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Pontiac GTO



  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    If you've got 17" OEM wheels and tires... check the insides of your tires frequently to be sure that your tires aren't rubbing your struts.

    There are 2 or 3 possible causes (and solutions) for this problem.

    1) improper alignment - look at the revised specs on (Pedders USA is the American arm of the Australian suspension company that makes parts for the Commodore, Monaro, and GTO)
    2) Blown front radius-rod bushings... these are fluid-filled bushings which have a tendency to burst. Replacing the OEMs with something else (I chose Whiteline bushings, at half of the cost of Pedders) will also help improve brake feel, believe it or not.
    c) Blown front strut mounts/bearings. This may be related to the front springs being compressed for the long boat ride over, and the strut mounts and bearings taking the brunt of movements (and causing the mounts to collapse). The Pedders solution is high-quality and reasonably priced.

    I would be vigilant, be proactive if you feel necessary, but have no hesitation in keeping your car (particularly if you've had few/no issues with it). There are less than 2000 new GTOs' on lots across the country - they will pretty much be gone by the end of July (except for the common colors and autos - some of the more unique colors/combos, and 6-speeds, are getting rare). The GTO is a great vehicle which deserved a better chance than it got from the press (the lame-o C&D "Gotta Have It" factor review) and the buying public (who never took the time to get seat time in the car to realize what a tremendous performer and bargain the car is).

    There was an old advertising slogan... "If you don't get it... don't get it." Which certainly applies to the GTO. I still feel the car will be a collectable years from now... I certainly plan to hang onto mine...

  • usa2usa2 Posts: 14
    Is is really better than the stock M6 shifter? Did you also chaneg the oil (royal purple etc.)?
  • mparis1mparis1 Posts: 107
    Thank You, Robert. All of us GTO Owners are lucky to have you in this forum .Your advice/insight is provide to us a resource that is hard to find ,especially on a special performance car.....GTO. Thanks again. :)
    Yes , I will probably buy the car. I live in NYC, and there is nothing like it here. Everybody is always looking at it and afficionados always want to talk to me . It is an interesting car.Yes Pontiac let a great tradition die ..Too bad...
    Some questions[of course];
    1. Are Bridgestone Potenzas tires a "safer" fit due to the bushing problem?
    2. Will there be difficulting in getting GTO "Parts"in years to come since the car is discontiued?

    The Ford Mustang Shelby GT/GTH specs . do not match the 2005/2006 GTO . The Shelby GT500 is a "machine" but I hear dealers are getting $80,000.00 for them .Otherversions will be extremely expensive ....KR/Boss / the GTO is stillthe best street machine for now. The Dodge Challenger will never be built..Chysler out of business.....The Camaro will come out in 2009/2010...if at all......$4.00 gas prices will kill it.So I am keeping the "LAST GTO' :shades:
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    I wouldn't say the Potenzas are "safer". It's just the stock 18" tire size of 235/40 which allows for more strut clearance. Some folks have gone up to 245/40 with different tire brands, but you have to be careful - not all tires measure out the same (some BFG models, i.e. KD, won't fit in one size, but a KDW (NT) in the same size fits fine).

    Truthfully, to address strut rub, at a minimum you should change out:
    a) radius rod bushings
    b) front strut mounts and bearings
    c) get a decent alignment

    Do those three things (and check periodically) and you'll do fine. The OEM radius rod bushings are fluid-filled and weak/fail early and often. You will note improved brake feel with upgraded bushings. The factory strut mounts tend to collapse quite frequently and early - possibly due to the fact that the front springs are compressed for the long boat ride, and any bouncing/moving around while on the boat will put pressure on the mounts.

    I'm about to change these items (along with rear radius rod bushings and inner control arm bushings) on my GTO, as I'm about to cross 20k miles in the next few days. I'm also contemplating changing out the front struts and springs, as well as the rear shocks and springs - it's just a bit pricey and I'm making sure I can afford to do it this month.

    Regarding parts availability, the LS1/LS2 and the six-speed and two different auto trannies are common parts with other GM cars. It's when you run into some of the suspension components, interior, and GTO-unique parts where you might see shortages down the line. Fortunately (or unfortunately), there are a number of totaled GTO's out there, so you can find parts in automotive recycling (a/k/a junkyards). GM will still bring parts over (this will accelerate with the G8 also being sourced from Oz early next year). And then there are aftermarket companies like Pedders (suspension) and JHP (pretty much any Holden or HSV part) who specialize in servicing the GTO aftermarket. I don't think you'll have major problems finding parts for a number of years...
  • jetterf8jetterf8 Posts: 3
    Bought the '04 in Feb '04; the '05 in Feb '05. No problems major problems with either -- until last week.

