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gm4life

Still thinking...

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All of you know I am on the prowl for another whip for my son to drive and another toy I will enjoy and drive in addition to my SLE. My daughter who will be sixteen will then get the Chevy. The wife most of time drives the SUV. So I was looking at 98-02 Firebirds for some reason and started looking at prices! 3800 V6 powered models with low milage under 50K in great shape are only about 7-8K if you find a deal. I am wondering what you guys would think of one of these as an additional car. No doubt my son would love anything RWD (dounts and juicy burnouts) and those Firebirds with the V6 and sport package including twin tips out back are very attractive. I am wondering are the good cars with the 3800 and F-Body combo? Are they quick? Do they get around in snow well with some weight over the rear axle and good all season tires? I wouldn't mind one, actually I liked them back in the day as well that is the 1998-1999 Bonneville SSE but uhhh these Firebirds in the shape they are in is very tempting. Also what kind of fuel economy do they get? Big difference between the 4A and the stick? How do they drive with the standard 5spd? Pretty good and forgiving for someone learning or brushing up? I would have to decide on the 5spd. **which would be fun, but my son would need to learn** or the more user friendly automatic... Hmmm no I will not get one with an LS-1 although that would be sweet. I would like a drop top but for all practical purposes a t-top would be more Iowa winter friendly. They seem very easy to find with low miles and in great shape. :scratchchin:

But something keeps telling me RWD sports coupe for a young guy is scary... If I find one I like I think I might be in deep trouble. I do know RWD cars are fun to drive and according to some nearly God-like...

Edited by gm4life
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The 1995-2002 M.Y. Buick-derived-3800 V6 powered Camaro & Firebird

were in their day capable of keeping up with Mustang GTs, which while

no match for the LT1 or LS1, were not exactly dogs.

I have driven several4th gen. F-bodys with 3800 power, and had I not

been scared of two car payments since I was still paying off my 1997

Cadillac STS that I bought as a 5-yr old used car, I would have bought

a particular 2002 Camaro with ONLY 11,xxx miles on it, it was a

"hardtop" coupe (no t-tops) & powered by the 3800. It had very minimal

options and to make it sweeter still it was a 5-speed. If I had the money

at the time I would have made that car my daily driver/winter beater,

since my EX was driving the STS at the time.

All B.S. aside, while slow compared to my all out drag car '68 Camaro

that was borderline illegal for the street, that 3800 powered 4th gen

pulled & chirped the as well if not better than many a 350TBi & 305TPI

third gen cars I had driven over the years.

I whole-heartedly endorse your flirtation with a Fireball-Buick powered

4th generation F-body, esp. if you can find a 5-speed!

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Thanks 68 so they are quick... I think one would be great fun and the prices are great would it be too much car for my nearly 19 year old son. He hasn't had any tickets knock on wood yet. I could see my son and I really enjoying a car like that. Also in the twistes how are they? Can you do a dual exhaust on them and will they sound pretty good? Do you anything as far as the records on them do folks have good luck with them? Also what about the 5spd. is it pretty easy to drive? Thanks for the response I knew this would be of interest to you! :AH-HA_wink:

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gm4life...you and I are singing the same tune. I've been thinking VERY seriously about buying a 3800 powered Camaro or Firebird ragtop for my family. The wife and kids have been after me for a 4 seat ragtop so we can cruise around in the summer with more people than the Miata.

I've seen ragtops with under 50k and really clean go for under your 7 or 8 k price range.

Including 1 silver convertible Camaro I am just kicking myself in the arse for not buying.

Keep us posted, gm4life!

Chris

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Thanks 68 so they are quick... I think one would be great fun and the prices are great would it be too much car for my nearly 19 year old son. He hasn't had any tickets knock on wood yet. I could see my son and I really enjoying a car like that. Also in the twistes how are they? Can you do a dual exhaust on them and will they sound pretty good? Do you anything as far as the records on them do folks have good luck with them? Also what about the 5spd. is it pretty easy to drive? Thanks for the response I knew this would be of interest to you! :AH-HA_wink:

Be thankful he doesn't ahve any tickets yet. A friends son is 18, an A student in pre-med at Ohio State, and just lost his lic. for street racing...after his 4th speedeing ticket.

You might consider getting your son involved in autocross. It is a world of fun, and a safe way to test the limits of your car.

A 3800 powered F body would be a great cruiser and a great daily driver, methinks.

Chris :convertible:

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I will it is looking like a 98-99 Bonneville SSE or a 98-02 Firebird with the 3.8. I really have lost my mind letting my son drive a sports car! Is the F-body a four wheel independant or live rear axle? If I get something this spring you will know. What and when exactly I don't know.

Edited by gm4life
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Be thankful he doesn't ahve any tickets yet. A friends son is 18, an A student in pre-med at Ohio State, and just lost his lic. for street racing...after his 4th speedeing ticket.

You might consider getting your son involved in autocross. It is a world of fun, and a safe way to test the limits of your car.

A 3800 powered F body would be a great cruiser and a great daily driver, methinks.

