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1 in a 1000 - High Mile 02 Z28's new lease on life as daily driver

 
Old 08-04-2018, 09:55 AM
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Default 1 in a 1000 - High Mile 02 Z28's new lease on life as daily driver

​​​​​My step son Corey wanted to know why I was wasting time looking at a Catfish car, that I didn't needed or want or like. My reply "Boredom, it's fun to kick fenders and you really never know what you'll find. Especially, when you don't really like the car."
​​​​
​​​​​​Corey asked, "What will you do if it actually checks out?

I said "Why say nice car and I will think about it and then leave." Classic tire kicking at its worst. Zero intention to buy.

The 99 TA, 91 RS and 72 Vette in sig are my current rides. Only 72 wasn't bought new, my dad got the car in 1983. I recently sold a black 91 RS Camaro convertible to fund repairs for my 99 TA after the 99TA was stolen and damaged.

So anyway I bought the 239k mile Z28 for $4500 and here's that story and what follows...

Several months ago kicking fenders with Carguru's, I stumbled across an 02 Z28 while out of town. Bored one Saturday, I checked the Z28 out and was shocked at how good of condition the car was in. Clearly, the owner had loved the car. Circled Z28 like a hungry Leopard sizing up a gazelle. My first impression the Z28 was a 4th version of my 91 RS that had been my daily driver for 389,500 miles before restoration. In fact looking at RPO codes the cars were optioned almost identical.

I spent 45 minutes going over the car. The whole down on the ground looking for leaks and sniffing transmission fluid exam. The young sales lady was nice she didn't giggle at a sweaty middle age fat man rolling around on the ground looking at a used car. Major points to Jim Armstrong Subaru for well trained staff. She was very helpful, nice, patent and professional.

The Z28 was stock down to the factory air silencer. She asked if I wanted a test drive. Strangely, the adrenaline flowed as I said yes.

We went in the dealership, she got the keys but then said she couldn't go on the test drive and introduced me to Jim. Hmm, Jim Armstrong Subaru, this was that Jim - the owner. Jim explained he would need to ride along because the Z28 was a consignment car for a customer. Soon Jim & I were deep into car talk and I was delighted to learn he had a super sweet 67 Corvette convertible.

All this while the Z28 drove quiet and rattle free. I was surprised the car felt like a 30,000 mile 4th Gen Z28. My first wife had a low mile red 02 Z28 back in 2003 that served as my reference point.
.
Next step

Carfax/Autocheck showed: 3 prior owner's and two fender benders.

Car has 13 years of dealer maintenance records. I spent two hours reading them before buying the car. Mechanically the car is in excellent condition. I have copies of the records. Everything worked as it should. New tires. Good AC. No leaks of any kind.

Interior is almost new condition. One small crack in the dash. Driver seat like new

Exterior is very good. No curb rash on rims.
The prior owner must have hand washed the car at least weekly. Paint has a few flaws as does the body.



The head lights are on my list of things to replace



In two months or so only one person expressed interest in the Z28


The add should have shown the seat


Driver seat is like new


On the road the Z28 got a lot of attention at gas stops.

On buying the Z28, I told myself, mod the car to the max and beat the **** out of this old Z28 at the drag strip and sell what's left for parts and scrap. That impulse lasted about five minutes as I slowly realized just how quiet the car was and how soft the car rode.

I felt sorry for this old high mile Z28 that someone had carefully maintained and cleaned for 13+ years.

Next up, same day visit to local mechanic and pulling the car on a lift to see exactly what I'd bought.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:28 PM
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Corvette wheels and some tint alone will take the car to New level. Also a shorty antenna.....
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:43 AM
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I definitely agree about needing some tint. The shorty antenna is getting ordered today. Better tires and wheels are on the list. I had a set of chrome replica C5 Z06 wheels but sold the last year. They would look nice on the 02 Z28.

On the lift at a local mechanics shop we did an oil & filter change from bulk Penzoil oil 5w-30 to Mobile 1 5w-30, transmission fluid & filter change to Mobile 1 ATF & differential oil change to Mobile 1 75w-90. Also inspected car for issues. Looked pretty good all in all.

This was all on the same day as purchase and followed by a 600 mile road trip home. The Z28 averaged 27.5 mpg, I think that was pretty good. On the trip home I discovered the rear shocks were toast and needed replacement. The car also needed good alignment and tire balance and rotate. No issues on the trip.

My fiance wasn't happy another car had been added to the collection. That changed to out right irritation that the car was a 239,000 mile Z28 Camaro that had been in two accidents. She mellowed a little on seeing the car was in good cosmetic condition other than the headlights. I still got an ear full of its a worn out car that will need an engine and a transmission etc to which I replied got a spare of each so no worries if it does.

