Camaro/Trans-Am LT1 vs. LS1 questions [Archive] - Glock Talk

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S.O.Interceptor
03-24-2008, 07:06
Hey guys, I have a few Camaro/TA questions. I have been a die hard Mustang guy for a long time, and I will continue to be, but I want to try either a Camaro or Firebird/Trans-Am now. I need a new toy before I go insane from driving my grandpa-mobile.

What are the cons of getting an LT1? I know the plusses of the LS1, but the reality is that if I do get a new toy, I might have to settle on an older LT1.

I know the LT1 had the crappy opti-spark that seemed to go out on my friend's cars every few months. How bad is the opti-spark system? How often can I trully expect to replace it? I don't remember it being dificult to replace, but I remember it being expensive, and that is a problem. I want this to be a fun car, but it has to be a reliable car too. Are there any after market replacements that are more durable?

Does the LT1 have any other issues I should know about? I remember my friend's taking some beating and still pulling strong, but I do remember a couple of engine swaps through the years. Those were mostly caused by the bottle, but I know someone who beat their engine to death naturally aspirated. Not stock, but no forced induction.

Anything I get will probably have 100,000+ miles. Assuming the owner has taken care of the car, can I expect it to last a while?

I'm not woried about the T-56 tranny, and I know about the crappy rearends in them, but the car won't ever see slicks or the track*.

All I want is a nice street car to do some small modifications to like maybe exhaust, air intake, etc. I doubt I'll crack it open for heads, cam, etc**.

IF, and that's a big IF, I can get an LS1, I will. But probably not. So any information you guys can help with would be great. Thanks.

By the way, my requirements are t-tops and a 6 speed, cuz real sports cars have 3 pedals.












*Disclaimer-My wife was here, so I had to say that. We all know it's going to the track. Isn't it a rule you can't own a V8 powered Bowtie without taking it to the track for it's break in?

** Disclaimer Disclaimer-Ya right, that'll last a solid week.

da chef
03-24-2008, 08:06
http://www.yearone.com/yodnn/BanIII/tabid/74/Default.aspx

S.O.Interceptor
03-25-2008, 14:09
No one has any advice or information on the LT1 for me?

http://www.yearone.com/yodnn/BanIII/tabid/74/Default.aspx

I'm confused by your post, none of those cars are powered by an LT1. They're awesome and I wish I had one, but that isn't going to happen.

Jav21
03-25-2008, 17:42
The LS1 was available in 1998 so there are plenty of old models available, it is a significant performance improvement over the LT1, will have better resale value and a huge aftermarket following. Do yourself a favor.

Without knowing your budget but based on the questions you are asking, buying a toy car is probably too much for you. Insurance, gas and repairs will probably cost you much more than the one-time upfront cost of the LS1 to LT1 price gap.

S.O.Interceptor
03-25-2008, 18:34
The LS1 was available in 1998 so there are plenty of old models available, it is a significant performance improvement over the LT1, will have better resale value and a huge aftermarket following. Do yourself a favor.


Okay, I was with you up till there....


Without knowing your budget but based on the questions you are asking, buying a toy car is probably too much for you. Insurance, gas and repairs will probably cost you much more than the one-time upfront cost of the LS1 to LT1 price gap.

......but then lost you around there. What exactly makes you think I can't afford gas, repairs, and insurance? Insurance cost is not an issue with my insurance company. Gas cost the same in an LT1/LS1 as it does in my wife's Expedition or my Grand Marquis, and a Camaro/Firebird probably gets better mileage than either of those two. And repairs won't be much of an issue as I don't plan to hammer the car, and if I do, I do my own repairs.

The only reason I want information on the LT1 versus the LS1 is that around here there are some '93-95 LT1s for sale are $3-5,000 and the only LS1s are $8-11,000. If the LT1 is a quality reliable engine, I'd rather spend the extra money on performance upgrades.

I just want a nice comfortable street car to cruise until my project cars are back together. And instead of getting another Mustang, I wanted to try a Bowtie.

BlackPaladin
03-25-2008, 19:40
I own a 97 LT1 Z28 30th ann model. Mine is an auto, and I felt the same before buying mine on man vs. auto. After owning it, the auto (for me) is a significant advantage on the track due to consistant shifts. The LT1 engine has a large amount of support backing it, and is a very potent platform to build from. I bought mine with 54,000 miles on it for a great price. As with all used vehicles, how well maintained they were prior, will determine if you get a great car or a lemon reguardless of LT/LS platform.

triggerjerk
03-25-2008, 20:02
I'd go for an LS1 even if it requires more saving.

http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=31

Clem Eastwood
03-27-2008, 11:46
my little M6 hardtop 94 lt1 was a good car, but factory optis die about every 70K miles. the 95-up have the newer style opti pin drives (and newer front cover with double roller timing chain, which you will want if you plan on raising the rev limiter; heads/cam...ect.), but the motors 95-up came with dexcool. the dexcool if not changed can cause a lot of problems with headgaskets. their is a class action lawsuit against texico for this. the opti isnt really designed to rev over 6K. you can do it, but it will drastically reduce its life in stock form. you can convert the ignition over to coil packs and only use the opti as a crank position sensor, but every .01% of people that try this conversion have problems with getting the conversion electronics to work.

\

gtoletch
03-27-2008, 15:14
I have a 97 T/A, 99 Z28 and a 06 GTO. The GTO is the DD and is much more refined than the other 2. The LS1 in the Z28 is also refined but doesn't feel like a muscle car. My T/A is a weekend car that is very fun and feels like pure muscle. I would say the LT1 is the better choice. I would have to say for me the LT1 is one of the last muscle car engines. The rumbling, shaking, torque down low... and I've never heard an LS1 or LS2 that sounds better than an LT1 with magnaflows and headers. Mine has 197,000 miles and runs great. Opti has never been replaced but it does have a tendency to run hotter than the average hot lt1/

Jav21
03-29-2008, 15:47
What exactly makes you think I can't afford gas, repairs, and insurance?

I just want a nice comfortable street car to cruise until my project cars are back together. And instead of getting another Mustang, I wanted to try a Bowtie.

Generally when people want to buy an old car and the first thing they mention is the cost to fix the spark system... they can't afford it. I don't know you personally but questions like that are similiar to the 17 year old kid with a V6 asking about V8 swaps. My opinion and just trying to be realistic. That will be one of many problems to expect from a 100K plus mile car, well out of production and is generally owned by drag racing fans. That being said I am an fbody fan and owner and have had various cheap and expensive problems with my '99 firebird at 67K miles.

My friend has a LT1 camaro, 6speed, t-tops and it will work very well for your application... specifically the resurfacing empty parking lots application. :whistling: