1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration - Third Generation F-Body Message Boards


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1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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Old 07-19-2013, 01:40 PM   #1  
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1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I haven't introduced myself formally around here but I really enjoy this board and all of the knowledge it provides. My name is Josh, I am 33 years old and I am from Minnesota. I was a basic mechanic that worked for a Cadillac Hummer dealership for plenty of years before going back to college to write software. I am starting on the restoration of an 83 Z28 H.O. with an L69. This is my second Camaro as I owned, maintained and daily drove an 89 RS with an L03 for about 10 years before this one. I recently sold that one when I decided to undertake this project.

The story of how I received this Camaro spans quite a few years. My stepfather bought it in around 1998 and it was in almost mint condition at the time. He drove it for a few years and I really coveted it. It actually inspired me to buy my RS. They moved out of state, years went by and I heard about him having tuning and oil leakage issues with it and eventually it ended up garaged. I never thought that I would get a chance to own the car as it would almost certainly be given to his biological son who would proceed to beat the tar out of it, run it without oil and cement it's place in the junkyard within a week or two. Well, it turns out his son turned the car down, probably because it was not cool enough and when it was given to my mother, she handed it right over knowing that I would be able to take good care of it.

I have decided right away that I want to restore the car instead of modifying it. Why? Because it will make me happy. I love the 80's, third generation Camaros and to me this car is as significant as they get. To me, the L69 is cooler than a 350 and the H.O. is as cool, if not cooler than an IROC. The individuality of the H.O. with the L69, fiberglass hood, Manual 5 speed, 3.73's, aluminum flywheel, aluminum drums and beefier suspension are sweet and to top it off it is an 83 so it is from the very beginning. I would personally feel like a criminal making this into something else.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:46 PM   #2  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Here is the build sheet. I remember it being in a lot better shape when I saw it back in the 90's. There was also a window sticker and other items back then. It's too bad that they were lost along the way, but this is great information. It would certainly be cool to find another build sheet in the car somewhere.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:59 PM   #3  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Welcome Josh, and good to hear that you are planning a proper restoration for this car. Post pics when you get a chance.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:15 PM   #4  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I picked the car up the weekend of June 30th. I wasn't sure what I was going to find. I was especially concerned with how much rust was going to be present, and where it would be. I had been told that there was nothing but surface rust in a couple of places, but who knows until you look at it.

I see a lot of posts on here with people freaking out that the car is destroyed at the smallest sign of rust, or advising people that they should not buy anything that has rust on it. It makes me laugh, being from Minnesota and all. I have seen cars that are lost causes, and most of the time it is far from the case.

What I found was some surface rust on the edges of the rear wheel-wells which can be expected and underneath the ground effects. I am the most concerned about that because I can't see how bad it is until I take them off. There is also a little rust on one of the door skins, I can't tell if that is going to doom that door skin or whether it will come right off. When I climbed underneath the car though, it was almost perfect. It seems as though the oil leak that was going on had coated the undercarriage and prevented any corrosion while it was sitting all of those years. The inner wheel-wells were also perfect.

My cousin had done a little back-yard bodywork on it before I came to pick it up which involved sanding, a little filler and priming which did not bother me much because it is all going to come off this winter anyways.

It was also obvious that it had been repainted. I could see that there was a layer of clearcoat on it, which would not have been the case in 1983. It was also obviously missing the decals and trademark black paint accents.
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1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration-frontweb.jpg   1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration-sideweb.jpg   1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration-rearweb.jpg  

Last edited by jraider66; 07-19-2013 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Forgot to add details
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:20 PM   #5  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Thanks. I am a bit behind so I am going to try to bring everything up to speed. I really like reading about people's progress on here so I figured I should do the same.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:41 PM   #6  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

The interior was in good shape. I was very happy to see that as I had no idea what kind of abuse it had been subjected to over the last 10 years. My first thought upon getting in was that the seats were in good shape, and provided a lot more support than the seats in my RS did. Very comfy. Second I looked at the mileage and noticed that it was at about 84,000 and I thought to myself no wonder, my RS had 250,000 miles plus on it. In a moment of childlike imagination I thought that the dash pad was without a crack, but was brought down to earth when I saw the trademark Camaro dash crack, just in a different spot on the 82-83 dash. There was no radio in the dash, and I reached in the black hole to find...the original connectors? You mean someone actually wired a stereo the correct way and didn't butcher all of the stock wiring? What a score, and I was glad that I didn't order the stock connectors before arriving. There are small things to fix in the interior, but it will not be very tough and I think that all of the fabric, down to the carpeting can be saved.

I previously bought the 83 Service manual and the 83 Fisher body manual for F-body to help me figure out any small details or wiring that I might want to know. I am pretty obsessive about details.
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Last edited by jraider66; 07-19-2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Added image
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #7  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Mechanically I had a couple of things done to the car before I arrived. I had the oil changed before it was ever started and I had the valve cover gaskets changed out. I also had the tank purged and some clean fuel put in there. I had the damage from it's strange transportation incident all cleaned up. (New rear brake lines and new rear springs). I had a glasspack installed temporarily after the cat because the exhaust had also been damaged in the transport.

I went to start the car for the first time and it started right up. Then it killed. I did that dance a couple of times and feathered the throttle after that to get it warmed up. Little did I know that at the time the choke was just lying there wide open, dead on the carb. Eventually it stayed running. My first impression was that it was a whole different animal than my RS was. The engine shook the car and you could feel the engine through the manual shifter. It felt awesome. I pulled it out and parked it so I could get to work on preparing it for the 50 mile drive home.

I had been told that it had a radiator leak beforehand and I was worried about getting a correct aluminum radiator for the time, so I bought one out of an 83 Firebird. I later found out that you can basically buy the same Murray radiator today but brand new.

Anyways I replaced the radiator, hoses and thermostat with a 170 degree Delco because restoring or not, I don't think that these engines need to run at 220+ degrees. The original electric cooling fan was still in the car to my happiness, but the wiring had been butchered because I'm sure the relay or sensor in the block failed and they thought it was easier to wire it in a dangerous way through a toggle switch from the battery to the fuse block. I replaced the wiring with a temporary system that runs through fusible links and a relay to an ignition source on the fuse block. I put in fresh coolant and the cooling system was ready. It runs at a nice 195 now.

I also replaced the Fuel Pump because I did not feel comfortable with the age of the old one. I did not want the diaphragm rupturing and spilling gas into the engine.

I drained the transmission of the 80w90 and filled it with Dexron V after reading all of the debates over what they are really supposed to use. I don't think that anyone will ever come to a consensus on that.

I also drained the rear end and took the cover off to clean it out and put in a new gasket.

After all of this I drove it for the first time. It reminded me of why I liked the car in the first place. It feels really fast, and maybe they are not anymore. But damn it's a lot of fun, and it sure launches.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:31 PM   #8  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

My drive home went really well. We stopped by the world's largest ball of twine which I had never seen before and it didn't get interesting at all until we were almost home. It started raining, and I realized that I did not even think about the windshield wipers at all up until this point. I turned the lever and they basically made the windshield blurrier than it was originally. The rubber was hanging halfway off the passenger side, haha. Good times. I bought some replacements on the way home.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:46 PM   #9  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I apologize for not having more pictures, I will try to take more in the future because I know they are more interesting than just me blabbing on. Anyways, I decided that my plan is to get the car as mechanically sound as I can before the winter, and then I will put it up in the garage and grind every last bit of rust off the body and prep it.

The first thing affecting driveability was the broken electric choke. I drilled out the rivets on the carb and replaced it. When I fired the car up the engine revved up to about 5 grand. I realized that the carb had been tuned to run without a choke, so I had to back off the idle screws about a half inch. I tried to time the engine and the timing mark was way off the scale.

It wasn't until I drove it to my uncle's house, (who is a GM master tech that I go to when I am puzzled) that I realized there is still a bad oil leak when the car is running. I got it home fast and prepared to do the front timing cover seal. Pulling everything apart I realized that the damper had rotated and cut a circular chunk out of the timing cover. So I ended up adding a dual roller timing chain, cover, damper, water pump, etc. and just cleaning up the whole front of the engine which had been full of oil. As a bonus I tightened up the speedo cable and stopped a slow leak from there while I was at it. Now there is no more oil stains under the car after it is parked.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #10  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I was at the U-Pull the other day looking at an 84 and 86 Camaro that had been completely picked over when I noticed some brand new looking Delco ERS speakers mounted in the 84. It was hilarious. It was partly hilarious because here I was, happy to find stock Delco speakers. It was also hilarious that somehow these speakers had found a way to make it all these years looking like new in a car that looked like it had been through the mill.

I found some Pioneers mounted in the car, and they were basically 80's relics themselves. One of them was pretty bad though, it looked as if someone had soldered the wires to the voice coil a couple of times. That pretty much doesn't work s far as I know, haha. I put the original connectors back in the car and plugged the Delcos in. It was as if they were meant to be there.

I am one step closer to hearing the mighty ERS system in all of it's glory. I just need to shell out the money for/find that super rare UL1 radio that this car had for some reason. That will be a cool day, but there are priorities ahead of that.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #11  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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I was at the U-Pull the other day looking at an 84 and 86 Camaro that had been completely picked over when I noticed some brand new looking Delco ERS speakers mounted in the 84. It was hilarious. It was partly hilarious because here I was, happy to find stock Delco speakers. It was also hilarious that somehow these speakers had found a way to make it all these years looking like new in a car that looked like it had been through the mill.
Love the and would love to own a fully loaded L69 ho z. Good luck with it. As for the speakers thats sure is a funny find huh? My car has about 82k miles on it and for some odd reason has escaped getting aftermarket speakers. It had a aftermarket cd player in it when i bought it but it was broken so i put a new on in and never changed the speakers. They still sound good too!! 25 year old speakers that still sound good is amazing to me. I will probably eventually change them out but if it aint broke dont fix it right?
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:41 AM   #12  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Wow, great to see this car getting some good TLC!
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:35 AM   #13  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Thanks!

My next priority was a significant pull to the right when braking. My first thoughts on this were that one of the calipers was seized, but from searching the issue on here I realized that it's more likely that I have a collapsing hose. I decided to replace both of the hoses and calipers since they both needed it. The rotors and pads, which I usually always replace or recondition were basically new and did not need to be touched.

The driver's side came apart with some penetrating oil and a little coaxing. The passenger side was rusted right at the fitting, stripped out and proceeded to break off. Not that I didn't go into this job knowing that this would probably happen, but I have done plenty of brake lines before and I'm sure nobody gets excited about it. It's a double bummer when I am planning to replace them anyways with original lines when I work on the undercarriage. So I tried to save the line. I spent a couple of hours working on the section that was left, straightening and removing the coil wrap on it and finally getting enough room on the line to do a decent flare. There was just enough line to save it. The new calipers and hoses corrected the braking and feel great.

I also replaced my hood struts. I had ordered some off Amazon for a steel hood in a moment of "duh" and eventually decided to see if there were any issues with putting them on the fiberglass hood. Of course I found that they are much too strong, and a quick glance at the difference in the properties of them (like 170 pounds of force for the steel to about 70 for the fiberglass) quickly proved why it's a bad idea. I sent them back and found the right ones. I then retired my wife's stolen snowbrush which had provided such wonderful service without complaint in the past.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:44 AM   #14  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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Love the and would love to own a fully loaded L69 ho z. Good luck with it. As for the speakers thats sure is a funny find huh? My car has about 82k miles on it and for some odd reason has escaped getting aftermarket speakers. It had a aftermarket cd player in it when i bought it but it was broken so i put a new on in and never changed the speakers. They still sound good too!! 25 year old speakers that still sound good is amazing to me. I will probably eventually change them out but if it aint broke dont fix it right?
They do have excellent clarity. The one thing that is missing is any bass. It has been a tough decision to go back to factory for the radio, but I look at this car as more of a time capsule than anything. My 89 RS had a modern sound system in it with a sub box that was built for the rear. These cars sound really good when you aim speakers at the rear hatch like that. Bose obviously had that figured out in designing their system for the car. I will be really happy when I get that original radio in here though. Right now I am using a Blaupunkt that came with the car. There was a wiring harness on the back seat that was obviously for hooking up to the factory wiring. It was the best option for now, as I need some tunes when I drive around.
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:21 PM   #15  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Just found this thread. I agree 83, HO 5 spd is a great find. How much progress have you made so far?
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:31 PM   #16  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I had an '83 Crossfire car with the Borg Warner T10 4-speed and 3.23 gears. It had functional flappers in the hood, it was neat as hell. The car was white with blue interior. I still remember how that transmission sounded, it was very unique. I also had an '84 L69 car with a 5-speed in it with 3.73s, that was a fast car also. I always thought that L69 305s were drastically underrated. In stock form they were great, but just slipping a slight cam in one would really wake them up.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:06 AM   #17  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Nice find Josh and I'am glad to see that you're doing a faithful restoration.

As you probably know the L69 with the Rochester carb is a simpler fuel system then the cross-fire injection LU5 and some say pulls much stronger.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:30 AM   #18  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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As you probably know the L69 with the Rochester carb is a simpler fuel system then the cross-fire injection LU5 and some say pulls much stronger.
There is no doubt in my mind that a good 5-speed L69 car with a 3.73 rearend is the fastest 3rd gen produced. I've owned a 3rd gen in just about every combination available at some point, probably more than a dozen of them total. Two of them were L69/T-5/3.73 cars and there was no comparison to any of the others. Those cars are FAST. And if you really wanna wake one up all it takes is a cam change and some adjustment to the secondary metering rods in the carb. The fastest one I ever owned was an '84 Trans Am with the L69, T-5 and a 3.73 rearend. I slipped a 284*/.480" with a 112* lobe sep cam in it and it was absolutely wicked for a 305. It would run well over 100mph in 3rd gear, it was unbelievable.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:42 AM   #19  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

mechanic: Have you driven your 1LE further than just off the trailer so far? You will be happy with the performance.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:21 PM   #20  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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mechanic: Have you driven your 1LE further than just off the trailer so far? You will be happy with the performance.
I have - it runs good and it is fun to drive, but I certainly wouldn't boast about it being the fastest car I ever owned. I feel certain that the '84 TA that I had with the L69 and 3.73 gears would've left it in the dust. In fact, if I end up keeping the car long term I will probably put a different engine in it. The LB9s just aren't much force in my opinion. And the L98s aren't much better. Like to put a nice hot LT1 in it.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:59 AM   #21  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I had an 84 L69 5 speed Z28 that was pristine with 44000 miles on it. My 87 LB9 G92 car is much faster! Stock for stock the LB9 5 Speed is faster!
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:41 AM   #22  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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I had an 84 L69 5 speed Z28 that was pristine with 44000 miles on it. My 87 LB9 G92 car is much faster! Stock for stock the LB9 5 Speed is faster!
I think the key to a fast L69 car is the 3.73 gear. They didn't all get it - in fact it is pretty rare in any V8 3rd gen. That gear really makes the quadrajet howl in 3rd gear...lol.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:31 AM   #23  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Good luck with the car! The 83's were the first year of the HO, and a mid-year model. So most we're built after July. T5's were the ONLY trans available with it.

Your interior is what mine was....Sandstone grey. Really hard to find anything to match unless you get lucky and find another. I still have my original engine on a stand totally rebuilt with all of 5k miles on it before I pulled it out.

along with all my CCC harness and sensors etc. I still have my dual snorkel air cleaner too!

The original composite hood in sitting in the corner of my garage and the original non- WC trans in packed away.

I pulled it all in favor of what I have now. I could actually go back to stock if I really wanted to. Great little engine for what it is, and with the 3.73 peg leg rear, it moved real nice....i could give most 350's around that era a run for their money if not flat-out beat one...really!!

Again, good luck on your restoration!
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:31 PM   #24  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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Good luck with the car! The 83's were the first year of the HO, and a mid-year model. So most we're built after July. T5's were the ONLY trans available with it.

Your interior is what mine was....Sandstone grey. Really hard to find anything to match unless you get lucky and find another. I still have my original engine on a stand totally rebuilt with all of 5k miles on it before I pulled it out.

along with all my CCC harness and sensors etc. I still have my dual snorkel air cleaner too!

The original composite hood in sitting in the corner of my garage and the original non- WC trans in packed away.

I pulled it all in favor of what I have now. I could actually go back to stock if I really wanted to. Great little engine for what it is, and with the 3.73 peg leg rear, it moved real nice....i could give most 350's around that era a run for their money if not flat-out beat one...really!!

Again, good luck on your restoration!
Hey Confused,
You did what I am pondering. Can you tell us a little more about your trans? Is it a direct replacement for the T5? I'm not sure what direction I'll take the car I just picked up. I'd like a standard. A gen1 SBC transplant would be easier than going the LS-T56 route.
Nice car BTW
HM
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:23 PM   #25  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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Hey Confused,
You did what I am pondering. Can you tell us a little more about your trans? Is it a direct replacement for the T5? I'm not sure what direction I'll take the car I just picked up. I'd like a standard. A gen1 SBC transplant would be easier than going the LS-T56 route.
Nice car BTW
HM
I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take my car either! But thx for the compliment!

Pretty broad question you're asking honestly....I don't want to take over the OPs thread, but if you PM me I'll try and help......but don't use my car as any "Standard".....others on this board have some awfully nice Thirdgens!!
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:37 PM   #26  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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I haven't introduced myself formally around here but I really enjoy this board and all of the knowledge it provides. My name is Josh, I am 33 years old and I am from Minnesota. I was a basic mechanic that worked for a Cadillac Hummer dealership for plenty of years before going back to college to write software. I am starting on the restoration of an 83 Z28 H.O. with an L69. This is my second Camaro as I owned, maintained and daily drove an 89 RS with an L03 for about 10 years before this one. I recently sold that one when I decided to undertake this project.

The story of how I received this Camaro spans quite a few years. My stepfather bought it in around 1998 and it was in almost mint condition at the time. He drove it for a few years and I really coveted it. It actually inspired me to buy my RS. They moved out of state, years went by and I heard about him having tuning and oil leakage issues with it and eventually it ended up garaged. I never thought that I would get a chance to own the car as it would almost certainly be given to his biological son who would proceed to beat the tar out of it, run it without oil and cement it's place in the junkyard within a week or two. Well, it turns out his son turned the car down, probably because it was not cool enough and when it was given to my mother, she handed it right over knowing that I would be able to take good care of it.

I have decided right away that I want to restore the car instead of modifying it. Why? Because it will make me happy. I love the 80's, third generation Camaros and to me this car is as significant as they get. To me, the L69 is cooler than a 350 and the H.O. is as cool, if not cooler than an IROC. The individuality of the H.O. with the L69, fiberglass hood, Manual 5 speed, 3.73's, aluminum flywheel, aluminum drums and beefier suspension are sweet and to top it off it is an 83 so it is from the very beginning. I would personally feel like a criminal making this into something else.
What condition were the aluminum drums in?
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:52 PM   #27  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Hey! I just bought a 1983 z28 from my dad. I'm in the same boat as you, restoring it to original shape. My speakers have gone bad and was wondering what the stock speaker brand and size were. I read Delco in there but what about the sizes and anything more specific than just delco? Know where i can buy them?
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:01 PM   #28  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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Hey! I just bought a 1983 z28 from my dad. I'm in the same boat as you, restoring it to original shape. My speakers have gone bad and was wondering what the stock speaker brand and size were. I read Delco in there but what about the sizes and anything more specific than just delco? Know where i can buy them?
The rears are 6X9 and the fronts are 4X2 or 4X3 I can't remember. They are easy to replace.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:01 PM   #29  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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The rears are 6X9 and the fronts are 4X2 or 4X3 I can't remember. They are easy to replace.
Fronts are 4x6.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:56 PM   #30  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Thats it! Thanks! I was way off!!
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:10 AM   #31  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I put this project on hold for a couple of years and am now finally getting around to it. I decided to drive her a bit before I really delved into this. Iíve got her stripped down from the rear bumper to the firewall and the engine ready to come out as soon as I take the bellhousing bolts out.

