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Hello everyone. I've been wanting to buy a car to fix up and mod for a while now and I found a 2003 Tiburon GT v6 for sale very cheap. Only problem is that it has 170,000 miles on it. Is this too old of a car and how difficult is it to take care of these vehicles. Thanks so much!
 

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2006 Hyundai Tiburon SE
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170k isn't bad as long as it was well taken care of and serviced regularly. The V6s are known to survive 250k or longer if taken care of. Lots of them die around 150k due to lack of maintenance or young drivers that beat the hell out of their cars. Maintenance is easy but could be costly if you don't do it yourself. Always buy OEM Hyundai sensors and avoid the generic parts store down the street. Critical sensors must be OEM or you will have alot of problems.

The Tib is a great reliable car but there isn't much for after market support. What little is left might net you 190WHP at the most. What are your power goals or the upgrade path you're going down?
 

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170k isn't bad as long as it was well taken care of and serviced regularly. The V6s are known to survive 250k or longer if taken care of. Lots of them die around 150k due to lack of maintenance or young drivers that beat the hell out of their cars. Maintenance is easy but could be costly if you don't do it yourself. Always buy OEM Hyundai sensors and avoid the generic parts store down the street. Critical sensors must be OEM or you will have alot of problems.

The Tib is a great reliable car but there isn't much for after-market support. What little is left might net you 190WHP at the most. What are your power goals or the upgrade path you're going down?
Thanks for the quick reply! And ok that's good to hear. And ya I would do everything myself. I want to slowly make upgrades over the years. And just make it better off than when I got it. I wanna freshen up the paint job, maybe add body kits, simple stuff like that. I'm not as interested in turboing it or anything like that. New interior too of course.
The only bad thing is I don't think it was very well taken care of before this.
 

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Well the good news is, that engine bay looks mostly unmolested. No cold air intake, custom catch can or botched wiring jobs for "performance" add-ons. The aluminum is heavily oxidized but that's normal for unfinished aluminum that's 20 years old. As long as the engine doesn't have any obvious ticking or knocking, it should be alright. Bring an OBD2 reader with you and drive the car for 15 minutes checking for any pending codes. Some sellers will clear the codes right before a test drive to fake like it is running right. Otherwise they remove the check engine light bulb. It's always good to doublecheck with the OBD2 reader. Normally it takes about 2 drive cycles and about 15-30 minutes of driving for most CELs to appear if there is actually a problem.

I don't suggest wasting your time with body kits. Nothing looks good on this car except rolled fenders and flush fit wheels/tires, unfortunately. Most of that kit stuff is discontinued or costs way too much... then it doesn't fit when it arrives 3 months after you purchase it and ship it over seas... doesn't flow well with your body lines... etc etc. Put your money into some performance bits like lowering springs or coilovers then do a little bit of engine work. Some say that tight suspension yields you better lap times than engine modifications.
 
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Hello everyone. I've been wanting to buy a car to fix up and mod for a while now and I found a 2003 Tiburon GT v6 for sale very cheap. Only problem is that it has 170,000 miles on it. Is this too old of a car and how difficult is it to take care of these vehicles. Thanks so much!
I just bought an 03 GT with 170k, and it's great. The main thing to watch out for is if it's a manual, whether or not the clutch has been replaced, because it's an expensive repair, and 170k is about the time for your clutch to go out.
 

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my 2 cents:
I did buy an 03 GT 6-speed 3 years ago with 165K miles, has been a blast and running so good for 3 years. So, don't worry about the milage.
Look at the timing belt, it is a ticking bomb, make sure it has been replaced in the last 5 years at most.
As others mentioned, ask about the clutch. the clutch job on these cars is an engine out job.
But don't let that scare you, almost every other job on this car is a very DIY friendly!
The car is very easy and fun to work on, and parts are cheap.

Drive it for couple of months stock.
Then invest ~$300-400 on an Injen SRI and a catback exhaust, and it will transform your driving experience (not faster, just more fun).
 

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Don't bother buying a Tiburon if you plan on modding. There's hardly any support anymore and what support there is is expensive and won't give you much power increases, if at all.

Don't invest in SRI (Short Ram Intake) or HAI (Hot Ram Intakes) on these cars. They've been proven to just lose hp. Get a true cold air intake if you're serious.
 

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Surprised no one even thought of mentioning to inspect the timing belt & accessories. Some buyer's guide 🤣🙄

Make sure they've been done every 60,000mi or 5yr.
 
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