Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Salvaged & Cheap: 2006 Pontiac Solstice

The Pontiac Solstice (aka Saturn Sky) was a Mazda MX-5 competitor from General Motors that arrived in the Pontiac and Saturn showrooms a few years late, and just in time for the 2008 carpocalypse. The Solstice that you really want to get is the turbocharged GXP version (in coupe if possible), but if you are on a tight budget, you might consider this el cheapo version.  Find this 2006 Pontiac Solstice offered for $5,900 in Seattle, WA via craigslist.  Tip from JB1025.


GM's Kappa platform roadster did everything right -- it was extremely successful in SCCA club racing, where it swept the podium in Touring 2 class in 2007, 2008, & 2009, and it wasn't an unreliable or poorly built thing -- but like the guy who takes a shortcut in the wrong Chicago neighborhood, it just a victim of circumstance. 


Under the hood is a 2.4 liter Ecotec LE5 inline-4 that produces 177 horsepower and 173 ft-lbs of torque, which does an admirable job of propelling the 2800 lb 2-seat convertible around the street or track.  This one already has a salvage title, so you don't have to feel bad about wadding it up if you take an apex a bit too early and go off wide into a fence.


See another car from the aughts that ought to have survived the carpocalypse? tips@dailyturismo.com

19 comments:

  1. Just sayin:

    http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f102/werksracing-kappa-lsx-v8-conversion-diy-installation-kit-official-release-67020/

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    1. Oh yeah... This guy did a great job and a few videos....
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDMrJhpeYiE
      But even if you wanted to be a little different and suffer all the engineering difficulties yourself, I'm thinking the 3.6L V-6 LF3 would make an interesting and different swap.

      Delete
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  3. The ls swap sounds awesome, aparently the tranny will hold up as its the unit from the canyon. Unfortunately the only thing it has over a vette is the sleeper vibe.
    Or just have fun, do the ls with a big cam, slap some wide tires and flares on it. Full track rat.

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    1. In stock form that 2.4 was...let's say it felt old Triumph. A big chugger with a bass blat. The turbo LNF on the other hand was a magnificent engine in every respect.

      The interiors on these were clearly built down to a price, the big floppy plastic door panels would wobble in and out a good inch when you closed the door.

      Otherwise, nice enough drivers.

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  4. The ls swap sounds awesome, aparently the tranny will hold up as its the unit from the canyon. Unfortunately the only thing it has over a vette is the sleeper vibe.
    Or just have fun, do the ls with a big cam, slap some wide tires and flares on it. Full track rat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes its hard to make a Vette into a sleeper... The C5s are bargains right now but they attract too much attention from the Federales....

      Delete
    2. The MA5 transmission is from the same family of Aisin transmissions as the R154 box of the Mk3 Supra Turbo, it will certainly stand up to some V8s though perhaps not others.

      In truck form the Atlas motor has a unique bellhousing pattern and won't bolt up to ANYTHING. The Solstice/Sky bellhousing mates it to the Ecotec-pattern fours. Interestingly, the last couple years of Saab B234 production ('96 on) used the Ecotec bolt pattern.

      So...there's a Saab B234T engine out of a '98 CSE (effectively $50, bought the powertrain for $250 from a friend and sold the automatic for $200) and a Colorado MA5 ($200, I think) in my storage shed, and an eBay Solstice bellhousing ($50), and when I can figure out a flywheel/clutch combo to put them together without spending more on it than I've spent on all that combined, maybe they'll make their way into something. The Solstice/Sky used a fat and heavy dual-mass flywheel so there's too much room in the bell, but...

      The Saab B234T is strong like bull, the longblock will go to 350+ but the stock externals won't.

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    4. Couple further notes:

      a) The biggest problem with the MA5 box is that they all have the same wide ratio split, from pickup truck to Solstice GXP. The R154 has tighter ratios. Of course, they're also comparatively rare and considerably more expensive.

      b) This transmission family also went into a bunch of Jeeps, etc. so the 4x4 crowd has all kinds of V8 adapters.

      c) The MA5 is physically somewhat larger than even a T5, so it's not a natural fit into cars with tight floorpan tunnels.

      Delete
  5. The Solstice is the most beautiful car made between of anything within 10 years of it in either direction.

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  7. The front end is a much darker grey than the rest of the car...a repair on th cheap?

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    Replies
    1. Think that is from over head clouds and or reflection lighting bldgs etc.

      Delete

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