19 20 21
06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/28/22 9:56 p.m.
AClockworkGarage said:

OE parts are all pretty crap by now, and the repro market for these cars is just spinning up. They're getting to that age.

Ive been waiting on a new set of door panels for over a year now.


Realistically there are only two engine options. A SBC ir an LS. The SBC is plug and play, the LS is future proof.

A thing to know about me us I do not have credit cards and I do not finance things. If I cannot buy it outright then I cannot have it. This puts a limit on the things I can have.

The SBC is leading my list because it doesn't require a lot of things. No fuel mods, no mounts, no exhaust, no accessories, no wiring, no transmission. Nothing. It's as simple as pulling the old one out and putting the new one in. And money I spend goes into the motor.


An LS is going to require a lot of spending before I even find an engine.

So thats the dilemma.


As for the 302 suggestion. I'm 100% with you and I'd love to. but They kindve suck in front of automatics, and my knees are too far gone to drive a stick anymore

Sometimes you can find GM factory repros at dealer parts counters.  That's how I got new door armrests for my 91 C1500 last year.  Just happened to find them on the internets but I doubt any 3rd gen interior parts will be around.  Aftermarket stuff i've seen is just awful.  LS is the hotness, but in your case I don't think it's worth the effort and expense because it's not just plug and plan.  I'd go with the built 350/383 that are practically plug and play so you don't have to hassle with anything else.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
12/29/22 12:10 a.m.

You are doing the right thing paying cash for everything.  Living beyond your means is never a good option.  I've seen people that made insane money living beyond their means at my old job.  It taught me to dial things back and live within my means.  I don't need more, I just need to be wiser with what I have.  I hate paying interest too; that's just giving money away. 

I agree a SBC is the way to go.  I will keep an eye out near me and see if anything good comes up priced well.  I'd think a good TPI aluminum headed 350 would be good if one is patient and finds the right one.  It's plug and play really and a big upgrade.  Just a cam and good exhaust would really wake it up too. 


iansane Dork
12/29/22 10:45 a.m.

Honestly, I'd keep my eye out for an already put together healthy 350 but I wouldn't spend any time at all building one. Unless you never want upgrade power again, it's really money not well spent. Car-part.com lists B&R with a few pages worth of 6.0 LQ4 engines for $1795. For a thirdgen you're probably looking under $2k in swap related parts. Mounts, oilpan, gaskets, fluids, acc, harness/computer, fuel system, etc; as long as you're doing all the work. That's going to be more than an already assembled gen1 engine but it'd break even if you bought all new stuff to build a 350 and cheaper than if you decide to build a 383.


Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/31/22 7:23 a.m.

As much as I love interesting swaps, my vote is for the 350.  They've been done a million different ways, a million different times over.  Slap on some junkyard vortec heads and be done with it cheap and simple.  You can tackle small things afterwards when money comes in if needed (cam of your choice, TPI, etc).

Besides, you've already got the Zonda if you wanted something "interesting".

AClockworkGarage Dork
7/16/23 6:40 p.m.
AClockworkGarage said:

It's taken me some time to write this entry because I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I packed up the car and made my way to Bremerton, meeting up with my buddy.

The day started pretty standard. Registration, tech inspection, driver's meeting...  At the meeting we went over all the standard rules, including the 4-off rule. If all four wheels leave the tarmac, you are parked for the day and your scores are invalidated. I was working first, running second so I took my place out on the course.

The third car on course locked up their brakes and slid off the course right by my station. Whelp, your day is over, thanks for playing. As an added bonus it was my Z06 competitor. I might manage a 2nd place finish.

10 minutes later, the z06 comes racing by again. Wait! what?

After the first session was over I went to the safety steward in case they didn't get the message over the radio. The response I got was "yeah, we heard. It's fine."

Well Berk you too. Glad to see that you follow  your own rules. That rushing sound you hear is all their credibility disappearing.

We switched up and I got to my car, ready to make my first run. It went pretty well, except my missed gate incurring a 10 second penalty. I always seem to miss a gate on my first run, even though thinking back I can never remember which one. This time was different though, I have a dash cam. I finished the event then looked at the video that evening.


Nope, no missed gates. Hanlon's Razor aside, I have exactly no trust left for this organization.

I'm thinking back to this post today as it is suddenly relevant. 5 years ago I left the SCCA because I wasn't pleased with their safety standards. I've only attended one or two events in this time.

I understand that this morning at one of their events a driver left the course as speed and crashed through a row of portajohns, Severely injuring both the driver and a person in one of the portajohns. I have only second hand information from someone that was there, but I must say I am not at all surprised.

