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  1. #1
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    Default thinking of buying '96 lt-4. couple of questions from new member.

    hi guys, I'm a new member. got to say I enjoy the site and the posts. I'm very close to buying my first 'vette, a '96 lt-4 ce convertible with 131,000 mi. the owner wants 6k. the car appears to be in excellent shape inside and out. a slight noise around the clutch area is audible during idle, I'm thinking release bearing or pivot bearing wear. I'm ready to spend the $1500 or so on a new clutch package since I feel I'm getting a good deal with the 6k asking price. you guys are definitely more experienced here than me so any advice? I will definitely take it to a local corvette shop for a pre sale inspection. thanks for any thoughts. Mac.

  2. #2
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    Flag Welcome to the CAC, my 1st Vette was a Torch Red LT4, there're great Hot Rods!





  3. #3
    Member LT4man's Avatar
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    96 Collectors Edition LT4

    Default

    Welcome to the CAC! You will enjoy yourself here. Lots of nice folks and good information.

    I would suggest NOT replacing your clutch until you determine exactly what is causing your noise.

    The noise you hear at idle might be the very normal noise for the ZF transmission. These transmissions have straight cut gears. Some of them make more noise than others.

    Transmission fluid should be changed every two (2) years. Go here: ZF S6-40 and T-56 6-speed Transmssion Driveline Specialists, Prototype and Manufacturing Services to learn everything you always wanted to know about ZF transmissions, but were afraid to ask!

    The zf doc recommends the Castrol 10W60 engine oil (for the ZF) which can only be found at BMW dealerships.

    Another good choice is the Amsoil Synthetic Synchromesh Transmission Fluid (5W30).

    Again, Congrats on your ride!
    An attendee at all the CruiseFests including the one which never happened.


    Autosig (Shadow) A

  4. #4
    Member jmhorn52's Avatar
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    1996 Purple Coupe LT4

    Default Welcome

    I purchased my 96 LT4 in March. Its great It gets great gas mileage on the highway when you get it into 6th. I have gotten 30-33 mpg at a steady 65. 6th gear is basically good only for the highway above 55mph otherwise it bogs the engine down, at 55 your rpms will be about 1000-1100

  5. #5
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    Corvette(s)
    96 LT4 Polo Green w/ Tan

    Default Pending LT 4 Purchase

    Saw you post about buying a LT 4 w/ 131K. I bought mine in Feb w/ 98K and failed to do a couple of things and maybe my mistakes will protect you from the making the same ones.

    First, I failed to have a Corvette specialist look over the car. The previous owners son was selling the car and he had a ASA Chevy guy look it over...mistake #1. This guys guidance was "If it isn't broke...don't mess with it." So, once I OWNED the car and took it to my Corvette mechanic..he says...ya gotta change all the fluids, you need new plugs and wires, you have an oil leak that may foul the Opt-Spark system (adding another $600 plus labor to the bill) and you need to do these things now. So, $1500 goes out the window after the purchase price. I will say that changing the transmission and rear end fluids quieted the car down a bunch....but as stated above the ZF trany is noisy. I also agree with an above statement, have the car looked over before you have the clutch replaced.

    I wouldn't be concerned about the mileage. These engines can and do deliver 200K +. But you have to service the rest of the systems. Also take EVERYTHING the sellers says with a grain of salt. He may not be lying but he may not be tell the whole truth either!

    All that said, if the interior and exterior, tires, brakes, suspension (bushings & shocks) are solid and there is no indication the car burns or leaks oil...then $6K is a deal. You love the way the car performs.
    Good Luck! Best, B

  6. #6
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    Default thanks for the replys guys

    thanks much gents! great to get to know you guys. a new wrinkle to this saga. I've come across another '96, a coupe, lt-1, not the collectors edition. it has the auto trans, seems clean inside and out and the dealer wants $7300 for it. I'm wondering is there a radical difference between the lt-1 and the lt-4 performance wise and am I better off (safer repair wise) going with the automatic trans? also this one has only 84,000 mi compared to the lt-4 w/131,000. any thoughts?

  7. #7
    Member LT4CE's Avatar
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    1996 LT4 CE

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iraqvetmac View Post
    thanks much gents! great to get to know you guys. a new wrinkle to this saga. I've come across another '96, a coupe, lt-1, not the collectors edition. it has the auto trans, seems clean inside and out and the dealer wants $7300 for it. I'm wondering is there a radical difference between the lt-1 and the lt-4 performance wise and am I better off (safer repair wise) going with the automatic trans? also this one has only 84,000 mi compared to the lt-4 w/131,000. any thoughts?
    Welcome to the CAC!!!

    I've driven both LT1 (also an automatic) and LT4 equipped Corvettes, and I think the real issue with this is that it's harder to objectively compare the automatic vs. the manual than it is an LT1 vs. an LT4. I'm biased, because imo, the manual is always better. But that's really just a matter of opinion. I prefer to do the shifting myself, because I feel I get better power and performance that way.

    Also, keep in mind that the LT4 is rated 30 horses higher than the LT1. Many believe the LT4 to have been under-rated in terms of horsepower by Chevy at the time it was introduced, so as not to have a base model engine in the last model year C4 have more HP than the next model year's base C5. The LS1 was rated at 345 horsepower, I believe, for the 1997 model year. In other words, a marketing decision. You can google horsepower for the LT4 and see a lot of info (dyno's) to support this position.

    With that in mind, I would even recommend a manual LT1 vs. an automatic LT1. So, if all other considerations were equal between an LT1 automatic and an LT4, I would obviously recommend the LT4. I am baised, but I think it's based on experience of ownership! Trust me, you will be pleased with the LT4's performance!

