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Old 02-10-2002   #1
89GTA
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Unhappy selling GTA

well, my engine problem just went from bad to worse. i have no compression in any of my cylinders and im not gona blow another cent on this car. im aiming for about 2000 (canadian) for it. is that a fair price considering its not running? if not, what do you think i can get for it?
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Old 02-10-2002   #2
NCMCSS
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Price

I paid $900 for an excellent body, no rust, poor interior, primered, rod knock in the engine 243,000 mile 1987 GTA.
I think you might get close to $2000 but may have to wait a while for the right person.
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Old 02-11-2002   #3
89GTA
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gta's

honestly, with all the bills (eg.. rent, electricity, insurance, gas...etc) how the heck do you guys keep up with the repair costs of these cars??? i know this will probly piss 90% of you off, but this is seriously the WORST car i have ever owned. if you bump into something even slightly, your whole frame twists and warps. with all the front end room youd think there would be more space in the engine compartment, but nooooo....... ive seen honda civics with more engine compartment space. i seriously hate this car, i wish i never ever laid eyes on it. GM went major cheap with these cars, and since owning this car my respect for GM has went downhill big time. the only decent thing about these cars is the way they look, and im sure thats why most people buy them. basicaly when it comes down to it, youve got an unreliable engine rideing on a frame thats as strong as glass......
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Old 02-11-2002   #4
Jim85IROC
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I currently own 3 thirdgens, and I've found them to be amazingly reliable. I bought my 86 firebird at 69k miles and sold it at 150k miles. I never touched the motor. I had to replace the starter, water pump and a couple sensors, but never anything major.

On to my 86 Sport Coupe. I bought it with 128k miles with a fragged 5-speed. I put a $50 junk yard tranny in. I'm over 160k miles now, and I pound the piss out of it. It's needed an alternator, a trans mount, and I managed to bust the torque arm mount twice. I told you I pound on it. Other than that, all that car has ever needed is oil changes and some cosmetics.

My IROC was reliable until I put my new motor in, then shit started failing left and right, but now that I've got it mostly ironed out, it's been reliable. I had no repairs this year, at least none that weren't of my own doing.

My GTA has 131k on it. I've only put 2k on it since I bought it, but so far it's been pretty reliable. The solenoid sticks on the starter, which drives me batty, and the MAF is going south on me. The hatch leaks too, but that's not really a reliability issue.

I see so many people that have had their GM vehicles become unreliable at low miles, and yet I've got 4 cars that took a beating from day 1, and none has ever left me stranded. My cherokee had a Chevy 2.8 and logged over 150k miles before I sold it to a kid that's still driving it. I firmly believe that preventative maintance, and proper maintance is the key.
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Old 02-11-2002   #5
Brent87LT1
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I hear ya. I paid cash for my GTA 7 years ago, but after about two years, it was like making payments with all the stuff going on. Every month there was something else that needed replaced.

Saturday night a friend called and said he met a guy that was interested in my car. He told him $7500 and he didn't bat an eye and want's to come look at it this week. This may be the end of my third gen saga.

I'll have a vette before anything else. There are some nice ZR-1s to be had for around $25K.
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Old 02-11-2002   #6
FrankieRider2
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Another Common Complaint...

Personally, I'm with Jim85IROC on this thread... my cars have always been very reliable, and I've never had much trouble out of them. Granted, none are daily drivers....

But I have heard these complaints many times about F-bodies, and 3rdGens in particular. It seems that there is a definite love/hate type deal that goes on with them. You either get a good one... or you get a real turd. There seems to be no middle ground.

89GTA, I sure hate that your experience has been a negative one.

Brent, sorry to hear that about your GTA as well.... I found a picture of it that I have.... did you send it to me? That is a nice GTA. But will you be any better off when you by a Corvette and have to make repairs to it? The C4s don't have that great of a reliability standing, do they? Most Corvette parts I've seen are even higher than F-body parts. Have your GTA problems resulted from your engine swap or just normal, routine parts needing to be replaced? I'm just curious.... not forming opinions.
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Old 02-11-2002   #7
Brent87LT1
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I appreciate your neutral position. My problems occurred when the car was driven every day. When I bought the new truck, and stopped driving the car is when the engine swap took place. My wife was always so mad every time I said I had to replace this, or work on that. She would say, "why do you keep putting money in that thing, you'll never get it back when you sell it." I told her I get it back when I drive it!

I sent you the pic a while back hoping for the spotlight position. I would still like that opportunity.

