Walk away from a 2001 Pontiac Firebird with a history?

I’m looking to buy this car but it has a rebuilt Ls1 engine because he blew a rod through side of engine.
Is the car reliable and will it have more problems in the future or should I walk away?

thank you

Some engine rebuilders produce engines that are equal to, or better than factory motors, some rebuilts are junk.
But, if the prior owner blew a rod there is the possibility the car was either abused or did not have proper maintenance performed. But I do see it as a positive the seller is being honest about the engine.

If you want this generation Firebird/Camaro do some internet shopping, who knows what you may find.


If you have doubts… take it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.

If the seller won’t let you take it for an inspection… that’s a red flag on its own. Walk away from the deal at that point.

Good luck.

1 Like

Even if you don’t have doubts, take it to a pre purchase inspection. There’s no way of knowing the quality of the rebuild, the quality of the install, or the condition of the rest of the car over the internet. You need to get expert eyeballs on the car to discover that stuff.

I nominate the reply by Mr. Shadowfax above for all posts asking ( should I buy this vehicle ) .

Why someone expects an accurate assessment of a vehicle that can’t be seen or driven is beyond me.

We can at least tell someone looking at a used Yugo to walk away from the deal. :wink:


Yes to the above. The fact that a car like a 17 year old Firebird has a replacement engine isn’t an automatic no-go in my book. But nothing more can be said without an inspection by an expert.

walk? or run?? :smiley:

Doesn’t matter. Not like the Yugo driver will catch you either way.


I dunno.

I’ve seen some European bodybuilders that could probably push a Yugo faster than I can run… :grin::grin:


Customer: Can I get a gas cap for a Yugo?
Counter guy: Sounds like a fair swap…


The Yugo had heated rear window so your hands would stay warm in the winter while you were pushing it.


A rebuild won’t fix a block with a chunk of aluminium blown out of it. You’re talking engine replacement at that point.

It’s a 17/18 year old GM F-body built before the bailout. It’s not going to be the most reliable vehicle in the world.

see prior response

What are your expectations? Is this going be a weekend cruiser/hobby car? If so then it might not be a bad choice. If this is going to be your sole means of transportation that you depend on to get to work or anywhere else, then I would pass.

It’s all about price. A clean well maintained car of that year and model will sell for x dollars. Every item such as a new engine, rust spot, etc, subtracts from that.

The argument is over how much to subtract for each negative item.

I took OP’s statement to mean “he blew a rod through the side of the engine and so they replaced it with a rebuilt LS1”


The 4th generation Firebirds and Camaros are known to be solid, reliable cars.

However (and there’s always a however…,…) the car is 17 years old any one of a 100 things not related to the engine that could cause it to quit at any time. There is simply no way on God’s Green Earth of knowing.

If the fuel pump is original and needs to be replaced that will be a job. The exhaust will need to be cut off and the rear axle dropped for starters.