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Low-Budget Sleeper Cars


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#1 Darkie

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:03 AM

It would be good if someone could post all the low-cost cars
that you could buy and the modifications / engine swaps available for them...

This thread is about used cars !

It doesn't make any sense to me to buy a brand new car just to
beat the **** out of it.

So what about..

Peugeot 205
2 litres ..Carburetors.. Nop

Peugeot 306 GTi
Still too expensive, hard to find.

Peugeot 106 Rallye
and
Citroen Saxo VTS
both are around 120 hp 16valve n/a with decent acceleration best for track days e.t.c.

Ok this is a suggested upgrade..

[SIZE=2]Intake cam : 43-73 degrees 12,4 mm deep
Exhaust Cam : 73-37 degrees 12,4 mm deep
Intake replacement - duct type
Exhaust replacement - Group N ..Go for a handmade :P
High pressure fuel regulator
New ECU no piggybacks! 

Plus a day @ the dyno[/SIZE]



Toyota Starlet GT Turbo/Glanza
that one is around 135 bhp and its damn fast if u adjust the turbo pressure

Toyota celica GT 2,3,4
Too expensive for a high mileage car that it is, even if everyone claims
that these engines don't break...i just don't believe them.

Renault Clio Williams
Pretty much same as 205, carburetors..Nop

Renault 5 GT
Really low cost - lightweight- just doesn't attract women

Opel Tigra
Hmm Nop.. slow

Honda Civic
Well 106 hp isn't much unless ..

Honda Civic Vti
Both 170 bhp VTEC engine really good but its a
little expensive for what u are getting.. most of them
are beaten up

Honda CRX Vtec
Well words speak for themselves..
but all of them are hardly beaten up..and are expensive...
Same goes for del sol though its a newer model.

Nissan Sunny/Pulsar GTi
227 bhp but not the kind we are looking for
- too expensive

Nissan 200sx
Nice car for circuits not illegal racing..

Fiat Uno Turbo
Best for drags.. low cost
Many swaps available really good if u want to bet on illegal racings..
Most of us do.

Fiat Punto GT
Well nop -
weak engine..hit it and it will shatter

Suzuki Swift GT
lightweight - really low cost .fast

Ford Escort RS Cossworth
Cosssies are i think overrated and too expensive if u think what
you are getting but you could always buy an RS and mod it however
you want it to be..

Ford Sierra RS Cossworth
These cars are ok if u throw money in them and they have the
aerodynamics

Lancia HF Integrale
Blazing fast can go 400+ with not so many $ spent.

Tell me if i forgotten any..

#2 Darkie

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 10:37 PM

Reliable cars under 10k:

1. Honda Civic
- Honda's are well-known for high reliability
- smaller, but still a nice enough size
- cool factor: Honda's are very popular among teens and young adults
- will last for many miles
- priced very affordably
- excellent handling
- fuel efficiency, mostly in the 30s, some in the 40s
- there are several trim lines, so you can pick one that suits you well (sedan, coupe, hatchback)
- high demand means that resale is usually not a problem
! road noise
! fair acceleration/power for some versions.
! rear seat room
! a few older models may come with a 4speed manual
1. 1988-1991 4cyl 62-105hp. Most are in DX/LX/CRX trim with the 92hp engine. Si model has 105hp. Hatchback 70hp
2. 1992-1995 4cyl 70-125hp. Si/EX 125hp, DX/LX/S 102hp, CX hatchback 70hp, VX hatchback 92hp (extremel efficient)
3. 1996-2000 4cyl 106-127hp. CX/DX/LX 106hp. EX 127hp, HX 115hp coupe.
4. 2001- 4cyl 115-160hp. DX/LX 115hp, EX 127hp, Si 160hp

2. Ford Focus
- reasonable starting price means you can get an almost new one.($12,000 - 16,000 new)
- small and nimble
- several different trims and styles will help you get what you need.
- a new model: has newer safety features and current styling
- fuel economy
- very good overall handling and visibility.
! fair reliability so far for this new model
! power/acceleration, SVT more expensive
1. 1999- 4cyl 110-130hp SVT 170

3. Nissan Maxima
- upscale nissan model means you get many nice features
- power/acceleration excellent - top 10 engine 8 yrs running
- even older models, esp. past generation have very nice styling that is still contemporary
- a medium sized car that will fit a lot in it
- excellent reliability
- very popular among all ages; projects a good image
- among the most comfortable cars I have sat in - front or back.
- This would be my top choice if you can get a good deal on it, but that can be tough, as this car has a very lofty reputation. All model years are very good.
! may need to look back to 95 and earlier for pricing under $10,000
1. 1989-1994 V6 160-190hp
2. 1995-1999 V6 190hp
3. 2000- V6 222-255hp

