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Considering purchase of '90 ZR-1, have Q's...

phrogs

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2002
Messages
295
Location
Kalamazoo MI
Corvette
90 ZR-1 #854 and 1968 427/400 coupe
jenavet said:
ignition wires for awhile were almost impossible to find,i damaged a valve cover...hard time finding that with a vc gasket.....most of the parts on that motor are dd

WHAT valve cover gasket are you talking about?

and its not a valve cover its a camshaft cover it actualy holds the camshafts in the motor and acts as cam lobs, You cant swap a cam cover from one engine to another they are machine together, There is no valve cover gasket for a LT5 motor, The cam cover to head seal is done with a sealant, cant remember the part number but its not a gasket like a physical gasket like you would think its liquid based
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2002
Messages
74
Location
niagara falls,ny
Corvette
1966 blue,1990ZR1
i guess i should have asked you first....i bought a wrecked car and one of those covers had been cosmetically damaged...maybe thats why i couldnt find one to replace it......i ended up selling the motor as it was and i got 9500.00 for it[motor and trans] i was initially going to fix her up but had a hell of a time finding parts for it...it looks like you sell alot of ZR1 parts so i am sure you know stuff is tough to come by.....i ended up selling everything off and pretty much doubled my purchase price....thats why i mentioned to the guy in this thread...i think they are worth more in parts than they are in 1 piece
 

phrogs

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2002
Messages
295
Location
Kalamazoo MI
Corvette
90 ZR-1 #854 and 1968 427/400 coupe
How long ago did you part it out?
 

Rob

Site Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
13,674
Location
New Hampshire
Corvette
1990 Corvette ZR-1
fhturner said:
(1) The body/paint seems to be in good shape, with one very small "spider webbing" spot in the LR fiberglass (had to really look to see it) and one small stone chip in the front of the hood. The black rub strip needs a little attention on the sides at the back, but not much. Mainly, the rub strip needs to be shined up, I believe. So, the outside looks pretty good.
For the black rub strip, I highly recommend this:

http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/reviews/censura.php?tsid=1&csid=72d80324a140e617254c0834537eeca8&cmd=details&itemid=32

fhturner said:
(2) Tires are dry rotted. The dealership will probably be replacing them, but want to add the price of replacements (probably $900-$1000) to the sticker. This doesn't seem right to me. Shouldn't I have the right to expect usable tires w/o having to pay an add'l $1K?
I'm not sure I agree with their desire to charge you for the new tires. In my opinion, if a dealership wants to see a used car, it is their responsibility to make sure that that car is properly repaired and in proper working condition prior to sale and driving off the lot. Just my opinion.

fhturner said:
(3) Did the Vacuum System leak check. When turning the key to On, the vacuum pump can be heard running w/o ever stopping. Should I demand a $1K price reduction for that (as suggested in an older thread here)? Also, despite this, engine power seemed to be good, but perhaps not as good as I expected. Can this problem cause the secondaries to "sort of work"? Full power was noticeably stronger than Normal, but still seemed a bit lacking. Maybe it was just me.
No. I would not demand a $1K price reduction for that, however it is something that has to be fixed. Depending on how you rate the competency level of the dealership, you can either have them properly diagnose it and fix it for free, or I would negotiate $500 off the price of the car for having to take it and get it properly fixed somewhere else.

The vacuum leak can be indicative of lower "full power" but it's hard to say without actually driving the car and conducting a proper vacuum check with a gauge. If the leak is not bad, the secondaries can still run off the vacuum produced by the engine at WOT. Remember, the only use for the secondary port vacuum pump is to prime the system upon startup, and supply the system during extended periods of WOT.

fhturner said:
(4) On a related note, the Engine Power switch seems a little funky. When turning to Full, the "Full Engine Power" light comes on, but then turns back off when the switch "rolls" off the high spot and clicks into place. I could get it to stay on by "perching" the keyswitch on the high spot. Engine power was noticeably reduced with the switch all the way to Full, where the light turned back off. Is this a serious problem to fix, or is it simple?
It can be a pain in the butt to fix. You need to have the switch replaced which you can purchase at a Chevy dealership. The electrical contacts inside gradually wear. Mine has been doing it for over a year now, and I have a new switch, but just haven't gotten around to getting it replaced. Again, depending on the technical competency of the dealership, I would either have them replace it for free, or have them remove the cost of the part and one hour of dealership labor from the sticker price to have it replaced.

