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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
An interesting little find. A while back I had a feeling there was some kind of thing hidden in the body underneath the rear driver's side window so I took off the vent and happened to see this little sticker sitting there. I guess it's something that used to come with Champion spark plugs back in the day. My uncle had written down the information from the Z28 at the time, assumingly when he changed the spark plugs. It had 47,083 miles and still had the 302 in it, not yet the replacement 327 which came in around 1985 or 6. Interestingly he listed both the type of spark plug, which was J-11Y and you can still find some for sale online, but also apparently swapped out the original Holley 4053 for a 6619, which I still happen to have both. I'm surprised he downgraded from a 780cfm carb to a 600cfm one back when he still ran the 302. The 6619 was on the 327 when I got it, I assumed it was put on there "just to drive it around" but apparently he ran the 302 with it.


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There's still adhesive left in the door jamb where this peeled off. I thought it was probably stuffed through the plastic louvered vent in the door jamb but I don't think the sticker was folded. either it was slipped through the window seal or the vent was taken off and it was tossed inside. Very strange. I wonder if it was done purposefully that way for someone to rediscover decades later. If so, I'm glad it was, and I'm glad I can share it with you guys too.
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Another old photo of the Z28 in my grandparent's driveway, sometime around 1974-79. It still had its stripes then. Apparently everyone was aghast when they got painted over.
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
I've slowly been trying to figure out the problem with the oil pump priming on the 302. Between waiting on parts, work getting in the way and being wildly sick for a whole week not a lot has gone on. One of the last things I wanted to do to myself before taking it in to a specialist was to swap out the high volume oil pump for a stock type. Its one of the last things I can do to eliminate all of the variables other than what the engine shop did. They had given me a Melling M55HV pump which I installed, and I just replaced it with an M55A. The oil pan is back on but I'll wait until tomorrow to fill it with oil because I used RTV on the gaskets. I suspect there will be no difference but I still need to go through the process of elimination before I take the engine in and have it inspected.

One other issue that reappeared is more of the paint is peeling on the block. I specifically told the engine shop to not paint it, that I would do that myself, but they gave it back to me with dark gray primer and they sprayed it over oily spots so it didn't adhere, so it makes me have to do three or four times the work than if they had just given me back an oily engine. Overall I'm pretty annoyed so far, and unfortunately I suspect there's a lot more wrong with this engine than I know even now. Only time will tell. I'll be trying the oil priming method again after the RTV cures overnight.




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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Replacing the M55HV with a M55A oil pump seemed to solve all the issues I was having, so I've now been putting the engine back together in preparation for reinstall, which unfortunately probably won't be for another week and a half since I have prior obligations and that is when I'll have help available. Here is about as far as I have gotten so far, plus the Holley 3310 set atop temporarily to check clearances. The lifting plate is back on now. I'm glad I check the clearances because there was a fitting on the intake manifold I needed to readjust. I chose the 3310 because it was pretty close to the original 4053, a few CFM lower but that's okay. The only major difference I can tell is the choke is manual, but I don't mind operating it manually for the time being. Someday soon I'll send the original 4053 off for a complete rebuild. Right now though I'm more concerned about getting the car back on the road. Originality will be a later phase as some of the original parts I still have will slowly be rebuilt. Other parts include the intake manifold, the alternator, the fuel pump, the water pump, the valve covers, fan clutch, and more. For now I'll just use the replacement parts I bought myself and the ones that came with the car during the sale.

