J-Rho's '67 Camaro Z28 STX build Jason Rhoades builds a 1967 Camaro Z28 clone for SCCA STX autocross


STR partial progress

The Z is still several weeks away from being road-worthy but some progress has been made.

Started work at the rear of the car - got the diff carrier out and on the workbench. Here it is with the factory viscous freshly popped out, alongside the new Quaife.

I must be getting weak, that thing felt a lot heavier than I remember the R200 in the 240 being. 🙁  The Viper's rear (which I had in and out many times) was aluminum, definitely not as heavy as this  thing despite having to handle 2x the torque.


Oh well, maybe a sign it's time to get back to the gym!

From there, work continued with removal of half the rear suspension:

And then the rest of it from the other side:

With the suspension all out, removal of the rear subframe is pretty straightforward.   Just have to undo a few plastic connectors for the rear ABS sensors and it comes out with 4 bolts.

Although it is steel, there's not much to it, bet it doesn't weigh more than 30-40 pounds.

Here's the subframe and a few other bits on their way out for "processing":


The five subframe bushings are a painful mess to remove, so I had someone do that part.  From there, all these parts - the rear subframe, 5 rear brace pieces, the front strut brace, a swaybar, and a few pieces of the Takeda intake not pictured, went to the powdercoater.  They're a bit backed up so with the holidays, may not have them back for a few weeks.

Lots to do in the meantime!

Put the diff back together with the Quaife.


Of note, its front bushings have been replaced with the new Whiteline poly pieces.  There's only one more bushing it gets, which will go in to the freshened up subframe.

Moved my attention forward.  Not surprisingly, the car spilled some more liquified Smurf entrails (coolant) onto its undertray at some time in Nebraska.  Makes me feel even better about getting the oil cooler, these cars really can't take the heat.  And I am as mechanically sympathetic/careful as any racer out there.



Things start to look more like an engine in there as the layers of plastic trim pieces are removed.  In this pic the front strut (yes I know the car doesn't have struts but this is what all the kids call them) brace is off, along with some engine trim parts.  At the back the little XS Power battery is in position


The intakes are out, as they are being replaced, but also because their removal makes it easier to get to a few key bolts on the next mod, the Berk high flow cats.

Here is a stock cat pictured alongside a high flow unit.


The performance unit offers a significant weight savings, and in the case of this motor, will add significantly to the power level.

Replacing the cats or headers on these cars is famously difficult and I'm beginning to see why.  The passenger side one wasn't that bad, but one bolt didn't survive the egress.

The other two took a lot of effort to break loose but then came out fine.  This one took huge effort, and then snapped right off!  The thing is, this car only has 600 miles, and already this portion of the exhaust is completely unserviceable.  So, all the folks out there with higher-mileage Z's that've had trouble with this bolt - don't feel bad, it's still a problem on an essentially new car.  I know exhausts are hot stressful places but this seems like a case of 1960's British automotive metallurgy 😉



Included the pic above just to show the clean cross-section of the broken bolt.  Kinda dreading attacking the driver side cat next.  The passenger side has two of the three bolts accessible from above (with suitably long - ~3' - extensions) but the driver's side looks much harder from above and below. Hopefully an extra day to soak with some Liquid Wrench will help...

Once that's done, will move on to an oil change and oil cooler install, the latter requiring pulling the front fascia off the car.  Sounds gnarly but with the car this far along it's supposedly not too bad.  Having it apart will also aid in the CAI install.

Need to pull the stock front coilovers off, modify the new Kinetix front upper control arms to allow for additional negative camber, and get them installed.  New shocks and springs are still a couple weeks out.

Still lots to do but cats aside, it sure is nice working on a clean new car!



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