first gen red flags? - First Generation Forum

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first gen red flags?
Sunday, August 16, 2015 1:16 PM
there are currently two cavs for sale near me. both are in great condition so i'm trying to decide between an 84 type 10 and an 89 z24, both convertibles. are there any common major problems with the 1st gens or any red flags i should check for on the 84 before i make my decision?

my other car is a truck

Re: first gen red flags?
Sunday, August 16, 2015 2:40 PM
Glad to see someone new interested in the cars we love around here.

Hoping you get them both!

But when you think about it, you really came to the wrong place to ask about red flags...these cars are 30 years old and we love them, so nobody here would think there are red flags with these cars at all.

No matter what type of car you name, there will always be those "yeah, these cars do that" type of things going on. Look at the entire car carefully just as you would any other car you would buy, maybe even more carefully because of the age. Check everywhere for any rusting problems, being convertibles maybe take it through a car wash to find any leaks in the roof, and most of all, enjoy the ride!

Whichever one you decide, this is a great place to be for any help/parts you may need.

Looking forward to seeing more of you around here, and most of all, post some pics when you get the car(s) home!
Re: first gen red flags?
Sunday, August 16, 2015 2:55 PM
thanks wayne. i live in the midwest and have an obsession with old chevys (exclusively trucks until now) so i've gotten good at finding hidden rot... i'm just curious what the most common points of failure are so i know where to check. it is easy to crawl under an old blazer to check the condition of the frame and find all the holes in the floors that sellers hoped i wouldn't notice. i expect it will be a bit trickier to fully inspect a little cav. i'm also trying to determine what should be the deciding factor between and first and second gen. cosmetically both are beautiful in their own ways but i always find myself drawn to square bodies so in my head the 84 is winning but after everything i've read in the past two days it might be hard to pass up on a z24 in good condition. i'm hoping someone here will say something along the lines of, "if you see this problem run!!!" or "the x gen is definitely more reliable." and make the decision easy for me! i guess having two nice Js to choose from is a good problem to have so i shouldn't complain. hopefully i'll make a decision by the end of the week and have some pics up next weekend.

my other car is a truck
Re: first gen red flags?
Sunday, August 16, 2015 4:08 PM
There's really no real "if you see this run " thing with these other than rust that should be obvious.

2nd generation of the Jbody were simply a cosmetic upgrade of front and rear plus the dashboard. Newer safety features as ABS, and OBD II came about as well. Buick, Olds and Caddy didn't get upgrades.

My personal feeling is if you like the body kit and interior better on the Z, get that; otherwise get the boxy one. I like the looks of both for different reasons.
Re: first gen red flags?
Sunday, August 16, 2015 9:05 PM
Tired I am long 12hr day drvg.However I come on here to chill out relax.Both models and gens are very solid and each version has it own character.Both are obd1 as obd 2 was in the nineties.I would just do a good visual check of the car.I would go over the body checking the doors for sag,any body rust or dents,pop the trunk for leaks or seal,and clearly the engine bay for gas smell,worn hoses,greasy mess.I would def check with a 1 push on the front end each side left to right and same for the rear for the struts and shocks.Look at the exhaust system front to rear.I would def check the door outer window belts OR sweeps for cracking or missing rubber as water goes down into the door and quarter windows on verts.IF you have a obd 1 reader check for any codes.I could write a novel on 100 things to look for but these are some simple general 15-20 min checks with out driving the car.I will not sway you one way or the the other on year model just take a good 30 minutes and look it over inside and out and decide which of the two require less work or cost and determine which design you like.I will say the 84 probably is a 4 cyl and easy where as the 89 a v6 has more involved fuel system setup and less space to work around in.Both are good choices it really come's down to what body style you like better,and the difference in condition and price between the two.I hope this is short enuff to not make you go to sleep but see the overall picture when choosing.I am just not dialed in tonight and hope this give's some general insight.

Re: first gen red flags?
Monday, August 17, 2015 4:01 AM
Welcome aboard F!

My 2 cents worth......

Always - condition,condition, condition! Look everywhere for rust and dents since both are up in the years. Bodywork COSTS!!

Drive both and compare overall condition between the 2. Repair histories of the 2? Receipts?

Just for info - the 84 will have a traditional cable driven speed in the dash, uncomplicated 4 cylinder with cast iron head and block and distributor.

The 89 probably has the troublesome digi-dash that are getting hard to find. Also aluminum heads (2 vs. 1 on a 4cyl.) and cast iron block with distributorless ignition.

Hope you can get some photos and share when you check them out!


Re: first gen red flags?
Monday, August 17, 2015 2:31 PM
Pretty much follow the rest of the responses here. These cars usually will just fail due to poor maintenance. Orlen has a lot of good info on the differences. If it were me I would go with the V6 vert if both were equal on condition. A 5 speed is always a plus.

Re: first gen red flags?
Monday, August 17, 2015 9:36 PM
did i mention the 84 is being sold by a dealership?

which is more likely:
every used car (especially older models) was owned by a nice older gentleman/lady who kept it in a garage and only drove it to the grocery store and church on sunday?
it was bought by someone with more money than sense who buys new cars every two years, trashes them, and then trades for another new one; then sold to a family looking for low mileage used car who used it for nothing but in-town start and stop driving (including teaching their teenagers to drive) while the little ones peed on the backseat; and then sold to a kid as his first car so it could be beat on for a few more years before sitting neglected in someones yard (concrete blocks optional) and then taking a quick trip through maaco for a bit of paint and getting a $20 "detail" before being traded to a dealership who then sold it at auction because they knew they couldn't make any real money off it?

[apologies for the run-on sentence... i get like this sometimes. get used to it.]

on a completely unrelated note i'm going to look at the 89 z24 tomorrow (unless the seller's availability changes). he actually dropped the price today just a few hours before i went to look at the 84. the first gen isn't in awful shape, but is certainly isn't as impressive as the pictures would lead you to believe either. i also love the way car salesman talk "to each other" about how nice that car you're looking at is.

my other car is a truck
Re: first gen red flags?
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 11:35 AM
I've seen both cases F.....

Here is a couple of shots of a local wagon owed by one of those "older gentlemen" that definitely just don't give a damn.......

There are 2 more - 1st gens I don't have photos of driven by old farts here - one is a type 10 coupe with a dint in the rear quarter big as a house, another is a type 10 hatch full of rust on top and the guy hit that one with a couple of dollar store rattle cans - didn't even clean up the surface first either. A lot of people just drive these cars because they are cheap and don't care just as long as it moves. Seriously, young or old - either they care about their transportation or they don't.

Most , however are definitely not J-Body nuts like myself.....


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