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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So over the past week I have done a ton of lurking and reading on the site trying to find out everything I can about these cars. I went from vaguely knowing of their existence for a decade to them ticking all the boxes of what I'm looking for in a new toy in just over a week. But this is definitely one of those cases where the more I research, the less I know so I am looking for some guidance. Im trying to learn 'how' to buy a heavily modded yet not beyond reliable V. Anything in the 600-700rwhp market is what I'm after since from what I've gathered thats where the SBE- and the trans becomes more of a potential liability. This car would never see the track and would just be a street toy but it is something I would plan on driving regularly for atleast 5 years.I've read about the idolators in the superchargers being an issue and whine from the Gen 1 differentials but are there any other things these cars are notorious for I need to be on the lookout when I go to test drive one from a private owner? One particular car I am looking at claims it has a Kong ported blower but after reading all 34 pages of the Kong SC thread, Im under the impression those blowers make too much power for a SBE? Or is it that they have multiple different blowers? Also is there a general rule of thumb as far as too much mileage? The car I'm looking at has 90,000 although the transmission has been replaced because of the 4,5,6 gear loss I have read about. Does the paint and the leather interior on these cars hold up well?

I'm really not trying to be one of those guys that doesn't read anything but I just recently got interested in these cars and the more I read the less I know since I come from a 4th gen catfish LS Camaro background. Forced induction is all new to me. Thanks for any knowledge.
 

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Don't confuse a Kong Ported stock blower with a Kong 2650 aftermarket blower.

Neither makes "too much for a sbe". It is all in how they are pullied and the supporting mods.

Sent from my SM-N975W using Tapatalk
 

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Another thing to consider—a car with an over the top pulley ratio should have a matching heavily upgraded heat exchanger loop. If the car is in a state that gets hot + stock hx setup + moon boost pulley combo... you could be dealing with an engine that has been living in detonation land.

If you check out said combo in person, start the engine and verify oil pressure @ idle when warm.
 

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If ur looking for a modded V in the 600-700rwhp range there is many and multiple way to get there. A big thing would be cooling upgrades like HX, line changes, pump these will be really important if in a hot state and/or doing city driving as u mentioned it will be a DD. If modified isolator should’ve been changed to solid by now but chance it might not be, just listen for the rattle plenty of threads on here about that issue. I would also be looking/asking about fuel set up to achieve there power is the car strictly doing pump, running E, meth or a combo of them. There’s many ways to get up u are looking for but I would look at dyno thread in here which is broken down in power brackets to see most common upgrades people run to achieve power. With that info you will have Bette idea what to look for. Some is super obvious other stuff isn’t as easy to see. As far as mileage there is quite a few of these cars pushing higher mileage and still reliable it’s all about maintenance like anything else. Best of luck in ur searches, u will love the car if you do buy one
 

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I have about 87k on my clock and i have the black diamond paint. for it being a 2012, the paint has held up great but it will need a paint correction to get out the typical swirl marks from hand washing and drying. its been garage kept in my possession for two years but it also seems it was that way for the two owners before me. i know it lived in florida during its first owernship, and i must say my leather does not seem as "fresh" as ive seen most others. its not cracked but just a bit faded, and it seems no matter how much quality conditioner i use with it, doesnt ever get back that shiny sheen. the alcantara faded pretty good and the yellow/orange padding underneath is starting to show but my steering wheel and shifter have both held up great. overall the car is very solid but its also mostly stock. with 87k the engine and trans still feel new
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another thing to consider—a car with an over the top pulley ratio should have a matching heavily upgraded heat exchanger loop. If the car is in a state that gets hot + stock hx setup + moon boost pulley combo... you could be dealing with an engine that has been living in detonation land.

If you check out said combo in person, start the engine and verify oil pressure @ idle when warm.
Car is in NC and Im in SC so heat will definitely be a concern. Thanks for letting me know that I need to be concerned about heat. What is HX?
 

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My advice if you are buying a car that has already been modded. I would confirm the oil pressure, pressure test all cylinders, and inspect the spark plugs. This gives you an idea of what you are about to spend your money on. With these cars going for what they are going for and not truly knowing the history these are things I would look for. Also i would check to see if the brick is reinforced if it is not reinforced make sure it isn't leaking or collapsed. Just take your time and look over any vehicle that you are considering purchasing.
 
