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Dusterbd13 MegaDork
5/24/18 8:42 p.m.

Paint them white and no one will ever see them. 

I actually used pop rivet to fill about 40 trim holes in the challenge car. Painted them when i painted the car. No one saw them, and still haven't noticed. And thats on the OUTSIDE of the car. Lots easier than welding and bodywork. 

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
5/26/18 7:23 p.m.

The carb is still giving me trouble. stumble under slow acceleration. It was suggested that I try some lighter or heavier springs in the secondaries. Seriously people have suggested both. I bought a pack of springs and started swapping.  Not easy. you have to remove the electric choke just to access the screws, then remove this whole housing.

This is the solution:

Almost... the bracket for the choke cable would be neat, If I needed it. but I do not.

A coping saw did the heavy lifting, 

And I cleaned it up some with some needle files.

Not perfect, but better.

Now springs can be replaced through this cover with the housing in place.

The heavier spring was the best, but the problem still exists.


dropstep SuperDork
5/26/18 7:44 p.m.

One of the best investments I made for my old Holley was the quick change spring set up. Made changing springs alot easier. I was running a 750 on a very mild 302 so it took alot of spring trial and error to figure out the happy place. 

fasted58 MegaDork
5/26/18 8:20 p.m.

Accelerator pump adjustment, pump cam and/ or shooters?


AClockworkGarage HalfDork
5/26/18 9:50 p.m.

In reply to fasted58 :

Been down that road. It's gotten better but the problem is still there... lurking.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
5/27/18 10:06 a.m.

I went on "vacation" for a week to deal with a family emergency. Upon my return I found out that apparently I'm the only person in the country who knows how to build the things I build. My incoming parts usually fit on 2 shelves, there were 15 sitting outside my shop and everything someone else tried to do had to be reworked. This could only mean one thing. Overtime out the wazoo.

As such, I decided to buy something frivolous and wholly unnecessary. You  all remember this, right?

Blech. New replacement tanks run around $35. But for a mere four and a half times that  I could have one of these.

Ooooooooooh, Aaaaaaaaaaah.

Now the obsessive among you will notice that, even though I bought a nice new air cleaner lid, It isn't on the car in this photo. There is a very good reason for that. That reason will be a subject for a future update.

Like a real future update. This update is still from two weeks ago. The air cleaner project isn't done yet. Stay tuned.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
5/28/18 9:31 p.m.

Saturday was fast approaching and my job had not yet told me I was working. The way it generally works the boss will come around on Tuesday and ask for weekend volunteers, after they don't get those the come around on Wednesday and tell you you're working. Then they make you sign something to prove they told you. Except, they didn't do that.  So Saturday arrived and I wasn't working.

I had assumed I would be working a 10 hour shift and instead I was saddled with freedom. So I found a car show and dragged my garbage out. I love doing this.

 Just another nice relaxing day before tomorrow's race.

And as long as we're buying frivolous crap...

yeah... why don't you just have a seat right there...

See you tomorrow.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
6/3/18 11:28 a.m.

It's taken me some time to write this entry because I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I packed up the car and made my way to Bremerton, meeting up with my buddy.

The day started pretty standard. Registration, tech inspection, driver's meeting...  At the meeting we went over all the standard rules, including the 4-off rule. If all four wheels leave the tarmac, you are parked for the day and your scores are invalidated. I was working first, running second so I took my place out on the course.

The third car on course locked up their brakes and slid off the course right by my station. Whelp, your day is over, thanks for playing. As an added bonus it was my the Z06 competitor. I might manage a 2nd place finish.

10 minutes later, the z06 comes racing by again. Wait what?

After the first session was over I went to the safety steward in case they didn't get the message over the radio. The response I got was "yeah, we heard. It's fine."

Well Berk you too. Glad to see that you follow  your own rules. That rushing sound you hear is all their credibility disappearing.

We switched up and I got to my car, ready to make my first run. It went pretty well, except my missed gate incurring a 10 second penalty. I always seem to miss a gate on my first run, even though thinking back I can never remember which one. This time was different though, I have a dash cam. I finished the event then looked at the video that evening.


Nope, no missed gates. Hanlon's Razor aside, I have exactly no trust left for this organization.

DjGreggieP Reader
6/7/18 1:51 p.m.

Car looks smooth and responsive when switching directions. Gives me hope I can get mine to that level at some point. 

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
8/2/19 2:10 p.m.

It's been about a year since I've updated so I suppose I'll check in. Big questions answered first. Yes I still own the car, no I haven't gone back to that autocross. Trust in your sanctioning body is important.

Last September by daily driver Pontiac got rear ended on the highway. The Z got pressed into DD service while I fought with the at fault driver's insurance. This was less than ideal, but needs must. Eventually I bought a Buick Regal  and the Z got to go back to being a toy. 

the 6 weeks I spent dailying the Z made some of it's flaws very apparent to me. Sometimes it would not want to start and I would have to futz with the battery cables to make it work. I finally had enough and bought a set of new quality cables.

