Damn, with all the DSM people here and no one answers. DSM's seem to have a bad rep for being unreliable. Especially the 2g with the crank walk problem. But I've never owned one. If I'm going to get a car with iffy reliability. I would get a 89-92 Turbo MKIII. But I'm not sure if you meant a "crappy" MKIV?
If I had the money I would get a nice 2g GSX. You can always put a 6 bolt in there later on. Or even find one with a 6 bolt in it already. Just take you time and find what you want. You dont want to be stuck with something later on that you dont like.
Wow enough with the damn crankwalk stuff. It doesn't bug me it's just over rated.
Crankwalk happens, but not as much as people stress it out to be. A lot of people when they have motor problems just assume its crankwalk and then all the hype goes far and beyond. I drove my 97 GS-T for 3 years. Every day with 15PSI and I had zero problems. I really think if you don't beat the piss out of them they will be fine. I know people with GSXs who beat the piss out of them and they are fixing them all the time. However I have seen stock-500+whp DSMs who get on them every so often, and there fine.
I am in no way backing up DSMs because I owned one but I'm just letting you know.
I'd recommend not getting a crappy car to have to fix if you are daily driving it. Cops wont like you driving around with no lights and bumpers and such. It's not safe, obviously.
$5-$6k could get you a 2g DSM. However you could think about getting a 1g DSM too. 1gs have a 6bolt in them and if you are that worried about crankwalk, you wont have much worries with a 1g. They are also cheaper to mod and a cheap car to make decent power with. DO NOT buy a DSM that has problems however. Most people end up having badluck when they do that.
Just take your time, if you have the time to spare for looking for the car you want. Just decide what car you want (being fair. Don't expect a Viper to pop up for $5k soon, haha) and go from there. Then wait for the one that fits you best.
I wish the best of you for finding your car. Goodluck.
devin----we meet again a year later. if you want a 2g dsm...and a nice one at that, your best bet would be to get the talon. it is the exact same car as the gsx, but is relatively cheaper. you could get a 97 or even a 98 if you got a talon. the gsx would have to be a 2g.a.(95-96) more than likely, unless it has really high miles.