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Old 07-04-2014, 09:35 AM   #1
Koufax
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Default Anxiety attack - Should I back out of this?

I have found a bone stock '02 in what appears to be very good condition with 50k on the clock. The seller and I have agreed on price.

My biggest worry now is the F45 suspension, which I gather is at best no better than the standard suspension and at worst an expensive repair waiting to happen. The car is at quite a distance from me so inspecting it personally would be impractical - and useless since I don't have the skills to evaluate something like leaking shocks.

I want nothing to do with extra stiff suspensions because I live in New England where the roads are too rough for that type of ride. I am expecting that the F45 will more like the standard suspension and not stiff like the Z51. Please tell me whether that expectation is right or wrong.

I plan to hire a professional auto inspector to look at the car. This particular issue of failing F45 shocks might not be in his wheelhouse since it is unlikely that he would be a Corvette aficionado.

So,

#1 is the F45 a disaster waiting to happen, or is it more likely that the shocks will last until, say, 100k miles?

#2 Is there any way to determine whether the shocks have started to leak if the car has been cleaned up to sell?

#3 - If the F45 is working as it should, is the ride rougher than the "soft" ride that you'd get if you didn't order any special suspension?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

Last edited by Koufax; 07-04-2014 at 09:37 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:55 AM   #2
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Do a search in the tech section on the f45 shocks it's not hard to replace them with a standard shock. You fool the computer with a few resisters
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:58 AM   #3
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Do a search in the tech section on the f45 shocks it's not hard to replace them with a standard shock. You fool the computer with a few resisters
Thanks. If it's that simple then my anxiety attack is over.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:58 AM   #4
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Thanks. If it's that simple then my anxiety attack is over.
There are a few approaches to eliminating the computer when you remove the F45 shocks.

One is to buy 4 10 watt 10 ohm resistors at a store like radio Shack or one that sells electronic components. The shocks are removed and the resistors are soldered to the connector that formerly plugged into the shock. You then want to waterproof or seal over the resistors. Install the shocks of your choice and your done.

Another is to purchase Sims which are basically the resistors above already sealed up but with a connector that mates to the one on the car. Sort of a plug and play approach but they are some what more expensive than a DIY solution with the work being done by you.

Yet another is to find someone with a Tech II that will program out the F45 option from the BCM and then just remove the old shocks and install the new and your done, Tough part of this solution is finding someone with a Tech II other than a dealer. Depending upon where you are in New England, contact Bill Curlee as I seem to recall he has a Tech II and would likely help you out. I believe he is somewhere around the New London part of Ct.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:03 AM   #5
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Replacement shocks are very inexpensive. You can get four C6 Z06 shocks for around $275 shipped. Mate those with C6 Z51 sway bars and you'll notice a tremendous difference in handling.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:37 AM   #6
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I would not let the shocks be an issue at all as the others have said.

Does your inspector know how to pull up the DIC trouble codes? No C5 inspection should be done without reading and recording them. Then clear them and go for a drive and pull them again.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:45 AM   #7
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I have the F45 as well and plan on replacing the shocks with Bilstein shocks soon. Already have the Sims. I think the entire project will cost between $400-$500. You can also find a video on the forum on how to remove the shocks using the zip tie method which will save you a lot of time.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #8
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As others have said, you can replace the F45 shocks with regarding shocks and just trick the computer into thinking they are still on the car (or tune them out). Not an expensive remedy should the F45 shocks go bad.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #9
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Since u r local I thought I might share this with you - car is in Windham, NH . I don't know the seller but have seen this car at events. For the $ it looks like a steal - obvious he put a ton of $ into it. Good luck with your search !!

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-c...uthern-nh.html
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:06 PM   #10
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Don't let something like that stop you! I have the F45 suspension on mine and it actually works I can tell a slight difference between settings It's a very comfortable ride actually. I prefer a bit stiffer. I have since lowered the car but plan on yanking those f45 shocks out and replacing with Z06 (couple hundred bucks) or going coil over quite a bit more but I would leave yours alone at least for a while unless you have some sort of issue. Replacing with non F45 shocks no big deal at all. Now go get your car!!!!
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I would not let the shocks be an issue at all as the others have said.

Does your inspector know how to pull up the DIC trouble codes? No C5 inspection should be done without reading and recording them. Then clear them and go for a drive and pull them again.
I haven't yet contracted the inspector. I have until Monday to do so. I don't know if he has that skill. The car is just outside of Nashville. If anyone has someone local there to suggest, I'd be interested to know. I used a national company recently to inspect a Lexus and was pleased with the results, but it was a CPO so I figured Lexus had more to lose than I did by selling me a defective car. In this case, once I have paid for the car I'm on my own, so I's like to have someone with skill in Corvettes.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koufax View Post
I haven't yet contracted the inspector. I have until Monday to do so. I don't know if he has that skill. The car is just outside of Nashville. If anyone has someone local there to suggest, I'd be interested to know. I used a national company recently to inspect a Lexus and was pleased with the results, but it was a CPO so I figured Lexus had more to lose than I did by selling me a defective car. In this case, once I have paid for the car I'm on my own, so I's like to have someone with skill in Corvettes.
Pulling codes is actually pretty easy on the C5:

http://www.c5forum.com/ayc/dtcdic.php


OR





If you can get someone on the Forum that is local to where the car is, they can visit the car, pull the codes and write them down and then email them to you. You could then post them here on the forum as there are many that can tell you the meaning/significance of each code that is stored.

