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tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
3/25/16 7:33 a.m.

So if I was going to take a 3rd gen and wanted to get it light and proficient on a road course on the cheap, what are the upgrades?

I owned one, and a second gen, before, and was happy, but I also know that for serious work, they are floppy and need subframe connectors, the torque arm needs to mount to the frame, but I don't know much about the front suspension or how much lighter they can be. If I remember properly, they are pretty light. I think my '86 was right at 3000 lb.

rslifkin
rslifkin HalfDork
3/25/16 8:20 a.m.

Stock, they're around the 3000 - 3200 lb range with a 5 speed, from what I can find. So you should be able to get one down to 2700 or so no problem, not sure how much lighter you can get without going as far as swapping in an LS to save weight.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
3/25/16 8:30 a.m.
rslifkin wrote: Stock, they're around the 3000 - 3200 lb range with a 5 speed, from what I can find. So you should be able to get one down to 2700 or so no problem, not sure how much lighter you can get without going as far as swapping in an LS to save weight.

Our V6 auto was 3000 on the title. I imagine it was more with the 400 in it, but we never weighed it.

Any notes on the front suspension?

rslifkin
rslifkin HalfDork
3/25/16 8:31 a.m.
tuna55 wrote: Our V6 auto was 3000 on the title. I imagine it was more with the 400 in it, but we never weighed it. Any notes on the front suspension?

That makes sense. Lighter motor makes up for the heavier trans. Unfortunately, I've never screwed with the suspension on one, so I don't know a whole lot about it. IIRC, it's mcstruts up front, so coilovers should be easy.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
3/25/16 9:48 a.m.

Front suspension is similar to the Fox mustang. Lower control arm with spring in pocket, strut with no spring around it, lots of camber adjustment available.

I have a 82 Z28. In 82, it was one of the best handling cars in the world. Really. Brakes were iffy, but the later 1le package helped there, at least a bit. The 145 hp 305 got a cam and intake 3 months after I bought it new, then it hit the can in about 88, replaced with a 350 and a B&M 144 blower. The TH200 left in favour of a 700r4 in the 90's, and I modified an 8.5 to bolt in and built my own torque arm at the same time. It can still find its way around an autocross, has run 13.50's at the drag strip, and will get anywhere from 2 to 16 mpg. I think the next change is LS and efi, someday. I have most of the bits to go 5 speed, too.

Mine has Konis, eibach springs, ST way bars, and the best non race tires I can find in a 16, because I really like the GTA wheels on it.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UltraDork
3/25/16 10:11 a.m.

In reply to Streetwiseguy:

A brown, non-T-Top, supercharged 1982 Z28? Be still my mullet!!!

You guys are making me want a 3rd Gen again. I wish I never sold my 1983 Z28 way back. That thing had all the right ingredients for awesomeness: composite hood, factory 5-speed, and the body wasn't too bad. It had no title (reqired in MA to register stuff) and it had to leave when I bought my Trans Am. Wish I could have stashed it somewhere.

The biggest problem I'd have in buying a 3rd gen is that 4th gen cars, especially 1993-97 LT1 cars, are in the same price range now and are a much better deal.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
3/25/16 10:16 a.m.

But the 4th gen is so damn ugly...

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/25/16 10:20 a.m.

The first car that I ever slammed sideways into a curb after a burnout was an '83 Camaro.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UltraDork
3/25/16 10:46 a.m.

In reply to Streetwiseguy:

I like the 1993-97 cars, but not the 1998-2002 ones. Back in 2000, a friend bought one brand new with the LS and the T56. It was pretty fast, but I never cared for the looks.

3rd gen cars do look fantastic.

novaderrik
novaderrik UltimaDork
3/25/16 10:49 a.m.

i'm in the process of swapping a T5 into my 86 Camaro... it started out as a base model with a V6/auto... the V6 got taken out when i found out that antifreeze that tests good to -30 degrees turns into ice in the radiator when driving in -35 degree MN winter weather and warped/mangled/cracked the heads due to overheating... swapped in an L69 305 out of a Caprice that i did a quickie rebuild on and threw a pair of vortec heads on and drove it from MN to TX and back without an issue in 2012... then in 2014 i got a mild (350-400hp, depending on which magazine article you choose to believe) 355 to put in it, which made the car more fun.. then i swapped out the craptastical late 70's 305 heads that were on the 355 for the vortecs off the 305 and it got much moar funner and actually revs past 5000 rpm now... last spring i upgraded to IROC replacement springs from Summit and a hollow sway bar from a GTA in the front and a complete rearend out of an '02 Z28 with disc brakes (to match the LS1 brakes i put on the front a few years ago) and 3.42 gears with a factory locker..

which brings me to now: my simple T5 swap has turned into a full on project where i'm going to make a better trans crossmember that gets the torque arm off the trans and allows me to run a 3" X pipe off the Hedman long tubes that doesn't hang 6" below the bottom of the car and maybe even try to run actual dual 2.5" tailpipes out the back. i might even patch up some rust holes in the floor while i've got the interior out..

Bluegill Dingus
Bluegill Dingus New Reader
3/25/16 1:12 p.m.

If you have not tried the Rally Cross sponsored by the SCCA check it out. We had 24 cars at the KCRSCCA event 1 on March 20th. One of those cars was a 1985 Camaro listed as "Couple Shades of Gray". Indeed who knew you could Rally Cross an automatic LG4 ragged out Camaro with 600 lbs of humanity inside and still be competitive. The man beat my time and I was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a Hemi. You can view the event data on our KCR website. it was larry

TIGMOTORSPORTS
TIGMOTORSPORTS HalfDork
3/25/16 7:33 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

I just ran across this GTA for sale on C-list:

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bar/5483872243.html

Wxdude10
Wxdude10 Reader
3/26/16 12:01 a.m.

