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which year to buy

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fatboyreyn

Guest
Hey guy's. I am thinking of buying a c-4, between 86 and 89. What is your opinions?
 

jrzvette

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
287
Location
NJ
Corvette
1969 RED SB COUPE, 1993 BLACK ZF6 COUPE
The 84 came with the L83 (crossfire) engine, the same one used in 82. So you're already familiar with it. A reliable engine but only 205 hp and very difficult to mod for power.
86 was the first year for ABS brakes, 89 the first year for the ZF6 speed. Most people will argue that the 89 was one of the best C4's made.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,240
Location
Northern Indiana
Corvette
1987 Z52 Black Convertible
I think 89 would be the best to get. The general rule is get the newest vette you can afford, but in 89 I think the brakes got a minor upgrade, rims are bigger, and I think the seats are a little different. Other then that they are pretty much the same (86-89).
 

karagoz

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
14
Location
Detroit
Corvette
1988 Red Coupe
Hey guy's. I am thinking of buying a c-4, between 86 and 89. What is your opinions?
If you look at the accessory catalogs like Mid America, Eckler's, Corvette Central you can get an idea of what was improved from year to year on C4's by the "improved" parts they sell, like the retractible headlights.

I own an 88 and I'm pretty happy with it. The cost of restoration parts for things that break a lot or wear out on C4's (weatherstripping, door trim, interior components, alternators and engine electronics) is getting steep.

My advice - find the newest, low milage C4 you can, check it out very carefully - make sure all the expensive little doo dads like electronic air conditioning control, power seats, Anti lock brakes - work before you buy it. Look for water leaks thru weatherstripping, oil leaks, coolant leaks. Don't waste your money on a fixer upper: repair parts are expensive and dealerships don't like working on the older ones. There are lots of clean, well cared for C4's out there so you may as well take your time, shop around and buy a good one.

Also keep in mind that with 10 to 20 year old Corvettes and boats - a lot of things that go wrong have to do with the passage of time, not necessarily hard use. Wiring gets brittle, connections corrode, weather strip shrinks with age and will cause leaks, for example. Leather seats get brittle and may crack. You get the idea.
 

MoeJr

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2002
Messages
797
Location
Londonderry NH USA
Corvette
Vetteless
I always post this site for Cross fire owners.

http://www.swko.com/~lionsden/crossfire.htm

Also i have an article of a guy in Canada that built a 400hp Cross Fire 84.

My 84 has over 95k and runs likea scalded dog and mine is stock save for a stock replacement K&N air filter and gutted cat. conv.
 

Nut

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Joined
Oct 15, 2000
Messages
890
Location
Bowie, MD
Corvette
Vette-less for now
Spend the couple extra dollars and go for a 92-96. The LT1 is worth the money alone.

........ nut
 

Zo6 LVR

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
95
Location
Granger, IN
Corvette
2002 Electron Blue Coupe
I have owned two 87s and loved both of them. The only common problem to them both was the MAF burn off relays, other than that I had no problems, but as most here have said, the newer the better. Each year improvements were made. If at all possible and you like the comfort of air conditioning (I do) you might try to bump up to at least a 94 that has R134 refrigerant. R-12 is getting very expensive buy and have serviced.
Also as previously mentioned the LT-1 engine is a world of difference that is worth the extra cash. I have found many 91-96 Vettes priced comparably to 87-90 when I was looking for a nice C4. The deals are out there if you are patient and look hard enough.

Good Luck
 

BLACKTALON

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
130
Location
N.C Greensboro
Corvette
1994 ADMARIAL BLUE Z-51 COUPE
Spend the couple extra dollars and go for a 92-96. The LT1 is worth the money alone.

........ nut

Words of wisdom!!! Don't sell you're self short go for the LT1/4 you won't regret it!!!And if ya really wont to up the ante C-5 baby!!!!Me I would go for the 4th gen because thats what I grew up with,but all can be made monsters with a lil tweek here and there.
 

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
95-96's have a lot less Rattles and Squeaks!!!
 

andrewc4

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
96
Location
Tamarac, Fl.
Corvette
1994 Polo Green Coupe
There are really two C4's. The 91-96 should have been called C4.5 - LT1. ZR-1 styling, the ZF6, ABS and traction control, big, big improvements. How can you knock sharing the same transmission with the ZR-1?
 

j-wireman

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
22
Location
Land of Whiskey Rebels, PA
Corvette
1990 white convertible
Split the difference. Get a '90. Same body, better dash. Most advanced of the early C4's.

Or..... you could get a '96 and put an early C4's bumpers on it.
 

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