Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read) - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Hello guys, figured I would put my project car up here for all to see. Warning: The photos I am about to show you are graphic in nature and not suitable for all audiences. Let me start with the story of how I came to own this car.

I had bought an 89 Foxbody mustang(I know I know) but it had way too many problems than I wanted to deal with. So I ditched it and my daily driver which was a 2000 Impala and went on the search for a fixer upper. I stumbled across this camaro and decided to take a look at it. Guy wanted 2200 for it so I figured it would be a nice start. Went and took a look at her and fell in love. Don't know why now looking back but I did. Drove her back home with one headlight, no tags and open mid length headers. Stopped and got insurance on the way. So after lighting the grass on fire one the side of the road and passing by 5 cops just off of idle, I made it home.

Now came the fun part. I got her running okay and fixed a blown wheel cylinder(which was why my brake pedal went to the floor the whole way home I suppose). I really got to looking at her and realized that my fancy dancy push button ignition was wired with about a foot of blue amp wire, 4 feet of speaker wire and the rest was about 20 gauge wire. Ballpark estimate of 9? splices total in that small section. That was when I realized I had my work cut out for me. So of course the obvious option was to buy go fast parts and ignore the critical systems on the car completely. Haha, what an idiot right? So a comp cams K kit, weiand stealth dual plane intake, a set of freshly machined vortec heads, some good looking wheels and tires and a few other odds and ends later(to include subframe connectors) I am finally here. Ran a true dual 2.5 inch exhaust through Magnaflow High Flow cats and Flowmaster Super 44's with turndowns just in front of my rear end. The engine is out and getting the cam, heads and intake swap as we speak. I am planning on buying a torque converter and a mini spool as well as a laundry list of other pieces to make her a really fun street/strip car. I am going to be tickled pink if she runs high 13's but I would be just fine with a 14 for now. I will post pictures as soon as my photo bucket finally uploads everything. Stupid computer is slowing me down. Sorry for the novel, but hey, thats my story and I'm stickin to it!



Mat
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 13, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Here are some pictures.

One eye bandit!!!



Almost put back together!



Gettin worked on.



Before my new wheels and tires.



Cam Card in case anyone was interested in those specs.



A little bit of fun out at the drag strip. Clicked off a 15.80 at 74mph with the 260 horse crate motor.



Starting to look like something.



Motor and tranny pulled out to start tearing them down at my buddies house.



Man I have alot of work to do.



As she sits right now. I need tall center bolt valve covers.



Some shinies.




Sorry for all the pictures but I have been with this girl for a little bit. Had to catch you guys up.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 13, 03:59 AM
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Good start. Keep up the good work.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 13, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Thanks! She is in rough shape but I can't take my eyes off her.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 13, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Well, things are slow going, but I guess that is how my project is gonna go for a while. Managed to strip a head bolt hole on my drivers side bank and broke a head bolt on my passenger side. So another valuable lesson has been learned. Always chase threads and though many people have a great experience using their old head bolts, buy new ones. Picked up a helicoil set and a brand new set of head bolts so we can get the short block buttoned up. Next will be getting my weiand stealth intake on and choosing a torque converter.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 13, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Well I just ordered everything to button my engine back up. I am putting in a brand new oil pump as well as a water pump. Throwing in a 160 degree thermostat. Copper header gaskets and some stock vortec intake gaskets. Bought a B&M shift kit for my turbo 350 transmission as well as picked up a 2000-2200 stall torque converter. Replacing all the seals and the filter in the transmission. Last but not least I picked up a mini spool for the rearend. Hoping to see some 13's out of my girl! I'll post pictures once the parts arrive!



Mat
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 13, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Here is what I have sitting in my kitchen!!

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I'm so excited!!!


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 14, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Sorry guys, I have been away for a while. I broke my back on a jump so I have been busy with my recovery. Just a little update, I have finished the engine. It is just a mild cam, head and intake swap. I looked at the cylinder bores and the rings hadn't even worn in the cylinder walls yet. Now it is sitting on the stand waiting for me to take care of my floor pans. I pulled my entire fuel system out in favor of a 16 gallon fuel cell with an electric pump and stainless braided fuel line. I am going to drop the rear end and rebuild it with a mini spool and 4.11 gears. It is slow going for me right now with my back, but I have some great friends helping me! I will keep updating as parts arrive and get installed.

Mat
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 14, 06:02 AM
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Take care of that back. You only get one... I'm just now really feeling the aches and pains of active duty more than fifteen years after I left. The Z will be there when you're ready. It looks like a great project. It looks like it was a pretty solid start.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 14, 11:04 AM
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Mat- Thank you for your service to our country. Do your physical therapy. The cool thing about a camaro is, if you finish it in 2 weeks or 2 years, it just gets more cool over time. I was a recon grunt in the Marines 20 years ago and did all kinds of damage to my body that I just "muscled" through in my 20's. In my 40's it turned to arthritis and regret for not taking better care of my injuries at the time. Hang in there and get better soon.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 14, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Thanks for the support guys! And thank you both for your service! I have a buddie of mine that was Force Recon. Only guy in the 82nd I know with a scuba bubble. Haha
Just an update, I splurged today and picked up some parts and pieces to really improve the performance of my car. Not to mention I saved a ton of money! Picked up an MSD 6AL digital ignition box, MSD Street Fire HEI distributor, Proform 650 CFM Mechanical Secondary carburetor, an Auto Meter 5" monster tach with external shift light and full length floor pans. Next on the "need to buy list" is my Painless wiring harness, 16 gallon fuel cell and stainless braided fuel system.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 14, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mattyz28's 1981 Z28 build(Bit of a read)

Well, I just got my fuel cell in today. Needless to say it is going to be a challenge to mount in my trunk. It is a summit racing 16 gallon fuel cell with a rear drop sump. I'm definitely open to suggestions as the best way to lay it out flat in there. Right now it looks like I'm gonna have to cut the trunk pan and flatten it out the weld up the holes. Also, anyone here in NC know of a good place to get sheet metal? I need a couple of flat pieces to finish up my floor pans and possibly my trunk pan.


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