Looking at a 97 Formula

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by 0wn3d_productivity, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. 0wn3d_productivity

    0wn3d_productivity OT Supporter

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    Opinions? I'm Subaru crew, but will be buying this for a toy.
     
  2. barfdogg

    barfdogg OT Supporter

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    I'd get 98+
     
  3. Mr.Right

    Mr.Right N2O

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    put a bottle on it.
     
  4. 396Hawk

    396Hawk Active Member

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    Buy it if you want to and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
     
  5. MeanGreen

    MeanGreen New Member

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    don't buy a 98
     
  6. CJPA

    CJPA New Member

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    01-02 LS1 > 98-00 LS1 > LT1
     
  7. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

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    My GF's uncle has a formula V8 that he dropped a 400+ HP GM performance parts LT1 into and that thing hauls ass.
     
  8. CJPA

    CJPA New Member

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    I'm sure it does :dunno:
     
  9. CJPA

    CJPA New Member

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    Do the 97 Firebirds have the 98+ interior like the 97 Camaros do?
     
  10. Mr.Right

    Mr.Right N2O

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    what the price of the car? pics.

    i am extremly familiar with f-bodys.

    the guy saying to not buy a 98 doesn't know what he is talking about... they are fine.

    lt1s are also fine, just not as fast as an ls1..... but you can still have lots of fun with it. and the motor has potential.

    i beat plenty of highly modded ls1 cars with my "little" lt1
     
  11. MeanGreen

    MeanGreen New Member

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    Ok then. Well make sure you don't buy and LT1. I took mine out, now it works better :ugh:
     

  12. except that 98's have the weakest rod bolts, the ls1 intake and if I remeber right they have the smallest stock cam. but other than those minor things I guess you are right.
     
  13. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

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    the LT1 Fbody is a fine car. great bang for the buck! i had a 94 formula M6. the only thing i didn't like was doing a tune-up. mine never had #6 spark plug changed. but the car was a blast over-all. yes, the LS1's are better. but the LT1 cars are usually cheaper to buy. and i found mine was pretty hard to break.
     
  14. 0wn3d_productivity

    0wn3d_productivity OT Supporter

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    Thanks for the replies to all. I was just asking to find out if therer were enough known problems with the 97 version that I should stay away.

    Anyway, I did buy the car and am waiting for it to be shipped. It's a 97 Formula with 6MT, red with T-tops. I don't have any pix yet except for the ones the owner sent me which are a little grainy. I do have firsthand confirmation that the car is everything it's descrbied as thanks to a friend. It's only got 44,000 miles on the clock and I'm the second owner- it's a divorce prresent to myself. Ironically, it was a divorce present to the original owner when he got divorced as well.

    I know the LS1's are more potent, but I've had a hardon for the 93-97 bodystyle since they came out. That and the fact that most of the cars I've looked at have been extensively modded and beat to death. This car has no mods and doesn't even have the CAGS defeat installed. Of course that's the first thing to go into it when it arrives :big grin:
     
  15. Mr.Right

    Mr.Right N2O

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    no no no.


    all the rod bolts are the same throughout the years. all ls1 rod bolts are weak.

    99s actually have the smallest cams....but thats a non-issue. its so slight a difference, no one would ever know.

    only 98 cars have a real engine temp gauge.

    only 01-02 cars came with the ls6 intake.

    98 ls1s are said to have less issues with piston slap and burning oil..... that is speculation though.

    98 ls1 f-bodys came with perimeter bolt valve covers..... making it much easier to take coil packs on and off.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  16. Mr.Right

    Mr.Right N2O

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    i am still running and lt1 "style" motor, until i finish the new motor. it still pulls the wheels on the street.

    i am building a single turbo ,large cubic inch, carbed SBC for the car.
     
  17. MeanGreen

    MeanGreen New Member

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    Only reason why I swapped mine was the LS1 motors are so much easier to work on and in the long run they don't give as many problems. Also if you took the same money you would throw at a lt1, and put that in a ls1, you are going to be going faster (as long as you know what you are doing). I liked my lt1 but i saw the headache it would turn into if I did what i really wanted to do with it.
     
  18. rockstar b

    rockstar b no OT Supporter

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    yes
     
  19. dr.zed

    dr.zed DR.ZED OT Supporter

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    Just to add a few details. The talk about 98 LS1 engines being "weaker" in strength is partly true. They had less breathing passages and were prone to building up crankcase pressure more than other years. Also there was less "ribbing" cast into the aluminum. Does it matter? Maybe with extreme FI usage.

    LS1s are less "maintenance" and less "prone" to expensive, shot in the dark, random ignition issues often tracked back to the LT1's optispark.

    I've had a 94 Camaro LT1 for nearly 10 years. I replaced one opti and that was it. Car went strong from 91 to 310,000 kms. Went through a few engines simply because my dumb ass kept road racing without a proper oil pan. The LSx oil pans are better for road racing, but not the ideal solution.

    Anyway, back to reliability. I have a buddy who has been through 9 opti sparks. 4 were factory defects (bought AC delco), and the rest just went. Me went through one in 200,000 kms.

    I daily drove my LT1 in Canadian winters (three of them) and then retired it after 4 years of DDing.

    The LT1 transmission is a LOT easier to drive aggressively as the shift gates are more defined. LT1 trans were made by Borg Warner, Tremec bought the design and the LS1 got that one. That is why you hear of LS1 guys "missing" shifts at the racetrack. The shift gates are narrower, and require some shifter finesse to get in quickly.

    LT or LS will be great platforms to have fun with. LT1s will ALWAYS feel faster with 100 HP less. LS1s are easier to make power with. My bolt on, cam and headers with no cat made 345 RWHP. A fully bolt on no cam or head work LS1 (with LS6 intake) will make nearly the same.

    Fuel pumps in good condition can handle spray or any combo of power adder up to around 420 - 440 RWHP before they max out. They last at this power level for a short period of time, some are known to go for a while.

    Check rear end fluid weeping onto the diff case, which indicated a pinion seal leak ($100 fix). Check for moisture or dry green fungus looking residue at the bottom side of the LT1s waterpump (visible when the car is parked one wheel on a curb) which indicates a leaking waterpump which MAY damage the expensive optispark (fancy distributor cap with cam/crank sensor built in).

    A fuel pump, cam, heads, headers and cats on an LS1 will get you around 420+ RWHP. Similar setup with early 5.3L truck heads and long tubes and NO cats yielded 440 RWHP on my buddies 2002 Camaro. That was 5 years ago. Lots have changed since.

    Just my 2c.
     
  20. 0wn3d_productivity

    0wn3d_productivity OT Supporter

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    Wow dude- thank you so much! I'm really pleased to hear that the car will be able to make big power if I decide to do it. I'll probably go with headers, exhaust and a tune with a power programmer eventually. Without putting new heads, etc. on, I wonder what that's put to the ground?

    I've been told that a non Ram Air car like mine is listed at 285 hp, but is putting out around 305 and 340 in torque. Does that sound right? I haven't driven it much yet, but I'm not sure my Subaru with 350 hp at the crank isn't faster. Maybe it just feels that way because of the turbo rush coming on so hard.

    Feels really weird to know more about my Subie after having been a die-hard GM owner for so long.
     
  21. DvBoard

    DvBoard New Member

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    That doesn't sound right for stock '97 LT1, but i could be wrong...
     
  22. 0wn3d_productivity

    0wn3d_productivity OT Supporter

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    You mean the hp numbers?
     
  23. DvBoard

    DvBoard New Member

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    Maybe i was wrong...
     
  24. 3DimesDown

    3DimesDown New Member

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    Try and stay away from an LT1, find an LS1
     
  25. DvBoard

    DvBoard New Member

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    He already bought the car. Nothing wrong with a good LT1, plus you can pick 'em up cheaper :big grin:!
     

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