4. Acura Integra/RSX
- an upscale civic
- extremely reliable
- low depreciation rate
- will go many miles(have been known to go 200,000 - 250,000 mi)
- sporty coupe/hatchback or sedan available (RS/LS/GS-R/Type R)
- costs more than civic, but is still usually reasonbly priced for added features
- very popular among high school and college age people
- high demand is great for resale
- powerful and great handling, with still good fuel economy
! road noise
! rear seat room
1. 1988-1989 4cyl 118hp
2. 1990-1993 4cyl 140hp/GS-R coupe 170hp
3. 1994-2001 4cyl 140hp/GS-R coupe 170hp/Type R 195hp
4. 2002- 4cyl 160-200hp


5. Nissan Altima
- Altima is smaller than Maxima, hence more affordable, and still a little bit larger than Civic/Integra.
- excellent handling
- very good reliability
- a practical choice for any kind of driving
- widely available
- comfortable
- performs very well in almost all areas, though not exceptionally. A good starting car.
! So-so interior in second generation, some mundane aspects.
1. 1993-1997 4cyl 150hp
2. 1998-2001 4cyl 155hp
3. 2002- 4cyl 175hp, V6 240hp (huge increase in size)

6. Honda Accord
- available in three trim levels(DX,LX, and EX) to suit your liking
- mostly reasonably priced(!higher trims can be pricey, esp. V6)
- moderately sized, good rear seat space
- good handling
- low depreciation rate
- many on market, so availability is good
- past models look good
- excellent all-around car
- great reliability and has held up well in appearance
! designed to appeal more towards adults, in general
! if you need a V6, go with the Maxima. The accord's just isn't that powerful and is overpriced. Acceleration is fair overall in newer model yrs.
1. 1988-1989 4cyl 98-120hp
2. 1990-1993 4cyl 125-140hp
3. 1994-1997 4cyl 130-145hp
4. 1998-2002 4cyl 150hp : V6 200hp
* New model expected for fall of 2003 for both sedan and coupe.

7. Toyota Camry
- a nice all-around, medium sized car, rear seat very usable with plenty of space.
- top seller for the last several years
- good craftsmanship
- top-notch reliability 1996 and later, still good reliability in earlier models, but some problems are more frequent so have the mechanic do a careful check.
- a few trim levels
- low depreciation rate
- nice but without frills interior ambiance
! mundane (appearance and tons of them on streets)
! functions very comparatively to most others on list, but popularity means it is often more pricey.
1. 1988-1991 4cyl 115hp, V6 153hp
2. 1992-1996 4cyl 125hp, V6 188hp
3. 1997-2001 4cyl 133hp, V6 194hp
4. 2002- 4cyl 157hp, V6 192hp

8. Nissan Sentra
- very affordable vehicle, but you mostly get good stuff for what you pay.
- small, but not too small to feel vulnerable
- excellent gas mileage
- good build quality
- great reliability
! lacks personality, very mundane
! fair engine power
! somewhat cramped rear.
! not a whole lot of cargo space
! Absolutely avoid all automatics 88-90, as they are only 3 speed transmission, which is unnecessarily horrendous. Many also have only 4speed manual which is not optimal.
1. 1988-1990 4cyl 90hp (I do not recommend these model yrs)
2. 1991-1994 4cyl 110hp-140hp. I do not recommend "E" trim sedan with 3speed automatic trans, all the rest have fine transmissions.
3. 1995-1999 4cyl 115hp
4. 2000- 4cyl 126-175hp. Most will have 126hp or 145. Sentra SE-R and Spec V have higher outputs.

9. Chevrolet Camaro
- very sporty model, hence very cool
- nice features, esp. higher trim lines
- very powerful/great acceleration
- good ride and handling
- available in several trim lines and styles
- shouldn't be a problem to find one
* Reliability generally sound
! comfort
! may depreciate more heavily than other choices
! fuel economy
1. 1988-1993 I-4 140hp, V8 230hp
2. 1994-1997 V6 160hp, V8 275-305hp
3. 1998- V6 200hp, V8 305-345hp

10. Volkswagen Jetta
- medium size
- does most things very well
- cool company and cool car
- fuel economy
- handling
- low depreciation
! Reliability fair for some model years
! try hard to get a newer one (96 or sooner). Volkswagen has been making leaps and bounds in its product in recent years.
1. 1988-1992 I-4 52-134hp: all automatics only 3speed
2. 1996-1998 I-4 115hp, fuel efficient TDI I-4 90hp,V6 172hp
3. 1999- I-4 115-180hp, TDI I-4 90hp, V6 201hp