Call me a Bob Costas if you want but safety has always been my #1 concern. I saw this coming years ago and walked away. No event will ever be 100% safe, but steps can be made to mitigate dangers. This organization seemed to ignore those steps pretty consistantly and now we're here.

AClockworkGarage Dork
7/17/23 10:19 p.m.
java230 PowerDork
7/21/23 10:59 p.m.

What I heard is the driver had a heart attack and matted it coming into the finish.... Sucks either way... RIP to both of them

AClockworkGarage Dork
8/26/23 5:18 a.m.
iansane said:

For a thirdgen you're probably looking under $2k in swap related parts. Mounts, oilpan, gaskets, fluids, acc, harness/computer, fuel system, etc; as long as you're doing all the work.


Let's be honest here. More likely than not, you'd be doing all the work.

AClockworkGarage Dork
8/26/23 5:51 a.m.

I haven't driven her much. just a handful of times this year. Even contemplated selling her as I just wasn't having fun, and that's the point of this, isn't it?

Then I went to the downtown show that I always love. As usual the children lost their minds seeing "A real life race car" and all got their pictures taken sitting in it.

It's also starting to get more respect from the regular crowd. Just for the first time in a long time I had a genuinely good time with the car.



Of course she died on the way home. She'd be running great and then suddenly lean out hard. Like 22:1. I got her home and figured there was something wrong with the fueling. like the bowls were getting starved.

I pulled the fuel filter and found it just packed with crap. like little plastic crumbles. I cleaned it best I could, reinstalled it and ordered a new one. I also noticed that the electric choke ground screw had worked lose and wasn't connected, so I fixed that.

About a week ago I had a scheduling conflict and was forced to drive her to work. It was pretty warm when I headed in and she was pretty well behaved.

On the way home, the problem was back. I pulled the fuel filter and it was still clear. Today I pulled the old fuel filter and threw on a new one. I also blew out all the lines with compressed air.

With the new pump she fired right up and idled really well, but It was late and I didn't want to take her for a drive because I'm a nice neighbor.

Tomorrow morning is Radwood Tacoma so she'll get about 20 miles of test drive in extreme heat before essentially being parked for the winter. Hopefully the new pump fixed the problem.

If not I'm looking at replacing the fuel system completely. A brand new tank with drop in electric pump from Aeromotive is a reasonable $700. Any future engine swap (3800 turbo, LS, or FI Small block) is going to want an electric pump. Might as well make it happen. I can install the new tank, a proper access panel, new lines and a regulator to feed the carb for now, and be swap ready.

The only thing I don't know how to do is the wiring. I am the sucks at wiring.


AClockworkGarage Dork
9/2/23 4:58 a.m.

Now that I am both wealthy and famous I promise not to forget all of you, the little people... So very very small, all the way down there.

Kind've wish they used a pic that wasn't 5 years old but I guess it won't matter once the royalty checks start rolling in.

AClockworkGarage Dork
9/8/23 12:15 a.m.

Slow going. The car is still pretty dodgy. I think we're going to go ahead with the electric pump upgrade and an all new, non rusty fuel system all the way forward. That sobbing sound you here is my wallet.

Aside from that the make it look likeva late '80s stock car sticker project is a go.

The plan was to just sticker the car up with all the decals from parts I've bought, the SWIMBO walked up and ruined it for me.

"You should use the period correct stickers"

Well berk. She's absolutely correct, but suddenly this is hard...

Here's all I've got so far, next to their modern equivalents.


Javelin MegaDork
9/8/23 1:09 a.m.

In reply to AClockworkGarage :

I got some period 80s stickers for you

AClockworkGarage Dork
2/13/24 8:24 p.m.

An update, but a minor one.

Behind every successful hot rod is a Toyota Corolla. Since the Regal got hit while I was in school I've been trying to daily the camaro, but more often than not I've been hot bunking in SWMBO's 'rolla. The Regal only had liability (as an adult full time student I had to save money everywhere I could) and the guy who hit it had no insurance. Covid drove the price of used cars through the roof  and that was that. We were a single car family.


My search for a daily was tough. I wanted something big enough to tow the camaro, but small enough to commute in. This... didn't really exist.

I also wanted to avoid the same pitfalls I'd seen my friends make. My new daily had to be slower than my race car. In both cases I'd seen friends buy A G8 & a chevy PPV to drive while they worked on their Bonneville and Regal T-Type respectively. In both cases the new car became the race car and the project sat and gathered dust.

