More Day 2

Back when I was in high school, our cars didn’t have airbags in the steering wheel, and the wheels were skinny, so the first thing you did was take off that OEM wheel…


And put on a fat leather wheel:


Now back in Atlanta in 85, I would have gone to Automod and Earle would have hooked me up with the latest Momo (truth be told, I would have most likely been at Super Shops buying a Grant GT in vinyl…lol)




Stopped in at the painters today. He has done a lot work on the nose with the fiberglass. There is still a lot to do before it rolls out a different color.

Engine Mounts

During the recent exhaust gasket repair, it was noted the engine mounts were perished. Luckily these are quite inexpensive, but a bear to replace. It’s all about having the right combination of extensions, wobbles, universal joints, and sockets of various lengths to hold the 3 nuts on the subframe and removing the bolts from up top (hence the ladder)


I really cannot imagine doing this job on jack stands, but if you plan to swap springs and struts (Steve) you’d be crazy not to replace them as access is much improved with the control arm out.

Most alarming was that the nuts on the horizontal bolts (hold the mount to engine) were not even finger tight!


Thanks to my good friends Lin & Cheryl for the use of their garage, plenty of know-how & elbow grease, and their free time today.

You know only a true friend would park their turbo outside in the rain to help you work on your beater Camaro!


Quiet now

When I got the IROC-Z it had a loud and annoying exhaust leak that sounded like it was near the passenger side manifold. A quick inspection revealed a manifold bolt hanging loose, so I tightened it up, but the damage to the gasket was already done.

So I had a friend who works on V8s swap the gaskets – as you can see they were burned out, and all is quiet now. Next up is replacing a failed engine mount.


The roof console

My roof console is pretty shabby, map light bezel broken, removable flashlight inop – time to channel my inner Burney. Lin says don’t order new plastic parts at the dealer, fix what ya got!


So with the help of 3M and a rubber brand from our broccoli in the fridge, here we go:



Now on to my flashlight. It’s not all fancy like Lin’s BMW with the recharger in the glovebox. Nope, we rely on Duracell for glorious light, only new batteries didn’t produce light.


Thanks to the basic design of the light, I was able to remove all the contacts, sand em with Mr. Dremel and voila!


We have light!

Day 2 upgrades

In reading my brothers Hemmings Muscle Machine magazine, I have been fascinated by something the muscle car enthusiasts call “Day 2” mods, meaning taking a restored muscle car and adding aftermarket performance parts & accessories like the folks did when the cars were new.

The IROC-Z used many special suspension components with precise tuning to make the car handle and react better than a standard Z/28, so no place to improve there, but back in the day the first thing I always upgraded on any of my drivers was the headlights. Just so happens I have a set of rectangular Hella headlights – vintage Day 2 baby!


The list begins

So I’ve been taking inventory on the Z to figure out what I’ve got to get done. First, the critical stuff:
1. Sort out battery drain
2. Fix exhaust leak
3. Pull driver’s side door panel to replace door mirror

Have to order some parts, and already sourced a mirror in the wrong color – thanks Craigslist

Then on to the next phase of repairs:
4. Climate control vacuum leak
5. Replace rubber brake hoses and check pads
6. Shocks & struts
7. Find a steering wheel in better shape

I have removed the vintage aftermarket security system, changed the oil & filter, and replaced some dirty air filters. Also bought a bottle of Techron to run through it. Was asked about more pics – here you go:



Pretty neat all the stats you can find online about these cars. Yellow was the rarest color on an 85 IROC-Z with only 4,599 yellow cars produced in the whole Camaro line-up that year. Would be interesting to see how many yellow IROC-Z’s had the conteur custom cloth too.