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Hi guys,

I'm from the UK and would love to own a C4 'vette, they tick all the boxes for me. However they are quite rare; there are currently only 5 on eBay and 7 on Autotrader, so I need to know what to look out for and what to avoid.

I rate reliability before performance as parts will be quite expensive to ship from the states. I will look into the performance once it's up and running with no issues!

My budget will allow for an L98 or early LT1 model, are there any prominent reliability issues with either engine? Also, I would prefer a manual transmission - is this a wise idea or is it best to stick to an automatic?

Apart from general car issues, what are the most common C4 'vette problems to look out for? I've heard people say the digital dashes often need replacing and the pop-up lights can fail, are there any other major common faults I should be aware of?

I would import one myself from the USA but would end up paying extra charges such as shipping, insurance, tax etc. which I currently don't have enough budget for.

Many thanks in advance,
Benji
 

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Hey Benji, Where in the UK are you? I'm an American living in the UK for 20 years. I work in Cambridgeshire, but live in Yorkshire. I bought my '86 new and brought it to the UK with me in 1990. I'm not a huge fan of the OptiSpark Distributor on the LT-X motors. Especially the early non-vented. Maybe I'm biased.:D I'm a manual ragtop guy, so my personal preference is the manual trans. I have the 4+3 in mine, but the ZF in the '89-'96 is very good too. On my 4+3, I've always kept my OD well maintained and have never had a problem with it and the Super T10 portion is known to be pretty stout. I rebuilt several early C4 digidashes for UK Corvette owners, so I wouldn't worry too much about that if you go with an '84-'89.

The big problem I find on C4s brought to me here in the UK is electrics. Brits are fascinated by wires! If the car runs out of gas, they start hacking up the wiring. As a result you see many cars that are almost impossible to troubleshoot, due to the wiring abortions done by previous owners/mechanics. With the age of these cars, untouched wiring can have problems, it doesn't need to be compounded by incompetence, but I certainly see a lot of it.

Are you aware of the Classic Corvette Club UK? There may be a Regional Rep near you that can put you in contact with C4 owners that could look at a car for you or maybe even go with you the check out a car. Feel free to PM me.
 

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You're on the right track, do your research, and then take your time while searching for the right...... It took me 6 months before I found my Vette.
 

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Welcome to DC!

I have owned two C4's ('84 and '88) and loved them. I even liked the digital dash, along with the center fuel filler access, high driver sill and the pop up hatch. Car looks great with the targa top removed.

Obviously, best to buy the latest model C4 you can afford. Good luck with your shopping!

Just curious, are pop up headlights legal on new models in your part of the world?
 

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...Brits are fascinated by wires! If the car runs out of gas, they start hacking up the wiring. As a result you see many cars that are almost impossible to troubleshoot, due to the wiring abortions done by previous owners/mechanics...
So that explains the Lucas wiring harness.
 
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