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Old 08-23-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
 
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Default Yard Find '87 Trans Am GTA? In the know, step in!

So there's an '87 GTA L98/700R4 with 80k in a backyard. Has been sitting since the mid-late 90's outside in a backyard. Owner wants it gone soon, or it gets donated for the $500 tax write off.

What I know:
-Almost stock, some stereo stuff, SLP exhaust.
-Does not run. Mice have chewed up the plug wires, maybe other wires, under hood.
-Does not roll, brakes and maybe more rusted solid.
-Owner claims not much visible rust on body.
What I don't know:
-What it really looks like (going this weekend).
-If I like a 3rd GEN TA with a 350 and barely over 200 HP.
-How much rust, and how far gone all rubber items are (outside all these years, uncovered).

Owner wants somewhere between the tax write off price and $1500. If it's closer to the lower end I don't see how this is a bad price. Seller agreed to me working on the car at his place for a day or two before moving it, mostly to clean/gut the interior/engine bay of any rodents and associated filth before I put it in my attached garage.

I don't know much about these yet, only started paying attention to these after 4th GEN/LT1. What should I be looking for? Is it worth the trouble? I don't really need this car, but wouldn't mind a track slut for autocross. Is this thing a sloppy bitch with big overhangs, power steering that can't keep up, and wet noodle chassis rigidity?

I'll throw up some pics after I see it. If I don't take it maybe someone else will want it? For now, any suggestions from those in the know on these things would be appreciated.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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Im not sure if id put "3rd gen" and "autocross" in the same sentence. Especially for the money it sounds like youre gonna have to put into this thing just to get it moveable, let alone even track worthy. Pass.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:53 AM   #3
 
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A 3rd gen could easily rock out with its cock out on an auto-x pad... Sounds like he's going to have to replace suspension and bushings anyways, might as well throw a hotchkis kit on. No, it won't be no miata on coils, but it would be fun. All comes down to how gone the car is rust wise.... If its been sitting that long, your main area of concern is the underside... Nothing fucks a car more than letting it sit with trapped moisture for two decades.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
 
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I wouldn't go anymore then 500 with it sitting that long between mice and rust
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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if it was parked in grass the underside is probably rotten
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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3rd gens are awesome autoX cars. As long as there is no rust I would say anything under 1K is a steal. I wouldn't worry about the wiring. Buy a 5.3, throw on an LS6 intake and LS1 wiring harness and have a badass car.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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Any pics?
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Turbocharged400sbc View Post
if it was parked in grass the underside is probably rotten
What he said. I had a 3rd gen sitting in grass for 3 years and it was basically about rusting through the floor boards. 4 years and it would have been gone.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euro View Post
Any pics?
Coming soon.


Thanks for the input so far guys.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torquelover View Post
So there's an '87 GTA L98/700R4 with 80k in a backyard. Has been sitting since the mid-late 90's outside in a backyard. Owner wants it gone soon, or it gets donated for the $500 tax write off.

What I know:
-Almost stock, some stereo stuff, SLP exhaust.
-Does not run. Mice have chewed up the plug wires, maybe other wires, under hood.
-Does not roll, brakes and maybe more rusted solid.
-Owner claims not much visible rust on body.
What I don't know:
-What it really looks like (going this weekend).
-If I like a 3rd GEN TA with a 350 and barely over 200 HP.
-How much rust, and how far gone all rubber items are (outside all these years, uncovered).

Owner wants somewhere between the tax write off price and $1500. If it's closer to the lower end I don't see how this is a bad price. Seller agreed to me working on the car at his place for a day or two before moving it, mostly to clean/gut the interior/engine bay of any rodents and associated filth before I put it in my attached garage.

I don't know much about these yet, only started paying attention to these after 4th GEN/LT1. What should I be looking for? Is it worth the trouble? I don't really need this car, but wouldn't mind a track slut for autocross. Is this thing a sloppy bitch with big overhangs, power steering that can't keep up, and wet noodle chassis rigidity?

I'll throw up some pics after I see it. If I don't take it maybe someone else will want it? For now, any suggestions from those in the know on these things would be appreciated.
First off, if that is a SLP 2 on the Left cat-back in good non-rusted shape then thats worth $400 to people. For some reason it didn't get all that much love when SLP was making them, but as soon as SLP discontinued it the 2otL became hot stuff to own.

Worry not about the engine and transmission. Those are just a stock 5.3L/4L60E swap away from huge improvements cheaper than you could mod the stock engine.