fhturner said:
(5) The stereo doesn't work. Turning the volume way up, you can start to hear something, then you're startled by a loud tone or static (can't remember exactly-- it just wasn't good). How much of a price reduction should I request for this?
Not too much. I would have them fix it, or take it to a competent dealer to have it fixed.

fhturner said:
(7) The wheels are not stock, but are of the '92-'96 "turbine" style. While I like the look of these better than the stock "Cuisinart" wheels, I would prefer stock for future collectibility value. Is this a legitimate argument? Price reduction?
I don't think this is grounds for a price reduction IMHO.

fhturner said:
(8) The engine bay seems pretty dirty. Not filthy, but not cleaned recently either. I'll have to do it or have it done, so there's more $$$ or time spent. Is this a legitimate gripe (at least as far as haggling)?
Nope. Where do you live? I'll detail the whole car for $125 and depending on how much work required, you may be able to eat off the exhaust system when I'm through. :L

fhturner said:
(9) The interior seems to be a little faded and somewhat "dried out" on the black areas like the dash, console and steering column (interior color is Saddle). Perhaps this could be brought back with some good cleaning and protectant. Otherwise in the interior: driver's seatback switch on right side of seat is broken; don't know if memory functions work; glovebox door kinda sticks up; console padding and cover has "rolled away" from door itself on passenger side, as if opening is prying the padding away; some plastic lining is hanging out from driver side door, as if door panel was removed and put back on in a half-assed manner (also, two screws along the bottom are silver instead of black, supporting this theory); rearview mirror is loose and gets in the way of the driver's sunshade. Perhaps much of this can be fixed w/o much $$$ but with a lot of TLC. My time is worth $$$ though!
Your time may be worth money, but you also have to keep in mind that the price of the car is pretty good considering the mileage....if it truly is 13K+ miles. My guess is the dealership is trying to compensate for the obvious issues because they do not want to be bothered having to fix/replace the stuff that is wrong with the car. So, you may have a hard time bargaining with them in terms of final cost. As for the driver's side seat belt. What about it does not work? There was a service bulletin notice about this on the 1990 I believe. Shortly after I bought mine with just over 200 miles on it, the driver's side seat belt stopped working and I had it replace free of charge at the dealership due to the service bulletin/recall. Let me see if I can find it in our Knowledebase here....

Here we go....it was a recall notice....err....Safety Campaign: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/kb/question.php?qstId=159

fhturner said:
(10) The engine is slow to start up initially. Just chugs and chugs and eventually catches and fires. Bad battery? Bad starter? Carbon buildup? Cost to address?
Welcome to the LT5 engine. :L If and when you buy the car, here is my suggestion....make sure it's nice and warmed up. Put the valet key to "FULL POWER", find a long (and I do mean LONG) stretch of wide open pavement where there are no other cars or people around, and exercise the poor thing. Make it work. Keep those secondaries open at a nice 3-5K RPM. Let me back up....before you do this, dump a bottle of Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner into the gas tank with a nice fresh tank of gas. Then go burn a 1/4 of a tank on the pavement. The LT5 engine has an undesirable ability of collecting carbon inside like the old '60s big blocks. Just like a cranky L88, the ZR-1 needs to be regularly exercised.

fhturner said:
(11) Aside from the engine power/vacuum issue and the possible rotor warpage, the driveability isn't bad. The suspension feels pretty good, as do the tranny, steering and pedals. At only 13,500, I would expect so! The oil pressure seemed to hover toward the upper end of the scale, though (well, lower end, given the gauge's orientation. Possibly sending unit, or too much oil? Or normal?
It's normal. However, if you start to see the oil pressure gauge dropping to zero then back to normal....bouncing....etc. while you're driving it, chances are, your oil pressure sending unit just met God. You can get one at your local Chevy dealership and they are a breeze to replace. If I'm not mistaken, this was a problem on the 1990 ZR-1s and some of the early 1991s. I believe the sending unit design was slightly modified by GM, but don't quote me on this.

