The Z-man's Driving Tips
Driving and maintenance tips for your L engine z car 70-83
These are a performance engine and should be driven differently than a lot of other vehicles. Numbers 1 - 3 apply only to manual transmission cars.
- Never operate the engine under 2000 rpm in any gear except fifth (see #2). 1st gear is exempt.
- Never operate the engine under 2500 rpm in fifth gear.
- Never shift before 3000 rpm on a continual basis, This will cause carbon buildup.
- The power band in a stock L engine is between 3000 and 5500 rpm. If you’re below 3000rpm, down-shift into a lower gear for more power.
- It does NOT hurt to take the engine up to 5500 rpm before shifting.
- It does NOT hurt your engine to run between 3500 and 4500 on a continual basis as long as your engine or oil temp doesn’t climb above normal.
- If you do a lot of stop and go driving, or don’t drive your engine very hard, then we recommend a poor mans tune up every 500 miles minimum (see #15).
- These engines should never be operated at 190 degrees or above. If your engine starts to run too hot or overheat, SHUT IT DOWN IMEDIATELY, because it can cause extensive engine damage.
- In the summertime you can always get additional engine cooling by turning your heater on high. Note:
Always change your anti-freeze every 2 years, or at least have the Ph level checked and/ or set as needed.
- These are a performance engine and should be driven differently than a lot of other vehicles. Numbers 1 - 3 apply only to manual transmission cars.
- Have your engine-running temperature checked and corrected as needed every 4 years or sooner depending on how much you drive it.
- If your Z is going to sit for a year or more, you need to drain the anti-freeze out of the engine and store it in plastic bottles.
- If your Z is going to sit for a month or more, you should leave the battery disconnected and charge it once a month on a trickle charger.
- Change your oil and filter every 3 to 4000 miles. These are quality vehicles, so be sure to use quality parts.
- A poor man’s tune up is necessary on most Z’s. Choose your road carefully to do this. The poor man’s tune up applies to both manual and automatic transmission vehicles. Find a fairly straight road or freeway on-ramp and take off in your Z. If you have an automatic then lock it in first. Mash the gas pedal all the way to the floor, take the engine up to 5500 rpm, then shift into second and mash the gas pedal all the way to the floor again taking it up to 5500 rpm. When the rpm gets up to about 4500 in both gears, take a quick glance in your rear view mirror and look to see if your car is blowing out brown or black exhaust smoke. If it is then you just did a world of good for your engine by cleaning out buildup from driving too slow. The proper way to do this is with a full load on the engine and higher rpms. It is that combination that produces the proper results. After this, you can resume normal driving.
Keep in mind that we are not in any way condoning reckless or dangerous driving or telling you to break the psted speed limit, so always be safe & handle the situation accordingly when doing this procedure.
Always comply with US Code Title 23 Section 109, US Code Title 23 CFR 655.603 and the Federal MUTCD. It says how to set speed limits, your rights and the law.