First fly'n'buy trip for a 91 zr1 documented here.This was a joyful experience and went smoothly. Perhaps too smooth.

Now its time for the sequel........

a worn out 1990 Charcoal Grey Metallic ZF6 Z51 FX3 car with 217,526 miles on it.

THIS TRIP MAY NOT GO AS SMOOTH.

Follow along as a potentially disastrous journey unfolds. I know for certain that @Tom400CFIlives along my route home to Canada .....so ....maybe keep your phone charged. :)

I found a cheap 1990 C4 that I *thought* was a bonafide z51 car, (aka, non fx3 with the downgraded fe1 springs, but the bonafide z51 stiffy fe7 springs)....but it turns out that the seller just happened to cut off the right hand side of the picture of the rpo sticker....and i didn't catch it. it was definitely not intentional, and I know i can find what i need and who knows may end up with coilovers anyway. Besides I learned that the corvette challenge r9g cars were sold with the stiff fe7 springs with fx3. that is where i will start.

Always liked the Charcoal Grey Metallic cars. Rare, and most have been repainted. @DMITTZhas a beauty charcoal grey metallic 88 car and i've seen a couple gorgeous ZR1's in that color too. Its not my favorite color, but the longer I am part of the C4 community the more I appreciate original (rare) colors and if i see a rare color for a good price, i'll buy it, even if it is completely missing the clear coat! Like the one I bought! Here are some photos of this 1990 vette. Don't worry, this car will be gutted, caged, repainted with a racing livery (with CGM as the base color), and may even have an engine transplant (cough cough LT5) for the next phase of its life. As you gaze upon this roach, just think, what the myriad of things that may fail during the 17hr drive home, through the Rockies, could be. I've included the rpo sticker. See how I glanced at the RPO sticker, saw the FE7, no FX3, and thought i had scored a true FE7 z51 car, for peanuts. Unfortunately, this car, because of the FX3, will actually have the FE1 springs but we already covered that.

Name wise, I was thinking something like the Coonvette because it looks like a Racoon tore it up inside and its kind of a coon-ish color.

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OK, now that you have seen the condition of this relic, bonus points for anyone who can tell me if those are bonafide A-mold rims!

I really did not like the idea of paying 7k for a nice example of a zf6 speed car and gutting it to turn it into a racecar. At the end of the day, most of the wear items will be replaced anyway, to prep the car for competition. So why start with a nice example. But I did want to start with a z51 90,91 or 89 mn6.

Now I am a dad with 4 kids and a business so as much as I do have an extreme sense of adventure .....I still sent the car in for a major inspection to a shop in Grand Junction CO. The focus was on the ZF6 and the engine, both came out with a perfectly clean bill of health.
Fluids were all checked, including diff, and with those items out of the way, here is a list of deficiencies:

- headlights sometimes roll up and sometimes don't. (will manually rotate and leave them up)
- there is a short somewhere that drains the battery (guessing seat motors or headlight motors, both will be unplugged!)
- tires do have some signs of a wee bit of dry rot
- brake master supposedly has some weeping

unbelievably that is all. but we all know that will barely scratch the surface. and fair enough, the tires and the weeping brake master may actually be meaningful. That said, I have a set of racing tires and rims here at home and I don't want to buy tires if i don't need them. and I also have a brand new mc. So lets roll with it and see what happens.

We can take an educated guess and try to predict what all else is going to be fubar on this car, based on pics and our collective experience. I'll start:
- wobbly steering wheel
- intake manifold bolts likely need to be snugged i'll be it eats a bit of coolant
- what are the chances the blower motor works? or hasn't been claimed by a family of small furry rodents.
- i can totally see a loose rear wheel bearing, or a u-joint on the precipice of grenading.
- heatercore must be leaking.
- at 217k miles (holy crap that is 350,000klm what am i getting myself into?) it *must* burn some oil.

what other things am i missing ?

more to follow, including:

the intended pathing home
the surprisingly tight area this car stayed in for the past 30 years
its accident history!
a potential co-pilot on the journey!

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Nik

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Changed this to an article. Great rundown.
 

VikingTrad3r

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Departure:
Flight lifts off from YYC airport thursday 6:30am, brief 28min stopover in Denver, arriving into Grand Junction for 12:30pm. Packed bag last night, ready to roll. Just like in the ZR-1 cross continent journey, we'll be travelling light.
So here is the intended pathway home.

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plan is to take the 1142 mile pathing west to the I15, then north. Planned first stop is in SLC area.


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zoomed in on the first leg to SLC. I think we could make it here tomorrow night if all goes well.


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Second leg of journey is right up the I15 to the border. As a geologist its an amazing drive. Basalt lava fields, extinct volcanos just north of Idaho Falls. The lethal Monida Pass (which, for the record, shows above freezing temps during the journey)


The idea of a brief sidetrack on the way home, to arches national park, or yellowstone for photo ops has been toyed with but that may be pushing the luck.

History of the car:
- The carfax shows no accidents or damage.
- 1 outstanding recall, seatbelt retractors from october 1, 1991.
- several check-ins along the way with
- multiple emissions passes
- check it out, this car has lived its whole life in Colorado, here are the 7 places it has resided. It spent one year in Carbondale close to Aspen.
- the service records look to all have been done at chevrolet dealerships.

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that is one tight ownership history!



