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1998 trans am worth the price?

This is a discussion on 1998 trans am worth the price? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Alright guys, I have came here for advice many times but just now registered so sorry if I'm posting in ...

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    1998 trans am worth the price?

    Alright guys, I have came here for advice many times but just now registered so sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place or something.....my question is whether or not the car I have been looking at is worth the asking price... it's a 1998 trans am non ws6 but it does have a ram air, though I don't think it's functional? The outside of the car looks really clean from what I can see and has no clear coat peeling and such. The interior is also clean with the exception of the familiar crack in the dash (but It's not bad at all). He even sent pictures of the underneath and there is no rust to be seen. The guy tells me it has a strong running engine with no issues. The dash shows 130k miles but here is where it gets tricky, it has 3.73s but the odometer was never changed so it actually has less but idk how much less. The previous owner put the gears in so it could have quite a bit lower.... The catch is that the tranny is shot (a4) and will need replaced. Me and my dad would do it ourselves and have no labor cost. He wants $3,500, is it worth it? Also it seems like the owner doesn't know what he's talking about half the time and could be full of crap...anyways it's a clean title. but the exhaust is is missing the back tail pipes... The car is all stock that I know of......any advice would be appreciated! (Sorry about the long post! I hope it's okay to do this)

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    Hmmmm. Swapping gears without updating the tune will mess up the shift points and the odometer would also be affected. Take a good hard look at this one. Other than that, the price is certainly within reason for a clean, rust free car. Can it be driven at all?

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    first thing I would do is pull the dipstick on the engine and tranny and see what the fluid looks like. The price seems decent but you're describing a car someone most likely just drove into the ground without taking care of it. Those can be money pits if you're not careful. These engines will run for ever but you have to take care of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    first thing I would do is pull the dipstick on the engine and tranny and see what the fluid looks like. The price seems decent but you're describing a car someone most likely just drove into the ground without taking care of it. Those can be money pits if you're not careful. These engines will run for ever but you have to take care of them.
    And orion alright I will!.... As long as the guy isn't lieing to me idk what else I could even really find out about the car, I have asked him every question I can think of.... He said the engine runs strong with great oil pressure, all electric work, no funny squeaks or noises while going down the road, he assures me that with a new transmission dropped in this could be a daily driver no problem.... The only bad thing is that I'm located pretty far away from him so I can't just hop in the car and go check it out. He offered to bring it half way for gas and like an extra 50 bucks which is good for me.. He lives 6 hours away but he would take that down to 3 away so 6 total which isn't horrible.... it does make me feel better him bringing it half way sence he knows there's the possibility of me not taking it home, so it shows me he's pretty Confident.... He also told me to "come check it out whenever you want, you won't be disappointed in this car" before he knew where I was located so that shows he's not trying to hide anything... He sent me a video of the car starting right up and backing it out of his garage but I think it might have been a video from when he bought it...but he said it still runs just like it does in the video.... I wish I could put pictures up from my gallery on my phone, is that possible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Hmmmm. Swapping gears without updating the tune will mess up the shift points and the odometer would also be affected. Take a good hard look at this one. Other than that, the price is certainly within reason for a clean, rust free car. Can it be driven at all?
    Uhmmm I don't think it can be driven at all...what the owner tells me is that he has owned it for a little over a year and his wife is the reason for the burnt up tranny. He said she didn't know how to drive it properly with the shift kit in it? (Forgot to mention that part)....but does that even make sence? This guy also was blaming the speedometer being off because of the shift kit so idk what to think........... you said putting the gears in without a different tune would mess up the shift points, could this alone of caused the transmission failure? Thanks for the input!

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    OP I closed the other thread you had on this subject since this thread is getting you answers.

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    heres the car









































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    Looks ok, needs a good engine bay cleaning.

    What is that? The 2 "blue" looking things. Looks like a Nitrous injection port. I know it's not the MAF or IAT sensors, this is something else.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Looks ok, needs a good engine bay cleaning.

    What is that? The 2 "blue" looking things. Looks like a Nitrous injection port. I know it's not the MAF or IAT sensors, this is something else.

    Click for full size

    I should also add that im new to f bodys and this would be my first (but i have done my fair share of research on everything about ls1 trans ams)...... but your guess is as good as mine, i have no idea...what he says about the transmission is that it will go into drive but wont move at all in drive or reverse...assuming the engine runs fine because thats what he tells me, is 3500 reasonable for a ls1 that needs a transmission? and worse case scenario lets say we get it home and blow the motor, how much would the roller be worth?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I got my 98' 5 yrs ago and paid around $6500. That was for a non-WS6 TA that had 108k on the T56. I knew the clutch needed replacing so not such a big deal for me. It ran great and was taken car of very well.


