LS1LT1 Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this LS1LT1 forum, and I haven't been able to find a general discussion section... so I figured I'd post my question regarding a '99 z28 I'm interested in buying.

so, looking to buy said car which has 130k miles, 6 speed, and the private dealer is asking 4500, but I could get it for minimum 4000 i think. I'm just wondering if this is an acceptable price. He's letting me take the car to my mechanic to have it checked out. There are a few lights on the dash, such as what looks like a coolant light (looks like a box with splashes of water in it...loll and it's located at the top of the lights cluster), check oil light, and check gauges, but no check engine light. If the car ends up being mechanically solid after the inspection, is this is a good price? Are these cars reliable, and should I consider getting it? I'm planning on keeping it stock as it is, only has an aftermarket exhaust from what I saw. The history is clear minus a minor accident which it was involved in way early in it's life (2001 and it only had 14k miles or so on it, so the car isn't being sold for that reason..).

also since there are quite a bit of lights on, someone said that maybe it's just electrical connections, which wouldn't be too big of a problem.

Also, someone suggested (again over yahoo answers) that a check oil light shows that it's low oil pressure, and could be a scorched crank bearing from the car overheating... Wouldn't something like that become very apparent with a test drive, and something a mechanic would be able to find easily? so far, I've only had the car started up, and the engine sounded very strong, couldn't hear any piston slap which I've read about in several places. Car looks like it was always maintained very well, as it's very clean and the interior looks very well, when i've read they are prone to wear marks.

I figured i'd ask here, since I expect there to be knowledgeable people when it comes to these ls1's! thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
sorry, i think the oil light is actually a change oil light and not a check oil (i dont think there is a "check oil" light..)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Oil light probably wasn't reset during last service.

Coolant light is common on gm. Its the sensor in the overflow reservoir.

Check gauges light will come on even for low fuel on some gm cars.

They're very reliable cars. Probably one of the most reliable drivetrains built, If it's taken care of. $4500 is a decent price. If it checks out, buy and enjoy.

Sent from my EVO using AutoGuide App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oil light probably wasn't reset during last service.

Coolant light is common on gm. Its the sensor in the overflow reservoir.

Check gauges light will come on even for low fuel on some gm cars.

They're very reliable cars. Probably one of the most reliable drivetrains built, If it's taken care of. $4500 is a decent price. If it checks out, buy and enjoy.

Sent from my EVO using AutoGuide App
Awesome man thanks! that is reassuring stuff to hear!
 

·
Global Moderator
Joined
·
13,580 Posts
Have your mechanic check it out, if it's good get it, especially if you can snag it for $4000. Here in Florida, I see 98 -02 ls1 cars go for about $3000 on a fairly regular basis, but they all need some major repairs done to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay I have a pretty important update here.

So, today I test drove the camaro, which is an absolute beauty. So well maintained on the inside and out. I started the car up cold, revved to 2500 to listen for any piston slap or any unusual noise, and was relieved to hear nothing out of the ordinary.

Upon just visual inspection of the engine, the only moistness I saw was where the air intake meets up with the manifold. Unfortunately, I didn't stick my finger in it to see what it was :-/

When I went out to test drive, the first thing I heard was a whining noise whenever I turned the steering wheel. It became more prominent the harder I turned the wheel, and the sound also changed a bit with more lock of the wheel. I know this is probably related to the power steering, but not sure exaxctly what causes that sound.

Now for the worst part... After my test drive, which involved 2-3 full throttle pulls to check the gears and engine, I noticed the engine temp hovering around the 3/4 mark on the temp gauge, which is probably 235 or so? And when driving, I saw it go up a little more, almost to the red zone, and then drop back down to a little less than the 3/4 mark. I also smelled coolant during the drive.... these were all very similar symptoms to what I have experienced with my '99 Impreza 2.5 RS, and that was an internal head gasket leak :( Ok, so I pulled into the parking lot of the dealer, and checked under the head, and low and behold, there was coolant everywhere. I'm not sure where the coolant came from, but the fans were on when I turned the engine off, so the fans do work. I hope this engine hadn't been overheated before, because if there is a chance of warped heads or block, or a cracked either of those, I'm abandoning ship. I'm thinking the engine is still healthy, because the engine pulled perfectly.