As far as accident history, NONE. This is a clean title car. For a racecar it doesn't matter all that much, but I am very pleased that I will be starting with a straight car. Albeit a dirty one!


Stay tuned! More to come including:

- A fellow CF member co-pilot!
- Liftoff!
- The bad day kit (tools and parts from a Grand Junction autozone location)
 

VikingTrad3r

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ok so i should be able to take this air pump delete kit
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delete kit is going in the bag. if the airpump craps itself we can carry on.
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daughter pointed out my plate says Crazy. Then said that was fitting.


Picking up tmobile sim card so i can stay in touch with all of YOU while on the journey.

Then to autozone where i will have a spare alternator, belt, tensioner, engine oil, coolant, good old lucas power steering stop leak waiting for me.

Then to lowes to pick up a toolset, then booyah on the road.
 

Rruuff Day

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ok so i should be able to take this air pump delete kit
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delete kit is going in the bag. if the airpump craps itself we can carry on.
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daughter pointed out my plate says Crazy. Then said that was fitting.


Picking up tmobile sim card so i can stay in touch with all of YOU while on the journey.

Then to autozone where i will have a spare alternator, belt, tensioner, engine oil, coolant, good old lucas power steering stop leak waiting for me.

Then to lowes to pick up a toolset, then booyah on the road.
Best wishes for a good trip
 

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boarding time!
our route takes us to pheonix, then to fonal destination of grand junction.

through security, the bag did get pulled to the side and they pulled out my airpump delete pulley. they were fine with it after i explained what it was.


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Edit
 

VikingTrad3r

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made it from grand junction to salt lake city
Ok, so we landed into pheonix and awaited our connecting flight to Grand Junction, which was 4hrs late.

That gave us the time to have some brunch.

We did finally make it to Grand Junction, but ofcourse 4hrs late. Those 4 hours were critical to giving us the daylight we needed to prep whatever needed to be prepped.

The seller was at the airport with his 90’s ford ranger. It was very easy to spot, he said look for the huge american flag hanging out the back.

we crammed our way into the seat, made all that more challenging by the fact that it was a stick shift. Easy to maintain social distancing.

Then....we saw the car.


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right about now, VETTELIFE, is wondering what he got himself into by coming along.
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the paint is what you would call a 50footer
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i think this rim is factory
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and i think this rim is aftermarket. real fronts, replica rears i think.
 

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the autozone whirlwind before we left
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we spent a good 2 hours and a couple hundred on cleaning wipes and a smattering of tools at autozone
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went through a couple cannisters of wipes...we both agree this is the dirtiest car we have ever purchased. i thought the 86 4+3 roach was bad but this was another level.
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headlights are gorrila taped up.
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but the paint! dont wreck the paint!!
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the night ride to provo
there plenty of confusion on the part of the prior owner, about how much gas was in the tank.

At one point he even mentioned there may have been a sock that he shoved into the tank. I dont know. It just didnt make sense. Supposedly the prior owner was having trouble with the tank vent i suppose, because he said he put a toulet drain snake into the filler funnel. Then supposedly it was fixed.

Well that may explain why the fuel gauge doesnt work. im guessing it was tore up with that snake.

so we have been filling the tank 3-4 hours of driving.

the departure from westbound I70 northbound to price would have been very picturesque but we had to settle foe a bromantic full moon cruise in the dark up to “soldiers summit”.

i saw this very patriotic flag, “full send” and came very close to buying it but holy hanna the girl at sales counter was belting out patsy klines “your cheatin heat” on repeat.


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what goes in that van
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i wanted to top up the fuel before we made it to green river. we quickly realized this place was closed. and frankly, im not wtf was really going on behind the scenes here. it was so strange. exotic jerky available here. as my copilot vettelife was walking around filming i got a strange feeling about the place. he quickly cut his filing off and we burned out of there.
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few lights on.
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that full send flag....AMURICA!
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vettelife took over driving and here is a great shot of the state of the interior of this car. BUT this interesting, they are sssoooooo tight, so hard, so solid, with the bolster at the max narrow position (dont adjust) that they would make an amazing track seat !!
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vettelife over eager to fix the electrical on the fly. he was hoping it was a dirty connection but no dice. will have to disassemble and pull some of the red dust out!
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in the background are a couple old volcanoes north of idaho falls. i was fortunate to make this similar pathed trip in a helicopter and below is a photo of these volcanoes from the air!
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volcanoes responsable for the basalt flats and craters of the moon appearance around idaho.
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an oil smell emergency pull over atop the infamous “monida pass” at the idaho/montana border. through my sunglasses.
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vettelife named these exhaust tips “spam cans”
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frizen lake atop monida pss. keep your head up for sketchy road conditions!
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i was once told this columnar basalt outcrop was called “the devils organ”. as in musical organ not biological organ.
 
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VikingTrad3r

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two volcanoes north of idaho falls
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here is a picture approaching those two volcanoes from the south at a heading of about 010. In the helis we typically do not go over monida pass. usually its clearer to the east a bit up through bigsky valley. just cool to see right inside the volcanic crater!!
 

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Very kewl journey. Thanks for bringing us along. :thumbs:
 

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Sounds like an episode of Roadkill, thanks for bringing us along, looking forward to the rest of the story
 

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Hey Guys, thanks for all the replys here. I’ll be able to provide an update very soon!! With pics of the ZR-1 LT5 engine that is being transplanted.

Stay busy and warm!
 
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