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Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Old 04-13-2019, 07:37 PM
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Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

So a friend contacted me about this car. His friend wanted to get it as a flip. The original owner parked it in his barn for 25 years. The current seller said that although the paint looks good in the pics, it's actually trashed. Those 25 years in the barn were spent covered in bird poop and the paint is etched. It also spent a lot of time on gravel roads with all the related stone chips that would entail. And...the rear spoiler is cracked.

I told my friend that there's probably not enough meat on the bone for a flip, considering it's issues and L03 and $7500 asking price. The guy selling it told me he does a lot of flipping himself. With that said, I think it's a cool car. Actually, really cool. Would be even cooler with an '83-'84 functional hood scoop guts.

What do you guys think?



https://lasalle.craigslist.org/cto/d...860050982.html

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Old 04-13-2019, 07:50 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

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Old 04-13-2019, 08:25 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Hard pass. Look at the door/fender gap. 170hp doesn't even begin to earn the honor of those door call-outs. Stolen valor garbage.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:02 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Yeah that is a pretty big fender gap. Maybe somebody jacked it up under the fender.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:34 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
Yeah that is a pretty big fender gap. Maybe somebody jacked it up under the fender.
haha "Maybe"
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:54 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

I drove a 5 speed L03 '89 IROC a few years ago, and it was fun to drive. I week or two before, I drove an L03 auto RS and it wasn't fun at all, running out of steam at around 3500 RPM or so. Beyond the obvious 5 speed vs auto, discussions here on TGO blamed it on the ignition control module. Apparently GM used two. A good one, (presumably in the IROC) and a power limiting one which retarded timing above 3500 RPM, (presumably in the RS).

I think this car could be a fun driver. And really, that's what matters to me. Making the hood scoop functional is definitely tempting. I've got an N10 sitting at 1MeanZ's house, add 2.25" exhaust manifolds and a 2.75" intermediate pipe and you've got something.

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Old 04-14-2019, 10:56 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
I drove a 5 speed L03 '89 IROC a few years ago, and it was fun to drive. I week or two before, I drove an L03 auto RS and it wasn't fun at all, running out of steam at around 3500 RPM or so. Discussions here on TGO blamed it on the ignition control module. Apparently GM used two. A good one, (presumably in the IROC) and a power limiting one which retarded timing above 3500 RPM.

I think this car could be a fun driver. And really, that's what matters to me. Making the hood scoop functional is definitely tempting. I've got an N10 sitting at 1MeanZ's house, add 2.25" exhaust manifolds and a 2'75" intermediate pipe and you've got something.
Would be an awesome driver. Price is too high IMO for the body issues it has though.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:01 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by WildCard600 View Post
Would be an awesome driver. Price is too high IMO for the body issues it has though.
Definitely. 5-6K is more like it.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:29 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
Definitely. 5-6K is more like it.

You could probably come out ok if you were...say.....a painter at a body shop lol. You could paint it yourself and probably have a grand in materials. Depending on the condition, a guy could maybe even get away with just reclearing the car and only blending in color in certain areas
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:48 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by dagwood View Post
You could probably come out ok if you were...say.....a painter at a body shop lol. You could paint it yourself and probably have a grand in materials. Depending on the condition, a guy could maybe even get away with just reclearing the car and only blending in color in certain areas
IF. Anyway, lets say I were to buy this car, I wouldn't bother with a repaint. I've asked the seller for engine pics twice and he still hasn't responded. Either he's super busy/lazy or the underhood area is scary looking.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:03 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
IF. Anyway, lets say I were to buy this car, I wouldn't bother with a repaint. I've asked the seller for engine pics twice and he still hasn't responded. Either he's super busy/lazy or the underhood area is scary looking.
Probably still trying to knock out the rat/squirrel/raccoon/angry beaver nests out after sitting in a barn for so long.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:04 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by WildCard600 View Post
Probably still trying to knock out the rat/squirrel/raccoon/angry beaver nests out after sitting in a barn for so long.
He said his son has been driving it for 2 years.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:17 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
He said his son has been driving it for 2 years.
Ahhh...

