View Full Version : 1980 Z28 Restoration

04-21-2013, 11:05 PM
I bought this car around 2002 and actually did some work to it at the time. Other stuff came along and nothing was getting done. About 2006 I did some more work to the car, but lost interest again. Over this last winter, I started at it again. I worked on insulating the garage so I could run the heater without heating the neighborhood. The car is an aftermarket convertible.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f262/indyzmike/1980%20Z28%20Convertible/photobucket-28952-1353782001126.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/indyzmike/media/1980%20Z28%20Convertible/photobucket-28952-1353782001126.jpg.html)

Then I pulled the engine and trans from the car and proceeded to rebuild the engine. I have a rebuilt 700R4 to replace the turbo 350. I rebuilt the original 350 motor mostly stock as I want the car to be just a cruiser on 87 octane. The block was deglazed at original bore, new flat top pistons, crank ground .010 under, new Melling pump, new Edelbrock E-Street aluminum heads, RV cam, Performer intake, Holley carb, roller tip rockers, and stock fuel pump and distributor. The paint is the original color, GM Corporate Blue.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f262/indyzmike/1980%20Z28%20Convertible/photobucket-6290-1364776595353_zps32d35a96.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/indyzmike/media/1980%20Z28%20Convertible/photobucket-6290-1364776595353_zps32d35a96.jpg.html)

Next on the list is the subframe. The one on the car has some front end damage and I had a good one from a parts car. It needs a teardown, sandblast, rebuild and paint before it goes back on.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f262/indyzmike/1980%20Z28%20Convertible/photobucket-26588-1365989570362_zps57e70589.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/indyzmike/media/1980%20Z28%20Convertible/photobucket-26588-1365989570362_zps57e70589.jpg.html)
Now I have to keep at it so it will be done before 2020.

04-22-2013, 12:37 AM
Nice start!

How much do the tubular subframes run for your rig?

Prince Valiant
04-22-2013, 10:43 AM

Since that's an aftermarket convertible, how much was done to strengthen the chassis for the convertible makeover? Any plans to stiffen it up more?

Love the painting the engine to stock colors for the correct model year, even if the color wasn't popular for the brand.

04-22-2013, 09:25 PM
I did not check on the price of subframes. There are welded in square tube subframe connectors installed that fit to the factory subframe. That is all they did to make the body stronger. There are about five different convertible conversions and some did more strengthening than others. I removed the extra heavy springs and sway bars too. Way too stiff for a car that has been weakened. I could stand in the trunk and jump without moving the suspension.

Here are some similar cars.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f262/indyzmike/2nd%20gen%20convertibles/81SteasFirebird5.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/indyzmike/media/2nd%20gen%20convertibles/81SteasFirebird5.jpg.html)

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f262/indyzmike/2nd%20gen%20convertibles/1981Newfoundland1.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/indyzmike/media/2nd%20gen%20convertibles/1981Newfoundland1.jpg.html)

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f262/indyzmike/2nd%20gen%20convertibles/8120Convertible20005.jpg (http://s49.photobucket.com/user/indyzmike/media/2nd%20gen%20convertibles/8120Convertible20005.jpg.html)