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Something I recently discovered was a box full of small parts that came off a Camaro and possibly other GM cars of the same era. I realized it recently when I was going through some stuff in storage. It's been nice because I've needed some extra bolts, and only had to line up the one I needed with the others until I found a match. These two red ones below I believe came off a 1969 Camaro that was Garnet Red, which I happen to have a trim tag for, as well as other larger parts that have red overspray on them. My uncle was known to get parts cars and dismantle them back in the day, he probably did that with this one also.
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Stripping some final things and painting them, in preparation for the engine reinstall.
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Putting the last few things on the engine before it goes back in, as much as I can now. Unfortunately I keep having delays in when I can schedule help. Hopefully the first week of october. The coil bracket needed to be modified to fit on the Edelbrock intake manifold, the tab on the driver's side was occupying the same space as the manifold. At first I tried to bend the edge up, but it didn't look right because I don't really have the right tools and it was too close. I ended up using a grinder with a flap disc to sand it down enough to fit and touched up the edge with phosphate paint, not that you can see it but I didn't want it to rust and discolor. I did this to a reproduction bracket, I wouldn't do it to an original, which I still have, which will need to be refinished. That will be a later project when the original manifold gets refurbished and replaces the Edelbrock.

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Here is the distributor which is either the original or at least correct date, January 20th seems to be close enough to a car built the second week of February as far as I can discern from the stamp. At some point a Mallory Unilite ignition module was installed, and the cap and rotor replaced with what might be Accel versions. This distributor works, I can attest that because it worked on the 327 I got running before it was pulled. I cleaned the distributor up, put some RTV sealant where the wires enter the housing itself (there was sealant but it had cracked) and I ordered a replacement cap and rotor in the same color from Accel, since there is some corrosion on the current ones which I could probably clean up but I'd rather start again with new ones. I know it's not the original color, but I don't really care. I'm not building a show car, at least not yet, and I want to recreate the car in the way my uncle had it, and for something like a distributor cap that can be taken on and off fairly easily without changing either the core originality or the spirit of the camaro itself isn't a big deal to me. That being said if I already have something I'll use it first, for example there was a set of yellow silicone Mallory spark plug wires in the car, which I won't reuse, but rather than buying a new set of them I'll use the new black set of stock type ones that came with the spare parts. I can't find a brand name but they're a stock-type reproduction set from Heartbeat City. I'll post pictures later.
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This is the Accel coil that came in the Camaro when I got it. It still works but I don't think I'll reuse it. I have what may be the original coil, but not quite sure, I need to do more research. I also have a reproduction Delco-Remy new in the box. Well, it might actually be 10 years old now but you get the idea. Again, since it's already something that has been purchased I will use that first before anything else. I'll post more pictures of those coils and the plug wires later.
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Curious as to why you didn't pull a couple bearing cap to check the bearings. Looks clean.
If you mean the crank bearings, those were replaced when the engine was rebuilt and I don't want to disassemble anything that the shop installed. If you mean the wheel bearings, I haven't gotten to that portion of the project yet which will be part of a greater front end steering/brakes project. Had I known the engine rebuild and reinstall would have taken this long I would have scheduled it differently.
 

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If you mean the crank bearings, those were replaced when the engine was rebuilt and I don't want to disassemble anything that the shop installed. If you mean the wheel bearings, I haven't gotten to that portion of the project yet which will be part of a greater front end steering/brakes project. Had I known the engine rebuild and reinstall would have taken this long I would have scheduled it differently.
I mean crank and rod bearings. If you are that far apart might as well. I don't know what kind of warranty you have but may have violated it already. I mean the engine is already out of the car and on a stand. Not that hard to trip in and out an engine in a Camaro but I can't do a lot of the things I used to do and that has maybe changed my perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
This is the spark plug wire set I got with the parts that came with the car. Not sure how good it is, but it's probably not garbage since Heartbeat City sold it. May be as old as 10 years though, since many of the spare parts were bought starting around 2011 so I'll look it all over to make sure its in good condition.

