1981 Z/28 Speed Secrets Needed

Discussion in 'Camaro Questions' started by 70-SS/RS-L78, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. rchydzik

    rchydzik Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    662
    0
    Nov 13, 1999
    Colbert, WA USA
    If you keep the computer, any changes must be compatible. Does this car have a locking torque converter? Not really easy to change. I think your best bang for the buck, while remaining stock appearing are:

    1-Freer flowing exhaust. Replace the pellet converter with a modern high flow converter.
    2-Tune the ignition curve.
    3-64cc heads and mild cam, like the old Comp 268HE or Crane 272. You could also step up to a Performer EGR manifold, it should fit. If you go this route, you might want to simply build a 350 or 383 and put your numbers matching engine in a plastic bag.
    3-Shorty headers or Sanderson headers would help the exhaust, but only after replacing the converter.

    I think you want to look at increasing torque more than horsepower. 3.08 gears (if that's right) and a locking torque converter will be easy on the highway. I don't think you would get much benefit from an overdrive transmission by itself. If you can get to 300 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, the car will be much more fun to drive.

    Try 1 and 2 and see what you think.
     
  2. Detrailers

    Detrailers Veteran Member Gold Member

    487
    16
    Sep 21, 2015
    Corinth TX
    1482773648648-1995413132.jpg
    This is all you need!. my pristine, "Supertuning" book.
    Circa 1980, it's actually a bit laughable.. quite a few errors in it too regarding years and the corresponding pictures..
     
  3. 70-SS/RS-L78

    70-SS/RS-L78 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    2,555
    8
    Mar 19, 2003
    Phila area
    I'm beginning to think this car may have fell into the wrong hands:D I have been putting a bunch of miles on this Z/28 and I'm almost starting to feel guilty about it. I had the old girl out again all day and I put almost 150 miles on the car and we had a ball doing it. I even let Karen drive the car on the way back. I don't trust the ethanol fuel so I went to the airport and filled the tank up with AV fuel and headed out to some country roads so I could see how well the old girl handles. I'm sure that can't be good for the catalytic converter.:rolleyes: Well she handles pretty good and has no creaks or rattles for a 36 year old car with T-Tops. They were meant to be driven so that's exactly what I'm gonna do. I'm done being a Caretaker to cars and letting them sit covered up in the garage.
    Mark

    .
     
  4. 80sz

    80sz Veteran Member

    1,379
    45
    Feb 2, 2014
    Buffalo,n.y.
    Nice,camaros are a blast and av gas smells great.
     
  5. sliceoflife81

    sliceoflife81 Member

    47
    0
    Nov 20, 2014
    bell,ca
  6. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    13,060
    34
    May 4, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    It will never run 12s without a different set of heads or a type of force induction.

    To keep it stock appearing will be tough since 81 has the ccc, but I would do a Vortec top end, cam, headers. You will also need a new converter. Just keep the stock parts do you can transfer it back.

    Based on all these of this, it might be cheaper to keep it stock and go buy a used 1998-2002 camaro that will be close to 12s stock. Likely already have mods to easily go 12s
     
  7. Crazy4camaro

    Crazy4camaro Veteran Member

    157
    4
    Dec 30, 2015
    Greenville SC
    I plan on putting a set of 2.02 vortec heads, cam, I just purchased a 80 corvette aluminum intake. Paint it all blue
    an drive it like I stole it. It came with a 342 posi, Ill let you no how it works.
     
  8. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    The normal procedure is to and this depends on your budget and State emissions..Is to add a Eldelbrock Performer .A set of headers with dual exhaust ( dual high flow catalytic converters) for a start. Then you add a MSD--6 Style ignition.Then a cam and head swap.K&N filter. I would keep your factory cold air set up. And get you Q-jet dialed in.Or an aftermarket carb. This stuff you can do a little at a time and budget .Rember it doesn`t take much to "wake up" a small block Chevy.
     
  9. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    15,283
    62
    Sep 15, 1999
    Toronto Maple Leafs
    Drive it. That's what I would do and find a gas station that sells Premium with 0% ethanol.
     
  10. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Vortec heads and an old intake huh? hmmmm
     
    80sz likes this.

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