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Help! looking at 88 GTA

This is a discussion on Help! looking at 88 GTA within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; OK, first of all I'm a newbe here. I didn't know if I should post this on the "Help" forums ...

  1. #1
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    Help! looking at 88 GTA

    OK, first of all I'm a newbe here. I didn't know if I should post this on the "Help" forums or the T/A forums but if it needs to be moved please do so. I am looking at a 1988 T/A GTA A4 5.7L for sale and it looks in great shape. It has 88k miles and the only problems are: windshield washer does not work (the button is missing inside), the automatic trunk latching thing/mecanism does not work, and there was a small hole in the exhaust which got patched but eventually will need repair. The paint around the spoiler is fading a bit too. I guess my question is Is there anything else these cars were famous for braking? Although I like all american V8 cars (i.e. camaros, T/A's, mustangs etc.) I owned a 5.0L mustang that I had to get rid of and I was looking at another 5.0 but I saw this GTA and it seems 5.0's prices are skyrocketing. If I were to get another mustang I'd go over budget but with the T/A I'd have a few grand to spare!!! Any coments, thoughts, suggestions are welcomed. Sorry for the long (first) post!!

    Note: Tranny/engine/rad. were flushed not too long ago, the window motors were replaced also and a few other little things I can't remeber now. Current owner has all reciepts and everything. Really cool guy... has owned a lot of hot rods too.

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    sorry, someone delete the double post!! my bad

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    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    sounds like a bad ass car man

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zboner
    sounds like a bad ass car man
    uuummm... thanks! lol any other thoughts? I realize this is just an L98 car (or is it?) but I figured many of you would have owned earlier model T/A's or something at least similar to an 88 GTA

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    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    a buddy just bought a 88 GTA that he is putting a LS1/T56 in, im almost positive the rears are 8.5's a bit stronger then the 4th gens 7.5's. if i were u i woule upgrade the brakes to LS1 breaks and put subframe connectors on it to start out on it man. what color is it? how is the interior? im not much of a 3rd gen kinda guy

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    it is red... very nice! I'm not sure if it's the "flame red" paint or whatever the name is, but this guy is the second owner and the first owner was a lady. The interior is in good shape, it "only" has 81k miles (yeah I messed up and wrote 88k up there^^) so the seats haven't seen too many butts lol. Mileage seems low for an '88 car to me.

    EDIT: I was going to ask, how hard would it be to replace the A4 with an M5 or even an M6?

  7. #7
    Crinkle, Crinkle
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    <replace the a4>

    I got most of the parts to do it, I was gonna switch to a 5 speed in an old junker camaro I have, but then I went and bought a 2001 SS. It would take a lot of bux to ever get that old camaro to keep up with the new one, so it's just sitting.

    Let's see, you need the trans, if you wanted an M6 you'd have to cut the car up big time, so the M5 is the way to go, make sure it's world class or it's junk. Then the bellhousing, pedal, master cyl, slave cyl, throwout bearing, flywheel, clutch plate and disk, shifter boot, console, transmission crossmember, and driveshaft. Probably have to buy a shifter too, depending on what car the trans came out of. The crossmember and driveshaft out of an f-body that had a th-350 auto will fit, I've been told.

    Hell, I got all that stuff and an 82 Camaro with a 350 crate motor with a bunch of aftermarket stuff stuck all over it and a blown auto trans. I'd like to unload it all, I don't have time for a project car and besides the SS just kind of outdoes the other one in every imaginable way. You'd have to assemble it and then buy heads and cam for the 350 to even come close.

    On the other hand, the T/A's are pretty darn nice cars. Put a 410 gear in it and blow away Mustangs morning till nite.

    --97T--

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    hmmm... you want to sell all the trans parts? I finally test drove the t/a today and it wasn't like I thought it would be. Steering is heavy... heck the whole car feels heavy!! It will get up and go pretty easy after it starts going, but maybe it is actually the transmission making it feel kind of slushy and heavy. I'm kind of used to the mustang steering which doesn't really need much effort. Is there anyone who knows that this is supposed to be the way this cars feel? My mustang had 3.73's so maybe I'm used to that too. I don't know. I do know that there is a 200 lb difference between the stang and the t/a, so maybe that counts too? So what 5 speed do I need if I were to do the swap? Out of what car or what company would you recomend?

  9. #9
    Crinkle, Crinkle
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    I might be interested in selling the stuff ... Everything is just sitting there taking up space.

    Steering on those cars is designed to give feedback -- that means more steering effort for a better feel for the road.

    And they never put tall rear end gears in those cars with V8's. Like I said earlier, a 373 or 410 gear will really wake that car up. That highway gearing makes it feel doggy off the line. I doubt the weight makes that much difference.

    The 5 speed trans you need would be any out of a similar car. Just make sure it is the 'world class' one, that has tapered roller bearings in it instead of bushings. The non-world class one won't take the horsepower for long. It's the same as the 'stang transmission inside except for input and output shafts and a couple other things. They put crappy ones in all of the cars until they did the 'world class' design upgrade. At least as far as I know. I bought one off ebay, it had a loose input shaft, I bought the parts to fix it, and never put them in, it's just sitting there. Bought speedo gears for a 410 rear end, too.

    I live in Michigan, if you want, I'll make you a deal on the whole car with blown up 350 auto trans, crate 350, and a huge box of manual transmission changeover stuff, lol. At least that way you get the crossmember that's supposed to fit, and the driveshaft that's supposed to fit, and a spare motor that already makes more horsepower than the stock motor. It's got edelbrock intake and carb, HEI distributor, accel ignition, and chrome crap stuck all over it. Heck, fix the trans and it's driveable no problem. It started life as a 82 Berlinetta, so it's got the six cylinder rear end -- 373 or 410 I guess, no posi.

    Maybe I should fix the trans and then sell it, LOL.

    --97T--

  10. #10
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    Red
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    Sounds like a decent car. I had an '86 Trans Am that I bought with 50k and drove to 150k, and it never really gave me any problems. It still had the original radiator, the motor and trans (t5) had never been opened, front rotors were original, as was the clutch. I replaced brakes, had the rear rebuilt when it started getting noisey (115k), exhaust, plugs/wire/cap at 100k, and a new cat converter.

    There are couple things those cars are famous for...

    Smokey cold starts from oil seeping past the rings.

    Small stress cracks in the roof behind the top corners of the side windows (good indication if the car has been beat).

    The spoilers on those cars are very common for fading and cracking, even cars that have been well cared for.

    Other than that, just the normal car type stuff... brakes, hoses, belts, fluids, etc. Those cars are very reliable and it sounds like you found a decent one. Good luck.

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    ok, so the "buyer" of my mustag hasn't said a word in about a week. No arrangements to pick up the car and, worst of all, no money yet. The car is sitting there, so I have no more money to get another car. I'm going to have to wait until the 11th this month to be able to do anyhting anyway for other reasons, and the owner of the t/a was really cool about it. If not, the stang would be for sale again. I live in GA so the tranny deal might not work. I need someone close to me or shipping will cost a good bit. There's nothing wrong with the A4 now, I just like manuals better. I did hear a ticking noise the other day when I test drove the car. The owner took the car to a GM dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong. They said injectors make that kind of noise sometimes but it was very noticeable with the hood opened. Other than that the car is in pretty good shape. The paint on the spoiler is actually cracking and peeling off, but it doesn't bother me too much. No stress cracks that I could see on the roof. Thanks for the info!

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