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

    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

    Sep 21, 2015
    Corinth TX
    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

    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.

  4. 80sz

    80sz Veteran Member

    Feb 2, 2014
    Nice,camaros are a blast and av gas smells great.
  5. sliceoflife81

    sliceoflife81 Member

    Nov 20, 2014
  6. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    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

    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

    May 6, 2012
    Federal Way, Washington
    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

    Sep 15, 1999
    Ontario, Canada
    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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