MadMike's 1980 Z28

The Maciolek Family's 1980 Z28
The Original "Nasty Z28"

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Updated 8/2006

Jump to: Drivetrain specs | Exterior Info | Interior Info | Misc Photos

View in May 2000 | View in Aug 2000 | View in Dec 2000 | View in October 2001
MadMike & his Z (1985) | circa 1988 after a trip to Lebanon Valley Dragway (NY) | parked at parents house
Norcross Georgia (1992) | 1987 - 1 quick (and broken), the other was fast (and reliable). | Trey can fix it!
Where came from

Times been flying, and I've gotten back to working on my 80Z again. I've also updated this page to remove some of the rediculous BS commentary and show all the changes that are going on. I've had to: Reconfigure engine (change intake, carb, exhaust), Redo front suspension (springs sit too high), Replace front brake lines (looked like crap anyway), Replumb fuel system, Install electric cooling fan & replumb cooling system, rebuild steering shaft (another simple job that takes months).

I'm trying to not be a perfectionist because I'm far from perfect, but I just want to get stuff done right. The old engine combination ran like crap. I'm trying to debug all the little stuff that's screwed up and tidy up some of the larger issues. I hate redoing stuff but I can't seem to get it done right the 1st (or 2nd) time.

Background & previous history - Version 1 (1997), Version 2 (2003), My 350 Engine Saga

Primary Options when Original - Click here to view build sheet.
AU3 - Power Door Locks, A31 - Power Windows, C49 - Rear Window Defog, CD4 - Pulse wipers, D35 - Dual Mirrors, D55 - Console, D80 - Front & rear spoilers, CC1 - Removable glass tops, N33 - tilt steering, TR9 - Lamp Group.
GU6 - 3.42 axle, G80 - Positraction, LM1 - 350 4BBL (190hp), M40 - Automatic Transmission
Z28 - Special Performance Package, Z49 - Canadian Equipment, N41 - Power Steering, J50 - Power Brakes, U14 - Instrumentation, F41 - Special Suspension.

My car was pretty fancy, close to being loaded, except it didn't have Air Conditioning (didn't want it anyway), nor does it have the custom interior.

Note: My car is originally from Canada (eh?), so it's a Z49 "Canadian Equipment" car. One of the nifty things on this is my speedometer is in Kilometers/per hour. So, while the 1980 speedometer goes up to 85 MPH, my speedo reads to 140 (K/ph). Lest you think I'm stupid, 140kph IS 85MPH... but if you recalibrate your speedo gear it'll read up to 140 in MPH.
Small hint car was from Canada, besides the "Z49 Canadian Equipment" on the build sheet and the 1980 Owners Manual en francais.

My 1980 Z28 Drivetrain Specifications:
The basic engine is a ZZ4 with fastburn aluminum heads and GM 1.6 Aluminum Roller Rockers. on it.

Internal Engine views: bottom end | Roller cam lifter valley | one of the elves |
Installing engine: Here it comes | Nick lining up the motor on the mounts | Me performing some bitch work
Left side view | Right side view | Holy Sheot - IT'S IN!!!

Exhaust system: tailpipe exit | rear view of exhaust system

The former (and future?) 350
More engine pictures:
original rebuilt engine | screwed up rebuild
The bad ass 355. | Melted bad-ass 355
The 454
ZZ4 front view | ZZ4 side view

Transmission: Original TH350 freshly rebuilt. B&M Trans-Pack, Starfire cooling pan & external transmission cooler. Hurst Quarter-stick shifter. Dynamic 3500 stall torque converter. The car is also equipped for a 4 speed (dead clutch pedal). I'll probably keep the car an automatic and use the 700R4 I have eventually to kill some of my rear gear and help with cruising.

Note to self: The ZZ4 comes with a smaller flexplate than I originally had. Why don't that sumbitch bolt up professor?!

Rear End: Original 10 bolt posi with Richmond 4.10's. PST 130# rear springs. Stock Swaybar. Competition Engineering Traction Bars.

While attempting to install the subframe connectors, my rear springs fell apart. Plus all the j-clips broke, the rear spring bolt rounded off and needed to be sawz-alled out. This explains why most everything out back has been replaced. The rear traction bars needed to be "custom fit" to fit my rear end housing and clear the wheels.

view: Rear w/gas tank out | tight fit w/stock wheel | Rear Spring closeup

Wheels, Tires & Front Suspension: Original N90 optional aluminum wheels with 245 60x15" BFG Comp T/A's front & rear. Competition Engineering subframe connectors. Moog Steering components. F41 suspension (Stock Z28) . Stock Swaybar (1 1/8" diameter). Energy Suspension urethane control arm, swaybar & subframe bushings. Monroe Formula GP shocks.

While installing the subframe connectors, 3 out of 6 of the caged nuts for the subframe bolts broke free from the floor, requiring me to remove my interior and cut the floor open with a can opener so I could repair the caged nuts and be able to bolt my subframe back to the body. On top of this, the connectors needed to be "custom fit" with a die-grinder so they'd fit in the car. All my brake line nuts were seized which caused the brake line to twist up and eventually crack apart when I tried to loosen the brake lines. This required me to replace all the brake lines. The whole steering system was removed, replaced with new Moog items, and detailed before being reinstalled. My original (metric) steering gear was heavily pitted and my PS hoses are now SAE, so I put a rebuilt 1979 Z28 steering gear in the car. The gear has the IROC valving in it.

Subframe connectors: Subframe connector rear view | front view
Spring Debacle: This can't be right? | This really can't be right

Exterior Information
Looking spiffy in the sunshine
Looking spiffy in the sun
My car looked nice & stock when I bought it in 1985. Oddly enough while I was sitting in the dealership giving them the check to pay for the car, the sun was hitting it just right - and I noticed some "wavyness" to the driver side. I asked the salesman if the car was ever wrecked (duh, a$$hole, you ask this stuff BEFORE buying something) - of course the salesman said "NOPE, NEVER."
The car was black with red stripes and orange emblems. Over the course of time, while everything else was falling apart on the car I noticed some cracks appearing in the door. I knew the door had bondo in it and some rust bubbles were forming in between the fender and lower extention. This in itself wasn't enough to justify redoing the body of the car but for some reason I decided to redo the car and have my car painted "differently". A friend of mine knew how to paint. I asked if he'd help me if I did the bitch work, and he agreed. So I got to work....

I knew the door was screwed up. In examining everything it became apparent my car had been in a previous altercation, I'm not sure of the extent but it wasn't really that bad. The back of the car was fine. The underside of the car was in pretty decent condition, mostly because of all the oil that had blown underneath the car preventing rust. I replaced the drivers side fender and lower extention with new GM parts and had to buy a door skin too. I stripped the decals off the car using a hairdryer and sanded down and primed some of the other problem areas.

Then my friend painted the car. It came out looking nice. Since then the car has been garaged for the most part. For the past 7 years while I've been screwing around, I've tried hard to not damage the paint, or smash stuff into the car. I tried to keep the car clean. The body is the one thing that didn't need attention while the car was being rebuilt. Oh, except the windshield had a nick in it. When I tried to remove the windshield I split the chit out of it. Fortunantly I had a spare, good windshield out back. A professional glass guy came over and swapped the windshields.

Exterior/Body Details: Black Cherry Laquer w/pearl accenting (blue, purple, red), gray emblems. Painted in 1988.
Example of Pearl Highlights. Originally black, with red/orange emblems & stripes.
Options: D80 - Front & rear spoilers, CC1 - Removable glass tops.

Bodywork & Custom Paint photos (1988):
De-stickered and removing rust | This door was loaded with bondo. I went bought a new door skin after seeing this.
Final Priming & surface prep | Getting painted | Schweeet - mammalike. Papalike too.

