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eanhl2004 11-18-2013 12:05 PM

Opinion/Thoughts/Shops on 97 problems
I have a 1997 Camaro Z28 Convertible

Problems are:
Engine leaks oil..not sure where from...valve covers or perhaps a little bit lower maybe other places..
Engine got dirty from oil change place messing with K&N filter and not putting it on correctly.. sent codes..
Ran out of gas twice.. Gas Gauges on these suck.. 1/4 is probably more like 1/16th. it goes fast the lower it gets...takes awhile to get off of full though.
Has slight hesitation/surge
Hard to start when around 1/4 tank or less, starts right up with full tank.
I kill the brakes/rotors with hard stops from high speeds
Optispark.. I hate them.. had waterpump replaced along with optispark/plugs wires... the guy didn't bleed the air out fully and not sure if some fluid went into the opti when bleeding the air out myself..etc
Top has had issues some nuts were lose and a guy tightened them which then caused it to bind. seems to be okay now but who knows... shop that fixed it said he's never seen a top need that done before?
Tranny- ran over dead animal got code, took to shop got it fixed.. never really been right since but took it back twice already...
Windows Leak.. probably can replace the weather seals and stop it??
Driver's side door PITA.. replaced the motor.. lost a super small screw...think it may have fallen into the gears of the motor.. a year after the window fell off the track seems to be not going up evenly although it was originally when I first installed the new motor... dealer fixed the window and it fell back off or broke less than 5 months later.. moved way across the U.S. not worth taking it back to them!
Broke tranny mount racing an old corvette.. nearly lost the driveshaft..probably from that as well..

I'm NOT a mechanic... my question is this.. what should I do? I don't want to keep taking it in to get various problems fixed. If I fix this car I want to get it all done. Motor, Tranny, Racing Brakes/Rotors, maybe new suspension, not sure about the stock engine (optispark) gas mileage. The stock engine with the K&N filter really has plenty of power for me.. I don't really need a power beast.. but I wouldn't mind getting more power if I am going to spend money on a new engine/tranny etc. Are there other engines I can put in here that are fairly easy for most shops to do.

So here are a few options..
rebuild stock engine/tranny.. new everything else
New stock engine/tranny... new everything else
New 'crate' motor or some alternative and new tranny... new everything else
New Corvette Stingray Convertible and a wallet with no money left over
and of course any other suggestions.

One exclusion is no New Camaro Convertible.. I just don't like the boxy look of the convertible, I like the hardtop's but not the convertible.. so buying a new camaro convertible is not an option.

I live in Arlington, TEXAS now.. if you know of any shops to recommend in the DFW area by all means suggest them...

any ideas/suggestions... estimates on cost (labor/shop inc)???

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