Then you could leave the mechanical/other inspection to the professional that you hire.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8VETTE7 View Post
There are a few approaches to eliminating the computer when you remove the F45 shocks.

One is to buy 4 10 watt 10 ohm resistors at a store like radio Shack or one that sells electronic components. The shocks are removed and the resistors are soldered to the connector that formerly plugged into the shock. You then want to waterproof or seal over the resistors. Install the shocks of your choice and your done.

Another is to purchase Sims which are basically the resistors above already sealed up but with a connector that mates to the one on the car. Sort of a plug and play approach but they are some what more expensive than a DIY solution with the work being done by you.

Yet another is to find someone with a Tech II that will program out the F45 option from the BCM and then just remove the old shocks and install the new and your done, Tough part of this solution is finding someone with a Tech II other than a dealer. Depending upon where you are in New England, contact Bill Curlee as I seem to recall he has a Tech II and would likely help you out. I believe he is somewhere around the New London part of Ct.


Tks for saving me a bunch of typing

Regards
Chip
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:02 PM   #14
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I don't think the shocks or suspension should be a deterrent.

That said, I would never buy car I haven't laid hands on. Yes, it's a trip but if you've got the dough to buy the car, you've got the resources to get to Nashville (just a short hop to the museum) and a long weekend to see the car and bring it home.

I understand it's not convenient, but that's my .02 - -
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Tks for saving me a bunch of typing

Regards
Chip
CHip,

I have a couple of questions for you about the windscreen and the cover for the C5.

1. The car I am buying is yellow and it would be a hoot to have a yellow outdoor cover, but only if it is easily washable. Can that stormking cover go in a washing machine without damaging it? If not, then I should get a more sensible color.

2. The wind restrictor windscreen - if you get the illuminated one, then it appears that you have to choose from one of a few options on how to light it. I gather that the glow module, dimmer control and on/off switch are alternatives; and the battery pack and 12-volt plug are alternatives. So that a complete package for the illuminated screen would be, for example, the glow module and the 12-volt plug. Is that correct? And where does the 12-volt plug plug into ? Is there a receptacle in the trunk?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:31 PM   #16
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I don't think the shocks or suspension should be a deterrent.

That said, I would never buy car I haven't laid hands on. Yes, it's a trip but if you've got the dough to buy the car, you've got the resources to get to Nashville (just a short hop to the museum) and a long weekend to see the car and bring it home.

I understand it's not convenient, but that's my .02 - -
You know that's a very sensible suggestion. What holds me back is that Massachusetts requires that the car be insured and registered before it is brought into the state. What I don't want to do is go down to inspect it, return to Mass to handle the paperwork, then return to drive it home.

However, since the car is at a dealer in Tennessee, maybe he can give me dealer plates for the drive home? Going down there to be with the inspector, then pay for it and drive it home .... that would be ideal. I'll work on it.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koufax View Post
You know that's a very sensible suggestion. What holds me back is that Massachusetts requires that the car be insured and registered before it is brought into the state. What I don't want to do is go down to inspect it, return to Mass to handle the paperwork, then return to drive it home.

However, since the car is at a dealer in Tennessee, maybe he can give me dealer plates for the drive home? Going down there to be with the inspector, then pay for it and drive it home .... that would be ideal. I'll work on it.
The insurance companies I've had typically will issue a card to carry coverage on any vehicle you drive if you give them the VIN. You might also see if anyone here--or that dealer if they're GM- will get you a VIS report on the car - -delivery info, warranty work etc that will support your decision to buy the car.

MA may have a temp tag you can print to carry with the new car in transit - - if you feel lucky, you can always take a tag off your daily driver and use that . . .

I offer these suggestions not as a criticism of your process, but went through a similar situation with a friend currently assigned in Saudi that found what he thought was a real deal on a c6 in Iowa . . .turned out with some research, it was a Lemon car and not worth buying in his view- but on first blush, it looked good.

Better to do your homework in person . . .and might be a fun 1100 miles home! Good luck.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:53 PM   #18
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My used car had the f 45 suspension replaced with Bilstein HD shocks, because it is lowered, and the computer was reset at that time. No complaints here.

I don't know how long the original shocks were in play, but hope yours are still hanging in there. The Bilsteins went on before I bought it , at about 80, 000 miles. The owner said it rode hard as (heck) and the new shocks are much better. Probably should have lengthened the conversation. At the time I was more interested in things that didn't report well.

I was kind of bummed , in that I like all the switches to be functional, and asked around for restoring the original shocks and control. I was quickly slapped down by pointing out I would be spending a lot of money on obsolete tech, and coil-overs were the way to go.
I decided to get happy with what I have, and no longer miss the control switch being active.

Good luck with your new purchase, I hope it goes well. I hear it is beautiful country up that way.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:53 PM   #19
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the fact you have to hire someone to inspect the car already makes me worry. if you have issues with the f45 will you have to hire that out as well? if so this could get expensive
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:13 PM   #20
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I have the F45 suspension and over 130k miles. Don't worry about it.
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:13 PM
 
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