the car was wrecked.
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:37 PM   #8
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Meh. None of it is super serious. All I've done to mine so far is changed rear end fluid, spark plugs, and wires (and a little paint on random plastic pieces). I'm loving the car.

Two more random things:
- Stock rear springs tend to sag
- Front bumper attaches to the body below the headlights with poorly designed clips that always break. So if you see weird gaps it's just a factory flaw and doesn't necessarily mean the car was wrecked.
good stuff man. thanks! what year do you have?
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:38 PM   #9
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My GTO is a 2006. I wanted an LS2. Not that there's anything wrong with the LS1. I might even buy another F-Body. I like the power of the GTO, but I miss the styling of the Trans Am.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:02 PM   #10
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I can't believe nobody mentioned fuel rail covers yet. The driver's side rubs through the rubber fuel line. The resulting fuel spraying on exhaust manifold carbecue is legendary.
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:35 AM   #11
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First thing I'd check is my bank account. Stuff is expensive and if it's your DD can be inconvenient.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:23 PM   #12
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First thing I'd check is my bank account. Stuff is expensive and if it's your DD can be inconvenient.
Big reason why I sold mine. I wanted to get into autocross/RR and the GTO is a fat pig with small aftermarket. What aftermarket there is, it is expensive.

These cars excel at being a comfortable powerful cruiser. Make for great daily drivers but parts can get expensive.

At a minimum...springs, front radius rods bushings, convert to 1 pc driveshaft and put a MGW shifter in to make it a solid reliable daily driver. It's not the motor/trans that gets expensive, it's all the GTO specific stuff that does.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:15 PM   #13
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while i blew mine up (lol) once i got everything right with my GTO it was a pretty reliable car. my oil pressure sensor went and that seems to be somewhat common from what ive read. my overflow tank also leaked.

the thought of possibly having to have my rear suspension replaced made my decision to buy a new car easier.
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:11 AM   #14
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So i bought my 04 one owner car in feb with 67,000 miles as my daily and i love it. The only problem ive had is the door locks not always going all the way down or up. The car rides like a dream and has none of the said issues above buy then again i dont know if yhe original owner fixed them already.

At times i wish i had the extra power of the ls2 but my 99 z28 is my go fast toy so i get over it somewhat. It'll eventually get headers,intake tune and complete system with custom side panel enclosures. Plus my 5yr old daughter absolutely loves it because of the back seats, which bu the way the stitching is perfect. 😉
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:17 AM   #15
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I daily drove a 2005 6 speed for 3+ years.

The most important thing...Make sure you REALLY LOVE GTO's before you buy one...i bought one strictly because I wanted LS2 + 6 Speed for less than the price of a C6, that was a mistake.

These cars are finicky:

Read the other posts above, I agree with what they said +...
1. Door Locks...inspect the lock lever, make sure it isn't broken or stripped. The door locks are strange on these cars.
2. Power Seats, make sure they work in all directions...they are super slow, so don't think somethings broken if they seem slow.
3. Trunk...make sure it opens and closes no problem...
4. If it's a manual, do several normal take offs and listen for any noise coming from the read end or the clutch.
5. Watch for sagging rear suspension...
6. Like I said at the top, if you really love GTO's, get one. If you are looking for affordable speed, don't.
6a. If you want affordable speed in the same price range, think about a clean C5. It will be just as fast, better MPG, cheaper parts, handle 10x better, probably have more storage space (GTO isn't a small car, but the trunk is TINY).
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:56 PM   #16
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Lot of good stuff. it would be for a fun daily/weekend fun car. I drive about an hour to work every day. 95% high way driving. want a v8 and manual. always loved the gtos. maybe if I actually drove one it'd help in the decision. either way keep the info coming! much appreciated!!
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:34 PM   #17
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Clean, well maintained GTO's with either zero issues (low miles) or one that has had all the above mentioned issues fixed will be $15-20K.

IMO that is PRIME clean C5 and or C5Z territory. At which point I would pick C5 ALLL DAY LONG.

GTO's are a niche vehicle and like mentioned, to not get mad with it, you will need to really want/love one. If it will live as a comfy powerful DD with full exhaust and tune ONLY then you will like it. When you start adding power, breaking rear half shafts and or massive wheel hop, messing up the differential etc etc it can get annoying to find parts that can be costly.

My PS front seat motor module took a **** the morning I was leaving with my wife to drive from NKY to Boston...it got stuck in the forward most position putting her knees ON the dash until we got to Columbus to my in-laws. Thankfully was able to jerry-rig it and move it back for the remainder of the trip and NEVER TOUCHED IT AGAIN. Oh and finding some to fix it or buy that module? Pssshhh NOPE.

IMO, a Gen1 CTSV would be a comparable car in the same price range, with (I assume) the same deficiencies when modding but would make a great DD.
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:41 AM   #18
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I picked up my 04 GTO back in August as a DD..... Replaced 2pc DS with and aluminum 1 pc.... Little things here and there... It's a high miler 1 owner car,,,, Def has the gear whine @ low speeds... I have the oil/limited slip on hand.. Just need to change. Mine is an A4... Best MPG has been 348 mi on a tank of fuel... and the car is hands down much more comfortable than any of my fbods, C5Z.... Like anything else,These cars are approaching 11-13 y/o... I have checked all of the above "flaws" and corrected. For the money, its been a great car. Looking forward to driving it for a long time.
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Old 10-27-2016, 09:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by smitty2919 View Post
Clean, well maintained GTO's with either zero issues (low miles) or one that has had all the above mentioned issues fixed will be $15-20K.

IMO that is PRIME clean C5 and or C5Z territory. At which point I would pick C5 ALLL DAY LONG.

GTO's are a niche vehicle and like mentioned, to not get mad with it, you will need to really want/love one. If it will live as a comfy powerful DD with full exhaust and tune ONLY then you will like it. When you start adding power, breaking rear half shafts and or massive wheel hop, messing up the differential etc etc it can get annoying to find parts that can be costly.

My PS front seat motor module took a **** the morning I was leaving with my wife to drive from NKY to Boston...it got stuck in the forward most position putting her knees ON the dash until we got to Columbus to my in-laws. Thankfully was able to jerry-rig it and move it back for the remainder of the trip and NEVER TOUCHED IT AGAIN. Oh and finding some to fix it or buy that module? Pssshhh NOPE.

IMO, a Gen1 CTSV would be a comparable car in the same price range, with (I assume) the same deficiencies when modding but would make a great DD.
LOL, I bought mine new at near full price and have probably put the same amount again into it modding it up and fixing stuff I broke. I could have bought a Corvette new for that money. It is a very comfortable car though and I like the uniqueness of it over a Corvette.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:35 AM   #20
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LOL, I bought mine new at near full price and have probably put the same amount again into it modding it up and fixing stuff I broke. I could have bought a Corvette new for that money. It is a very comfortable car though and I like the uniqueness of it over a Corvette.
Agree on all points. It makes for a great cruiser.

But for my desire to autocross/RR and mod a car with an intended purpose, the GTO had to go lol.

I'm already the underdog with a LT1 Z28...I would have been even father behind with a GTO AND spending more money than I have already.
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