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Question about high mileage on C4s

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lonegunman

Guest
I am looking to buy a C4 on a budget of course. I am finding some nice cars with the exception of high mileage. I'm talking about 100,000 plus miles. I even looked at one with 145,000 miles. I'd like to hear some thoughts on purchasing one of these cars with high mileage. I am looking at an 88 with 122,000 miles and an 86 with 81,000. I would like some input on what members think. On, by the way, I missed a cherry 93 with anniversary package for $10,000 - a day late. It had 60,000 miles. Thanks
 

poorboys831

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Messages
146
Location
charleston,s.c.usa
Corvette
1993 ruby red coupe
hi lonegunman, my '93 anniv. ed. had 134,000 on the od-traded my '99 and the guy gave me 15,000.00-it is in great cond. new int. very good tires and brakes-paint is like new-has both tops put the glass top is hazy.i pulled the oil pan and valve covers before i bought it and i swear there was not one gram of grime anywhere -i have problems with the cooling but nothing ,i think, can't be worked out-oh and the seats don't pump up but thats it!so i guess what i'm getting to is that if the car was taken care of the miles may not such a big deal.vettes are easy to fall in love with and once the feeling hits it's hard to shake(not that i want to) but take your time and do your homework on the car you are looking at-best of luck-dennis :w
 

spyysee

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2002
Messages
124
Location
NY LI Metro
Corvette
1987 black beauty, all ez mods, owned '62,'78
OK Kid.....the bottom line:who drove it, who oned it.
I have 124000 mi on mine. Not withstanding "normal" maintenance Ive replaced the water pump, master cylinder,
alternator, starter, rear bearings, exhaust system,transmission and just did the valves, all within the last 20000 miles.., and she runs as well as the day I took Her from the showroom.
Expect to replace service parts.
Good Luck, use carfax and may the gods of chevy bless you in your Quest
 

Mad-Mic

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
1,853
Location
Annapolis Maryland
Corvette
1987 Redskin Red Coupe
i bought my 87 coupe with 32k in miles i know that isn't high milage but at the time i didn't know much about corvette history as in the differences between Z51 suspension and a regular one stuff like that and RPO's but what i looked for was a good clean car with 40k or less in miles. biggest thing that i wanted was a nice TIGHT car. no rattles, nice tight tranny, good alignment, tires, clean well taken care of motor. Basically the basics. I got an auto cause i never drove a corvette for any amount of time so i did not know the driving characteristics of the car. i got an auto for 2 reasons 1 was not knowing the driving characteristics under racing conditions and 2 didn't wanna burn the tires off every 3 months :L the main thing i looked for in the car was a TIGHT tranny, knowing the 700R-4 tranny they usually let 1st gear go first when they blow up. i went thru the gears a few times manually and leaving it in OD, it felt nice and crisp. i hit some bumps (you can feel ant hills in a corvette :L) just to feel the car and see if it shook apart. that was the main things i looked for when i bought mine then after i bought i found CAC now i wish i would of did my research alittle more. Thanks for the help CAC! :)

only thing i've replaced and heard alot of people say they are the normal things to replace every few years was alternator and fuel pump thats it so far i've been very satisified with this car :D
 

Tom73

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2001
Messages
1,427
Location
Round Rock, TX
Corvette
73 LS4 Coupe - 04 CE Conv
All depends upon how they were cared for. The engine should be good for 200-250K miles. If it was driven hard and not cared for it would have problems making it to 100K. Mine has 120K and is doing great. Had to replace the trans at 90K, lost 3rd and 4th. Other than that just normal maintance.

tom...
 
S

Shadowing1985v

Guest
hmm

how do you know if your car has z51 suspension

i think my 85 is better then other 85's on this forum

cause some say theres are bad handling,,

when mine is really nice

does but don't z51's have z51 engines,, or is it still a 350


what is the differance,,
 

WhalePirot

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
2,942
Location
SoCA
Corvette
1984 White Z-51/ZF6-40/Shinoda body
Got my '84 Z51 at 11000 miles.

I took real good care of it, using Mobil 1 for the entire time, etc.

Spun #7 bearing at 105k; new rear end at 70k.

redid tranny at 105k, too. many gears has micro cracks and the case hardening was gone on parts of 2nd. AMSOIL lube for the whole time.

A super well cared for car shows it in a careful inspection.

With a high perf. car buy, I'd pay a good mechanic to check it carefully, after I had looked at it carefully. I agree that the seller and the history is very important.

DON'T RUSH the BUY. The right car is out there, at the right price.
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
My 88

@ 108,500 when I got it.

Beautiful paint

A BEATER mechanically..

After some tender loving care...

and A HUGH cash infusion..... $7,000 ++++

She runs as good as she looks.

But I got her for 5K plus my 84.

And I've been through EVERYTHING......

From Cigarette lighter to tires.

You HAVE to take your time.. and find a mechanic who KNOW'S VETTE'S

Do not fall in love with the first pretty face you see ( like I have 3 times ).

Choose wisely......

Or call our buddy Shadow for one of his $5,500 specials.


Vig!
 
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Shadowing1985v

Guest
you just said you bought yours for 5K

im glad my car has lots of problems with it


this helps me learn mechanics
and helps me know my car better

If i wasn't having my hands on a wrench trying to fix stuff

id be just another rich dummy owning a corvette

paying some mechanic to work on it,, is crazy,, it insults a person smarts


If a man built something another man can build it too
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
Id think if the car is sound both cosmeticly and mechanicly your going to be OK.

Another question is how mechanicly inclined are you? IMHO the L98 is a simple engine. Aside from the computer controls and sensors (Which your going to find regardless what you buy nowa days) its a basic motor. Cap Rotor Plugs done! LOL

If your not a mechanical mind make sure you have the car mechanicly inspected from someone who KNOWS these cars!! I can't stress that enough.

