468 79 Z28

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by legierk, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. legierk

    legierk Veteran Member

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    Greetings. Decided to rebuild my 79 Z28 after about 18 years from the 1st time. I'll have many questions through this process, because this time, I want to try to do it right (as opposed to winging it like I did then.) Here are some pics to bring us up to date:

    Earliest pic I could find. I was in military and bought and rebuilt the car in Seattle. I painted it myself at the auto hobby shop on Fort Lewis. I replaced the 350 almost immediately with a 454 from an old truck. This was taken in Mississippi about 4 years later.
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    Car ran great and was a hoot to drive. Still have a timeslip from the Gulfport dragstrip for 12.10. Had to go oversees so took car to dad's for storage:
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    Got back (4 years later) and cleaned her up:
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    Well, looks like I didn't clean the engine:
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    I never like the cowl scoop. Plastic, fiberglassed on the original hood. Hey, I was a poor kid in the military. I quickly swapped the hood:
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    The rig in the background above is about to take us all to my new station in Virginia:
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    Those wheels were on it when I bought it, btw. I do not know what they are, but will be for sale eventually. Newly motivated in Virginia, I decided to build another motor for more power:
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    The engine had a lifter freeze (didn't rotate) in the bore at about 20 miles, so the car got mothballed until I could take it apart and clean it out. Fast forward about 7 or so years and we are up to last week in the great state of Texas:
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    Hood finally got primer:
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    Clearing space to pull motor:
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    Now, for as long as I can remember, THIS is how I've envisioned my car in my head.....((THIS IS NOT MY CAR, THIS IS A RANDOM PHOTO I FOUND IN THE INTERWEBS)
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    Finding that photo was somewhat depressing. Now, should I just go for it, or should I come up with something fresh? I entire car will be repainted, and in fact, I already bought the orange and matte clear. I have always been a fan of the SCCA/TRANS AM look:
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    I will post photos as I work on something, which, now retired and working at a second career, is usually on weekends. Some early random thoughts:

    1) Wheel and tire sizes....seen all the charts. They help you ball park it at best. Will need real world sizes/backspaces.
    2) Do you just break those plastic windshield molding clips out? Mine are glued in with the windshield seal.
    3) How do I know if I have the early or late 79 front suspension bushings/balljoints?
    4) Since I can't get my wipers on with the fiberglass hood, do I trim the hood like my wife suggests, risking ruining it, or do I find some aftermarket low profile wiper studs? Or if I can get an antique plate in Texas, do I need the wipers at all?
    5) Spent $40 on fender patch panel and $150 on having local hot rod shop weld it on (pictures forthcoming). New panel on Classic Industries = $190. Spent $260 on front seat upholstery at NPD 8 years ago and $250 for local shop to install on original seats. Brand new high back buckets on Classic Industries = $284 ea. This means I need to be a little smarter.......

    Bring on the critique and ideas! Clean slate, limited funds!
     
  2. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Welcome to the site! Lots of great folks here who will help you out with any question. Great looking car already!
     
  3. David79Z28

    David79Z28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Sweet project!
     
  4. Paint Fumes

    Paint Fumes Veteran Member

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    Nice looking car. I'm pretty sure the wheels are Appliance Diamags.
     
  5. RS1979

    RS1979 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I like the big block in that car. Car looks good.
     
  6. Panther

    Panther Veteran Member

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    Welcome. Sweet ride.
     
  7. legierk

    legierk Veteran Member

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    Mid June Update

    Thanks for the comments. I got hooked on big blocks a long time ago after I felt the sheer torque it can produce with stock parts.

    Thought I'd give an update. Got the door panels in from Classic Industries and had a local shop put the seat upholstery (that I've had in the package for about 8 years or so) on.
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    They added a little foam to fill out the bottoms. Did a fairly good job.
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    That cover laying on the seat goes over the metal on the outside of each seat. Somehow, I suppose, over the years, I've lost one. Can't believe they are $40/pr.

    Wasn't so happy with the backs (although this picture is not a good example, darn phone camera).
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    Needless to say, the door panels and seats (including labor to install covers), constitutes over $750. My wife keeps saying, "Well, you only live once dear". Man, I love her.

