My First Camaro - 78' Z28

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by FermentedSpirit, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. FermentedSpirit

    FermentedSpirit New Member

    Aug 20, 2017
    Hi everyone, I'm a new member here and wanted to give a little introduction about myself and my first project car "Z".
    First off I've always had a love and respect for cars and grew up around them. My Dad has worked on/sold cars his whole life, but unfortunately I don't have a lot of hands on experience. Even though I wanted to be in the garage when I was little, my Dad was always worried that being a girl I would get hurt. As I got older I would help with some painting and body work, but nothing with regards to the mechanical side. I have recently been helping a little with my boyfriend's 76' Trans Am restoration so that's given me some insight into the basics and also the confidence to take on a car of my own.
    Camaro's have always been my favorite and we stumbled across my dream car (now named "Z" ) in an odd way as we got lost going to a viewing last Saturday. Everything happens for a reason right?
    Despite the fact that she currently doesn't run, for $2k we just couldn't pass her up. She is a 1978 Z28 4-speed with a re-built 350 engine. We dated the engine as a 69' so she's not numbers matching, but as many have said, that really isn't a huge deal.
    We were able to turn the engine freely by hand so we aren't really worried about getting it running. The body is in decent shape other than the floor pans needing to be replaced. Quarters are good, very little rust for the age and the fact that the last time it was registered was Oct. 2010. Interior looks like it was home to quite a few critters over the years, but nothing that a good cleaning won't fix for now. I do plan on re-doing the inside at some point, but the most important thing first is getting her running.
    If anyone has any advice, etc. I'm open and appreciate the input. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty and getting this beautiful girl on the road!

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
    A15CRO likes this.
  2. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    Compressed air to blow out all the little critters, Check oil water and fill the float bowl with gas down the vent tube. A good hot battery and see if a kick in the guts gets her going. If it does then that's a good start. If not then see what the problem is.
    FermentedSpirit likes this.
  3. Twisted72

    Twisted72 Veteran Member

    Nov 8, 2015
    New Albany, Indiana
    Welcome to the 2nd gen Family. If that motor has been sitting that long I would pull it and go thru it, seals and gaskets has got to be dry rotted plus there is a reason it not ran that long ..just my thought
    djorgensen3 and FermentedSpirit like this.
  4. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    May 6, 2012
    Federal Way, Washington
    Welcome aboard ! looks like you have a lot of work to do.

    Attached Files:

    FermentedSpirit likes this.
  5. PalmbchZ28

    PalmbchZ28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Jan 29, 2017
    West Palm Beach Fl
    Welcome. Looks like you have something good to start with. Agree with Twisted on seals and gaskets...She will be a leaker. Good luck great to have you here.
    FermentedSpirit likes this.
  6. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    I started a 72 350 Cutlass that sat for 15 yrs outside. I put a good set of points in first then did what I described above. It fired on the first crank. Ran till the fuel was used up in the bowl. Then I put a gas can direct to the fuel line and ran it for 30 mins. I had a freeze plug leak on D/S head but it did not smoke tick or Knock. The tranny was good too.
    FermentedSpirit likes this.
  7. Scott51

    Scott51 Veteran Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    New Zealand
    I'd pull the seats, console and carpet, give it a vacuum and spend the afternoon hunting for rust with a work light and screwdriver.

    Unusual for rust that bad to be isolated unless it was sitting with the window down? and a rusty body can drag a project down way faster than any mechanical issue.
    PalmbchZ28 likes this.
  8. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    That being a Pa. car is normal to rust out on the floor pan due to salt on the roads in winter. My Dad Had an 89 Gran Prix Pa. car that looked beautiful up top but the underside was so bad that it was not worth fixing. The whole sub frame and rear axle system could be bent with very little pressure. I replaced the whole rear section and fuel tank but the rocker panel had holes the size of your fist. so I drove it for a little while and sold it whole for parts. Too bad the car had only 60,000 on it. I saw the front end on another car a few weeks later so it lived on in another G/P
  9. flint9

    flint9 Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    st louis mo
    I vote for original ac delco
    FermentedSpirit likes this.

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