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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I am in the process of looking for a 4th gen as a driver (while I'm restoring my 1st gen) preferably a Z28 but will not rule out a good 3.8l V-6 RS. I was looking for some insight on some common problem or not so common areas to look out for on these cars.Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Nick
 

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Hi all,
I am in the process of looking for a 4th gen as a driver (while I'm restoring my 1st gen) preferably a Z28 but will not rule out a good 3.8l V-6 RS. I was looking for some insight on some common problem or not so common areas to look out for on these cars.Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Nick
My experiences...I would pay the little extra for the LS1..the LT1's were good, but much more maintenance required with those engines (espeically with the opti-spark ignition) The mid 95 (with dual cats) and newer Z's would be preferred with the updated vented opti-sparks and better rods, as well they have the 4L60E that the 93 didnt have.

Carfax's are good and worthwhile, just like their older brethren the Z's are wrecked frequently...I see more with replaced quarters than with thier origninals including the ones I bought.

Also...many of these are getting to the age where bushings will need to be replaced...so look and see if they have just sprayed them to keep the noise down (as the DPO did with mine) or just plan on replacing at least the sway bar bushings if they are noisy.

I would check the coolant level sensor plug to see if it is plugged in..commonly go out and DPO's will just unplug and the light will go off.

If someone installed a K&N I would definitely pop off the plumbing and look into the MAF and intake...as the K&N filter seals are crappy and frequently peel off the air filter housing..

If you do buy an LS1...2000 and newer would be preferred as it does not have the EGR inlet in the intake just behind the throttle bodies...intakes stay cleaner. Also...I think there is an issue with the 2001 Z's burning more oil than others...my mom had a 2001 that burned a quart every oil change...they had similar issues with Vette engines in 2001, so given a choice I personally would not opt for a 2001.

The 2002's can be cool as GM had a surplus of Z06 engine blocks from a botched dual sourcing exercise...some z's got a Z06 block with the unique vents between mains...not worth any extra horsepower but I think it would be cool...you can check with a mirror and flashlight on the rear of the drivers side of the block.

I have also seen some cars come in with hypertech programming on an LS1...the AFR and timing used is too much in my opinion, so a Hypertech prgrammed car I would definitely remove the tune or make sure you get the programmer with it so you can remove.

Other minor points...idler pullies are commonly noisy on these...especially if you live in hot dusty area...as well this is the largest window GM used with the power window motor design, so plan on getting good at replacing power window motors.

I have never owned a 3.8l...but I can tell you the 3.4l I owned was a big PITA to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your detailed response.I am looking at a few different ones.What would be considered excessive mileage on the LS1? one that I am looking at has approx 100,000 miles. (164,000 kms).It is a 2000 Z28 with alot of options including t-tops.I will probably take it for a ride tomorrow.
Thanks for your help.
 

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Thanks for your detailed response.I am looking at a few different ones.What would be considered excessive mileage on the LS1? one that I am looking at has approx 100,000 miles. (164,000 kms).It is a 2000 Z28 with alot of options including t-tops.I will probably take it for a ride tomorrow.
Thanks for your help.
Of the 2 high mileage LS1 cars I have worked on...they both went to @ 160k miles before overhaul....so much depends on maintenance and driving habits, but with normal care I think 160k is reasonable.

Automatic transmissions in these cars will need overhaul based on my experience somewhere between 95k-120k miles, manual tranmissions last much longer but will require replacement clutch.

On most high mileage cars I have seen, the AC (probabably not too much of a concern for you, but in Houston AC is a matter of life or death), Belt drives, steering rack and pump, alternators, steering linkages etc...should all be under the microscope for possible replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again for the input,
The LS1 won out, I picked up a 1999 convertible Z28 with approx 165,000 km's (100,000) miles. the car is pretty clean,and feels tight all stock except for K&N air filter.I checked the seal to the air box and it is ok and sealing.I pulled a plug if I recall correctly # 41-985? .040" gap. they looked clean and relatively new.I cleaned the throttle body and IAC valve out.I have a slight growl from the rear end that I could not hear with the top down.I think it's the pinion bearings as I've already replaced the carrier and axle bearings (still some noise there),the axles were smooth (no grooves or pitting).
The other thing I've encountered is an intermittent p0122. the sensor was replaced approx 1,500 miles ago by prev owner. the connector is tight and wiring doesn't feel to be broken inside the insulation.Anyone come accross this?
thanks
Nick
 

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The other thing I've encountered is an intermittent p0122. the sensor was replaced approx 1,500 miles ago by prev owner. the connector is tight and wiring doesn't feel to be broken inside the insulation.Anyone come accross this?
thanks
Nick
Try this- this is one of the better sites in my opinion for LS1 tuning.
http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/tags/p0122.html

Glad the LS1 worked out...I love my convertible...just had a new top put on...when I moved down here from Minnesota I told myself I would get a convertible. So up where you are you guys probably have 6-8 weeks without snow?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LOL!
It seems like it sometimes.
This summer has been pretty good. It will be parked Nov to April, should be fairly safe that we won't have any snow till Nov and all gone by april.
Thanks for site info. :beers:
 

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Looks for the usual signs of abuse or prior accidents. These cars dont hold up well to abuse at all.

The door skins will de laminate from the shells if the door has been sprung hard... most commonly around the top corner/hinge erea. The rear lower fenders are common to get broken from the metal tabs they bolt to getting bent from floor jacks etc. The SMC roof caps have a problem with outgassing through the composit and bubbling throug the paint... a simple re paint will not fix this, the roof cap has to be replaced at over $400 for the part alone. The cable operated door window regulators are very weak also, be sure to check them for good operation.

I would suggest staying away from the Lt1 equiped cars also.
 
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