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looking into a 97 trans am

This is a discussion on looking into a 97 trans am within the LT1 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; hey guys, I've been looking into either an ls1 or lt1 car for a while. I found someone interested in ...

  1. #1
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    looking into a 97 trans am

    hey guys, I've been looking into either an ls1 or lt1 car for a while. I found someone interested in maybe trading for my 95 mustang cobra. I know what your guys answer is going to be but I want an unbiased opinion. Since I've gotten my car it has been non stop problems but its easy to work on. I think I've finally made some head room on the problems with my mustang but I've thought this a couple times and then been blindsided with new problems.
    Parts for this car are more expensive and harder to install. I know that but if I don't have to fix something every other week and have my car down a couple days it wouldn't matter. Obviously both cars have the potential to be reliable but my problem is picking up peoples old beat up crap. The trans am has less miles on it 109,000 vs my mustangs almost 140,000 but maintenance plays a huge role in that also which my mustang had almost none before I bought it.
    What are some things to look for on this car? I really know nothing about lt1s but I do know the optisparks have had a big problem.
    I know stock for stock the trans am is probably faster even though it is an automatic but I'm not worried about that now. I just want something that I don't have to sink everything I make into. So an unbiased opinion would this be a good trade?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Junior Member LT1 RawR's Avatar
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    well hard to really put in a good opinion seen as how i've never owned a mustang; however, i love my LT1 to death. Wouldn't trade it for anything. The looks are mean and straight to the point, the engine bay is a little bit cramped but nothing you can't work around, and the optispark problem is a little overrated imo. A lot of LT owners rarely have any issues at all with it. I can appreciate a nice mustang when i see one, but i've never really been able to get into them, I say go for the LT1 but personally I would wait until i found the one i wanted instead of just buying it out of frustration

  3. #3
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    I heard that almost everything would have to be a shop job on the lt1s because of needing special tools and just being too cramped to do anything with.
    Thats good about the optispark because thats one of the main things I was worried about.
    Thanks for the help and I know what you mean about not buying it over frustration.
    Just in case I end up not getting this one. How much should a decent f body go for? And what are some things to look for?

  4. #4
    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    Some problems people have are window motors and cracked dash tops. The opti is not really a problem just a maintenance item. You don't really need any special tools just a lot of patience because it is tight. The mustang is a 5.0 so parts should be fairly cheap still. Just remember you don't want to get rid of the car just to get someone else's beat up junk.

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    ok thats good. Its not as bad as I thought. And I know parts are extremely cheep for my car compared to others.
    I know thats what I'm trying to avoid. Thats how I got this car and my last mustang.

  6. #6
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    I owned a Mustang before I bought my Trans Am. Actually, I owned two Mustangs, one for about 10 years and the other for about 2. The one I had for 10 years was a 1985 GT, not as nice or refined as your 95, but still a 5.0 5speed. I got tired of it, parts for Fords are expensive, but so are parts for the Trans Am. When I bought my 97 T/A I also test drove a 95 GT. There was no comparison. The T/A simply rode better, handled better, had way more power and got way better gas mileage, not too mention I think the T/A looks tons better. The only thing lacking is maybe the quality of the interior. The Mustang had better materials, but I couldn't stand the position of the shifter. A lot of guys that I know don't like how low you sit in an F-body, but I do. It's really a matter of choice, and I chose the T/A. It was my first GM muscle/sports car and it won't be my last.

  7. #7
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    i own a 01 gt mustang a 95 z28 hand down the camaro destroys the moddded mustang.

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    Well I'm gonna see about hopefully getting into one and I hope my experience is the same as yours. I'll see how it goes with the trade and if it doesn't happen I'm going to post my car up for sale and go from there.

    What are some other things I could look at as far as potential problems aside from window motors and cracked dashes? And what would be a ok price for a decent low millage car?

  9. #9
    Junior Member LT1 RawR's Avatar
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    I can't really think of too many real problems that haunt the LT besides the ones already mentioned, opti isn't that big of a deal, fbodys dashes crack, door panel cracks, window motors, and the headlight motors on the firebirds, but everything is fairly cheap to fix when done yourself. I was lucky to find mine through a friend so the price was damn good, but for a good running 97 with like 80-90k miles maybe 7-9k. But it all depends on where ya live and how bad they need to get rid of it

  10. #10
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    ok cool.
    Thank you for all your help and I'll post up whatever I end up getting. I'll probably end up back with more questions before it happens though

  11. #11
    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LT1 RawR View Post
    I can't really think of too many real problems that haunt the LT besides the ones already mentioned, opti isn't that big of a deal, fbodys dashes crack, door panel cracks, window motors, and the headlight motors on the firebirds, but everything is fairly cheap to fix when done yourself. I was lucky to find mine through a friend so the price was damn good, but for a good running 97 with like 80-90k miles maybe 7-9k. But it all depends on where ya live and how bad they need to get rid of it


    For 9 grand it better have less than 50K miles on it. Most 97s fall in the 5000-7500$ area, or less with high miles.

  12. #12
    Junior Member LT1 RawR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS View Post
    For 9 grand it better have less than 50K miles on it. Most 97s fall in the 5000-7500$ area, or less with high miles.
    I've seen quite a few around town for 8 or 9k with like 70k miles, don't get me wrong I know it should be less but some people have big dreams

  13. #13
    Powerstrokin LT1 > LS1's Avatar
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    i had my 95 for sale with a full stainless exhaust with only 63k miles on it, and super clean interior for $7000

    sometimes I miss that car.....but the truck I got is so much fun in the mud!!

  14. #14
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    That sounds more realistic to me. I was gonna say a 12 year old car with somewhat low miles for almost 10 grand, doesn't sound right.

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