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Would you Buy a ‘96 Varioram or Stick with a ‘95 Model?

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Would you Buy a ‘96 Varioram or Stick with a ‘95 Model?

Old 01-10-2019, 12:13 PM
  #31  
Tlaloc75
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Just as a reminder, both the immobilizer and the SAI fault can be programmed out with an ECU tune. Easy on 97/98, not as easy on 96, but still can be done. Then you have the extra power of VarioRam without the two annoyances of the OBD2 engine.

I used to have to lock/unlock my car to disable the immobilizer each time drive it from my garage. Now I just step in and go. Sounds minor, but it does make the driving experience that much better.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:25 PM
  #32  
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Buy the best car you can find; I would worry far more about finding a loved rather than a "skimped" example than what year it is. They are all old now!
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:22 PM
  #33  
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Quit mucking about and get a turbo!
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:51 PM
  #34  
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All else being equal, buy the one which looks best to you.

If it were my choice, the 96 since I own one and love it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:47 PM
  #35  
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More positives to a 95 and because I own one)
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:29 AM
  #36  
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Nothing against the '95's, but I will only buy Varioram 993's. Two in the garage and plan on adding a 3rd this year.

SAI issues are way over blown IMO. Repairs are not even needed with proper maintenance, even if that includes cleaning the ports and changing the valve. Definitely worth it for that Variorum "kick" and the extra 12hp.

With all that said....... I wouldn't kick a '95 to the curb if it fell into my lap and the condition was great and the price was low.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:10 PM
  #37  
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A bit of a highjack of this thread but along the same lines... should I try to avoid a '96 due to the ECU? I understand that '95, '97-'98 are the ones to get if I want to easily tune (remap / chip) the engine. Can't I just replace the entire ECU in a '96 with one from a later car???
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:29 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by alexl911 View Post
A bit of a highjack of this thread but along the same lines... should I try to avoid a '96 due to the ECU? I understand that '95, '97-'98 are the ones to get if I want to easily tune (remap / chip) the engine. Can't I just replace the entire ECU in a '96 with one from a later car???
Correct, the ‘96 is the only non-flashable ECU (although some have claimed to accomplish it with a piggy-back), and you can swap a ‘97 ECU into a ‘96. However, purchasing a replacement ECU is getting to be an expensive option.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:06 PM
  #39  
Bill Verburg
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Originally Posted by Mhodor1972 View Post
I am debating between a ‘95 C2 and a ‘96 C2. Both are about the same price, but the ‘96 C2 has fewer miles. I know the Varioram engine has its own set of problems and there are potential problems with the alarm and lock system.

However, I suspect the ‘96 model is probably in higher demand and may command a higher price in the future. Any thoughts about the pros/cons of the ‘96 Varioram?
A lot depends on where you live and the way local auto inspections are done.

'95 has OBD1 and a user replaceable chip both make life easier for the tinkerer
'96 up RoW is also OBD1 like the '95s but they come w/ vram
'96 up US are OBD2 w/ vram, '96 has a 1 year only non flashable Motronic, 97 has a flashable Motronic(by a pro not an owner)

Beyond that it's a toss up more dependant on condition and setup than anything else
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:55 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by 993pbug View Post


Correct, the ‘96 is the only non-flashable ECU (although some have claimed to accomplish it with a piggy-back), and you can swap a ‘97 ECU into a ‘96. However, purchasing a replacement ECU is getting to be an expensive option.
how much is a ‘97 ECU? Does anyone produce a modern third party ECU??
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:09 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by alexl911 View Post


how much is a ‘97 ECU? Does anyone produce a modern third party ECU??
Figure about $1500-$2500 for a ECU, then about at least another $1000 or so for the flash.

So you’re looking about, say, at least $3000 or so for, maybe 10-15 hp.

Not really worth, it in my opinion.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:09 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by alexl911 View Post


how much is a ‘97 ECU? Does anyone produce a modern third party ECU??
I haven’t seen a used one for less than $2k in the last year or so and unfortunately don’t know enough about aftermarket units to make a worth-while comment.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:11 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by goofballdeluxe View Post
Not really worth, it in my opinion.
Absolutely agree if you have a ‘96!
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:56 PM
  #44  
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I test drove a '95 today with RS flywheel and I can certainly feel the difference between the vario and non vario. It has noticeably less 'grunt' from 1-2 gear at normal speeds. I agree that if a '95 ticks all the right boxes I would not pass on it but I certainly prefer the varioram.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:42 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Harold View Post
I have both and can say that the varioram doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

But the reality is all these cars are slow by modern standards. So just go with the best condition and right color combo you can afford.
So true - don't base a decision on a "test" drive as each car can be different. I own both also. One topic which has not been addressed is the cats. Bischoff '95 cats flow more exhaust than Gillet,

lko has the best plan, get the '95 and install the varioram.
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