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Old 11-29-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
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lt1 questions

I am slowly coming to the realization that I should move on and purchase an lt1 firebird.
As some of you may know, I recently wrecked my first car, it was a 96 firebird 3.8 automatic. I really had every intention of keeping it around and upgrading everything, v8 swap and all that goes with it. the accident pretty much ended that plan as getting it back to the condition it was in before the accident would cost more than the actual car is worth. My plan is to save up some money and then get rid of my v6 and buy a new f body.

I have a few questions about this purchase. I want to be a lot more informed this time around than I was when I got my first car. I know I want an lt1 style firebird, preferably manual transmission. Ive done some research on these engines and I know they can be (ungodly) fast if you put the time and money into them. I am only 18 looking for a DD I can be passionate about and have some fun and hopefully learn some more. I am no mechanic but I do love to work on these cars. The first thing I was wondering is what year should I get? my car is obd2 obviously and I am wondering if there is much of a difference between obd 1 and 2 as far as working on them and modding them. I have seen a few of both on craigslist. What are your opinions on lt1s, obd 1vs2 and any other suggestions or useful information I should know before running out and buying one? Thanks!
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:30 PM   #2
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The newer the model the better. If your heart is dead set on an LT1, get a '97. OBDII's provide more info from the computer, are easier to diagnose and can be scanned by most auto parts stores. If it were me, I would get an LS1 car, 01-02.... But that's just my choice. Every vehicle is going to have issues that will need to be repaired, eventually.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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I would get an ls1 but the im sort of attached to the lt1 style. I am sort of hoping to get obd2 because I already have a code scanner for that lol. also, all of the Ls1 cars ive seen for sale are so expensive or wrecked.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:58 PM   #4
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The OBDII (96-97) cars are easier to tune than the OBDI.
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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The OBDII (96-97) cars are easier to tune than the OBDI.
Ive read that before. I also read to have it tuned after mods like heads, cam, port and polish, and so on. Another question, im planning on doing some light mods like those to it, will it still be a reliable dd or is it best to leave stock?
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
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It will still be reliable with some mods. If you put a different cam in it just don't go too crazy so it keeps good street manners.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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Whatever you do, dont get a 93. They're tempting because theyvare usually cheaper but dont do it.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Whatever you do, dont get a 93. They're tempting because theyvare usually cheaper but dont do it.
May I ask why? I assume something to do with the fact that its the first year and sort of a Guinea pig model?
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Old 11-29-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
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May I ask why? I assume something to do with the fact that its the first year and sort of a Guinea pig model?
Exactly. They dont have a tuneable pcm, you have to have a chip burned. Also they have a 4l60/700r4 transmission instead of a 4l60e.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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Exactly. They dont have a tuneable pcm, you have to have a chip burned. Also they have a 4l60/700r4 transmission instead of a 4l60e.
Excuse the dumb question but the 4l60e is automatic correct? and the manual from 94-97 is the t56? or the t5 maybe? I feel like I don't have that right. anyone care to help me out?
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:07 PM   #11
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Yep the 4L60e is the auto and they manual is the T56 the t5 was never an option with the LT1 motor.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:34 PM   #12
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'Bout time you figured it out, lol...cheaper in the long run...

Keep the car you've got until you find one...in case something is missing in the one you pick up.

Part out the motor and trans for some extra cash if you need it...
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:57 PM   #13
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'Bout time you figured it out, lol...cheaper in the long run...

Keep the car you've got until you find one...in case something is missing in the one you pick up.

Part out the motor and trans for some extra cash if you need it...
Lol. Ya I talked with my brother in law and figured, as much as I don't want to get rid of my first car, its going to be a lot better financially if I buy a new one. Plus it doesn't make sense to build a car I want and likely pay at least double what I would if I just bought it. Its bitter sweet. On one hand I dont keep my first car, on the other, I get a badass car now, instead of waiting and spending loads of cash to make mine cool. I can also rebuild this one later when I have a place to work on it.

when I feel upset about letting go of my baby, I look on craigslist and look up stuff about lt1s. There is a lot more fun to be had learning on a v8 manual trans.

*steps off soapbox*
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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93 and 94? Lt1s are speed density controlled, and do not have a mass air flow sensor (that's why they are not easily tuned).

95 and on would be what to shoot for depending on mileage condition and price. There is functionally no difference between the obd1 in. 95 and obd2 in 96-97 for what you will likely do with the car. Both are straightforward to connect to a laptop for data logging and tuning.

Steven
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:15 PM   #15
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Speed density was only in 93. 94 was when they started using the maf
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:37 PM   #16
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There is functionally no difference between the obd1 in. 95 and obd2 in 96-97 for what you will likely do with the car. Both are straightforward to connect to a laptop for data logging and tuning.

Steven
Wait, the obd1 in 95 is compatible with an obd2 ode scanner?? If so thats awesome.
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Speed density was only in 93. 94 was when they started using the maf
So speed density was only 93? I have read a lot about people converting to maf because the speed density is hard to tune,

So for a relatively simple car to diagnose issues on(obd2)/tune, 95,96 and 97, are good choices?
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:40 PM   #17
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I dont believe a 95 can be tuned the same as a 96 or 97. And i dont think you can scan a 95 with an obd2 scanner. 95s had an obd2 plug, but still used obd1
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:41 PM   #18
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95 is obd1 with an OBDII connector probably one of the most difficult to deal with aside from 93. 96 & 97 are the easiest to tune
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #19
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I have found 2 96 formulas, both around 100k miles, both look to be in great condition ( ive only seen pictures) with t tops! One auto, one doesn't say. Im keeping my eyes out. I think im convinced that I want 96 or 97
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:26 AM   #20
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If you can get your hands on a 97 that would be my choice
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