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classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
4/13/21 7:57 p.m.

Against the norm, I am starting this thread well after getting the car home! It's a few weeks in the making, since a friendly hand model introduced me to a friend of his who bought this 1998 Z28 with T56 brand new. He parked it in 2012, and then broke it back out for a short time before a brake line blew and he parked it. 

So, it runs well, has 152k miles, a spreadsheet a mile long with every maintenance record, full set of factory service manuals, and came with a spare set of wheels with winter tires and a B/M shifter in the trunk. It's also got the 3.42 rear axle with Posi. 





On to the bad: I got under the car to pull off the old brake lines today and they are abso-tootly seized in place. I knew they would be bad, so I had anticipated doing a good bit of work on that system. I also noticed, though, that the fuel hardline is leaking. Today I put an order in for entirely new hardlines and softlines for the whole brake system, as well as the fuel "feed" system. 


Overall the car is pretty clean, but 3-4 years of year-round duty in Michigan doesn't come without consequences, which i'm now enjoying. 

Since my wife and I had our baby, my Miata was going to be useless (to us, which is where it was fun) - we enjoyed the hell out of going for drives together, and cruising Woodward on nice days. With the T-Tops and backseat, I am hoping this will be the next best thing for family cruising. I also #workforGM and this will be my first GM product, so I am excited both for that, and to get a coupe with some power - the only vehicle I've owned over 200hp is my Expedition and it's not quite sporty.

I also joined SCCA this year, and would love to get this out to an AutoX or a day at Waterford Hills or Gingerman to see how much room I have to grow.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/13/21 10:29 p.m.

I was on the fence about buying that thing for 5 years before finally realizing that I just didn't want it for a daily and I'm committed to MonZora as my sole project car. So I made an introduction and the rest is history. FWIW, all I will say is "challenge eligible".

RacetruckRon Dork
4/14/21 8:25 a.m.

That's a good looking catfish! Needs long tubes, EGR delete and sauce plate stat... or that's at least what LS1tech will tell you.

Furious_E (Forum Supporter)
Furious_E (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/14/21 8:54 a.m.

Challenge eligible? Jesus man, you stole that thing!

I used to have that car's tan-interiored twin. The 4th gens get a lot of hate, but if you can look past some of their low brow tendencies, dollar for dollar you'd be hard pressed to find a better performing and more versatile platform for motorsports activities. Plus, there is just a juvenile appeal to having a big, torquey V8 and the kind of antics that encourages devil.

Good dampers, a set of stiff lowering springs, and sway bars will transform that into a surprisingly competent handling car, and it will swallow just about as much tire as you can afford. 315s are possible on all four corners. And of course the sky is the limit on power upgrades with the LS1. Also, get that B&M on there ASAP, the stock shifter is garbage. 

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
4/14/21 2:03 p.m.

Within Challenge budget?  You stole it!

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
4/29/21 9:38 p.m.

Not super exciting update: fuel hardlines are all replaced, and the car started back up today and seems to be leak free! 

I did have to bend/twist the lines some to get them run, so I need to straighten them out some more to get all the clips back on. I also have to attach the rear 1/2 length of brake hardlines as well as one rear axle hardline before things are "functional", and then do the right corner to have all the hard and soft brake lines on the car replaced. Lining those up with mounting points the right way has been an absolute mess and I hate doing this already, so here's to these lasting another 20 years (probably 10+ more than the floors will).

Here's my collection of brake/fuel fittings this far (missing a few I actually threw away, too).

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/30/21 7:42 p.m.
classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
5/24/21 8:39 p.m.

Slightly more substantial update: first drive today. Got front brakes bled pretty well but had a shop do an official bleeding to hopefully clear any air out of the ABS System. The lights are still on, and ABS isn't working - but I know I left a ground undone so I'm not gonna worry too bad until I fix that. 

I ended up with a square set of 17" wagon wheels for $200, because of a nice pair of RE71'S (other pair of tires was junk). So, currently rolling a split setup with BMW wheels until I get 2 more fancy tires.


First impression: this thing RIPS. It is so much faster than anything else I've owned and I love it. Great sounds. I'll report back once I get more than ~3 miles on it, haha. 

It definitely still needs attention. Both rear bumpstops have disintegrated and I think engine/trans mounts probably aren't far behind.

Will UltraDork
5/25/21 8:01 a.m.

Is the ABS actually not working, or is the light just on? When the front hubs go bad it sets off the ABS Inop light.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
5/25/21 8:31 a.m.

In reply to Will :

Both - ABS InOP light is on, and I locked up the front tires on a hard (trial) stop from ~20mph yesterday.


Edit: the light was not on when I bought the car, only after all the extra work

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
7/30/21 8:50 a.m.

Been a while since updating!

I haven't put more than 2-300 miles on it, but lots of new parts still.

Found a brake line that wasn't tightened down all the way leading to soft pedal feel; hooked back up the ground that I had left off, but still no ABS/TC - likely will just need someone to reset the lights.

I replaced brake/clutch pedal pads, I really like the look and feel of "new" and they are cheap.

The PCV hose (supposed to be 1 piece, wraps behind the engine) was on its way out since ~2012 according to PO spreadsheet, I finally got the CEL with it for lean on both banks. $140 later, new GM part showed up. Went on much easier than I expected after watching a video of a guy doing the same job on a 2001.


I also replaced the stock shifter with the B&M one that came in the trunk when I bought the car. Turns out, the shifter handle that PO had in there was a bolt with square tube and wood holding it all together. No clue why - the stock shifter was in the trunk too..