    The problem: key would not turn to "start" in the ignition -- steering wheel remains locked. Tried all the book stuff: reset key, jiggle steering wheel, changed ignition CB, checked battery OK. Called where I bought it and got "Gosh, we don't know anything about that!" It will be covered by warranty.

    Another subject: got the SLP Bobcat mod over a year ago. I can't get enough of it -- the sound, especially. It's really too droney for my wife, on the highways at around 2200RPM, but everyone should own 455hp (dynoed at 456) before they croak. I'm really impressed with SLP and their authorized installers.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Lots of folks on LS1GTO having that issue... most in warmer states (Texas, Arizona, California). Seems like it might start to be a common problem...
  • jetterf8jetterf8 Posts: 3
    The locksmith/genius determined that the key problem was mechanical, not electronic.

    Apparently there is a pin which "homes" upon the intial turning of the key (before any electronic checkpoints are triggered). He said this pin is made of very hard metal, while the cylinder in which it rides is very soft metal. The pin had grooved the soft cylinder metal in such a way as to restrict the pin from "homing" and unlocking the steering wheel (and proceeding to the electronic system checkpoints).

    I mentioned your comment regarding warmer states and he said that it was a plausible theory because the cylinder metal was so soft that it could, indeed, be sensitive to higher temperatures resulting in metal softening and the problem I had.

    He offered his email address, if anyone's interested.
  • jetterf8jetterf8 Posts: 3
    Oh, it cost $145 for two hours labor and the part, shipped from Australia.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    jetterf8, thanks so much for posting this followup info from the locksmith. it's very good to know about.
  • I was performing a tire rotation and noticed that the inside of both front tires were rubbing the struts. Took it to my local dealer and was told that Pontiac knows nothing of the problem. After printing several pages of info from several different sites including the newsnet5 investigation from Cleveland, The safety administration request for an investigation, and the class action suit filed in Cali, Pontiac told my dealer that there is an unpublished service bulletin for the strut rub. Pontiac told the dealer to adjust the camber to it maximum but stay within the specs. I threw a coat of paint on the strut and will drive it for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    ...your front radius rod bushings (they are fluid-filled and prone to rupture... the replacements will rupture, too - I purchased replacement SuperPro bushings for $120 from Autoform, as well as your strut mounts. They can align all they want, but if the radius rod bushings are blown, and/or your strut mounts are collapsed, your alignment's going to change each and every time you hit the brakes on your car/you may continue to have strut rub...
  • monarofanmonarofan Posts: 30

    How do you tell if the radius rod bushings are ruptured? Can you feel it on the road (and what does it feel like) or can you look for it without getting the car on a hoist?

  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    If the car feels like it's "wandering" on the road, or if you notice the brake pedal feel not being great, that's one clue your RRB's are toast. Another way is to have a friend watch your car as you roll by at 10-15 mph and jam on the brakes - if the wheels move significantly in the wheel wells when you hit the brakes, that's another clue.

    If you lie on the ground in front of the car, you should be able to see the RRB's (stockers are black, aftermarket are red (Pedders), blue (Noltec), or purple (SuperPro) bolted to the front support under the car. It may not be apparent that they're leaking until they're removed, but if they're collapsed, you should be able to tell...

    Some interesting GTO suspension component pics here: OE Bushes.htm

    I've got another link I'll dig out and post with other pics...
  • ehasleyehasley Posts: 18
    Hey all, I'm in the market for a new car. I have previously owned a Olds Aurora, and I loved everything about that car. Even though it was large, it was still quick enough to surprise many. However, due to reliability issues I had to ditch my money pit, and I stepped away from GM products as well. Now I find myself rethinking a GM car and I'm absolutely in love with the Goat. I just have a few questions to ask. Is it reliable enough for a daily driver? Also, since it is basically a sports car, are the parts and maintenance fees more expensive? With gas prices these days, I'm definitely gunning for the Manual transmission. Can some one give me an idea of some real world MPG numbers? And how important is it to use premium grade fuel, other than from a performance stand point, will it damage the engine?

    As far as the looks go, I love it! The idea of driving a car that wont stand out to the police is a dream. ;)

    Thank you
  • monarofanmonarofan Posts: 30

    Thanks. On smooth roads I don't notice anything but on uneven roads I feel some wandering but have always thought it was just the road. What do you think?

