1978 Z28- Seee Ya!

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by 8pack, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,810
    14
    Aug 29, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I am starting my build thread, on my rebuild for the 2nd time in 20 Years.

    I owned this car in college up in the Albany NY area. It was awesome. I drove it to spring break in Ft. Lauderdale back in the day when the strip was wide open and as long as the driver wasn't drinking open containers in the car were fine. We would do the trip with 5 people in the car, non stop both ways. I have had the same license vanity plate in NY, CT and NJ.

    The only time it caused me problems was when we got pulled over in FLA. We had NY Vanity plates, I had full tinted windows and I guess we looked a little questionable at night with the windows up. Cops came out the cars guns drawn and one stood behind the car with his pointed straight at the back of us....just a little nerve racking!

    After 3 great years I had to sell the car. I needed something I could more practically drive in the winter and got better mileage. I won't reveal what I bought...too embarrassing.

    Fast forward to around 1994 or so. I still had the original registration. I went to an insurance investigator and asked him if he could find it. 15 minutes later he came back with the name address and telephone number of the guy who owned it still in Albany. I called the guy and told him I heard his car was for sale. He said, oh yeah, it is, how did you find out. I told him John in Troy had given me his name, he said John who, of course...I said he was friends with a good buddy of mine and I gave him some other name and I didn't know John's last name. He said come on up and take a look.

    It was in a field, not running. I took it on the spot for $600.

    I spent the next couple of years completing rebuilding it. I stripped everything off, every nut an bolt etc. I had a new motor put in, rebuilt the tranny, all new interior, almost all NOS Parts where possible. Everything was new, brakes, brake lines, AC etc.

    Fast forward....The car had developed some piston slap. The clutch and tranny were giving me problems. I tried multiple things to see if I could get the thing to run better. 2 years ago I just stopped driving it.

    I live near the Jersey shore and Sandy hit. My barn is in the flood zone. I was able to move the car so I moved it up to the house. In the middle of the night I had to move it 3 more times to keep it from getting flooded. The barn took in 5 ft of water....

    At that point I decided I needed it to run and I missed driving it. I planned on just a motor rebuild. I had it stroked, .40 over 383 (385). BUT once the motor was out I started looking at everything and everything needed to be freshened up.There was no rust on the underside except some light surface rust as I had put POR 15 on it last time. I decided I wanted to clean all that up. Then of course I looked at the rear suspension. I never really like the way it drove with the Rancho suspension and poly graphite bushings so after lots of research the rear came out. Then all the brakes and lines, today the front suspension came out.....Back to a TOTAL REBUILD!

    I don't have many pictures yet and will up load them.

    So far I have a Custom Works 2G suspension waiting to go in. All parts are going to the powder coater after I get the steel bushings pressed in and tack welded.

    Gas tank will be repainted, rear end is out waiting to get stripped and painted, under body and sub frame is prepped for paint etc. Just need warmer weather.

    There is some small rot in the areas behind the doors and in front of the rear wheel. I had the car sand blasted when I rebuilt it and I think there was some sand in there that collected moisture. Paint job was always just ok. Finish was good but not the arrow straight doors I wanted. Over the years front and rear bumpers have gotten scraped up. I am not messing with the body for now. That is for next year....

    Plan is to be back on the road by June....started in November with the engine rebuild....lets see how it goes!
     
  2. 3504SPD

    3504SPD Veteran Member

    Cool story. It's amazing we could fit 5 people in those cars. Good luck with the 78Z.
     
  3. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,810
    14
    Aug 29, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Here a the limited ones I have of the body:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  4. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,810
    14
    Aug 29, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Here are some engine compartment pics. All taped off, sanded and ready for another coat of POR 15 and then Chassis black

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  5. 1977 RS Type Lt

    1977 RS Type Lt Member

    95
    0
    Feb 23, 2014
    Winnipeg Canada
    very nice car, good luck with the project
     
  6. zhedding

    zhedding Veteran Member

    149
    0
    May 17, 2013
    decatur, illinois
    car looks good, looks like alot has been done to it already.
     
  7. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,810
    14
    Aug 29, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My car is now officially basically a shell. No,Engine, Transmission, rear end and all the suspension is out.

    My pile of control arms and spindles. Control Arms getting new Steel Afco bushings as soon as I can get to NAPA to drop them off to press the old ones out and the new ones in.

    [​IMG]

    The rear end prepped and ready for paint. I just need warm weather to get everything that has come off painted.....I suspect I am on Hiatus until April except for getting stuff out for powder coating.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  8. Bumpad_Z28

    Bumpad_Z28 Veteran Member

    500
    2
    Apr 9, 2004
    Logan, UT
    AWESOME !

    I love '78 Z's ;)

    ~DaVe
     
  9. ctchap70

    ctchap70 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    My first was a 78. Looks good.
     
  10. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,050
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    That's a great story, glad to hear you were able to get your original car back! Unfortunately that wasn't an option for me.
     

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