Probably just lazy. When I was shopping for my trans am it took FOREVER to get any additional pictures/info on most of the ones I was looking at. It was like the sellers just wanted someone to throw cash at them sight unseen.
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:56 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by WildCard600 View Post
Ahhh...

Probably just lazy. When I was shopping for my trans am it took FOREVER to get any additional pictures/info on most of the ones I was looking at. It was like the sellers just wanted someone to throw cash at them sight unseen.
I'll tell you something, when I sell a car, I answer every question, give every detail, good and bad and send any and all pics requested ASAP. I just don't get how some folks try to sell their cars.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:10 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by dagwood View Post
You could probably come out ok if you were...say.....a painter at a body shop lol. You could paint it yourself and probably have a grand in materials. Depending on the condition, a guy could maybe even get away with just reclearing the car and only blending in color in certain areas
Maybe.. but then a $700 wing, maybe a few hard to find ground effects.. gets freaking expensive ask me how I know. This car would only interest me at 3k range. I imagine a lot of underlying problems.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:34 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

You guys are so squeamish! Grow a pair!

1. I put over 20k miles on a 91 Trans Am that I originally bought to use as a parts car. Only reason the car went away was because it got crushed by a tree in a storm.
2. I completely rehabilitated an 88 IROC that has been sitting for 7 years and modified by a complete bone head. Drove the wheels off the car and sold it because I didn't need 3 third gens all built the same way. (it had a Super Ram on a 355 with aluminum heads and I swapped a T5 in. I also swapped in a rebuilt 3.73 PBR disc rear axle) It's the black car in my sig pic.
3. I'm in the process of finishing the rehab of another 88 IROC that I bought out of a guys back yard where it had sat for 3 years. I drove this car daily last summer with the original L03/T5, and plan to this summer as well with the new L05 and rebuilt T5. (will be getting a posi/PBR disc rear axle in a few weeks)

Everybody around here wants these cars saved, WELL THEN SAVE ONE! Stop complaining about every little thing wrong, and stop low balling cars that aren't flawless. The bulk majority of thirdgens left out there are in this condition. Adopt one and save it. An L03/T5 car is by far the cheapest and simplest thirdgen to repair there is. L03s will go forever if they are maintained, T5s aren't too expensive to rebuild and you can limp one along and drive it anyway even if it does need rebuilt.

I'm done hearing from all the purists on this site that want these cars saved, but then get all limp wristed when they might have to make a few repairs or invest some money.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:40 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
I'll tell you something, when I sell a car, I answer every question, give every detail, good and bad and send any and all pics requested ASAP. I just don't get how some folks try to sell their cars.
Exactly.. I have friends that are bad at selling things and claim Craigslist, Facebook, EBay donít work..

No, you need good pictures, be totally upfront about the condition, and price the thing fair, but high enough to negotiate because some people wonít buy unless you knock something off.. Also what Chaz said, the quicker you get back to people the quicker you sell. Be nice to the guys who lowball you too because sometimes theyíll come back with a higher bid.

So anyway, how many miles on this thing? The paint doesnít look dead at all, but I guess youíd have to see the hood and roof to see the damage.. Iím sure the paint could be improved unless itís all faded, cracked, and peeling on the hood and roof

Ive never seen an L03 Formula.. Iíd bet it would be fun to drive.. Is the interior good at least?

If itís not a car youíd keep it doesnít make sense to paint it and if itís really beat up looking in person will you enjoy driving it? It doesnít seem cheap enough and desireable enough engine-wise to flip..
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:44 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
You guys are so squeamish! Grow a pair!

1. I put over 20k miles on a 91 Trans Am that I originally bought to use as a parts car. Only reason the car went away was because it got crushed by a tree in a storm.
2. I completely rehabilitated an 88 IROC that has been sitting for 7 years and modified by a complete bone head. Drove the wheels off the car and sold it because I didn't need 3 third gens all built the same way. (it had a Super Ram on a 355 with aluminum heads and I swapped a T5 in. I also swapped in a rebuilt 3.73 PBR disc rear axle) It's the black car in my sig pic.
3. I'm in the process of finishing the rehab of another 88 IROC that I bought out of a guys back yard where it had sat for 3 years. I drove this car daily last summer with the original L03/T5, and plan to this summer as well with the new L05 and rebuilt T5. (will be getting a posi/PBR disc rear axle in a few weeks)

Everybody around here wants these cars saved, WELL THEN SAVE ONE! Stop complaining about every little thing wrong, and stop low balling cars that aren't flawless. The bulk majority of thirdgens left out there are in this condition. Adopt one and save it. An L03/T5 car is by far the cheapest and simplest thirdgen to repair there is. L03s will go forever if they are maintained, T5s aren't too expensive to rebuild and you can limp one along and drive it anyway even if it does need rebuilt.

I'm done hearing from all the purists on this site that want these cars saved, but then get all limp wristed when they might have to make a few repairs or invest some money.
I don't think it's being squeamish. 7.5k for the car in the OP simply isn't a good deal considering the problems it has.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:07 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
You guys are so squeamish! Grow a pair!

1. I put over 20k miles on a 91 Trans Am that I originally bought to use as a parts car. Only reason the car went away was because it got crushed by a tree in a storm.
2. I completely rehabilitated an 88 IROC that has been sitting for 7 years and modified by a complete bone head. Drove the wheels off the car and sold it because I didn't need 3 third gens all built the same way. (it had a Super Ram on a 355 with aluminum heads and I swapped a T5 in. I also swapped in a rebuilt 3.73 PBR disc rear axle) It's the black car in my sig pic.
3. I'm in the process of finishing the rehab of another 88 IROC that I bought out of a guys back yard where it had sat for 3 years. I drove this car daily last summer with the original L03/T5, and plan to this summer as well with the new L05 and rebuilt T5. (will be getting a posi/PBR disc rear axle in a few weeks)

Everybody around here wants these cars saved, WELL THEN SAVE ONE! Stop complaining about every little thing wrong, and stop low balling cars that aren't flawless. The bulk majority of thirdgens left out there are in this condition. Adopt one and save it. An L03/T5 car is by far the cheapest and simplest thirdgen to repair there is. L03s will go forever if they are maintained, T5s aren't too expensive to rebuild and you can limp one along and drive it anyway even if it does need rebuilt.

I'm done hearing from all the purists on this site that want these cars saved, but then get all limp wristed when they might have to make a few repairs or invest some money.
I totally agree with your sentiment, Jeremy. But keep in mind, your mechanical abilities FAR exceed most folk's. You definitely saved the gray '88 for example, and I am glad you did,but it's because it ended up in your hands.

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Old 04-15-2019, 10:08 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by WildCard600 View Post
I don't think it's being squeamish. 7.5k for the car in the OP simply isn't a good deal considering the problems it has.
Yeah, that's the thing. I am a bit smitten by this car, but not so smitten to overpay.

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Old 04-15-2019, 10:33 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by WildCard600 View Post
I don't think it's being squeamish. 7.5k for the car in the OP simply isn't a good deal considering the problems it has.
The problems you ASSUME it has, no one has seen any under hood, or undercarriage shots yet, nor has anyone seen it in person. Just feels like people are too quick to not give an imperfect car a chance from the comfort of their desk chair. Everyone focuses on the bad and not on the good. Truth be told, I'm probably one of the very few around here that still lives in a thirdgen daily in spring/summer/fall, therefore I'm used to dealing with all the issues these cars have and it's not a big deal. Most others have transitioned into modern cars and the thought of running a project thirdgen as a daily is not something they are comfortable with. I realize that my perspective may be a bit skewed compared to others. This is also not the part of the forum where people are running stuff every day. This is the part of the forum where the 0 mile creampuff collectors hang out and that aint me LOL.

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
Yeah, that's the thing. I am a bit smitten by this car, but no so smitten to overpay.
I do agree that $7500 is too much for the car. I'd be more comfortable with $5k depending on what it's really like in person. And in the interest of full disclosure, I've never paid much for any of my orphans either. The 91 TA I got for $900, had $3500 in when it got crushed, parted it out and broke even. The black 88 IROC I got for free but it was a disaster, I had $5000 in it and sold it for $7000. Rusty, the grey 88 IROC I got for $2400, probably have $3k in it as it sits because it's been the repository for all the old used stuff I have laying around LOL.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:48 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Cars I can save: Cars which need light mechanical work, TLC and cosmetic refurbishment.

Cars 1MeanZ can save: Any abandoned or neglected, non running POS which most people would barely consider a parts car.

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Old 04-15-2019, 11:05 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
The problems you ASSUME it has, no one has seen any under hood, or undercarriage shots yet, nor has anyone seen it in person. Just feels like people are too quick to not give an imperfect car a chance from the comfort of their desk chair. Everyone focuses on the bad and not on the good. Truth be told, I'm probably one of the very few around here that still lives in a thirdgen daily in spring/summer/fall, therefore I'm used to dealing with all the issues these cars have and it's not a big deal. Most others have transitioned into modern cars and the thought of running a project thirdgen as a daily is not something they are comfortable with. I realize that my perspective may be a bit skewed compared to others. This is also not the part of the forum where people are running stuff every day. This is the part of the forum where the 0 mile creampuff collectors hang out and that aint me LOL.
Seller has admitted the paint is trashed, and that passenger fender certainly looks crunched. I'm not assuming anything other than those two things and those alone make it not worth 7.5k IMO.

I know all about rough 3rd gens. My trans am is certainly not a creampuff. It needs about 10k into it to get it "nice". The car in the OP is probably in better condition mechanically and interior wise than my car simply because of the mileage, but it's not $5k better to me.

I don't see anyone trashing the car, just pointing out the price is too high for what (it appears) you are getting. If the seller wanted to remove all doubt they need to stop sucking with the pictures and educate the potential buyers of what they are, or are not, actually looking at.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:13 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

It's worth whatever someone is willing to pay. I'm sure there is a buyer out there at $7500. What I have learned in my travels, is people slow to get back to you with info or pictures, don't really want to sell the item. I sold a C10 to a guy in Houston...sent him 75 pictures of every defect. Walked him through what I knew about the pickup, he wired me the money, we loaded it on a transport and called it a day.

Its a 5 speed Formy...I'd love to have a white one with tan or red interior. Or Maui Blue. It would be a fun car to drive everyday!
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

If I ever get engine bay pics, I'll post them here. But don't hold your breath.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:47 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Jeremy I'm all for fixing one up...if you get it cheap like 2-4k. 7k is not cheap to me for one with problems is all im saying. Thought I got a deal on mine @ 4500 and In hindsight I would have been better off to buy a nicer, better optioned 5sod LB9 or 350 car. I would be lucky to get my $ out of it. Good thing I don't care. If I could buy this For my for 3-3500 it would be one i could live with fixing. I'd hate to buy it for 7 and wind up with 10-11 in it is my argument.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:29 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
Everybody around here wants these cars saved, WELL THEN SAVE ONE!
I'm DOING IT MOM! Gawd!



I just don't much care for TBI cars. No offense intended but there are tuned port cars that need to be adopted. Not sure why I adopted a junk sixer, probably because it was damn near free, fell into my lap, and if I didn't bring it home it was definitely getting scrapped.

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Old 04-16-2019, 07:37 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by Drew View Post
I'm DOING IT MOM! Gawd!
Don't talk to your mother in that tone of voice. And clean you're room!
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:13 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by Drew View Post
I just don't much care for TBI cars. No offense intended but there are tuned port cars that need to be adopted.
I understand exactly what you mean, except my main beef is with automatic transmissions. TBI doesn't annoy me so much, I despise 700R4s. They absolutely ruin these cars.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:06 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
I understand exactly what you mean, except my main beef is with automatic transmissions. TBI doesn't annoy me so much, I despise 700R4s. They absolutely ruin these cars.
I'm with you Jeremy. Any car with a stick, perks up my interest. L03, LG4, L69, LB9, like them all - with a stick.

