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Buying my first F-Body

This is a discussion on Buying my first F-Body within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I have read through these threads and wanted to say thanks for all the help. I am picking up a ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    abilene, tx

    2002 trans am

    Buying my first F-Body

    I have read through these threads and wanted to say thanks for all the help. I am picking up a black 2002 trans am tomorrow. I has 114000 and is a 6-speed car. One concern I have is the oil pan is coated with oil. The owner showed me receipts of from a clutch install in Feb 14. I called the shop it was done at and they verified the rear main seal was replaced (as shown on the receipt). My guess is valve covers or oil pan gasket. Neither are too big of a deal to me, and honestly I don't know if the owner ever washed the underside. The rear end seems to bounce quite a bit when I push on it by hand. Should I be worried or is this simply shocks? I also grabbed the rear wheel while the car is on the ground and a shook back and forth and the car seemed to move side to side pretty good. I don't know if this is normal. Next, we have the antenna motor. The antenna stays up when the car is shut off. I assume it just needs a motor? It will also need the tail light leak fix done as I found on this forum. Again not a big deal to me. The lady was kind enough to let me drive the car alone (shocking to me) but it seems to drive pretty good at 130mph (with plenty more to go i think). I am somewhat mechanically inclined but wanted to ask a few questions so I don't make a huge mistake. The rest of the issues seem normal for these cars, i.e., passenger window motor sucks, door panels cracked, etc. The dash is actually not. It has what what appears to be a whisper lid, and a smooth bellow, along with a hose and small breather that I believe from searching online is coming from the AIR?? it looks to be coming from the driver side fender area. The hatch lock is gone from the car being broken into but works with button and key fob. They have a replacement filler panel that comes with the car. Is there anything important I missed? Please help me make a good decision.

    Bottom line, I talked them down to 5700. And in small town Texas 6-speeds are hard to come by. What do you guys think?

    I have pictures but don't know how to post them yet. This is my first post on a forum ever.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mansfield, PA

    Black & Blue
    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Welcome to the site!

    Congrats on your purchase. After 10 days and 10 posts, you'll be able to post pics in threads. You'll need to upload the pics from your computer to a site like Photobucket, and then simply copy and paste the [IMG] code for the pic into your post on here. Our car also had an oil leak when we purchased it and I was concerned that it might be the rear main seal. However, in our case, it turned out to be the oil pan gasket and I changed that out when I installed a tubular K-member. Best bet would be to clean off the oil pan with brake clean (carefully) and then keep an eye on it to see if you can spot the source of the leak. There is also a possibility that it is the power steering rack leaking and the oil is blowing back onto the engine. The rear sounds like it may need shocks and that is a simple fix. You'll want to give everything a good once over under the car -- look for torn or loose suspension bushings and pay particular attention to the torque arm mount on the side of the transmission as they have been known to fail.

    Any plans for mods?

  3. #3
    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    1998 PONTIAC TA

    Congrats on the purchase. I think you paid a fair price for what seems to be a pretty much stock car. Yes the hoses you see coming from the fender is the AIR pump. The pump is located in the drivers side fender. That is stock.

  4. #4
    Member Dzel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Midland, Texas, United States

    2002 WS6

    10secWS6 If you can't swing it, then don't bring it

  5. #5
    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Branchville, NJ

    Silver & Blue
    02 Camaro SS, 04 GTO

    Welcome to the site Brian. I feel you did very well with a WS6 M6 with 114k for 5700 dollars. Put a few more dollars into it and you will have a nice vehicle for a long time to come. Pick off the problems one at a time and do your maintenance and you should be in excellent shape.
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

  6. #6
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Ugy Lower Corner of AL

    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    I think everyone overlooked that you are looking to purchase.

    Sounds like a good price for what you described. The oil pan issue you described is a concern but a good power washing underneath should help determine where it's coming from. My money is that you have a power steering leak coming from the R&P. Most likely the o ring has failed on the high pressure line. It will cover the oil pan making it look like its leaking. (I know this because mine did it). Make sure you check the oil pressure, at idle should be near 40 psi and under rpm load higher.

    The rest are ok or fixable.

    Here's some info that should help you in your purchase.

    Guide to Buying a Fbody

    Differences between the f-body years

    This link has fixes for most of the issues you listed

    Technical info write-ups and stickies
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 04-04-2014 at 04:44 PM.

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