Other Good Choices
- Chevrolet/Geo Prizm:an economy car that was built in a joint venture between GM and Toyota. Has excellent reliability reputation and functions well, but is an economy car.
- Chevrolet Malibu: redesign several yrs back yielded an all-around competent performer that is a family sedan.
- Ford Escort: Economy car that preceded the focus.
- Mazda Protege: Another economy car that has a good reputation, but does not excel in any one area.
- Nissan Sentra: nissan's lowest model in the states. It is a compact.
- Toyota Corolla: below a Camry. Little emphasis on style, but has held-up well.
- Toyota Celica:a sporty model that well-liked, but a little pricier.

#3 steck

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 11:23 PM

ummmm.....okay.


i dont know how any cars turning low 100's in the hp department can ever qualify as a 'sleeper'....but whatever.

#4 Bad03xtreme

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:27 AM

If you can find a well maintained one an early 90's Grand am with the quad 4 5 speed were real sleepers.

#5 rydawg

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:29 AM

ummmm.....okay.


i dont know how any cars turning low 100's in the hp department can ever qualify as a 'sleeper'....but whatever.


Sure it does.....it's sleeping.:laugh:

If you throw $10,000 plus into it, it may eventually wake up:laugh:

I know what you mean though. Back in the day, we had sleepers that were wagons with 454's, built 350, 460's, depending on the make. We would modify the transmissions heavily also.

I remember my friends and I would go out and race all night long. I had a 78 Chevy truck ( beat work truck) with a 406 stroker engine with about 450 hp. I'll never forget the day I was at the beach and my buddy with a 85 300Zx turbo (nice car) wanted to race me. He thought he was going to blow me away. All you heard was my engine roaring and loudly chirping all the gears till I could not even see his headlights in my mirror anymore.:laugh:

Another sleeper I had was a 87 Dodge Charger (Shelby) Turbo II. I had a lot of work done to that and not much would keep up with me. To bad it always broke though.
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#6 Polygon

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:07 AM

Another sleeper I had was a 87 Dodge Charger (Shelby) Turbo II. I had a lot of work done to that and not much would keep up with me. To bad it always broke though.


I would vote for a TD was well. I have a 1989 LeBaron GTC Turbo II and I've blown the doors off plenty of cars and I usually get the look, the *** look. You can do that with about any TD. There are host of cars to chose from, they are inexpensive, reliable, easy to work one, easy inexpensive to make fast.
Clint

1989 Chrysler LeBaron GTC Turbo II - Full On Project Car
1991 Dodge Stealth R/T TT - Restoration Phase

#7 themightytimmah

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:28 AM

1990's Taurus SHO
1997-2004 Gran Prix GTP

Take the badges off either, the GP can get a pulley/u-bend delete/chip for 300+, and you're looking at low 14's maybe high 13's for under 10 grand.
Once you buff black, you never go back

#8 todd@bsaw

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:49 AM

2004 Subaru Forester XT

2.5L 224hp turbo H4 (STi motor)
throw on the STi turbo, pull out 300hp/300tq

Get yourself an STI in sheeps clothing.


I've also always been partial to the A2 GTIs with a turbo VR6 swap.
Posted Image
My '87 Sleeper GTi
(Not mine... I wish)
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#9 simracer

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:05 AM

I'll second the vote for the '90s Taurus SHO. I had three of them. No one expects the four door grocery getter to keep door to door with a similar year Mustang GT. All the Yamaha parts are EXTREMELY reliable, the Ford parts less so. Sort of expensive to modify and not much you can do to it short of adding a turbo, supercharger or nitrous shots. Fastest ones I've heard of with full interor were about 13.7, but some may have gone faster since then.

I think the engine would swap into anything else the 3.0 V6 went in around that time. I know there were some Ford Rangers with SHO engines, a Windstar that Ford did and the SHOgun (Ford Festiva with the SHO engine mounted in the rear). Also, Ford did a few Mercury Sables with aluminum bodies as test mules. One was rescued from the crusher by the owner of the aluminum company and he put an SHO engine in that. Talk about your sleeper!

Most can be had for less than $3k. At least the old V6 SHOs (which are really the only real SHOs as far as I'm concerned).
If you can't drive it, at least make it look good.

#10 victory

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:23 AM

Low budget sleeper you say?

Posted Image

Buick Regal GS (got my 2002 for $10K 2 years ago, Earlier model years back to 97 with higher mileage can be had for a pittance and the 3800 motor with the eaton blower is as rock solid a base as you can hope for.