When I bought mine she looked pretty and ran good by the time I made it home (I flew to BC to buy it and drove 13 hours home) the steering column basicly fell on my lap! 1000 bucks later from a mechanic who didn't know his ars from a hole in the ground I was still in trouble. Back then before I joined the forum and knew the non basics I didn't know what to look for!

If you have it looked at and YOU feel its a good buy from shopping around your going to enjoy your purchase.

Good luck in your hunt! Let us know what happens!
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Paid $5k for my 86 with 132500 miles on it, knowing it needed some work. $2500 later, it seems fine, though I'm always piddling with it anyway. The paint was fine, though the rear bumper was warped (seems a common problem) and there was some underside damage to the floor pan on the passenger side (bad jack job by someone). When I first bought the car, I had to replace:

Clutch, slave cylinder, throwout bearing, pivot ball and fork, freeze plugs (ugh!), parking brake assembly (double ugh!), water pump (did timing chain and gears at same time), spark plugs, wires, knock sensor (and connector), alternator (about a month after buying it), shocks, some light bulbs, and some interior pieces (off eBay, cheap). Did some of the work myself, paid a good mechanic to do the rest (for $50, he also looked the car over before I bought it and gave me a really good idea of what it needed).

The car has not been babied, though the last two owners (for about 80k of its life) were weekend-only older drivers who didn't abuse it.

So far, I'm happy. Want more HP (actually, torque), but who doesn't?

[RICHR]
 
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LarryBible

Guest
I think it's been said in this thread more than once. It's all about how the car has been taken care of.

I personally would rather buy a car with over 100,000 miles that has been garaged and well cared for, than a car with 30,000 miles that has been kept out in the weather and never had the oil changed.

But, that's just me.

My Vette has almost 123,000 miles on it. It's seen much of its life in my shop with the cover over it. Oil has been changed on 2,500 mile interval, and I have worn out the drawer slides on my tool box keeping it in good repair. It's not the slickest looking car around because it's just a driver, but I'm sure that there are low mileage cars around that are nowhere near as mechanically solid.

My $0.02,
 

fixvet

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Messages
139
Location
Clever, MO
Corvette
1998 Two Tone Torch Red& Black Coupe
I adopted my '88 in April, 2001 w/145,000 mi. for $8500. It was near mint condition inside and out w/new Yokohama tires and Catback Flowmasters already on it. It just turned 160,000 miles, and I haven't done a thing to it, but change the oil every 3000mi.

The great old cars are out there, you just have to be patient and look for them.

Good Luck,
Fix
:w
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
As everyone else has said, it comes down to the way the car was cared for... Also, be wary of someone selling a Vette with high miles... They could just be selling it because they know there will be a ton of expensive maintenance items that need to be done in the near future... you may also get someone selling their vette because they are going broke trying to maintain it... In my opinion, it is much less stressful having two cars... At least if one breaks you have the other to drive to work... things will break, and it is much cheaper to fix things yourself.
 
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ddmau

Guest
Well, I bought my '85, 88,000 or so, for 7500.00. I got lucky really because after a rather short test drive and a stop at his mechanic's I took it home, and have had no trouble after 8,000 or so miles. Not to say I haven't worked on it because I haunt the performance sections of the parts sites...but that's part of the fun.
It's kind of like a good woman...you'll know it when she comes along. Good luck.
 
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Eagle85C4

Guest
Bought my 85 off of ebay with 135,000...sight unseen, took off the oil filler cap to see what it looked like inside....very clean. Drove it home from Va.Beach to Toledo. Basically they changed the oil every 2k...but let all the little things go. It has taken a year to replace all the old stuff that needed replacing and get all the codes to disappear. And it is a Z-51...found that out later...rides great...still can smoke the tires and can top out the digital dash. Now it has 146,000 and gets 22 on the hiway.
 

jsinga

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Messages
280
Location
Savannah, GA, USA
Corvette
87 Silver Coupe Way over 200k miles
My 87 coupe has over 205K. Here's my .02 cents on early cars:
make sure lock cylinder was changed or VATS bypassed
rear half-shaft u-joints go south @ 100k
Wheel bearings about the same
Steering racks get worn on center, check play
radiator cracked right tank this year. Replace the whole thing.
front rotors warped/ got hard spots and were trashed
master cylinder started leaking
water pump shaft seal went
AC needs about a pound a year, has never been open
trans is still OK, change the fluid about yearly, pan is still clean every time
Rear end whines some, but it gets new mobil 1 every year
mufflers went south, walker Dynomax aren't wife friendly even with crossover y-pipe
get the car in the dark to see if the dash flickers
I have seen 5 alternators on the car, ONLY get a lifetime alt. I've got 3 out of Pep Boys
they all heat up in traffic unless they have cooling fan mods
hear a rattle about 10-15mph at light throtle? a cat is busted inside, it WILL break and plug things up
a garaged car won't have brittle plastic interior parts.
Last Detail is a good place to get GM parts
the car has 50mph brakes, I would get C5 brakes if I had 17" wheels
Firestone SZ50's stick in the rain and turned it into an oldsmobile (they are smooth and quiet)

JS
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
I can definitely attest to MadMic's car - you could eat off the engine - the car's what, 15 years old? No rusty pipes, no oil, no dirt, no nothing. It looks almost showroom clean. And pretty fast, too. He got a deal.
[RICHR]
 

Mad-Mic

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
1,853
Location
Annapolis Maryland
Corvette
1987 Redskin Red Coupe
thanks Rich!,

still looking forward to do them rocker arms! let me know when your ready. now that my stuff is up to par i think i'm gonna do some slight mods like the bypass and screen.
 

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