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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I'm new to this forum and was hoping to get some advice. I'll be looking at a 2008 redline carbon flash SE. The original owner (a friend of my wife) is selling it. It has about 43K miles.
What should I check out during my test drive? What kind of price should this be in good condition?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum! Best thing I can think of is to check for a water pump leak. That's the biggie. There is a thread on the Solstice Forum about this that gives all the things you want to look for on our cars. Can't remember the link but perhaps someone that visits both sites may be more familiar with it.
 

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Welcome from a current Carbon Flash owner.

Although you say it's a friend and all I would make sure it's a Carbon Flash. The VIN should start with 1G8MJ. It appears the Red Line version of this special edition got it's own VIN. I say this because the insurance is slightly higher for a SE and there has been one person who was told they had a Carbon Flash and it was not.

Here' a thread on the Solstice forum. I scanned quickly so not sure if it's in there but Rob The Elder has a very thorough list on what to look for.

Good Luck!
 

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With Robo and strungjoe you have two of our finer members, who know what their talking about. Water pump seems to be the big issue with this model. I would find out if it has been replaced, or has the rad. fluid been changed out? Ignition recall done? Pvt. seller or dealer? Any maint. records, from 1st owner, on what has or has not been done to it? Stock or modd?

Nose scrape? Broken qtr. panels? Top operation, and fabric condition? If as strungjoe has mentioned here, you have a real deal Redline CF SE model, then you have a rare one. Limited production #'s. Insurance rates for it? That is a key, what sold me on it. However it could be expensive. DD use or weekend fun & run car?

ChopTop has some threads on here about low mileage/ low price options for the Kappa, up dated weekly. Should tell you round about what some of them go for. Dealer mark up is always in the picture. You can offer them what you think you would like to pay for it, see what they say? You can walk away, but if they want to sell it bad enough, the imfamous ..." Let me talk to my sales manager, see what I can do for you", will come up!

The " Permagrin " will affect you, right from the get go. You have been warned. Watch the speedo on the test drive, you can be at 100mph. before you know it, trust me on this one!

Hope it affects your day! Your face muscles will never ever be the same again.

LAC
 

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I'm not as familiar w/Sky's as much as Sols, other than noticing that a Sky in like condition as a Sol is generally $1500 to $2000 more. Carbon Flash was a special color run and from what I have read on here there may have only been around 500 in that color? (if someone has a specific breakdown please post). But I wouldn't let the seller know that. ;)

Back when I was trying to decide between a Sol and a Sky I did look at a Carbon Flash, and thought it was beautiful. However…I also thought it was the type of color that had to be spotless all the time because the metallic could also look like a fine layer of dust on the black paint.

If I had to put a price on it, I'd say 12 to 14, but I think I'm on the high side compared to NADA or KBB values. But then when it comes to values, private Kappa* sellers tend to ignore those sources. But just so you know, prices for Sols & Skys continue to be all over the map. I've seen low mileage cars w/great prices, and I've seen high mileage cars w/ridiculous prices. Kappa prices will continue to drop in the future, how low is anyone's guess, and as far as collectibility goes, I place both the Sky and Sol in the cult class. I think of a cult car as a car that has a small group of fanatic followers/enthusiasts, but its still isn't accepted by mainstream collectors.

Also, if it has a manual that's better yet since auto's outsold manuals 3 to one on Sols, and I'm assuming it may be the same w/Skys. With the demise of auto transmission in general, there may be a day that manual cars are worth more than autos, collector car wise.

*Kappa is the platform name that the Sol & Skys shared.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow! This is great information. Thank you all for spending the time with your advice.
I will be going to look at this car tomorrow. I'm excited! Here's a few things I take from your advice that I will use tomorrow:
-Try to suppress the urge to grin constantly while looking at the car.
-Check the vin for authenticity. she told me that it was a limited edition with something like 550 produced (I did't ask)
-Get service records (she said that she babied the car and told me what dealer she has been using, so I think she might have good records)
-Check the water pump
-Price? that's going to be tough. One thing I found is that there have not been many of this SE on the market lately.
-Check the top operation, etc.

Thanks again, and if I pull the trigger I'll be back with some pics! and probably a bunch more questions.
:grin:
 

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With Robo and stungjoe you have two of our finer members, who know what their talking about.
LAC
haha I haven't even received word back on the padawan learners entrance exam compared to robo's Master Jedi knowledge. :grin: but thanks

Hunger88 also don't forget to check the fenders for cracks underneath. Follow the curve down from the chicklett and feel along the underside for cracks/fractures. The fenders are very fragile if the car has ever been jacked up incorrectly or in my case an ill-placed parking curb. The wheel liners are also bad about cracking/breaking around the mounting bolts but that is very common and not necessarily any sign of abuse or damage...just poor design maybe. The liners are cheap compared to the fenders though.


EDIT: the 550 number is correct by all accounts split between NAs and Red Lines.
 