fhturner said:
Lastly, some details on the car. It was originally delivered to CPC (Chevrolet-Pontiac-Canada) Group Engineering Center in Warren, MI. It was not titled until 1995 @ ~10,000 miles. I'm thinking it was an executive's car or maybe a test vehicle-- would this reduce its value? The VIN ends in 00066, so I'm assuming that means #66 for 1990, correct?
No, I don't think it would decrease the value, if anything, might add a wee bit in the future because of the fact that it's a very early production model and it probably has the steel half shafts which is rare.

fhturner said:
It has the electronic AC and only the glass roof (was hoping for both). I like the low mileage, but it doesn't look to have been kept up meticulously, which is what these cars deserve. I'm okay with that, as long as I can get it back to where it needs to be. But, what does all of this necessary work mean for the price of the car now? $16K? $17K? $18K? Or is $20K fair despite these issues?

That's all I can think of (geez, hope that's enough!). If you've read this far, I thank you. If you can spare a few more minutes to post your thoughts and comments, I'd be even more indebted to you! With any luck, I might be joining your fairly exclusive ranks in the near future!

Thanks!
Fred
As I stated above, the price of the car seems reasonable in my opinion given what's wrong with it, and it's my assumption that the dealership has priced it that way because they do not want the hassle of having to fix what's wrong with it.

So now that I've come into this thread so late....what happened? :L
 

fhturner

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
218
Location
Birmingham, AL
Corvette
'00 Torch Red Cpe, 6spd, '90 Red/Saddle ZR-1 #279
Hi Rob--

Thanks for all the detailed responses-- that should come in handy for any future ZR-1 searches that I or anyone else might undertake. Well, what happened with the car was that I left it alone for a week or so, then went back to haggle with the guy, and he informed me that a dealership in Michigan had already purchased the car for the full $20K asking price (might have been $21K with the new tires).

On 4/21, Mike Moore emailed me to point out that it is now being advertised over on CorvetteForum @ $26K! I intend to post over there and link to this thread, just to let any potential buyers know that, unless that dealership has done a heckuva lot to tidy up the car, the condition of the car is not inline with what you'd expect for 13,500 miles.

L8r,
Fred

P.S. I'm still looking for a Z that's "just right". :)
 
T

theblackvette

Guest
Being a Z06 owner and attending many cruise ins I can say that the ZR-1 is one bad azz vette.

Although I challenged our president and owner of this fine forum to a duel at least twice, I can tell you that you will without a doubt you will turn many heads in that bad boy! If that is the vette you dream of then GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!! See you on the open road!!!!!


bv1.JPG
 
C

captbane

Guest
20k for zr-1

Hard call,what i can tell you is that I was just in a friends 1990 zr-1 (hes a dealer with a small shop here in ny) and although I dont know what the mileage was, I Do know the car had a blown cenqcro (spelling sry) in 2nd gear,car condition was fair,red on red coupe,and the first customer he let drive it forked over 18k for the car. Think it was a westpoint cadets father buying his son a grad. present.Agreed to have the transmission work done there at the shop, believe it ran around 3-4 grand. If you can get this guy down abit, id say you have a great bargian,if not....20k for a zr-1 with that low a miles on it..go4 it. see ya on the road.. Capt Bane
 

fhturner

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
218
Location
Birmingham, AL
Corvette
'00 Torch Red Cpe, 6spd, '90 Red/Saddle ZR-1 #279
Well, to conclude my story that started with this thread: I just purchased a '90 Red/Saddle ZR-1 with 14,502 miles in great condition-- much better than the 13,500-mile car that I started this thread to discuss. I paid a bit more for #279 than the $20K they were asking for #066, but the car is in so much better shape, there is really no comparison. For the full story, check out the thread I just got my ZR-1, too!


Rob said:
Exercise the poor thing. Make it work. Keep those secondaries open at a nice 3-5K RPM. Let me back up....before you do this, dump a bottle of Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner into the gas tank with a nice fresh tank of gas. Then go burn a 1/4 of a tank on the pavement. The LT5 engine has an undesirable ability of collecting carbon inside like the old '60s big blocks. Just like a cranky L88, the ZR-1 needs to be regularly exercised.

I already have some GM Decarbonizing Additive, part #12345515, that I got for my 2000 coupe. Would this be (1) safe, (2) effective, (3) necessary to use on my new '90 Z w/ 15,000 miles on it? Obviously, it's been sitting quite a lot, so I suppose it could be suffering from carbon buildup, too...

Fred
 

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