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ZR - 1 vs LT 4

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72 Bluz

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What are the primary differences between the two cars? There are a couple for sale in my area. With values being what they are, I thought Xena might need a companion. Thanks for any input.
 
S

secondchance

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LT-4 is a improved version of LT-1. Namely, due to some modification, higher redline (I think 6300 rpm?) and 330 hp vs. LT-1 being rated @ 300.
ZR-1 had LT-5 which is a completely diffrent motor. All aluminum, 4 overhead cams and 32 valves (4 per cylinder) designed by Lotus (GM owned Lotus back in the late 80s), manufactured by Mercury Marine, redline @ 7200 rpm, possible due to low reciprocating mass (no pushrods), producing 405 hp and 390 ft/lbs torque in its last production form. Car itself had 3 inch wider tail (diffrent doors as well) to acommodate 11 inch wheels and 315s in the rear. LT-4s also had 11 in wide wheels but these were kept within the wheel well utillizing "eyebrows" added to the rear quarter.
 

twiget

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As Vettaholic said, the primary diffrences between the LT4 and the ZR-1 is the engine, and some diffrences in body work. Though the ZR-1 did have 11 inch wide 315's standard. The Grand Sport coupe is the only LT4 car to come with 315's on the rear. All the other LT4's have a smaller thickness tire.

The best way to help make the decision is to take the two cars for a test drive. Everyone has their preferences. Though dont be surprised if you find the LT4 will hang with the mighty ZR-1 pretty well (expecially if it's got any type of mods).

Jason
 
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I had my eyes set on a ZR-1 before I bought my LT4. After speaking with a few Chevrolet Dealer/Owners who had owned both, they discouraged me from purchasing the ZR-1 for the following two reasons.

1. Higher repair cost of the ZR-1 vs. the LT4
2. Fewer dealerships/mechanics qualified to work on the ZR-1.

I've driven both, the ZR-1 is definitely the King but the LT4 is nipping @ his heels.
 
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I almost bought a ZR1 before my LT4 as well.... I decided on the LT4 because the performance is almost as good as the ZR1, but the maintenance is much easier, parts are more readily available (and generally cheaper) and modifications are cheaper and easier to do.... Also, throw a few grand at an LT4 and it will outrun ZR1's... try throwing a few grand at an LT5 and you will find people laughing and asking for more $$$ ZR1's are king, but the best bang for the buck is LT4... (by the way, Reeves Callaway called the ZR1's "overweight pigs" due to their complexity)
 

Rob

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S

secondchance

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You tell'em Rob. I have'nt had my heels nipped in a long time.
 
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vettaholic said:
You tell'em Rob. I have'nt had my heels nipped in a long time.

The numbers on paper look like the ZR1 is outstanding... in the real world the LT4's do nip at the heals of the ZR1's though... take a look at the added weight of the ZR1's, and the super high costs of any modifications.
 
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Vettelt193 said:


The numbers on paper look like the ZR1 is outstanding... in the real world the LT4's do nip at the heals of the ZR1's though... take a look at the added weight of the ZR1's, and the super high costs of any modifications.

True, Very True !!! :_rock
 
A

ArtZR1991

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Twiget had it the closest.

In the end, the car has to be a good one for you to like it. Issues like which is faster (and all the qualifying comments that go with it), which cost more to repair, etc, are distractions.

There are only 2 issues:
1. The actual car you are test driving HAS to meet all of your expectations for quality and condition (don't lie to your self).
2. It has to be the car that you want... In other words, whatever arguments are made for it, have to be YOUR arguments.

There's not a Corvette, either C4 or C5, that I would trade for my ZR1. I have been very lucky, but it still reminds me of a comment I once made in jest to my female cousin once. She jokenly asked for my old Jaguar to take to Houston (knowing I would say no). When I said no, she said, "Well, I can just go up the street and borrow so and so's $75,000 Mercedes." For some reason, and with no particular thought, I looked at her and said, "Susan, there are expensive cars.... Then there are cars worth owning."

Point is, you have to see it that way.

Regards,
 

Rob

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I agree with this as well. It's kind of ironic.....I was out driving my ZR-1 this weekend thinking...a Z06 would be nice....I could get one if I sold the ZR-1. The radio rattles in the chassis ( I need to fix it because it's annoying the hell out of me)....the chassis flexes when you take the roof panel off....which is another pain in the butt....the pilot bushing needs to be replaced - no warranty to cover costs....the extra horsepower coming from a simpler engine in a Corvette that weighs 300+ lbs less than a ZR-1 would be really nice. Then, I press down on the gas pedal a little....hear that familiar engine sound and exhaust, feel the pull...and the little idiosyncracies go out the door. I still rarely every turn the radio on. Why? Because....that unique engine sound and exhaust is too hard to pass up. Today's Corvette doesn't sound like that.

The car looks awesome as does the engine. Yeah, it may not have the latest and greatest technology that the current Corvette benefits from...but honestly, to me....it's a rolling piece of history. It's still my baby.

And....some people still recognize what it is. Yesterday afternoon, two guys pulled up alongside me at a stoplight. They rolled down the window: "WOW....a ZR-1....that is a very nice car!"

All in all....buy the Corvette you want regardless of what the numbers say. Evaluate what you can and can't live with. There's 50 years and 5 generations of Corvettes out there....there's a lot to choose from and each generation has its idiosyncracies. It all depends upon what you can and can't live with.
 
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72 Bluz said:
What are the primary differences between the two cars? There are a couple for sale in my area. With values being what they are, I thought Xena might need a companion. Thanks for any input.

In answer to your question "What are the primary differences betwen the two cars?"

Engine's & Chassic and yes 1 does runs a bit faster than the other.

Buy either one of em and you will Definitely Enjoy It !
 
S

secondchance

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True beauty of ZR-1, for me, is the sound and a feel of a large displacement V-8 revving at 7000 rpm. I've had my share of various small block chevys. As much as I loved these motors in various cars, including corvettes, typically redlined at 5500 and worse yet, as rpm goes up, you could feel the motor gasping for air. This is true of most ohv V-8s. LT-5 was one of a few american made (Mercury Marine of all) V-8 designed to alleviate this inherent flaw of ohv engine. Design solutions led to 4-overhead cams, 32 valves and resulted in a very expensive motor to manufacture - leading to its demise. LS-6 is wonderful. However, its not as elegant a motor as LT-5.
Having owned a 91 ZR-1 for 5 years, between 91 thru 96, and driven 98,000 miles until the car was totalled (unfortunately), at least in case of the particular car, motor was trouble free and reliable as any small block chevy. Only major problem I had with that car was a burned out fuel pump.
 

90 Corvette ZR-1

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This was a recent experience (sat) that I havn't goten around to posting (now if I can find more the 10 free mins at a time at work). We were comming back from a cruz-a-paluza (yes again) in New Brighton. It was my friends black tubbed 9.90 sec 540 nova (this car has been named project big F'n Hammer), my other friends 31 ford Street rod w/a 406, and my other friends 350 nova (nothing done to it execpt and exhust or something). we were on a 6 lane road I was behind the non tubed nova. Well the 540 nova nails it and so does everyone else. Needless to say he was GONE the other cars couldn't even keep him in sight. I was in 2nd and floored it. I cought up to him quick after I got around the 350 nova. We were running at about 100. He looked over with the WTF look on his face. Now we are friends and were just messing around, but he was determined to keep me behind him. I was in 3rd he hit it I hit it and no one really pulled. I kept on it till about 160 let off. Needless to say we had a rather interisting discussion about the car when we got to the next cruz.
 
7

72 Bluz

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Thanks for the comments

Still don't know which I would choose, but I'm much more informed now. BTW, the LT4 sold for $16,900 before I had a chance to test drive it.
 
A

ArtZR1991

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Yep,

I'm taking the ZR1 to work today... Something I almost never do. But it's a pretty day, and I have to make a short road trip to a doctor client, who happens to be a motor head.

I am a very lucky person. I am basically very simple to please. I love cars (and my family, of course, but that is a different story), and I have had the pleasure of owning many of my favorite cars in history, from the very rare Hess & Eisenhart convertible Jag XJS V12 (only 200 made), to my various hot rods (including my Shelby, which has attached to it a personal friendship with Carroll his self) and BMW's, to my favorite driver's car of all time... by far... by way far... My ZR1.

I know that if you use the right kind of judgement to pick either car, you are going to be very happy with it.

Let us know what you do.

Regards,
 
S

secondchance

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"the chassis flexes when you take the roof panel off"

Rob,

Best fix for this is to get a X-members for C-4 convertibles which are actually flimsy channels and have a body shop mig-weld a steel panel to close-off the open end. If I remember correctly, on my 91 ZR-1" there already was bolts or bolt holes in the front, Rear, the shop had to weld a plate w/ bolt welded to it. Once closed off, this X-member actually tighten up the chasis and significantly reduce steering wheel jiggle. Corvette master's in Orlando charged me $500 for this but around here it may cost some more.
 

JohnnyC

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Go with the LT4

I'd have to suggest the LT4. I recently got mine for $20K and am extremely happy with it. Daily driver car.

I have to agree with all the comments so far with the added bonus of this: unless you got the 1996 GS or CE, the LT4 Corvettes look exactly like any other C4. No special badges or anything. I am sure most non-vette guys have even heard of LT4. Or the Fast and the Furious crowd. You all know what I am talking about.

I always feel I have a secret Corvette. I love it!

I have also heard that the LT4's can over power some of the early ZR-1's (well, maybe not the last +400 HP one).

The LT4 far out performs the LT1 and LS1.

The LT4 is GM's top engine (until the recent LS6 in the ZO6).

Well, just my 2 cents. But most importantly, I hope you choose the car YOU want.

Good Luck,
John
 
F

Fugitive

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Car flexes when the roof panel is out

Yo you guys have got to try the Targa Truss by Dave Cooper at R& D Racing! It looks like a T-Top and it is an antiflex bar. I just ordered one! I'll tell you guys what it'like! Here's a picture tell me what you all think! Later Scott Sorry Guys can't upload the image. Check it out at R&D RAcing it's called the Targa Truss
 

BA ZR WON

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ZR-1 mods cost a lot of money to mod???

Hey all!

Gotta chime in here... I spent about 3 grand total in mods to my ZR-1(headers, Tri-FLos, 4.10s, ported plenum/injector housings, chip, that's it) and it runs low low 12s on street tires. I can dip into the 11s on stickies.

Now, I realize that LT4s(Grand Sport excluded) are cheaper than ZR-1s. At the same time I don't think you can throw 3 grand at an LT4 and run high 11s either... Then again, I could be wrong:)
 

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