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So I am going to be buying my first Firebird and can't wait. But I am not sure what I need to watch for other than rust and leaks. Is there other signs that I should be watching for and what are they or commonly found. Looking to purchase a 4th gen with the lt1 or ls1 with the 6 speed manual.
 

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If you can stand to wait for a while, do so. This is income tax refund season and sellers have jacked up the prices of their cars to reflect this.

If you want a 6-speed car, make sure the transmission is in good working order. Parts & labor to rebuild the t-56 can get pricey.

Make sure the part that clutch fork pivots on is not about to break, or already broken. This part is no longer made.

If lt1 car make sure the water pump hasn't been leaking on optispark. Decent optis are in the $400 to $500 price range. if you do need an opti, avoid all except GM, Delphi, and Msd.
 

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1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
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See if this link works. I posted a fairly detailed response on what to look for in an LT1 on another forum recently.

http://www.camaroz28.com/forums/general-1967-2002-f-body-tech-46/buy-not-buy-883998/

Personally, I would not recommend the MSD Opti. I've diagnosed way too many problems with the optical cam position module, one in a unit the had just been rebuilt by MSD due to previous problems. Not worth the extra cost. AC Delco or Delphi as mentioned above.
 

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I love my LT1, so don't take this the wrong way. See the mentions of OptiSpark above? It is because of that I'll say this: If an LS1 is in your budget, forget about LT1's. LT1's are strong reliable engines, and they run and sound great. The Opti can potentially be a huge sticking piont though. Not everyone has bad experiences with them and experience seems directly linked to how much you spend on replacement OptiSparks. It's no joke or opinion that Delco or Delphi are the only two brands to consider.

...LS1's have better "software" support: scanners/tuners. LS is also a better platform for making horsepower. The LS series has proven itself and the aftermarket favors it.

Buy what you like, in my opiniin you won't go wrong either way, but, just be aware there are legitimate reasons (performance and otherwise) to consider LS over LT.
 
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