Last edited by chazman; 04-16-2019 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:22 PM
  #31  
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
I despise 700R4s. They absolutely ruin these cars.
This gentleman gets it.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:42 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

I dislike 700R4s but it's not like the T5 is much better. I'm not driving a thirdgen like there's a raw egg between my foot and the gas pedal or the clutch pedal. Cut a hole and switch some wiring to convert to a T56 or open a hole and switch some wiring to convert to a T56, Garbage In Garbage Out.

I've been mercilessly beating the 700R4 in my Formula since 1999, um... I mean I've been diligently nursing along the 700R4 in my Formula since 1991, and I haven't blown it up completely yet. I've destroyed a flexplate, I've lost Neutral (and got it back again), I've made it slip downshifting at 80mph... Idk, I've done some really rude things to 700R4s and had them survive. I'm afraid to talk dirty to a T5 for fear of retaliation.

Doesn't matter if a car is a TBI drivetrain witha T5 or a 3.1L, I'd be throwing 90% of the stuff in the garbage anyway... At least in the course of the project I'm currently working on. If I were paying more than $500 you can bet any car I bought would at least be a tuned port, and probably a 350 car. IDK, you got the glass jaw aspect of the T5 and the total trash boat anchor nature of the 305, especially the worst 305 ever conceived for performance... What's to like?
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:05 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

I didn't accuse the 700R4 of being weak, nor is theT5 as weak as people make it out to be, it's just not. I agree for a serious performance thirdgen you're throwing the stock engine and trans away anyway, but it's not always about performance, some folks don't need 500+hp.

Casting all the durability and power debates aside, the universal truth about the 700R4 is that it extinguishes 95% of the joy and engagement out of the driving process. THAT is my core issue. If you want a cruiser, buy an Impala or Monte Carlo. An automatic ruins the experience of driving a sporty car, and the 700R4s factory calibration just rubs salt in the wound. Saying you like driving sporty cars then admitting yours has an automatic trans is a mutually exclusive statement. It's like meeting a guy at the gas station that says "I love riding motorcycles" as he stands next to his Honda Goldwing converted to a trike.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:20 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
Casting all the durability and power debates aside, the universal truth about the 700R4 is that it extinguishes 95% of the joy and engagement out of the driving process. THAT is my core issue. If you want a cruiser, buy an Impala or Monte Carlo. An automatic ruins the experience of driving a sporty car, and the 700R4s factory calibration just rubs salt in the wound. Saying you like driving sporty cars then admitting yours has an automatic trans is a mutually exclusive statement. It's like meeting a guy at the gas station that says "I love riding motorcycles" as he stands next to his Honda Goldwing converted to a trike.
I couldn't agree with you less.

But to each his own.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:23 PM
  #35  
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
I didn't accuse the 700R4 of being weak, nor is theT5 as weak as people make it out to be, it's just not. I agree for a serious performance thirdgen you're throwing the stock engine and trans away anyway, but it's not always about performance, some folks don't need 500+hp.
I agree. Also the fact that compatible T56 stuff isn't just laying around on every street corner. I am willingly putting a T5 in my car because I can't stand the automatic and the T56 stuff I have found is priced like it is made of gold and has mystical panty dropping powers. The T5 will work for now.

Casting all the durability and power debates aside, the universal truth about the 700R4 is that it extinguishes 95% of the joy and engagement out of the driving process. THAT is my core issue. If you want a cruiser, buy an Impala or Monte Carlo. An automatic ruins the experience of driving a sporty car, and the 700R4s factory calibration just rubs salt in the wound. Saying you like driving sporty cars then admitting yours has an automatic trans is a mutually exclusive statement. It's like meeting a guy at the gas station that says "I love riding motorcycles" as he stands next to his Honda Goldwing converted to a trike.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:57 PM
  #36  
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by DynoDave43 View Post
I couldn't agree with you less.

