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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys, I am enjoying my new Solstice and already want to "play" around a bit with some minor mods. I have a few in mind I am toying with- but more importantly I am interested in what Mods some of you guys did that you absolutely love (and maybe some you don't so I don't make those mistakes!).

For now, I am focused on some minor stuff (I "mocked" these up in photoshop for at least a general idea)

  • Thinking of getting some kind of replacement mirrors that are more functional. I typically like black mirrors on the white cars
  • Also considering taking my corvette wheels off and painting them black. I don't actually mind the magnesium... it's different... but I don't like that they are clearly "corvette" wheels (literally written on the caps)
  • I was going to buy red caliper covers, but with the wheels I have on, there is literally not enough room for a cover to fit so unless I change the wheels (not going to pay for that) I will have to just paint them.
  • Plan to tint the side windows
Would love to hear what you guys think and what you have done!

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EDIT: Currently running the following mods:
  • DDMWorks Front Brace
  • DDMWorks Pro Beam Rear Brace
  • KappaSphere Lowering Springs (1.25-inches)
  • 18x9.5 +65 Rear with 275 x 40 x R18 Tires
  • 17x8.5 +58 Front with 245 x 45 x R17 Tires
  • Mini Antenna
  • Halogen Headlights
  • LED Taillights
 

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First off - those wheels are notorious for cracking. If you're going to keep them, find a shop that can run a NDT test on them every 2yrs/20,000 miles or so. You can also investigate home kits, but they make a horrendous mess.

Since I'm now already writing a post:

My unpopular list of mods I love:
1.) Deal pedal delete, so my legs fit
2.) Kirkey Seat, so my head fits
3.) Radio delete, so my phone/wallet/garage door opener/water bottle fit
3b.) Bluetooth speaker install, so I have a radio again, but with better sound quality than stock
4.) Torque arm delete, so I can use a Cadillac diff, speaking of which -
5.) 3.42 rear end, for highway cruising
6.) Carpet delete, so I can power wash the interior like it's an old jeep.

Now - the even more unpopular list of things I haven't modified and probably won't but every one will say you have to:
1.) Tunnel brace (e.g. "backbone.")
2.) Aftermarket tune (not applicable to your NA)
3.) Aftermarket headlight bulbs
 
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The first mod we do is the DDM probeam. Helps with controllability

I have the backbone on my LS car but not on the 2.0 car. My experience and that of several club members is that the backbone is worthwhile upgrade.

We have also really enjoyed the improved braking performance by changing the front pads.

Somehow I just cant imagine powerwashing the interior. :) But to each their own.
 

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Agree about what Rob said - improve braking and handling first, it can make a big difference. After that look at whether you want to do cosmetic stuff - your car is naturally aspirated so there is no easy way to more power if that was what you were thinking (no cheap easy way anyway - turbos and superchargers are spendy).
 

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06 solstice sliver.wicked coupe,dirtbike,4wheeler
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hmm I wonder if the Polaris's super kit would be much if a issue to put on it. butt still it's $4000+ turbo wood be cheeper and probably beter.
 

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2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe 001136
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Hi guys, I am enjoying my new Solstice and already want to "play" around a bit with some minor mods. [...]
Warning: My tastes are not hip, and the only mods I've been working on so far are to restore the dash to original condition by removing the very-well installed wood appliqué from the 'boomerang'. That said, you asked for folks thoughts -- here are mine:

The Solstice was designed carefully with many visual accents that are intentional nods to vintage sports cars. I think appearance changes must compliment or harmonize with that theme.

So if you are going to change the side-view mirrors, maybe go with a vintage style mirror--bullet shaped or streamlined, & chrome-finished. It'll tie in with the chrome headlight bezels and door handles.

And on that note: Black-painted wheels on a Solstice/Sky look wrong to me, as it takes away the call-back to the chrome/mag wheels of motoring's heyday and make it look, to me, like the car is up on blocks. (YMMV) I'd leave the 'vette wheels as-is until you can afford a set of--you guessed it!--chrome ones.

As for the window tint: I value visibility; the coupe's low roof sills already reduce your view, so I'd hold off tinting or do the lightest possible tinting -- remember, in a low-slung car, lots of SUV/pickup drivers have a hard time seeing you; you HAVE to be able see them.

The Pure white color gives you a great canvass for stripes, and many versions for the Sol are available. The blue one (SEMA-style) is particularly sharp, and I've always wondered how it'd look with red pinstriping added around the outer edges...

