The Z-Corn. My 80 Z28.

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by ISRcamaro, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. ISRcamaro

    ISRcamaro Veteran Member

    436
    18
    Oct 10, 2016
    Israel
    Since I posted here a lot of questions and you guys are really helpful (I was surprised how really helpful you were must say!) I thought I'll share my project. It's not a frame-up resto. But I'll guess it will be fine. It's a pretty long intro so here is the story about my unicorn. The Zcorn.

    First here are few things for the start... I'm from Israel. So excuse me for any spelling mistakes or if I don't understand full intentions or so (In that case, I use google :p).

    Second, and what makes the story long, those kind of American Muscles were never sold here.
    There were a couple of those kind of cars but they were really expensive and rare to see. I believe the m◊Ěst of them were self-imported. Only on 80's\90's you could really see some American cars here but mostly pick-ups or family cars like the Ford Cortina or sierras and stuff like GMCs, Chevi Impala etc.
    While most of the people around love the pony horse named Mustang (cause of it reputation on films I guess) since a young aged I wanted a Camaro. Always wanted it. Must have it. I guess that Bumblebee version back at 2007 "Transformers" awaken this will. The years passed and we jump to 2015. I lived for a year in California and had 2014 Camaro SS there. Loved it but felt like it was the time to get the real deal. An old non-computerize car :) A real rumble sound car.
    Few months ago at June 2016 I bought my 1980 Z28. I realized I can afford buying it and most important, having time to work on it. It wasn't that easy (or cheap) but in spontaneous decision (and Ebay) I did it!

    At the beginning of the process I had some worries cause of some few reasons. I'm going to import a car that was never sold here. Bureaucracy can be a pain at the future.
    To import a car to my country there's a 106% (!!!!!!!) tax. So actually it like I bought 2 Camaros (You paid 10K$ on yours? for me it's 20k$) And of course add the over seas shipping, towing and all to it (I did all by myself and not with a shipping agent to spare cash).
    And last but not least, since the Camaro wasn't sold here, there's not a real mechanic here that really know the car that really know the manufacture demands and taking care of the details of the small things like putting the original screws\ bolts. Stuff like this that symbol the different between beautiful to perfect. And as I said this Z is my unicorn.

    Lucky me, I'm coming from mechanics family. My grandfather have one of the first garages in Israel. He used to work on European cars mostly like Renault etc. He is 87 (!) awesome amount of knowledge and for the last 20-25 years he did mechanical restorations for special clients. He built over 20 Mercedes, Jaguars, Peugeots etc. He built rare cars that used in some Hollywood film I can't remember and long time ago Ferrari wanted him to be their lead mechanic in Israel. Although he worked on some Chevy, Dodge, Ford engines at the past, we never restored American Muscle but he have so much knowledge that I will never have. He is a different era kind of mechanic a very stubborn one. No rounding corners so I know I'm lucky that he is the mechanic that leading our team.
    Must say we never did cosmetics restos. Only mechanic ones and for me, the mechanic is what important. Cosmetics will wait since it's not effect the car running and it can wait for extra cash ;)

    Second on the team is my dad. Electric engineer and full of general wisdom of how stuff works so he's doing all the electricity for perfectness, interior stuff etc. While my head and thoughts are going all crazy and hyperactive, he is the calm, responsible and reasonable one.

    For me, I'm not a full time mechanic. All I learned I learned from my grandfather by watching him and spending summer with him in his garage at young age and by serving the Navy. I was a mechanic and a fighter at the Navy but it was 10 years ago. Although a ship isn't a car the basics are the same and I never was afraid of hardworking.

    Me along with those 2, Resto books, your help and Google will be invincible.
    It's not the best or optimal start. I know. There are no other Z28 I know around here that I can compare too. No one around that is "American muscle genius" and the hardest true condition is that there are no parts store or warehouse around for that kind of parts. I can't just jump to the store and buy a part for this car and there are no junk yards with those type of cars sitting. Everything I'll need will be restored or ordered from places like ClassicIndusries etc. which, again, means 150-250$ international shipping and around 50% tax on the parts.
    Yipi-Ya-Yo-Ka-Yeah!

    So thank you for letting me share this with you. Thank you for all the help too! After this intro let the journey begin.

    This is my Zcorn.
     

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  2. larrylarry

    larrylarry Veteran Member

    1,287
    37
    Dec 22, 2011
    San Antonio Tx
    I have a new Classic Industries catalog that I use to look up parts but hardly order from them because of there high price. I order from someone else like Summitracing.com or Jegs.com You could order parts (used parts) from members on this site but I'd only order from members with a high post count. Just to be on the safe side. I always tell people on here the first thing to do is to get there Camaro running/drive able. This keeps your interest up, being able to tell the difference in improvements helps. When I work on my 78 I stay with one section at a time until compleaty done, except for body work which I did when I was ready for it, one section at a time also. There a good site on the web called autobody101.com & hotrodders.com Not to say you'll get good advice on here but hotrodders.com seems to have more pro auto body people on it.
     

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  3. ISRcamaro

    ISRcamaro Veteran Member

    436
    18
    Oct 10, 2016
    Israel
    Really? When I compared Classic Industries to Rick Camaro or Camaro Central I found must of the things on Classic Industries and with the cheapest prices. Plus their global shipping was fast and normal price. I'll check Summit and Jegs. Never tried them actually. Thanks!

    Since used parts are big risk for me and even to return an item will be ridiculously expensive (cause of the global shipping) I think I'll stick to the new parts unless I'll see a rare part or a very expensive now that buying 2nd hand will be the better choice. Of course I'll try anything I can to make it on the safe side.

