I'm sick of being a wannabe Corvette owner, I want to be a Corvette owner!

I'm looking into getting a used '88 to '89 C4, but I'm only just now getting into the early stages of looking around. I'm a complete nube so I'm looking
for a starting point to get some background on what I should be avoiding and what I should be expecting.
I'm based in Melbourne, Australia, so I'm sure there will be some Oz specific gotchas I should be aware of, such as the low market value my insurer is willing to offer on an imported car.
I'm from a technology background so I'm well aware that questions such as this usually end up with some troll pointing out the FAQ associated with the newsgroup in question in a demeaning fashion...
So please, send me on my way.
- T
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Tristan Austin wrote:

Manual or auto? The 88/89 have the 4+3 tranny, which IMO is a piece of junk. Replaced mine with a Richmond 6 speed manual.
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So far all the ones I've seen advertised have been autos, but I'm happy to go with a manual.
There's an auto I've had my eye on for a while that looks pretty good, as far as I can tell, but it's done under 65,000 ks (under 40,000 miles). What sort of cost were you looking at for the transmission replacement? I don't think I'd buy an auto with the idea of replacing the transmission, unless it gave me trouble later on.
When you say it's a piece of junk, do you mean it didn't perform, was clunky or did it actually die on you?
On 8/7/05 10:00 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com,

- T
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Tristan Austin wrote:

Tristan: The 4+3 is the manual transmission with an "automatic" overdrive unit attached to the back. Here's a really good write up on it: http://corvetteobsession.homestead.com/DougNashInformation.html It seems to be luck of the draw, some people have problems, some do not. The automatics in these year cars are fairly bullet proof, as much as any automatic transmission can be. If I were to have to choose between an similarly equipped 4+3 or an automatic, I'd probably go with the 4+3. At least with the 4+3, if it gives you problems, you just drop in a Richmond or ZF 6 speed later. Besides, I just love banging gears. IMHO, automatics are for top fuel dragsters and cars that your granny would drive.
TomC '90 ZR1
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not many grannys would stick there foot to the floor on my automatic equiped supercharged and intercooled 87 for long (grin) Greg

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Thanks, Tom. That link helped a lot.
The car I have my eye on just states that it's a "4-speed Auto", but my granny wouldn't be setting foot in it. I just had another look around on the web and haven't seen a single manual for sale anywhere.
On 9/7/05 1:35 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@sunset.net, "Crabs"

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I like my 93 automatic, a manual is such a hassle around town. You can always have high perfiormance upgrades done to an automatic.
--
Charlie
!993 Corvette Convertible
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wrote:

========================================Driving a Corvette around town is to be very honest not a lot of fun IMHO.... might as well let my wife drive...
But since I am now 61 and my knees are for lack of better words (shot to hell) I decided that I would at least consider an automatic...
So Far I have not been satisfied with any... BUT to each his own...
Bob G.
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------010103070606080202050309 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
A Vette MUST HAVE a stickshift!! Do Harleys have training wheels?@!? :-)
Butttt, If I lived in L.A. or Atlanta I could see the need to an automatic with terrible traffic..
Bob G. wrote:

--
Ric Seyler
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Well, I live in Houston and the Corvette is my daily driver.
--
Charlie
!993 Corvette Convertible
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Mine had a valve body upgrade and a shift kit. Runs a lot better. I know how you feel about the knees, sports did mine in years ago. I drove my sons Porsche 914 a few days trying to get it out so people could see it's for sale. My knees started hurting on the 2nd day. We just got a Subaru Outback XT Limited with the sports shift. I'm wondering if they have one that will go into the Corvette. It is really sharp, 5 speed with a touch of the shifter up or down and it has shift buttons on the steering wheel as well.
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Charlie
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A TipTronic in manual mode would be fun, never had a chance to drive one first hand though :-)
Charlie wrote:

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Ric Seyler



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The Outback XT is a 4 cylinder turbo with 250 hp and 250 torque. It's a blast to drive in manual mode and the AWD is great.
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Charlie
!993 Corvette Convertible
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Both years were rugged, very durable automobiles with few chronic problems save for high underhood temperatures below 30 mph. That cooks alternators in the summer when the A/C is running. If you drive around town in the summer, you will replace an alternator every couple of years. Some people believe that cylinder head/gasket problems are fewer on the '89.
'89 was either THM 700R4 4-speed automatic or 6-speed ZF transmission. 4+3 left the scene with the '88. Top gear on both the automatic and ZF stick was an 'overdrive' ratio. If you want a stick, the ZF is the better bet for long-term durability and parts support.
Generally, fit and finish improved markedly between '84 and '88. Beyond the '88 there was steady improvement till the end of the C4 in '96.
Both '88 and '89 are fast off the line up to about 45 mph with any of the common axle ratios. The later model LT1s pass the L98 cars at about 60mph and maintain a 'surplus torque' advantage right out to top speed. LT4 engined '96s are widely admired, combining the performance capabilities of the L98 and LT1.
Be aware of either a standard suspension, 'soft ride' or cockpit adustable ride option (touring, firm or bone crushing). Visit the 'vette forums and look through the build-list options to get a feel for what was available on any particular year. You can open the center console compartment and see the build-list for any particular car.
There's a lot of frame flex in all C4s. This affects ride and makes for annoying handling on irregular road surfaces. Coupes that have had the convertible-frame cross-brace added are improved in this regard. Careful roof panel fitting/adjustment also helps.
Paul H. '89
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Thanks, Paul. I seem to be replacing/rebuilding the alternator in my current car with about the same regularity now anyway.
Thanks for the forum tip. I found a lot of good links, including this one: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/specs/c4/1989 /
Looking through the various years in the spec sheet, I couldn't see the LT1 engine being available until the 92 model, but the LT5 was available in the 90. I take it these aren't sequential engine numbers? I assume the L98 is the only option for an '88/'89 model.
What should I be aware of specifically in regard to suspension type? There's a link from the 'Production and Performance' on the above site that discusses some issues with the FX3 SRC suspension. Is it something to avoid or something to look for in preference to standard suspension?
Thanks again for your help.
- Tristan '89 Wannabe
On 9/7/05 10:44 AM, in article n5Fze.55413$iU.55191@lakeread05, "Paul H."

- T
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I think I may have just got a dodgey answer on the mileage of an '88 C4. Apparently it's done about 106,000 miles, but the owner's not sure because it 'rolls over' at 100,000 back to zero. Not sure if this is just something I'm not familiar with or whether the odometer has been reset.
It's a relatively cheap one, has no RWC or rego and needs a conversion to RHD, but looks ok in the photos. I haven't seen it in person yet. I'll be looking into what it will cost to get it on the road over the next week or so.
http://the-jsse.twibble.org/corvette.jpg
http://the-jsse.twibble.org/corvette1988convertable.jpg
He gave me a build-list, but I wasn't able to track down what they all mean:
These are all fine: ac1,ac3,aq9,b4p,c68,dl8,d74,fg3,kc4,l98,mxo,vo1,zv1,z52,732,81v,na5,d7c,qa1, yau
But I couldn't find out what these ones referred to: brg,63w,d9a,e5z,e92,guz,k68,mdx,vq4,vv8,xav,19t,731,739
However, if xav might be just a typo of xau.
Any gut feelings on whether I'm looking at a lemon?
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It appears that anyone with a CS-130 alternator on a GM car from '88 to '96 has that to look forward to. There is a heavy version CS-130D that came out in '93(?) that is different in all aspects that fixes many of the problems. http://www.chromealternators.com/cs130_&_cs130d_alt.htm I know several who replace the others every year or so and the Internet has many in many forums complaining about them. Common complains include bearings burning up or seizing, diodes blowing (no output), and even alternators catching fire!
I would use a CS-144 instead. I haven't done that with mine right now, but if I have to buy another, it won't be a CS-130.
With all the dead ones, I'm surprised someone hasn't sued Chevy.
wrote:

getting
looking
avoiding and

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when someone points out the FAQ for a group. they are not being a troll. they are trying to help you get a clue.
--
"Key"



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Hence my request to be sent there, but when they do it in a demeaning fashion they are being a troll.
On 9/7/05 2:35 AM, in article 8Xxze.126600$ snipped-for-privacy@tornado.texas.rr.com,

- T
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