​​​​



Basically good shape under the car


I did change oil, transmission fluid & filter and differiential fluid before driving home 600 miles away.



Added some tint as first and likely only mod


For some reason my girlfriend likes the car and love to drive it.


Eyebrow tint

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Old 08-05-2018, 08:50 AM
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After getting home, the Z28 got a pair of much needed rear shocks, tires rebalanced, alignment, coolant flush and brake fluid flush. The tires being budget cheapo tires had to be dismounted and rotated on the rims to reduce vibration. I would have rather had $200 off the car and bought a set of Toyota Proxy 4's instead of Sam's Club bottom barrel tires.

The there are several important items that have been replaced within the last 2-3 years per dealer service records.
Radiator, hoses & water pump
Alternator
PS pump, thermostat & hoses
Timing chain, front & rear cover seals
AC compressor, condenser, evaporator etc
Fuel pump, sending unit & filter
Rear pinion seal, carrier bearings & pinion bearings
Front LCA lower control arm ball joints
Tie-rods

My girlfriend said the heads lights should have been the first item of business not coolant and brake fluid flushes etc
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:17 AM
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I like the Z28 a little too much so the Z28's role shifting from a daily beater/driver to a nice Z28 that I want to keep nice.

Also I expected my fiancee to dislike the car. Instead she has really taken to the Z28 any it's become her defacto 1st hot rod / muscle car. Her reaction on seeing the car was shock. Then she drove the car and her comment was the worse thing about this car is the cheapo tires and the clouded headlights. The Z28 has sort of become her car over the summer. She insisted NO MOD's keep the car quiet and soft riding. Specially no heads, no sowing machine XER Cams, no stroker motors no headers and no cutouts.

Looks like the TA's old SLP Dual / Dual just got a new lease of life hiding another heads and cam package as the car has to get a H&C package at some point

Stepson felt the car was a good car but couldn't get by the styling. Says the car is way too quiet and gets far less attention than his red 91 Z28




I'm into the 02 Z28 for around $5,800

Z28 $4500
Tax, tag title was $180
The oil, transmission, red end fluids & filters $200
Rear shocks $100, install $54
Alignment, balance rotate $69
Coolant & brake fluid flush replacement $175
Window tint with lifetime warranty $300
New headlights, new billet grill & Z28 emblem for grill -$400
​​​​​​
Me being OCD about car stuff - priceless
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:35 AM
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My attempt a polishing the old headlights failed. The polishing kit wasn't up to the task.

One of my friends picked up a silver 00 B4C Camaro that's going to end up eventually as a 1000+ hp forced induction toy. He found a set of nice aftermarket headlights at Hawk's Motorsports.

First one of the tabs broke installing and then the adjustment screw broke and stripped out. That pissed off the B4C owner.



The install didn't go as planned.


Title match: Headlight vs 6' 8\" 280 pound guy - headlight lost.

At this point, given the fact the aftermarket headlight broke so easily I decided not to order them and just deal with the fogged up originals.

However, a quick trip to Hawk's Motorsports for replacements and a successful install in the 00 B4C Camaro changed my mind and I soon ordered a set.



Wow that looks good! I also like the SS hood on my friends car.


Got to get some of this bling for my Z28
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:08 PM
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Face lift time!

Ordered these from Hawk's Motorsports



These were on sale!



Grill also from Hawk's & Z28 emblem from Ebay.



Doing this on a lift makes it all much easier. Z28 got oil & filter change.

There are several videos the Web showing how to swap headlights. Basically unplug, loosen the retaining bolt, wiggle out. Loosening the Fender alignment brace helps with wiggling the headlight out and sliding off the retainer tabs. Cranking the headlights adjustment screws to pull the headlights back as far as possible also helps as it effectively makes them slightly more compact. Basically on the new headlights move the alignment scenes to get the headlight compact and reverse procedure.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:24 PM
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The small red jumper makes this painless. The most annoying is getting the park light bulb back in.


The transformer comes with 2 sided stick tap to help secure. After finding a placed a couple of zip ties should keep it in place. The connector matches and snaps into place. Test head lights. Next came hooking up the ground and hot wire for the halo. Hooking up with the park lights works well. Talked briefly with Hawk's and Ryan was ver helpful suggesting using a jumper for the hot wire rather than a splice. Pull the park light out and test to find the hot wire. Use the jumper to connect to the park light hot wire as shown in picture above. Flip on park lights and test. The moment of true.

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Old 08-05-2018, 09:22 PM
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Next we pulled the OEM grill which had some wear and fade. It pulled out from the side tabs and we could then pull it out.