Last week I picked up this:

Is it slower than an '80's Camaro? Well, no. Nothing is slower than an '80's Camaro. But it is a very different sort of car. A commuter with pep. And I like her very much.

She makes 70 horsepower more out of an engine half the size. But no matter how quick rhis little car gets, it's never going to compete with the thrill of a grunty RWD muscle car.

Which means in a few weeks when it's time to uncover the Camaro and beging working on her I don't need to worry about keeping her running in case of emergencies.

We're going to start with the fuel tank/lines/access port anc go from there.

The current plan is a 6.0 aluminum LS with headers/cam/tune with a goal of 450ish HP. I think I might try to stick a ZF 8hp trans behind it, but probably just going to stick with a 4l65 or 4L80 for now.

I'll likely buy the engine last, and spend the summer buying all the little BS. Headers, mounts, wiring harness, all that crap.

I also want to address the rear end & Driveshaft before I double the power. 

That's pretty much where we stand for the beginning of the 2024 season. 


Writing it down somehow makes it seem more real.

AClockworkGarage Dork
5/14/24 9:00 p.m.

Had a sunny weekend recently, so I decided to get out and wash all three cars. I uncovered and washed the Camaro first, then the volvo, and finished up on the Corolla. By the time J was done the Camaro was yellow. Just covered in pollen.


My new neighbor is a detailer and car guy. He wandered over to finally see what was under the cover. I told him to go away, he was a detailer and to see me washing a car with a microfiber peanut sponge would only make him sad.

I connected the battery, sprayed some starter fluid and she fired right up. Revved her up. few times and shut her down. He told me it was cool.

The next weekend I decided to take her out to cars n coffee. I went out in the morning and connected the battery. Cranked her over and got a few chugs.

Cranked her again and she fired up, but quickly died. That happens. Bowls were empty.

Starter fluid. Turn the key. Single click.


Single click.

It was fine 10 seconds ago... now nothing.

I checked the battery and it was showing 13 volts or so, which means starter or battery cables. Hoping it's just some dirt or corrosion at the cable terminals.


I wound up driving the volvo to the event and it was surprisingly well received.

Hopefully this Friday I can get under the hood, disconnect all the battery cables and clean up all the terminals. I really don't want to replace the starter as it's well hidden behind the headers.




AClockworkGarage Dork
6/12/24 9:39 p.m.

Welp, took the battery in to have it tested and charged. Took a full charge and it was fine. neat. Tossed it in the car and we were cranking again.

Wouldn't fire though. Bowls were dry. Starter fluid and she roared to life. For a second.

Little more starter fluid, ran a little longer, but same result.

I found I could keep it running almost indefinitely by lightly spraying starter fluid over the carb, but it would die as soon as I stopped. It just wasn't enough to prime the pump.

So I ordered one of these.

and carefully filled the bowls through the vent holes.

She's alive!

Took her for a quick spin round the Blick and backed her onto the almost concrete pad in my yard. If I park at just the right angle I can get two jackstands under the car.


I did notice that when jacking up the front side it lifted the rear tire, so I guess all the chassis bracing is paying off.

Gave her an oil change and checked the rest of the fluids. Everything looked good. I think the radiator might be leaking, but I'm unsure. Might pull it and get it pressure tested.

Tried to clean the K&N but found the filter was covered in black spots. oil? Mold? Something else? Nothing I had would get them off. I spent a few days cleaning it and letting it dry before oiling it and reinstalling it. I dunno.

I'd like to find something that's a K&N but blue.

Got the car back together and ready for June's Cars and Coffee. Gave her another bath. While cleaning the wheels with this deep foaming crud I snapped a picture 

Now I'm wondering if I should powerboat-Yes autocorrect, that's what I meant to say. Powerboat. JFC.

Powder coat the wheels white.

When changing the oil I broke the seal on a new bottle of oil to find this:

Then the store refused to even take it back saying they weren't going to give me money back for used oil. Well you took my money for contaminated oil... so...


Who knows. I ended up oversleeping and missing the meet-up, so she still hasn't been out this year.


Lastly we put collision back on the car for show season and the insurance company decided that they want photos of our cars now. Been on the policy for 8 years, never a problem, but now they want photos.


The Volvo is no biggie but the Z28 has giant numbers on it.


I'm worried that they'll see the numbers and drop my coverage.


That leaves me with basically 3 options.


1. photoshop the numbers out.

2. Cover the numbers with white shelf paper and hope they don't notice.

3. remove the numbers, then reinstall a new set after taking the photos.

I dunno.

19 20 21

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners