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Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Old 02-13-2012, 06:32 PM
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Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Ok, I am looking to buy a nice used Z28 ragtop of the years listed above.

I have always loved the Camaros, and since I cannot afford a brand new SS ragtop, figured I'd go with a nice used one.

The ones I am looking at have sticks and are all under 50K miles. Is there anything I general that I should really look out for with these cars? I am an old motorhead and know my way around a car, just point me to the direction to look for.

I have found a nice '00 with 48K miles, a nice '01 with 35k miles and a pristine '02 with 9950 miles.

Any advice would be appreciated...thanks!!
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:39 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Generally 4th gen convertibles are mechanically similar to the hard tops, so for info about the power train, check out the LS1 forum.

Specific to the convertibles, pay close attention to the condition of the top. Check the condition of the seals around the windows. Make sure the top goes up and down smoothly and aligns properly at the windshield. Check the rear window and make sure it is firmly attached to the rear curtain and that you don't see any signs of deterioration to the glue that joins them. If the cars have been driven much with the tops down, after 10 years, there will be interior fade especially on the tops of the seat backs.
Structurally Convertibles are a little different. They aren't as stiff and flex more over bumps in the road. Obviously make sure the car is straight. You should test drive one on a bumpy road to see how much more it shakes and flexes.

I have an older (94) z28 convertible and it's still running strong with over 160,xxx on the clock. Like me, it isn't as young as when I bought it nearly a decade ago.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:15 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

I've owned my 2002 SS vert since it was new.
I've replaced the top once, (it has 122,000 on it now) depending on where you live, the cars in your area may be fine, however the AZ sun did mine no favors.
They tend to lack some of the structural integrity of their hard top sisters and if the car you're looking at doesn't have good SFC's I recommend adding a set.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:12 AM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Thanks for the advice.

One question, I see the air induction scoops on some but not all of the Z28s....also some have SS badging, but are Z28's? Are the air scoops and SS badging indicative of the SS motor, that is the 340 hp motor?

What's the option differences between the two?
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:16 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Originally Posted by theragtopguy View Post
Thanks for the advice.

One question, I see the air induction scoops on some but not all of the Z28s....also some have SS badging, but are Z28's? Are the air scoops and SS badging indicative of the SS motor, that is the 340 hp motor?

What's the option differences between the two?
All 4th gen SS cars are Z28 cars ith the SS option.
The engine is the same LS1 in either case
IIRC there was claimed increeased HP with the SS package increase due to the air induction hood. The SS also came with a different rear spoiler.

Ordering the SS package also opened up other options from SLP such as Bilstine suspension and differnt exhaust options.

If it's baged a Z28 but has a hood scoop it's not the original hood.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:44 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

I have pretty much zeroed in on either the '01 with 35K miles or the '02 with 9500 miles. Just waiting for my financing to go through before I make the final decision.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:22 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

01's and 02's have the LS6 intake manifold so I'd stay with those.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:30 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Originally Posted by 94arcticwhiteM6 View Post
01's and 02's have the LS6 intake manifold so I'd stay with those.
What is the advantage to having the LS6 intake manifold?
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:53 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Mo powa!

F.A.S.T intake is even better, but expensive.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:04 AM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

All SS's are Z28's- not all Z28's are SS's- another level of options- 17" wheels, hood scoop and higher spoiler. Could have other SS's options, too- better shocks, exhaust, floor mats. More collectible, and more expensive.

+1 on the sub-frame connectors. The F-bodies were sort of flexy to begin with, and the convertible top made it eve worse. Nice car, lots of performance for the price. In the "01-'02, the fact that it has the LS6 intake also meant no EGR from the factory. A plus, I guess. They used a truck cam with more overlap.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:21 AM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Originally Posted by MarcR94v6 View Post
Mo powa!

F.A.S.T intake is even better, but expensive.
How many more horsies with the LS6 intake over the LS1?
How many more horsies with the F.A.S.T. intake over the LS1?
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:15 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Originally Posted by 6spdpewterZ View Post
How many more horsies with the LS6 intake over the LS1?
How many more horsies with the F.A.S.T. intake over the LS1?
I'm not sure, I don't have an LS1 yet so I haven't been in the ls1 game, too busy making excuses for my lemon of an LT1. I'm late to the party, every time. Maybe in 15 years I can get into an LS3 and it'll be brand new to me!

From what I've read, I think LS6 is maybe 10-15hp over the LS1 intake and FAST is 20+, they claim. For the price I wouldn't get a FAST intake unless you're doing a lot more upgrading, such as heads. That's where the FAST intake really shines, as it flows so well the more you mod it, it won't be choking any power from the motor. On the other hand if you won't be modding very much it's a waste of flow potential and money. But that's just my opinion, might want to research for yourself as well.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:18 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

Lots of very interesting stuff in this thread. I put money down on the '01 Z-28 will be picking it up in a couple of days. So this one has the 310hp LS1 engine in it then....no SS package or hood. Hooked up to a 6-speed, I really can't wait to get a hold of this machine, I've been driving an '06 Magnum for a few years with the 3.5 V6, no slouch but a boat anchor compared to the LS1 I'm sure.

Best thing is, this baby only has 36k on it, barely broken in for a smallblock.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:22 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

I have been looking for a 1998 and up TA or Z28 rag as well. I find they are mostly all autos. I want a 6 speed or forget about it....
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:24 PM
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Re: Looking at '00-'02 Z28 Ragtops

I think you will like the LS1- GM probably under-rated them in the F-body- same block, intake, cam and heads was rated at 345 HP in the 'Vette. They respond really well to basic simple mods, the stock airbox can be easily upgraded- one of the items that came on some of the SLP cars, a "lid" The stock exhaust manifolds were pretty good, so much so that it isn't worth bothering with shorty headers (something that helped my LT1 a great deal)- the stock muffler is quiet, and I think the stock exhaust was a single 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 inch "I" pipe, plenty of the aftermarket ones are 3", change that and the stock "Y" pipe and the whole engine breathes better.

Welcome to the F-body community. Lots of enthusiasts, and lots of good ideas and info out there- just ask!

WW
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