Clean the surface the old grill covered. Mask the area behind where the new billet grill will go.


Duplicolor gloss black from rattle can. NAPA kindly put th can on their paint can shaker to ensure it was well shaken and would give good coverage. This is 4 light coats.


The Z28 emblem came with two long unthreaded studs and a backing plate. Before the grill went in a pair of speed nuts were ran down on the studs and the studs cut nearly flush with a cut off wheel. The grill came with four black screws and mounted as shown.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:38 PM
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Turbos don't need headers or cam swap. Since didn't mention boo turbo right?
😂😂 nice ride bud
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AINT SKEERED View Post
Turbos don't need headers or cam swap. Since didn't mention boo turbo right?
😂😂 nice ride bud
Thank you

I'm really need to read up on turbos. That's completely new territory for me. If I found a quality kit with all the parts so fabrication skills weren't needed that might be the way to go.

Doesn't the AC have to go most of the time to get a turbo set up to fit with the stock K-member?
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:43 AM
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Noticed the left corner wasn't tucked behind the fender. Unbolting the fender brace allowed better fitment.by getting the corner behind the fender. Adjust and tighten black fender brace. Repeat other side.


Both headlights with corners tucked behind fenders. Fitment is fairly good after you fiddle with the aftermarket headlights a few times.


My Z28 & friends B4C with SS hood.


While working on the Camaro my friend noticed this in the Z28's front passenger tire.


Had to get a plug kit and double plug the puncture in the tire. A single big tractor trailer plug would have been perfect.


The bolt had been in there for a while because the head is worn down.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:44 PM
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nice progress , looking good .
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:21 PM
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Very nice for the mileage.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:03 PM
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Update - the 02 Z28's oil consumption issue almost stopped after a couple of M1 oil changes. Last oil change used about half a quart over 4,000 miles. Still change more often and crude keeps coming out. The piston slap at start up remains unchanged.

A couple of tweaks for the car are in the making. Called Yank about getting my old Yank STLT 3200 stall converter cut & cleaned. Yank strongly suggested getting a new converter and converter have improved significantly since I got mine in 2002. Rode in a friend's car with a Yank SS3600 and have to agree.

I'm 99 percent sure the LPE/GMPP 243 heads used in my flow testing thread are going to end up on this car. They are getting a revised valve job & extra bowl work. Ideally these 250 cc intake runner heads will go on a fresh LS2 or worse case a good LS1. That still a ways off as the heads are at Land Speed Cylinder Heads getting updated.

Would like to find a nice set of chrome 17x9 OEM 10 spokes for the Z28.

Picked up a OEM SS hood & spoiler from a board member. Paint and install will have to wait for spring time.


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Old 12-02-2018, 02:15 PM
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Humor - like a big dummy, I forgot to put any blankets or towels in my truck before going and picking up the parts. My fiance was kind enough to go along but laughed out loud at my ghetto - redneck make do "blankets".


Hood arrived home undamaged.

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Old 12-03-2018, 06:21 PM
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Real clean car. Looking good!
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:06 PM
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Thank you.

The Peak Speed Shop radical ported, LPE 90mm snout LS6 manifold arrived today. Decided to tweak a spare LS6 manifold that was laying around. My 91 RS has a Peak Ported 90mm snout LS6 that I'm very happy with decided to repeat the science project

Eventually, will go to the 02 Z28 when I figure out the header questions.





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Old 12-06-2018, 09:45 PM
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With the exhaust there's a fair amount of junk laying around.

Header
15 year old 99-00 fbody 1 3/4 Hooker LT's with air check. The coating is long gone and they are rusty looking but don't leak.

Y pipe
Very beat up Mufflex 3 inch to flowmaster 3 inch Y with 4 inch outlet, has adapter that necks down to 3 inch. Fits the hookers.

Kook's Y pipe. Almost new 600 miles. Probably won't fit the hookers without a visit to the muffler shop. Looks more restrictive than the Mufflex.

Catbacks
SLP Dual /Dual in good shape with 3 inch cut, axle pipe

SLP 2OTL

Other things to consider...
Get a Speed Engineering headers & Y or true duals

Get a set of used Kook's to match the Kook's Y pipe.

Get a new Mufflex Y pipe


Have muffler shop build a 3 inch Y 4inch out with flowmaster collector.

Go with new BlackHeart headers and true 2.5 dual

Would like to keep the exhaust fairly quite.
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:31 PM
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Any fitment issues with the intake? Also the website is a little confusing is the price $390 for the porting and them to mold the snout on? Got any more pics by chance?

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