82-85 Front End / Frame Upgrade !!
During the first few years of ThirdGen Production the ports Coupe and Berlinetta Cars were deprived of a VERY SIGNIFICANT front suspension components that were included on ALL the Z28 / IROC cars. These parts were later found to be indispensable a few years later and were than installed on all cars beginning sometime around 1986. By omitting these parts the frame structure was severely weakened leading to major structural damage in the front end. I've seen this problem MANY times so I always inform 82-85 owners about it. Look at this pic: Here you see STRESS CRACKS in the drivers side frame rail of this 85 Berlinetta. ( stress cracks can also form on the bottom corner of the radiator support - but much less often in that spot. )
Here is Here is another picture showing the same spot after welding and the driver side Frame Rail "triangle" Brace is installed:
This problem is caused by the power steering box pushing/pulling on the frame rail with no extra support. This next picture shows the group of braces you need in order to fully protect your cars front end from unexpected - and avoidable - failure.
The "Rod" type brace gets installed from the Firewall Cowl to the pass hood hinge. There are 3 "triangle" braces; 1 goes to the drivers side frame rail, 1 goes to the pass side frame rail, and the 3rd one goes under the drivers side "battery tray" ( behind the D/S frame rail ) All the required mounting bolt-holes already exist in your Frame and Cross-member !! You can see all 3 "triangle" braces installed in this picture:
Be SURE to get under your early ThirdGen - or ask your mechanic to get your car on the LIFT - & check for any problems in this area ! Getting a set of brackets installed is highly recommended if you plan to keep your 82-85 Berlinetta or Coupe for the 'long term" !
Beginning in 1985 The IROC cars got a special suspension component called a "Wonder Bar" that no other Third generation cars ever had. ( see blue cirle in picture above ) Adding one of these Wonder Bars will not only enhance any ThirdGens' overall handling,..... but it will also protect the Frame Rails from damage as well. They are pretty easy to find, rather inexpensive, and a very easy "bolt-on" part to install; Get one !
**About the Berlinetta suspension: I HIGHLY suggest installing a rear sway bar !