I may be looking at doing a trade for a '80 Vette and was wondering about some of the common concerns with them. This one in particular has had the intake and carb removed, so I'll have no idea of what kind of shape the drivetrain is in. Body and interior looks in decent shape, but pictures are pictures. The car is 3 hrs away, so I am trying to do some homework ahead of time
I can tell you there are a few things to look out for. Really go under the car and check out the frame from front to back. Check for cracks that have been welded. If it's been abused, you can tell. As stated already, check out the rear suspension. Trailing arm bushings and bearings can be a problem. The front suspension is just like any other Chevy, easy and cheap to work on. Another thing that's problematic on these cars is the birdcage (the frame around the windshield). They tend to leak and get rusty. As far as the engine goes, you'll probably want to replace the anemic L48 anyway. I put a 383 stroker in mine and never looked back.
"The road of life should be a two-track"
Yea I'm already just assuming the motor is junk. If I throw a carb and intake on it, and it runs, thats just a bonus. Thanks for the tips on the rear end. I keep a lookout for that. Are these cars body on frame, or unibody?
A friend of mine had a 78 L48 and it was a turd, even with a blue printed and fresh rebuild, I had a Dart with a not so special 340 and it would run circles around that vette. I helped him rebuild the rear end and suspension, I think the rear diff was a Dana, smaller than a D44. The car was full of rattles, t-tops leaked even with all new seals, headlamp doors seemed problematic but overall.
Here's an interesting tidbit about performance vehicles in those years. The fastest american production vehicle in '78 was not the L82 vette, 6.6 T/A or Z28. It was a Dodge Truck, the Little Red Express.
Thanks for the tips, guys. I'm going to look at the car Sunday, so we'll see what happens. Deffinatly going to bring a jack to get up under it. Hopefully, being an NC car, rust wont be too bad of an issue. Does anyone know if the L48s or L82s are 4 bolt mains?