Other than these things........ car drove wonderfully. So, I would like your guys' input. What is the whining noise? and most importantly, what are the possible causes of what happened with the engine temp gauge and the coolant incident?

I hate to say, but the only time I checked the oil was when the engine was cold, and it looked normal, no milkshake. The only thing that looked suspect was the coolant dip stick, there seemed to be some stuff sorta - for lack of a better term - crusted on it in between the ridges of the dipstick. It looked light grayish...I hope that wasnt oil mixed in. The coolant which i saw dripping of the stick looked nice and clear, so the only suspect thing i saw was the dipstick.. maybe it was some sealant additivie someone had added before? (that's not good news either)

Any input would be awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Could be air in the cooling system or a thermostat. I've never known stock Ls engines to have headgasket problems, but anything is possible.

I'm guessing you aren't real mechanically inclined. Not an insult at all, some people aren't. Take it to your mechanic and have it looked over. Diagnosis over the internet is very difficult and mostly speculative anyhow.


Sent from my EVO using AutoGuide App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Could be air in the cooling system or a thermostat. I've never known stock Ls engines to have headgasket problems, but anything is possible.

I'm guessing you aren't real mechanically inclined. Not an insult at all, some people aren't. Take it to your mechanic and have it looked over. Diagnosis over the internet is very difficult and mostly speculative anyhow.


Sent from my EVO using AutoGuide App
surprisingly, I'm actually pretty good at diagnosing problems myself. I have a pretty thorough understanding of cars, it's just when it comes down to specific part names and stuff, I'm not so good. NO worries I didn't take what you were saying offensively at all! :D

Yeah that was going to be my next question, of how common head gasket problems are with these cars. I suspected the thermostat, it's just that with my subaru, I've learned to never be optimistic haha, as it's always turned out for the worst.

What are the possible ways air could get into the system? I know a bad radiator cap can cause that...and i've forgotten the other ways... -_- Oh, of course, the internal head gasket leak which causes combustion gases to get into the cooling system. The coolant looked good in color though..so idk. Is there a visible coolant overflow tank on these cars (I'm asking so maybe I could check for bubbles in the coolant, except I dont think I'll be able to check it out again until the dealer takes it to his shop to get it fixed). My subie has a semi-clear overflow tank slap next to the radiator which is in plain sight. the camaro is a bit more covered, so where I expected to find the reservoir tank, i found the windshield washer tank lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I'd still take it to your mechanic and see what he says.
The dealer is actually taking it to his mechanic midweek of next week to fix it. hopefully if it ends up being just a thermostat or something minor, he won't lie and say it was hg's or something and jack the price up..

Also, anyone have a specific culprit of the power steering whine? I test drove this thing and fell in love instantly. Such an awesome car, these ls1 z28's. Reminded me of the simple thrills my '95 GT 5.0 delivered, excpect the z28 is infinitely better haha. Sure it doesn't drive and handle like my subie, but there is something oh so satisfying about pressing the gas pedal and hearing that exhaust open up and feeling all of that torque and power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Low power steering fluid or a pump going out. That's about all that would cause the whine.

Typically the don't get low unless there is a leak, so check it for signs of power steering fluid in places it shouldn't be.

Air in the cooling system could be simply from a flush done improperly, or If someone changed a part in the system and didn't bleed it right. GM is a giant pain to bleeding properly.

Sent from my EVO using AutoGuide App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Low power steering fluid or a pump going out. That's about all that would cause the whine.

Typically the don't get low unless there is a leak, so check it for signs of power steering fluid in places it shouldn't be.

Air in the cooling system could be simply from a flush done improperly, or If someone changed a part in the system and didn't bleed it right. GM is a giant pain to bleeding properly.

Sent from my EVO using AutoGuide App
It sucks because I doubt I'll be able to check the car out again until they take it to the shop. I'll just have to wait and see! :LS1LT1flag:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top