Hoodscoop area cut open for air cleaner clearance.

Interior Information
The interior plastic and vinal is all original. I replaced the carpet back in 1989. I replaced the stock shifter with various shifters over time, originally a B&M mega-shifter, and now a Hurst Quarter-stick. I had to remove the interior to get at the subframe bolts and rear suspension clips, and then fix the floor. While removing the seats, I replaced all of my seat rails which were broken. I replaced a couple visible items - the rear package tray, parking brake handle, pedal pads, console box & lid, new GM door pulls, escutions, window cranks and new GM door sills. Attention to detail you know. Currently installing the interior
Putting Interior In
Interior Details: Standard Vinal, Dark Carmine. Code 74R.
Options: AU3 - Power Door Locks, A31 - Power Windows, C49 - Rear Window Defog, CD4 - Pulse wipers, D35 - Dual Mirrors, D55 - Console, N33 - tilt steering, TR9 - Lamp Group, U14 - Special Instrumentation.

Misc Interior Photos:
Installing rug | New rear panels | Interior (sorta done)
Old: Checking under dash wiring, redoing heater box | Instrument cluster | Yup, interior is all pulled apart
Older: 1st time redoing the interior (1989) | Complete interior | B&M Megashifter

MadMike's 1980 Z28 Photos

The old 454 Interior view Rear view ZZ4 under construction

View in October 2001 | View in March 2001 | View in Dec 2000 | View in Aug 2000 | View in May 2000
MadMike & his Z (1985) | circa 1988 after a trip to Lebanon Valley Dragway (NY)

Current Assembly Photos:
Engine installed | "Under Construction" | Brake Booster | Re-installing Rear Suspension | Rear Suspension
Steering Gear | Installing Front Spring | Open Wheelwell | Rear View | Out in the sun
Rear Axle & Gas tank | Rear view, notice fuel line | Rear suspension, notice clearance on tire
The "Beep Beep - up yours buddy" view
YIPPEE - I GOT WASHED!!! | Front 1/4 view | Nose | Side View | Angled Side View

Old Photos:
Side shot of Z | Side from Front | Back end of Z
Mean looking Z | From the back- circa 1986 | Close up of ladder bars | Side view - stock (looking)

454 Photos: Complete 454 | 454 before engine cleanup | 80 Engine Bay | Front of engine bay
Rear End removed | 10 bolt closeup | old fuel pump | Rear of car

Screwing around under the hood: Re-torquing the heads | Another rough night
Proof that MadMike was young once. This is 1985, with air shocks & N90's. Don't laugh or I will kick your ass.

When I wasn't out wasting Grand Nationals & Scooters (jap bikes), I was wasting my tires.
Click here for a complimentary MadMike SmOkE sHoW!!!

Engine: GM "Fastburn" 385. My "Pacemaker" project, a Stock ZZ4 bottom end with "fast burn" aluminum heads. GM 1.6 Aluminum Roller Rockers.

Final underhood view of Engine Bay.
Getting this thing set up is a major PITA. It sounded great uncorked! But once I put the mufflers on it I can hear the valve train clattering. I need to set the valves, then reset the timing & fuel system so it runs nice. Right now it runs extremely rich. Hopefully there is no un-noticed engine damage (cam problems, etc...) Also, getting my hood to close was not fun. The hood scoop stud hit the drop base air cleaner lid. All other air cleaner choices made the top of the air cleaner too tall. I had no choice but to resort to the little sponge thingie that hopefully won't catch on fire.

Internal Engine views: bottom end | Roller cam lifter valley | one of the elves |
Installing engine: Here it comes | Nick lining up the motor on the mounts | Me performing some bitch work
Left side view | Right side view | Holy Sheot - IT'S IN!!!

Last updated: 7/30/2006
Re-written: 7/30/2006
Author: MadMike Maciolek
Email: [email protected]

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