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L98 engine life

RV Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2003
Messages
190
Location
Nampa, ID
Corvette
1986 Silver/Gray Coupe
I know this can vary a lot with maintenance and use but in general how many miles can be expected out of a stock L98?
Thanks for your input.
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,547
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
Dude,A Long Time!!I have a 86 C4 here that has 280'000 miles on it and it's not even had a Valve Job or Timing Chain yet!! It's geting it's 5th paint job!!!;LOL;LOL;LOL:upthumbs
 
F

fatboyreyn

Guest
l98 mileage

I know this can vary a lot with maintenance and use but in general how many miles can be expected out of a stock L98?
Thanks for your input.

My 86 coupe has 127000 and runs as tight and strong as the day it came off the showroom floor!!!!!!!:D
 

lagasvd

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
60
Location
Pennsylvania
Corvette
1986 Indy Pace Car
98 Life

I've just turned 42K on my 86 Vette convertible and still running strong.
 

RV Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2003
Messages
190
Location
Nampa, ID
Corvette
1986 Silver/Gray Coupe
Thanks to all that shared. It sounds like it won't hurt a bit to put a little cash into the body. I only have 70,000 on mine so with a little luck she should still last me a long time.
 

vetteboy86

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
2,760
Location
IN
Corvette
1986 Black "Indy 500 Pace car replica"
I think the key with any motor is the routine maintenance performed. I changed oil every 2k miles, and when my motor came apart(60k) it was very clean, no sludge, and probably would have lasted three times as long as it did had that bolt not ended up in my cylinder.
 

jimmers

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
302
Location
Canada
Corvette
1990 Red Coupe 6 speed
My 90 had 160,000 miles before I got the engine rebuilt.
 

grumpyvette

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
that depends mostly on the level of horsepower and the quality of the parts and assembly care, and your driving style,if its nearly stock and regular maininance is done correctly and frequently (filters,& oil changes) and you keep the rpms reasonable ,youll easiy get 100k-150k before a refresh becomes necessary (rings & bearings & gaskets)
boost the hp significantly , but use decent parts and youll still get 80K-130K, (I know several 383s Ive built have over 100K currently and are still fine, (with only the standard,oil,filter,& sparkplug changes)
the secret is getting good quality forged parts correctly clearanced, installed and ballanced and keeping the oil and filters clean and frequently changed,and the heat the engine sees reasonable (IE oil temps kept under 240F and over 215F and coolant temps under 220f and over 190F) and not running the rpms into rpm levels where valve control or heat levels up to where detonation becomes an issue.
most guys will have few problems simply because your generally not useing a sports type car as your main and only transportation and most guys don,t put excessive mileage on the (TOY) they built, my 3 corvettes for example seldom see more than 10k-15k a year in drive time (each) and I drive constantly, but I generally use the parts truck for a good deal of the little trips.
btw Ive got 80K on my main current toy(1985 ,383 vette)and its showing no wear/problems, but its been dissassembled and re-assembled several times durring major parts testing
keep in mind that as hp and stress increase the projected durrability tends to go down, unless better parts are used, doubl;e the hp and you can expect the life expectancy to get lower, but its excessively high rpms, lack of proper maintenance and heat that breaks down oil and causes detonation and weakens valve springs ,more than mileage alone that hurts, as these factors tend to increase stress and wear on parts
 

kirkeric

Active member
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
42
Location
Maryland
Corvette
1987 Champagne Color Coupe
1987 Coupe with 350

Hello,
I was just reading this engine life thread and have a question. I just bought this 87 from a guy who had it for 12 yrs and he thinks he bought it from original owner. It has 184K miles on it. Two questions.

First, is there a website that would be able to run the VIN and see if any major work had been done such as engine rebuilt or anything like that? I suspect it is all original.

In my Maryland state inspection, they said the front upper ball joints had "excessive play" and that seem to be the only mechanical thing they found. Not sure if there will be a noticable difference in replacing them. Anyone know?

And finally, this thing has a whole lot of power for sure, engine sounds fine but I do notice when I first start it (like at beginning of the day) if initially gives off a puff of smoke and then clear. Is that an indication of anything or just age?

