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What to look for when buying a 98 Z28?

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Old 10-22-2007, 10:03 AM   #1
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Default What to look for when buying a 98 Z28?

Hello,

I am going to look at a 1998 Camaro Z28 tomorrow. The car is black, auto, leather with 125k miles on it. That's about all i know about it at this point. The person is asking $5500. I am trying to get the VIN number from him so I can run a carfax before I go look at the car.

A few questions:
1. With 125k miles, I am a bit worried that the transmission doesn't have a lot of life left in it if it is still on the original tranny. How long can the 4L60E if properly maintained? Also, if I did have to replace the tranny soon, about how much would that cost?

2. Ticking: I test drove a 2002 Z28 yesterday that made a ticking noise above 3k. My guess was that it probably had a bad lifter. However, since I hadn't driven an LS1 before I really had no idea how the engine was supposed to sound (with it being an alum block and all). That sound is not normal for an LS1, correct?

Other than I mainly would like to get anyone's input about things I need to look that are needing to be replaced or could already be broken on a 98 camaro with many miles. I'm hoping the fact that it's a 98 will help me avoid the whole piston slap issue.

The price seems reasonable, but I hope to talk him down a few hundred more dollars.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:26 AM   #2
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hmm 125k miles could go both ways on the tranny.

If it has been raced, there is a good possibility it needs to be replaced but you would need to drive it and see if any gears are slipping especially the 2-3 shift.

A new tranny was in the 1-2k range from one of our sponsors I think... not sure though so don't quote me.

Don't know much about your ticking issue however
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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ticking could be an exhaust leak too.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:35 AM   #4
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If it is on it's original tranny, I could see that as being a mixed blessing. If it's still on the original and isn't slipping, then that could mean the tranny was well taken care of.

I'd still take a newer second tranny though :-).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaunt View Post
hmm 125k miles could go both ways on the tranny.

If it has been raced, there is a good possibility it needs to be replaced but you would need to drive it and see if any gears are slipping especially the 2-3 shift.

A new tranny was in the 1-2k range from one of our sponsors I think... not sure though so don't quote me.

Don't know much about your ticking issue however
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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check the tranny well... oh well dosn't matter.. it will brake anyhow ;P

check the oil pressure, engine heat, listen for some sounds from the rear end, check power windows,
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HFLDtA View Post
For $5500, you might as well
-listen for rear end noise at high speeds
130 mph+ should just about do it
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:31 PM   #8
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I did get the VIN number, and the car looks good (no accidents, salvage, etc.).

The guy claims nothing needs to be replaced. He also said it has the original engine and transmission (no service records though). He also said it is a hardtop.

Assuming everything looks okay in person and on the test drive, what do you guys think a reasonable offer would be?
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:10 AM   #9
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Another thing I just remembered about that 2002 Z28 M6 that I test drove was that at idle the engine rocked the car a lot. Is that a sign of bad motor mounts?
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:04 AM   #10
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Okay, so I went and looked at the car yesterday. It had a few things wrong with it, but the engine transmission seemed to be okay. At WOT it shifted at 45 in first, so I think that meant it had 3.23s. It didn't chirp the tires going into second or anything, but the shifts still seemed firm enough to confirm that the transmission was good.

The bad:
Exterior:
Scratches, marks, etc. all over the car. Most of the clearcoat was missing from the front bumper (the bumper almost looked like a flat black color). The car would need to be painted. A chunk of the front left quarter panel was missing near the driver's door at the bottom.

Interior:
Rips in the leather. Top part of dash was cracked.

Electronics:
Rear window defroster was disconnected because of tint. Both power window motors need to be replaced. Neither of the front turn signal lamps worked. The power window switches were wired funny (the switch that would normally be the driver's side window was to make the windows go down(up position for driver's, down position for passenger). The passenger power window switch on the driver's side did the same for putting windows up.


I'm probably nitpicking too much considering the car was only 5500 dollars. I think the real deal breaker was that a piece of the quarter panel was missing, and if I wanted to fix it I know it wouldn't be cheap. I know there are some other 98s with similar miles for 6000 that have good paint and body that I'd like to look at. The search continues!
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:21 AM   #11
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It sounds like the car has been somewhat neglacted, check and see how the air filter looks and if it's leaking any fluids under the car, just make sure you get a good deal on it if you get it, because it sounds like it's going to need some work..
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:07 AM   #12
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Alright, so here is the new list of cars that I'm thinking of looking at this weekend:

(All these cars are automatics and have T-Tops, power windows, power seats, power mirrors, etc. and claim to be in great condition)

1. 98 Camaro Z28 - 128k miles, Black, Leather - $6000
2. 99 Camaro Z28 - 103K miles, Pewter, Cloth - $7995
3. 99 Firebird (Trans Am I think?) - 106k miles, White, Leather - $6950
4. 98 Firebird (Don't know if it's a formula or a trans am, it has Z06 rims) - Unknown miles (30k on engine / transmission with kevlar clutches?), Silver, Leather - $6895

The carfax looks good for all of them except for the fourth, which I haven't gotten the VIN yet so I haven't ran a carfax on it.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:50 PM   #13
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I called the two camaro guys mentioned above. They both sound to be in good condition (although, the 99 has new tires).

Given the 2k price difference, I'm leaning torwards the 98. The 98 guy is pretty firm on his price, while the 99 guy might be willing to negotiate more.

I'll definitely look at both of them before making a decision.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:50 PM
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