There's no kill like overkill. These arrived and the quality on them was amazing. I was surprised to find that they were 0 guage wires but my hard starting issues were pretty much gone. But the new cables were over-built to factory specs, including all the original connections.  Some of which I didn't have anymore. I made due and set out to build a proper fan harness.

It took some searching to find the proper bits but I managed to make a quality harness. I added a second line in case I ever wanted to run a second relay for dual fans, but it's just a dummy for now.

While I was messing around with the wiring for the fans I decided it was time to upgrade the fan itself. The z28 was originally equipped with an electric fan but the multitude of mods over the years have rendered it basically useless. The new aluminum radiator doesn't fit the same as the original, so the fan stood off quite a bit, and  the P.O. had installed a direct toggle switch to replace the computer controller.  I had installed a Jegs fan relay early on in the build but still had problems with overheating when sitting still. it was fine when moving so that meant airflow was the issue. SPAL to the rescue.

16 inches of 'I'm done screwing around.'

the original fan was intergrated into a bracket that actually held the radiator in, so I would need to replicate that. I made these from some hardware store bar stock and weatherstripping. I call them my goldilocks bars because I had to make 3 sets before I actually got them right.

I was finally able to drive this car anywhere without worrying about it overheating. While it didn't make the car any faster, or handle and better it is hands down the best mod I have done to the car.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
2/27/21 2:54 p.m.

It's over!

Despite the pandemic and all the bunk of 2020 I managed to earn my A.S. in CNC machining and programing. Then was spat out in the workforce where every employer looks at that and says "cool, do you have any experience?"

I... I... just spent the last two years training exclusively for this job at great personal expense.

"So... no."

I guess not.

But I do have a garbage job that is semi related to my degree and money is happening, the Z has been waiting in the wings ready to take it.

Over the summer I did a little basic cosmetic work on the interior. I started by pulling the garbage cut up door panel

and replaced it with a matching firebird unit to match the driver's side.


After this I pulled the front strut support and gave it a coat of ford engine blue.

Looks good and acts as a colour proof of concept for the cage respray to come.


AClockworkGarage HalfDork
2/28/21 3:13 p.m.

I liked the look of the strut bar and decided to do the cage to match, since the original paint was chipping and there was a bunch 0f surface rust. I pulled all the interior panels and sanded the bars down to bare metal. I know spraying a cage isn't the best option but it was the cheap option for a cheap car. I planned on rolling the whole floor with a truck bedliner so I didn't worry too much about overspray. I figured masking the ends of the pipes would be a ton easier than masking the whole interior.

It actually went pretty smoothly. I sanded the whole thing, hit it with a coat of self etching primer and then the blue paint. moving from one bar to the next. The door bars got a coat of clear in a futile attempt to prevent scratches.

I was actually quite pleased with the results, except for one spot where It ran a bit. fortunately this spot was the single most visible part of the whole cage. I used the tried and true stick-a-sticker-on-tha-sucka method of hiding crimes.




AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/1/21 12:17 a.m.

While I had the interior out I inspected the floor for rust. When i was installing the subframe connectors I noticed a bit of bubbling on the driver's floor but it didn't look too bad. From the top however...

That's not great.

For the time being I replaced the carpet and tried to ignore the problem. This is the beginning of some serious soul searching. This car was intended to be a temporary project to be sold once I found my Caballero. At this point I either need to move her on to a new owner, or put the money into fixing the floors.

I made some arrangements to have a friend weld in some patch panels and that friend responded by immediatly breaking his shoulder. I'm currently trying to find a shop that can weld her up.


Why not panel bond?

Mezzanine Dork
3/1/21 10:40 a.m.

Get steel for patching and bring it to my house. I'll weld you up. We should be able to get this knocked out in an afternoon. 

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/1/21 6:33 p.m.

While I had the interior panels out I took a look at these odd stainless sail panels.

The PO had installed a few custom made stainless parts throughout the car and I feel like they should stay, but they don't fit the overall atheistic. Normally these are cloth panels with speakers behind them.

of course the PO's PO decided to install a giant ghetto stereo system in this original radio delete car. And he did it with a torch apparently.

Given the hack job behind them I'm pretty much stuck with them unless I just get new panels. But I can do something about it.

A few coats of primer, body matched paint and clear make them look a little better and the hardware was cleaned up and coated to match the cage.

I think that looks a ton better.


GCrites80s HalfDork
3/1/21 8:04 p.m.

