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Thread: WTB early C5

  1. #1

    Default WTB early C5

    I'm new to Corvette., I live just outside of Boston, and I'm looking for a good (not great) early C5 with a manual transmision. Does anyone know who the good players are up this way, or who to watch for?

  2. #2
    Member kingman's Avatar
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    2002 Torch Red Coupe
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    Default Need more info !!!!!!!!!

    How much do you want to spend ? How much more money are you willing to be able to put into the vette once you own it.

    What do you know about cars period ?

    Before l can even start giving you any kind of advice l will at least have to know a little more on your part.


  3. #3
    WTB early C5 6 Shooter's Avatar
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    May 2002
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    1st off - Welcome to the

    I bought my C5 off of e-bay, a fellow CAC Member went and kicked the tires and gave it a good look over for me. So there are good Corvettes on e-bay, ya just have to be weary of some of the bad 1's.

    Here is a link to CAC's Supporting Dealers and Vendors:

    Here is also a link to Kerbeck, a large reputable dealer in Atlantic City, NJ.

    Take ur time and enjoy the hunt, let us know what ya end up with!

    Later . . . . . .
    6 Shooter

  4. #4


    Kingman, I've owned a good many different makes and models in the past 40 years, and though I don't consider myself an expert, I'm fairly knowledgeable about cars and trucks (and motorcycles, small planes, and military vehicles). Corvettes are a new venture for me, and the car I'm looking for will be an early C5 with a manual transmission. I don't want to put a lot of work or money into the car, and I'm looking for a "Sunday driver" not a show car. As far as price, I've been watching the market, and I have a pretty good idea of what cars are going for in the Northeast. I'm not particularly interested in a car that's so far away that I can't look at it, or get one of my knowledgeable Corvette friends to look at for me.

    6 Shooter, thank you for the welcome, and I intend to do as you recommend, to take my time. I'm in no rush, my Lambo is still a fun ride.

  5. #5
    Gone but not forgotten bossvette's Avatar
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    May 2003
    West Unity Ohio
    1968 1997
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    welcome to CAC.
    I purchased my C5 off Ebay also it was about 200 miles away.
    the first year run of the C5 was not as large as the others so you will more likely find a 98 then a 97 with a manual.
    Good luck.

  6. #6


    Thanks bossvette. I'm a little leary of ebay, but who knows, it may come to that. A 97, 98, 99, or even a 00 may work for me. And thanks for the welcome!

  7. #7
    GS Diva's Avatar
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    Nov 2000
    Weymouth, MA
    2016 Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic Z06
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    Get in touch with me...I have a lot of Corvette connections in the Eastern MA area. By the way, where do you live? South Shore?


    2016 Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic Z06

    National Corvette Museum Member

    Corvette Mike New England
    Toll-free: 877-427-8388
    Cell: 617-872-8252

    "Corvette Mike New England"

  8. #8


    GS Diva, I'm west of Boston near rt 128. I hope to be at Corvette day at the MOT this year. I'll aslo be at Cadillac day, Mercedes day, and Italian car day.

  9. #9
    Gone but not forgotten bossvette's Avatar
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    West Unity Ohio
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    Check out one of our Sponsoring Dealers post he has a few that meet your needs. Fly out and drive home its a good way to get to know your Vette; mine has been to NJ 4 times since I bought it in 2004.

    68 4 speed 97 6 Speed

  10. #10
    Member kingman's Avatar
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    2002 Torch Red Coupe
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    Default Welcome to CAC

    The best year is of course the newest year but with the C5 by the model year 2000 it was pretty much dialed in until the C6 came out. But if you are going to use it as a Sunday driver then there isn't any bad year but l would avoid the 97 model year.

    The best advice that l can give you is when you find a vette that you like get the vin # and have your local Chevy dealership run a vin # check and it will give you a history of what was done in the past while it was under the orig and if you are lucky extended warranty.

    There is also a thread that gives you all of the pro's and con's with each model year.

    May Our Trails Meet!