  • silvergoatsilvergoat Posts: 12
    I too am having this problem, key goes in but won't turn. Had it towed to dealer (by GM road assist). Dealer called me yesterday and said that it was in deed a problem with the ignition switch and they would have to replace it. But, they weren't sure how soon they could locate one, a few days a week 2 weeks a month.
    Fortunately it is under warrantee and they are providing me with a new GMC Envoy.
    If this is a know issue you would think they would have the parts available.
  • monarofanmonarofan Posts: 30

    I have had a 2005 6 speed for 2 years and have no problems except for an accelerator part replaced under warranty. I love the car. I drive it everyday and often take my kinds somewhere, who fit in comfortably. I drive in the city and get 16-17mpg, my worst was 14 when there was some road construction going on. On a highway trip I get 24-25mpg.

  • ehasleyehasley Posts: 18

    Thank-you for the reply. You've given me some encouraging news about my dream car. It's a depressing fact to know that a 6.0 liter making 3 times the horse power of my current vehicle gets BETTER gas mileage! :P

    I am leaning towards an '05 or '06. Mainly because I want the 6.0. Out of the three years, is there any one in particular to stay away from? Also, I've read the reports of the issues with the struts blowing out and tire rub. Since I am looking to purchase used, is there anything in particular I really need to watch out for when going the pre-owned route?
  • silvergoatsilvergoat Posts: 12
    As a follow-yp to my ignition cylinder problem. Got a call from the dealer yesterday, he said he wasn't sure whern the new ignition cylinder would be in (had to be shipped from OZ). He did acknowlege that he had a second goat there also waiting for the same parts.
    It is dissapointing to me that GM would allow a known problem to exist without having the replacemnt parts readily available.
    Do I now assume that in the future I will have problems getting other GTO specific parts? If so, this doesn't bode well for future ownership of this amazing vehicle.
  • lovegtolovegto Posts: 23
    I own both a 2003 Aurora V8 and a 2005 GTO. In comparing the two vehicles. The ride is much softer and less noisy by far in the Aurora which is to be expected. The mileage for the Aurora is about one or two miles per gallon better in the Aurora. Repairs are difficult to judge. The Aurora has had only one major post warranty repair issue other than routine maintenance. Side window quit operating in the winter - probably frozen and needed new mechanics. The GTO has 34,000 miles but has not required any mechanical repairs. However I suspect that cost of the repairs when needed will be higher for parts than for the Aurora. Had cracked front plastic fender cover replaced and body shop said cost of part was much higher than normal and due to the limited number of GTO's sold in America usable used parts will be hard to find.
  • ehasleyehasley Posts: 18
    Thank you much for the reply. I am planning on taking my time when looking for my GTO. I'm shooting for a '05-'06 with the 6-speed, and I don't mind waiting for what I want before I sign the dotted line. Thank you all for your responses. I am also looking to get some kind of an extended warranty or a certified car, just in case.

  • barr62barr62 Posts: 2
    I wrecked my 06 Spicy Red chromed Wheel'd GTO ..all 's i did was pulled out on wet road Hit 2nd gear and she Snapped Losed with out warning ( Pictures avalable ) how ever at thsi date and time i was told from the DEALER where it is at now said it did More damage bcause of the following" The facory weld or welds Under the front fenders are incoorect or weak ! So as of 08/19/2007 the Car has over $13200.93 damage done to it .. i have also have hardshifting issues Prior with this car and when you start it up cold? ..theres a Lifter Tap then it fades away but as far as Strut issues go? , i have None , i just hope i get this car Back Like it was Brand New //Barry from PA !
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    Barry, that stinks. On the bright side, seems like you must have been uninjured.
    I had a 94 Z28 that obtained $10k rear-ender damage when it was 3 weeks old (pushed under car in front too). I wish they had totalled it out - it took 3 months to repair.
    Btw, I never heard anything about weak welds on GTOnaros before.
    My 05s get a little lifter tap when cold. Or maybe it's piston slap. It disappears soon enough.
    Best wishes, dude.
  • mjc7mjc7 Posts: 1
    My '04 Yellow Jacket still has the stock tires at 25,000 miles. I noticed last time it was up on the lift that the inner 2" of the tires were completely bald. 2 questions. Any tire recommendations for me? I live in NYC so driving in snow is an issue. And I don't have room to keep two sets of tires and/or wheels. Second, does the '06 strut issue also apply to '04s? Could that explain the wear pattern I'm seeing?

    BTW, love the car, hate the GM service. Don't even get me started on that.

  • mparis1mparis1 Posts: 107
    We all value your opinion...