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While you're changing the appearance -- one of the best improvements I've seen is "Norm's Recessed Grilles" -- it's somewhat involved, but looks really good.
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Another alternative to take visual focus away from the plastic honeycomb are the mesh grills:
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(If I had a second coupe it'd be tempting to give it rally car livery. Steel wheels, plexiglass spoiler extension, Trans-Am style front spoiler, and a big juicy meatball/rondell on the side for numbers.)

One of the mods I do plan to make others here have already mentioned: The backbone. It's reversible (for purists) and, according to most reports, really tames the car's main handling weakness. That's both a safety improvement and a FUN one. Definitely do that!

Whatever you do, enjoy the ride. Keep us posted with pics of your mods, and/or how-to-do posts. That's what this community is for!
 

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I have adapted to the small mirrors although I do have a set of the larger Euro-spec Opel mirrors that I am planning to install purely for the uniqueness.

Painting the calipers and the tophats is a pretty common mod, but not really my thing, so mine are raw.

I am vigorously opposed to window tinting unless you will never drive the car after dark with the windows up.

I think the ProBeam is a must, but did not like the BackBone.

Stock braking is really pretty good and I haven't yet gotten to the point of thinking an upgrade is required, but better pads would be the only change that seems needed based on forum feedback.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
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Get some good tires - I'm loving my Michelin Pilot Sports. The DDM brace bundle is a must - check-out their big Holiday sales. Intake, exhaust and tune - if it's in your budget and you're not into collectable purity. And lastly, this one is very controversial, get a Sprint Booster - works well with automatics, takes the lag out of the accelerator pedal. It's $300 and they have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. Works well on my GXP, not so good with my son's Regal GS so we sent that one back. Happy motoring and enjoy your new beautiful ride! :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for all the notes guys! Really cool to see what everyone is running. For reference I have the following Mods already in place:

  • DDMWorks Front Brace
  • DDMWorks Pro Beam Rear Brace
  • KappaSphere Lowering Springs (1.25-inches)
  • 18x9.5 +65 Rear with 275 x 40 x R18 Tires
  • 17x8.5 +58 Front with 245 x 45 x R17 Tires
  • Mini Antenna
  • Halogen Headlights
  • LED Taillights

I'm more focusing on looks at this point than performance- so blacking out the wheels, painting calipers (both which I would have done by a shop) and then hoping to buy some kind of new mirrors.
 

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Be aware that you CAN get more power out of a Base. I've spent no less than 4+ hours on this forum researching power mods for the Base. I have a bunch of posts from users after dynoing that I've copied to a document. Stock whp is around 135 - 145. It is possible to gain another 25 - 40 whp without going Forced Induction. The formula is basically Cold Air Intake, #42 pound injectors, high flow cat, tune. This is good for around 25whp. From there you can go cat back exhaust (our stock muffler is fairly restrictive), ported TB, ported Intake Manifold, and Header. The highest dyno I've seen on an NA Solstice is around 200 whp.

After that you gotta go into the engine with camshafts and balance shaft deletes. That is about it.

Go onto Youtube and search for Mikes House of Mods. He has a Sky and as done a bunch of mods.

I also recommend the Sprint Booster or some other throttle controller. Mike House of Mods did one and raved about it. The pedal tuning on these cars is supposedly lazy.

I'm low on funds so done none of the above. I've got a used GMPP Cold Air Intake I found on ebay on the way. That will be my entry into modding a Base.

From my collective reading I recommend at a minimum a tune and Sprint Booster. Generally good reviews from both. No downsides and both are relatively cheap. While the tune will gain about 10 whp it supposedly wakes the car up from the lazy mid 2000s ECM programming.
 

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2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe 001136
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[…]
I'm more focusing on looks at this point than performance- so blacking out the wheels, painting calipers (both which I would have done by a shop) and then hoping to buy some kind of new mirrors.
(Shudders) Black out the wheels — if you must. ;-)

Caliper color is a kind of branding; no harm done so long as you accept the brand.

Appearance is the one differentiator off the track, performance on. Condition x rarity is the differentiator in the marketplace. So: Choose among them wisely—unless you are riding this one coupe to the grave. Then your personal taste is the only limit.
 