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haha I haven't even received word back on the padawan learners entrance exam compared to robo's Master Jedi knowledge. :grin: but thanks
Naw...there are those out there that know a lot more about this car than I. GMTECH, Tomato Soup, Rob the Elder...many more I can't think of because I just woke up...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OH MAN!!!
I just got back from my test drive. It was hard for me to look objective when I was checking it out. It's extremely fast and responsive. Everything looks pretty good. All of your advice was very helpful.
I told them I would get back with them in a few days. Hopefully they aren't watching this site:surprise:
They did replace the water pump, and the put new wheels on it in the last few weeks which I like a lot better than the stock.
I took some pics that I will post if I can figure out how.
 

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Glad you liked it! It looks like a fine un-molested example of a Red Line. As chop top mentioned, it's a color that must be clean to really exhibit it's beauty to the fullest. There's nothing like it when the sun is shining.

I'm a chrome wheel kinda guy
If these came in a 9" wide version they would be on my car.



Best of luck with whatever you decide.

EDIT: What is on the fuel door?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
She loves Hawaii. That's one of those Hawaii flower decals. I'll probably be asking about how to remove at some point :lol:
 

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CHECK those fenders for Cracks. To me this is a bigger issue than the water pump. The only real way to see the cracks is get down on the ground, the cracking happens so far under it's impossible to see while standing (if you see while standing its a big crack) I did not know how far under to look when I got my car, lucky things worked out for me. But a cracked fender is a $1000 repair. I think Water pump is in the $600 range (someone else can tell you better on that one).

550 and that call that rare.. Ha.

Personally I hate the wheels but thats a personal taste issue. Now I have to question why the replaced the wheels a week before putting it up for sale? CHECK THE FENDERS FOR CRACKS.

Price 2008 redline 45k miles $12-$15k.

The other thing I would check on the 2008, is does it have the Electric vacuum pump (EVP) for the brake. Follow the line coming off the brake booser, if it T's within say a foot of the brake booster you have a latter one with with EVP if not its an earlier 2008 with no EVP. Is this an issue, I don't know as I never drove one without, but it would be a concern for me. Now if price is right and I love the car this would not be a deal breaker, just something to be aware of.

Oh and one last thing to check, CHECK THE FENDERS FOR CRACKS. oh, ask if they did an aftermarket tune to the engine or the GM powertrain tune (pic of the engine bay would tell us if they did the GM tune. Post some pics of the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks davhamm. I checked the fenders this morning, but I don't think I checked as far in as you are suggesting. I will look next time I see it.
They changed the wheels because chrome doesn't do very good in the Seattle weather. It was starting to crack and it was affecting the tire pressure.
 

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Naw...there are those out there that know a lot more about this car than I. GMTECH, Tomato Soup, Rob the Elder...many more I can't think of because I just woke up...
Yeah I would have mentioned them too, as part of the group of people who know. You and strungjoe comment a lot here, more than those owners, but each has their own perspective view on the Kappa. They offer a unique experience with long term knowledge of what to look for IF "this or that" goes wrong with your Kappa. I always find an answer to my concern about my car, with comments/solutions from the Master Jedi's. It's that Darth Vader guy you have to watch out for!!!

Ha.. would you have rather me, put you two in the " non-finest members" category? lol

So the OP looks like he has found a good one. Water pump replacement is done. Test drive is done, see permagrin attached to OP's face. He's hooked.

Davhamm brought up the cracked fenders, and they " are " expensive to fix. Just breath on them, and it is $1,000 bills for OEM replacement, less if you do it yourself? The liners are cheaper and easier to fix. This model " can be " expensive to fix/repair/maintain. You could go on and on... See Rob the Elder list of what to look for or watch out for. The 10 commandments of the Kappa. The brake booster issue, ah limp load light, the rear end problems, the Top mech/fabric something to think about before the purchase. The excitement after the test drive, clouds one's mind, and sound reasoning with, " I have to have it now" theory. Who am I.. to argue that fact!

Good luck with the purchase. Better start now... practicing in the mirror, of how to wipe that silly grin off your face, before seeing co-workers at the office. Why is this guy smiling so much? Something must be wrong with him? He doesn't look right, should we tell the boss? Nobody smiles that much, oh really? You must not know about the Kappa my friend. Here.. I know a "few" guys, that will set you right about the Kappa.


LAC
 

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Regard cracked plastic wheel wells, if you go on ebay they sell replacements, however from what I've read if they aren't OEM then it's the old you get what you pay for thinking.

Not a fan of those wheels either, you can pick up some painted OEM style for reasonable prices, or polished OEM alloys that should deal w/inclement weather better than chrome wheels.

Google/Images Skyroadster forum custom wheels:
https://www.google.com/search?q=skyroadster+forum+++custom+wheels+site:www.skyroadster.com&biw=1280&bih=722&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQw8aL6orSAhWL8YMKHVIHBFQQ_AUIBigB
 

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LOL...when I worked in car sales they called the test drive anesthetizing the customer. If a customer was on the fence about purchasing a car, they'd make us take them for another test drive to "give them another dose."

True story.
 
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