    My front left fender is at body shop. Showed the guy what I wanted to try on the car:
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    He was shocked it was lacquer and wondered where I could get it, seeing as how "it's illegal" (his words). I told him Autozone, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's, etc. Needless to say, now I'm wondering if I want to go this route. I have already primed a few parts, but am still afraid the lacquer could bubble the orange enamel on the car now. Plus, will the lacquer crack on the plastic parts? The enamel hasn't cracked at all.

    Motor is ready to pull. Trying to decide whether to eliminate heater core or not.

    Got held up trying to remove proportioning valve from brake lines. Frozen. That's where I left off this weekend. Anybody got any ideas on how to unfreeze, or do I just bite the bullet and replace the lines (I was going to replace the valve, but wanted to save the lines)?

    Found a local powder coating shop. Will see how much they charge for the subframe to be coated. Maybe some other small parts. For the prices I'm seeing online however, I may just get the A-arms from Pro touring Fbody (the sponsor on this site). Looks like good quality and for the money, I'll bet I'd come out better with just a new set of tubular uppers. Their subframe connector looks nice too.

    As many can tell, finances will play a major role in how long this will take, and what directions I head in. While a $25k Camaro would be cool, I do not think I need anything that expensive to drive maybe 6 hours a month. Local paint shops (hot rod shops, not Maaco) quoted anywhere from $4000 ("it'll look OK) to $6000 ("We would actually tell someone we did it"). Well, I am NOT paying that. I painted the orange that is on it now, and I will do it again if I have to.

    Will post more updates as work progresses. Comments and suggestions always welcomed. I have already learned a lot browsing these forums.
     
  8. CamaroGP

    CamaroGP Veteran Member

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    As as big block and Camaro fan I'm really digg'n your project!
     
  9. Panther

    Panther Veteran Member

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    The car looks great. I love big blocks too. My first was a big block. SS396
     
  10. legierk

    legierk Veteran Member

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    Update

    Hot here in Texas. That's why motor is still in car and interior hasn't been stripped. When sweat starts dripping off my nose (even with 5 shop fans running), I shut'r down. Anyhow:

    I mostly tinker. Played with these this morning. (Rattle can etching primer where bare metal was.)
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    I'm concerned these may be too stiff for my fiberglass hood. Never used them. Been using a stick since I had hood:

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    Setting aside parts for the powder coater. We'll see how expensive they are. I've been told its very reasonable. Anyhow, intend on taking them some stuff next week.
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    And a bucket of small parts:
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    After cleaning with a wire wheel, I sprayed that rust converter stuff on rusty areas underside of truck lid. Not sure if it will help or not.

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    Old Betsy sitting there taking up space and hogging an engine stand for no reason. Motor is fine, BTW. Ran in Camaro about 15 years ago and now has an RV cam. It may get freshened up down the road.

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    Can't decide whether to toss these or put them on Craigslist. Anybody in East Texas/West Louisiana want them? Last call.
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    Master cylinder is so gundgy I think it would be prudent to just get a new one.
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    The clearance concern I have with whether or not those G braces will fit:
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    Photo of clearance for driver's side. (Remote oil filter is going bye-bye...part of the reason for this rebuild....that's what happens when you buy the wrong oil pan)
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    Can't decide if I want to delete heater or not. $180 for a few pieces of tin to cover the holes? Are you kidding me? I just may keep it installed even though I live in Texas and would never drive on the one day a year it is below 30. The firewall will still get plenty of attention, though. Thoughts?
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    Now, which cam to use? I have this one:
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    and this:
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    They are both brand spanking new.....that's how long they've been sitting in shop. I've used the XE284 hydraulic before. It's nice. I ordered the XE282S-10 (the -10 means that it is a 4-7 swap cam...the # 4 and 7 cylinder firing order is reversed) because I've had great luck with solid cams in the past. Any suggestions? (BW T-10/3:73 rear)

    As if the car wasn't enough, I have to deal with this mess (will someone come clean my shop???):
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    Anybody used Totally Stainless? I need a butt load of "U-nuts" and thought stainless would be cool. (Had to search for a while to learn those were called U-nuts.....I want to call them body clips....wrong!)

    That's all for now. Feedback welcomed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014

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