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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a new project car added to my fleet.

It's an '81 Camaro Z28, which my uncle (who lives in LA) bought brand new, so I am the second owner.

For years, all the car has done is sat and sat. Looking at the plate, the registration sticker shows 2013, and that was probably just to move it somewhere. Back in 2007, when I was looking for my first car, my uncle had intended to give it to me. An intention my mom
may have failed to relay to me - probably for the purposes of wanting me to get something other than a Camaro for my first car.

I ended up buying an '86 IROC-Z, so that tactic didn't quite work.


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.

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 (except in Canada). It's got nearly every option other than the 350, though; 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 paint, 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.

Also - on an unrelated note - I take a lot of pictures, so, don't be surprised.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
6-4-16




After getting back from the car show my brother and I attended, I was only able to check the car out a bit and pull it into the garage before 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. It's 17.3" longer than my Cobalt.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #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 ****





Rear package tray





This needs to be remounted





Underbody
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #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


 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #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 ***** 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
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
6-11-16 continued

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.












 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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 noticed, at least), so that's a plus.











 

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7,682 Posts
Nicely done. A buddy of mine has a 1980 or '81 Berlinetta with the 4.4 / 267 and THM.

Got to drive it a handful of times in the summer of '85 when he was too drunk or hungover to do so himself.
 

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Very cool car. have you been able to drive it?
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Very cool car. have you been able to drive it?
So far: from in front of my house, up my driveway and into my garage - so about 100 feet. I've pulled it out of the garage twice, but that's the extent, really.

The left valve cover gasket leaks, so as the engine warms up - the oil that drips right onto the exhaust manifold begins to smoke.

Also, you'll notice the spare is on the right front - because the RF tire doesn't hold air (now Im not sure if it goes flat right away, or is a slow leak). So I'd like to get new tires, as well.

So I've been foregoing any kind of drive till I at least get the valve cover gasket taken care of.
 

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Leaky valve cover gasket is classic Gen 1 small block.
 

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Looks to be a solid car. While you had the seats out did you pull the carpet and check floor pans. I've owned several 2nd Gen T/A's and never had a hatch roof car that did not leak, some worse than others. Notorious for rusting out the floor boards. Looks like the frame rails are in good shape. Congrats, cleaned up nicely. Always thought that color looked good on the 81 Z's. I just sold my 79' T/A. Shipper is coming to pick it up tomorrow. It is headed to Ohio, so I'm without a 2nd Gen F body now. Been a long time since I have not had at least one sitting in the garage. I'm seriously considering buying a 3rd gen Iroc, possibly 86' or 87' model with the 350. Got my eye on a couple of them. Since you like 2nd Gen F bodies, here are a couple of pics of the T/A I just sold.



 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Discussion Starter #15
I did pull the carpet up a bit - all the sound deadening is still in place, so I'd of had to peel that off the floor in order to really see - the deadening being in place is a good sign, though. I have to reconnect the speedo cable, so I'll be putting the car up on stands - I'll get to have a real good look underneath then.
 

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Looks like a solid car, what are your plans for the car? Nice clean up.

several years back I had a 87 iroc with the 5.7 and I think it had around 60k original miles, black, it was a beauty and was fun to drive, kinda raw power and not the best handling car. Had a 98 Camaro SS convertible with LS1 I bought new and that car was more refined and handled very well.

your car should be a fun project, I would probably get it running and make a nice driver out of it and figure out the cosmetics later after I could drive it safely.

doesnt look rusty which could be a great candidate for paint and all new weatherstrip and stuff like that....
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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4,212 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the positive comments!

The plan right now is definitely get it to where it's driveable, so I can get it on the dyno and see just what tiny amount of power it produces in stock form.

After that, I want to ditch the factory single cat out to dual muffler exhaust, the restrictive exhaust manifolds (the left manifold especially, being a Cali car), all the smog equipment to clean up a lot of the mess in the engine bay, and then an aluminum intake manifold and some carb tweaks to take advantage of being able to inhale and exhale better. Then I want to run it on the dyno again - will be a nice A to B comparison.

Down the road, the plan is an LS-engine/T56 swap, possibly a destroked LS3 or LS7, and suspension work, bigger wheels, tires, etc.

Which brings me to the body, where I'm torn...because I do kind of dig the look it has now - especially if she were punching out 600 or so HP. But I like the factory (Maroon) color, and the jambs are all good - so if I were to want to paint it, it shouldn't be too tough. Only a few spots of actual rust on the body that I've seen so far (two on the passenger door, and then holes at the front of the hood, and some rust under the lip of the trunk lid). Definitely will be getting new weatherstripping soon, though. Most of it falls apart if you look at it wrong.
 
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