I also had to replace the battery, as it "charged" to 8V and wouldn't even try to start the car. I am still getting heavy "clicking" when cranking, even though it starts. So, next up I will try some battery cables before moving to the starter..

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/30/21 10:55 p.m.

The rear bump stops on my 96 were rubble too. OEM is expensive.  3rd and 4th gen cars share a mount style with some Jeep.  Apparently the Jeep rubber mounts are cheap if you are trying to stay challenge eligible.  I thought about it but went OEM.  

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
7/31/21 8:40 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

I have a pair of rubber ones from Strano parts, was something like $30 for a pair and they should be a little closer to OEM than the Jeep ones. Not trying to stay challenge eligible, but supporting enough project cars that everything needs to stay affordable haha.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
8/2/21 8:54 a.m.

Aaaaand were back with a p0171 Bank 1 Lean today, will have to see if something popped loose.

GCrites80s HalfDork
8/2/21 12:41 p.m.
classicJackets (FS) said:


I also had to replace the battery, as it "charged" to 8V and wouldn't even try to start the car. I am still getting heavy "clicking" when cranking, even though it starts. So, next up I will try some battery cables before moving to the starter..

You'd think there would be a huge selection of shift knobs for T-56s, but there's really not unless you want a ball or aluminum. There is only one tapered one available, that being the SLP. So the PO used a knob from something else and "modded" it.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
8/30/21 5:15 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

I suppose that makes sense! I'm happy with this one, but I do tend to be okay with the ball shifters in general.

I've still just been taking this around, including cruising Woodward early in the morning of the dream cruise, which was super nice. My dog Bean got pretty cozy.

My lean codes seem to come back after doing any driving above ~4k rpm, and shut off after a few cycles, so my solution for now is pretty clear!

I also learned that I should be able to reset the ABS/Traction by pulling the fuse, so will try that soon.


I'll also say I can feel my automotive ADD kicking in, as the thought keeps creeping in to sell this and use funds to finish Courier/LS swap for my 318ti

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
10/11/21 9:02 a.m.

Still just been driving this! I've done a trip to Ann Arbor and a trip to Flint in it with no hiccups either time. I think I've added ~700 miles total now. The suspension could use with some tightening up, but that won't happen very soon.

Only real issue is that I can hear the "puff" of an exhaust leak (hardware/flanges rusted out), the coolant level sensor is bad, and the rear hatch struts have failed.

My main impression everytime I drive is just how fast it is. Every gear absolutely pulls, and doing above-posted speeds on the interstate the car doesn't even breathe hard, which is crazy. I'm really enjoying it.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/11/21 9:40 a.m.

In reply to classicJackets (FS) :

it sounded nice for as long as i could hear it yesterday.

2002maniac Dork
10/11/21 4:35 p.m.

Congrats! If it was really challenge priced you did well. That's about what a used T56 goes for!

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
10/12/21 12:48 p.m.

In reply to 2002maniac :

That's basically the reason I figured I'd go for it! We're coming up on winter season, and I have 4 wagon wheels not being used, so I am thinking about finding some winter tires and keeping the good times rolling. The car came with winters, but they were from 2008 so I wouldn't have used them anyway (they went to Stampie).

Next spring I'll probably keep an eye out for some cheap headers or full exhaust system to replace the stuff that's on there now. That would also give me the chance to drop the whole front cradle and tidy up the fuel/brake line installation I did, since it's not all as locked in place as it was from the factory, and I hate leaving it like that.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
11/6/21 3:54 p.m.

Hello CEL, my old friend.


Got some diagnosing in my future, I guess!

Skip shift is bypassed already with something that plugs in, probably will ignore that one. The other 2 codes are what used to come on higher-rpm pulls, but in the cold has come back in regular driving - I'm assuming worn out rubber lines have shrunk/pulled back

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
1/12/22 12:33 p.m.

For anyone else out there with 4th Gen experience..

I am hoping to run some 18x9.5 Wagon wheels with 275/40, wondering if these will fit or if I'll need spacers/rolling.

I am trying to prepare for summer and will need new tires. There are some 275/40s I can order for $82 new (lol), and wagon wheels are so cheap/available I'd like to run them.

Getting my CELs sorted and things locked down should happen in the next few weeks, as long as warmer weather persists. 

RACEC4R Reader
1/12/22 12:39 p.m.

I do have HPTuners for 4th Gen's, we can flash it and perma-delete the nonsense.  All my stuff is 4th gen.

Standing offer.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/12/22 8:04 p.m.

In reply to classicJackets (FS) :

Going to fit fine.  I'm running C6 Z06s fronts all around.  They are 18x9.5 ET 40.  I'm running 275/35/18s.  On my car the stock size was 275/40/17.

Plenty of F body guys have used wagon wheels. They look way better on a 4th gen F car than on a Vette too.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
3/4/22 3:25 p.m.

Anyone got suggestions for what a good move is for front Control arms? I will need to replace them before wanting to get out on track, and hoping to put an order in this month. Car will see ~1-2000 miles on the street, and a track day or two if all goes well. Warmer weather didn't persist, so I haven't even started on CELs yet.

I have a set of 255/40/17 RT615Ks to go on this summer, probably making a trip down into Ohio next weekend to pick up a square set of 17x9.5 ZR1 fronts to put them on. I had planned to just get more 17x8.5" wagon wheels to put them on, but these wheels are $150 for the set, which feels hard to pass up! It's a little less tire than I would normally want to put on a 9.5, but the tire is "rated" for an 8-10" width so should still be okay. Will update as good stuff happens.

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