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'86 Stock Aluminum Heads. Your Opinion

 
Old 02-10-2019, 11:48 PM
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FunGramps
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Default '86 Stock Aluminum Heads. Your Opinion

Hello to all you Corvette folks! I'm new here, and was directed from the intro section to this C4 forum. At 64 years old and never owning a Corvette before, I'm about as naive as one can get about them. I really like the 80's and early 90's cars. I've been perusing the internet, reviews, auctions, etc, looking to find as reliable and clean a car as I can and not break the bank. Maybe around the $25-30K mark? Want something the wifey and I can use for sunny days and local show and shines. So, I humbly ask for your help during this quest for my first Corvette!

I've been looking at a pristine '86, from a collector, with 9K original miles. The Indy Pace Car (clone). (I know..it's a little gawdy for many). Trouble is, I have read that the later '86 L98 motor went to the aluminum head, which has been noted by some in articles that areas of aluminum is too thin, and may fail when the motor is under heavy stress, where the iron head will not. Is this true and something I should stay clear of? I won't be too heavy footed with whatever car I end up with.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:53 PM
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84 4+3
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I think the problem was mostly with warpage and then blowing a head gasket. As long as you don't beat the everloving **** out of it you'll be fine. It isn't a terrible job if the time comes anyway.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:53 PM
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JackDidley
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Aluminum head 86 is not real troublesome. Do not pay over $8k for a nice clean one. $25k will get a nice C6.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:53 AM
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I had raced an '88 Vette for 12yrs to >200k miles before the #8 cylinder gave up. So don't think the Al heads are an issue.

Bottom line is that if you find one you just gotta have, go for it. You might pick up a copy of the "Corvette Black Book", which show pics of and details each year Vette from original though current.

Good luck and have fun with your search.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:43 AM
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drcook
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Take some time to research what C4's are selling for (actually what they are being priced at). Look on autotrader, carsforsale and a few others. Get on Google, put in 19xx corvette for sale and the different sites will come up.

you can fine tune the year range 1985 to 1996 (I ignore the 84's for a variety of reasons) you can select whether you want to look at dealers, or private sellers, distance from your home (at first look at the whole country) and whether you want a manual or automatic transmission.

as said above, $25 to $30 is way out of line to expect to pay for a C4. I could buy 2 REALLY nice ones for that and have money left over for tires and other stuff to fix both of them up.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:45 AM
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hcbph
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There isn't a car today that doesn't have good and bad about it. I have an 86 Convertible so I can speak to that. Wheel offset is negative, wind time with the top down is positive. Big thing to remember on the one you're looking at, sounds like it's not been driven. Regardless of driving, some things wear or age out even without miles being put on. There will be things that need to be done to it to turn it into a safe and dependable car.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:36 AM
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vader86
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The aluminum '128 heads are not a problem.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:26 AM
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rharker
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I don't know why you called it a pace car clone ... all 1986 convertibles were indy pace cars and had the aluminum heads.

Last edited by rharker; 02-11-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:44 AM
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CorvetteRules
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Just keep in mind you are looking at 25 to 30 year old cars, but as already told to you by others You can get an early 90's car in good general condition and reasonable miles for much less then your posted number. If I was in your shoes my top number would be around $12k.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:36 PM
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Thanks so much, everyone. Nice to hear from people who have lived with these cars. Prices are all over the map with these. Many dealers and owners with cars having extremely low miles in the C4 line are are asking nearly double what some have recommended here. And I do realize that very low miles on a motor which has been basically mothballed isn't good either. Gotta' do my homework for sure!
I'll continue to check in with you for any advice.

Cheers!
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:12 PM
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cuisinartvette
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^^They arent collector $ cars which is a good thing about 73 and newer vettes, not much of a demand which keeps prices low. Some dealers will tell you differently
Do get the nicest one you can afford though they arent cheap to fix up.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:10 PM
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84 4+3
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Originally Posted by cuisinartvette View Post
^^They arent collector $ cars which is a good thing about 73 and newer vettes, not much of a demand which keeps prices low. Some dealers will tell you differently
Do get the nicest one you can afford though they arent cheap to fix up.
If you want a 77 4 speed in black you gotta shell out a bit of cash still. Entirely unrelated but I did try to find dad his first vette for his 50th and the only decent ones were in the 20s. Could have gotten an auto for 10 in better shape though. Otherwise yes, no real collector value except for a couple of models.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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Kevova
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There was a recall or special policy related to the 86 aluminum heads. Dealers were swapping them out. I knew Chevy techs " scrapping" them for their dealer more fixing and selling them.
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