Chris :convertible:

That is a good idea. We just are so busy but do enjoy cleaning and working on the cars together. He is not into sports at all and I am so this is one thing we can share. I hope so too I would have to pitch it to my wife... She would do this... :mind-blowing: Unless I can sell her on the fact they are relatively safe and get decent fuel economy any idea what the EPA rated those 3.8 F-bodies at? :scratchchin:

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I am thankfully of that and my speedy a$$ knock on wood only has one my whole life. (I am lucky!) My wife got her first that she couldn't get out of in the Torrent a few weeks ago. In a Firebird any of us would begin to stick out. There is just something so tempting about those late year last generation F-bodies I have always liked them but didn't realize I could afford one. The nice thing is most look to well taken care off and have low miles.

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You should get about 21 around town and 28-30 on the highway.

Fullsize cars with 3800's get amazing ungodly good fuel economy. I know of one person who travels for work with a 3800 in a fullsize Buick. He rarely gets below 35 MPG.

Just sell it to your wife as an investment in better looking (future) grandkids...because that Firebird will get its share of feminine attraction.

Chris

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^Yeah that won't work... But it is a great idea. I don't get more than 28 or so more like 26 normally in my Bonneville on the highway (70-75ish) I hardly ever drive 55 then I might get 30-32 or more. Then again it only has around 25-30K on it, haven't looked lately and it might not be broke in yet.

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the 3800 had the stick as an option? i've always wanted a last gen f body firebird with a v6 and stick!

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It might very well happen. It is sounding more likely than the SSE lets put it that way.

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Having spent some quality time in 4th gen F-bods, I wholeheartedly endorse this plan of action!

BTW: LS1 F-bods have been known to get 30mpg or better. :AH-HA_wink:

Oh, and they have a live rear axle, but you wouldn't know it as they handle great. And yes, they could be had with dual exhaust in V6 trim

As far as I'm concerned, these cars are a screaming bargain right now.

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I know and they are in good shape and low miles. What kind of mods can you do? Is there an SLP intake? And can you take a non-dual exhaust and convert it to a dual tip with a performance muffler? How do they drive with the stick Camino? Also Camino do the f-bodies with the 3800 run pretty well lots of problems? Do the have the intake issues the FWD 3800's do until they fixed it in 2004? The intake manifold looks metal to me from the photos. Thanks for all the comment keep them coming!

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There is good aftermarket support for all 4th gens, including the V6. My cars were LS1s, so I don't have firsthand experince with the 3800 cars. But, SLP actually built a V6 Firebird called the "GT" complete with duals and larger wheels and tires. They are very,very, rare.

As for SLP accessories for the F-cars, I think they still sell some stuff but nothing like what they once did.

Link: www.slponline.com

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Thanks Camino. Any more info on the kind of luck people have with them. Fuel economy or any thoughts please post. I am thinking going with a 2000-2002 Firebird. I need to have chrome factory wheels, the ground effects would be nice as well. Transmission can be either but I'd prefer a 5spd. Needs to have a cd player and steering wheel controls.

Edited by gm4life
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4th gens are amazing. However Never plan to drive one in snow and pray taht you dont get T-boned in the door. other than that they are dead reliable and hellafun to drive.

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Good capriceman thanks for sharing. They didn't have good side-impact beams? Also thanks Camino for the ebay finds, I have been looking. I prolly won't move on one till spring. I may find it on my own or talk to my friend Bill at large Toyota dealership in WI he is in charge of the used car buying. Also do they ride really firm with the V6 or just sporty, I mean compared to my FE2 SLE. My Impala floats and my Torrent has a pretty firm and sporty ride. It will be one of the two an SSE 98-99 Bonneville or hardtop/t-top 00-02 Firebird V6. I bleed Pontiac. Still I like Chevrolet alot along with Cadillac.

EDIT are they that bad in snow? I don't let my son drive alot in snow if it is that bad and do cut back in the winter. Aka I parked the SLE and used the Impala and Torrent more. I could do the same with 'Bird I suppose, but even with some weight and good tires in a little snow or winter weather are they that bad? Plus are streets get cleared really well in my area but use lots of salt. I have to fight it to keep from getting the best of the bodies on my cars. I wash them underneath along and wax them alot. Anyone know the weight distribution is it close to 50/50?

Edited by gm4life
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Having spent some quality time in 4th gen F-bods, I wholeheartedly endorse this plan of action!

BTW: LS1 F-bods have been known to get 30mpg or better. :AH-HA_wink:

Oh, and they have a live rear axle, but you wouldn't know it as they handle great. And yes, they could be had with dual exhaust in V6 trim

As far as I'm concerned, these cars are a screaming bargain right now.

...yes, they are. I am beginning to think the 98-2002 LS1 cars are the best Camaros and firebirds ever built. And yes, they do handle just wonderfully...GM really did their homework with these cars.

Chris :convertible:

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I like the car not the color I would want white, silver, pewter, bright red, black blue, green anything but maroon I already have one Cranberry SLE. Also no V8, I read a C&D review of the Camaro with a V6 an automatic they go to sixty in 7.5 seconds plenty fast for me.

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I don't have the issue anymore but I do recall a Mustang V6 vs. Camaro V6 comparo back in 98 or 99 anyone have the article and care to scan it? Anyone else have anything on the 98-02 Firebirds and Camaro please post it I would love to read it. My car mags only date back to 04 my wife made me get rid of them. I am not doing that anymore. :rolleyes::(

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