You are all such enablers.

That being said, my boys want a 3rd gen Trans Am/Firebird in the driveway. Who am I to argue?

morecowbell
morecowbell New Reader
3/26/16 12:26 a.m.

iroc z photo 20160312_155755_zpsufllzkyd.jpg

Here is the 87 a couple weeks ago after a spark plug and mass airflow sensor change. I was surprised to find out only about 18% of 3rd gen Camaros came as standards from the factory - seems like fox body mustangs from the same time frame were about 80% standards.

midniteson
midniteson Reader
3/26/16 7:53 a.m.

Mullet jokes aside, for the Money, Third Gen cars are hard to beat. They handle better than any Muscle Car from

the 70's out the box, and in the later years you get EFI. My car gets 20+ mpg on the freeway.

I have been Running Autocross, and Track days for years in My 1991 TBI 5spd Firebird. I usually drive it hundreds

of miles to and from the track.

It was the cleanest Manual Car i could find back in 2005. I upgraded to WS6 Springs and Swaybars and wheels off a

wrecked 85 Trans Am. I added Poly mounts and end links, added "wonder bar" off a wrecked Iroc, Koni yellows all the way around.

I Swapped the 3.08 gears for a set of 3.42's i pulled from a 5spd v6 car along with a new auburn racers differential. Its been very

reliable and has taken quite a beating over the past decade.

It is soon to be retired and replaced by a quicker mullet mobile...I recently picked up an 88 C4 for cheap

Here's video of me lapping The Ridge Motorsports park in Shelton WA in the rain. An Evo spits fire while passing me at the end of the video.

https://youtu.be/YFJP7W3xZ3k

Schmidlap
Schmidlap HalfDork
3/26/16 9:55 a.m.

Motorweek has a bunch of their old show segments on youtube and there are some great third-gen Camaro videos.

83 z28 vs 928

IROC street car vs IROC race car

I've been casually looking for a late 80s pony car, and it seems like finding an unmolested third gen Camaro is a lot easier than an unmolested fox-body Mustang. 75% of the fox bodies seem like they've been tubbed (poorly) or had the interior stripped, or the doors don't close completely because why not stick a 347 with nitrous in a convertible and not stiffen the chassis at all. Of course, many of the Camaros have had poorly done "Corvette engine" swaps switching the EFI engine for a carb'd SBC of unknown origin. I just want a stock one, but it seems like the "race cars" survive better up here since they didn't see the winter salt nearly as much as the cars that were kept stock.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
3/26/16 10:44 a.m.

4.8L n a turbo or two oughta work out there, huh

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Dork
3/26/16 1:27 p.m.

My first car was a 92 RS. Still have it, and it's waiting on time/money for a build.

Someday. Someday.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
3/26/16 2:23 p.m.
Schmidlap wrote: Motorweek has a bunch of their old show segments on youtube and there are some great third-gen Camaro videos. 83 z28 vs 928 IROC street car vs IROC race car I've been casually looking for a late 80s pony car, and it seems like finding an unmolested third gen Camaro is a lot easier than an unmolested fox-body Mustang. 75% of the fox bodies seem like they've been tubbed (poorly) or had the interior stripped, or the doors don't close completely because why not stick a 347 with nitrous in a convertible and not stiffen the chassis at all. Of course, many of the Camaros have had poorly done "Corvette engine" swaps switching the EFI engine for a carb'd SBC of unknown origin. I just want a stock one, but it seems like the "race cars" survive better up here since they didn't see the winter salt nearly as much as the cars that were kept stock.

The comments on the 928/Z28 film are hilarious.

Will
Will SuperDork
3/26/16 3:07 p.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: But the 4th gen is so damn ugly...

No argument, but so what?

You don't buy a 4th gen Cramit for the looks (it's...well, if ugly is an overstatement, and that's a big if, it's certainly cheap looking. Like a trailer park girl with waaaaaaay too much makeup.).

You don't buy it because it's a good car (it isn't).

You buy it because the fun per $ ratio is insane. If an LS1/6-speed car can't get you giggling like a little girl, the problem isn't the car.

Bluegill Dingus
Bluegill Dingus New Reader
3/27/16 8:29 p.m.

The first model of Camaro was introduced in the USA when I was 13 years old. Could not afford one at that age with my income of .25 a week-even if I was good. The next flock of Z-28's with a split bumper caught me in High School with drool on my face. Then there was the oil armageddon in 75. I missed out on all of those early Iconic years with no money but did have the wits to score a 3rd gen when I could. Thank you one and all for chiming in. I have enjoyed the conversation.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
3/27/16 8:48 p.m.

A doc we did work for had a custom one. An 87, I think. He wanted the big engine with a convertible top. No dice.

So he had a local shop chop of the top and put in all factory top components. You'd thing he swapped in the 350, but it was the other way around.

trucke
trucke Dork
3/28/16 7:46 a.m.

Paul and Lynne Rothney-Kozlak successfully campaigned an '89 IROC 1LE in Solo II for many years. Picture is Lynne Rothney-Kozlak at the 1991 Solo II Nationals. From my archive, pre-digital.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
3/31/16 2:02 p.m.

Just seen a '90 IROC-Z 1LE sell on Barret-Jackson for $45K.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
3/31/16 3:43 p.m.

I managed to get into the top 10 at the $2014 Challenge with my '91. 305 TBI with LT1 cam, WS6 bits and 3.23 gears. Street tires too.

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