If the block is in decent shape you could get some decent money for it. A guy who wants to keep the original engine type will pay a couple for it.

What I WOULD worry about with these cars.

RUST. This is your #1 priority. If its gone beyond light surface rust and into Rot then it can be expensive to fix. Check the front sub-frams for rust, as well as the rocker panels where the doors drain (near the front fenders).

Next is Paint. If the paint is decent, or even can be cleaned up then thats another huge project that you don't have to worry about. By cleaned up I mean washed, and buffed. If the clear coat is peeling and you don't feel like painting the car then either walk away or start looking at it as something to part out.

Steering isn't all that bad. If the pump is in good shape you might have some slop on the steering. It can either reside int he steering gear, or in the linkage itself. The box if its not leaking can usually be bench adjusted back to proper specs (not just tightening the top nut, that will cause problems). If its got a quick ratio box, then I would have that fixed before putting in autozone replacement. Many of the autozone type replacements are not the quick ratio box. Quick ratio will be 2.25 turns lock to lock.

Lastly is interior, this isn't so bad to fix, new carpets aren't that expensive and you can grab seats from a 4th gen and be happy. It only really gets expensive if you want to restore the stock Ultima seats. Those aren't cheap.

The rest of the items are easily found. 4th gen rears swap right in. Suspension hard parts don't really go bad on these, so its just bushings that you worry about. But since so much of the rear can be found of a 4th gen you can simply swap panhards/LCA's right off a 4th gen no worries.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:44 PM   #11
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As said before, check the underside. The last thing you want it to be doing 55 on the highway and your ass dragging on the ground. Sit in the car and then look underneath. Driver side and passenger. If anything moves, at all, pass on the car. I had a 91 camaro I was going to put new floors in but after parts and welding work, it was going to be $1700+. Illinois cars scare me. If your serious about a third gen, go south.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:17 AM   #12
 
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Went to look at it, not too bad, really. Needs a good cleaning, very minor rust. Underhood, looks like injector wiring and spark plug wires took a hit, not too much else. Car can roll now. I took a bunch of pics, kind of hard to get underneath it with two flat tires but I tried anyway. Check it out:

http://www.supermotors.net/registry/25865/81991

Still on the fence about this one...
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:44 AM   #13
 
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Bad ass.

Is that rust or dirt on the roof?
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
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Bad ass.

Is that rust or dirt on the roof?
Dirt. You can see the passenger c pillar was wiped clean a bit. Little bit of rust on rear wheel arch and front fender where the lawn tractor hit it. Pretty solid underneath surprisingly.

Also the Omni GLH-S isn't for sale (already asked) .
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:10 AM   #15
 
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lol, i was just about to say...what's up with that Omni! looks like a cool project. even has that 80's cell phone still installed.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #16
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Picture 41 is all I needed to see.
PASS
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #17
 
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Cool find but in the end you have a car that your going to invest thousands more that it will ever be worth even restored to a pristine condition. If your a diehard third gen lover go for it.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:56 PM   #18
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This, is a problem.

That looks more like rot hidden by dirt. Did you tap this with a screw driver or hammer to make sure it was solid?

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Old 08-26-2013, 02:02 PM   #19
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^^^Thats picture 41 lol.

NOT WORTH IT
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:22 PM   #20
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That's some pretty rough looking rot in the subframe. WOuld be leery unless you have a MIG welder even then.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:23 PM   #21
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is it just me or is the drive shaft hard core bent in that pic?
Driveshaft is hidden in the tunnel, thats the exhaust.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Picture 41 is all I needed to see.
PASS
exactly what i was going to post.

OUT. there are better ones out there if you head south. ones that will cost you less money and headaches in the end
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:32 PM   #23
 
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Good catch guys, didn't see that. I basically stuffed my camera under the car to take some pics. Looked at them on the camera then uploaded and posted. Too dark/tight to get my head under there. That does look like a huge problem.

Aside from being into Knight Rider when I was a kid, I have no love for 3rd gens. I'm passing. Anyone out there want to take it on PM me and I can get you some info.

The Omni is cool. Told him if he decides to give up on it to let me know. Was parked right next to the GTA all these years, but is stayed mice free somehow.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:04 AM   #24
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this would've been running before @tinfoilhat 's car. shame.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:21 AM   #25
 
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this would've been running before @tinfoilhat 's car. shame.
New here, dunno what you mean by that?
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