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On the left is the new replacement coil, also from Heartbeat City. On the right is an older coil, not sure if it's original but even if it were I wouldn't use it, for now anyway. I'll put it back into storage and someday if I do a real factory restoration I'll bright it back out, check it for originality, and if so have it cleaned up and inspected.
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I had some time so I decided to repaint the lower fender extensions and front valance. Earlier I had stripped all the paint off because it was in very poor condition, had been repainted and was peppered by gravel or sand at some point and looked terrible. On the left is the generic dark green paint I had on hand, but it was too light and pastel. Since I'm planning on painting the car in the near future I only wanted to make it look okay from 50 feet away in the mean time, however I decided it wouldn't look good from even that far away. I ordered a rattle can of supposedly fathom green paint off ebay not expecting much, and I didn't get much. On the right is a test color on a piece of scrap plate I had laying around.
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Here is the rattle can "fathom green" next to the original paint still inside the trunk lid. The outside body of the car was repainted the same color at one point. It's obviously not the same color. It almost looks like British Green off a '68 Camaro, which has a different tint to it than Fathom green, i.e. more bluish vs yellowish, or something like that.
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Here is it versus the roof, which was repainted in the mid or late 70's. The repaint was actually pretty darn close to the original. I'm annoyed that this isn't the right color, but not angry because I didn't expect much. That, and it looks a lot closer than the green I had painted previously, and looks better than before I stripped the paint. It'll be fine for now until the car gets painted, hopefully next year.
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I mean crank and rod bearings. If you are that far apart might as well. I don't know what kind of warranty you have but may have violated it already. I mean the engine is already out of the car and on a stand. Not that hard to trip in and out an engine in a Camaro but I can't do a lot of the things I used to do and that has maybe changed my perspective.
I didn't want to dismantle anything the shop did. I have a warranty that'll start after the engine goes in, 12 months/12k miles. May technically be voided because the paperwork requires a certified mechanic to install but I told the shop I was going to do it myself and they didn't seem to care, but that's the same attitude they have about everything anyway. To be honest I don't see them jumping to honor a warranty whether I had a orangutan install the engine or the best shop in the country. I'll have it in on wednesday, and hopefully by the end of the week I'll have everything else put back together to do the first startup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I ended up having a (yet another) problem with paint. The touch up fathom green I used on the front valance and lower fender extensions started wrinkling when I sprayed them with clearcoat. I got so mad that I ended up stripping all the paint off with a wire wheel off the valance, and sprayed it with self-etching primer and it's just going to stay that way until the whole car gets painted. I did not bother stripping the lower front fender extensions for now, I actually ordered a replacement set because one has a large dent in the bottom. Maybe I'll fix it, maybe I won't.

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I've been trying to get the underhood components all back into place. The original fan shroud got set off to the side and I was going to use a reproduction one that came with the replacement parts, since it looks better. However it did not fit over the radiator for whatever reason and tried to occupy the same space as the fan itself. Maybe it's the aluminum Cold Case radiator I have, which I bought as a replacement as the one that came with the car was a non-original older generic one that had leaks in it. I've had to modify the Cold Case just to get it to mount to the radiator support and it only holds the shroud on by a single top screw. Eventually I'll have to just pony up and buy a stock type that actually fits properly.
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The original fan shroud fits, which I already knew because I had had it in the car before with the Cold Case when the 327 was still in it. I guess it doesn't look too bad. Still has the original emissions sticker, though I won't be replacing the air pump.
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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
I had gotten this thermostat housing somewhere recently, because the original one was kind of crusty and looked beaten up after sandblasting. It was actually the second one I got, after a Doorman one I purchased turned out to have a very narrow inside diameter. Maybe it wouldn't have changed anything, but I didn't want to risk it. It turns out this chrome one the outside diameter was too small for the upper radiator hose. So, back to the original which I know will work.

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Cleaned up a bit using the wire wheel on a dremel and some steel wool. Looks decent enough.
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The chrome one came with some plated bolts. I swapped them out for stainless.
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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I bought a set of urethane body bushings because the originals were trashed, and unfortunately the replacement ones I got with the car were incomplete. At the time I could only find the red ones, but I like the way they look.

