Valid test of vacum canister?? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 01, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Ken
 
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I still haven't got all the parts to put the entire RS hideaway headlights together but I'm trying to test the canisters to see if they're any good. They are brand new repros but have never been used for at least 4 years now. I tried to hook the vacuum line straight off the manifold to either side of one and it doesn't move the plunger in or out. If I hold my finger over the other fitting for a little bit and then let it go the plunger jumps in or out about an inch. is there any valid way to test them? If I get a vacuum pump/gauge, how much vacuum should I have?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 01, 02:26 PM
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You are doing it corretly. The additional vacuum that the reserve tank offers would not help the stickiness.

I fixed a friends car several months ago with the same problems. It had repro actuators and neither worked. In the end I had to purchase four new repros to get two that would work smoothly.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 01, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Man, at $90 a pop that stinks. Do you know how much vacuum it should have? Maybe that's the problem.?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 01, 03:18 PM
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I'll be working on that car tomorrow so I will take a vacuum reading. The doors work well on that car but it took a while to get them right.

I sent the bad actuators back. All of the distributors claim to test them but I question how they do it.

The repros just stink.



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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 01, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds great Carl. I just ordered a new relay valve, actuator brackets etc to put it all back together. When I get all that I'll assemble it, then take vacuum readings at the canisters, and if it matches your readings then I'll get new canisters.
I guess there's nothing one can do to free up the sticking new ones? WD40?
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 01, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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CarlC, if I could ask one more favor while you're working on an RS today. Someone emailed me a diagram of the hose routing in response to my post asking if I got it right and in his diagram it says the hose that runs from the light switch back to the very top fitting on the relay will have vacuum present only when the light switch is pulled out. I tested mine by blowing into one of the hoses that goes to the switch. If the switch is in (off) I get air out of the hose going to the relay. If the switch is out (off) I can't blow through it. Dosen't that sound backwards from his description? If so, could my switch be backwards or the hoses on wrong? Seems like that would be a simple open/close switch but maybe it could be turned around on the light switch housing?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 01, 04:52 AM
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I wish I had better news for you on the repro relay valve; they are just as bad as the actuators. They leak out of the bottom of the mechanism. I'm still on the lookout for a really good original part. The repro will get the job done but it just sucks that the quality is so poor.

WD40 did not help either the old or new repro acturators that I tried it on.

If my ailing brain remembers correctly vacuum is applied to the relay to make the actuators open. In the normally closed position there is no vacuum available. I'll double check. I don't think it makes much difference which side the engine vacuum line attaches to the light switch. It's just an on-off slide valve.

I won't be able to take vacuum readings at the cannisters but can get one at the reserve tank.



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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 01, 06:42 AM
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It does matter which side the manifold vacuum attaches to the light switch.If it's on the wrong side, it will leak.I just went out and checked my car,there is vacuum at the head light switch hose,at the top of the valve,with the light switch off.If you pull the hose off the valve,the headlights open.I had problems with my new actuators,but found I had the hoses at the head lt switch reversed,and the tank couldn't develop enough vaccum.It sure sounds like your actuators are too stiff.I feel as long as they hold vacuum,they should work.I don't know if WD40 is ok to use on rubber,maybe some Armorall would work,and run it back and forth by hand a bunch.

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68 z28 ,68 rs 327 ,73 454 vette, 2 goofy kids
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 01, 06:46 PM
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DUH! Dale's right. I really should of had my morning coffee first.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 01, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Man this is not encouraging, so the relay valve repros are no better? How do you know when one leaks? can you hear it or feel it? If it's around the housing can you use cilicone calk to seal it up?
Dale what you described makes sense. I think my hoses going to/from the switch are on correct.
One more question: should there be a check valve between the manifold and tank on 68 or just a filter? My hose kit came with a filter and instructions that said there was no check valve on a 68 but there should be one on a 69,
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 28th, 01, 11:39 PM
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My 68 has a check valve,I it is essential,if you want your doors to open quickly,after you start the car.I'm using the repro canisters and relay valve,they work flawlessly(if you take out the I am an idiot factor)The relay valve is just a spool valve connected to a rubber diaphram on top.The top port is to the rear of the canister,my hose is green.The rear of the canister pulls the doors closed When vacuum is supplied to the diaphram,it pulls the spool valve up,connecting the supply port(center) to the top port.You could check the relay valve for a vacuum leak by sucking on the center port,and covering the lower port.If it holds vacuum,it doesn't leak.Pull a vacuum on the upper diaphram,this will pull the spool valve up,connecting the center and top port.Try the same test,if it holds vacuum,it's good. This is really a simple system,easy to test,if you understand how it works. I took apart my origional relay valve,and sealed it up by "shimming" up the lip seal inside.It worked great,didn't leak anymore,to bad the canister on the right side leaked,and the hose clamp I used to clamp the valve back together was ugly.The "hole" on the bottom of the valve needs to be there,it is ableed to atmosphere,without it the system wont work properly. You can use the check valve for a 69,it is installed near the master cyl. The hose that is t'd into the supply line (tank to valve) will go to the check valve,instead of the Tee.Just run a straight piece of hose (no Tee) from the tank to the valve.

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[This message has been edited by dale68z (edited 04-29-2001).]
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 01, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Dale, thanks fot the info. It sounds like it ought to be simple to test for leaks. I'm still confused on where your the check valve is. Maybe you can look at another post I put out just the other day. I detailed how I understand the routing to be. I thought the check valve would go in the supply between the manifold and the small fitting on the tank. Then the large fitting on the tank goes to the yellow (middle) fitting of the relay valve but it has a Tee that connects a small hose to the light switch. The other hose on the light switch then comes back to the top of the relay. Is that correct? Appreciate the help.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 01, 06:50 AM
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Dale,

Sound like you had good luck with with the relay valve. I've had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with three of them. Each one leaked at the bottom of the valve so badly that I could hear it leak while the engine was running. At a car show in Burbank last week I was talking with a guy who has a 1969 RS Z-28 car that is one of the nicest cars I have ever seen. He's gone so far as to trim the lengths of vacuum tubing so that each actuator opens at the same time! He too has had bad experiences with the relay valve.

It may be hit or miss on the actuators. The ones that I bench tested and confirmed worked smoothly work great in the car. I tried using my power vacuum pump for 1/2 hour to loosen up the sticky ones but had no luck. I tried several different lubricants but again had no luck.

I believe the check valve goes on the manifold line just before the lines that go through the firewall. The valve has two output connections, one goes to the T on yellow line (between the relay and tank) and the other to the light switch.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 01, 11:21 AM
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Winch,you are correct on the vacuum.If you use the 69 check valve(3 port),you will loose the Tee,between the reserve canister and check valve.The 68 check valve is a 1 in 1 out,valve(2 port).
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 01, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Ah nuts, now I'm even more confused. So the check valve goes in the small line that goes from the light switch to the Tee thats in the large yellow hose between the tank and the relay? I sure would have it would be in the hose from the manifold to the tank. Seems like that would be the appropriate place to keep from losing vacuum when the engine is off.
Also I'm confused between what is a filter and what is a check valve. Year One shows a picture of what I got with my hose kit but calls it a filter on one page but a check valve in the index. Are they really the same thing?
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