The GTA was not my "dream" car. It was the first car I've ever owned. Always been a truck guy until then. I still love it and enjoy driving it. The Corvette is my keeper. The first time I drove a ZR-1 I knew I would own one. 405 hp with structure and suspension to handle it is a nice toy.
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Old 02-11-2002   #8
DarionIV
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One thing to consider is how badly the owner(s) before beat the car. I know the my wifes old 83 Firebird was beaten hard and the last owner cut sooooo many corners on repairs that it was incredible. The entire EGR system was a nightmare to figure out what he had done. Her current 87 IROC is a dream as was mine. I'd still be driving that car daily (had about 137K miles) if some dude in a truck hadn't decided to rearrange my front end (as well as my neck, shoulder, and back). Heck, I still have the engine/tranny package. (I'm trying to figure out what to do with it.
We also had an 85 Formula Firebird with about 170K miles (I had to sell it to get a truck for the family) It was reliable, the only problems I EVER had with it was due to someone elses shoddy maintenance.

I mean, sometimes you just wind up getting someone elses problems because they don't want to do the jobs right.

And, yes, I know, like every brand of car. Sometimes you just get a lemon.
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Old 02-11-2002   #9
DarionIV
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OK, before anyone beats me soundly about the head.
Sorry, that 85 Firebird was an SE, not a Formula. I have NO idea why I said Formula. Maybe its just too early in the morning for me.
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Old 02-11-2002   #10
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Quote:
OK, before anyone beats me soundly about the head.
BWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! No "head beating" on this board.....

DarionIV makes some good points as well. Sometimes a corner-cutting previous owner can be the worst thing for our cars. I know and understand that few people are lucky enough to have had their cars from when they were new.... I know that the age group of many 3rdGen owners put them in elementary or maybe junior high school when the cars were new.... giving someone else plenty of time to royally screw things up.

Luckily I have been the only owner of my red GTA since Day One and the car has never been damaged in any way, and so the only problem I've ever had with it has been the MAF.... three so far, and it's needing a fourth one right now. I'm the second owner on the black Notchback, and there were a few little minor things with it when we got it, but nothing major. I did have to have an EGR switch put on last year and the A/C has been converted.

I think too that the technology gap comes into play as well. Cars built in the 1980s just were not as "technically sound" as the cars that are built today... this is only my opinion, of course. The demand of car buyers have made cars become as good and dependable as they are today.... it seems that car companies back then had a more cavalier attitude toward buyers. You know... the old "if you want our car, you'll put up with whatever is necessary to have it" kind of deal. I mean... you don't see any 6-60 warranties anymore like my GTA had new. Cars today are engineered better and they just don't need them as a rule. The newer technologies have made them more dependable. Our cars suffer from the "older school" of technology; they still work good, but are more prone to little niggling failures than newer models are. And they're not really all that "update-able" as far as the reliability issues go.

Just my personal ramblings.... when I get going sometimes, I can't shut up.

Brent, I didn't even know I had your GTA's photo until I looked at your website the other day. I'd be glad to feature your GTA, especially with the LT1 swap and all. Just get together some info and pictures and send them to me. Here's a link to the Spotlight submission page:

GTA Spotlight Information Page

I'll look forward to getting your info and photos so we can schedule you a feature soon.
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Old 02-11-2002   #11
HL90GTA
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I tend to agree with Frankie in that you either end up with a good one or a bad one and there's hardly an in-between. I've had my 90 blk/blk GTA for about 5 years now. I bought it from the original owner who happened to be a lady in her late 30's. Up until a year ago, it was a daily driver and I started having reliability problems probably because it was getting up there in miles (145K). There were times when I was really sick and tired of paying for repairs and I put it up for sale several months ago. I got several calls for it, but guess what?... I ended up getting cold feet and couldn't part with it after all, at least not until I get my '71 cuda. Anyway, the only way to relieve the headache for repairs was to buy a commuter car and relegate the GTA as a weekend driver. This has worked out pretty good because I figure the less I drive it, the less problems I'll have to deal with.
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Old 02-11-2002   #12
Fred91GTA
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Hey, I agree with HL90GTA 's thinking. If you drive the car less, then the les problems you'll have with it. But I also agree that with thirdgens, you either get a really good one or a real POS. Cars in the '80s have that old "Built on a Wednesday" thing. Built on almost any other day, the car would fall apart. But also consider another thing... GTAs are reaching that 10-15 year-old mark. Times like these are when little things start going bad. I believe that I am lucky so far... My GTA is 12 years-old, and I've had it for about 1 1/2 years, and all that's gone bad is the power antenna, radio, oil temp sending unit, and a small leak in the coolant system. Then again previous owners can royally screw things up. My passenger side door fender panels are slightly bended out of shape because a previous owner didn't know how to jeck up the car... But at least I'm not having engine or body failures. Not bad huh? But I also take care of my car like it's my greatest possesion... (it is).

I also have that mentality...

I'd rather push a Firebird than drive a Rice Rocket!!!

