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  • [Project] 1981 Camaro Z28

    As some of you may have heard me talk in the past, my uncle bought an 1981 Camaro Z28, brand new, and had intended to give it to me when I was looking for my first car - an intention my mom may have failed to relay to me - probably wanted me to get something other than a Camaro for my first car. Well, we all know that didn't work.

    Anyway - fast forward nine years - my uncle and I finally got around to making good on readying the car for shipment after having discussed for the past few years. The car was picked up on May 30th.




    Four nights later (6-3-16), it was dropped off in front of my house (ironically the night before the Meet & Greet).

    The car has the LG4 305, with a whole 165HP and 245 lb-ft of torque - but it does have the 4-speed. My uncle did not buy the 350 simply because it could not be had with a manual. It's got nearly every option other than the 350. AC, power windows, t-tops, etc.

    Mileage isn't really known - my uncle guesses around 120k miles. At some point, he disconnected the speedometer cable (for some reason or another), so the mileage isn't accurate.

    The car has a bunch of solid '80s or '90s sound equipment - Pyle 8" woofers and 4" midranges (can't determine the brand yet - but they're made in Norway) in the rear deck, with a Zapco class AB amplifier mounted to the deck as well. The center console bin also houses a Zapco Pre-amp/equalizer. There are JVC ribbon tweeters in the door, and a Kenwood tape deck that hides behind a fake AM/FM radio cover.

    Other than that, it's definitely stock. The paint is pretty rough - my uncle went a bit too far with an buffer and burned through all the layers of (more than likely thin) paint, years and years ago. Can't say I don't dig the look, though. It has some minor damage on the right side, on the door and the quarter panel, and a little bit of rust on the bottom of the passenger door and under the trunk lip - and rust holes right at the front of the hood. The rest is just surface rust - from what I can tell, the car is pretty solid.
    Last edited by MP81; June 13th, 2016, 08:24 AM.
    Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

    "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

  • #2
    6-4-16


    After getting back from the Meet & Greet, I was only able to check the car out a bit and pull it into the garage before the storms were coming in. But I did get some preliminary pictures.


    The fleet, thus far.












    Bit of a tight squeeze compared to the other cars.
    Last edited by MP81; June 13th, 2016, 01:02 AM.
    Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

    "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

    Comment


    • #3
      6-5-16







      Something making itself at home between the carb and the distributor.



      New master cylinder - this was done just before shipping the car, along with the rear wheel cylinders.







      Radio








      Tweeter



      Trunk full of shit



      Rear package tray



      This needs to be remounted



      Underbody
      Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

      "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

      Comment


      • #4
        6-8-16


        Pulled the trunk carpet out to vacuum it, as well as underneath. Looks plenty clean. And yes, it needs new torsion rods, hence the obligitory broom handle.





        Pulled the air cleaner assembly off. Closer view of the nest.



        Vacuumed all the debris underhood, in the weatherstrips, trunk jambs, door jambs.






        Vacuumed the nest out



        Before calling it a night, cleaned the exterior surfaces of the glass


        Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

        "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

        Comment


        • #5
          6-11-16


          Spent the day (95 degrees and in the sun) doing a serious cleaning on the interior. Pulled the seats out (those rear seat cushions were a whore to remove and put back in) to really make sure I did as thorough of a job as I wanted. Cleaned all the interior plastic everywhere, vacuumed the seats and cleaned the vinyl as well.


          Pictures of the rear deck setup





          Passenger seat removed. Carpet is definitely not as gross as the Cav's, but it's not clean either.







          Seats in the garage



          Rear seats back in, carpet vacuumed







          Engine bay, air cleaner assembly removed



          Interior back together and clean. Other than the driver's seat, and a couple other misc parts, the interior is in pretty great shape. And now it's not dirty.







          Pictures of the car, overall.















          Right side damage



          Hood rust



          Cracked front spoiler
          Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

          "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

          Comment


          • #6
            6-12-16


            Washed the car, so at least it won't be dirty whenever I touch it. Waxed it too, well, what I could wax. It's hard to apply wax to metal lacking paint.


            It does look cleaner though (something my wife could notice), so that's a plus.









            Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

            "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

            Comment


            • #7
              Cool! What direction are you going with it?
              Makin Torque.

              Comment


              • #8
                Long live the *****in 305!

                Im torn on this one. Part of me likes the patina the other part of me says paint it. If i was leaving the patina look on the body though, id have to clean up the rest. Nice set of shiny 17" TT2s etc...

                Ive always loved the look of these second gen Z28s. Theyre slow and heavy but who cares.

                Also i am jealous that your *****in 305 makes 15hp more than mine
                -Joel
                1995 Z28 M6 - AI226/234 - autocross ricer
                1984 Scottsdale K10 - 305/4bbl/4spd


                WTB List:Midwest Chasis DS Loop

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iroc'nthe87 View Post
                  Cool! What direction are you going with it?
                  I would eventually like to go with a destroked LS and a T56.