Thanks,

Eric

that depends mostly on the level of horsepower and the quality of the parts and assembly care, and your driving style,if its nearly stock and regular maininance is done correctly and frequently (filters,& oil changes) and you keep the rpms reasonable ,youll easiy get 100k-150k before a refresh becomes necessary (rings & bearings & gaskets)
boost the hp significantly , but use decent parts and youll still get 80K-130K, (I know several 383s Ive built have over 100K currently and are still fine, (with only the standard,oil,filter,& sparkplug changes)
the secret is getting good quality forged parts correctly clearanced, installed and ballanced and keeping the oil and filters clean and frequently changed,and the heat the engine sees reasonable (IE oil temps kept under 240F and over 215F and coolant temps under 220f and over 190F) and not running the rpms into rpm levels where valve control or heat levels up to where detonation becomes an issue.
most guys will have few problems simply because your generally not useing a sports type car as your main and only transportation and most guys don,t put excessive mileage on the (TOY) they built, my 3 corvettes for example seldom see more than 10k-15k a year in drive time (each) and I drive constantly, but I generally use the parts truck for a good deal of the little trips.
btw Ive got 80K on my main current toy(1985 ,383 vette)and its showing no wear/problems, but its been dissassembled and re-assembled several times durring major parts testing
keep in mind that as hp and stress increase the projected durrability tends to go down, unless better parts are used, doubl;e the hp and you can expect the life expectancy to get lower, but its excessively high rpms, lack of proper maintenance and heat that breaks down oil and causes detonation and weakens valve springs ,more than mileage alone that hurts, as these factors tend to increase stress and wear on parts
 
S

speedmaster4

Guest
initial ''puff'' of smoke at start-up is classic sign of oil going down valve guides...prolly guides are worn ( 180k, the guides should have been reworked at least twice already for best performance, but some have been left to suffer)...valve guide seals will harden/ leak with age ==even if those were replaced a few years ago when (if?) ''valve job'' was done, new seals might be due...you can ''nickel=dime'' the engine (if budget is tight) or ''bite the bullet'' and just drop a ''crate'' motor in and enjoy (prolly cheaper over the long haul, if you plan to keep the car a while)

if the state inspector didn't fail the upper ball joints, prolly drive ok with em, but as you get more ''seat time'' you may notice some ''vagueness'' in steering...new b/j will be noticeable...''lower'' ball joints are critical, as the inspector didn't call out the lowers, those are likely already replaced (or the inspector missed ??)
 

CyberFire 12

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Messages
22
Location
USA
Dude,A Long Time!!I have a 86 C4 here that has 280'000 miles on it and it's not even had a Valve Job or Timing Chain yet!! It's geting it's 5th paint job!!!;LOL;LOL;LOL:upthumbs

:upthumbs:v


With a little TLC and a few oil changes the GM Small block rules! Consider all the high tech OHV/OHC engines, Turbo engine on the market but the ol' pushrod 2V American V8 will go forever!
 

kirkeric

Active member
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
42
Location
Maryland
Corvette
1987 Champagne Color Coupe
Thanks for the quick reply. Good info. I've done valve guides before so maybe I can do this. I am not sure what crate is but I'm guessing you mean a brand new engine?

Ball joints just came in and having them put in tomorrow. I think the inspectors were pretty thorough since they also told me my darn wiper blades were too long too.

thanks,

Eric

initial ''puff'' of smoke at start-up is classic sign of oil going down valve guides...prolly guides are worn ( 180k, the guides should have been reworked at least twice already for best performance, but some have been left to suffer)...valve guide seals will harden/ leak with age ==even if those were replaced a few years ago when (if?) ''valve job'' was done, new seals might be due...you can ''nickel=dime'' the engine (if budget is tight) or ''bite the bullet'' and just drop a ''crate'' motor in and enjoy (prolly cheaper over the long haul, if you plan to keep the car a while)

if the state inspector didn't fail the upper ball joints, prolly drive ok with em, but as you get more ''seat time'' you may notice some ''vagueness'' in steering...new b/j will be noticeable...''lower'' ball joints are critical, as the inspector didn't call out the lowers, those are likely already replaced (or the inspector missed ??)
 

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