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What to look for when buying a high mileage 98 Z28?

This is a discussion on What to look for when buying a high mileage 98 Z28? within the Camaro / SS forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hello, I am going to look at a 1998 Camaro Z28 tomorrow. The car is black, auto, leather with 125k ...

  1. #1
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    What to look for when buying a high mileage 98 Z28?

    Hello,

    I am going to look at a 1998 Camaro Z28 tomorrow. The car is black, auto, leather with 125k miles on it. That's about all i know about it at this point. The person is asking $5500. I am trying to get the VIN number from him so I can run a carfax before I go look at the car.

    A few questions:
    1. With 125k miles, I am a bit worried that the transmission doesn't have a lot of life left in it if it is still on the original tranny. How long can the 4L60E if properly maintained? Also, if I did have to replace the tranny soon, about how much would that cost?

    2. Ticking: I test drove a 2002 Z28 yesterday that made a ticking noise above 3k. My guess was that it probably had a bad lifter. However, since I hadn't driven an LS1 before I really had no idea how the engine was supposed to sound (with it being an alum block and all). That sound is not normal for an LS1, correct?

    Other than I mainly would like to get anyone's input about things I need to look that are needing to be replaced or could already be broken on a 98 camaro with many miles. I'm hoping the fact that it's a 98 will help me avoid the whole piston slap issue.

    The price seems reasonable, but I hope to talk him down a few hundred more dollars.

    Anyways, let me know what you guys think.

  2. #2
    Member Doom's Avatar
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    silver
    89 BII, 02 SS

    4 of the cars i test drove had a lifter tap, mine is starting to do it too. I think it's normal, but i'm not sure.

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    Bright Red
    1999 Camaro Z28

    I bought my 99 Z28 with 131,xxx miles, and it runs like a champ. Just drive it and see if the tranny shifts firm. Get on it if you have the chance just to see if it shifts 1-2 hard without any slip.

  4. #4
    Senior Member camarojunky74's Avatar
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    white, white and pewter
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    i jsut sold my 99 ss, it had a 140k miles with the original a4 trans, i raced that mofo damn there evey weekend, it shifts like a champ, but it was meticousouly maintained by me, i just sold it to my little sister and i regret it so much,

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    I did get the VIN number, and the car looks good (no accidents, salvage, etc.).

    The guy claims nothing needs to be replaced. He also said it has the original engine and transmission (no service records though). He also said it is a hardtop.

    Assuming everything looks okay in person and on the test drive, what do you guys think a reasonable offer would be?

  6. #6
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    BLUE
    '98 Z28

    WHAT HE IS ASKING

  7. #7
    I have a need for speed! jigger1166's Avatar
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    Artic White
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    Go onto kbb.com ,and check to see what it's worth.

    He'll prob. take $5000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jigger1166 View Post
    Go onto kbb.com ,and check to see what it's worth.

    He'll prob. take $5000.
    X2, but paying $5500 is still a good price if the car is as nice as he says.

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    Junior Member 97ss497's Avatar
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    HO LS1 White Lt1
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    That's a pretty good deal for $5500. The lifter noise is normal for LS1's.
    Our 99Z has 145k miles and still pulls hard; with just minor mods and a 3:23 rear gear it runs consistent low 13.5's @ 104 MPH; pretty damn good for a car with that many miles. You can't buy squat for $5500 anymore; throw a few thousand more into the car and you'll have a real sweet ride.

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    Another thing I just remembered about that 2002 Z28 M6 that I test drove was that at idle the engine rocked the car a lot. Is that a sign of bad motor mounts?

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    Senior Member camarojunky74's Avatar
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    white, white and pewter
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    no thats a sign of chevy power, lol you will get used to it,

    a sign of bad motor mounts and or trans mount, is you pop the hoood and rev the engine if that sucker looks like its gonna pop out and eat you probably time, or when you are in the car and rev it and the stick shakes probably about 2-3 inches probably time..

    is there any harsh vibrations and or clunkiing noise when you shift or romp on the gas?

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    Nah, there were no clunking noises or vibrations. Although I did notice the shifter moved around a lot depending on what you were doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by camarojunky74 View Post
    no thats a sign of chevy power, lol you will get used to it,

    a sign of bad motor mounts and or trans mount, is you pop the hoood and rev the engine if that sucker looks like its gonna pop out and eat you probably time, or when you are in the car and rev it and the stick shakes probably about 2-3 inches probably time..

    is there any harsh vibrations and or clunkiing noise when you shift or romp on the gas?

