Second Generation Camaro Restoration Guide Introduction

This is THE Second Generation Camaro Restoration Guide. It spans all 12 years (1970 to 1981) of production. It covers all Camaro models, not just the Z28 or the 1970 Super Sport. You will find information about your 1976 6 Cylinder Camaro Coupe in here. Those are Camaros too and we like them.

This guide is written to be useful to every level of Camaro owner, from the curious or casual enthusiast to the hard-core 100% accurate concourse restorer. And everyone in-between. To my knowledge, this is the most complete and informative source for Second Generation Camaro information anywhere.

How to use this guide/site
This site was designed so you can quickly find what you need. Use the sites search function to quickly find information. Due to the interlinking and depth of information and ability to quickly jump around to specific information, it can seem confusing. Please take a couple minutes (or hours) to read or view the general outline of the guide.

Start at the table of contents. From there, you can zero in on whatever component section of the car you need information on.
You can start in the year section for the Camaro you're inquiring about. For example, if you want to know about your 1980 Camaro - you'd go into the "1980 Camaro Information" section. In there you will find out all about the 1980 Camaro, and from within that file, you may jump out to more specific detailed information (the chassis section for example).

PLEASE NOTE: Keep in mind the context or scope of this information. It spans from 1970 to 1981. Things changed throughout the years. When I say the TH400 was "1st used in 1970" its because this information pertains to the Second Generation Camaro. The TH400 existed before 1970, but for our purposes, it starts in 1970.

Also, what is described here is what's normal, common or generally the way the cars came. Cars are mass produced machines and deviations from the norm are not uncommon. It's not surprising to see a 12 bolt rear end in a 1972 especially if the customer exploded his 10 bolt 2 or 3 times and the dealership got fed up and put a 12 bolt in there for warranty purposes. The High Back 1971 seat actually made it into the last few of the 1970 model year Camaros. I know of ONE 1972 Z28 (with a vin code of L) that has an apparently "factory" A/C system. Not normal but.... stuff happens.

About the Author
My first car was a 1977 Camaro. I bought it quite by accident in 1981, but from then on I was hooked on the Camaro. The Second Generation specifically. After several years of reliable and loyal ownership, I traded it in for something more potent - my 1980 Z28. I then proceded to modify (royally screw up what was supposed to be) my daily transportation. Most of my experience was learned the hard way.

I've always favored the 2nd gen - Z28's specifically. So while the 3rd and 4th generations were the hot ticket at the time, there was not much for us 2nd genners. I was never trendy.

In 1985, I'd rumble over to my friends house in my loud car and his 2 year old son would get all excited and run around the house screaming about how "MADMIKE'S HERE!!!!", so I picked up the nickname - MadMike.

me & my Z in 1985

I'm 44 years old, and live in Dawsonville Georgia with my wife Laura and our 3 boys, Kyle, Dan & Trey. I was a Computer Systems Engineer for 18 years, then somewhat by accident blended my hobby with my career. These days I am actually employed as a Muscle Car technical consultant and inspector.

I have owned at least one of every year 2nd Gen (a total of 25). Some of these were "keepers", and some of these were cars I bought for parts or business. I now own 1 of each distinct style of Second Generation Camaro: a 1973 Z28 a 1974 Z28 and the 1980 Z28 I bought back in the 80's. The 80Z was "nasty" - according to some folks back then. That is where "" originated.

How the site started and the sites evolution.
I've been collecting Camaro information & documentation for years. I found it not only interesting and informative, but necessary to put my own car together. In the mid 90's I decided to compile and share this information in a comprehensive format that wasn't available anywhere else. Being a computer guy, it made sense to try and computerize that somehow.

I also sold parts and used the sale of parts to subsidize this site. Initially I had several distinct and separate sections of information, including my parts catalog, Camaro information and the Camaro FAQ. Eventually, these pages started to overlap. When I quit selling parts, I began to merge and consolidate all the information into one comprehensive site. Portions or traces of these old catalog sections still remain on this site.

Back when this site started, the 4th Gens were just coming of interest and the 1st gens were pretty well covered. Nobody was covering the 2nd generation. In addition, any 2nd gen coverage typically heavily favored the 1970 - 1973 models and excluded or skipped the 1974 to 1981 models. Had I initially tried creating a "Camaro" site, it would most likely have been overloaded by a non-second generation audience (not what I wanted). This explains why this site is Second Generation only and doesn't ignore the 1974 to 1981 styles.

This site is continually being updated, edited and expanded. In 2011 as I continue to restore my cars I am back to adding content after taking a break for a while. Since this site also contains a discussion forum, you will often find quick answers to questions you may have by checking in there.

This information was compiled by MadMike & Gary & Wes Stegmiller. Some of the information is obtained from our clubs message board and is provided by various and numerous club members. Wherever possible those peoples contributions are credited.

About Email
Lastly, I'd like to say - I do my best to support this hobby and our style of car. I get a lot of email and I try and answer it all but I can't always do that. I have little free time and often times your answer is already contained within this site. If you don't hear from me in a timely manner, poke around in here a little bit and I'll bet you'll find the answer to your question. One of the reasons the Message Board was created was to allow one of 17,000+ other people to be able to answer your question without having to wait on me. Plus I'll be the 1st to admit I don't know everything.

Last updated: 10/20/2011
Author: MadMike Maciolek

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