    Well I want to bring the car for a daily drive use. Not only drive able, but driving smoothly with no worries and with my crew I'm sure I'll get there.
    Body work is far from now since the body looks good but the mechanic side is taking care of by sections\ steps. Although we have are own garage and full equipment we are doing it on the safe side. I'm sitting on the next post right now to sum up the process of the... process. As i said, just the import process was a funny roller coaster!

    Thank for the advice! I'll check hotrodders too!
     
  4. 72BIGBLOCK

    72BIGBLOCK Veteran Member

    1,943
    37
    Feb 2, 2008
    SF
    C mom
    You gotta post more pictures that that :smokin:
     
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  5. ISRcamaro

    ISRcamaro Veteran Member

    436
    18
    Oct 10, 2016
    Israel
    So after all the intro, 2 months+ and the car arrived.
    I bought the car without seeing it. I only had the pictures that the seller upload to his eBay ad and is words. It was a huge gamble but... As everyone else buy an Iphone cover... I bought a car.
    I won't dwell but it took time to find a recommended towing company and set the shipping overseas. At the towing, the front glass molding broke and flew away so the car parked at the port warehouse until the new parts arrived to it and just after it the car got on board and to add some more fun, the ship changed course at the middle of the track.
    GREAT! but we are all after it ;)

    So I got the car, decided to tow it to my garage instead of driving a car that stood for 2 months and I never really checked. The laws here are much more strict.
    She was a beauty! Admit it I was excited. The car powered on on first touch! I was in love and new that this Camaro is my Zcorn.

    The car is in a good shape but far from being perfect. I was happy that it powered on on first touch but as closer you get, more you see...
    First I wanted to make sure it's a real Z since I heard a lot of stories about fakes. Well according to the VIN number and the fact that there's Z stamped on the brakes and steering box and there are front+rear sway bars I'm pretty sure I got a real Z. It was important to me to get a Z. You fall in real love only 1 time...
    The color wasn't perfect. The rear seems like it been done by an amateur.
    There were oil leaks under the engine and tranny (Still don't know from where since we didn't start working on the, yet).
    I know that the wheels aren't the original (Currently 17") but I knew it's an easy fix and I might changed them cause I really love the stock ones.
    The trunk was stuck. There were no cylinder so I took a ratchet with 5 (!) extensions to reach the trunk latch and removed the bolts.
    Then I reached the interior. Looking pretty good for 36 years old car. Upholstery look good. Dash looks nice only the panels could use some refreshment. Another point I want to mention. It was important for me to get a Camaro with the original gauges. It's a part of the classic beauty for me and I don't want to touch the aftermarkets parts. I knew I had some of the gauges working and some aren't. I ordered a new electric circuit and gauges and it's under work right now.
    The major issue I noticed that there are a l-o-t (!) of missing bolts which was weird cause it seems that someone took care of the car so how could he screw this part up?!
    A lot of bolts at the interior like the seats, panels, main console... even at the fender, shocks (!!!!). I ordered an hardware set and working on it.
    The power windows are working but very slowly. need to check this issue too.
    I felt that the parking cable has no feeling which means it's really in a poor condition.
    Not all the electricity worked. No drive lights and no reverse (The drive lights are working right now - we fix it)
    That was only the first lookout on the car at the first days it arrived. I was happy that the engine started on first try and the car moved forward and backward (I drove it from the tow truck to the car lift) and there's no any major rust seeing on first look. But was unhappy about the bolts issue and didn't know what and if there's rust.
    Next step is to begin dismantle the car... Check under the skin and start recognizing the parts. As much as I want the car to be as original as it can I understood it's not really possiable since it's not number matching. As I been told by the last owner (and confirmed it with the casting number later on) the engine is not the original 80 Z28. Seems like 1969 Camaro.
    (I love to learn the car and recognize each and each part of it. Sure that after this process I'll be able to advise to others that are about to start Camaro resto. Specially in my country.


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  6. 72BIGBLOCK

    72BIGBLOCK Veteran Member

    1,943
    37
    Feb 2, 2008
    SF
    I don't like cowl hoods on 78-81 camaros or stripes but I have to admit that one looks good
    I like it!
     
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  7. 80sz

    80sz Veteran Member

    2,153
    144
    Feb 2, 2014
    Buffalo,n.y.
    Nice ! You can swap 130 mph speedo from a 79 and it will read correctly. Pretty sure you got a amd 2" cowl hood on there.
     
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  8. ISRcamaro

    ISRcamaro Veteran Member

    436
    18
    Oct 10, 2016
    Israel
    Thanks! Another part to be recognized!
     
  9. ISRcamaro

    ISRcamaro Veteran Member

    436
    18
    Oct 10, 2016
    Israel
    So after stripping some parts we continued with the work.
    Started order lot of parts, mostly from ClassicIndust since they had all I need in stock.
    Started examine things like the brakes, parking brake and electricity.
    Must take care off the safeties first if I wanna drive the car down the street...
    I started making a list of all of the missing screws. I kept on messing with the electricity. Main lights, reverse lights, some of the gauges all are not working and the power windows move really slow. Although all the wiring seems pretty new.
    Rewire some of the parts. Took the headlights bezels off to clean them and replace the bulbs. Bought new ones with H4 bulbs instead of replacing the all mount each time.
    For the brakes... Parking break is dead. Not working. Going to buy a new cable and just replace it. Right caliper stuck. Not sure if it can be fixed or will need to buy a new one. Wheel Cylinders are stuck too, going to buy new ones.
    So for now it's still stripping parts of and renew\ replace them.
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  10. ISRcamaro

    ISRcamaro Veteran Member

    436
    18
    Oct 10, 2016
    Israel
    Progress is pretty slow due to a stock shock absorber.
    Took all of them off but the front right one is stuck. The thread at the top got twisted.
    Think I'll need to dissemble the whole A arm.
     

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