Third gen daily driver project...

Discussion in 'Oklahoma Region' started by CamaroDoc, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    This thing landed in my shop on February 12 as a parts car, but after looking it over I've decided to build it back as a daily driver. I'd thought of adding a third gen to my stable for a while now, and on this one the price was definitely right. It's an 84 Z-28 and originally had a carbureted HO 305 and a 5 speed which were both pulled for the previous owners project. Since I already have a warmed up 307 and a T5 trans, that's not an issue.
    The body is pretty straight except for the front fenders. This thing has more layers of paint on it than Tammy Bakers makeup. It even has a few gold plated accessories that will definitely have to go...


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    On February 19, I managed to score this parts car out of Coweta. It's an 87 Z-28 that was used as a race car and had a bunch of bits and pieces that the 84 needs, specifically fenders. As a bonus, it turns out that the car was also loaded with extra body parts and a bunch of IROC goodies such as the IROC wheels, "wonder bar" steering/chassis brace, larger sway bars, a tilt column with keys, and a new steering box. Several crates of engine and brake parts were also piled in the trunk.

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  2. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    3/ 19/ 2017
    I have been spending some time stripping paint off this poor old thing. I started on top of the bumper and moved up on top of the hatch and around onto both quarters. As I expected, I found some bondo in the left quarter. This car has been repainted many times in it's life. It started out as a Brown Z-28. Next it was painted a bright gold, then maroon, then bright green with huge metal flake, and finally red and gold, again with lots of flake. The last repaint included a lot of striping by the Wizard. What a shame to have to take it all off, but the paint is just waaaayyyy too thick and cracked...


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    After the maroon paint job, the body wasn't scuffed in preparation for the green paint job. Consequently, I can slide a razor blade under the paint and lift and it pops off in chips. As I worked around onto the quarters I was able to get a putty knife under it and started lifting off palm sized chips. It's sad but it's saving me a bunch of time, elbow grease, and sandpaper...I removed the spoiler and sanded the hatch down to the original brown in a little over an hour. Then I removed the hatch to store it for when I have more pieces ready for paint.

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    Next it's off with the taillights, tag mount, spoiler ends, and maybe the rear bumper cover. Hard to believe this car had so many repaints in just 14 years. It was last tagged in '98...
    Here are another few shots of the 84 before really getting started on the project.


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    The parts car had a nice tilt column although I don't care for the old Grant wheel...

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    I have since pulled all the interior plastics out of the back of the car for cleaning and a color change from tan to black. Luckily most of it is in pretty good condition but I did locate some minor sheet metal damage from a previous rear impact. Nothing serious, just some separated seams. This will be a long weekend for me so hopefully I can get some more progress accomplished.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  3. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    4/ 27/ 2017
    I finally made it out to LKQ today and picked some good stuff off of a 92 Firebird. I managed to score a lot of the missing items I need for the 84... I feel I may have paid too much for the exhaust manifolds but they are the correct ones for the car and I really don't want to mess with headers on this project...


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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  4. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    4/ 30/ 2017
    Well, I have all the interior out of the car except for the console, dash, and the right door panel. I'm not going to mess with the dash other than swapping in the tilt column from the parts car. Today I plan on getting the broken remains of the console out to see if it can be saved or not. Then I need to vacuum all the broken glass and other debris out of the floor and see what can be done about the nasty @$$ tan carpet. One of the door sill plates was broken and the other was pretty scarred up so I snagged the set out of that 92 'Bird at LKQ when I took in the manifold and space saver cores this morning. I also grabbed the radiator overflow tank since mine is missing and the birds was off and just laying there. Too easy...

    Got the console out and it's pretty much trash. It has been broken into several pieces and zip tied back together already. I think I'll just locate another one in better shape. The floor pans appear to be solid. I still have the parts car with good floors but I'm glad I won't have to deal with that... :rolleyes:

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  5. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    5/ 1/ 2017
    I found a possible rust issue on the T-top divider bar. What I can see is not too bad but it makes me worried about what's hiding under the hatch weatherstrip. I need to pull it up out of it's channel (without damaging it) and see what it looks like. The weatherstrip is in decent shape right now, but if I tear it, it's a $400 screw up... :eek:

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  6. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    5/ 4/ 2017
    Well, I got a small infusion of cash this morning so I ran back out to LKQ to pick at the old 92 'Bird some more. I decided to snag the whole set of seats out of it since they were in really nice condition. They have a few dirty spots but if they clean up nice, I'll install them as is. If not, I'll dye them black... I also grabbed the blower/ evaporator case from the firewall and the passenger side wiper arm after finding out the one I had was jacked up. When it's all said and done, this may turn out to be a pretty nice ride for the investment...

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  7. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    5/ 7/ 2017
    I pushed the old girl out into the sunshine yesterday to swap on the last IROC wheel since the other wheels are now listed on CL. I sealed up the evaporator system on the new A/C box in case I decide to reinstall air conditioning some time in the future. With it being a T-top car, I don't really see it happening but you never know.

    I spent the rest of the day peeling off more layers of paint. Not super exciting but it has to be done. I need to at least get the roof sections stripped and painted before starting reassembly of the interior. The front half of the carpet is so worn that it is beyond saving so I'm going to just order new and be done with it. I think I may go ahead and try to pull the doors off today, too...


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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  8. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    5/ 15/ 2017
    I got the fenders and nose cap removed to expose the damage from the cars previous crash, back in the 90's. The bumper cover turns out to be an aftermarket part. The bumper mounts are damaged and of course the core support took a beating as well...

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    I managed to straighten out the bottom of the core support with a large hammer pretty easily. The top half was bent back by the impact and then further mangled by a careless engine removal. The center of it was actually torn almost all the way loose at each end of the radiator opening. I cut out the worst section of it and started trimming the replacement core support section I removed from the 87 parts car...


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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  9. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    5/ 20/ 2017
    Well, it turned out to be a really nice day so I went out and did some final trimming on the lower half of the original core support that was still usable. Then I trimmed up the replacement top half off the 87 parts car and did one final trial fit. Once I was happy with it, I used a Greenlee knockout punch to enlarge the holes around the hood height adjusters so as to not have the hood sit too high when I reinstall it. They were screwed all the way down when I took it apart and I don't want to take any chances. The punch makes nice neat holes that almost look factory. After that I put it in place one last time and bolted it down and then added a few inconspicuous screws to help make it solid...
    The frame ends are still jacked up but I think I may have an easy fix for that as well. I guess we'll see...


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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  10. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    1,748
    6
    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    5/ 27/ 2017
    I found another 85 Z-28 in a different salvage today. Unfortunately the ground effect pieces were all busted up but I did score an automatic console in pretty fair condition and the inner door handle trim pieces I needed. I even got the "holiday weekend discount". There are still some parts I need to go back for like the transmission cross member and maybe both doors. They had manual regulators and mine are power. (I hate power accessories) Have to do it soon though. I picked up my new hatch and door locks along with the hinge bushing kits from O'Reilly's yesterday morning. I'm wanting to start working on some doors ASAP...
    Not pretty right now but at least it's all there and it's something I can work with. Still looking for a manual shift plate instead of the auto...

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017

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