  11. #11
    Member kingman's Avatar
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    2002 Torch Red Coupe
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    Default Good Reading and there's more

    Common Problems

    Leaking Battery

    Many C5's came with AC Delco Freedom batteries that tend to have the case crack near the battery posts. The leaking battery acid would drip down the side of the battery, down the funnel-like battery support, straight down onto the PCM and the wiring loom. It can also get onto the A/C lines. I believe they are the vacuum lines that control the movement of the interior vents, and usually the system will default to blowing out the defroster vent. Sometimes car crippling damage would occur, sometimes not. It worst it would mean replacing the battery, the PCM, the wiring harness, grinding the rust off the frame to repaint it, changing the A/C lines and possibly swapping out another computer as well. This mostly happened on early C5ís because later C5ís used a gel-type battery that cannot leak, but I believe the problem resurfaced on í04 or í05 models again.

    Check this out before buying a C5. Use a 8 mm monkey wrench, preferably a ratcheting closed-end version, to removed the battery cables. You also remove a holding block on the front side of the battery. You will need a long extension to reach it. The battery lifts out, then remove the black plastic battery tray. Look under the tray for rust or white powder--signs of evidence of battery acid damage. It would probably be best to move to the next Vette unless you don't mind possibly tackling this repair in the future. It's possible that the car will throw codes for no apparent reason.

    No matter what Vette you buy, replace the battery with a gel-type battery, like the Optima Redtop, sold at CostCo for $100.

    Grounding Problems aka CRAZY electrical gremlins!
    Bill Curlee has a great thread on the problems that corroded ground connections can create, and how to clean out the grounds. The most problematic ground connections are behind the headlights on both sides. Check out Billís thread for detailed info: Go!
    Hereís where all the grounds are: Go!

    Water Intrusion
    Water leaks have several ways of getting in the car, and none of them AFAIK are very difficult to fix. Proper adjustments and maintenance will prevent most leaks.
    Bill Curleeís thread abouting locating & cleaning the udders, and sealing the door hinges.
    Hereís a few TSBís from the
    1997-1998: Service Bulletin: Waterleak Above Door Glass (Reseal Blowout Clip)
    1997-2002: Service Bulletin: General Waterleak Guide
    1997: Service Bulletin: Water Drips into Rear Compartment After Hatch/Glass Has Been Opened

    Corvette seats are delicate. Sliding hard across the bolster can break it, causing it to flap side-to-side. The leather is cheap, and there's little protection for it. It will wear out and form cracks, which is normalÖfor cheap leather.

    The wire springs in the seat bottom, and the bars in the bolsters can also wear thru the foam and leather, but that can be fixed by placing layer of burlap between the springs and the foam.

    Check the black plastic surround on the bottom of the seat to make sure it fits snugly against the leather, and isn't cracked. Older style plastic surrounds had a tendency to separate from the seat, but could be pushed back in. The newer style plastic surrounds can be used as a direct replacement, but one of the plastic studs may need to be ground off, or a hole will need to get punched into the leather.

    The seats tend to rock back and forth by about a 1/4" during acceleration and braking. It can be fixed, but GM will not fix it. Some lucky owners can get the dealer to replace the frame under warranty. The seat backs swinging forward under braking is normal, and not considered a problem.

    Here are a couple fixes: --- must be a member
    Rocking Seat Fix

    Seat choice
    Get the sport seats. The sport seats have a hole under the headrest. Some people put racing harness belts thru those loops. The seat frames and foam in both seats are interchangeable. Harness belt holes can be installed using Ford harness cutouts. Ask the dealership for them, they should know what it is without a part #. The foam in a standard seat will need to be cut, and sewing will have to be done, but itís an easy job.

    Headlight bezel plugs
    There are 1-1/2" plugs that are located on the headlight bezels that would fall off on the older Vette's. The new style plugs, have a twist-lock to prevent them from falling out, but also requires new bezels. Only the new bezels & plugs are available now, and they are compatible with older C5ís.

    Headlight gears
    The gears in the headlight motor are plastic, and wear out over time. Ice, heavy Euro or projector headlights and twilight sentinal will cause the gears to wear out quickly. Fortunately a few years ago, Rodney started selling replacement brass gears, check out his website. Corvette America and probably a few other vendors now sell their own copy of his brass gears. Hereís a thread that shows how to replace the gears.

    Replacement nylon gears are also available from Motormite Help!, part #42400 for $10-13. Src

    To replace:
    Originally Posted by MyBlueC5
    Raise the headlamps.

    Remove the screws that hold the plastic bezel around the headlamp.

