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some quick ???

This is a discussion on some quick ??? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Ok, I'm giong to start looking for an M6 LS1 camaro or TA, this would be my first f-body, actually ...

  1. #1
    jakesford
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    some quick ???

    Ok, I'm giong to start looking for an M6 LS1 camaro or TA, this would be my first f-body, actually it would even be my first chevy after having mustangs and other cars... I guess i'm heading to the dark side, or light depending on how you look at it lol.

    Well my question is, if I'm looking at 1998+ cars what are some thing i should keep and eye out for as potential problems, or what are some common issues that i need to be aware of? I'm on a steep learning curve here as I am starting as a damn near blank slate on these cars...

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    the 10 bolt rears are weak as hell, had to have mine rebuilt after I bought it. Most LS1's have piston slap on cold start ups, not much can be done without a rebuild for that one. If you get a 01+ it'll have the LS6 intake manifold...so that'll save ya money in future mods. The stock front rotors tend to warp...the 4l60E auto trans blows ass for the most part.The T-56 is a strong tranny so you'll be good there. The bodies tend to get rattles after a little while...get some sub-frame connectors for that.Mmmmm, can't bring a t-top through a high pressure car wash...without wearing a bathing suit Other than that, chics dig'em and dudes do nothing but stare at the taillights cause that's all they'll ever see. BTW, welcome to the board

  3. #3
    Resident F1 Guru TGrits10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeVeReDiStOrTiOn
    The stock front rotors tend to warp...
    I have to disagree: I've actually un-warped a couple sets of rotors that were warped when I bought the car. It's easy:

    1) Always always ALWAYS keep the lugs torqued evenly at 100ftlb.
    2) If you can help it, don't hold the brakes on when you come a complete stop...especially if the brakes are hot. Easy with M6, might be annoying with A4.

    Both my C5 and my Z28 had warped rotors when I bought them. I set the lugs to the right torque, avoided hot-spotting the rotors, and the rotors straightened out. I never warped the rotors on the C5 in 2 years of abuse, and it's been a year of flogging on the Z28 with no problems.

    EDIT: But all your other points about the car are dead on.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    yea driving habits has a lot to do with it, if you live in the moutains or not...etc

  5. #5
    Miss Pennsylvania ls1blackbeauty98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeVeReDiStOrTiOn
    the 10 bolt rears are weak as hell, had to have mine rebuilt after I bought it. Most LS1's have piston slap on cold start ups, not much can be done without a rebuild for that one. If you get a 01+ it'll have the LS6 intake manifold...so that'll save ya money in future mods. The stock front rotors tend to warp...the 4l60E auto trans blows ass for the most part.The T-56 is a strong tranny so you'll be good there. The bodies tend to get rattles after a little while...get some sub-frame connectors for that.Mmmmm, can't bring a t-top through a high pressure car wash...without wearing a bathing suit Other than that, chics dig'em and dudes do nothing but stare at the taillights cause that's all they'll ever see. BTW, welcome to the board
    agree

  6. #6
    BlackHawk T/A
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    My T-Tops don't leak even through a high pressure car wash but...my window does. I get sprayed every time if I don't bring a towel to hold up to the window

  7. #7
    Member 28Marcos's Avatar
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    Just another mundane issue, but the window motors tend to go out closer to 100k miles, and camaro's headlight's tend to haze, average price for those new are around 200, but cheaper on ebay for aftermarket ones.

  8. #8
    jakesford
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    thanks for the advice, i knew about the piston slap problem as that seems to be pretty universal GM issue that "Doesn't Exist"...lol

    anything else

  9. #9
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesford
    thanks for the advice, i knew about the piston slap problem as that seems to be pretty universal GM issue that "Doesn't Exist"...lol

    anything else
    The piston slap issue is restricted to the LS1 series engines -not GM as a rule.Piston slap has never resulted in piston failure that I've ever heard of-us old timers remember that as being one of the "marks" of a high -performance engine.Short piston skirts slap when cold-longer low performance skirts are heavier pistons and don't slap.Back in the 60's an engine like this would have been considered very exotic-and something like a little slap when cold would have been ignored.I've never had any problems with either of the two(98+02) Camaros I've bought new so I won't know any weak spots-I'd say buy one with low miles and no mods(won't have been run as hard probably)

  10. #10
    jakesford
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02z28ls1
    The piston slap issue is restricted to the LS1 series engines -not GM as a rule.Piston slap has never resulted in piston failure that I've ever heard of-us old timers remember that as being one of the "marks" of a high -performance engine.Short piston skirts slap when cold-longer low performance skirts are heavier pistons and don't slap.Back in the 60's an engine like this would have been considered very exotic-and something like a little slap when cold would have been ignored.I've never had any problems with either of the two(98+02) Camaros I've bought new so I won't know any weak spots-I'd say buy one with low miles and no mods(won't have been run as hard probably)
    i agree with you it just seems to be a big problem in the trucks maybe due to the iron block with the aluminum pistons, a coworker had a silverado that would have a severe amount on cold start up and it would continue even when warm although less pronounced. When he took it to a dealership the service manager basically said that he didn't hear anything, they went to the truck together after it had been sitting overnight at service and he started it and the manager told him straight to his face that he doesn't hear anything and even if he did they would not fix it. Finally he got his truck replaced after 4 visits and word with the owner...