Running around without that panel can be NOISY since the speaker hole opens straight to the outer skin. Not sure if that's a concern with this car, but when I put speaker baffles in those sail panels and the dash speaker pods the car quieted down a lot.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/2/21 8:08 p.m.
Mezzanine said:

Get steel for patching and bring it to my house. I'll weld you up. We should be able to get this knocked out in an afternoon. 

I may just do that.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/4/21 9:14 p.m.

Getting closer to now now. I finally got around to finishing a project I started several years ago.  When I changed carbs I was forced to change air cleaners. I wanted to keep a bit of the original look of the car in the new parts so I ordered a reproduction air cleaner decal. When it arrived I realized it was too small and simply wouldn't work. So I popped off the new lid, replaced the old chromey BS one and wandered down to my local sign shop with the new lid and the repro decal.

"I want this, here." I said gesturing wildly.
"you'll have to give us money" the said calmly.
So I threw a wad of cash directly at their face holes and went away for a few days. Then I came back picked up the decal and put it in my sticker drawer for 3 years, as you do.

The decal has finally matured and it's time to go on the car. As always start with a good cleaning with wax & grease remover.

I cut he decal into 2 parts to make it easier to install first the stripes.

Then the engine callout was lined up on the front.

here's the new lid next to the old stock one.


AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/7/21 1:33 p.m.

1 week to go before the first event of the season and I'm doing some last minute work on the car. A little carb tuning, tightening some stuff up. Cleaning, stuff like that. A few more little $20 inconsequential fixes under the hood.

replaced these rusty old chrome valve cover hold downs.


Chrome is like salt. A little bit can make something perfect but it's way too easy to overdo it.

That's better.

GCrites80s HalfDork
3/7/21 7:54 p.m.

You know I was reading an old car magazine from the mid '80s and I think I've got a better idea of where all this chrome on 3rd Gens business came about. Before the IROC-Z and to a further extent before the 350 IROC-Zs you had way different people modifying these cars. You had everyone trying to take the 3rd Gens back to Old Muscle. Did not care about handling -- used heavily staggered tires and added rake. Sidepipes even. Corvette Rally wheels. They were backdating everything under the hood since GM had really de-emphasized the 350 in the product line. It was hard to get a 350 in anything but a truck and even so harder in the truck than you think. 305 City. It was all about putting in a 350 from a truck or (if you kept the 305, a Holley carb instead of the Q-jet), chrome headers, exhaust, delete all emissions, ratchet shifter etc. Whereas when the 350 IROC-Z came out in '87 they made you take a lot of other options. In fact, mine stickered for over $20,000. This made it where it was mostly older buyers getting the cars new or slightly used. These buyers didn't touch the engine or if they did had a shop do it. It wasn't till the '90s when those cars trickled down to the cheap truck motor set. Now all those guys are weeping as original IROCs with the TPI intact are skyrocketing where their chromed out Edelbrock catalog cars sit as they try and price them the same as the cars that were left alone. Sure it's easier to get top-end power from a '75 350 with flat top pistons and 882 heads with a standard catalog cam and Weiand single-plane but everyone did that. Plus all that chrome was just sitting there at the FLAPSes and Super Shops waiting to be grab-n-goed rather than having to call up Jeg's or P.A.W. and be like "I have a car that came with literally zero chrome from the factory and want to see if you have any black alternatives." You'd sound like Woody Allen or something back in those days.

But what's cool is that keeps the price down if you just want to mess around with something and aren't concerned with originality or making a buck. My second 3rd Gen won't be nearly as well-kept as my first one is, that's for sure. Maintained and sorted yes, super anal about things no. More fun that way. I want one that I can park outside and can try things quickly and easily without worrying about scratches and using perfect bolts. No being fidgety about steering wheel horn wiring options for example or making sure to retain stock instrumentation. Still going to avoid chrome though.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/9/21 4:59 p.m.

Yeah I'm convinced that nobody on earth knows what a Camaro is for. I cringe every time I see somebody drag racing one. Even the first gen was a road racer.

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
3/13/21 11:54 a.m.

And just like that I've been laid off.  The project is going back into mothballs for a while until I can find something new. 
I still have a handful of projects that I already have parts for so they will still get done, but nothing new for a while.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/13/21 12:29 p.m.
AClockworkGarage said:

And just like that I've been laid off.  The project is going back into mothballs for a while until I can find something new. 
I still have a handful of projects that I already have parts for so they will still get done, but nothing new for a while.

Sorry to hear about your misfortune.  I've been out of work a long time too and trying to acquire a business.  So far it's been long and tedious and nothing good to report to date.  If I do get a business in the field I'm looking at income should be steady and growing for a long time. 

GCrites80s HalfDork
3/13/21 1:37 p.m.
AClockworkGarage said:

And just like that I've been laid off.  The project is going back into mothballs for a while until I can find something new. 
I still have a handful of projects that I already have parts for so they will still get done, but nothing new for a while.

Sorry to hear that.

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