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I tried to install the fuel lines but had to do a little modification. The inlets on the carb were the wrong size for the fittings, so I swapped out for a different set. The diameter inside is slightly smaller, I don't know if that'll make a difference, I'll just have to try them and see how it goes. Apparently the 3310 does not have a metering block (metering plate?) on the secondary, so the rear fuel line was slightly long. I was able to cut about a half inch off and put a double flare on, and it was the correct length. We'll see if it leaks or not. As far as the metering block goes, I'm not sure what will be different performance-wise compared to the original carb. Eventually I'll rebuild it, and the 3310 will go, which is why I'm not going to bother to swap out the manual choke.... yet anyway.
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The way that the brake vacuum line attaches on the intake manifold isn't all that ideal, but it'll have to do for now.
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Here' the original thermostat housing, "cleaned up" and replaced.
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When I got the car it had the starter solenoid wires run right behind the header and they had been fried, spliced, and fried again. In fact the last time I turned the car on with the old starter they ended up smoking and failed. I'm not sure if that's where they're supposed to be run but I ended up splicing on new wires and terminals, left them long and rerouted them around the inner fender and clear of the header.
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The replacement power steering pressure hose needed an extra fitting to fit on the pump. Apparently this is still an issue, and this hose is from 2011. Not sure why the manufacturers don't swap them out or at least toss this adapter in and charge more.
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Do you have an AIM (assembly manual)? It shows wire harness routing and the associated clips involved. The starter wiring should go straight down as it comes out of the "wire gutter" (top of firewall), alongside the heater box and heater hose connections, to a clip on the top corner bellhousing bolt, then to the starter solenoid. With the proper clips utilized, everything is tucked in and no chance burning on the exhaust, etc. Only the orange blower motor wire goes over the top of the heater box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Do you have an AIM (assembly manual)? It shows wire harness routing and the associated clips involved. The starter wiring should go straight down as it comes out of the "wire gutter" (top of firewall), alongside the heater box and heater hose connections, to a clip on the top corner bellhousing bolt, then to the starter solenoid. With the proper clips utilized, everything is tucked in and no chance burning on the exhaust, etc. Only the orange blower motor wire goes over the top of the heater box.
I have the manual, yes I see it there on UPC 12 A6 and A7. Unfortunately the "clip - part of harness" was long gone before I got the car so I'd have to try find or make something similar. Add it to the list for future projects, but for now getting it running is my #1 priority.
 

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Understood, most of my OE clips were gone too. And I made most of them. Doesn't take much time if you have the materials & tools, including Plasti-Dip to insulate them. Here's a quick shot I found over at CRG of a 69Z survivor....

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Thanks for the like. :giggle: lol Lots more survivor photos at CRG to check out if you haven't already...Original Cars and Details (camaros.org)
Thank you. I signed up for that site but I mostly check out the posts here. I should probably post there also. Lots of real original cars there. Unfortunately I've had to do a lot of new work on things like my engine and the whole engine bay in general, which had been repainted prior and coated in road grime, and most of the original exterior paint has been painted over. I'm jealous of all the guys that still have the inspectors stamps in their engine bays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I got the distributor in (I think) and put the plug wires on the plugs but they wouldn’t fit into the Accel cap I had bought. They wouldn’t fit into the old Accel cap either.

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I kept the old Mallory wires for reference, thankfully, and they have a different type of connector than the new wires I have. They happen to fit on a generic cap I have so I’ll probably just use that until I can figure out why the wires aren’t working. I’m not partial to either the generic cap or the new wires, only the new Accel cap because it’s the same type my uncle used, which isn’t a good reason beyond being sentimental, and I fully realize that.

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The connector on the new wires. This seems to be the standard type and I don’t see any online that resemble the old Mallory ones. I might go to the auto parts store and bring the Accel cap and see if they have any wires that fit. Ideally I’d like to use silicone ones, I was only using these because I already had them.

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Pretty sure it's just the connectors of the new wires haven't been compressed yet and probably a sharp edge around the perimeter catching as it's inserted into the cap. Push a bit harder and/or take some emery cloth and lightly go over that sharp edge. A very small amount of dielectric grease may help as well, just don't overdo it. Dielectric grease is good for the spark plug boots as well to aid in future removal. Again, apply sparingly.
 
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