    Remove (3) 10mm bolts holding the motor to the headlamp assy. (one is a bolt with a nut on the end, the other two are just bolts)

    Unplug the wiring to the motor.

    Remove (3) 7mm bolts holding the cover for the gear.

    Replace gear, reinstall.

    Literally a 10 minute fix.

    Öit is completely unnecessary to remove the headlamp assy to pull the motor off to get to the gear.

    Originally Posted by pattymelt1285
    At first my driverís side headlight would only come halfway up and I would have to get out of the car, turn the headlights on then manually pull up the light. After a few weeks it would not even go up or down at all. I decided to order some new brass gears. After much research I decided to buy them from

    The gears from bfranker do not use the stock rubber inside the gear. Good thing, because when I pulled out the stock gear and it was fine! But the rubber bumper was destroyed! With bfrankers gears you donít have to retain the stock rubber bumper. In this picture you can see the good stock gear on the left on the bad one on the right, also notice it broke the plastic tabs inside the gear that keep the rubber bumper from spinning:

    Pic of the stock gear and stock rubber bumper:

    Picture of bfrankers gear:


    Rodney Dickman's gear:

    Installed with rubber bumper:

    I would go with bfrankers, because with his gear it eliminates the rubber bumper. On 97-99 Corvettes the motor case unbolts with 3 bolts, but on 00+ they are sealed and with bfrankers kit he even includes the epoxy to close the motor case as does Rodneys. I am not dogging on Rodneyís gears, but I am just letting you guys know what else is out there. Bfrankers kit is $43 shipped for one gear kit, or $81 shipped for two. The install only took about 45 min and they work perfect now. More info and instructions for bfrankers gear can be found here:

    The install is almost the same as the 93-97 Trans Am in the instructions.

    Info for Rodneys gear:


    Torque Settings
    All Data Diy
    Headlamp Mounting Bolts 20 N.m (15 lb ft)
    Headlamp Mounting Nuts 10 N.m (89 lb in)
    Headlamp Bezel Retaining Screws 1.9 N.m (17 lb in)
    Headlamp Capsule Retaining Screws 3.5 N.m (31 lb in)
    Headlamp Intermediate Bracket Screws 1.9 N.m (17 lb in)
    Headlamp Opening Door Screws 1.9 N.m (17 lb in)

    Roof noises
    If you buy a coupe with a removable roof, you can expect wind noise and some creaking. The wind noise will never totally go away, but if there's creaking, you can eliminate that by thinly applying dielectric silicone grease to the weather-stripping. It also prevents cracking, so do this to all weather-stripping, on any car.

    Hood rattles
    During cold weather the rubber hood stops can also rub and rattle against the hood. Adjust and lubricate the rubber stops so when you pull the corner of the hood up, it doesnít pull up, but the hood still closes.

    Drivetrain rattling
    The valvetrain makes a significant amount of noise at idle. It may sound like sewing machine. Converting the valve rockers to true shaft-mounted adjustable roller rockers with may help eliminate the valvetrain noise if adjusted properly. Installing a big cam and stiffer valve springs will make the noise louder.

    On manual transmission cars (M6 or M12), the transmission sounds like it is rattling when leaving the line. It is normal. It is the clutch throwout bearing rattling around. Sometimes you'll hear a horrible rattle if you shut off the engine. If you press the clutch pedal in while shutting off the car, you won't hear it.

    Shaky breaking
    The front brake rotors warp easily under heavy brakingÖor at least thatís what uneducated drivers think. I tend to believe StopTech:

    I verified this by lightly grinding my rotors with steel wool. Garnet paper is recommended, but I havenít tried it.

    If you insist the problem is warping, donít turn the rotors since thinner rotors warp more easily. Resurfacing the rotors is only a temporary fix, one that is less effective each time your resurface the rotors due to the reduced thermal capacity of the rotors. Rotors are available for $25 at Napa and RockAuto.

    Scraped front ends and rocker panels
    Checking for scrapes is an easy way to tell if the car was treated well. It's almost impossible not to scrape the front end, but there are two metal crash bar loops that should prevent the bumper from scraping. The bumper itself should not have scrape marks on it. Check the underside of the tip of the bumper, and the bottom corners of the bumper. If the crash bar gets scraped enough, eventually it will wear down to the point where it needs to get replaced. It costs about $220 for the crash bar, nut-serts, bolts and insulators, and can be replaced in a couple of hours, just be sure to hook the hoses and electric connector back to the A.I.R. pump.
    Hereís a list of ALL the parts youíll need to replace the impact bar and the side air deflectors:
    Part #------Qty---Description
    10188023---001---Insulator (goes to bottom of radiator)
    10278679---001---Insulator (goes to bottom of radiator)
    10400765---001---Plate (the actual impact bar, unpainted)
    10419312---001---Panel (air deflector)
    10419313---001---Panel (air deflector)
    Not all of these parts need to get replaced, and there will be a few leftovers, but it will get the job done.

    The rocker panels tend to get scraped on lifts and big speed bumps.

    A & A Corvettes invented two products to prevent damage from both kinds of scraping. They have wheels that attach to the crash bar, allowing the car to roll on driveways instead of wearing down the crash bar. It will still scrape the spoiler, but the spoiler is a cheap wear item that takes only 2 minutes to replace without a lift or jack. They also make two aluminum strips that attached the frame next to the rocker panels, and they take the scrapes themselves instead of the rockers panels. Neither of the devices are visible unless looking under the car, and they are discreet enough to possibly be missed anyway. If you see these devices installed, you can be pretty sure the owner took good care of the car. Without this extra protection, you can expect to replace the crash bar and repair the rockers several times over the life of the car. WARNING: It wonít stop all scraping damage, just reduce the possibility of it happening, and reduce the damage when it does happen. Low hanging headers will probably still scrape.

    Hood seal weather-strip
    The sides and back of the hood compartment have weather-strip installed from the factory. The front is left open. Many owners install weather-strip along this front edge. You may not even notice it since it looks identical to rest of the weather-stripping. This extra weather-strip helps keep the engine compartment clean, and may also help the air intake system work better. This is another sign that the owner took good care of the car. The engine compartment stays pretty clean, but this the "extra step".

    A/C System
    There are two kinds of climate controls. One is manual with knobs, and the other is a dual-zone electronic system. The dual-zone system did cost more, but is not as reliable as the manual system. A leaking battery can affect both systems; a symptom is when the vents cannot be switched.

    Over time, and especially in humid climates, condensation can leak onto the passenger side carpet. There are 3 udders under the driverís side cowl, and behind the battery. There are slits on the bottom--vigorously squeeze and massage the udders until free of debris.

    If the vent settings cannot be changed, the vacuum line is probably loose, clogged or broken. Read more!

    Squeaky steering wheel
    When you turn the steering wheel, you may hear a squeak. It's just the plastic surfaces rubbing against each other. A shot of lubricant fixes this.

    Squeaky/chirping/grinding wheel bearings
    Drive slowly, better yet, coast along at low speeds with the windows open in a quiet location. Listen for a squeak from the wheels. Try turning in different directions. If you hear the rear wheels squeaking, you may have a worn wheel bearing. A replacement bearing costs $600 list, but you can usually find it for $400-450. I've heard that AutoZone has a better replacement for $126 by a company named Timken. The part is easy to replace if you can separate the ball joints; I bought the Kent-Moore tool to do mine. The problem may persist safely for a few months, but eventually will become annoying. It seems to be a common problem, and more so for the rear wheel bearing. I've never heard of it happening twice to the same car, so if you fix it once, you're probably good for life. Several racers replace their wheel bearing every year.

    A broken emergency drum clip may cause a false diagnosis. Be careful when removing & replacing the rear rotors.

    Oil woes
    Many late 2000 thru 2001 Vette's burn a lot of oil when the engine is kept constantly over 4,000 rpm's. This is caused by ring flutter, which allows extra oil to seep past the oil control rings, but doesn't seem to cause any extra wear to the engine. Chevrolet has rebuilt and replaced engines for owners that complained about excessive oil consumption. Their policy is that while the engine isn't normally operated like that outside of racing, it is the owner's prerogative to drive around in second gear all the time if they want to. It is covered under the warranty.

    The PCV system also has a tendency to suck oil back into the intake at high rpm's. It doesn't seem to cause any problems, other than a slight mess inside the intake manifold. The newer style PCV system can be installed, but this requires removing all the components in the top of the engine valley. Usually only racer's bother with the hassle. Several generations of PCV systems have had the problem, and at this time, December 2004, the PCV system still sucks oil into the intake.