    Guys.....Have this engine noise....goes /comes...think it is lifter tap? piston slap? Anyone having such noise??
    2005 GTO 18,000 miles.
    What does this mean?
    what can be done?
    What type of test should I ask the Dealer for?
    Thanks Guys?
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    mjc7, your alignment probably has mucho negative camber. when i got my 05 i could not believe how it handled - unlike anything i'd ever driven except a formula ford at watkins glen - incredible "turn-in" - no "push" at all to the handling. it took me a while to get used to it - not realizing that it was not aligned properly for street use.
    on your car also there may also be a "strut rub" issue - it will be obvious if the front tires have been contacting the struts. my 05 had zero evidence of strut-rub.
    my 05 had the negative camber from factory - i noticed the tire issue at 15k miles before the factory tires were totally wrecked. i ended up getting 25k out of them, so you aren't doing too bad at 25k. replaced em with Toyo proxes - VERY happy with these tires.
    GM service has been decent and good-faith for me, the alignment issue is the only significant problem the car has had. (also a bad blaupunkt and failed gas cap). pontiac insisted on paying for the alignment - the most expensive alignment i've ever heard of - $250 - took the dealer a week to do it and the printout showed me it was a tad out of spec after all that. i brought it back and said, "dudes if you are going to charge $250 for an alignment, it's pretty gutsy of you to give me a printout showing it's even 0.01 out of spec on any of the numbers - TRY AGAIN." so they realigned it for free, or at least manually edited the printout so it showed 100% within-spec. placebo effect works ok for me though.

    if i were you i would not get it aligned anywhere but dealer or a speed-shop - apparently there are consumable bolts required for the alignment. pontiac might well pay for it no matter who aligns it - they are well aware of the issue and seem to be bending over backwards to make GTO owners happy, as far as i've seen.
    as for the snow issue, your car and you and those around you are at serious risk if you drive GTO in snow/ice conditions without blizzaks or top quality snow/ice tires. do whatever it takes to avoid that, dude man. imho there is no such thing as an "all season" tire for a car like GTO although I have had some ok winters with *new* all seasons on VWs.
  • where can you find the exact revised spec ?? i didn't see them on the peddler's web site. thanks.rr70
  • mparis1mparis1 Posts: 107
    what are the best tires for the 2005/2006 GTO ...street driven all -season...what do you guys recommend?
    what should i tell the dealer about doing wheel alignment? Tell them to call Pontiac to get correct specs to prevent strut rub....or leave my car alone?
    Please advise? :confuse:
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    If you need all-season... lots of folks happy with the Fuzion ZRi's and the General Exclaim UHP's. If you can have 2 sets of wheels, consider getting a dedicated set of snows (Dunlop WinterSport M3's for winter, and either Bridgestone RE01-R's or Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (PS2's) for summer. Goodyear Eagle F1-GSD3's are also good tires, and they have an all-season one that just came out, but I haven't read any feedback on 'em.

    Pedders alignment specs here:

    Regarding strut rub... I went to 18" wheels (Holden CV8-R's) and was going to put on one of the 18" summer tires above, but lucked into a local set of 3200-mile takeoff stock Bridgestones (for $200!). Pretty happy with these.

    I also changed out my front struts/springs and rear shocks/springs for Pedders Comfort Gas... the improvement in ride quality is fantastic (and my stock front struts would just collapse/were already shot at 18k miles). I also changed out the front and rear radius rod bushings, and lower control arm bushing, with SuperPro, and changed the strut mounts/bearings with Pedders (mount is their part, bearing is the same as the stock part). The handling improvement in my car is outstanding - there is very little body roll, and corners/curves which I could maybe take at 20-25 mph I can push 35-40 mph. Let another '04 A4 GTO owner drive my car, and he was blown away how much the upgrades (and alignment to the Pedders specs) improve the ride and handling. Really very happy with my upgrades...

    At a minimum... all GTO owners should consider replacing:

    1) the stock fluid-filled radius rod bushings. They're crap. One was totally collapsed, the other was leaking. I spent ~$120 for my SuperPro bushes from Autoform:

    2) the stock strut mounts and bearings. As mentioned above, Pedders has more severe-duty mounts, and the bearings you could get from them or your local Pontiac dealer.

    I did the rear radius rod and lower control arm bushes because the stock parts aren't great and both could be easily done while all of the other work was in progress...

    3) If you're running 245-width tires on 17" wheels, consider dropping down to 235's (the size that comes on the 18's, which gives more clearance between the tire and the strut/spring perch)...
  • Changing to the 18's was what I had in mind. It gets me dropped down to 235's but then I have to still do some replacement of stock parts. My question to you: With all the replacement equipment and modifications, are you covered under warranty so as to be reimbursed by GM?
This discussion has been closed.