'96 T-Bird Or '90 Cavalier z24?

Beamer

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Not too long ago I bought a '90 Cavalier z24 w/ the 3.1L v6, 5-speed manual. It needs a bit of work: Fix a dent in the passenger front fender and lil' dents here and there around the rest of the car. Headlights are all screwed up, highbeams more like low beams because its not aligned(not hard to fix). Needs tires, clutch may be going or just needs tranny fluid change. Check engine light is one, throwing code #12. Car has 187,xxx miles on it, probably a good tune-up needed(plugs, wires, oil change, some sensors). Exhaust may either need replacing or just be rehung(falling down). Needs paint!

Last night I went to start it to move it and it stalled twice, would not start for a minute, than stalls when I go to apply gas. Finally started and than hesitates like its about to stall but finally revs up when applying gas.

So anyway, I love z24's but I got thinking maybe its not worth the work. My dad got a '96 T-Bird 3.8L v6 w/ 164,xxx miles and it needs a tranny(we have one) and a couple of other things and than its pretty much good to go(tune-up probably just to be good). I like T-birds(v8s anyway) of this style but know nothing about them but I got thinking maybe I should sell the z24 and buy the 'bird off of dad since he plans to sell it anyway. Just want some opinions if anyone has any knowledge of these cars.
 

Willow9238

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you've got to watch out for the head gaskets at 100,000 miles. see if they were changed, if they weren't, change them. they can be nice cars. Look on www.tccoa.com. Really good forum for the vehicle. I had one. loved the car. Hated to give it up.
 

jbird97

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by 96 the headgaskets werent that much of an issue anymore, though it still could happen.
 

Frat-man-du

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Yeah the bad head gasket issue was resolved by the the early 90's I did my fare share of those gaskets - not that bad a job.

I have a preference for the 'Birds I have had several over the years and never really had an issue beyond the mid 80's 3.8l head gaskets. Not as smooth as the Marks but really close.
 

toomanyfumes

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I've got a '95 Bird with the V-8 and about 75000 miles. Trannys and head gaskets, which you already know, are weak spots.

They are cool cars, but that is a lot of miles. I just bought an LS, and will be sellling mine, even though I don't want to.
 

96hotrodlincoln

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Buy the bird, drop a 4.6L in her, the miles are kind of high and the head gaskets were the biggest problem but I had a 90 cougar with the 3.8L and I loved that car. But that was short lived once I drove my first Mark VIII. I dropped that car like a bad habit, it had seen it's fair share of rough times though. It was time to say goodbye. It finally gave up I guess about a couple months ago. The head gaskets blew again but I think it had almost 200k on the odometer and the guy that I sold it to was a hell of a lot rougher on her than I was.
 

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