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i have not yet read about people having 4th 5th and 6th gear go bad in the tranny. from what i know they are pretty tough and can handle alot. that would be concerning to me
Concerning if accurate. Are we talking manual or Auto trans?
 

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Do a compression test at a minimum. Leakdown if anything isn't just right. I made that mistake once, never again. This would be non-negotiable on a modded V
 

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I’d also check out suspension, listen for thuds or creaks, control arm bushings could be at the end of their life, rear subframe bushings, mag ride shocks are known for leaking. You may want to consider a lower mileage car that is stockish maybe with a exhaust and intake. Then do your own mods. But that’s just my two cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So how does it usually work when youre driving 100-200 miles to look at a car and want to have the car mechanically inspected? How much does your average mechanic charge to inspect a car prior to purchase? never been in this position before and dont know how this should work between me paying for a mechanic if Im intertested in the car- how to find one in the local area- and how to avoid just wasting money doing this with each car I'm interested in.
 

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I'd expect $100-200 unless you know someone. There are also services for pre purchase inspections.

It's always a gamble. One I win sometimes and lose sometimes. These are getting old enough that they have often led an abused life by at least one owner. So the right answer is have it checked cause it's a lot of money. But to be honest, I tend to go with the gut feeling, which is why I spend a ton after purchase "baselining" the car and fixing all the crap the PPI would have caught. I'm a sucker I guess.
 

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I’d personally go the sorta stock unmolested route with lower mileage, maybe check dealers, true car etc. look for car fax reports, service history etc
 

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I'm just gonna go ahead and say it: these cars are impressive for the amount of abuse they can take but they aren't magical like the internet wants you to believe. They will break, and often do in ways that are more expensive than most want to take on after spending what is quite a bit for the car itself. Just go into it eyes wide open and do as much due diligence as you can. The absolute #1 issue is modding them with an aggressive tune and someone who doesn't know better. It's not a matter if "if" but "when" they will break. They are stout enough of a platform to often take damage and it not be completely obvious. As opposed to some other platforms that break in more catastrophic ways.
 

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When I found my car I called around looking for a PPI and they don't really inspect much. Their words were nothing that would require jacking the car up or removing any parts. Effectively it's a once over for things that an average consuming may forget to look at when they get excited about a car. It was hard to find someone willing to do a compression / leak down test and prices were outrageous. This was in Southern California where car and mod shops are plentiful, so somewhere more remote may be even more challenging.

Ultimately I decided, and the previous owner was cool enough to allow for it, to check everything myself. I went to the guy's house with my tools and starting removing / inspecting what I reasonably could. If the current owner is hesitant to let you or someone else do an inspection, run for the hills.
 

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wow op your me a month ago. catfish camaro and everything minus 76mm turbo ls. these cars make an almost inhumane amount of power stock. I bought a high mileage(120k) 09 for 25k on autotempest and it is in much better shape than I was expecting. needed a couple of things but near stock. sight unseen from VA. paint is tits, interior is shrinking and a little worn but better than it should be. just be diligent. everything seems pretty potent on these as long as they haven't been bashed. so my suggestion would be as not modded as possible. I had an amg e63 inspected in tx and it cost me $150. on my caddy if i would have had it inspected they never would have caught the 2 problems my car had. hx pump and lame battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The original car I was looking at sold and I'm going to look at another tomorrow. The car is relatively low miles for a 2011- 48,000 miles. The one thing that gives me pause is the claimed power levels after going through the mod list/power list thread. The claimed power level is '760rwhp with belt slip' with a stock non ported blower but the car does have after market pulleys (2.38/9.45), ZL1 lid, BTR stage 3 cam, Frankenstein heads, pushrod and trunion upgrades, as well as full bolt ons. Extensive fuel and cooling upgrades are also listed. Is that power level possible with a stock blower?
 

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That is a lot of pulley. I'm sure he did have belt slip.

Yes, it's possible. Not likely on pump gas though. If on E85, then for sure possible.

Mine is a 2011 coupe with about that many miles. With E85, 2.38 upper (~14# boost), no cats, Dsteck tune, air raid, etc it made 640rwhp. A lot more pulley(boost), heads, cam, etc would take it to mid 700s with a good tune.
 
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