Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 44

Guide to Buying a Fbody

This is a discussion on Guide to Buying a Fbody within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I was thinking about all the little things that were wrong with my TA when I bought my car that ...

  1. #1
    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    10,461

    Black
    1999 TA WS.6

    Guide to Buying a Fbody

    I was thinking about all the little things that were wrong with my TA when I bought my car that I missed, and thought I would do a checklist of things to look for when buying a Fbody. Everyone feel free to add some things to my list.

    1. Check ALL lights. This means somehow checking to see if the dash lights work at night/dark. Also, if the dash dimmer switch is working. Check DRL (Day Time Running Lamps) to see if they are burned out. Some have problems with these lights and it usually always points to corroison of the bulb socket, and needs to be replaced. And the unit sealed better. Check that third brake light also and turn signal's. In general, think of every possible light on the car. Check it because it might be a little nightmare waiting for you after you sign the papers. Make sure all the dash warning lights do a test flash upon turning key on. They should all flash.

    2. Head lamp motors. Notorious for failing. Usually due to opening while snow or ice is on/by the doors of the lamps. Test these a good 5 times, flipping them up and down. They should go pretty quick!

    3. Power windows. Also notorious for failing. Check the motors by bringing the window up and then back down. A very slow action of the window could mean that motor is on its way out and you'll be replacing.

    4. Rear end pinion seal. Ide tell you to check it, but chances are it IS leaking. Better way to say it is, its seeping. But they do sometimes have an actual leak. If there is a leak, the under body will be covered with gear oil. If its seeping ( classified by me, as just a light coat/dusting of oil around the seal) then I would probably just bring it up to the seller. Everything to give you a little more power in the buy helps.

    5. Mods. If your going to try and venture into a car with modifications already done, verify that they are in fact there. Things like tranny upgrades can sometimes be hard to find, but obvious things like headers and after market cat backs etc will be easy. Be careful buying modded cars.

    6. Wiring. Look closey at the exposed wiring under the hood. It should look factory. If there are any visible added wires, be aware the installer might have buggered up other electronics. ||| Turn the heads light on, AND the fog lights as well. Then turn the radio on. Make sure it comes in clear. My car had after market fog lamps or something to do with the wiring and it has some interferance with this.

    7. Bald tires up front. Usually means some heavy burnouts just occured. Look for loose rubber in the rear wheel wells. Make sure there is at the most, two different brands of tires. If there are three brands or more, say something about it and see if you can either get the price dropped or a tire change.

    8. Test parking brake. Get yourself on a good hill and see if it holds. It should. Parking Brake pads are kinda a pain in the ass to change.

    9. Wrinkles in body. These cars are picky as to where they get jacked up from. I have seen pictures of members here where certain body panels have wrinkled from a poor jacking postion choice. Should be obvious.

    10. Power antenna. These fail often and will either stick in the raised or lower postion. When you turn the car off, the antenna should lower, and vise versa.

    11. Trunk release. Mine still fights me. Make sure it 'pops' open on first try. Probably wont, but it still some power to be had with the money end of the purchase.

    12. Key FOB. This is the device on the key ring. It should do all function that are labeled on the FOB.

    13. Bubbles on T-tops. They will be there. Cant really say much and gain any buying power unless the owner stated the paint was FLAWLESS. They are on many, many Fbodies and can be anywhere on the t-top portion of the car.

    14. True WS-6, True SS. This class of car can easily be mimicked with just a few purchases. It does happen sadly but you can look for RPO door codes. The RPO codes will be listed on the inside door panel under the door latch. ***Codes for TA and Firebirds are (Did a quick search here, thanks 9T8W66)
    WS9 is the Formula conversion Pkg
    W66 is the Formula Merchandise Pkg
    Y82 is the Trans Am Merchandise Pkg
    All the V8 cars carry the WS9 Code, To be a Formula or Trans Am it must have the coresponding code aswell.
    WS9 + W66 = Formula
    WS9 + Y82 = Trans Am
    WS9 + W66 + WS6 = Formula WS6
    WS9 + Y82 + WS6 = Trans Am WS6

    For Camaro's, try this. Call SLP, (732) 349-2109. Also look for a SLP sticker, some had it, some didnt. Or call the dealership with your VIN number and they will tell you.
    Look for these codes. They mean something.
    If it is a WS-6 or SS, make sure it has the appropriate 17" wheels.

    15. Test the speakers, they are not the best, but they shouldnt kackle at low volume levels either.

    16. Cruise Control. These cars have a few problems that happen with the cruise control. Test it, at any speed really. Just make sure it works.

    17. I highly reccomend this to anyone, but more so any buyer looking at a modified Fbody. Take it to a shop that has HP tuners. Just have them scan the car. Dont even have to drive it. Have them look at the tune. Ask them if its orginal or modified, and if it looks way off (hacked). Then ask them to see what codes have been turned off. Its really easy to turn off the MIL (Malfunction Indictator Lamp) and have that code not pop up on you. Ask me how I know

    18. Check the fluid levels. Very important. Check what fluid levels you can. If the car is 1-2 quarts low on engine oil, personally I would walk away. Thats all it takes to spin a bearing or do damage that might pop up later. If manual, spend 15 bucks and take it somewhere to get the transmission and rear end oil checked. Thats also a good time to check for leaks. Very good idea.

