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  1. #1
    Member Donne Trav's Avatar
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    Default ZR1 vs. LT1 Ownership?

    For a long time now I have wanted to own a ZR1. Specifically, a '94.
    My question is for those who have had the experience of owning the
    ZR1, would you do it again? Or would you go the LT1 route? I have noticed that a lot of the ZR1's I see for sale are pretty much low milelage. Are these cars more of a pain to maintain than the LT1's? Why
    are these "Vette Lovers" getting rid of what seems to be IMO, a car with a "powerplant" of an engine, creating a great driving experience? Your thoughts. THANKS

  2. #2
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    Donne, ZR1s cost a bit more to service due to holding much more oil than a LT engine and normal wear parts cost more as well. Parts are getting harder to find due to the low (for a production car) number built and not many mechanics were trained on the LT5 even when new so people are afraid of it.

    We have '90 & '92 Zs as well as '93 & '96 LT1s. I would venture to say most Zs were bought as status symbols much as they are today and never used for what they were built for. Be wary of very low mile cars as they tend to be gumed up and may require extensive fuel system work.

    We have Open Road Raced the 93 LT1 for a number of years and the car has over 100K as well and we just tore it down for a fresening up as both head gaskets started weeping. Untill now, parts have been a transmission rebuild, a new Optispark and water pump. To me this has been one of the best cars we have ever owned. The 90 Z hasn't run any ORRs yet but we do run the Texas Mile with it as it is much faster in a straight line than the LT cars running just under 170 in the mile with a slipping clutch. New clutch installed and we are registered for Oct. so we will try for170+ next month.

    I'll quit rambeling now and say I love the Zs and plan on keeping mine for many years to come. They cost a bit more to maintain but the rush is worth the expense. I've driven the 90 & 92 as daily cars off and on and they are completely happy in the Texas summer heat and do not really act any differently than a LT1 or LT4 car until called upon to do what they do best.

    Rex S.

  3. #3
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    Theres nothing to wear out other than oil and air filters.The LT5 is pretty much bullit proof and there are zero reliability issues when it comes to the cars.My 91 had 6900 miles on it when I bought it 2 years ago,it currently has 13,000.If you want on buy it while the prices are in the toilet,one of these days prices are going to take off.

  4. #4
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex S View Post
    We have Open Road Raced the 93 LT1 for a number of years and the car has over 100K as well and we just tore it down for a fresening up as both head gaskets started weeping. Untill now, parts have been a transmission rebuild, a new Optispark and water pump. To me this has been one of the best cars we have ever owned...
    Having owned a C5 and a couple of LT1 powered Fbodies- I'd say your thoughts on the LT1 are dead on. They are great cars. The LT1s don't have the piston slap problems that some LS1 have either.

    Instead, they have their own issues...
    - Head gaskets (due to high mileage)
    - Water pump (age)
    - OptiSpark (moisture)

    These are the most common troublesome areas on the LT1.

    They really are something else. I've heard a lot of Fbody owners and C5 owners say the LT1 is more fun to drive- even if it isn't as powerful as the LS1 (or LT5).

    So, I'd say LT1 vs ZR-1 depends on the preference of the buyer. If the buyer can afford the ZR-1 and its higher cost of ownership- then by all means a buyer should consider one. However, if the buyer simply wants a Vette that would be fun and doesn't need or want what a ZR-1 has... consider the LT1.

    The question is where do the "pros" and "cons" end up at the end of the day for the individual owner.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  5. #5
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donne Trav View Post
    For a long time now I have wanted to own a ZR1. Specifically, a '94...
    Donne Trav- I'd say go for it based upon your original post.


    Buy the best one you can afford. If you don't like it... you can always sell it.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  6. #6
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    Other than the motor,mechanically the ZR-1 is the same car as a base Corvette.These cars very rarely need anything,the fuel injectors are the only problems on the 90-92 cars but these are the same injectors used in the L98.If you want a ZR-1 go for it.Theres some really nice cars out there.Finding parts can be a problem at times,there are a few places that have parts but they charge a premium on what they have.There are a few people that have started making parts so little by little the parts are being reproduced.I wouldnt have anything else.[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

  7. #7
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    Sure looks neat and tidy.Plugs are easy change compared to LT4 or LT1.Plug wires are easier to change.Sell it me cheappppp

  8. #8
    jonszr1
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    my first zr1 i bought in 2000 with 40 k miles on her .she now has 152k on her and going strong .she has had headers gears410s and ported top end(not the heads) and still runs very low 12 sec times at the strip and gets 23-25 mpg on the highway. i am so hooked i have bought a couple of other ones . once you take her out and open her up just once you will get hooked . it might not be that much faster than an equally modded lt1 at the strip but when you look at the trap speed you realize it is mine traps 119-120. or if you do a few 30 up street contests the zr1 runs like a mid 11 sec car. with the prices they are going for now ,its an awsome time to get one .jmho

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