Iím happy with the shape of almost everything, I will be able to reuse most of the original non-mechanical parts. I am going to have to do some floor pans though. T-Tops did some damage. You canít really tell from underneath.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:30 AM   #32  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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What condition were the aluminum drums in?
I will find out soon! Have never had to go in there yet. I did find some replacement aluminum drums though if they are necessary. I finally got to see the aluminum front bumper, weighed nothing. Pretty cool.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:55 PM   #33  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Just a few more bellhousing bolts and the clutch bracket, which is attached to the side of the engine block and the 305 comes out. I believe they changed the clutch design for 84 so Iím not sure how common this configuration is.
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:34 AM   #34  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Out she comes. What a pain separating the engine from the transmission, it was really holding on tight. The engine proceeded to pee more antifreeze on the floor. I donít know where she hides it all.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:51 PM   #35  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Started tearing her down tonight. Had an exhaust manifold bolt snap off, and the dipstick tube was mangled trying to get it free from a nut on an exhaust manifold bolt. Otherwise, on the positive side the one bolt that snapped in the intake I was able to wiggle the intake off of and use a stud extractor. Will be interesting to see the valves and shape of the heads. Everything pretty clean so far.
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:35 AM   #36  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Short block stripped down. Just some final removal and this block is off to Northern Cylinder Heads early next week for a hot tank / magna-flux/ cam bearings/ hone or bore. Hoping that she will be good as new.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:11 AM   #37  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

She is stripped down to the frame now for the most part. Need to strip the underbody and then the sheet metal work can begin in earnest.

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Old 06-10-2018, 10:53 AM   #38  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

You've been busy.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:01 PM   #39  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

These holes near the feet, is this the rocker?
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:05 PM   #40  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Be aware that the 83 FSM was printed a year before the L69 was released, and contains not the first shred of information specific to it.

Buy the 84: L69 is in that one.

The rocker panels are the strips below the doors.

Those holes next to the occupant's feet are the bottom of the windshield cowl. Air for vents goes that way. Unfortunately, so did a bunch of water, salt, and ... fecal matter ... that blocked up the drain holes.

I can't tell you how many TPI cars I've beat with my L69. Most of em talked a big line and then made abuncha excuses. Nicest thing about it is, it responds REAL well to modifications, unlike TPI motors. But yeah, the G92 LB9/T-5 cars come the closest... they'll pull a bit ahead sometimes for a little while with a good driver, but the L69 has the top end (comparatively speaking) to catch up and pass them. A good set of heads and good exhaust make a YUUUUUUJJJE difference on the L69.

I ended up with a T-56 in mine as well, after destroying T-5s beyond count. A 91 or so rear with PBRs and the stock L69 3.73 ratio behind it, with a Spohn TA and x-member and Lakewood LCAs and I can't recall whose LCARBs. The LCARBs were INCREDIBLE: best all-around mod I ever did as far as making the car hook up.

My chassis is totally shot though; all the spot welds are cracked everywhere. It has over 300k miles on it I'm sure. Not good for much anymore I'm afraid.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:06 PM   #41  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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Be aware that the 83 FSM was printed a year before the L69 was released, and contains not the first shred of information specific to it.

Buy the 84: L69 is in that one.
Yeah, common sense eluded me at first on that.


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Old 06-15-2018, 07:15 PM   #42  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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The rocker panels are the strips below the doors.

Those holes next to the occupant's feet are the bottom of the windshield cowl. Air for vents goes that way. Unfortunately, so did a bunch of water, salt, and ... fecal matter ... that blocked up the drain holes.
Sounds like the best way to handle it then is to clean it up, cut it out and weld some fresh metal in there then. I really want to get these seat brackets / console bracket out but I canít see the spot welds. Those are the things bothering me right now. Iíll be ordering a driverís side floor pan soon, passenger side may be alright.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:17 PM   #43  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I like what you're doing with it. I've had and driven most all third gen cars put out and the L69 5speed 3.73 geared cars were my favorite. I would love to have one.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:28 PM   #44  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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I can't tell you how many TPI cars I've beat with my L69. Most of em talked a big line and then made abuncha excuses. Nicest thing about it is, it responds REAL well to modifications, unlike TPI motors. But yeah, the G92 LB9/T-5 cars come the closest... they'll pull a bit ahead sometimes for a little while with a good driver, but the L69 has the top end (comparatively speaking) to catch up and pass them. A good set of heads and good exhaust make a YUUUUUUJJJE difference on the L69.
I believe you, I have seen and made this car do things that surprised the heck out of me, and if I mentioned them people would tell me I am making stuff up, so I donít mention them, haha.

Just got the L69 back from the machine shop. All shiny and new. It had 70k on it and the bottom end really looked to me like tearing it apart was unnecessary. Itís the heads that are really crapped up. They told me it only needed a hone, and to use the original pistons, which also came out new looking. They told me that if I get standard sized aftermarkets they would be too small. They said that this is the case because the GM factory has a bunch of size variants in the factory and based on how the bores come out they use different standard sized Pistons. They also told me to use cast rings, they will seat better in an established bore.






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Old 06-15-2018, 07:52 PM   #45  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

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I like what you're doing with it. I've had and driven most all third gen cars put out and the L69 5speed 3.73 geared cars were my favorite. I would love to have one.
Thanks. My old dad is a nut for restoring things vs modifying them and itís really rubbed off on me over time. He does motorcycles and Italian scooters from the 60ís and stuff now.

I thought about throwing a 350 in here and bolting all of the L69 parts on it but it just bothered me. The thing sounds wonderful and is so snappy and fun to drive as it is. Not to mention the fact that itís a weird rare half year model that was basically the first Chevy to have any noticeable power after the 70s. I read the corporate memos and all that. I want that experience. Right down to the crappy Delco stereo. I want to drive it to shows and slap all of that 80s nostalgia nonsense on a table and let people soak it up.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:27 AM   #46  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Finally purchased a 16cfm 60 gallon compressor. Something I have wanted for years. Started stripping the car myself. I wanted to have it blasted but itís fun to put that compressor to work with a DA sander. So I started and weíll see how soon I get tired of it. Took the crank, pistons, cam down to the machine shop yesterday. Pistons are fine. Crank is at the bottom of spec, but wore evenly. he told me to put in .001 undersized bearings main and rod and it will be good to go. Cam would have been alright if I had kept the valve train meticulously, but I was planning on replacement so I chucked everything in a box. I had him order up an exact replacement and some Delphi lifters. Ordered up a set of Clevite P series Tri-metal main and rod bearings last night, along with rings. Will be time to start engine assembly when that gets here.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:22 AM   #47  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Lots of piston cleaning, careful assembly of the mains and rotating assembly over the past couple days. New MP55-HV gets here today. New Cam should be here any day. Will be dropping off the heads for work when I pick that up.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:41 PM   #48  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

cool project
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:50 PM   #49  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

I ended up going Chevy Orange for the block with Black Pearl for the oil pan, timing cover and valve covers. The intake is aluminum so that will just be polished. Iím going to finish off the engine hardware in black pearl also. I struggled with the unoriginal color but It would be a sin to just paint it boring black, and it is the last high performance Chevy engine that relied on a huge 4 barrel carb, so it was fitting to go orange as a tribute as it is a really classic looking engine. I donít regret it anymore, it looks much better this way in my opinion.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:11 PM   #50  
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Re: 1983 Z28 H.O. Restoration

Better that you find out now. You installed your rear main seal BACKWARDS!
The "lips" face the block. It should go like this.



And offsetting it slightly as in the picture helps prevent all the parting lines from being in alignment, reducing your chances for a leak.
A small dab of Permatex on the ends helps also.


You don't have to remove the crank to change it. "ROLL" it out and do the same to re-install.
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