1987 Corvette Z52

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Basement Paul
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1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Basement Paul »

With the Trackbird gone, and knowing eventually we were looking for something faster and with an auto trans, we began our search for the next track car. Our search ended yesterday in Norton with a 1987 Corvette with the Z52 suspension and automatic transmission.
It's a nice, solid car with only 69k miles and mechanically is stock. It has new tires, and the paint is new in the original color, but don't look too close. It puts up a nice appearance and after we buff it out and wax it, it will shine bright on all track surfaces, but when rubber chunks bounce off of it, I won't lose any sleep.
Amazingly, the car runs and drives real nice, with no rattles or squeaks, even with the top out. The extra bracing from the Z52 package helps this I'm sure.
Our goal was to buy it and get it home in one piece, and that happened successfully, and even my nephew Drew rode home for the inaugural trip. It goes 90 no problem and seems to be at least as quick as 32Vs Colorado as it sits.
This week we'll give it a better once over and start a list of things that we need to buy or do to it to make it track worthy.

More to come, but so far it's been a good start!

-BP
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Basement Paul
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Basement Paul »

Here's the original listing for as long as it lasts:

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/it ... 340877246/

And this was a good article explaining the real differences of the Vettes from 1987.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a ... ariations/

-BP
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wxo
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by wxo »

Wow! Another C4! That baby looks pristine. Good catch.
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MostMint
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by MostMint »

https://repairs.willcoxcorvette.com/198 ... procedure/

Step 4 may be of interest when you go to setting/checking timing
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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Basement Paul
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Basement Paul »

Good info. Apparently it's not just a normal old school HEI...

-BP
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Basement Paul
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Basement Paul »

Today we got the Camaro SS / 1996 Corvette 17" wheels installed. While doing this we greased up all the fittings we could find on the front and rear (they NEEDED it) and gave the car a real solid safety inspection. As of right now I think it would easily handle the dragstrip and probably an autocross. But we're going to check the timing before we drag it, and at least put new performance pads on before we autocross it.
Then it got a much needed bath. It looks pretty good, and will like being buffed out and waxed next week. But the car is titled, insured, and plated, so we can drive it anywhere we want.
We also made a big list of things that we want to do to it as we move on and start thinking about road racing. That list is much longer and will require quite a bit of time and some expense. It was good to find NO drops of anything on the floor when we moved it out of the garage. Not too many 35 year old small blocks can say that. How long that will last after the abuse is tough to say...

-BP
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wxo
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by wxo »

Your new Vette appears in the pictures to be a watermelon color. Is that accurate? I like those wheels, too. Same as the ones on Silvia.
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MostMint
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by MostMint »

The factory color is code 74 - dark red metallic. The car was repainted recently to what I believe is the same color. There is so much green around it might be affecting the perception, or who knows if the guy got the right paint. Doorjambs were not repainted and it seems to match reasonably well there.
87 Vette.jpg
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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Basement Paul
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Basement Paul »

I think the color is pretty accurate despite it's quality. Dark red metallic is just a terrible description of it. In person its more copper / orange as I see it at least. Pretty unique if nothing else, and puts up a nice appearance.
The wheels are the same as yours WXO, except mine are from a Camaro and have SS centers. They were leftovers from the TrackBird era.

-BP
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Basement Paul
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Basement Paul »

So I learned more about C4 Corvettes and wheel offset. Apparently '84-87 cars ran about 38mm and '88 and up changed the suspension and ran about a 50mm. So the Camaro wheels I had on there really aren't correct for the car and stick in a little too far.
I found a set of original Corvette 16 x 9.5" on FB near Hartville that I got for $160. I've only seen pictures so far, but I had a favor to burn from Kurt, so I sent him to pick them up. These will be for the performance tires, as long as they're not on BO when I order them.
32V is going to order up the Z51 factory performance shocks, but we know those are on BO, so it might be a couple months before those arrive too.
Today we put the original rims back on the car and will be selling the Camaro wheels. Newbury Tire got the correct tires on the correct rims (left, right) and rebalanced the other two.
We also checked the timing. The motor was showing zero degrees so we bumped it up to the factory six degrees. After a test drive, the car felt quicker for sure, but our detonation problem seems to be worse, even though it now has premium gas in it.
We also pulled the distributor cap and it looks like everything there is original, so we'll order up all the normal tune up stuff, and check the advance mechanism while we're in there. If it still detonates after that, we'll have to figure out the issue.
We also did a "Dan from Fantom Works" type brake test and the brakes are real bad. Longer than normal stop from 50mph for sure. We're going to order up new performance pads and see how much that helps and go from there.
Lots more to do...

-BP
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MostMint
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by MostMint »

That ping is quite odd I have to wonder if the timing mark is correct?
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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Basement Paul
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Basement Paul »

Apparently it's a common complaint. But like any of these specialty forums, nobody EVER posts the definitive solutions. One guy says a colder thermostat helped, another replaced his knock sensor, but to me that's not solving the knock problem, just cutting power so it doesn't happen. Apparently carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber could be an issue too. I'll run some good injector / carbon cleaner through it for this tank too. I believe the carbon thing because most guys baby these cars and with them running so warm (195 thermostat, fan on at 225) I can see how things get caked up.
So we'll do the tune up and put a 160 thermostat in it and see where it goes from there. I don't believe it's a major problem, but we'll just have to eliminate things... I would like to get the fans to come on sooner too, at 180, so maybe we'll need a chip to do that, or just put a switch on the extra fan, which doesn't come on until 228...

Also, I found on FB a NOS rear Corvette badge about 10 min from my house. I picked it up for $30 and we put in on yesterday. No pics.

-BP
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TireSmoker
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by TireSmoker »

There shouldnt be any advance mechanism in there. Electronically controlled.
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MostMint
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by MostMint »

Injector cleaner might help with the injectors themselves these cars sit a lot and injectors get clogged up. IDK if lean condition could cause pinging.

Or it has milled heads and dome pistons!
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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Fred32v
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Re: 1987 Corvette Z52

Post by Fred32v »

From BP's post -

"Also, I found on FB a NOS rear Corvette badge about 10 min from my house. I picked it up for $30 and we put in on yesterday. No pics."
.
Corvette joins TireSmoke
Corvette joins TireSmoke
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More fun to come!
Fred32v
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