13 Years old...
This was certainly an eventful year for the GTA. It started out on a sour note, as 1999 wasn't the most enjoyable year for the car, mileage-wise. Action had to be taken for 2000 if this car was going
to make it.
Truth is, the car was hurting. The front struts were gone (again! I'd already replaced them in late 1994), the steering was a bit loose (again! I'd replaced idler arm and center link in late 1994!), and the brakes felt like they were seizing... stomp on the brakes and they would refuse to budge, release the pedal and they'd grab momentarily before allowing the car to move on. Not to mention that the car would pull randomly on hard braking.
Then, to add insult to injury, coming off a highway doing no more than 45kph or so (merging into slow traffic), I hit a pothole that resulted in a nasty dent on my original GTA wheel. The tire was fine... I must have hit the edge of the hole at *just* the right angle (or WRONG angle...).
I made it home without losing too much air from the tire, but the alignment was screwed. The whole experience forced me to take the plunge and make the effort to bring my monster back to its former glory.
I got the mag fixed without requiring a repaint (thankfully, as I really like the original finish on these wheels!). I dumped some $$$ on new GM struts, an idler arm and a center link. I had already installed a caliper rebuild kit the year before in a search for a solution to my brake problems, and flushed the system. All that was left was to replace the brake hoses...
and that did the trick! Top it all off with a decent alignment (a little more aggressive than stock GM values) and it felt like a new car again (well, a new 3rd gen in any case!).
With these improvements for 2000, the car was as good (or better) than when I bought it in 1993, and with the exception of it being a rainy summer in Montreal, it was a good year for the car. Hopefully next year, there'll be more km's to put on the car.
13-year-old TPI engine
104000 km on its 13th B-day (May 28th 2000)
At least once the gremlins were taken care of, I was able to enjoy the car once again and even permitted myself a little time to shine 'er up!