    19. Wipers, windshield washers. May sound stupid, but do it. My washers dont work. Doesnt bother me enough to fix it as my TA never sees any kind of bad wheater. There is also the rear window defroster. Kinda hard to check that but its possible. If you live down south, dont worry as much.

    20. Power seats. If the car has Lumbar seats, test them. I love my Lumbar support. It should squeeze your back really good and support you.

    21. Manual cars - Clutch. Test that clutch. Make sure its not slipping, or on its way out. Look at the clutch fluid, if its black it hasnt been changed and needs to be. Same for you Auto guys, make sure it shifts well.


    Thats all I can think of right now. If you test all these things before buying your car, you either will get a very nice Fbody or have some buying power over the seller. The money you could haggle might just be worth taking the car anyways. Either way, you will know and not have surprises like many of us have. Myself included. Good luck to all the future Fbody owners, seeya at LS1.com


    Ron.
    Last edited by Y2KPewterSS; 03-14-2010 at 05:04 PM.
    370 CI - Twin 6766 Turbo - Jakes stage 5 4L80E - MWC 9" - Holley Dominator

    Build in progress...

  2. #2
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    22,520

    98 Formula
    06 duramax

    sticky

  3. #3
    Member Maro SS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oldbridge
    Age
    28
    Posts
    303

    Black
    2001 Camaro SS

    I'd say to also check to make sure all body panels line up like fenders to hood and hood to bumper and thing that doesn't was potentially hit or replaced. Also check under and around any dress up items that may be hiding other problems. For example when I bought my ss it had tail light covers and underneath the cover was a dent in the tail light. Power steering is also a problem that often occurs. Make full turns and listen for any noises whining etc. I think that covers most of it other than this original post.
    2001 Camaro SS M6 SLP LMII, Lid
    1987 iroc-z RIP 5.7 TPI Full exhaust, lingenfelter intake runners (gone but not forgotten)
    1991 bmw 325i DD

  4. #4
    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    10,461

    Black
    1999 TA WS.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Maro SS View Post
    I'd say to also check to make sure all body panels line up like fenders to hood and hood to bumper and thing that doesn't was potentially hit or replaced. Also check under and around any dress up items that may be hiding other problems. For example when I bought my ss it had tail light covers and underneath the cover was a dent in the tail light. Power steering is also a problem that often occurs. Make full turns and listen for any noises whining etc. I think that covers most of it other than this original post.
    Great idea. Check under the blacked out light covers.

    Absoultey, check the t-top AND hood to quarter panels gapping.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Clifton Park
    Age
    31
    Posts
    220

    Torrid Red
    04 GTO m6

    This may sound obvious but kind of goes along with the "make sure its a REAL WS6" thing....check a carfax as well- when I bought my GTO, it was a 2004 but had the 05-06 hood and stripes, I was like "oh cool the guy put a lot of $$ into it!" but with checking the report, it had been in a moderate crash listed as "front end damage" so that explains what he did with the insurance money. I bought it anyway but it did give me something else to haggle about, and I also went on an extended test drive to make sure everything was sound.

  6. #6
    A friggin fish! LOL buswwa's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vernon, CT
    Posts
    653

    Pewter
    2000 Z28

    When you take it for a test drive, if its manual trans, listen for grind going into gears, or sloppy shifts. Could be a sign of bad synchros. Also listen for noise from the rear end. Manual cars can blow the rear stock with just drag radials, and some people just bail on them after breakage instead of fixing.
    Listen for any knocks in the engine. Ask me how I know this, lol.
    FOR SALE 2000 Z28 M6
    It's pretty much Raw Awesome

  7. #7
    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Clair Shores. Michigan
    Age
    49
    Posts
    1,605

    Navy Blue Metallic
    `98 Formula M6 HdTp

    Firehawk RPO is WU6
    SS RPO is WU8
    Craig
    Semi Retired Street Racer
    2012 Lava Red Mustang GT Coupe Brembo/3.73's
    Build Date 3/17/11, Last Lava Red GT

    Gone but not forgoten
    NBM `98 Formula M6 HdTp
    1 of 1 Build Date 3/12/98

  8. #8
    Member SmokinSS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lanc. PA
    Age
    32
    Posts
    103

    RED
    1998 Camaro SS Vert

    check the horn. haha it sounds stupid but happened to me. Gotta get it fixed for inspection. (in PA anyways)

  9. #9
    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    10,461

    Black
    1999 TA WS.6

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokinSS View Post
    check the horn. haha it sounds stupid but happened to me. Gotta get it fixed for inspection. (in PA anyways)
    Good idea. Not stupid at all.

