View Full Version : How do I make my Z28 into a racer?
08-23-2002, 10:19:00 PM
Hi everybody, been a while since I posted last. I have thought and thought about fixing up my Z28 and putting it back on the road.
One major problem though, 1981 was the first year GM started using the ECM(computer) and a previous owner had yanked all of that out, and I don't have it.
To legally make it pass smog here in CA, it will have to have all the orginal parts, I'll bet I could find a nice Z28 for less than all the parts to make the car smogable again.
So, what kind of racing could a 1981 Z28 be used for that is not registerd? I know nothing about racing, but it may be a fun hobby.
I'm thinking it's got a good start to be a racer, someone had put lower rear gears in the differential, either 4.11 or 4.56.
The interouir is thrashed, the body needs work, but on a racer, it does'nt have to be a perfect paint job, right?
Is there a book that would teach me about racing, and how to build the Z28 into one?
08-24-2002, 12:13:00 AM
Just go to a local book store, you should find several books about high performance. Just make sure they are up to date, you don`t want a book that has twenty year old tech in it. There have been many improvements.
08-24-2002, 12:22:00 AM
The 350 in it is smoked. I can get a 500ci Caddilac engine out of a 1975 Caddy along with the Caddy transmission. I was thinking that would be the starting point on this racer, first put it in and see how it runs, then maybe add headers better intake and cam.
Would a 500ci Cad engine fit in there? Any reasons no to go with that engine? I'm more a budget type guy, I'm not going to buy a 10,000.00 engine for it.
08-24-2002, 03:12:00 AM
People HAVE put caddy engines in camaros...and most other things. Your #1 problem will be finding parts for the caddy engine. Aftermarket (gofast) parts are few and very expensive. If you do a search, there has been mention of caddy engines on the site before. Can it be done? Sure. Is it easy? not really. Can it be done cheap? Probably, if you know what you're doing. But parts for it will NOT be cheap. See what you can salvage from your 350 (Is is smoking, or smoked as in DOA?) Buy yourself a new block, (around here, you can get a standard bore block for $50 at times...or a $2-500 running one. Drop it back in, and go have fun.
08-24-2002, 03:21:00 AM
The 350 had been rebuilt, but either it was not broke in, or the guy got his clearances wrong. It lost oil pressure, at idle it got about 2psi! I pulled the pan, pulled a rod cap, and it was all scraped up.
So I figure it at least needs a crank kit. I was gonna build it into a 383 stroker for my 1965 Chevy short fleet truck.
The Cadillac engine sounds worth a try, I can have it, and the tranny for around 300.00 with a month's warranty from pick n pull. I would make sure it runs before stabbing it in, and if not, go take it back and try another, or have a full credit for whatever I want for life.
If it was to hard to put in, I'm sure some rodder would give me 300.00 for it and the tranny if it runs.
08-24-2002, 06:20:00 PM
Go into the competition section of this place to see what people are doing.
Define "racer". Get involved by watching and asking questions of various "racers". See what type of racing appeals to you. Drag racing, road racing, stock car racing....
then if you feel like it - build your "racer" to fit into one of those forms of racing.
Throwing a caddy engine into an 81 Camaro won't make it a racer. In fact it'll be a slug on the drag strip, illegal for stock car racing and a pig on a road coarse.
Figure out what you want to do. It's usually cheaper to do it (race) with someone elses stuff.
08-24-2002, 06:23:00 PM
<font face="Arial,Verdana" size="2">
To legally make it pass smog here in CA, it will have to have all the orginal parts, I'll bet I could find a
nice Z28 for less than all the parts to make the car smogable again.</font>
PS: the above caught my attention too:
If you're afraid to spend a couple bux on smog equipment forget about going racing.
$7000 might get you started.
08-25-2002, 03:09:00 AM
Looks like you have a lot of technical input,,,as far as the racing end of it....if you live in California,,,go to "Calclub.com" website...it is the "Sports Car Club" website,,,,their members participate in a lot of organized "on track" racing events... http://www.nastyz28.com/ubb/smile.gif