-Fred
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Old 02-11-2002   #13
intake68
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Sorry guys, I just can't hold this in any more. I am sure I will offend some, but I feel the urge to get this off my chest. As far as the GTA's or and third gen f-body with any power plant being unreliable, its true some times you do get a lemon. But what I find allarming is the fact some people feel these cars are unreliable. I own (2) 89 GTA's both 350/auto's. One car has 62,000 miles
and the second has 86,000. The second vehicle was a theft recovery vehicle that had a VIN plate switched in 1990 in Ontario Canada. I purchased the car in 2001. Needless to say, the car was not pampered and had a very sad past.I agree with the post that says you sometimes by a vehicle that someone has simply not maintained. To further that we have to remember our 3rd gen's were GM's first kick at the cat with ECM's and sensors. Secondly the cars are now 10 to 15 years old. Most have higher mileage on them which will account for the normal wear on many of the components we are replacing. Sure it is a pain in the a** to replace the TPS or map sensor or injectors, ect. but look at it realisticly. These parts will all have fatigue and will all show some amount of wear/failure. THEY ARE NOT NEW. What really gets me going is the the inemptness of some to assume that just because the car looks good it is good. For those who are mechaincally inclined, it is far less expensive to diagnose and repair these cars than others who have to succum to dealership/mechanic woes.But the simple fact you have to seek a mechanic does not mean your car is a waste of time. Nor does it mean that just because your mechanic would rather play a guessing game and replace unneccicary parts rather than correctly diagnose the inital problem that your car is a lemon. Just imagine the shit eating grin experienced by each of the prior owner's of all our cars as they pushed it to its physical limits. Each of us has pushed our cars just to see what they can do. This has a cumulative effect over time and many powertrain parts also become fatigued. Also remember its not 1972 anymore either. At one time an engine rebuild usually meant a car that would be trustworthy after. On our vehicles there are so many other electronic components that affect the proper operation of the powertrain itself that a rebuild of an engine does not solidify the relaibilty factor. Proper maintenance and common sense have their place in owning these cars. After all two 12" subs and a couple thousand watts does not make the car reliable, it only makes you realize you spent your money in the wrong place when shit hits the fan.
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Old 02-11-2002   #14
89GTA
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Post GTA's

there is no doubt in my mind that the previous owner(s) rat baged on it daily. but the thing is, ive taken this car in to have it looked at 3 times now, and all 3 times they have told me bullshit solutions that cost BIG$$$. this just has not been a fun car to own. if i had lotsa money and this car was mint condition, it would be my dream car. im starting to think that the car is cursed or something because nothing i do and no matter how much i spend can fix it. working on my friends V8 85 chevy impala is such a pleasure to work on compared to my car. i guess you guys are pretty lucky to have reliable GTA's, just pray they dont break down as bad as mine has.
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Old 02-12-2002   #15
gtayumiko
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Wow, what may I say that no one else already say for this situation....Hmmmm. May I start by stating that I've got 250,000 on my car and I drove this car at minimum as daily driver for many many years. I can only think of two times this car leave me stranded, in Oxnard, CA in 93' because fuel pump in tank go bad, and then on freeway near my home when coil went bad. Other than that, it's been very very good to me. I've seen many other types of cars broken down on the freeway but rarely do I ever see pontiacs. And trust me, I keep an eye out for sports cars broken on the side of the road. Now everyone who have problems with GTA let me give you my opinions about that. I am somewhat familiar with the U.S. auto maker way of business. I had to do study about this before. I've found that most of the money made by auto industry comes from selling parts and maintenance when something breaking on car. When initial sale of auto is made, the auto maker does not really make a large dollar amount. It's when the car comes in for maintenances and repairs and new parts that need to be ordered, and to pay the high labor costs charged by the dealer. Sometimes you can only get a specific car fixed at the specific brand dealership because special tools or technics must be followed and only those specific dealers/mechanics know technic and have the special tools needed.

As far as I know, GTA came out in 87'. And this car have many "bugs" in it. The paint had a defect or shall I say the clear coat had a defect. Cooling of the engine is not good for these cars because there is no grill. The computer is so picky, even changing a thermostat from 195 to 165 is not recommended by the manufacturer. Let us face it, this isn't 1970 any longer, these cars are meant to break so we go back to dealer to get fixed. If this was not true, why then is so much plastic in these cars? I've been told so many times that I spend too much money on this car of mine. I add up all my receipts at end of every year...sure I spend so much money. But I love my GTA and it's really nice to me.