Buick exterior, supercharged 3800 under the hood. Replace the grandma suspension with swaybars, trailing arms and strut tower braces from a police package impala ($150). Upgrade the front brakes from the same (some guys even do dual piston setups off an f-body) ($250-400). Next, do in intake ($200), slap on some duals off a pontiac GTP ($150ish, cheaper if you find a GTP guy throwing away his stock exhaust for something loud), downpipe and ported manifolds or headers ($350-500), reprogrammed PCM ($100), drop the pulley size ($60).

You want to go more extreme? Short stack intercooler and a smaller pulley ($600) gets you into the 12's, but now we start getting expensive because you'll start needing to harden your transmission. Even intercooled turbo setups are out there ($3000-4000) and there are several running 11's with 10's not out of the question without looking like a race car (gtp guys have done it, no Buick's that i know of yet)

It's like strapping a ****ing rocket to you living room couch. Leaves mustang owners and riceboys looking confused and emasculated.

#11 Aurora40

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 08:00 AM

Low budget sleeper you say?

Buick Regal GS (got my 2002 for $10K 2 years ago, Earlier model years back to 97 with higher mileage can be had for a pittance and the 3800 motor with the eaton blower is as rock solid a base as you can hope for.

Thank you! That's exactly what I thought of when I read the thread title. You can't get more sleeper than a dang Buick! SHO, GTP, anything with "Shelby" or "Cosworth" in the title a sleeper? No way. If anything they deliver less then you'd expect based on the spoilers, ground effects, etc. The only thing the Regal has different is a black grill. Most people probably just figure you got front-ended and cheaped on the repair.

With a few hundred bucks you can be going 13's. A few thousand and you are going 12's or deeper. No one ever sees it coming from those things.

#12 shine

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 08:23 AM

Thank you! That's exactly what I thought of when I read the thread title. You can't get more sleeper than a dang Buick! SHO, GTP, anything with "Shelby" or "Cosworth" in the title a sleeper? No way. If anything they deliver less then you'd expect based on the spoilers, ground effects, etc. The only thing the Regal has different is a black grill. Most people probably just figure you got front-ended and cheaped on the repair.

With a few hundred bucks you can be going 13's. A few thousand and you are going 12's or deeper. No one ever sees it coming from those things.


I thought the same thing . It's hard to beat the 3800, especially in a Buick. The Grand Prix loses some of the sleeper effect due to its sporty looks.

#13 cajunfirehawk

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:18 PM

Any 1998-2002 camaro (or trans am, firebird) with an LS1 and a six speed, also the last few years of the gto, all tire smokers.

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#14 pb_foots

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:29 PM

1994-1996 Chevy Caprice 9C1. Cheap, easy to mod, parts are easy to get, and the LT1 is bulletproof if you take care of it.

#15 Scottwax

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 07:01 PM

78-82 Malibu with a 472 or 500 Caddy engine swap. Both cars and engines are cheap and even with a bone stock 472, you are looking at low 14s, maybe high 13s. 500 with headers, intake, Holley 750 DP, torque cam and you should see easy 12s and never rev past 5200 rpm.

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#16 Scottwax

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 07:04 PM

Any 1998-2002 camaro (or trans am, firebird) with an LS1 and a six speed, also the last few years of the gto, all tire smokers.


Those aren't sleepers.

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#17 holland_patrick

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 11:51 AM

Subaru Baja Turbo.

just like the forester they have the same engine internals as the STI just a few small parts (turbo/intercooler) just a few quick changes your going to have one great 300+ HP little truck..

or you could do this...

you need to loose the wing but other then that it's a sleeper


Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image
:showpics

#18 Spilchy

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 03:11 PM

I remember my father rented a car when we went to visit my brother in college in 1988. It was a 1987 Buick Regal T Type. It looked like any other Buick but I remember my father commenting on how much power it had. It wasn't the Grand National (one of my favorite cars!)

My friend had a 1991 Mustang LX 5.0. Don't know if you could call it a sleeper, but when you removed the "5.0" badges and rolled up on an uneducated guy next to you; it made for a real eye opener for him! THAT car was one little pocket rocket.

#19 Scottwax

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 03:18 PM

Early 90s Mitsubitshi Galant VR4, same engine as the turboed D-Stars, tons of potential. Same with the Mazda 626 GT, turbo engine like the Ford Probe, total stealth machine.

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#20 fstb88

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 03:20 PM

There are only three sleepers in my mind. One would be and early 90s Thunderbird with the SC or the Second Gen Ford Taurus SHO, with a slight mod(sv heads and cams off a SVT Contour) it can pull major power without turbo or superchargers. Little bit of an extensive build but will be very solid. O and the late 80s turbo charged T-Birds




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