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General C4 Corvette Discussion not covered in Tech

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Old 09-23-2009, 03:42 PM   #1
91chevywt
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Default C4 Common Problems

So, i'd like to apologize if this has been discussed already, but I couldn't find too much upon searching. I thought I would go to the C4 experts to see what I can learn. I'm looking at buying a C4, but i'm not 100% sure what to look for. Whenever I look at a car, I always check fluid conditions, hose conditions, and for leaks to see how well a vehicle has been cared for. Other than the obvious problems that come with all cars, what should I be looking for specifically on C4s?
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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No apology neccessary, I guess most of us have been where you are at.

Kinda depends on what ya want...coupe/convertible, stick/auto, speciality car (ZR-1, CE)? You mechanically inclined or will a dealer/shop do your maintenance? Maintenance records? Who services it, any mods?
General rule is look for latest car with lowest mileage. It's usually cheaper in the long run to buy what you want vs. settling for something you have to spend money on to mod to be what you want, unless you are a gearhead, IMO. Look around here, read up, research and narrow your choices. Later C4's have an better opti, bigger brakes, improved weatherstripping and noise insulation and more HP.

The search is half the fun Just my $ .02
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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So I am planning on servicing it myself, I went to tech school so I know my way around cars. I'm mostly after a car that is stock or close to stock. Bolt ons are OK but not looking for a car with different heads or internals. I feel like getting a car that is close to stock I will know for the most part what is in the motor. I bought a modded car and it ended up being a mystery motor with problems. I'd rather mod myself, even though its a little more expensive to do it that way

I'd prefer a 6 speed car but I wouldn't mind an auto either. Definetly don't want a convertable. Not too picky on years, but my price range is probably going to limit me to a TPI car. I do know that I don't want a cross fire injected car.

I know for example the generation of my camaro is prone to body rust, body flexing, and rotting floorboards. 3rd gen f-bodys are prone to leaking t-tops and rotting floors, and bad fuel pumps. I'm curious what the C4 has as far as flaws like this.

Last edited by 91chevywt; 09-23-2009 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:48 PM   #4
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i recently moved up from my 84 z28, to a 94 convertible. go with the 6 speed! i didnt even consider any automatics when i was shopping. if you can do some work then you can find a pretty good lt1 car for 6-8 grand. to be honest, i dont think the tpi car will be a huge improvement over your camaro. i picked up my 94 6 speed convertible, nearly flawless for 9 grand, so just shop around and find what you want. and hold out till you can afford it, youll be alot happier
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:08 AM   #5
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Any Corvette will be a huge improvement over a Camero! Totally different car, even if they do have the same engine. The biggest problem I've seen is that I have to park my 'vette too soon. I'd rather take the long way home! And by the way, I like my Cross-Fire just fine. (Only 240,000 miles on it.)
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:40 AM   #6
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I'm doing a little more research and it seems like the CFI system isnt so bad. Overall, I feel like i'm looking for a solid, reliable, well taken care of car. Even if it is low on power, only by design. Is there anything I should be concerned about with the IRS? I'm seeing pictures of it disassembled and it looks like more of a nightmare than the 4x4 system on my '94 Jimmy...
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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My biggest problem is the rear tires seem to wear out awful fast, I have no reason why

But seriously, try finding 315/35R17 tires, choices are few.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:28 AM   #8
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http://www.corvette-guru.com/uploads...uyersGuide.pdf
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pianoguy View Post
Andy did a good job on that.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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Well, there is the obvious, the newest of the L98 cars is 18 years old. So, stuff is going to break.

85-86E have iron heads.

86L - 91 have aluminum heads. Head gaskets are an issue with higher mileage.

The 89 and 90 used multec injectors. From what I've read, they aren't very reliable. Not sure about the 91.

They changed the offset of the wheels in 88. So 84-87 have a different offset, and require a spacer if using later Corvette rims. The aftermarket is geared for the 88 and up offset.