And some of you mention previous owners. You are probably correct when you mention that it all depend on how previous owner treat car. This is a very good observation. I'm original owner to my GTA and so I never been mean to it. Tune-ups, oil changes, checking and changing water, etc. I've also did my share of running it hard from San Francisco to San Diego. To me, this car really perform well. No kidding! I was at the 220,000 mile when I was driving back from Nebraska. I was in Salt Lake City, Utah on the morning of the tornado. I got on I-80 at exactly 6:00am that morning heading West. I was driving over the Bay Bridge in San Francisco at 3:45pm that same day. I love to drive fast and it wasn't just the guy who look like he just break out of prison who was hitch-hiking in my direction on the side of the highway twenty minutes out of Salt Lake that got me to do the serious speeding...I like to go like this.
So this car really performs good for me. Sorry some owners having troubles. Yumiko
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Old 02-12-2002   #16
Krazzycowgirl
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarionIV
I know the my wifes old 83 Firebird was beaten hard and the last owner cut sooooo many corners on repairs that it was incredible. The entire EGR system was a nightmare to figure out what he had done. Her current 87 IROC is a dream as was mine. I'd still be driving that car daily (had about 137K miles) if some dude in a truck hadn't decided to rearrange my front end (as well as my neck, shoulder, and back). Heck, I still have the engine/tranny package. (I'm trying to figure out what to do with it.
We also had an 85 Formula Firebird with about 170K miles (I had to sell it to get a truck for the family) It was reliable, the only problems I EVER had with it was due to someone elses shoddy maintenance.
I have to aree with my Auld man here (darioniv) Most cars are what the owners take them for. If the car is abused then when the car is sold the new owner gets the problems.

That Old 83 Firebird was just an old Base model that I loved to death. It was a shame that with in a few weeks after we sold it The new Bytch owner was drinking & driving & totalled out car the hard way.

The 85 SE we had I hated it cuz it wouldnt always start for me & always caused me troubles when I had to get back & forth to work.

Now my 87 Iroc-z (MINE) I wouldnt trade it for the world even if someone offered me a 69 Trans am in show room form. ITs my Daily driver & my show car & my Dragracer. I abuse this car so much on the road its not funny but has only had few minors troubles with her. Last summer she over heated alot & we had to replace the whole system. but other then that we have had her for a year & had little if any troubles with her.

Now HIs 87 Iroc-z OMG that car was abused badly. The ex owner let her boyfriend (now husband) drive the car & he put dints in to it like you wouldnt believe. but when we go it we were restoring it & taking care of it until that day some a$$ cut infront of him & totalled out the car.
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Old 02-12-2002   #17
HL90GTA
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Hey there, just one last thing I forgot to mention...
Not all cars will be reliable regardless if their domestic or import. I'm in my 30's and have heard stories or lemons here and there about numerous other cars. When I started looking for a GTA, I was considering only two important things at that time...
1) an American V8 with cool styling and
2) great performance.

I'm sure 99.9% of us did not buy this car for it to be economical or reliable. Sure, we would expect it to be pretty reliable as long as we took care of them. But, I also kept in mind that no matter how much care I gave it, I will have problems with ANY American sports car that's over 5 years old. Our cars are now 10-15 years old... that's not a big deal for an import (disgusting), but for our cars it's very old if you're considering dependability. Mine runs pretty good now, but I can tell it's not as quick as it used to be...
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Old 02-12-2002   #18
Brent87LT1
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Wo ever would have thought a post that started out, "selling GTA" would have turned into this. great posting everyone, way to be active!
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Old 02-12-2002   #19
DarionIV
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89GTA, if the car you currently have is such a pain, do what you feel is right. It could be that it really is on its last legs.

On the other hand, I don't know the mechanics you have taken it to but they may be looking to make some bucks off ya.

Personally, I'm willing to spend the time and money to ensure my wife's IROC is safe, reliable, and fast. It takes some research and I wound up buying a handheld diagnostic but, that's just me.

I love driving both our Camaros, her 87 and my 95 Z/28.

I case anyone wants to see what I'm talking about check this out.

www.angelfire.com/wa3/ivhorsepower
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Old 02-12-2002   #20
89GTA
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GTA.....

the simple fact is, this car is makeing me poor. for the last half a year ive been liveing like a bum and spending every cent on this car. its only now that ive just started realizeing that i dont think its possible to fix this car. its just got too many problems. 1st id have to replace the engine cuz i think its toast. 2nd i would have to fix the minor front end driverside damage wich has completely warped the frame. it would take me years to save up this much. i was quoted 2500 - 3500 dollars to fix the frame by several autobody shops. and an engine brand new is probly gona be around $5000. possibly more if i dont install it myself. now on top of that i only have about 200 a month to play with after bills, food costs, etc... how am i gona do this? i spent years saveing up for this car and all ive got in return is a huge kick in the nads. seriously though, alot of you must be pretty well off to be able to aford 1 GTA let alone 2 or 3. how is it some of you can aford this?
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