But to each his own.
You can't disagree with me! This is the internet! ALL MUST CONFORM! I said it was a universal truth!
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:13 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
You can't disagree with me! This is the internet! ALL MUST CONFORM! I said it was a universal truth!
Damn. OK.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:38 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
I didn't accuse the 700R4 of being weak, nor is the T5 as weak as people make it out to be, it's just not.
But you do agree it's weak.

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
the universal truth about the 700R4 is that it extinguishes 95% of the joy and engagement out of the driving process.
I don't know Tim, there's no lack of joy and engagement when I give the Formula 1/4 throttle to get it moving, then roll into full throttle and the BFGs cry havok and let loose a roar of burning rubber until I let off. I would tend to think with a T5, I'd really have to 'settle down Beavis' out of fear of breaking something, and that would absolutely ruin the fun for me. I like the plausible deniability of the rolling burn out. You don't have to convince the officer that the 2000rpm clutch dump was an accident, no Sir, the tires they just blew themselves off and why, I don't even know what happened, I nearly turned deef and dumb when those tires, they started a spinning, I didn't know what to do!
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Old 04-17-2019, 01:22 PM
  #39  
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

As long as the tires are spinning, the T5 is safe. Watch that 2nd to 3rd gear shift!
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Old 04-17-2019, 01:28 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by Drew View Post
But you do agree it's weak.
Hah, I see what you're doing there. Weak compared to a T56 yah. So weak that you have to ruin the driving experience, no.

Here is my experience:

-My dad's 91 RS makes an honest 400hp and has 275mm tires on the back on 17x9.5 wheels and a 3.42 gear. I've on more than one occasion barked the tires on the 2-3 upshift in in his car which is supposed to be the big no-no. The car has 12x,xxx miles and its the original non-rebuilt trans, still works perfectly.
-My old black 88 IROC with a trick flow headed 355 and a super ram likely made at least 375hp. I re-built a T5 for that car (after the built 700R4 turned out to be junk SHOCKER!). I put a 3.73 gear in that car with the stock rims and tires and it would shred when you wanted it to. T5 held up just fine.
-My current 88 IROC is doing good to make 250hp out of its spare parts built L05, but it's got a 2.73 gear and 17x11s on back with 315s. It has a rebuilt by me T5. I dumped the clutch Monday night at 3000rpm and left 65ft of rubber to impress my neighbor. Trans is happy as a clam.

I have a few small tricks I do to make T5s a tad stronger, but my dad's car is taking the abuse and I haven't been in it yet. I say as long as you aren't constantly powershifting and or running drag slicks, I think a T5 will survive behind a mild small block, especially one that has more midrange or top end power like my dad's car with his LT4 hot cam. Would I put a T5 behind the 383 in my 3600lb GTA? Probably not, I'll admit that.




Originally Posted by Drew View Post
I don't know Tim, there's no lack of joy and engagement when I give the Formula 1/4 throttle to get it moving, then roll into full throttle and the BFGs cry havok and let loose a roar of burning rubber until I let off. I would tend to think with a T5, I'd really have to 'settle down Beavis' out of fear of breaking something, and that would absolutely ruin the fun for me. I like the plausible deniability of the rolling burn out. You don't have to convince the officer that the 2000rpm clutch dump was an accident, no Sir, the tires they just blew themselves off and why, I don't even know what happened, I nearly turned deef and dumb when those tires, they started a spinning, I didn't know what to do!
Have all the fun you want with your automatics, I think they are terrible. Besides we all know guys that drive manuals are more manly anyway.