                  I'll probably play with the 305 for a bit before then (I have other things that need my money - namely, a larger garage - before I can really plop down some serious coin on the engine swap).

                  I'd like to run it on the dyno as is, in stock condition, to get a (pathetic) baseline. Then run it again without all the smog shit, log manifolds, and the stock single cat, out to dual mufflers, along with an aluminum intake and some carb tweaking. That right there should be a significant upgrade in power, based on how choked the stock engine is.

                  Originally posted by JoeliusZ28 View Post
                  Long live the *****in 305!

                  Im torn on this one. Part of me likes the patina the other part of me says paint it. If i was leaving the patina look on the body though, id have to clean up the rest. Nice set of shiny 17" TT2s etc...

                  Ive always loved the look of these second gen Z28s. Theyre slow and heavy but who cares.

                  Also i am jealous that your *****in 305 makes 15hp more than mine
                  Yeah, I am as well - regardless of keeping the patina or not - I've gotta get those small bits of not-surface-rust fixed on the hood, and the passenger door, as well as the trunk lid (underneath). I might POR-15 those for the time-being to make sure they don't get any worse. Megan thinks I should get it repainted - but that might be less fun with 600 HP. The jambs and everything are all good, though, so I'd definitely go with the factory color as I like it a lot. And because painting jambs sucks.

                  Yeah, I'll be rocking the N90s for a while - definitely thinking I won't be able to get away with patching the right front, given the amount of cracks I see in the tread portion of the tire.

                  A 17" is more than likely in the future, though, to get a bigger tire out back.

                  And yeah, heavy is right - about 3600 lbs of car - a full 17.3" longer than my Cobalt. But that style really has always been one of my favorites. I can't even begin to guess what that hood weighs - all I know is it is not fun to be crouching on the ground to pull the hood release, while holding it and pulling the hood up - while being under it, especially when compared to the hoods on the Cruze or Cobalt which way approximately nothing.

                  And yes, maybe when new. Get your trans back into the truck and you can throw it on the dyno when I run mine (hopefully prior to dyno day - really want that A to B test!) and see which actually makes less.
                  Last edited by MP81; June 13th, 2016, 10:19 AM.
                  Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                  "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I might just do that

                    Im on the fence about removing all the smog shit from my truck but the cat is definitely going in the garbage soon.
                    -Joel
                    1995 Z28 M6 - AI226/234 - autocross ricer
                    1984 Scottsdale K10 - 305/4bbl/4spd


                    WTB List:Midwest Chasis DS Loop

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have to - the log manifolds on this thing are just...the worst (Cali emissions). And not having true duals when it definitely can...also a problem.

                      This is the stock exhaust.



                      Stock manifolds look like this:


                      Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                      "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The manifolds dont look any worse than an average manifold to me, i doubt they are a major choke point for 165hp

                        I dont think its worth buying small primary headers for my (*****in) 305... If i ever 350 swap it ill buy headers then.
                        -Joel
                        1995 Z28 M6 - AI226/234 - autocross ricer
                        1984 Scottsdale K10 - 305/4bbl/4spd


                        WTB List:Midwest Chasis DS Loop

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The left side manifold should look like the clearly better-flowing right side one - but with Cali emissions you get...well...that thing.


                          People seem to have good luck with the Summit long tubes (I read all the reviews, and there were a lot for SBC 2nd gens, and how well they fit) - and they're cheap.

                          The Pypes dual exhaust offers a header-back, and even though it is stainless, it's not the same price as, say, a Flowmaster - full exhaust system for half the price, and without the far-too-popular 40-series.

                          Throwing a summit aluminum manifold on there will allow it to inhale better (especially when coupled with better carb tuning), which will mean it needs to exhale more.

                          Shouldn't run me a lot, and will really improve the sound of the car - and morseo, be a nice bump in performance. Plus, whatever I use that isn't compatible with the LS swap, I can sell later on.

                          Anyway - getting the valve cover gasket replaced is something I want to do, prior to driving the car. Will need tires as well. Shocks are definitely in need of replacement (I guess the front right one "sticks") - there's some good bounce on the rebound - likely going with Bilsteins - a small upgrade from stock, but without going crazy and spending a lot more than I need to now.
                          Last edited by MP81; June 13th, 2016, 11:43 AM.
                          Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                          "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            nice! I can't wait to see what you do to it! looks like a lot of fun! if you go LS you should just do a 4.8 build, I heard they are pretty dang fun with a turbo haha.
                            "Project Shadowfax" <- Clicky Clicky

                            1984 Pontiac Trans Am (15th Anniversary Edition)
                            L69 (High Output 5.0) / 700r4 Auto Trans



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jdseibe View Post
                              nice! I can't wait to see what you do to it! looks like a lot of fun! if you go LS you should just do a 4.8 build, I heard they are pretty dang fun with a turbo haha.
                              Well the de-stroked LS3, for example, uses the 4.8 crank - and then revs past 8k, which would make for something pretty unique.

                              And then, you know, accidentally put a Maggie on it. For good measure.
                              Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                              "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                              Comment

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