79/79 vs 81 Nose, rad support hood & fenders

Discussion in '1978 - 1981 Specific' started by pogiepelton, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. pogiepelton

    pogiepelton New Member

    Jun 21, 2014
    So heres one for you..

    I bought myself my first car back in 1996 (I was 16) the local backyard mechanic acquired an 81z28 and decided to part it out, I fell in love with it so me and dad bought it for $1000. It had some minor front end damage, the corner of the nose was broken off and the drivers fender had some rust holes, so me in my infinite 16 year old wisdom found a parts car (a 1978 or 79) and decided to put the nose and fender from the parts car onto my car. The fender never seemed to line up smoothly with my door / hood, see pic, as well the hood always seemed to be sitting too close to the windshield, the wipers would scrape on the stainless trim piece running along the edge of the back of the hood. I removed the wipers and went on with life parked the car for 20 year and recently decided it was time for it to see the light of day again. I've now been fiddling with it on and off for a year and have decided to make the fender lines proper by replacing the 78 / 79 fender/nose with another set that I picked up off craigslist. So anyways, can anyone confirm that the fender stamp changed from 78/79 to 81? or did I start off with a tweaked fender all those years ago? The guy I bought the recent nose and fender from said he had build many of these cars and the rad support on the 81 was 1/4 inch shorter from front to back which was why I was having a hard time with the proximity of the hood to the windshield. Well anyways, can anyone confirm any of this?

    Attached Files:

  2. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    The corner of the driver's side fender is bent.
    The radiator support and nose is interchangeable from 78-79 to 80-81.
    The only real difference I've ever seen is the mounting points for the grill.
  3. pogiepelton

    pogiepelton New Member

    Jun 21, 2014

    So what would make the hood scrape the windshield wipers?
  4. Glava

    Glava Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Central NY
    Z28PSFrontGap.JPG DS Rear lower Gap.JPG Z28DSfrontMiddlegap.JPG Z28DSfrontMiddlegap.JPG DS Rear lower Gap.JPG Z28PSFrontGap.JPG

    I can confirm that the panel gaps from the factory for the 78-81 were not real good. Here are shots for my original 1979 -if you want factory correct this is how bad it has to look LOL
  5. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    May 6, 2012
    Federal Way, Washington
    I have a 1979 Z28 RS ,I replaced the front fenders with 1981 Z-28 front fenders and driver side door aftermarket inner fenders ,Glastek 6" cowl hood, Fibermotive IMSA nose. And we adjusted so the gaps are better than stock. It just takes time and some tweeking here and there. It all attention to detail when assembling cars. 130044932860518017_26257430996_o (1).jpg
  6. caseyriggs

    caseyriggs New Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    only diference is inner nose core is diferent,u can use either but then have to use grille from that year,78 79 grill mounts are diferent from 80 81

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