    If you're worried about this particular LT4's mileage, then you could probably hold off and find another LT4 with less miles, at a reasonable price. It's a buyer's market right now. There's a red LT4 coupe advertised around here (SF bay area) on craigslist for $11.5K, and it's been available for a while. I'd be willing to bet the owner would take less than the asking price.

    An LT4 certainly can deliver the goods while painted red... it doesn't have to be a Collector Edition, although imo, SILVER is the best color for a Corvette!

    Good luck, and don't forget to
    Save the Wave

  8. #8
    Member LT4CE's Avatar
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    1996 LT4 CE

    Default One other thing to consider...

    In re-reading your post, I see that the LT1 is being sold by a dealer. I don't recommend buying any C4 from a dealer, because they will naturally charge more. I feel you can get more car for the money by buying from a private party.

    What does the dealer bring to the table in a transaction like this? In looking for my Corvette, I asked that question of several dealers and the only answer I received was from a major dealership (starts with "F" and ends with "ord") that said their mechanics had given the car a thorough inspection.

    Well, that's what I pay my mechanic to do, and he has my interest in mind more than the dealership does. The dealer, in spite of what their sales pitch may be, has their interest ahead of the buyer's interest.

    In my case, I'm also in the same Corvette club as the mechanic who inspected mine. I'd recommend joining (or visiting a meeting of) a local Corvette club and asking around about a good, trusted mechanic to inspect any used Corvette you're considering purchasing.

    Sorry to go off on a rant about this, but I just don't trust a dealer to tell me everything that's wrong with the car. Even if they are honest, they may not know everything that's wrong with the car. There are issues related to Corvettes that only Corvette types, and especially Corvette specialists know about. The noise the ZF transmission makes, is a good example.

    Okay, exiting soap box mode now...

  9. #9
    Member jmhorn52's Avatar
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    1996 Purple Coupe LT4

    Default Lt4

    I think you would be happier with the LT4's performance its about 1/2 sec quicker thatn LT1, according to tests by others. I dont think I could tell the difference though when driving but I like the 6 speed verus the automatic,. There are sevreal for sale on ebay in various colors with one idiot calling the LT4 a Grand Sport. That might give you some idea on prices being asked

  10. #10
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    Default thinking of buying a '96 coupe from a dealer

    hey guys many thanks again for your time in sitting down to write responses to my questions. I told the dealer that I will have the corvette inspected by a corvette repair shop here in Los Angeles and he had no problem with that. I'm happy to spend the hundred bucks to find out what I may be getting into. he did have a new radiator put in a few days ago and also said there is a problem with the a/c not blowing out of the front vents and that I would have to have it repaired myself. I've researched this on the Internet and have narrowed it down to either a vacuum leak or faulty a/c programmer. I think this is something I probably can fix myself. I'm learning all I can about the c-4 so that I can hopefully handle any repairs that come up and not burn a hole in my wallet every time something acts up. one more question, would you guys consider the '96 lt-1 vette fast, quick or just 'peppy'? thanks again! Mac.

  11. #11
    Member LT4CE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmhorn52 View Post
    I think you would be happier with the LT4's performance its about 1/2 sec quicker thatn LT1, according to tests by others. I dont think I could tell the difference though when driving but I like the 6 speed verus the automatic,. There are sevreal for sale on ebay in various colors with one idiot calling the LT4 a Grand Sport. That might give you some idea on prices being asked
    This happens from time to time. There's currently an ad on craigslist for the Monterey CA area, for a '96 LT4, white with tan interior, with 47K miles, asking $23.5K, and saying it's Grand Sport. I suppose it's an easy enough mistake to make if you don't know too much about that particular model year Corvette. I just hope some equally uninformed individual doesn't pay nearly twice as much as they should for that Corvette!

  12. #12
    Member LT4CE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iraqvetmac View Post
    hey guys many thanks again for your time in sitting down to write responses to my questions. I told the dealer that I will have the corvette inspected by a corvette repair shop here in Los Angeles and he had no problem with that. I'm happy to spend the hundred bucks to find out what I may be getting into. he did have a new radiator put in a few days ago and also said there is a problem with the a/c not blowing out of the front vents and that I would have to have it repaired myself. I've researched this on the Internet and have narrowed it down to either a vacuum leak or faulty a/c programmer. I think this is something I probably can fix myself. I'm learning all I can about the c-4 so that I can hopefully handle any repairs that come up and not burn a hole in my wallet every time something acts up. one more question, would you guys consider the '96 lt-1 vette fast, quick or just 'peppy'? thanks again! Mac.
    I would consider an LT1 equipped Corvette to be fast and powerful. Plenty of low-end torque. I wouldn't quite call it peppy!

  13. #13
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    Default noobi thinking of buying a 96 coupe from a dealer.

    hey guys, just drove the '96 lt-1 auto coupe this morning and must say the thing moves! tires are excellent, it has a new radiator put in this last week, it shifts great, doesan't burn or leak oil and seems pretty straight. Still have a vette guy examine it or save the hundred bucks? thoughts?

  14. #14
    Member LT4CE's Avatar
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    1996 LT4 CE

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    Quote Originally Posted by iraqvetmac View Post
    hey guys, just drove the '96 lt-1 auto coupe this morning and must say the thing moves! tires are excellent, it has a new radiator put in this last week, it shifts great, doesan't burn or leak oil and seems pretty straight. Still have a vette guy examine it or save the hundred bucks? thoughts?
    ABSOLUTELY have the Vette mechanic inspect it!!!

    It will be money well spent.

  15. #15
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    Default per sale inspection of '96 coupe

    Quote Originally Posted by LT4CE View Post
    ABSOLUTELY have the Vette mechanic inspect it!!!

    It will be money well spent.
    thanks for your input. of course you are right and I will have it looked at. just got excited I guess.

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