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    Senior Member camarojunky74's Avatar
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    probably all normal its hard to tell without driving the car myself, but if what your describing is extreme then yes motor mounts and a trans mount will be a good thing to replace which is all easy and cheap

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    Pewter
    2000 Z28 Camaro

    Do your homework. Find a mechanic in the area where the car is that is knowledgible about Camaros and make an appointment with him to check the car out. Then go and look at the car and, if you like it, take it to the mechanic. The owner might want you to committ to a price before taking it to the mech. and/or he might want to come along. Let the mechanic go through it and, if it's what the owner has represented it to be, you've bought a car. If not, move on to another car.

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    Senior Member camarojunky74's Avatar
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    you could try that

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    CrapMaster samson_420's Avatar
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    I just bought a 1998 z28 for 7800 Bucks. Sounded like a good deal, the car had 68k and a SLP intake package(lid, bellows, K&N air filter, tunnel) and that's it. Runs like new realy, does have slight lifter tick, chirps tires from 1st to 2nd.

    I like it so far.

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    Okay, so I went and looked at the car yesterday. It had a few things wrong with it, but the engine transmission seemed to be okay. At WOT it shifted at 45 in first, so I think that meant it had 3.23s. It didn't chirp the tires going into second or anything, but the shifts still seemed firm enough to confirm that the transmission was good.

    The bad:
    Exterior:
    Scratches, marks, etc. all over the car. Most of the clearcoat was missing from the front bumper (the bumper almost looked like a flat black color). The car would need to be painted. A chunk of the front left quarter panel was missing near the driver's door at the bottom.

    Interior:
    Rips in the leather. Top part of dash was cracked.

    Electronics:
    Rear window defroster was disconnected because of tint. Both power window motors need to be replaced. Neither of the front turn signal lamps worked. The power window switches were wired funny (the switch that would normally be the driver's side window was to make the windows go down(up position for driver's, down position for passenger). The passenger power window switch on the driver's side did the same for putting windows up.


    I'm probably nitpicking too much considering the car was only 5500 dollars. I think the real deal breaker was that a piece of the quarter panel was missing, and if I wanted to fix it I know it wouldn't be cheap. I know there are some other 98s with similar miles for 6000 that have good paint and body that I'd like to look at. The search continues!

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    Alright, so here is the new list of cars that I'm thinking of looking at this weekend:

    (All these cars are automatics and have T-Tops, power windows, power seats, power mirrors, etc. and claim to be in great condition)

    1. 98 Camaro Z28 - 128k miles, Black, Leather - $6000
    2. 99 Camaro Z28 - 103K miles, Pewter, Cloth - $7995
    3. 99 Firebird (Trans Am I think?) - 106k miles, White, Leather - $6950
    4. 98 Firebird (Don't know if it's a formula or a trans am, it has Z06 rims) - Unknown miles (30k on engine / transmission with kevlar clutches?), Silver, Leather - $6895

    The carfax looks good for all of them except for the fourth, which I haven't gotten the VIN yet so I haven't ran a carfax on it.

  19. #19
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    Bright Red
    1999 Camaro Z28

    Quote Originally Posted by pscmj84 View Post
    Okay, so I went and looked at the car yesterday. It had a few things wrong with it, but the engine transmission seemed to be okay. At WOT it shifted at 45 in first, so I think that meant it had 3.23s. It didn't chirp the tires going into second or anything, but the shifts still seemed firm enough to confirm that the transmission was good.

    The bad:
    Exterior:
    Scratches, marks, etc. all over the car. Most of the clearcoat was missing from the front bumper (the bumper almost looked like a flat black color). The car would need to be painted. A chunk of the front left quarter panel was missing near the driver's door at the bottom.

    Interior:
    Rips in the leather. Top part of dash was cracked.

    Electronics:
    Rear window defroster was disconnected because of tint. Both power window motors need to be replaced. Neither of the front turn signal lamps worked. The power window switches were wired funny (the switch that would normally be the driver's side window was to make the windows go down(up position for driver's, down position for passenger). The passenger power window switch on the driver's side did the same for putting windows up.


    I'm probably nitpicking too much considering the car was only 5500 dollars. I think the real deal breaker was that a piece of the quarter panel was missing, and if I wanted to fix it I know it wouldn't be cheap. I know there are some other 98s with similar miles for 6000 that have good paint and body that I'd like to look at. The search continues!
    I'd move on and keep looking. I only gave 5,800 for the 99 in my sig.

  20. #20
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    Bright Red
    1999 Camaro Z28

    Whoops, don't have a sig on this forum.

    This car.

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