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The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

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Old 09-12-2017, 08:39 PM   #1
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The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Let me first preface this by saying that I am putting this thread in History/Originality forum because all of the repairs I have done to my car have been with originality in mind. I have used NOS parts when they were available.

This is my 1985 IROC-Z. I purchased this car in June of 2011 with the goal of making it a summer weekend car. The car was far from perfect. The engine was running on 5 or 6 cylinders, the steering wheel was destroyed, the gauge lens was removed so the previous owner could “un stick” the temp gauge, the valve seals needed replaced and the exhaust had many leaks accompanied by an awful muffler and tailpipe setup.

BUT, the car was wearing its original single-stage code 11 Norwood paint, it was rust free, the dash pad was completely in tact, no aftermarket alarm had ever been installed, all 4 seats were blemish free (besides fading), 3 out of the 4 headlights were factory original and somehow, the 4 speakers were original too. I had a good starting point to work with. This is the condition of the car when I got it home.













I started to work on the interior, replacing simple things first like power lock switches and faded seatbelt buttons. I replaced every plastic clip that had been broken on the A pillars and back hatch area, and glued the soft half of some Velcro pieces to the ends of the dash vents so they wouldn’t rattle around.



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Old 09-12-2017, 08:40 PM   #2
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

A combination of bad valve seals and poor connections at some of the fuel injectors is what was causing the misfiring. Replacing all of the valve seals, spark plugs, and connectors at the fuel injectors and the car was running strong and smooth.

The next summer I managed to score some real NOS parking lamps from eBay. This single handedly improved the front of the cars appearance. Real original parking lights accompanying original paint makes the car really pop. (Im still on the hunt for a NOS grille insert.)








This is the pricey radio that was in the car when I bought it. The car originally came with the top of the line Delco with equalizers, so I got a used original from the forums here and sent it off to 84TA to have him rebuild it, replace the lights and add an aux jack.



Searching the forums I found a gentleman that restored steering wheels. He is real big in the Corvette community however he did restore 3rd Gen wheels. Luckily he was not to far from me here in Michigan and I had my wheel restored. There is absolutely nothing that gives away that this is a restored wheel. It looks NOS. The leather is perfect, the spokes on the wheel have also been restored. The wheel still shows no signs of wear and it has been 4 years since Ive had this done.


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Old 09-12-2017, 08:40 PM   #3
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

While I had the wheel off, I thought it would be a good time to replace the ignition tumbler and turn signal stalk. The ignition cylinder is from GM and the turn signal stalk is NOS, as close to original as I could find. It has the correct skinny stalk but there is a plastic bottom under the cruise switch. Minor difference, but close enough for me.






The previous owner had removed the IROC-Z decals from the doors because he said that they were starting to peel. Fair enough. But lucky for me, in the right light, you could see where the original stickers sat, so replacing the decals with fresh stickers from Phoenix Graphix was easy. The new stickers are in the exact spot that the originals were.




Last spring I had the original alternator rebuilt (not replaced) and I myself completely rebuilt the front suspension. Center link, idler arm, inner and outer tie rod ends, lower ball joints, swaybar endlinks, front struts, strut bearings. All of the parts that I used were Delco or Moog. The car now drives like new. Firm but not harsh. These are the original front struts. Toast.







Now that I had the car driving at its best, it was time to tackle some of the minor details. I replaced the outer window sweeps. I used 1Aauto pieces, and they seem to work well.




I sourced original black floor mats from here on the forums. I only display the drivers mat when at a show because the carpet material is fragile and sheds easily.

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Old 09-12-2017, 08:41 PM   #4
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Looking at the side of the car, it was evident that the rear springs have seen better days.




I replaced them with Moog, but of course they were not correct and made the rear sit way to high.




I removed the rear springs and cut ¾ of a coil from the top of each, and now the car sits perfect. Also removed the original Delco/Bilstein IROC-Z specific rear shocks and replaced them with yellow Bilsteins. Because its only fitting right?

Over this past winter I had my wheels restored. I contacted Scott from Detroit Vintage Wheels after seeing his work on Instagram. Scott will only restore original wheels. He does not restore any knock offs, or aftermarket wheels. He and one other employee restore wheels in a shop in an industrial area in Detroit, Michigan. After my wheels were CNC machined and powder coated, they came out perfect. The gray spokes are an exact match, and even the correct machining marks were left on the face of the wheels. (He does not polish this out to create a mirrored look.) When I got the wheels back I found correct black NOS lug nuts (with “Metric 1” stamped on the front) and bought some replica center caps. NOS caps are just too much for me to justify buying right now.

Here are the wheels after I got them back.



This spring I decided to change the fuel filter and replace the oil with some high Zinc formula. I am almost positive the fuel filter was original based on the old AC logo on the sticker. I also included a pic of the inside of the filter. I could smear the dirty side of the filter. It reminded me of grease. I replaced the fuel filter with a NOS unit as well.








When I first got the car I replaced the bottles under the hood and had to live with the incorrect washer bottle for years. But I got lucky one night on eBay and managed to find a NOS bottle for the 82-85 Camaros.

And yes it is indeed the elusive part number 10017700.







I replaced all four brake calipers a few weeks ago, along with the parking brake cables. I had to paint the calipers silver. I know that isn’t factory, but its better than orange surface rust.

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Old 09-12-2017, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

The car was special ordered and built at Norwood and sold to a GM employee near Mansfield Ohio. The car spent is entire life in Ohio and Michigan.

Just recently, I managed to find the Build Sheet. It was folded up and tucked under the drivers seat seatrail, under a split in the carpet. I already purchased the invoice a few years ago, but finding this sheet was a huge bonus!


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Old 09-12-2017, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

This is basically the final product, present day. Next spring I will be installing a NOS muffler, stock style tail pipes and a catalytic converter. I am not the kind of guy to finish a project and then immediately sell it. I fixed this car to drive and enjoy, and that’s what I plan on doing. I cannot take this car out anymore without it getting some sort of attention from people. Rubbernecking, compliments and thumbs up. That’s what makes it all worth it in the end.











Got to love quality control in the 80s. Upside down GM logo!








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Old 09-12-2017, 09:05 PM   #7
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Phenomenal! I have an 87, in white, and it's really nice to see such a stock appearance one. You've inspired me to get my engine bay looking like yours. Well done!!!
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:36 PM   #8
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Great job! Car looks awesome!
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:49 PM   #9
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Quote:
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I replaced all four brake calipers a few weeks ago, along with the parking brake cables. I had to paint the calipers silver. I know that isn’t factory, but its better than orange surface rust.

I'm not positive about the earlier years, but in 91 the calipers were black from the factory.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:57 AM   #10
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

O man...well thanks for making me cry...no seriously I get emotional over things like this...man you are the man...your awesome dude!

First of all on behalf of America and third gen...thank you...thank you so much!!!! I dont think you truly understand what you have just done...so amazing...to bring such a beautiful car back to its former glory...god bless you.

Dude we gotta meet...I gotta see your car...I'm sure she is one happy gal! You should be so proud and honored to drive that car! Indeed...what an honor.

What's the engine it it?....I dont think ppl realize...lets go back to when your car was first at the lot....okay someone bought this and back then probably thought it was so awesome brand new!!! Van halen and 5150 was not out yet... or OU812 but 1984 was still alive and well..life was good! Things were simple...you got a girls phone number from a napkin and a pen...and of course you had this bad *** car....now this car should mean more to you...to everyone...what a great read...so amazing

Last edited by jeremyb1988; 09-13-2017 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:55 AM   #11
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

OMG!! She's beautiful !!
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:32 AM   #12
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Great job! Love the car it is gorgeous.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:20 AM   #13
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Car Looks Great,Once You Get The Stock Style Tailpipes On It,It Will Truly Have The Original/Stock Look.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:16 AM   #14
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Well done, much respect sent your way for bringing her back.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:27 PM   #15
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

I love this!! Such a nice job, well done man!! I hope this inspires others to do the same, keep the OEM
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:22 PM   #16
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

The car looks amazing,thanks for posting.

I did not see the fog lamp switch in the pics of the cruise/wiper/turn signal stalk.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:52 PM   #17
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The car looks amazing,thanks for posting.

I did not see the fog lamp switch in the pics of the cruise/wiper/turn signal stalk.
Fog Light switch was found in the lower instrument panel for "85.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:24 PM   #18
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I love this!! Such a nice job, well done man!! I hope this inspires others to do the same, keep the OEM
Agree totally. Brad did a great job and hopefully he inspires others to do the same.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:56 PM   #19
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Excellent work! Congrats on a beautiful finished product. Hopefully I'll get to see it here in Michigan some day.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:41 PM   #20
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Well Done. I love it when people go out of their way to keep it original,Great Job.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:54 PM   #21
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Wow thank you for all of the compliments! You guys are the best! I wouldn't have been able to complete all of these projects without the help of this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyb1988
O man...well thanks for making me cry...no seriously I get emotional over things like this...man you are the man...your awesome dude!

First of all on behalf of America and third gen...thank you...thank you so much!!!! I dont think you truly understand what you have just done...so amazing...to bring such a beautiful car back to its former glory...god bless you.

Dude we gotta meet...I gotta see your car...I'm sure she is one happy gal! You should be so proud and honored to drive that car! Indeed...what an honor.

What's the engine it it?....I dont think ppl realize...lets go back to when your car was first at the lot....okay someone bought this and back then probably thought it was so awesome brand new!!! Van halen and 5150 was not out yet... or OU812 but 1984 was still alive and well..life was good! Things were simple...you got a girls phone number from a napkin and a pen...and of course you had this bad *** car....now this car should mean more to you...to everyone...what a great read...so amazing
Thanks Jeremy for the kind words. The car has the 305 TPI. The 85's had a slightly larger cam than the 86, so the horsepower was up at 215.

The car actually was technically never on a lot. The original owner who was 27 years old at the time sat down with an order sheet and chose all but 4 options for this car. When it arrived at the dealer he picked it up.

I had the shifter plate removed a few months back and found an old parking ticket stub from the 1986 Ohio State Fair. Just another piece to this cars story found...

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Old 09-13-2017, 09:05 PM   #22
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Some, not all 86 305 TPI came with the smaller cam. Great Job
All 305 TPI (LB9) motors (1985-1992) came with one of two basic cam grinds. An easy way to identify the type of cam on an LB9 car is to look at the tach: the lesser cams have a yellow line at 4500 and red line at 5000; the hotter cams have a yellow line at 5000 and red line at 5500.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:09 PM   #23
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

My favorite kind of builds!
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:06 PM   #24
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

That is a great looking 33 year old car, amazingly. Was your search for it lengthy? I like how you brought it up to date with Orem parts when available.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:16 PM   #25
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

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My favorite kind of builds!
Thank You!

Quote:
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That is a great looking 33 year old car, amazingly. Was your search for it lengthy? I like how you brought it up to date with Orem parts when available.
Thank you. At the time I was not pursuing a thirdgen Camaro specifically. My 23 year old self at the time saw it parked about 2 miles down the road. When I didn't see it move for a year I thought it would be great to buy it and pick away at it until it is up to my liking. I essentially convinced the owner to sell it to me since the car wasn't even for sale.

