Looking at donor

NeverWin

Member
Hello Everyone,
First time poster. All of the people posting always seem respectful of newbs. I found a donor on FB market place that is to be to be true, but it is about 5 hour drive away. So before I waste time on it I figured i would ask about it here. It is a 2006 ss turbocharged with 130k. The body and interior look great. the seller is asking 3850. Of course I cant hear it run from 5 hours away(that would probably be an issue). I think I want to do an lsj turbo swap before I put it in a goblin. So it checks of a lot of boxes. What would be the best questions everyone would ask to determine if is a reasonable deal?

Thank you in advance.
 

Fozda

Well-Known Member
Has it already been swapped to turbo? 06 would be supercharged if it's stock. I payed 3200 for my 06 SS supercharged that was in pretty good condition.
 

Ross

Goblin Guru
My 197K mile 2006 LSJ has worn syncros between 1st and 2nd gear, which prevents me from grabbing 2nd gear at 5000+ rpm. I have to drop the rpm down to <3500 to grab 2nd. Still chirps the tires, but it took me a while to figure out why sometimes it won't go into 2nd. High HP LSJs tend to knock out 3rd or 4th gear.

Also had wheel bearings that were worn out... they would knock when pushing & pulling on the wheel. Guess this might be a normal wear item at my high mileage.

One thing I like to do is open the oil fill cap, and check for visible sediment. If an oil change was missed or poorly maintained, the oil will start "dumping" as it can no longer hold particles in suspension. So carbon and metallic particles start settling in the engine. Use your finger, and wipe around inside the valve train area. Any sediment or sludge? Oil staining (dark brown coloring) is probably normal at this age, but I don't like seeing black coloring. Light brown is really good at 130K miles. My 197K engine had dark brown.

Ask if the cam chain lash adjuster been changed? If it is a flat top, it is stock, and needs to be done. Has the Dorman cam chain guide bolt been done? Also a high priority, cheap fix. These are both in my build log.

Has the electric water pump for the intercooler been replaced? They last about 60,000 miles then quit.
 

Rttoys

Goblin Guru
Ya. You’ll have to pick it apart to get the price lower. I‘m a cheap ass, so almost 4K sounds high. Picking apart the engine and trans is your best bet. other than what Ross said, asking if the clutch is new or any bigger maintenance items, is the way to go.

If you have a picture of the interior and the front seats are recaro, then it has a LSD trans. That’s worth money right there, but doesn’t help you getting the price down. It does help knowing what you got without asking.
 

Ark :D

Goblin Guru
At Copart - Peoria:

2009 Turbo SS ... "enhanced vehicle" ... probably does not run. If you have interest in a turbo, I would try to see this one in person before bidding. Looks like something was added to the top of the engine that required a cutout be made in the hood? Approach with caution.

2007 LS ... "starts" ... apparently this one starts and runs, but it looks like it took a hard hit, straight into a thin tree or a pole.

2008 LS ... "run and drive" ... this one looks pretty good. Should have a fair amount of resellables and the mileage is pretty good.
 

Ark :D

Goblin Guru
I believe I would duck the red one, more damage on that than I initially realized, though it probably would have just about everything you'd need from a donor, regardless. What a mess!
 

NeverWin

Member
I had seen those. The last 2 were automatics. The first one I was kinda watching but when someone added something and cut a hole through the hood, i figured someone was thought they were vin diesel. and was defiantly being cautious. Thanks. I have been looking at copart. i was think about a lsj or a 05-07 ss supercharged.
 

Ark :D

Goblin Guru
LSJ preference is definitely fine. I would say though, if you have a shot at a turbo SS, I would at least check it out. You're right about the Vin Deisel thing, but turbo SS donors are getting more and more rare.

The 2.4 LE5 is a good engine to build, I believe I heard at one point.
 

NeverWin

Member
Holland, MI was the one I was looking at.
Found one near Chicago for 3750, but the description says "Son used it to drive to school," or
found one near St. Louis for 3500, but description says "Blows white smoke out of exhaust."
Both of which I am thinking is asking for problems down the line. Just trying to be smart and buy one donor.

It gives me time to get the shop ready for the project. It's full of my father's stuff. There is a car lift so it will be a sweat workspace.
 
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