    The oil-sucking problem will cause carbon buildup in the cylinders. The dealership sells GM Top End Cleaner, and Napa sells SeaFoam. The Top End Cleaner is not available in some smog states like California. Run a tube from the bottle into the hole for the PCV system behind the throttle body on the passenger side. Start the car, then start slowly sucking the solution into the engine. Donít go too fast or the engine could lockup. As soon as the solution is gone, stop the motor for >4 hours, but preferably 12 hours. Be aware that when the engine is restarted, there will be a LOT of smoke!

    The oil-sucking can be prevented by installing a catch can. AMW and Greddy make catch cans, but a homebuilt catch can may be built using a Campbell-Hausfield air tool oil separator from most tool stores, including AutoZone. The AMW and Greddy cans are ~$100, but look great. The CH can is $15-25 for all the parts, and you can see how much oil is in it.

    Overheating & burning smells
    Even though the engine can heat up to 220, even 240 degrees Fahrenheit, this is normal. The radiator will keep the engine cool enough unless the radiator is blocked. Reprogramming the PCM can allow the fans to turn on earlier. If the fans also cool an aftermarket oil cooler, make sure the oil occasionally gets to 220 degrees to allow condensation and fuel to evaporate away. Fan settings and oil thermostats are two different ways to do this.

    It's not uncommon for plastic bags to get sucked up under the front bumper, and cover the radiator, thus causing the car to truly overheat. If this happens, take a quick peek under the bumper, and remove anything under there. Sometimes bags get stuck to the exhaust pipes too, causing quite a stench as they burn away.

    Locked steering column
    All C5ís, particularly manual transmission C5ís, and early C6 steering columns have a tendency to lock and stay locked. Usually it can be unlocked once, but just once. Some owners claim that vigorously shaking the steering wheel can unlock the steering wheel. Dealer's are able to disable the locking mechanism with a modified locking plate. Currently this is the only real method to disable the locking mechanism. Basically the wheel will still try to lock, but there will be nothing for it to lock to. Itís like a door dead bolt with a slot cut into the door jamb. There is a $100 kit that disables the steering column lock, and can be installed easily, but enough car vibrations can cause the lock to fall into the locking plate, even while driving!

    GM has a part (#88952428 or 88952428) that has a harness wiring jumper and different lock plate. Not sure what the difference in the kits are.

    After reading a few posts, manual transmission C5ís & C6ís are still in danger, even if the lock is disabled. The lock can vibrate out over time and get trapped in the locking plate. Auto transmission cars that have undergone the recall and new autoís will not have the locking plate at all, so they are safe. More information about COMPLETELY disabling the steering column lock will be forthcoming from otherís on the forum, and by my own personal project. Until then, here are a few links about the topic:
    Column Lock Harness K Installation
    A4 non locking column plate --- must be a member
    Column-lock again even with CLB!
    Has anyone ELSE beat column lock?

    Faulty gas gauge
    If you have bad gas (phew!), the fuel sender can be affected by the high sulfur content in the fuel, and cause the gauge to read empty. They car will still operate normally, and the gas gauge will work again if you use better gas, and will usually start again when you restart the car. It's just better to use good gas. Some people have had luck with running fuel filter cleaners thru the gas tank. New fuel senders sometimes fixes this problem. This thread has a LOT of ideas about what could be causing the problems, how to avoid problems, and how to fix it. It also points out how the late C5 fuel tanks and crossover tube is different.

    Noisy fuel pump
    There are two fuel tanks, and two fuel pumps. One fuel pump continually pumps gas from the passenger side tank into the driver side tank, and is quiet. The main fuel pump is directly behind the drivers seat, and can be annoying loud, especially on early C5ís. It's normal, and not a sign of a failing fuel pump. Chevrolet does have a bulletin out instructing how to better insulate against the sound of the fuel pump. This is merely an annoyance. A newer, quieter pump can also be installed.

    Extremely high oil pressure reading
    The oil pressure sensor can fail, but it is still okay to drive. Turn the car off, but with the key in the ďonĒ position and check the oil pressure gauge. It should read ď0Ē. If the oil pressure sensor is bad, it will show a positive reading. The oil pressure sender is located behind the intake manifold, and will require moving the intake manifold. The sender costs about $40 and part # 12573107 or 12562230.

