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Old C4 for a daily driver?

 
Old 05-11-2019, 04:30 PM
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ZR80
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Default Old C4 for a daily driver?

I'm keeping my eyes open for nice clean old C4s that are in my price range.


A red manual (I want a manual) was for sale for $5K last Fall, with about 68K on the odometer.


I will only driving this Corvette in the Summer/Fall months here in MN and parking it through Winter.


I use a car for driving from site to site for my line of work - I am averaging about 7K per 6 months of driving.


If I found a nice clean old C4, do you guys think an old car like that would be reliable enough (assuming the car was well-kept, of course)?


Any particular issues I need to be concerned about?


Had I bought that one with 68K on odometer (for $5K) do you think that would have been a good car for a daily driver 6 months out of the year?
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:06 PM
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Y-bodluvr
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Is there such thing as a “new” C4 because the newest one is 23 years old? :

What exactly do you mean by “old C4” the early years like 84-89?

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Old 05-11-2019, 06:21 PM
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Joe K
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Yes
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:07 PM
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Did the stock engine tend to be pretty bulletproof, that you know of?


How about the manual transmissions - did they hold up well?


350 I believe?


I wonder what the highest mileage C4 sits at.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:10 PM
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Have you test driven the c4.?

i think the c4 is an awesome daily as long as you can get in and out with ease...(high side sill)

id move to a c5 just based on the ease of entry and exit...

good luck
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Y-bodluvr View Post
Is there such thing as a “new” C4 because the newest one is 23 years old? :

What exactly do you mean by “old C4” the early years like 84-89?

In my price range I do think it will be an "older" "old" C4 - It was kind of Freudian language I used, I guess.


I came across several C4s around $5K last year but they were all '84-'86 as I recall.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:08 PM
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There are several near me for sale but the majority are 84's. Some reasonably priced but a couple that they will have for quite awhile.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:31 PM
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^^ any old car is a risk always have a backup. I dont trust my O. Owner 185k ls

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Old 05-11-2019, 10:51 PM
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Yukon Corleone
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I am an original owner also it’s a 1990 6 Speed. It could be a daily driver but I would not want to and I have 38,930 miles on mine. Everything can be fixed. Everything on my car works but soon the clutch will need to be replaced. The C4 is a great car and fun to drive in addition to being inexpensive to buy.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:50 PM
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I think you would do well to "try on" a few C4s to see what they are like and which "fits" you.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:29 AM
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Not as a daily driver without a backup.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ihatebarkingdogs View Post
The 6-speed (89-up) can have clutch issues because of flywheel troubles. Again, fussy to deal with as new flywheels are no longer available. Even in the aftermarket. (Unless something has changed in the past `12 months). So I'd suggest you re-think your "must have manual trans" requirement if you are going to drive a 25+ year old C4 daily for 7,000 miles a year. Automatics are fine, even better with 3.08 axle ratio.
I totally disagree with this. First, I have a '92 with a manual trans. I DO daily drive it in the summer (winter too, on mild years). I also put about 7k miles on it per year. The flywheel/trans/clutch has been anything but "fussy". It's been flawless. In addition to DD'ing it, I also drag track it, road track it, and auto-x it. So it gets used. Car has about 180k on it at this point. I'd recommend a 6 speed car in a heart beat.

Second, when an auto trans takes a dump (and it WILL), you're f'ed. You're sending it to a rebuilder. When a stick shift car has a problem, you can usually get it home still and you can also (most typically) fix it yourself.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ZR80 View Post
Did the stock engine tend to be pretty bulletproof, that you know of?


How about the manual transmissions - did they hold up well?


350 I believe?


I wonder what the highest mileage C4 sits at.
It's a small block Chevy, billions were made. As long as general maintenance was done, like oil and filters, they are pretty bulletproof.

The early cars, 84-88, had the 4+3 manual. There have been issues with some with the overdrive solenoid failing. It is no longer available as far as I know. If you want the zf 6 speed manual, look for 89 and up.

All models of C4, except the ZR1, had a 350. 84 was Crossfire 85 through 90 or 91 I think had tuned port, I think 92 to 96 was LT1. LT4 was available only in 96 with the manual transmission.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:08 AM
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If you can swing it I would try for a LT1 car or at least a later TPI car. Don't be afraid of the LT powered cars. Everyone talks about the optispark, but I've had two separate LT powered cars and haven't had trouble with the opti on either. One of them being a camaro with a ton of miles and not very well taken care of because I was 16 and couldn't afford to work on it much. The other which is my current car that has also been neglected and I'm slowly trying to bring it back. I know that's not a very good sample size and I might be totally getting lucky at this point, but take what you want from it. I also used to DD my C4 when I first got it and there are some troubles with it lol. One the wipers are garbage. Even properly adjusted and with the right low profile weird wipers these cars have to have mine still got stuck under the cowl of the hood and wouldn't come out sometimes. On the highway going more than 55 or 60 the wind would make them chatter and skip across the glass and usually they would crash into each other. Also on my car the weatherstripping was garbage so the rain came in the passenger side like a garden hose. Then the auto climate control stuff didn't work 100% right most of the time. On really hot days in the summer with the AC on in traffic my car stalled out a couple times once it got real hot. That's another thing too...C4's get toasty if you aren't moving. That temp gauge goes up real fast in stop and go luckily the fans will bail you out, but make sure those actually work because if not you're heading for a meltdown fast lol. They also scrape on everything. I'm used to driving low cars, but the C4 is really low. It's like that meme of that S2000 scraping its splitter on a leaf in the road...my driveway at my house isn't even sloped and I scrape pulling out. I don't even know what I'm getting caught on because it is not sloped lol. The pop up headlights can be screwy too. My passenger side one was getting caught on the wiring harness when it would open. I had to get a new clippy thing to hold the harness in place. Last but not least the digital dash is held together with duct tape and imagination. The roads around my place are terrible. Pot holes everywhere crazy expansion cracks typical Ohio stuff lol. I was driving and hit a big hole I didn't see until it was too late and poof the dash went out. I basically just kept up with traffic to get home because I had no idea how fast I was actually going. I ended up pulling the cluster and redid all the solder joints. A lot of cold solder and some joints that pretty much melted away from age I guess. It works fine now, but just something to look out for. My car is just a nice day car now so a lot of these problems don't matter now since I just drive it for fun. True DD work there are things to watch out for.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ZR80 View Post
In my price range I do think it will be an "older" "old" C4 - It was kind of Freudian language I used, I guess.


I came across several C4s around $5K last year but they were all '84-'86 as I recall.
If you’re thinking of driving a 33-35 year old corvette almost 300 miles a week well I wouldn’t do it especially if you’re on a budget you’re better off getting/using a cheap beater that gets good mpg and runs on regular gas you will probably AVERAGE 14-17 mpg in a 84-86 Vette a beater you can get double that over 7 months that can be over $1000 extra spent in gas alone maintenance/replacement parts are also more expensive in the C4 of course

and today’s ethanol gas is not kind on the those years injectors so you would most definitely need to replace soon or suffer even worse mpg and other issues

Id still get the C4 if that’s what you want but keep it as weekend cruiser only

For a couple thousand more ($25-$3500) you can probably find a higher mileage manual C5 if you want a corvette it’s just a better all around daily driver than a 84-86 Vette gets better mpg and has no issues with today’s fuel aside from tires parts are about the same and more available unless you have a brake module issue which can cost some $$$$
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:11 AM
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To simplify what people are saying, any c4 in your budget will not be a good DD. Your budget allows for a not great example of the early card. You're buying a project at that price point.

I suggest saving up more and then looking at it again.

That said, the engines are bulletproof and the transmissions are typically reliable (the 4+3 of unit can have issues). What goes wrong are other things like seals, electronics, ac, etc. Typical old car problems. They're not like many similar cars that will grenade the engine, they will almost always run. It's the other stuff that goes bad with age.

Last edited by FAUEE; 05-12-2019 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by FAUEE View Post
What goes wrong are other things like seals, electronics, ac, etc. Typical old car problems. They're not like many similar cars that will grenade the engine, they will almost always run. It's the other stuff that goes bad with age.
It's the typical old car problems that will get to you. I can't swing a dead cat without hitting 3 builders of transmissions (at least for an automatic). WHEN the electronics fail, you have to be able to put up with it until, if ever, you get a replacement from dumpster diving. You'd have to get used to hearing the word "OBSOLETE" or "NLA". As an example, it took me a couple three months to get all the hoses for my power steering and the mechanic wasn't happy about having to store it in his yard. We got a hose, he has to compare it to make sure it works and so on. The vendors (as in plural) were unsure and they weren't some hole in the wall shop either. They had a hose or two that was "I think it would work but we won't know till my supplier makes a batch and sends it to me, assuming he does".
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:03 AM
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If you value your job , forget this idea.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by auggy View Post
If you value your job , forget this idea.
If you value your wallet too

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Old 05-12-2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Y-bodluvr View Post
If you value your wallet too
Capital One asks "What's in your wallet?". I say "Not a damn thing. Filler up."

Money I have some, jobs I can get another. Sanity, not so easy.
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