    I've seen crappy rollers go for $1500-$2000. So looking this one over I could see it go for around $2500. depends on the area you live in.

    Auto Transmission are somewhat expensive. It could be just the stall convertor needs replaced or even some internals. Price for repairs are between $800-$1500.


    Like Orion stated look the engine over very well. It could be a good deal if the transmission is the only thing wrong.


    I'm kinda partial to the 98's, they have their pros & cons like all years.


    In the end we can only advise you so much.

    Here are a couple of threads to help in your shopping:

    Differences between the f-body years

    Guide to Buying a Fbody

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    I got my 98' 5 yrs ago and paid around $6500. That was for a non-WS6 TA that had 108k on the T56. I knew the clutch needed replacing so not such a big deal for me. It ran great and was taken car of very well.


    I've seen crappy rollers go for $1500-$2000. So looking this one over I could see it go for around $2500. depends on the area you live in.

    Auto Transmission are somewhat expensive. It could be just the stall convertor needs replaced or even some internals. Price for repairs are between $800-$1500.


    Like Orion stated look the engine over very well. It could be a good deal if the transmission is the only thing wrong.


    I'm kinda partial to the 98's, they have their pros & cons like all years.


    In the end we can only advise you so much.

    Here are a couple of threads to help in your shopping:

    Differences between the f-body years

    Guide to Buying a Fbody

    Thanks for both those threads! read them both and thats good info!...it would make me feel alot better if i could get him down on the price but hes pretty firm right now. this is still cheap for what i can find anywhere close tho. im located in nebraska which seems to be just about the worst place to buy a trans am. i have every trans am thats even close to my price range saved on craiglist (in nebraska and every state around nebraska) and they are still 2k over what i have. then i get on the texas craiglist and find 5 trans ams in 5 mins with 20k less miles and below my budget, ill have too see if i can find any of the things in your thread.....one thing that kinda confused me on the trans am is that he has the back part of the exhaust taken off (you can see it unhooked in the recent pictures) and he said he doesnt have the piece... its stock that i know of so why would he take it off and not keep it? also how much would a cheap replacement cost?...........also, now you got me thinking about the 2 random "blue things", anymore ideas what they could be?
    Last edited by shyboutin; 09-04-2014 at 12:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Looks ok, needs a good engine bay cleaning.

    What is that? The 2 "blue" looking things. Looks like a Nitrous injection port. I know it's not the MAF or IAT sensors, this is something else.

    Click for full size
    the brake lines to the master are also bent to shit.....wonder if that motor has been out of that car and they pulled it from the top? I can see no other reason for those lines to be bent like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mean Green Z28 View Post
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    Good eye Orion, maybe spark plug changes

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    the brake lines to the master are also bent to shit.....wonder if that motor has been out of that car and they pulled it from the top? I can see no other reason for those lines to be bent like that.
    he said the previous owner had the motor out of the car when he first when to look at it. he said he came back a week later, it was put together and he bought it. idk why he had the motor out but i know it was..... are the break lines being bent somthing i should worry about?

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    possible leaks and pinching of the lines that can constrict brake fluid pressure.

    I would look up the cost of new brake lines and use that as a bargaining chip on price.

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    I wouldn't worry about the brake lines but I'd want to know why the motor was out. It's just starting to sound like you should keep looking for a car with less baggage.

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    ive thought that too, but honestly i have looked for so long that i dont think anyones gunna post something in my area for a reasonable price...idk why they are so expensive around here.... if you dont believe me check out nebraksas craiglist.... theres people selling 160k 1996s for 7k and acting like they are worth it (no mods not built and not even in outstanding condition)... theres also a mostly stock 1998 non ws6 with 168k miles for 6500. maybe its just me and im being to critical of peoples prices idk but that seems high

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    what would you say a mostly stock ls1 trans am is worth good running condition with say 125k miles?

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    Too bad you're not closer -- I have the transmission from our car setting in my lower garage waiting for a good home.

    Good spot 0rion on the brake lines. Scott, I caught those connectors too and wondered what the heck was going on there. Looks like the stock MAF and airbox, so not a clue what they might be.

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    would need a closer shot of that area....could be a few things. Lights wired in to show through the ram air, some type of iat tricker, wires for a fan toggle....ect ect.

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