    Suspension squeaking
    In cold weather you may hear the suspension creak when you go over speed bumps. To fix this, clean (optional) and lubricate the sway bar bushings. The adjustable metal sway bar end links on Hotchkis and T1 bars can also create loud clicking sounds. Most adjustable end links are quiet initially, but wear out and get noisy over time. Greasing and protecting the end links from dirt may prevent wear.

    Tough shifting
    The shifter in manually shifted Corvette's takes a strong arm to get it into gear. You really have to make sure that the shifter is fully in 1st and Reverse, or it will pop out of gear when you let the clutch out. This is not the fault of the car, but the fault of the driver.

    Manual transmissions -- Replacing the transmission fluid often helps shifting. Early transmissions have paper blocker ring that require Dexron III compatible (usually organic) fluid because some synthetics will destroy the paper blocker rings and subsequently the transmission. Later transmissions, and all rebuilt transmissions, have Kevlar/carbon fiber parts that allow the use of synthetic fluids. I believe the 98-00 transmissions have the paper blocker rings. The safe transmission fluids seem to be: GM Synchromesh PN #12345349, Honda ATF-Z1, Royal Purple Synchromax, Amsoil ATF, OíReilly Dexron III ATF. The following transmission fluids may be unsafe for early transmissions: Redline D4 ATF, Mobil 1 ATF, Royal Purple Max ATF.
    Related threads: - Ending the speculation: Blocker rings, who's had them fail? - Ending the speculation: Blocker rings, who's had them fail?
    Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF for a M6?

    If it is especially tough to shift into 2nd or 4th gear, it's possible that the synchro's are worn out or the forks are bent. Do NOT force it into gear. Abuse creates and aggravates this problem. You can still drive, even quite well, without synchro's....or a clutch for that matter if you know how to rev match.

    Some aftermarket shifters make it easier to make sure you're fully in gear, and prevent gear grinding, but they also vibrate, and require more effort to shift. The stock shifter has a tuned weight damper that changes the vibrations to a non-audible frequency. The shaking doesnít annoy some people, and there are some fixes.

    Leaky butt
    The differential can leak from the side covers. The problem has to do with the design. The lip on the casing is not wide enough to create a proper seal with the cover. Resealing the covers can be successful, but many dealers do not use the correct sealant.

    Inside/outside tire spinning
    If one tire spins while turning, adjust the friction modifier ratio. Aftermarket gear fluid from Royal Purple, Amsoil and Redline do not require additional friction modifier. GMís friction modifier is PN #12377916. Too much friction modifier and the inside tire will spin/skip/hop. Too little friction modifier and the outside tire will spin/skip/hop. -- Thanks Russ!

    Tire hop
    Tire hop during hard acceleration in cold weather is common, even if the same tires donít hop in warmer weather. Tire rubber when viewed thru a microscope looks like a web. Normally parts of this web grabs onto objects on the ground and stretch until either the car moves forward, or the web breaks, resulting in tire spin. I believe in cold weather, the web is too stiff for either of these events to occur, so the tires hop. To find out more, read Racing & High Performance Tire: Using Tires to Tune for Grip and Balance. I havenít read it, but if you do, please let me know if my guess is correct. I found a couple stories on Google about people curing wheel hop with stiffer bushings and/or (jounce) shocks.

    Interior rattles
    The visors may rattle when they are put up, but if you flip them down, the rattle goes away. Squeezing the mirror lid down seems to take care of it. Try glueing a piece of felt or velcro between the mirror and lid to see if that fixes it. Caravaggio also makes replacement leather visors, but they go for $400.

    The stereo is Bose, and to go along with the historically crappy build quality of Bose products, Bose has graced the Corvette with Bose emblems on the door speaker covers that rattle when you play music with bass. A Bose system doesn't exist that puts out good bass, but the system still manages to rattle the emblems when playing Country, Hip Hop, or Techno at moderate volumes. Check this problem by having a passenger and yourself putting a finger on the emblems with music playing. Glue the emblems down to fix it.

    If the roof isn't tightened down enough, it will rattle. There are some adjustment screws in the roof to make this adjustment.

    Belt Chirping
    During cold weather, the belt can chirp. Goodyear Gatorback belts from AutoZone donít chirp.

