What would LS1TECH do? 1998 Z28 or 2000 Trans Am? - LS1TECH



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What would LS1TECH do? 1998 Z28 or 2000 Trans Am?

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Old 02-10-2017, 10:36 AM   #1
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Default What would LS1TECH do? 1998 Z28 or 2000 Trans Am?

What this boils down to is deciding between two very similar cars (minus the difference between a Camaro and Trans Am obviously).

1998 Z28 coupe
Bright Red exterior
Dark Gray (leather) interior
4L60-E
100,000 miles

2000 Trans Am coupe
Navy Blue Metallic exterior
Ebony interior
4L60-E
115,000 miles

Both are bone stock and in seemingly great condition, and both also have good histories (low owners, no damage, etc.) with the Trans Am having a more documented Carfax. Either car will serve the same purpose which is a simple bolt-on and stalled with tune weekend car. I have no problem with either car's color, options, etc. and they're both very close in price, with the Trans Am being four hours closer to home.

Fire away your opinions! Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:10 PM   #2
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Red is a polarizing color some find it too flashy. I like red but also very much like NBM color :win for TA

100k vs 115k pretty close to a wash especially if the TA maint history is more documented : tie

98 vs 2000 you will hear a bit more negative about the 98 pcm than the 2000 as far as tuning goes but bolt on stall shouldn't be a big issue to tune either car. Some dislike the perimeter valve covers and earlier heads as well , not a big deal. There was also slightly better cam in the earlier cars and I believe it coincided with egr vs when they got rid of egr , I am kinda fuzzy on that exact time frame of cam vs egr vs air... age though I have to give it to the TA 2 years older is 2 years older

interior I prefer the cloth my 98z upholstery is coming apart at the seams on drivers seat and it is all getting a bit stiff and this was a no winters car when I bought it 3 years ago and is still only at 155,000 miles vs my 2000z with cloth seats are still great with minimal wear at 255,000 miles , 100k spread in miles and the cloth is holding up much better, win: cloth interior

proximity isn't the end of the world if you think you would rather have a red Camaro but it also sucks to travel an extra 4 hours to see less car than represented win : TA

I would look at the TA first if its nice and seems the price is a good value for what your getting do it, If the ta in person turns you off its road trip time !

Last edited by murphinator; 02-10-2017 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:37 PM   #3
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This is a hands down easy one for me. An NBM Trans Am with Ebony interior > any other choice. I am a little partial to birds though. They just look so aggressive with minor mods. Plus the 99-02 cars are a little more flexible when it comes to tuning and engine modification. Much 98 stuff was proprietary and less common
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:57 PM   #4
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I have a 98 TA and its a pain in the *** when it comes to tuning. Save yourself a headache and get the 2000....Trans am looks better anyways
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:28 PM   #5
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I would pick the '98 Camaro for several reasons.

- The tuning "issue" is really a non-issue for the plans you've outlined. Any decent tuner will have no issues getting the car to be optimal with bolt-ons and stall (or even a mild H/C package if you decide to do that later.) The tuning deal only becomes a concern with very aggressive setups that require extensive tuning. The internet has blown this issue way out of proportion, IMO.

- I prefer Camaro styling, it's more my taste and a little better looking IMO - cleaner lines/less busy. But I've owned a Trans Am as well and certainly would again, it's just not my favorite of the two if all else is equal.

- '98 is actually my most preferred year, due to the roof bubbling issue that plagues all '99+ F-bodies. This also affects some of the late '98 cars (built in/after May of '98), but the majority of this model year is fine. That 2000 car will need a new roof at some point. Here's a link that explains the issue in detail:

https://ls1tech.com/forums/paint-bod...e-dummies.html

- Stuff that is specific to the '98s is not all bad, and mostly a non-issue for the purpose you have outlined. Again, the internet tends to blow things out of proportion in this regard. ALL of the model years have some positives and negatives compared to each other. Here are some great links that I always post whenever someone is truly curious about the differences in model years and the advantages/disadvantages to each. Check these out if you want a better understanding that cuts through the internet rumors and hype:

https://ls1tech.com/forums/chevrolet...s-pleases.html

https://ls1tech.com/forums/new-ls1-o...need-know.html

https://ls1tech.com/forums/new-ls1-o...-f-bodies.html

- I don't like the leather interior in either car, so this is a wash. F-body leather was very poor quality (both Pontiac and Chevy) compared to the cloth which holds up much better.

- I like bright red better than NBM, but I don't dislike NBM.
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:55 PM   #6
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TA. All day. Every day. And then find yourself a real hood for it.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:51 PM   #7
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As RPM WS6 said, 98 pcm is not a problem for any decent tuner.

Roof bubbling is with the second half of the year 98-up cars. Unfortunately my car was born the first month that the problem cars started. It is not only the sail panel, my entire high rise hatch is crumbling and bubbling due to this. There is no saving it, I will be throwing it away soon and already have a replacement sail panel. I just hope that the doors don't have the same fate.

Personally I like the TA because I think it looks better, Camaro looks a bit plain like a gto. But I would rather now have a formula since it looks a bit tamed down, somewhere in between a TA and Camaro. I prefer Camaro seats over TA.