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Thank you for all the notes guys! Really cool to see what everyone is running. For reference I have the following Mods already in place:

  • DDMWorks Front Brace
  • DDMWorks Pro Beam Rear Brace
  • KappaSphere Lowering Springs (1.25-inches)
  • 18x9.5 +65 Rear with 275 x 40 x R18 Tires
  • 17x8.5 +58 Front with 245 x 45 x R17 Tires
  • Mini Antenna
  • Halogen Headlights
  • LED Taillights
    Car Land vehicle Vehicle Wheel Grille

I'm more focusing on looks at this point than performance- so blacking out the wheels, painting calipers (both which I would have done by a shop) and then hoping to buy some kind of new mirrors.
i have the 2010 opel gt mirrors(1 of 7 sets in the world).i could not go back to the small mirrors.
the wide view is awesome,takes away alot of the blind spot. 😎 (y)
 

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08 Sky Redline, 5M
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DDM ProBeam, and PAW lower box connector for rear suspension (not listed on their site any more) but super effective, if you want handling (I do).
BC shocks/springs
Roll bar (RPM) with real shoulder harness bar added
Race seats (Sparco)
Cobalt front Brembo calipers & rotors (requires a spacer)
Bigger wheels & tires always good, but my 315s are only for autocross
I've got a V8 now with 480hp and it is AWESOME but it's got a few ... unpolished edges and requires a little LOT more TLC & attention than a stock vehicle. But it drives very well.
 
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This is what I have done

BorgWarner EFR6758 turbo
Aluminum center section in the turbo
Modified ZZP turbine housing
TiAL external water cooled wastegate
TurboSmart dual port compact shorty BOV/BPV
Custom charge pipes
Custom intake pipes
Griffen dual core 2 pass aluminum radiator
DavisCraig 40GPM electric water pump
Hahn Racecraft CAC
Werks front shock tower brace
Werks front frame brace
Modified Werks rear frame brace
Modified DDM Pro Beam
RKSport hood
RKSport front bumper cover
RKSport side skirts
Modified engine harness
AN Hose and fitting conversion (coolant and vacuum)
Radium Engineering dual catch cans
K&N oil and air cleaner
Custom front vented fenders
Custom coolant manifold
PAW modified EPA compliant ultra high flow catalyst
PAW full custom tune
Custom vinyl fabric wrapped interior
Battery relocation to the trunk
Stringer 2600 amp peak discharge dry cell battery
HID retrofit head lights with turn/parking lamp and DRL relocation
Transparent OLED HUD
Custom radiator mounts (changed orientation of the radiator)
Modified air intake box for HVAC
Mechanical water pump delete
Balance shaft delete
Balance shaft timing chain delete
Sylvania fog lights (10 LEDs per lamp with cutoffs and lenses for each LED)
Heat shielding upgrade/addition
Port matched intake manifold and head
Custom split front wheel well liners

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Only the RKSport parts are the things I would probably not do again. The fitment of them was just plain crap. I had to put a lot of hours into alterations to get the parts to fit properly.
 
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For the love of God forget all black wheels, they are tired and played out. And I agree that all black wheels look particular bad on white cars.

My favorite mods.
Rear differentail & transmission tunnel braces
GMPP tune
Lowering coilovers
Street Edition stripe

And definitely tinted windows. Back when we were trying to decide between a black or red coupe the main reason I choose red was because of the shape of the coupes side windows. They reminded me of chopped hot rods with gun slit windows, and I knew that if they were tinted that they would make them stand out even more. Plus the D shaped side window is basically black anyway. Tinting the side windows just made them look more cohesive. Had I went with black the shape of the windows would have faded into the color of the car.

Back in the day there was a lot of discussions of adding Solo's high flow catalytic converter to the coupe since the coupe transmits sounds differently than the vert. I'm not sure if there was ever a definitive yes or no answer on adding it, as much as adding it might not be worth the resonance problems it could bring (even if it adds 10HP).

I also have the Solo cat back mach exhaust system on mine (auto), and have an annoying tinny type sound that develops around 2 to 3000rpm there. All I know is that its coming somewhere in the hatch area somewhere. That's one reason I've never installed my Solo HFCC on my coupe, I'm afraid it will cause even more resonance issues. It's just been sitting on a shelf in my garage for years. YMMV

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For the love of God forget all black wheels, they are tired and played out. And I agree that all black wheels look particular bad on white cars.
Awww. I really like the look though lol. Maybe I'll just start with the calipers they will look good red either way. ;) (You're probably going to tell me next to for the love of God stop with the red calipers).
 

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Back in the day there was a lot of discussions of adding Solo's high flow catalytic converter to the coupe since the coupe transmits sounds differently than the vert. I'm not sure if there was ever a definitive yes or no answer on adding it, as much as adding it might not be worth the resonance problems it could bring (even if it adds 10HP).
Yes - I was the lucky guy to be the first coupe they had sold a hi flow CAT for. The drone was more than annoying and I had to change to a different Solo exhaust system to quiet it down. They never had this issue on the converts.

Of course you get zero added bhp without then retuning.
 
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