    Sticky Hatch
    During cold weather, the hatch may pop up slowly, or not at all. Spray the latches with silicone grease until they come up properly. If the struts do not hold up the hatch, try lubing the strut bars.
    1997: Service Bulletin: Hatch Will Not Pop Up When Activated in Cold Weather

    Rocker failure
    The needle bearings in the OEM rockers have been known to fail. Usually the problem is noticed with extra valvetrain noise and needle bearings stuck to a magnetic oil plug. Nasty Performance will rebuild OEM rockers with Harland Sharp bearings. This seems to be one of the better solutions since the stock rocker is very good at high rpms. Most aftermarket rockers are nose heavy and require grinding the heads and valve covers to fit. Currently Harland Sharp rockers are having problems with c-clip retainers falling off and causing problems on the way. Iíll be following this issue since I have a set of HS rockers on my shelf waiting for this issue to be resolved. Here are some links:
    LS1Tech - Harland Sharp Rocker Failure
    LS1Tech - Install or not install HS rockers?
    1998-2002: Service Bulletin: Needle Bearings Found In Oil Pan (Replace Rocker Arms)

    Other Information

    Active Stability Control
    This allows you to keep some control of the car even when you do really stupid stunts. It doesn't bend the laws of physics, but will keep the car pointed where you are steering; you may still slide off the road, but at least the car will be pointed in the direction you were steering! One of the sensors is located around the passenger seat, and needs to be considered when installing a racing bucket. If you move that sensor, Active Stability will not know how to balance the car, and can be very dangerous. Active Stability came out around '99.

    The C5 was the first car to use hydroformed frame rails. Hydroformed rails are quickly becoming a common platform for new cars, but not many shops are prepared to lift these vehicles. The C5 requires an adapter for regular jacks and lifts to fit the jacking points. Make your own adapters with a hockey puck (or two) with a 1 1/2" eye bolt screwed thru the center. Stick the eye bolt thru the slit in the jacking point, turn 90 degrees, place jack under adapter and jack away....if you can get the jack under the car. You may have to use ramps. The C5 is so low that most people make their own wooden ramps....rhino ramps are too steep.

    Key Fobs
    There are basically two different kinds of key fobs, and they are not compatible with each other.
    97-00, but 00 does not have the Passive Lock feature

    Both remotes use a CR2450 coin type battery. I found replacement batteries at Office Depot. To replace, use a coin to wedge between the seam, and twist.
    Ref: Service manual, page 8-747.

    Originally Posted by vette747
    Fob programming
    1-Turn the ignition to RUN
    2-Turn the radio off
    3-Press the RESET button in order to clear any IPC warning messages
    4-Press the Option button on the DIC until the IPC display is blank in order to enter the program mode
    5-Press and hold the Reset button for 3 seconds
    6-Press the option button until FOB Training message is displayed
    7-Press the Reset button in order to begin the programming sequence.
    8-Simultaneously press and hold the lock an unlock buttons on the first transmitter for 12 seconds. The IPC will indicate when that transmitter is programmed and when to proceed to the next. Repeat this step for each transmitter.

    Spark plugs
    The OEM platinum plugs, along with other plugs have had problems with the pucks falling off. I have a picture of missing pucks in this thread. This thread outlines some of the problems with using platinum, and a recommendation for using silver tipped plugs. Basically, of all spark plug tips, platinum is the worst conductor, copper is good, iridium is even better and silver is the best. Donít take my word for it, do a little research, starting with this review. As for longevity, platinum, iridium and silver do have an advantage over copper, but plugs foul up after ~10K negating any difference corrosion would cause, and no plug will run well after 100K miles.

    To make the spark plugs easier to change, get the Snap-On double-swivel sparkplug tool and remove the coil packs. Hereís all you need to know about sparkplug changes: Go!

    Alternator Replacement
    í98 AC Delco part #10246634
    Originally Posted by Evil-Twin
    If you have the original alternator, it is clutch-less. Newer C5's with automatic ( A4) came with a clutch at the pulley to address belt squeal when putting in and out of gear. You have a Valeo 110 amp alternator made in France... it is a good unit. Your specs seem to be OK. The alternator is not your everyday alternator, it communicates with your PCM, the PCM that came with your car.,. GM came up with a clutch type A4 alternator with 140 amps, made in Mexico... the alternator works OK, but does not communicate well with your pre 2000 PCM. Many people experience charging system fault messages with this unit..The PCM thinks it is a 110 unit.
    AS our Resident Electrical guru has mentioned, and I concur, if you have a problem with your alternator, the PCM will flash you a message stating you have a "charging system fault".,.,.If you do not have this, then I suspect you are ok...
    The latest word I heard from the people who sign my pension check is that they have a fix for this: and its is the new Mexican made clutch driven 140 amp alternator, and a PCM reflash.... But to be honest... this is from the same group that said they have a fix for the column lock disaster... If I were you, I would never give up my original alternator.
    You have a smart alternator, here is how it works:

    The L-terminal circuit from the generator is a discrete circuit (a discrete circuit has no splices and only one Src and destination) into the PCM. The PCM applies ignition voltage to the generator L-terminal circuit. A small amount of current flows from this circuit through the generator windings to ground to create a magnetic field which starts the generator process. When the generator is at operating speed and producing voltage, a solid state switch for the L-terminal circuit in the generator opens and the PCM detects that the initial startup current flow has stopped.
    The PCM expects to detect low voltage on the L-terminal circuit prior to the generator rotating at operating speed and conversely expects the circuit to be at ignition voltage potential when the generator is operational. When the PCM detects a fault (circuit shorted to ground, or circuit shorted to voltage), the Driver Information Center will display Charging System Fault.

    The generator has an input to the PCM called the F Terminal to indicate the percentage of total capacity that the generator is producing. This signal is detected by the PCM as a duty cycle from the generator and displayed on the scan tool as a percentage. The PCM can monitor the generators output under all conditions to determine if it is functioning normally.

    When there is low demand from the electrical system on the generator, a low duty cycle percentage will be displayed. As more accessory load is placed on the generator, the duty cycle output detected by the PCM will approach 100 percent. A normally functioning generating system will never reach 100 percent as indicated on the scan tool.

    The L and F terminals are the red and grey

    I tried to make this as simple as possible so those thinking 1960's/70's alternators/gen will throw all that old stuff away, clear their head and rethink smart alternator/gen. systems.

    Thanks Bill Curlee for the vote of confidence...

    Good Luck
    Bill aka ( ET )

    ________________________________________ _______________________

    These problems, and many others, are addressed at the in the Tech Center -> Knowledge Base.

    While these problems do sound numerous and severe, just remember that JD Power considers this a very reliable car. If you buy a Corvette, consider yourself fortunate that there are many reSrcs available to help you locate and correct problems.
    May Our Trails Meet!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Eads, TN
    2004 Torch Red Z06
    Post Thanks / Like


    As other have stated, welcome to the forum. I would keep looking on the forums. That is where the most knowledge is and the best guidence on price. Most forum members are vette nuts, including myself, and most are a little anal about caring for their vette; again including myself. I'm sure you'll do your homework before settling on your vette. I too would be leary of eBay on buying a car. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are great deals there and there are honest sellers, but I personally wouldn't buy a vette without inspecting it first. Although I did buy my nassau blue baby from a forum member and sent the $$ before I actually inspected it. It turned out better than expected and I flew to New Jersey and drove it home. Well worth the plane ride and drive home. Good luck on your search.

  13. #13


    Tact, kingman, G S Diva, 6 Shooter, bossvette, thank you all for this wealth of information. I'll let the forum know when I've got my 'vette. I may have even found someone who wants to trade their C5 for my Eldo conv. with some side money.

  14. #14
    Member Pseudomind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    2002 MY Roadster
    Post Thanks / Like


    Welcome 76Eldo, enjoy your future ride, drive on!


    Kingman I liked your known issues post so much I copied and saved it.

    Pseudomind is a member of the Jacksonville Corvette Club

    ďSpirituality gives hope, religions divide peopleĒ

    From a GED to an MBA

  15. #15
    Bob McDorman Chevrolet


    Quote Originally Posted by 76Eldo
    Tact, kingman, G S Diva, 6 Shooter, bossvette, thank you all for this wealth of information. I'll let the forum know when I've got my 'vette. I may have even found someone who wants to trade their C5 for my Eldo conv. with some side money.
    Good Morning,

    I wanted to let you know that we have a black 99 6 spd 1sb with about 58k on it. Nice car for 23,900. Click this link , then go to corvettes and scroll down to 1999 to view the car. Feel free to call if you would like, 1-888-207-1865 ext 315.

    Thank you,

    Casey Root

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