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Hello, my solstice is in the shop, and I have some tough decisions to make. I knew this day was coming, but I don't think anyone is ever truly prepared for these kinds of decisions!

The Car: 2007 GXP manual with 110K miles, trifecta budget tune, summer tires, stiffer front sway bar. Overall, a ton of fun. Cosmetic condition so-so, chips in the paint, rubs on the wheels, but everything works. Daily driver (in San Antonio, Texas), fun as all get out, and I've learned a lot (mechanics, heel-toe shifting, etc). Plagued with oil leaks for about a year (from head gasket, and mech says rear main seal too).

The problem: something rattling behind the timing cover: mechanic (indie) says that water pump's going out, variable valve timing assembly is going out, and maybe the timing chain tensioner (I can't remember). Timing chain guard is intact and not an issue (so no metal parts lost in the engine).

3 Options (as I see it, please tell me if I missed something).

Repair: Mech says $1,850, provided that that’s all of the issues. He stipulated that there could be more issues that we find when he puts everything back together.

Replace (pay someone): buy a used, refurb, or crate LNF motor and install it. My mech won’t do this if I buy the motor, but I know a place in town that will. I’ve seen LNF crate motors online for 2-3K, and the install would be $1,400 (used motor), $1,900 (crate motor). Total Cost: 3.5K – 4.5K.

Replace (myself): I’m pretty mechanically inclined, though I’ve never taken on a task of this size and I don’t any more than the basic tools. I have a friend who has done several engine-out restorations and has some of the tools I would need (garage, engine hoist, etc). I Could possibly ask him if he would let me occupy his garage for a few weeks while replace the motor. I’m leaning away from this option, It would be a ton of fun, but my job is pretty demanding (sometimes working nights and weekends) and it would be a huge time commitment.

Sell: Anyone want to buy a solstice with the issues listed above? Could be a great base for an LSx conversion or for a track car, etc. Make me an offer!!!

Overall I’m fond of this car. It seems to spend a bit more time in the shop than I would like, but I always considered the fun factor was worth it. Because of its shop visits, I’m already planning on buying another car, either to use as supplemental transportation while this one is being worked on, or to completely replace my solstice. I would enjoy having two cars, but I would probably end up selling the solstice anyway as I’m not in a financial position to have two cars.
 

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If you have time, space and patience you could part it out. Keep what you need for the next Solstice (if you are getting another one) and sell the rest
 

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I would think if your water pump was failing you would have noticed coolant leaking or the coolant light coming on. I have read of the plastic tension timing chain guides breaking. Never read any issues w/the variable valve system.

Selling or repairing is half dozen of one, half dozen of the other. But selling a vehicle w/a supposedly bad motor is a losing deal because regardless of the value, a buyer is going to be subtracting the costs of the motor and labor to install it.

This is what my old mechanic tells me, it's always cheaper to put several hundred dollars into a paid off vehicle every now and then, they pay several hundred dollars a month for four or five years.
 

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IF the car is in good shape other than the current problem, meaning, good tires, brakes, top, suspension. You will be hard pressed to buy a car that is better for the amount of money needed to fix this one.

Also, if you sell, almost everyone on here will promise you that you are going to miss it almost immediately. They have that affect on people for some reason.

Maybe try a different mechanic for an opinion. Check with some of the local guys that have them, a lot of these guys do their own work, and it seems would be more than happy to help you for a lot less money. No guarantee on that. But all on here seem to be very helpful when a member is in distress.
 

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If one of your options is to replace yourself (or with the help of your friend with the garage and hoist), why not 'repair' yourself? If your mech already identified that it is likely the VVT system and water pump, do it yourself.
As Rob the Elder noted, it could be as easy as a chain and guide replacement (that would explain the ratlle you hear).
 

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I say fix it with your friend. Water pump, t-stat, both chains, all guides, both tensioners (110k miles), and both VVT sprockets.
 

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I 3rd on the chain guide rattle. If you got compression, boost and no water in your block, The LNF still has some life in it. The real money is in the labor. If you are handy plus have a good friend with tools. You can get parts on line for well under $1000. So the question is do you want to invest the time or are you ready to move on. I made my decision in February and bought a new engine for my 2008 GXP. It was cheaper than a year worth of new car payments. There is still nothing out there that looks like a GXP for under $5,000, nothing... If needed, I got an LNF head sitting around. It is yours for free, just pay shipping from 33135. PM me if interested,
 
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