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Need help and ideas.

1930 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  mat helm
Well lets see... I guess I'll start with a little history of my relationship with Corvettes... When I was 18, (May 2011) I bought my first Corvette, a red 1989 convertible with 82k original miles that had been sitting for approximately ten years. I had absolutely NO idea just exactly how much time, effort, blood, sweat AND tears it would take just to get her back to standard factory conditions... about 9 months and approximately $9,000 later, I had her back to stock shape, performance wise anyway. In August 2012 (now 19 years old) I spotted a sharp looking black 1994 Vette for sale on the side of the Highway, on my way home from work, I stopped to ask the guy about it, a week and $7000 later, I drove that bad girl home. Up until last week, I had been driving her, unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances, she is now in need of a transmission. HERE is where I would like some feedback and ideas because I'm still young and pretty unexperienced. As she sits, she's an automatic with the 700r4 tranny. My vision... as time consuming, aggravating and chaotic as it may sound, it to convert the car to a 6-speed Manual. As far as the motor goes, I'm pretty sure it's still a stock LT1 block, but one of the previous owners has done allot of hit and miss work here and there (cam, intake, headers injectors etc) but the problem is nobody can find a way to get into contact with him to find out exactly what all has been done under the hood. My plan is, or what I would like to so, is pull the motor, bore and stroke it to a 383 and run some kind of forced induction (turbo, supercharger or procharger). Basically what I would like from the community here is some feedback on pros, cons, problems i may run into while converting from an automatic to a manual, I would also like opinions on what to do with the motor. I thank you all for reading this and look forward to what everyone has to say.

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Fix the tranny and sell it. Then find a 96 with an LT4 and buy it.
I agree with 95 vette. You won't recoup your loss of funds converting the auto to a six speed. You can probably find an auto trans for fairly inexpensive at a salvage yard or some similar place. Sell that then, if you can afford it, look for a ZR-1 with the LT5. They only come in six speed and will blow the doors off most other C4's. Then you can bore and stroke it into a 383 and have a real animal on your hands. Forced induction possibly? Boy that got out of hand quick...
Falling in luv with a car is something we all go through, especially when we're young. It's kind of a catch 22 in that if we didn't fall in luv with them, we would never buy corvettes, mustangs and the like...

Add to that the fact that the C4 is considered a dirty little stepchild because of the relativity weak engines they came with...

So the smart move here is to dump your collection and find a C5 with a six speed and a LSX....

But if you're like me and loyal to your ride, well...

Adding a six speed is a major operation. Not only dose it come with a special pressure plate not found on anything but the LT1 (I think), you must also change out everything behind it. Which means a dana 44 diff to replace your dana 36...

As far as the LT1, you're pretty much pissing in the wind. Compared to other engines, there are relativity no aftermarket performance parts. If I were dropping the amounts of cash you have, I'd find a LS and rewire your 94 for it. Many many more performance parts available for it. You'd not only be able to make more HP for less, you'd be able to do it without dropping your MPG below 10....
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Never mind a C5, C6's are relatively cheap now. However I've heard their heads are awfully problematic.
Thanks for the opinions guys, upon further research that I've spent the last approximately 20 hours doing, I'm completely reconsidering the work and build on the 94. I'm seriously now considering just replacing the tranny, selling it and the 89 and start looking for a decent C4 ZR-1 or a relatively nice reasonably priced C6. Call me crazy, but I much prefer the look of the C4 to the C5, in the same way I wanna stick with the C4 body style and build it into a monster so people on the street would see its an older model and assume its still stock and wouldn't pose much of a threat in a street race situation. After doing all the research, calculating all the costs, time and effort needed to put into what i wanted to do with it I had almost made up my mind to sell it and start over anyway, but everyone's opinion just helped push that decision to the top. All things considered, I think I'll be happy with the decision I've made. Thanks again everyone for the input.

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I agree that the best option for you is to fix the transmission and sell it, then look for what you want.
Lt 4

:duel: My $02 I think you should sell it and get an LT 4 I have one and love it plenty of H P and six speed may be cheaper than all the other ones they are talking about Just My $02:seeya:
Want my opinion? I've owned my 92' for 3 years now and gone through 7 optispark distributors. They don't like me driving them hard I guess???? Now imagine when you go over 300 HP....on top of that you'll still have a motor that's a pain in the *** to work with.

Look into an LSX swap/ stay away from the LT-1 and 4's. That's just what I think. At the end of the day you'll have a more reliable motor, better MPGS, better power, lighter weight and more power adding options. Not to mention, easier motor to work on.

I love my C4 and almost hate to admit this but the C5/C6 are better platforms to begin with, only stick to your C4 if you really love it and want to spend the money on it. If I had the money I would keep and build the C4 and buy a C5/C6, but I don't.

P.S. You can't beat the clamshell hood!
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I agree. Not a huge fan of the LT-1.
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