  11. #11
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    Yeah-I should have said LS series-not LS1.I imagine GM has taken a lot of flak from people over a noise issue-but if it's truly slap and not something else it won't hurt your motor at all.

  12. #12
    Can of LS1
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    I've heard a slight piston slap on some 3100/3400 GM V6s when started up cold, as well in the trucks/SUVs that use the LS1 derived engines.

    My 01 TA has had it since I bought it new. Now has 60,000 miles and still purrs like new. Quite amazing actually, considering all of the track runs, races and WOTs I've done in this car! I think I've counted something like 30+ timeslips. I keep the oil changed with regular Dino 10w30 Penzoil and air filter every other oil change. I haven't done anything else to the car.

    Don't see what is wrong with the 4L60E, seems pretty durable to me! I can think of quite a few trannys that probably would have taken a dump by now given the same amount of abuse. @ 60k miles, it still has the factory fluid... as does the rear end.

    My rear end does make a deep rumbling sound while driving (noticable at low speeds) and probably needs servicing, but since the TA isn't my daily driver... I'm not too concerned yet.

    The only problems I've had with my car are :

    -brake rotors warped in the first 500 miles.

    -brakes warped again countless times afterwards until I finally replaced with aftermarket. Haven't had a problem since.

    -Eagle F1s wore quickly, but that was expected. Tires are pricey.. but again, expected.

    -one of the spark plugs went bad one day @ 15,000 miles and caused the car to spit and sputter. Dealer tuned-up engine under warranty. Car still got me home.

    -Have gone through three GM batteries, and am currently on the 4th (aftermarket)

    -@ 40,000 miles ones of the fog lights took in water and was replaced under extended warranty.

    - 55,000 miles, SES light came on. Dealer diagnosed and said the cats were bad. Replaced under emissions warranty.

    Thats it! Not bad, IMO. Engine and transmission have proven to be bullet proof, and ultra dependable.

    Sure, the interior materials are on the cheap side, the ergonomics are dated and the car is about as sophisticated as a shopping cart.... but these cars are about performance, style and value.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Can of LS1
    @ 60k miles, it still has the factory fluid... as does the rear end.

    My rear end does make a deep rumbling sound while driving (noticable at low speeds) and probably needs servicing, but since the TA isn't my daily driver... I'm not too concerned yet.
    I'd flush the tranny if I were you. Also your axel/carrier bearings are probably shot...might wanna limit driving it so you don't chew your axels. Their about 250 a pop from the dealer...and you'll get new fluid when you change those bearings

  14. #14
    Can of LS1
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    I do plan to get the fluids changed soon, as well as get a full tune-up. I'm sure my serpentine belt is due too. As for the rear end, about how much do you think it would be grand total to have the bearings replaced at a local shop (or even an estimated dealer cost) ? I need to put some money into it and get it back in tip top condition. I have a second car as a commuter (Honda Accord) so the Trans Am is more or less a weekend toy... so I haven't been keeping up with it as much as I should have, nor have I pampered it. Fortunately, as I stated above.. the engine/tranny still seem rock solid, have served me well so far and I am confident that the car will last well beyond 100k miles.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    I'd say about 900-1000 to do all bearings as long as the axels are good...about 300 more if you want 3.73 gears. Most shops charge 70 an hour, 8-9 hour job + parts. You probably have 3.23 gears in right now, so you might not want to get the 3.73's because the difference will be minimal. Then again, they will be new and won't have 60,000 miles on them

  16. #16
    Tx_Rice_Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeVeReDiStOrTiOn
    ...the 4l60E auto trans blows ass for the most part.
    I disagree. I had a A4 in my 02 Z and it held up great, never had any problems and it always pulled hard. I also have an A4 in my 02 WS6 and its just as good as the one that was in the Z.

    Also, another thing about the LS1 f-bodies is that the cats/02 sensors tend to throw codes more often then they should. I had this problem on the WS6, but erased the codes and they havent popped back up since.

  17. #17
    Pepe LePew
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    In defense of the LS1 F-body....
    I've had my '98 Z28 since new and it's got 113K on it now. I've had no mechanical issues at all. I run it hard sometimes, but I don't constantly beat the hell out of it. They are durable and reliable cars as long as you don't wail on them.

    I haven't had the "piston slap" issue, as some call it. I do get the noise on occasion, especially with synthetic oils (I now just use 5-30 non-synth). Just remember that the noise is a lubrication and piston design issue, not a clearance or wear issue. If a good quality of oil is used that is not too thick, the noise will be infrequent.

    The 4L60E will hold up well if the fluid is changed frequently and will tend to do less damage to the rear end if the car is run hard (compared to a manual, due to driveline shock and stress)

    Anyway, your best bet is to find a low mileage car that was driven by somebody in their 40's or older!

  18. #18
    1SlowTA 00BlueTA's Avatar
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    As stated above I only have the "piston slap" when full synthetic is used. If I use a blend its fine. Only trouble I have come across other than brakes which is my fault for beating on them is the window motors. As a matter of fact yesterday my buddy kinda laughed when he pulled up next to me and went to say something as I was rolling the window down, all I got after that was "well, nice and slow eh?!".

    That being said I love my LS1 wouldnt trade it for the world.

    -00BlueTA

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