4th gen trouble spots? (rust & otherwise)

Hi, I'm looking to buy a 4th gen LS1 Trans Am. A lot of them have come from the east coast, so I'm a bit concerned about the amount of rust damage from
salt. Are there any known points on these cars where I should really check closely for rust?
Also, are there any reasons to avoid certain models/years? The only thing I've come across so far is that some of the 1998 LS1s supposedly had oil pressure problems (thought that doesn't bother me, because 98s tend to have more than the 50-70k miles I'm looking for anyway..).
Thanks,
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Amrit
ICQ: 3173735
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One thing I'd look at for sure is the battery tray. The stock batteries that came in the f-body's tended to leak.
What other options are you looking for on the TA?

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dle wrote:

Thanks. I'm not too concerned with options on the TA. Auto tranny (so my family can drive it, unlike my other TA) is the only thing that's a must. T-tops would be nice as well, but aren't required.
As for the rest, I'll take whatever I can get. I can live without the 500W Monsoon system, for example - aftermarket items will probably find their way into the car before long, anyway.
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Amrit
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If you're going for an auto, you might want the trans to be checked out if you have access to anyone that can do that. The A4's can be built to handle some good HP. But stock, they tended to be one of the weaker links in the 4th gen drive train (not to mention the 10bolt).

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dle wrote:

That's good to know, I'll have to pay extra attention to the trans.
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Amrit
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The LT1 TAs up to and including 1994 have problems with the Opti-Spark distributor. They were not vented and prone to mosture damage. With the water pump right above, once the pump starts to drip, it took out te distributor as well. In 1995 that was corrected with a new vented Opti-Spark.
Bad news the vented can't be retro fitted back since the cam shift was modified as well in 1995. At this date, any 1994 that original is suspect.
For the later LT1s, there is a problem with the intake manifold leaking oil out the back end. You'll notice oil puddles after parking the car for 15 minutes. Have this now with my 1995, 95K Trans Am.
The front pumpers will get paint strees cracks. If you looking at a red Trans Am, the front bumper will be a slightly different color of red. This is due to sun exposure and the fact the pumpers is a different matteral then the rest of the body.
Drivers side window motor failure is common. Due to dirt build up in the tracks that over tax the motors. Easy to replace, goolge it as there is a web site that gives step by step instructions.
In terms of rust, the General seems to have worked out the rust bugs (only took 20 years). Mine has no rust and the first two owners ran it as a daily driver up to 2001 and 71K miles. Have kept it out of the snow and salt since then. But, it does get rained on. I have ad no run ins with any pink bunnies with it. Normal wear and tear with it. Good luck.
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brxsep wrote:

Wow, you sure know your stuff! Too bad I'm not getting an LT1... Sorry, I should have been more specific in the subject - I mentioned in the first post that I'm looking for an LS1 4th gen. :)
Good info though, makes me happy that I haven't had my heart set on a LT1. I'm guessing the rust info also applies to the LS1s.
What are the "pink bunnies" you speak of, btw?
Thanks again,
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Amrit
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Good luck with your search. The "Pink Bunny" is an expression I read on the Corvettee and collector care web sites. It's the hidden surprises that are there you got to look for. Lke at Easter time searching for that prize bunny, he's in the house but where?
For example, one of 2th generation F-body bunny's are the rubber front frame body mounts. The hidden bunny is the cage nuts holding the bolts in pace. The two weak spot welds break, now nut turns with bolt. Can't get bolt out, can't replace mounts without cutting open the floor! LT1s are the Opti-Spark and oil leaks from the intake manifold. LS1 has problem with the coolent leaks from the intake.
The best way to learn about them is to read news groups, go to the LS1 Forum (LS1.COM then follow the redirect), and just google around.
Thanks for the complement. Have been a Firebird man since 1977 when a frat brother took delivery of a WS-6 78 Trans Am. Converted me for life from a rabid Corvettee Stringray to Pontiacs. My 95 Trans Am is number 4 (1975, 1978 with the outlaw Pontiac cam, 1979) Of all of them the 1975 was the best, easy on gas (18/20 MGP on a 400 4 speed), had a big bad hood scoop and looked mean, if it had AC, would stil be driving it.)
Been around and did a lot of work on cars like my dad. Check out my web site at for more TA information.
Take care.
http://hometown.aol.com/seppburgh2/myhomepage/index.html
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That was a very sad story about the blue TA. :-(
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