The dash was changed in 90. The 84-89 dash is an acquired taste. And it can be problematic. I haven't had much trouble with mine, but it is something to note.

The 1990's have a grounding issue with the air bag circuit. A "infl rest" warning will light on the DIC due to this problem. It can be corrected, it's just a pain.

The 84-88 manuals are the 4+3 transmission. They can be expensive to repair if they fail, there is some debate over how reliable the 4+3 is. I don't own one, I just know what I've read.

If I were looking, I'd probably try to get a 91 6-speed. Newer dash, best L98.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:19 PM   #11
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Default Another thing to look out for is the cooling system

Great post, pianoguy. Do they have anything like that for the C2 or C3?

Another thing to look out for is the cooling system. I bought mine from a guy that changed the oil every 3,000 and had a good service record. He always had it repaired at the dealer. When I got the car home I noticed that there was what looked like algae in the collector. I went back to the dealer and ran the service with the VIN #. He had not changed the coolant in 10 years. I had to go back and change all the hoses. The collectors were so cheap I also had them replaced since they were green in the bottom!
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:04 PM   #12
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Thats a great list, especially that link. Thanks a lot for the input, much appreciated
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:46 PM   #13
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Expect to replace digital dash on early C4s if a rebuilt was never done.$300 - $500. Interior parts are expensive.Early C4 parts (Little stuff) is hard to find. Still looking for key warning buzzer on my 84 for over three years. Took two years to find under hood lamp housing and I paid $50.00 for a used beat up one.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:59 PM   #14
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Default parts for c4

if you travel to Bowling Green KY you"ll find many corvette scarp yards,,,they are on the internet and used parts are easy to find if you really want them...
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pianoguy View Post
Nice article. Thanks.

I got a kick out of this comment:
Quote:
One item of concern: The C4 is NOT the easiest car to get into or out of. If you have a bad back,
bad knee or whatever, reconsider. It will be potentially uncomfortable. Also, if you are over 64, be
sure you can fit. If you wear shoes over USA size 12 (46.5 in European measure), test the pedal box!
This is especially important if you are considering a manual transmission equipped car.
When I test drove my 96 automatic, I was wearing my Nike size 13 shoes. My left leg must be rested on the flat area just left of the break petal; however, when I wear my dress shoes, I have to be extra careful because at times it would interfere with my breaking ability.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:48 AM   #16
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IMHO Best choice is the 96 LT-4, unless your more comfortable with an automatic.

All the latest parts and mods are incorporated.

Find one that has around 70-90K on the clock and you'll have fewer parts to replace since the car has not been parked most of its life. Low mileage is for collectors and C4's are not collector items yet. Maybe never......
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:15 AM   #17
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I would stay in the 90's , watch for
bushings, shocks, ball joints, steering column, u joints,

these are some of the more common parts to wear in the c4 now.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrRifleCoach View Post
IMHO Best choice is the 96 LT-4, unless your more comfortable with an automatic.

All the latest parts and mods are incorporated.

Find one that has around 70-90K on the clock and you'll have fewer parts to replace since the car has not been parked most of its life. Low mileage is for collectors and C4's are not collector items yet. Maybe never......
I agree...
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:01 PM   #19
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Default buying a c4

hi, i would suggest to get the book, corvette specs c4, and read this book several times front to back and find out what options and years that you would be interested in and the ones that you might not be interested in. i would also recomend not to jump on the first car that you find. if you can wait, you will find exactly what you have set your goals on after reading the book. dont get in a hurry. there are alot of great deals on great cars that are fully optioned out there. see ya
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:58 PM   #20
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I got mine 2 months ago for 8500. 1995 auto clean 71K.

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1995 Black on Black, Auto, 3.07 gears, Corsa exhaust, K & N filter, Throttle Body Bypass,Taylor spiro pro wires,NGK G platinum plugs,Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 tires,Pioneer radio and speakers ,Mobil 1 5W-30 oil W/Pure 1 filter
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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