    I really wish I had some kind of check list when I bought my TA. Anything you guys/gals have that myself or others have not posted, post it up. I think we have all bought a used car and missed something and felt a little burned by it. Maybe this thread will help guys/gals like us from not getting burned on a Fbody buy in the future.

  10. #10
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    9,965

    White
    2008 Hummer H3

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by ls1fan74 View Post
    This may sound obvious but kind of goes along with the "make sure its a REAL WS6" thing....check a carfax as well- when I bought my GTO, it was a 2004 but had the 05-06 hood and stripes, I was like "oh cool the guy put a lot of $$ into it!" but with checking the report, it had been in a moderate crash listed as "front end damage" so that explains what he did with the insurance money. I bought it anyway but it did give me something else to haggle about, and I also went on an extended test drive to make sure everything was sound.
    Only problem with car fax is if an accident did'nt get reported, it wont show up in any search. In a case where nothing comes up, maybe have a reputable body shop or person look @ it. They may be able to tell you if something that is'nt immediately apparent is wrong with panel fit or unibody has any "cut and paste" work done to it, (Ie, two or more cars put together to make one car). Check "rub" points, on doors, hood, hatch and under body moldings edges. Meaning where ever those panels come into contact with rubber stoppers and so forth and around the edges of weather strips. If salvaged parts where used, sometimes, new paint will rub off there or will be thin and old paint/color may show.....And look for over spray on parts under the car too.
    Last edited by Smittro; 07-31-2009 at 03:08 AM.

  11. #11
    NY Representative basballny2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    NeW YoRk
    Posts
    3,393

    Red
    2001 ws6

    my horn hasnt worked since the day i bought it.....also, how about the door crack issuse these cars have, ask if the "fix" has been done unless its already cracked

  12. #12
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    6,998

    1999 Formula WS6 M6-sold
    2001 Silverado Z71

    Firebirds, Formulas, and Trans Ams: Check the taillight lamps for the notorious water damage. A water damaged tail lamp will look dark like the left one pictured.

  13. #13
    Junior Member VtBandit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    61

    Which one?
    73;79;81;84;88;98

    My car emits a curious whine when i hit 60mph. Is this common or is it a sign of bad things to come. I may have not been that kind to it right after i bought it and maybee at times now as it is very easy to loop it and slide into traffic at just the right intervals....The sound doesn't happen at any other speeds, just 60.

  14. #14
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    6,998

    1999 Formula WS6 M6-sold
    2001 Silverado Z71

    Go start a new thread if you wanna ask a question.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    174

    Pewter
    2001 Z28

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    Firebirds, Formulas, and Trans Ams: Check the taillight lamps for the notorious water damage. A water damaged tail lamp will look dark like the left one pictured.
    Click for full size
    nice garage, seriously I think Im the one of the few people that would say that.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    174

    Pewter
    2001 Z28

    Thats when you know your really into cars when you give another man a compliment on his garage.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    174

    Pewter
    2001 Z28

    Oh sorry, my addition to this thread would be check the oil pressure!

  18. #18
    MANWHORE TEAM suede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Your Mom's Bedroom
    Posts
    4,548

    Negro
    2000 Trans Am WS.6

    look to see if the door pannels are started cracking..... also check the hood and hatch struts....

  19. #19
    I don't sell out! blackSS01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,558

    Black
    2001 Camaro SS M6

    Awesome post but the whole dented tail light from black out thing is just plain stupid. If that would stop you from buying a car then I am going to dent the shit out of mine in a couple months when I get to the whole apparence part But like I said again......awesome thread.
    ┌∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐

    Man: The Mods you are fighting,
    they are the biggest Men I have ever seen. I
    wouldn't want to fight them!

    Me: That is why no one will remember your name!

  20. #20
    Single Malt rbob93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Age
    69
    Posts
    2,707

    Sebring Silver
    2000 CamaroSS

    Quote Originally Posted by blackSS01 View Post
    Awesome post but the whole dented tail light from black out thing is just plain stupid. If that would stop you from buying a car then I am going to dent the shit out of mine in a couple months when I get to the whole apparence part But like I said again......awesome thread.
    You obviously missed the point he was making which was to look for hidden things that are wrong with the car.

    I don't think it's stupid to worry about it.
    A broken or damaged tail lamp asssembly is expensive to replace & can be used as a tool to knock the price down for a buyer, or can be an unwelcome expense for a buyer after the sale if undiscovered during negotiation.
    It may also be the aftermath of a rearend collision being hidden from a buyer which could be bad too.
    Last edited by rbob93; 09-29-2009 at 08:09 AM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. A man's guide to women
    By 5.0THIS in forum Almost Anything Goes
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-30-2014, 04:27 AM
  2. Window guide
    By smkeater911 in forum General Help
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-22-2010, 01:36 PM
  3. New TA buyer guide..
    By tmemastr in forum Firebird / WS6
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-24-2009, 12:32 AM
  4. Car Suspension Guide - Bona Fide Suspension Guide
    By Ed Blown Vert in forum Firebird / WS6
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-14-2009, 02:20 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •