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Discussion Starter #1
i am in the process of buying a 1986 corvette and i had a few questions regarding the purchase.

Forgive my lack of knowledge i am rather new

1- is there anything i need to be aware of while i am shopping? i.e. constant issues you guys face?

2- what is the difference between an lt1 a z51 and the l98? i know that l98 means its a tpi engine but what is the z51 or the lt1? and i was told to stay away from crossflow injection but to my understanding this year did not offer that. correct?

3- and for my own curiosity did this year ever come with an optional white interior?

thanks in advance.... bernard
 

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i am in the process of buying a 1986 corvette and i had a few questions regarding the purchase.

Forgive my lack of knowledge i am rather new

1- is there anything i need to be aware of while i am shopping? i.e. constant issues you guys face?

2- what is the difference between an lt1 a z51 and the l98? i know that l98 means its a tpi engine but what is the z51 or the lt1? and i was told to stay away from crossflow injection but to my understanding this year did not offer that. correct?

3- and for my own curiosity did this year ever come with an optional white interior?

thanks in advance.... bernard
Hello,welcome as a Corvette owner.
Not the expert some of these guys are but I do own a 1988. Buying a Corvette is no different than any car. Make sure everything works or if it doesn't you can deal with it. !984 was the only year of crossfire on a C-4. There was two versions of the 86. The early version had iron heads the latter version has aluminum. The z51 is heavy duty suspension and cooling but no difference in the engine. The LT1 is the engine that came out ---I think---1992. Has 300HP Not sure about the white interior, but you should be able to find the answer on the web. Good luck
 

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Silace has it mostly right. The change in 86 from iron heads to aluminum was mostly for the Convertable coming out in late 86. All verts are aluminum and (i think???) all Z51 suspenssions were aluminum. Not totaly sure on that. All iron head engines had perimeter bolt valve covers and standard hydraulic lifters/cams, while all the aluminum head engines have roller lifters/cam and center bolt covers as well as 1 piece crank seals.

Most (if not all) iron head automatics came with the smaller (weaker) pump 700R4 which are really very weak on the shifting points and prone to a lot of problems. After GM went to the larger pump version of the 700R4, in mid 86, they became a very reliable and fairly solid shifting automatic.
 

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mine has steel heads and it's a Z51 coupe
 

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:nono:This is said a lot about the '86s, but is completely untrue. Both the iron and aluminum head engines used the same block and had no provisions for the factory roller cam.
The Aluminum heads were designed with updated block in mind. GM records state that they were ALL done as a package deal with ecm programing changes and even assembaly line changes so that ALL of them had ALL of the changes at the same time after using up all of the earlier engines.
 

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but the 2 major differences are the heads and the suspension? how can differentiate you between the z51? visually wise or under hood wise?

and trans wise, which one has less problems because i heard that the auto trans constantly goes out? now that could be just a retarded statement but idk if its true or not.
 

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The easiest way is to look inside the center consol. On the inside of the lid there should be a sticker with all the option codes. If you see the code Z51 there then it was built with those suspension parts.
Now it might have the aluminum engine heads w/o Z51...if the bolts run down the center of the valve covers (4 in straight line) it has the updated engine and trans. If the valve cover bolts are on the seal lip around the edge of the covers it has the older iron heads (and other parts).
If the roof is drop cloth then it has the updated engine as well.
The transmission change is very debatable. Some say all 86s have the larger pump 700R4, some say it was changed with the production change in mid 86...Unfortunately GM only labled them all as 700R4 and there is no clear answer on when the last of the small pump 700R4s were used up. I have only verified one with the small pump and it was a VERY early 86...actually Nov. 85.
 

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If you don't like spending money for repairs then stay away from the LT1' s. If you can do the work yourself and it's not a daily driver, go for it! But this won't apply for an '86.
 
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