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1984 c4

 
Old 12-14-2018, 09:24 AM
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itred
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Default 1984 c4

Hello, New to Forum and I am looking for insight, advice. I have the opportunity to purchase a 84 vette. 100k miles, automatic trans, needs work, Paint, Tires, sending unit, speedo n/o interior cosmetics etc. but starts, and drives. $1400.00. I know the later C4's have better Hp and torque but are also more $. I am capable of most of the repairs needed, would probably even tackle the paint, but I do not want to put more into it than it would be worth. Do I buy the 84 or save up some more money and go for a later model C4 or buy the 84 and fix it up?
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Rod
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:29 AM
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Welcome to the forum. Wait for a moderator to move this thread to the C4 forum for you.
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:43 AM
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:07 PM
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The big question is are you buying it to fix, drive and enjoy or trying to flip it and make some $$$? Paint and tires are going to more than likely put you over its value. All of the other fixes/parts are just digging a deeper hole. But if you concentrate on the needed fixes to simply make it drive able you might be alright. If it was me, for $1400 it would be a done deal.

Last edited by ls777z; 12-16-2018 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:57 PM
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Thanks for the reply, I'm thinking to buy and enjoy for a couple of years then move up to a newer model with manual trans, Just don't want to be upside down on the investment, amazes me that first year C4's are going so cheap being 30+ years old.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by itred View Post
Just don't want to be upside down on the investment
First thing is realise that Corvettes are meant for drivers and not investors. There is almost no way you will get out everything you put into the car much less any type of profit.

Now, to get the most fun out of the car, and get most of your money back. What ever car you buy do as many repairs as you can do yourself using good quality (read cheap) OEM parts that you source from Ebay, CraigsList or Corvette forum members. Get a FSM (Field service manual) as that will save you big bucks.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by itred View Post
Just don't want to be upside down on the investment,.
I doubt that you'll ever be able to buy a car for a worthwhile investment! Any car you buy today will loose value as soon as you drive it out of the driveway! If you're looking for a car to enjoy, this might be a good buy, if you're able to do the work to make it fun to drive. If you're not up to the challenge, you might regret the problems you are likely to face! You will definitely need a copy of the FSM (Factory Shop Manual - it's two books). My '84 followed me home on a flat bed tow truck, an almost parts car. I wasn't even looking for a project, but this one intrigued me! I haven't tried to keep track of my expenses, but I sure do know how much I'm enjoying it! (Mine is the yellow one):


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Old 12-15-2018, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by itred View Post
Hello, New to Forum and I am looking for insight, advice. I have the opportunity to purchase a 84 vette. 100k miles, automatic trans, needs work, Paint, Tires, sending unit, speedo n/o interior cosmetics etc. but starts, and drives. $1400.00. I know the later C4's have better Hp and torque but are also more $. I am capable of most of the repairs needed, would probably even tackle the paint, but I do not want to put more into it than it would be worth. Do I buy the 84 or save up some more money and go for a later model C4 or buy the 84 and fix it up?
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Rod
Sounds reasonable, as long as you can do mech work--If you buy it I have a set of OEM wheels with new BF Goodrich tires for sale.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:31 PM
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The problem with 84s is that they are slow. Really slow. 90mph quarter-mile-trap-speed slow, and maybe slower with the automatic. Even the 85 is a big, big leap in performance, and the 92-96 C4s with LTs are quantum leaps ahead. And all of those are selling for not a lot of money these days, unfortunately. So in terms of resale value of an 84 you might buy, that puts you in a bind: the only people who will be interested are those who want to do a drivetrain swap and make it into something fast and fun, and those who might want to collect it. The problem for collectors is that most 84s aren't very collectible, and especially not if they need tons of work to make them nice again. So I honestly think you're going to have a very hard time reselling this in a couple years at any price. If someone can get a decent 1996 with LT4 (105mph trap speed) and under 100k miles for $7000 or less (and that's the market now), or a 1984 automatic with 100k miles and redone interior/paint/tires/whatever for the ~$6000 (which is at least what you'll need to break even), they're going to go for the 12-year-newer, way faster, more collectible, manual-trans, lower-mile car every single time.

If it were me, I'd buy it and do an LS/T56 swap, paint it, strip out most of the interior and put in a modern LCD dash (to go with a modern aftermarket EFI system), gussy up the paint, have fun upgrading the suspension, and have fun with it in autocross and time trial competition. Note that resale would be nowhere in my plans. It's a useful starting point for a fun project, though.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MatthewMiller View Post
The problem with 84s is that they are slow. Really slow. 90mph quarter-mile-trap-speed slow, and maybe slower with the automatic. Even the 85 is a big, big leap in performance, and the 92-96 C4s with LTs are quantum leaps ahead. And all of those are selling for not a lot of money these days, unfortunately. So in terms of resale value of an 84 you might buy, that puts you in a bind: the only people who will be interested are those who want to do a drivetrain swap and make it into something fast and fun, and those who might want to collect it. The problem for collectors is that most 84s aren't very collectible, and especially not if they need tons of work to make them nice again. So I honestly think you're going to have a very hard time reselling this in a couple years at any price. If someone can get a decent 1996 with LT4 (105mph trap speed) and under 100k miles for $7000 or less (and that's the market now), or a 1984 automatic with 100k miles and redone interior/paint/tires/whatever for the ~$6000 (which is at least what you'll need to break even), they're going to go for the 12-year-newer, way faster, more collectible, manual-trans, lower-mile car every single time.

If it were me, I'd buy it and do an LS/T56 swap, paint it, strip out most of the interior and put in a modern LCD dash (to go with a modern aftermarket EFI system), gussy up the paint, have fun upgrading the suspension, and have fun with it in autocross and time trial competition. Note that resale would be nowhere in my plans. It's a useful starting point for a fun project, though.
You have race on the brain. The op simply wants a vette to drive

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Old 12-15-2018, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by itred View Post
Hello, New to Forum and I am looking for insight, advice. I have the opportunity to purchase a 84 vette. 100k miles, automatic trans, needs work, Paint, Tires, sending unit, speedo n/o interior cosmetics etc. but starts, and drives. $1400.00. I know the later C4's have better Hp and torque but are also more $. I am capable of most of the repairs needed, would probably even tackle the paint, but I do not want to put more into it than it would be worth. Do I buy the 84 or save up some more money and go for a later model C4 or buy the 84 and fix it up?
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Rod
Not a good idea even if it was free.
Just the interior
New seats with foam $900
Fix speedo / dash $250 min
Sending unit $120
dash pad $425
Steering wheel $125
carpet $400
weatherstrip $350
paint yourself $2000 up
You can see what you are up against. The car won't be worth your time and money in the end


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Old 12-15-2018, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Cruisinfanatic View Post
You have race on the brain. The op simply wants a vette to drive and resell in two years.
FTFY. You're right, I do have race on the brain, and the OP's needs are quite different. I only added the if-it-were-me part to provide a contrast between the OP's needs and mine, and to highlight the kind of buyer for whom the 84 in question might actually make sense...and that he's probably not that kind of buyer. Looking at your second post, I think we agree.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:31 AM
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I can tell you this about a 1984 that I purchased for a low initial price in 2011. I made a sentimental purchase because I had bought a brand new 1984. I wanted to have another one for the said reason. I started out fixing little things which led to more and more. I ended up putting probably three times what I could sell the car for today. Do I regret it, no way. I have a 1984 Corvette that looks like new and drives better than the new one that I had back in the day. I restored the car over a 7 year period and did not notice the cost so much that way. I am 70 years old now and not worried about what the car will sell for. This was just just my situation and not the OPs.

In the OPs case I would not go with the 84. I would wait till I could get a newer model that does not need all that work. The newest C4 that your budget will allow would be my choice for you.

Paint work is super expensive as stated above. I did all my own work and still cost lots of $$$$ The newest C4s are now 22 years old. Lots of things to consider when buying a car of this age. Good luck with your purchase.

Last edited by zachaeous; 12-16-2018 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MatthewMiller View Post
FTFY. You're right, I do have race on the brain, and the OP's needs are quite different. I only added the if-it-were-me part to provide a contrast between the OP's needs and mine, and to highlight the kind of buyer for whom the 84 in question might actually make sense...and that he's probably not that kind of buyer. Looking at your second post, I think we agree.
Well it's never very hard to see 84-crossfire HATERS (or people who don't appreciate) that that was car of the year) and Quite a piece of work @ the time.
And everytime I get in mine I love the car and appreciate it for what it was and is, BTW tell me which year VETTE doesn't cost a good amount of money to own????? and another BTW a 1984 is NOT very slow as you say when driving on streets and highways...