I think the factory calibration sucks. Let me know now cool it is when it won't upshift into 4th gear at WOT, or when it won't down shift when you get on it to pass. Tell me how cool it is when you go to come off a corner and it either won't downshift, or it downshifts too late and blows the tires off and nearly puts you around. I'm a road race guy, I like performance handling, that's no place for a 700R4 unless you've got something with 400+hp, 7000rpm capability and a manual valve body on an autocross course.
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:47 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by 1MeanZ View Post
Have all the fun you want with your automatics, I think they are terrible.
I 100% agree with this, and keep in mind the thirdgen era was a time when all things being equal, manual transmission cars were quicker across all manufacturers. The fancy automated manuals and paddle shifters of today were slow-shifting slushboxes in the 80s and 90s that usually had 3 or 4 gears while the manuals had 4, 5, or even 6.

Now, for thirdgens, all things aren't equal - the automatic could get the superior L98, but are stock L98s really that much better in a straight line? The magazine clippings I have suggest it's not that big of a margin - a few tenths at best, mainly because the automatic is holding it back. For me, that's not worth sacrificing the manual transmission and clutch pedal for back road driving.

Originally Posted by chazman View Post
As long as the tires are spinning, the T5 is safe. Watch that 2nd to 3rd gear shift!
What about the 1-2? LB9 T5 B4C:

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Old 04-17-2019, 03:05 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by KMK454 View Post
I 100% agree with this, and keep in mind the thirdgen era was a time when all things being equal, manual transmission cars were quicker across all manufacturers. The fancy automated manuals and paddle shifters of today were slow-shifting slushboxes in the 80s and 90s that usually had 3 or 4 gears while the manuals had 4, 5, or even 6.

Now, for thirdgens, all things aren't equal - the automatic could get the superior L98, but are stock L98s really that much better in a straight line? The magazine clippings I have suggest it's not that big of a margin - a few tenths at best, mainly because the automatic is holding it back. For me, that's not worth sacrificing the manual transmission and clutch pedal for back road driving.



What about the 1-2? LB9 T5 B4C:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLw0g43HbFI
The 2-3 shift, especially missing 3rd is purported to be the T5 killer.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:06 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Back on topic, the guy never bothered to send me any engine pics, that's a turnoff and has made me lose interest.

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Old 04-17-2019, 03:29 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

I saw this car on craigslist too. It'd make a great daily driver. Manual transmissions really shrink these cars feel and make them fun to drive.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:32 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Actually looks pretty good in those pics. I've never seen "trashed" paint reflect every tree in the neighborhood, house and a truck 50 feet away. Must be some camera trickery there. Poor fender was no match for the floor jack though. Why isn't this car commanding at least 22-25K? I know, I could buy it, and put IROC-Z lettering on the doors and that would automatically increase the value by $15,000. Could be worth the gamble.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:52 PM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Originally Posted by kentuckyKITT View Post
Actually looks pretty good in those pics. I've never seen "trashed" paint reflect every tree in the neighborhood, house and a truck 50 feet away. Must be some camera trickery there. Poor fender was no match for the floor jack though. Why isn't this car commanding at least 22-25K? I know, I could buy it, and put IROC-Z lettering on the doors and that would automatically increase the value by $15,000. Could be worth the gamble.

If you don't remove the Formula decal, you'd have a 1 of 1 IROC-Z FORMULA.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:36 AM
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

Man, be careful, next month we'll have someone here trying to tell us how he read about the 1 of none Iroc Formula Z and just because we've never heard of how it was special ordered through the central order production office blah blah blah that we're just a bunch of jealous meanies!

Mehh... You know I hear how weak 7.5" 10-bolts are, and how awful 700R4s are, how the T5 is weak, etc etc etc and you know I've never grenaded a 10 bolt, or a T5, or twisted the frame of a Camaro with ttops and a 5.7 or all the other conventional hearsay tribulations of 80's fbodies. There's truth behind all of them, but it's also a bit overstated and oft repeated.
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:03 PM
  #48  
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Re: Barn Find, '90 Formula, L03, T5

My Formula was an automatic, and it was still fun to drive. Now, bear in mind, I have MS, and the right side of my body doesn't work as well as it used to, so, driving a stick just isn't in the cards......

And then, we have porsche, and you can't get a manual trans in the new 911.......
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