Basically I think it comes down to looks for you. Miles are practically identical, if you don't work on cars much, have both inspected, look for rust, get them on a lift and look them over with a fine tooth comb. Go with your gut.
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Old 02-11-2017, 12:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackDuk98 View Post
Roof bubbling is with the second half of the year 98-up cars.
It's actually just the last few months of the model year. Even then, some May-built cars have been OK but that's a hit-or-miss month. Anything from June or July is almost guaranteed to have the condition, same as '99+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackDuk98 View Post
But I would rather now have a formula since it looks a bit tamed down
I definitely agree about the Formula over TA. I wish I had bought a WS6 Formula in 2000 instead of a Trans Am. I'd more likely still have it today.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:27 AM   #9
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It was 2:30am and you had me wondering when my car was built and i had to wait till morning lol. Went back through info that i have saved and mine was made on 6/8/98

My roof has at least 8 spots that bubbled the size of a pencil eraser and will ooze on hot days. what I dnt see anyone having problems with is their hatches. Mine has bubbled along every single stretch of it seams on both the hatch and the wing. some spots cracked and lifted up the size of a dime and i have to be careful washing the car and not pop a chunk of fiberglass off. it is absolutely horrible and there is no saving it.

Here is some info that I saved from tech many years ago...

Quote:
1998

1. Had differenet casting heads which had perimeter bolts and valve covers.
2. Ignition coils were mounted to the valve covers one at a time.
3. The water temp gauge actually works.
4. 98's do have an oil life monitor, they just don't tell you anything when its time for a change. You can find it in Auto-Tap
5. WS6s & SSs had single outlet exhaust (all others had duals)
6. Steering wheel controls were completely different part with indentations on the buttons, and were better built
7. Only year that Purple, Gold, and Green were available
8. Some very early Trans Ams came with LT1 style headrests
9. Rear hatch release was poorly designed and often caused problems releasing mechanism
10. Early model 98 Monsoon stereos didnt have capability to control 12-disc CD changer
12. 1998-1999 LS1 cars had a smaller throttle body cam, which caused the throttle to open to WOT faster than 2000+ cars
13. 1998 cars had 28 lb fuel injectors from the factory
14. 1998-2000 cars had a larger cam than the 01-02 cars
15. 1998-1999 cars had more restrictive exhaust manifolds
16. 1998-2000 cars had an LS1 intake with EGR
17. 1998 and some early 1999 cars had blue outside rear view mirrors (TA/Formula only)
18. 1998 only LS1 blocks had a much smaller cylinder sleeve that only tolerated a .005" hone
19. Last year F-body to use the old 15.5 gallon steel fuel tank.
20. Only year LS1 F-body to contain a gascap with a tether long enough to actually hang from the fuel door while open
21. Only year LS1 F-body to not contain the famous GM black box used in the event of an accident to record up to 5 seconds of pre-crash data
22. 1998 only cars had a different PCV system with the PCV valve located above the passenger side valve cover
23. 1998 most cars did not have an idle adjustment screw on the throttle body. Some 98 cars do have the idle throttle stop set screws.
24. 1998 cars have a completely different PCM from 99+ cars
25. A production shortage of F-body cams caused the use of a C5 cam to be installed in F-body LS1s for a very short time
26. 97-98 LS1's used a paper water pump gasket. The only gasket that isn't reuseable
27. SS option did not "include" the Synthetic oil package, it was a SLP only Option

Last edited by BlackDuk98; 02-12-2017 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:11 AM   #10
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Some observations, mostly subjective, some objective ...

98's are a transitional year and as such have the one-off characteristics as in the PCM, smaller fuel tank, valve covers, etc. 99-02 are much more of a piece and are generally more desirable for that reason - although I would not hesitate to buy a 98 if it was the right car.

I'm a Formula guy, per my sig, but would prefer a Trans Am to a Camaro. I just don't think the 4th gen Camaros have a lot going for them in the looks department.

For me, red is a deal-breaker on a 4th gen. It's just not an attractive red and I wouldn't own any 4th gen if it had to be red. On the contrary, NBM is a very appealing color, whether on a Camaro or Firebird.

I prefer ebony to the charcoal or various greys on earlier 4th gens. I consider Camaro hi-back seats ugly. The leather on my 17 year old car has held up great with occasional conditioning; no complaints there.

T/A problems will include failing headlight motors and cracking door panels. No issues with Camaros.

So in the end, I'd go with the T/A, but if you like red, the Camaro might make sense for you.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:40 AM   #11
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A few things the TA has over the Camaro the biggest being the updated plastic gas tank......its a biggie to me. Another is in the rear, I believe the 98 uses a Auburn carrier<COMPLETE POS!> while the TA will have the Torsen carrier<better POS. The troubles with the Auburn carrier is they are NOT balanced and the poor metal on metal clutch design wears out extremely fast. The Torsen is not as strong as the Auburn but is balanced and as long as you don't run the **** out of your will last a long...if it wasn't run low on oil. CHECK the pinion seal on either car you buy. Any signs of leakage will require new pinion bearings and races unless you want to replace pinion seals all the chasing your tail. Good Luck

Last edited by RockinWs6; 02-12-2017 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:17 AM   #12
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Forgot about the plastic tank on 99-01 cars but the metal tank is no problem if the car has lived a salt free life.

