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92 Camaro shopping... Any advice for friend?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 NorthWet

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:47 PM

A coworker is looking to buy a 92 Camaro for her son. Tomorrow, she would like me to look over from a mechanical viewpoint. I know nothing more about it at this moment.

Any tips? Good/bad engines/trannies? Other common issues/failure-points?

Craidslist posting says "V6 engine, automatic"... lots of useful info, right?

Edited by NorthWet, 28 January 2011 - 12:05 AM.


#2 bheinen74

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:30 AM

The old ones were money pits and got terrible mileage numbers and around here, kids in the snow in those were.....

Pretty sure the era you mention is the same, just a little better on reliability. Why does the son/kid want and deserve one of these is the question.

There are worse and there are better choices. Get a insurance quote first and foremost and comparison shop quotes with it verses other cars. That is likely to be a deciding factor.

The things to look for to begin with are suspension bushings showing cracks or MIA. Stabilizer links like to break or come loose. Oil leaks, hoses, the normal things. If its an auto, which i presume it is, smell the ATF. Check body panel fitment of trunk/hatch, and really check the operation closing of the doors. The hinges on those were not the most intelligently designed things, way underengineered for the weight of the monstrous doors.

one of those NEW had more rattles than a 30 year old subie with 500k miles on it has.

Edited by bheinen74, 28 January 2011 - 12:35 AM.


#3 The Dude Abides

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 04:42 AM

If its the 2.8 then thats ok but if its the 4.3 then thats awsome. Its a good engine and if its got the 700r then its really something. If it has t tops check the seals they like to leak. If it has cold air intakes or fancy exhause be aware the a kid might of had it and tried to race it up. the 4.3s arent slow but i dont think fast enough to get you in trouble. I would steer them away from this car if they live in a snowy region and drive in the winter months. These can be fun cars to have but most have been beat up buy there previous owners. Insurcance will want to know if its an rs, z28, etc etc. Othern then this stuff, its a pretty straightforward rwd chevy. Good Luck.

#4 NorthWet

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:24 PM

Thanks guys. A little googling makes me think that it is a 3.1 V6, and looks like the last year of that gen's platform.

16yr old male and an 11 year old image car... Wouldn't be my choice, but his mom seems ok with it. It sounds like his desire for it is mostly because he likes the look of it. (Not my cup of tea, but not my choice, either.) My coworker/friend and I have had this "appropriateness" discussion before. (sigh)

Well, I am off to help them look at it. Thanks again for the info, and where to look for some common issues!

#5 3eyedwagon

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:30 PM

If it's a stock 1992 V6 then it cannot be either a 2.8l or a 4.3l. The 2.8 got dropped out of production in about 1989, and the 4.3 was never used in a Camaro. They should have over the 3.1, but they didn't. If it is stock; it is a 3.1l v6. The 3.1 is fine. Not exactly a rocket ship, but, it'll do the trick.

If it's an automatic it all depends on the build date, some late 92 built F Bodys got the 4l60e (electronically controlled) transmission. Most likely it will just be a 700r4. They are a good transmission, but, somewhat notorious for burning out clutches after people mess with linkages, and TV cables.

The biggest problem with these cars were door droopage. They need the bushings replaced somewhat frequently. It's not an issue with the hinges, the bushings are a wear item, and designed to be such.

Bheinen,
What exactly are you talking about when you say "money pit". The most expensive part on a Camaro older than 1992 is about $17.50:rolleyes:. GM parts are known for being incredibly attainable, and affordable. You're going to have a hard time convincing anyone with any real experience that any Camaro built prior to the LT1 has had a high cost of operation.

As far as gas mileage; the conservatie ratings on the v6 Camaro by the epa are 17city 27hwy
A Loyale 1.8l of the same era has conservative ratings of 19city 29hwy depending on transmission
A Legacy of the era was worse at 17city 27hwy according to fueleconomy.gov

And if you really are wanting to compare the mileage numbers on the V8s, and gripe about the terrible mileage they got, all I can say is: DUH. Nobody interested in a v8 Camaro has mileage as a top concern.

#6 Qman

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:03 PM

If it's a stock 1992 V6 then it cannot be either a 2.8l or a 4.3l. The 2.8 got dropped out of production in about 1989, and the 4.3 was never used in a Camaro. They should have over the 3.1, but they didn't. If it is stock; it is a 3.1l v6. The 3.1 is fine. Not exactly a rocket ship, but, it'll do the trick.

If it's an automatic it all depends on the build date, some late 92 built F Bodys got the 4l60e (electronically controlled) transmission. Most likely it will just be a 700r4. They are a good transmission, but, somewhat notorious for burning out clutches after people mess with linkages, and TV cables.

The biggest problem with these cars were door droopage. They need the bushings replaced somewhat frequently. It's not an issue with the hinges, the bushings are a wear item, and designed to be such.

Bheinen,
What exactly are you talking about when you say "money pit". The most expensive part on a Camaro older than 1992 is about $17.50:rolleyes:. GM parts are known for being incredibly attainable, and affordable. You're going to have a hard time convincing anyone with any real experience that any Camaro built prior to the LT1 has had a high cost of operation.

As far as gas mileage; the conservatie ratings on the v6 Camaro by the epa are 17city 27hwy
A Loyale 1.8l of the same era has conservative ratings of 19city 29hwy depending on transmission
A Legacy of the era was worse at 17city 27hwy according to fueleconomy.gov

And if you really are wanting to compare the mileage numbers on the V8s, and gripe about the terrible mileage they got, all I can say is: DUH. Nobody interested in a v8 Camaro has mileage as a top concern.



Thanks man, saved me a bunch of typing.

#7 3eyedwagon

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:18 PM

Thanks man, saved me a bunch of typing.


No problem. Sometimes even I know what I'm talking about! :lol::drunk:

#8 brumby420

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:37 PM

If it has a 3.1 that is a pretty good motor. Not a huge power house by any means by reliable and pretty decent mileage. We have a chevy lumina and that thing has about 160,000 miles which and so far it hasnt needed any major repairs so id say im pretty happy with the car. Gas aint terrible either we can get around 29 mpg. What i like about it is the highway gearing that allows it to go 70 at under 2000 rpm.

#9 MilesFox

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 08:23 PM

Grow a mullet, and get a tape deck radio with a Def Leppard tape already in it. Just a car stereotype. Much like how Subarus are lesbians

#10 NorthWet

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 10:29 PM

Ok, laughing is over. Looks like the boy (wisely) took a pass on this car. Mechanical looked OK, but looked like it had been driven through Scotch Broom (local weed bush) and blackberry brambles... lots of scratches on front plastic work. Someone had Bondo'd a hood bulge/scoop to the hood (with less skill then even I could muster), and the hood support struts could not take the extra weight. Inside was by "uncaring male", a real mess of missing bits and pieces. Seller wanted $1300.

Boy is also looking at a GEO Tracker and an RX7 with "a souped up engine that can do 190". Nice to hear after I committed an afternoon to help him get his "dream car".

Oh, well. The day wasn't wasted, as I was able to close the sunroof on my coworker's Volvo S80, which has been stuck open for the last 4 months. Snowstorms, rainstorms, windstorms, combo-storms... Leave it to Volvo to have a computer control everything electrical (door locks, turn signals, sunroof, et al) and not have any non-electronic backup. I guess that my reward was getting to see my coworker in a slinky black dress as she went out dancing.

Chivalry may not be dead, but it is pretty stupid!

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:23 PM

So he wants a fast sport car *or* a teeny, tiny SUV that's basically gutless? :confused:

He's all over the map. The Tracker isn't too bad - Suzuki really..... this is not going to end well. He's like a kid in a candy store. Going to buy the first thing he see's.....

GD

#12 Ionlyhave3suubs

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 08:25 PM

Sounds like a good one to pass on. Not well cared for, likely to have hidden problems. BTW the hood supports commonly wear out, even without the added weight of a bondoed on hood scoop.

I have had several third gen f-bodies (camaro/firebird/trans-am) and they have all been good cars, but had been taken care of well by their previous owners too.

Wow, a 190 mph rx7, sounds like the seller is either full of something brown and stinky, or that car is going to have some serious reliability issues, if it doesn't end up wrapped around a telephone pole. Either way it doesn't sound like a good car for a teen, not to mention insurance costs on a sports car for a teen driver.




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