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1995 Chevy Camaro Z28 restoration - Where to start?


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My son and I are trying to restore my old Camaro to driving condition after sitting since 2009.  It originally failed inspection due to some fault in one of the taillights.  We couldn't afford to fix it at the time, so it sat.  Finally when we tried to have it fixed a few years later, it wouldn't start.  We were told probably bad gas, and it was a lot of work to get the bad gas out, so lots more $$.  We're older now, with more tools and a little more experience, but I really have no idea where to find a checklist, so to speak, of all the systems or whatever that we will need to check since she's been sitting so long.  Any advice would be appreciated.

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Fluids and brakes should be your first steps. The gas tank may need to be cleaned and as a 1995, it will be fuel injected so expect things like the fuel pump and injectors to need replacement. The injectors will surely need new O-rings at minimum. The radiator should be removed and professionally cleaned and you should flush the block and replace all hoses. Is the wiring good and the computer operational? A lot of late-model cars die a premature death simply because their electronic brains die and replacements are not easily or economically found.


Start with the basics. Clean fuel and cooling system should be priorities. Change every fluid in the car because even the rear end and transmission will be full of condensation. Get the brakes working properly to be sure it's safe, including new flex hoses. If you start to drive it, replace the tires, which are at least 12 years old now. Don't worry about cosmetics until it's mechanically healthy.


Basics will get it running, then you can work on perfecting it if you decide it's worth it and it doesn't need anything significant. Good luck and stay with it even when it starts to beat you up. Believe me, I know all about that.

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  • 2 months later...

One of the first things might be to decode the SPID Label to see what equipment variations are on the car.  Then prioritize and proceed from there.


The Gen III Camaros used a composite radiator with aluminum cores and composite side tanks.  You can also take then apart as theyu have no solder holding things together.  Just "crimp-over" flanges on the ends of the tanks, with a gasket on each side.  BUT, the aftermarket might sell a new radiator for less money than a radiator shop would charge ro put a new core in yours.  So check www.rockauto.com on that point.    DO get new, OEM quality, hoses, too.


The car probably will need a new fuel pump, whether carbureted or EFI, just a difference in where it is and what it takes to get to it.  But by that point in time, it is probably an EFI variation.  Which is where the engine option code comes into play.  DO make sure that any baffles in the tank, around the pump, are securely in place with all attaching hardware in place and functioning.  Replace the fuel pressure regulator, too.


With the radiator out, that would be a great time to replace/update the timing chain set.  Cloyes roller chain is a good upgrade that will usually last several 100K miles, from my experience.  Plus go ahead and put a new water pump on it, too.


Get the ATF drained and changed.  Then, after you get it running, drain and change it again.  The orig Dexron III-type atf can still be found, in many brands, but is now "Multi-Make/MERCON" labelled.  Read the back of the container to determine if the fluid in it is configured more toward GM/Dexron applications and not something like a Honda.  No real need to go to the later Dexron VI fluid, which is more expensive and semi-syn.


Similar on the rear axle lube.  Just plain 80W-90 or so, nothing special.  If it is a G80 PosiTrac, then some special additive might be needed.  Consult the owner's manual for this information.


There might be some good information at www.NastyZ28.com?  I know there is a lot of information and tech information in the back of that website, but it might be more specific to Gen II cars than Gen III cars.  Worth a look, anyway.


You can take the VIN to any GM dealer parts department and ask them to get into the GM Parts Database and decode the VIN for you.  Not just model and such, but for the equipment the car was built with.  As in equipment (std and optional), paint codes, interior codes, and other stuff.  Should be a printout that is several pages long.


If you might have any questions, PM me.


Happy Holidays!


Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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