There is a preventative measure regarding the door panels here on tech by removing a few staples. I did it to mine years ago and they have been perfect
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:13 AM   #13
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I much prefer the Auburn rear of the '98s. It's quieter and offers more seamless operation than the later Torsen. Either is just as prone to breakage, maybe more so for the Torsen. Lots of older OEM Auburn rears with 80-100k+ miles that still work fine. Proper fluid is a must.

The gas tank is a non-issue for most purposes IMO. Is the plastic one lighter? Guess that might matter for a max effort race car, otherwise this doesn't matter to me either way.

Shrinking/sinking leather on the rear seats is a concern for all Pontiac examples that are ever exposed to the sun with regularity. I'm not sure how often you'd have to condition them prevent this, but mine was showing the earliest signs of this at just 4 years old, even being garage kept and conditioned at least twice per year. This happens regardless of interior color. Here are pictures to illustrate:







When new, the leather outer portions were level with the non-leather center. This sort of shrinkage is as common as door panel cracks for the Pontiacs.

In addition to the power headlights, the power antenna is also a weak spot for the Pontiacs.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackDuk98 View Post
Here is some info that I saved from tech many years ago...

11. 1998-1999 automatic transmission LS1s could be started in 1st gear even with the shifter in 2nd. Starting 2000, if you put the shifter in 2, it would start off in 2, even from a stop.
Thats a great list of info, I only have an issue with a couple things, this being the biggest.

Some cars did not have the option to go to 1 or L, but 98-07 4l60Es all function the exact same. Whats printed above is simply not true, I know bc I have a 98 trans in my car AND my original 01 trans is in a buddies 98. Both function identical. Somebody spread some bad info at some point and its been repeated ever since.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
Thats a great list of info, I only have an issue with a couple things, this being the biggest.

Some cars did not have the option to go to 1 or L, but 98-07 4l60Es all function the exact same. Whats printed above is simply not true, I know bc I have a 98 trans in my car AND my original 01 trans is in a buddies 98. Both function identical. Somebody spread some bad info at some point and its been repeated ever since.

I did not make the list or know this because I pulled the 4l60 from mine and put a th400 in almost a decade ago and I think I found this list on here around the same time. Think may be in an old sticky here, I will look and can remove that bad info from the list...

Edit: here is a link, it is from the sticky on this board which is where this list came from 13 years ago:

https://ls1tech.com/forums/new-ls1-o...ml#post1740880
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:32 AM   #16
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Like I said, that is a really good list, and would a require a ton of time to learn all that info piece by piece. But all LS based 4l60Es between 98-07 all function identical. I think someone got confused, gave some incorrect info, then it just got copied and pasted over the years.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:45 AM   #17
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Yeah, I've seen that a lot over the years. I made the info disappear
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:46 PM   #18
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Not everything in that sticky is correct. I just don't have time to go through the entire sticky and fix it, but I've also seen some errors. The outlines I posted in my links above are all correct though.

Keep in mind that the V6 cars did in fact have a Second Gear Start (SGS) feature as a traction control option. That might be where that info comes from.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM WS6 View Post
Not everything in that sticky is correct. I just don't have time to go through the entire sticky and fix it, but I've also seen some errors. The outlines I posted in my links above are all correct though.

Keep in mind that the V6 cars did in fact have a Second Gear Start (SGS) feature as a traction control option. That might be where that info comes from.
Physical 2 would start all 4l60Es in 2nd gear and perform no shifting. For some cars, that was the lowest slot you could pull down too, meaning there was no 1st or L selection available. Understand, the trans was capable of this function, but there was no physical slot to move the shifter to, thus locking the function out for whatever reason. There were lots of variations of the 4l60e over the years (all very minor differences to my understanding) but all LSv8 models from 98 to 07 functioned the same. If there was some other shifting version like a 2nd gear start how was this sequence initiated? A button on the dash? If so that would be purely programming and not hardware related. Being an electronic trans is basically does what its told, within reason.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
For some cars, that was the lowest slot you could pull down too, meaning there was no 1st or L selection available.
This was not the case for any '98-'02 V8 F-bodies. There has been discussion about this in the past due to confusion regarding center console part numbers in the GM catalog. During the LT1 years (not sure if this applies to all years from '93-'97 though), if you had a GU2 A4 then there was a lock-out tab for manual 1st; it was not available on the selector as you've indicated above. The part number for this console from the '97 Camaro was listed in the GM catalog for the '98 as well, but the catalog is incorrect. All '98-'02 V8 F-bodies (GU2 and GU5) allowed manual selection of 1st gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
If there was some other shifting version like a 2nd gear start how was this sequence initiated? A button on the dash? If so that would be purely programming and not hardware related.
Yes, exactly. The "SGS" (Second Gear Start) button replaced the "ASR" (Acceleration Slip Regulation) button.
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