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Urgent C4 buying advice needed! Thanks in advance

CorvetteJim

Member
Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
6
Location
NYB
Greetings. I'm new here and considering buying a 1990 Corvette and have some questions. Thanks in advance for any insights or knowledge you can share about this classic. Will be my first Corvette and I'm excited!

Edited: Questions all asked and answered. Basically I was looking at a non-stock modified L98 motor that had been modified at some unknown point to add LT1 headers and other parts. I was very confused and at first it seemed like a good car but lots of dialogue here along with the carfax steered me away.

Issue resolved.
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Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,521
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
If they've changed the oil pan, it may not have a sensor in it or it's not hooked up. :thumb

As far as the rest of it ,I'd say it's well worth 4K If it runs and drives good. AC work?
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
There are a number of small things I can see in the engine imagery attached to the OP that would make me a bit apprehensive.

1) The IAT sensor installed into the air bridge with RTV.
2) There is a lot of non-standard vacuum tubes and hoses.
3) It looks like the engine may have open breathers in the rocker covers and no PCV system. If you live in a State which requires a CA/MD/NY style I/M emissions test, it will never pass like that.
4) The Gen 2 V8 (92-96 LT1 and 96 LT4) had reverse flow cooling systems and it looks like someone has cobbled up a modification to the cooling system that cross-breeds the Gen 2 LT1 heads to a Gen 1 block.
5) Looks like the fuel filter hasn't been changed in a while.
6) The car at one time had selective ride but the SRC shocks have been removed.
7) Spare tire carrier is missing.

Wheels are from a C5.

If the car has 100,000 miles and has not had good maintenance (ie: trans and rear axle lube changes, coolant changes, power steering fluid changes, brake flushing) you're could be looking at putting a lot of money into the car depending on condition of trans, axle, cooling system, etc and how much of a "perfectionist" you are about mechanical things.

Has the seller said how many miles are on the engine?

When you say the "oil light is on" which oil light is that? The oil life monitor, or the low oil level warning or check gauges warning?

You'd be buying a project car, that's for sure. If you totally get that going in and understand you could easily spend another grand, maybe even two, (parts and labor) fixing all the stuff you've mentioned.
 

CorvetteJim

Member
Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
6
Location
NYB
Thanks for all the help, I've opted to pass on the car. Finally got around to pulling carfax and there's many hidden issues including significantly more owners than stated, transmission work, failed emissions x2, and head gasket work for which the owner has no paperwork.
Along with the nonspec engine mods, it's time to walk away. A pristine stock low mileage C4 Vette is well under 10 grand. Too much of a gamble even at 4 grand.
 

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