top of page

1987 Camaro IROC-Z

I bought this car in High School in 2003 from my parents. My mom bought this car and never drove it. It just sat. It had a short in the cable going to the battery and it kept dying on her. I replaced the cable, and it has run fine ever since. 


The car is originally a 305 5.0 TPI car. With a 700R4 trans and a 3.23 POSI read-end and had 40,000 miles on it. Never seen a winter, no rust, and original paint. The engine wasn't the cleanest one out there and it was bone stock.


Back in high school I was into stereo systems so I had built and installed a custom enclosure with two 12" Kenwood subwoofers, an amp and Capacitor.

000_89_zpsdfb1825d (1).JPG

With the 305 still in the car, I added a big lopey cam and I thought I was a so cool. A few months later it wiped out a cam bearing. Did some thinking and decided to build a completely new engine. I had enough of that 305 boat anchor and knew it had to be at least a 350 cubic inch. At the time I thought swapping an LS motor and electronics was going to be too much work. I settled on a 350 ZZ4 iron block with forged internals. Picked up a nice pair of RHS heads. Comp Cams Mutha Thumper Cam with lifters, pushrods, springs and a roller rocker stud girdle. Also added a pricey TPIS Mini-Ram Intake manifold. Larger 58mm throttle body. 42lb injectors. With an MSD 6AL. At this point I regret just not getting an LS based motor but it's kind a unique motor that most people don't see anymore.

I decided in 2012, that I really wanted to update the look of my car. My stock IROC wheels were peeling and the braking power wasn't the greatest. So I decided it was time to upgrade the braking system on my Camaro. I searched forums and many websites to get ideas of where to go with this. I originally started with wanted to just do an LS1 upgrade. The further I got looking into it, the C5 Corvette brake set-up wasn't much more and looked way bigger. I was contemplating on cutting the spindles myself and make my own brackets. But the more I thought about it, this could cost me much more time and money than it's worth. So I knew about a site called I emailed them with all my questions concerns. Scott (runs the upgrade site) emailed me back everyday until all my questions were answered. He was very informative and helpful. You basically send your stock spindles in as a core and then they will send back everything you need. They even offer powder coating. 

Once I got the spindles off and ready to ship out, I really examined everything in the wheel well and decided I might as well clean it up while I have everything apart. My underbody coating was cracking and falling off. My springs, struts, and control arm were still in perfect functioning condition but just looked rough. So I decided to powder coat the control arm and clean and paint the other parts. I also wanted to fix the cracking rubberized coating in the wheel well, so I scrapped it all off and recoated it.

I tried a few different ways to get the bushing out of the control arms. I tried getting them pressed out and drilling the centers out in hopes that they would just fall apart. Then, thanks to youtube I found a very simple way to remove them. All you need to do is drill a drill bit in between the edge of the bushing and the wall of the control arm. Start the drill slowly and it will start walking around the outside of the bushing. After no time at all the bushing pushed itself out. 

I decided to go with Nitto 555 tires. I put some Nitto 555R Drag Radials in the back.

Since I had the springs off all winter, the car sits higher than is did before the winter. She has been lowering a bit each week. She should sit back down where she was before I took everything apart. When I had my engine out the car did the exact same thing. It looked like I jacked the front end up. ]]]

I just picked up a 4th Gen rear end from a guy in Indiana. The 4th gen rear ends are 4" longer than the 3rd gen ones. This way I won't have to run a set of spacers on the rear anymore.

I am going to clean her up, and paint her with a rust seal coating from KBS Coatings. I am going to be pulling the trans and sending it off to be rebuilt. While everything is basically off from the underside I am going to strip the undercoating and re-seal everything.

I also purchased a Motive gear to put in the rear end. I currently have a stock 3.23 gear. That shit isn’t doing anything good for my car. I am going with a 4.10 set-up. I picked up and installation kit that includes all new bearings, shims, seals, and sleeves. 


I will be swapping the rear brakes to the “LS1” ones. I got them powder coated to match the front set-up. Also got a set of cross-drilled, slotted rotors to match. 

Built the trans in 2013. Spent countless hours. Now she is slammed in and ready for the Sycamore Car Show.

I ended up going with a Pro-Built Automatics Pro Street Kit. This kit came with a ton of new goodies, half of which I don't even know what they do. It had my drilling into random things and customizing some other things. I honestly don't even know how we got it working on the first shot. I also went with a 3200 Stall Precision Industrites Vigilante Torque converter. Let's face it, I just liked the pink color it came in. This build came with all sorts of problems. I had a big local car show I hit every year and wanted it done before then. Well I put it off and put it off until one week before the show. We ripped the trans out Sunday Night the week before, got it torn apart and cleaned up, cleaned up the underside of the car and started making headway. Seemed to have figured everything out and got it assembled until we decided to put the valve body on and we realized it didn't fit right. We ended up finding out that even though my car was a 87, the trans was made in 86 and they switched the shell of the transmission. So somehow I found a local 700R4 trans that was out of a 88 and picked that up, ripped it apart, cleaned it up and starting slapping the parts into this new shell. I needed a bunch random parts and my now friend Ishmael from All Transmission parts somehow had every single one I needed. He was a godsend. Got it all together, slapped her and and miraculously the thing shifted through all gears, made the show and viola, magic.

Got her all slammed in and broke the new trans mount within an hour! Thats how you know you did it right. Don't worry, got a fatty poly mount now, she is holding strong.