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L98 Corvette and LT1 Corvette Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine

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Old 10-04-2009, 02:25 AM   #1
dpd3672
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Default '84 Vette, blown engine, what next?

I've been looking for my first Corvette for a few months now. While trolling through the local ads, I found an '84 that's in nearly perfect condition, other than a bad engine (new interior, new paint, new top, new clutch, new suspension, new tires...really, I mean perfect).

While I'm not sure I want the headache, just considering the possibilities at this point. If I were to buy this car, what would you recommend doing about the motor? I considered what I might do with a 383 crate motor, but don't know how much that would cost, ultimately, with the required mods to the intake and ECU.

So in trying to get an idea what the possibilities are, what would you all recommend at various budgets? As in, what could I do for $1000? For $3000? For $5000?

Would it be worth doing at any price, or would I be better off buying a running car, since it's to be used as a car for weekends and nice days, maybe occasionally taken to autocross events.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:36 AM   #2
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For the budget breakdowns I would think it would be as follows:

$1000 - Could possibly slap a low dollar rebuild on the blown engine and get it on the road. (Depending on actual damage and required parts for repair)

$3000 - Good solid rebuild with some performance parts. Probably will not have enough after the rebuild to get all required supporting performance parts for the engine to really shine (ie exhaust , headers , intake, gears, converter blah blah blah)

$5000 - Pretty much get alot of it knocked out here. 383 with most if not all supporting mods (as long as your doing the work yourself).

As far as the ecu and intake , sorry I can't help ya there.

Just to put it into perspective for you:

I am in the process of doing a rebuild on a 355 Lt1 (Spun bearing) and ive got probably $1500 wrapped up in just the short block between parts and machine shop costs.

It adds up very fast and bleeds you weekly until its done. The number of trips to the store to grab odds and ends is huge, and each trip is not cheap.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:09 AM   #3
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The costs at a repair shop/dealership are even higher.

How about using a later smallblock and a FAST ECM while you're at it. Ditch the crossfire injection. FAST ECM will allow you to have sequential injection - just need cam and crank sensor inputs from later engines.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:34 AM   #4
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The costs at a repair shop/dealership are even higher.

How about using a later smallblock and a FAST ECM while you're at it. Ditch the crossfire injection. FAST ECM will allow you to have sequential injection - just need cam and crank sensor inputs from later engines.
Later as in L98 or LT1? What's a FAST ECM and where would I get all this stuff?

I've seen LT1s and even LS1s for sale reasonably, just not sure how it'd all go together.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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where are you located
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:45 AM   #6
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Is installing another motor something you would do by yourself? Do you have the tools/area/experience to do and engine R&R? Also keep in mind that even an average short block assembly is going to cost close to $2000 by the time it's installed and running. So budget should a concern here.

Not knocking the 84, but maybe it would be worth looking at other years. With just about any Corvette, you should buy the best car you can for the money you have available. Say you buy this 84 and toss another $2K into it. How much is that so far? Certainly it's great to have a nice-looking car from the git-go considering what it costs to take another C4 and put it into similar condition. From the description you stated, that could run another $10K

The 84 will deliver very good performance with a stock motor. If you add a cam, do some head work, long tube headers, and a good exhaust, the car will be even better. If the car has the Z51 suspension, (half of the 84's have that package), it will be a fun autocross car although it will ride pretty rough on the street.

Do some figuring on engine costs and add the price of the car and do some comparison shopping. If you like the 84 and can do the engine R&R yourself, then you could have a good deal.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:27 PM   #7
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In the end the 84 wont have much resale value, so I say your throwing money away.
Find a convertible youll be happier.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:56 PM   #8
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In the end the 84 wont have much resale value, so I say your throwing money away.
Find a convertible youll be happier.
right
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #9
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A convertible isn't a huge priority for me, I have a Z3 and a pretty highly modified Miata for nice days (supercharger, some mild head work, full suspension upgrades). I've always liked Corvettes, since I was a kid, and want to get my first one to see if I like it.

I figure with prices of C4s as low as they are now, it's a good starting point to try one on. If I fall in love with it, I may "trade up" to something better, newer, or more desirable (a "better" C4 or a C5/6 maybe). If I don't, it's a fairly risk-free experiment, since I doubt I'd lose much money if I jump on one of the many "bargains" I'm seeing lately.

I really think I'll love the car, for the same reasons I love my Miata...beautiful lines, fantastic handling, fun to drive...I've just sort of outgrown the Mazda, and am looking for a better foundation to build the perfect sports car for me. The Corvette, as far as I can tell, is perfect.

I just don't know if I should buy a "finished" car or one that needs a few things. The specific car I looked at seems to be all done, just with a bad motor, which on an 84 is more of an opportunity than a problem, since the Crossfire is kind of the bastard stepchild of the C4 series.

Just mulling it over for now, wanted some opinions from those of you who know.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpd3672 View Post
since the Crossfire is kind of the bastard stepchild of the C4 series.


Better suit up in the flame suit as I'm sure the cross fire crowd is sharpening the pitch forks and lighting the torches for you.


JK


We have 2 Cross fire equipped cars in our local vette club running mid 12's in the 1/4. (Yes with the Cross Fire injection still on the car). So they can be made to be pretty quick.
__________________
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In Progress - 355 - Scat crank - Ported Heads - Ported Intake - 1.6 RR - CC503 Cam - 32Lb FIC injectors - blah blah ect ect
Best Et: 13.059 @ 103.41 MPH - 1.83 60'(Corrected for 2000Ft DA)
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:45 PM   #11
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Better suit up in the flame suit as I'm sure the cross fire crowd is sharpening the pitch forks and lighting the torches for you.


JK


We have 2 Cross fire equipped cars in our local vette club running mid 12's in the 1/4. (Yes with the Cross Fire injection still on the car). So they can be made to be pretty quick.
Believe me, it's not my personal opinion of the Crossfire, just my take on the consensus out there. Just like the C4 is sort of the stepchild of the Corvette series, to many.

Hey, I drive a Miata, probably the most underappreciated sports cars out there...I'm certainly not taking a snobby position here, haha. I graduated high school in 1987, so the 84 Corvette will always be one of the coolest cars made, in my eyes.

Leave this one alone, Crossfire guys, he's harmless...

Dave
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:24 PM   #12
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Sounds like a lot of money has been put into this car. It is not cost ffective to retore a C4 with the market the way it is right now. Figure a nice one is worth around $6500. How close will you be to that after you put in the new motor? Many very nice low mileage c4's out there right now at very good prices.

Speaking about 84's in particular, I talked with
Gordon Killebrew this weekend at Eureka Springs, and he talked very highly of the 84's and their dependability. I wouldn't shy away from an 84 unless I wanted to really modify the engine. I have had 5 of them and the Crossfire is pretty bulletproof.

Shawn
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by shawn 84&92 View Post
Sounds like a lot of money has been put into this car. It is not cost ffective to retore a C4 with the market the way it is right now. Figure a nice one is worth around $6500. How close will you be to that after you put in the new motor? Many very nice low mileage c4's out there right now at very good prices.


Shawn
I guess that's the fence I'm sitting on. I'm looking to spend roughly $5-8k on a car, I figure that'll get me a pretty good first Corvette if I stay with a C4 and shop patiently. I've seen plenty of good ones go selling in that range on these forums alone, and I can always get lucky locally.

So I guess I'm trying to get a feel for what this car would cost me to put together. $6500 is a pretty big investment in an '84, when they sell in good condition for quite a bit less. But if I could get a car with a nearly perfect interior/exterior/transmission/suspension and a fresh, moderately built 350 or 383 in it, it'd be worth the money, at least to me.

Still thinking it over, it's seriously tempting...
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:07 AM   #14
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If you scrimped and found some good deals, you could put together a pretty tight engine. Go carbed if you build a big motor, sorry guys, and it would be pretty straight forward.

I just read a thread with an 85 w/ z51 and the 4+3, I can't believe that 5900$ would get you that car. Makes me want to puke thinking what I paid for my basket case years ago...
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c4-g...ng-advice.html
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:26 PM   #15
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If you are willing to spend $8K, you should look for a newer car. You could probably find a decent 89 or newer 6 speed car for that kind of money. There are lots of deals out there right now, take your time and find one. If you put $8K in an 84, you'll never get it back.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:10 PM   #16
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I'm never going to agree with someone going carb'd in a C4. It's moving backwards, when you should be moving forward. Upgrade the car, don't downgrade it. It's already set up for injection, use a standalone and do it right.

My personal opinion O.P....being we're in similar spots having other cars but wanting to grab a vette while the getting is good, I say it comes down to what you have IN HAND. If you have 6000-7000 now, buy a newer car that's running. I wouldn't spend 2500 on an 84 and dump another 7000 into it unless your doing all the work yourself and labor isn't gobbling up the money. Even then, in my opinion, I'd still rather start with a 6speed car, but that's me. Maybe you want an auto...don't know.

You've said yourself though, now is the time to buy. There are a lot of deals out there, so in other words "there are other fish in the sea". If you have cash, look around for something you can drive from day 1 and plan for upgrading as you go.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:46 PM   #17
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I'm never going to agree with someone going carb'd in a C4.
That's ok, it isn't your car...

I've got the 1200$ EFI intake manifold, 400$ dyno tune, 300$ injectors etc etc. If the guy wants to get into a C4 with limited funds, the carb will be cheaper and present less restrictions to the engine for less money. The key is the budget. I'm all for EFI, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to be honest with his options. With a 1k-5k budget to build a whole motor, I stand completely by my statement. If he builds a bigger motor a carb will not hold you back as much as the CF/TPI etc will, not to mention the cost of a good EFI manifold will be more than the whole carb setup.

Also, I'm not sure a 2009 carb and manifold are that much of a step back from the tech of 1984... you think since EFI came out, companies just dropped the development and tweaking to carbs...
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpd3672 View Post
I've been looking for my first Corvette for a few months now. While trolling through the local ads, I found an '84 that's in nearly perfect condition, other than a bad engine (new interior, new paint, new top, new clutch, new suspension, new tires...really, I mean perfect).

While I'm not sure I want the headache, just considering the possibilities at this point. If I were to buy this car, what would you recommend doing about the motor? I considered what I might do with a 383 crate motor, but don't know how much that would cost, ultimately, with the required mods to the intake and ECU.

So in trying to get an idea what the possibilities are, what would you all recommend at various budgets? As in, what could I do for $1000? For $3000? For $5000?

Would it be worth doing at any price, or would I be better off buying a running car, since it's to be used as a car for weekends and nice days, maybe occasionally taken to autocross events.

Thanks,
Dave
I dont know where your located but in the sf bay area there are quite a few 84-85 running for sale ranging from 1500-3500
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:07 PM   #19
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If I were you I would offer them $1500 and go with an LSX it would be a fun project and a monster.
Or like everyone else is saying, get a good running car.
BTW my DD is a 2002 MX5 LS And its a blast to drive

Last edited by ch@0s; 10-05-2009 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
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i'm never going to agree with someone going carb'd in a c4. It's moving backwards, when you should be moving forward. Upgrade the car, don't downgrade it. It's already set up for injection, use a standalone and do it right.

My personal opinion o.p....being we're in similar spots having other cars but wanting to grab a vette while the getting is good, i say it comes down to what you have in hand. If you have 6000-7000 now, buy a newer car that's running. I wouldn't spend 2500 on an 84 and dump another 7000 into it unless your doing all the work yourself and labor isn't gobbling up the money. Even then, in my opinion, i'd still rather start with a 6speed car, but that's me. Maybe you want an auto...don't know.

You've said yourself though, now is the time to buy. There are a lot of deals out there, so in other words "there are other fish in the sea". If you have cash, look around for something you can drive from day 1 and plan for upgrading as you go.
+1.
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