I love the thirdgen styling because I have a real soft spot for the 4th generation Monte Carlo SS cars. If I had a larger garage I would have one of those too.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:30 PM   #26
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I love the thirdgen styling because I have a real soft spot for the 4th generation Monte Carlo SS cars. If I had a larger garage I would have one of those too.
If I had a larger garage, one of mine might not have been stolen last year.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:32 AM   #27
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Awesome! just awesome! would love to see this in person some day. Great job. Congrats for sure.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:49 PM   #28
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Good score and good work so far! Super cool finding the build sheet intact like that
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:31 PM   #29
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

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Good score and good work so far! Super cool finding the build sheet intact like that
Thanks! I was extremely happy to find it in such great shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by z28cop
Awesome! just awesome! would love to see this in person some day. Great job. Congrats for sure.
If you were at work on May 1, 1985, then technically you have seen this car in person....couldn't resist haha.

I attend the Camaro Superfest every year in Ypsilanti Michigan. A guy from southern Ohio has been bringing his 18k mile blue 85 to the show for years. He knows you. We were actually talking about you and your car this past summer. You need to bring your car next year!
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Old 10-02-2017, 11:51 AM   #30
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Very nice looking car!!!
(Didn't I sell you some gauges for this car??)
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:22 PM   #31
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Very nice looking car!!!
(Didn't I sell you some gauges for this car??)

Thank you!

Yes you were the one who sent me the basically NOS gauges. I am on the hunt for a new or NOS lens for them. It would really set the gauges off well!
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:04 PM   #32
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Gorgeous car. Great job! Nice kind of restoration. Very little drama! How many miles on the car? It looks new.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:31 PM   #33
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Gorgeous car. Great job! Nice kind of restoration. Very little drama! How many miles on the car? It looks new.
Thank you! There are currently 116k miles on the car. I bought it six years ago with 100,376 miles.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:36 PM   #34
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That is so clean for that many miles!
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:41 PM   #35
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Thanks. Yeah the car is still not perfect, however when I first bought it, the interior and suspension definitely reflected 100k miles. The car had to have been garaged most of its life to keep the paint protected. That and the fact that the new "Turbo-Belle" paint system Norwood had at the time really gave the car a lasting paint job. (Single Stage paint helps too...)
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:22 AM   #36
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

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Originally Posted by Motown View Post
Thank you!

Yes you were the one who sent me the basically NOS gauges. I am on the hunt for a new or NOS lens for them. It would really set the gauges off well!
Glad to see they went to a good home! I think I have some NOS silver IROC door decals and 1 NOS lug nut if interested.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:17 PM   #37
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Fantastic work, inspiring.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:40 PM   #38
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Awesome story! I have to go through my car a bit at a time and found this very inspiring.. thanks for sharing and congrats on the beautiful IROC!
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:57 PM   #39
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motown View Post
Thank you!

Yes you were the one who sent me the basically NOS gauges. I am on the hunt for a new or NOS lens for them. It would really set the gauges off well!
What's mis gauges mean or stand for and why do u need better ones?
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:32 PM   #40
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyb1988 View Post
What's mis gauges mean or stand for and why do u need better ones?
NOS means New Old Stock. It is a term meaning that a brand new original part was never used until this point. Most likely sat in a box for years. These parts may be very old but depending on what the part is, may still be a better item than a knock off part.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:00 PM   #41
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motown View Post
Thank you!

Yes you were the one who sent me the basically NOS gauges. I am on the hunt for a new or NOS lens for them. It would really set the gauges off well!
Remove the lens and polish it with Megs Plast-X. It will look new.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:01 PM   #42
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Very nice car. Those details make a big difference. My favorite year for IROC.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:09 PM   #43
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chazman View Post
Remove the lens and polish it with Megs Plast-X. It will look new.
I had a hazy spot near the 2 o'clock position on the tach lens. PlastX didnt touch it. Still the same. I also have a scratch across the temp gauge that I can catch with my finger. Its beyond repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxondale
Very nice car. Those details make a big difference. My favorite year for IROC.
Thanks Saxondale!
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:46 PM   #44
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Re: The Story Of My 1985 IROC-Z. Back To Factory Fresh.

Normally I am not a fan of white cars, but this is the exception. Beautiful job and I love to see people putting these back to the way they were back in the day.
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