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Old 12-16-2018, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDogYoop View Post
Well it's never very hard to see 84-crossfire HATERS (or people who don't appreciate) that that was car of the year) and Quite a piece of work @ the time.
And everytime I get in mine I love the car and appreciate it for what it was and is, BTW tell me which year VETTE doesn't cost a good amount of money to own????? and another BTW a 1984 is NOT very slow as you say when driving on streets and highways...
In 1984 the C4 was a very fast car, with world-beating (not just world-class) handling and grip. I never questioned that. Also, the 84 Z51 arguably has the most desirable stock suspension setup of any C4. But just as a reminder to you, it's not 1984 anymore. It's 34 years later, and Van Halen has had at least three different lead singers since then, and even Michael Anthony isn't in the band anymore. Michael Jackson is dead, the Cold War ended, and parachute pants are no longer in fashion.

The one single component of the 84 that was not thoroughly re-engineered from the C3 was the L83 engine. It was a carryover because of budget and time constraints. The C4 was not car of the year due to its engine, but rather in spite of it. The Crossfire was a moderately interesting and successful design when it was introduced, but this was in an era of fast advancement in engine management. The moment the L98 came out a year later, the Crossfire was rendered to the trash heap, and for good reason. The 85 was a full second faster and around 7-8mph faster in the quarter. That's not a minor incremental improvement in one year - that's a game changer in terms of power and speed. The Crossfire was slow in 1985. In 1992, when the LT1 came out, it was rendered even slower. A 90mph quarter mile trap speed is slow. There's no way around that. It's slow on the street, it's slow at a drag strip, and it's terribly slow on a road course. It's slower than the average family sedan today. It's slower than a Subaru Ascent, and way slower than Honda Odyssey minivan. It's slow. I certainly don't hate the 1984 C4, but the L83 that came in it was not "quite a piece of work at the time" - it was a parts bin carryover that the design team was forced to use for the first year, and it was slow.

ETA: If the year were 1984 right now, and the choice was to buy a C4 or spend twice as much for a 928 or many times as much for a 328, then the C4 made sense. But the OP's question was whether to buy a 1984 C4 that needs a lot of work right now, in 2018, with the intention of restoring to more-or-less stock condition (i.e. slow). Why in the world would he buy that car now, when for the same total investment he could get a cherry L98 C4 (even with a ZF6) or a very good LT1 C4? In what way is a 1984 C4 with L83 engine in stock condition intrinsically more valuable or better than a later C4 int he same condition?

Last edited by MatthewMiller; 12-16-2018 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 12-16-2018, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by itred View Post
Thanks for the reply, I'm thinking to buy and enjoy for a couple of years then move up to a newer model with manual trans, Just don't want to be upside down on the investment, amazes me that first year C4's are going so cheap being 30+ years old.
If you spend ANY money on a car like this, you WILL be upside down. I would wait if I were you to buy the right C4. There are a lot of them out there. There is nothing wrong with 84s as cars. Yes they are slower than subsequent model year C4, but they are also faster than most C3s. The problem for you is when they turn into a money pit - which this one will. Just wait for the one you really want.

Originally Posted by MatthewMiller View Post
In 1984 the C4 was a very fast car, with world-beating (not just world-class) handling and grip. I never questioned that. Also, the 84 Z51 arguably has the most desirable stock suspension setup of any C4. But just as a reminder to you, it's not 1984 anymore. It's 34 years later, and Van Halen has had at least three different lead singers since then, and even Michael Anthony isn't in the band anymore. Michael Jackson is dead, the Cold War ended, and parachute pants are no longer in fashion.

The one single component of the 84 that was not thoroughly re-engineered from the C3 was the L83 engine. It was a carryover because of budget and time constraints. The C4 was not car of the year due to its engine, but rather in spite of it. The Crossfire was a moderately interesting and successful design when it was introduced, but this was in an era of fast advancement in engine management. The moment the L98 came out a year later, the Crossfire was rendered to the trash heap, and for good reason. The 85 was a full second faster and around 7-8mph faster in the quarter. That's not a minor incremental improvement in one year - that's a game changer in terms of power and speed. The Crossfire was slow in 1985. In 1992, when the LT1 came out, it was rendered even slower. A 90mph quarter mile trap speed is slow. There's no way around that. It's slow on the street, it's slow at a drag strip, and it's terribly slow on a road course. It's slower than the average family sedan today. It's slower than a Subaru Ascent, and way slower than Honda Odyssey minivan. It's slow. I certainly don't hate the 1984 C4, but the L83 that came in it was not "quite a piece of work at the time" - it was a parts bin carryover that the design team was forced to use for the first year, and it was slow.

ETA: If the year were 1984 right now, and the choice was to buy a C4 or spend twice as much for a 928 or many times as much for a 328, then the C4 made sense. But the OP's question was whether to buy a 1984 C4 that needs a lot of work right now, in 2018, with the intention of restoring to more-or-less stock condition (i.e. slow). Why in the world would he buy that car now, when for the same total investment he could get a cherry L98 C4 (even with a ZF6) or a very good LT1 C4? In what way is a 1984 C4 with L83 engine in stock condition intrinsically more valuable or better than a later C4 int he same condition?
You will not be getting a cherry L98 C4 or LT1 for the $1400 that he stated is the price for the 84.
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Old 12-16-2018, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MatthewMiller View Post
The problem with 84s is that they are slow. Really slow.90mph quarter-mile-trap-speed slow, and maybe slower with the automatic. .
Excuse me?



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Old 12-16-2018, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bb62 View Post
You will not be getting a cherry L98 C4 or LT1 for the $1400 that he stated is the price for the 84.
I wrote "for the same total investment" - that is, for what it would cost to buy and restore the 84 to good condition (based on his description) it would easily end up totaling $6k or more, and the car would still be a stock-running 84 that runs 15.0/90mph that nobody else will want to buy from him in a couple years. The later car is a far better purchase if he wants to recoup his costs in a couple years.

Originally Posted by 383vett
Excuse me?
LOL, I'm right there with you. That's exactly the kind of project this 84 that the OP is asking about would be good for. That's what I wrote in the second paragraph of post #9.

Last edited by MatthewMiller; 12-16-2018 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 12-16-2018, 05:24 PM
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Fixing up a cheap vette is almost always a losing proposition. Either spend more and get a well maintained one or go with the one youre llooking at...if youre in love with it and keeping it forever.
These dont really share common parts with other cars other than the engine.
Price out weatherstrip for instance....or a catback. Parts prices are in sane compared to say a Camaro or Mustang
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Old 12-16-2018, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MatthewMiller View Post
In 1984 the C4 was a very fast car, with world-beating (not just world-class) handling and grip. I never questioned that. Also, the 84 Z51 arguably has the most desirable stock suspension setup of any C4. But just as a reminder to you, it's not 1984 anymore. It's 34 years later, and Van Halen has had at least three different lead singers since then, and even Michael Anthony isn't in the band anymore. Michael Jackson is dead, the Cold War ended, and parachute pants are no longer in fashion.

The one single component of the 84 that was not thoroughly re-engineered from the C3 was the L83 engine. It was a carryover because of budget and time constraints. The C4 was not car of the year due to its engine, but rather in spite of it. The Crossfire was a moderately interesting and successful design when it was introduced, but this was in an era of fast advancement in engine management. The moment the L98 came out a year later, the Crossfire was rendered to the trash heap, and for good reason. The 85 was a full second faster and around 7-8mph faster in the quarter. That's not a minor incremental improvement in one year - that's a game changer in terms of power and speed. The Crossfire was slow in 1985. In 1992, when the LT1 came out, it was rendered even slower. A 90mph quarter mile trap speed is slow. There's no way around that. It's slow on the street, it's slow at a drag strip, and it's terribly slow on a road course. It's slower than the average family sedan today. It's slower than a Subaru Ascent, and way slower than Honda Odyssey minivan. It's slow. I certainly don't hate the 1984 C4, but the L83 that came in it was not "quite a piece of work at the time" - it was a parts bin carryover that the design team was forced to use for the first year, and it was slow.

ETA: If the year were 1984 right now, and the choice was to buy a C4 or spend twice as much for a 928 or many times as much for a 328, then the C4 made sense. But the OP's question was whether to buy a 1984 C4 that needs a lot of work right now, in 2018, with the intention of restoring to more-or-less stock condition (i.e. slow). Why in the world would he buy that car now, when for the same total investment he could get a cherry L98 C4 (even with a ZF6) or a very good LT1 C4? In what way is a 1984 C4 with L83 engine in stock condition intrinsically more valuable or better than a later C4 int he same condition?
Mathew--I will say again that a 1984 vette (that you have 4K into)for a nice driver is a great and FUN car to own, and TELL me (US) how much you've lost on making speed??? You sound like a rambling F**L

BTW--most cars of any type you buy will cost you money to own...

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