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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Camaro Team. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, which means it’s been a while since I’ve had any major issues. Thanks to everyone who has helped me over the past couple years.

It’s been an interesting weekend, and a few things have happened. So I’ll start with what I’m looking for answers on, and then I’ll give the backstory.


1. How can I check to see if my engine has been damaged?
2. Is my clutch burned out?
3. Do I have a clutch linkage problem?
4. How would you deal with Autozone?

Friday, I took the Camaro out for a spin. I’ve recently added traction bars. My dad was with me and I wanted to show him how they ground the car on the launch, so I attempted a few burnouts.

I was really hard on the clutch. It took me a few tries to get the back wheels to really spin, and on the 4th or 5th attempt, I finally got a nice solid sliding start with some smoke from the tires.

After that, I could smell my clutch and said enough is enough. So we drove it home. But we made two stops along the way. At each stop, I turned the engine off for a couple minutes, but the drive home was fine.

Cut to:
Sunday, I checked the dip stick and oil level was down to “add a quart” level. It had been almost a year, so I said no more driving until we change the oil.

I went to Autozone and asked for a Fram PH5, the same filter I have always used. They didn’t have it, but they said, according to their computer, the STP filter they had in stock was the same size and would be an equivalent. So I bought it.

I did the oil change. I started the car. I revved the engine, and I backed the car into my garage. When I get out, there’s a natural disaster. All the oil had come out, and it all came from the filter.

I still consider myself a beginner, so after cleaning up the mess, I think it must have been my fault. I probably didn’t tighten the filter enough. I removed the filter. Wiped it down. Reattached it. Tightened it more firmly. Added new oil. Started it up. And it all came pouring out again all over my driveway.

Needless to say, that sucked. When the engine started, it didn’t sound good either.

I called my friend who has been working with muscle cars his whole life. He asked me to grab the Fram out of the trash and take a picture of it next to the STP. He immediately said wrong filter. In the photo, you can see that one filter is convex on the top, and one is concave. Hence the STP was not getting the proper seal and oil shot right out.

Autozone refunded my oil and the filter. I found another location and got my Fram. I put it on voila, no leak. All is good again.

But when I started it, the engine sounded rough. Really rough. In idle, I revved it, thinking maybe if I get gas and air mixture to the engine, it would help. And it did seem to help a bit. But I’m not certain that it’s really the same.

I decided time to take it for a ride and test it out. As I left the house, going about 25 mph uphill, I went for a gear change. I stepped on the clutch and it made a pop sound. Also sounded like maybe a spring got caught for a moment too. The car lurched, but then engaged into second gear. I went for another gear change and the same thing happened again.

I came to a stop. Checked the clutch. Seemed to engage fine at a stop. Went through the gears at a stop. All fine. Drove slowly, shifted from first to second gear. Worked fine. Got to a light with a good straight away and said, ok here’s the real test.

From a roll going about 10 mph, I pushed it hard. Went for the gear change, and pop, clutch sounded like it got caught on a spring. I reiterate… it really sounded like it was caught on a spring.

I was a few blocks from home, and now I couldn’t engage the clutch. The car was stuck in second. I got to my street, pulled over. Got it to nuetral, tried to go through the gears, and then no luck. Stuck in nuetral. With the car off, and my foot on the clutch, I was able to force it down into second. I started the car in second gear and got it to my driveway.

From the driveway, after turning it off, I couldn’t get it to nuetral. I had to turn the key and lurch it forward in second gear to get it in the garage.


If you’ve read this novel I’ve written, I’m very grateful to you for following this far.

  1. Is it possible my engine got messed up for running a bit with no oil in it? If so, how do I check? And what would you do next?
  2. Did I burn up my clutch? I was able to drive it home with no issues two days prior, so why would it go out now?
  3. Is there a problem with my clutch linkage? How do I check? * ps way back I had to create a way for the clutch to have some springs in place of the actual return spring rod, because my headers didn’t allow for the rod to fit. I suppose I could remove those springs and see if they’re an issue, but they’ve been extremely helpful nd never been a problem. However, they do surround the oil filter, and it’s possible, but I doubt it, they got moved a bit during the oil change. However, I already checked and they seem to be operating the same as always.
  4. Is a refund of oil and filter enough from Autozone? My driveway got covered in oil and I spent hours cleaning it. Plus my engine ran on no oil for a bit. What would you do?

Thanks for reading. I look forward to your answers.

Attached is a picture of the old oil filter, and the one they sold me.

Below is a video link to how I drive the Camaro - disclaimer, all roads were locked up during this video and we had official city permits, so there is no illegal driving here. I’m only including this link so you can see that when I drive it, I drive it hard!

I usually drive it 3 times a month for about 90 minutes at a time.

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Camera accessory Camera lens


YouTube example of how I have been driving recently:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What does the shifter linkage look like? Is it a cable? If so, what does it connect to on both ends? I’ll get under the car today and investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Go back through your post from 2020. All of the linkage questions were answered in that post.
Got it. I know what to look at. Thanks. Back with more info later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
.

Considering I have had problems with my shifter locking up, I do not want to rule out this as a shifter problem. However, further evidence leads me to think otherwise.

After putting the vehicle on stands, I was able to explore underneath. No visible changes to the clutch fork and rod.

Camaro was stuck in second gear. I was able to pull the gear rod easily and pop the vehicle into nuetral.

Once inside, I noticed the clutch DOES NOT return all the way. It is stopped at the engagement point.

AND

I CAN SHIFT THROUGH ALL THE GEARS WITHOUT THE CLUTCH PRESSED.


Do I have a burned out clutch? Is it a the throw out bearing? Or a shifter problem? Or something else?

Please help me diagnose the problem.

video:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Carefully inspect the clutch linkage. From where it goes through the firewall to the clutch fork and pivot ball.

If the clutch is burned out it will slip. Not do what you are taking about.
I inspected the linkage and it appears to be fine. I suspect you are correct, that the clutch is not burned out.

I did another test. My mechanic recommended that I put the rear wheels in the air, and start the engine. I did so, and the wheels did not move (at first). Later in neutral they did move, and when I stepped on the trottle, after the wheels had already been turning, the wheels turned faster. However......

With the engine running, I tried to shift to 1st gear. When I engaged the clutch, it squealed badly. And with the clutch to the floor and while squealing, it stalled. Only after the engine stalled, could I then shift into 1st gear.

I have my thoughts on what might be occurring. What do you all think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Take a look at your z bar where the barrel of the
Z bar attaches to the lever below where the circular clutch rod comes through the firewall and attaches to it. Lots of time that weld between the upright and the cylinder zbar seperates. This reduces the throw of the clutch petal.



M
Will do. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I plan to replace the clutch once I have the transmission out.

Can you all recommend what clutch you would install?

I drive it a few times a month. I drive it hard. I definitely do not want a racing clutch. Something that can withstand a few burnouts once in a while, some hard shifting, but still comfortable to drive around casually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
If I remember correctly you'll still need to get a pilot bushing. The one that comes ithe the clutch is magnetic. Your local parts store should be able to get you the Federal Mogul pilot bushing shown above. If they can't get the Federal Mogul bushing take a magnet to the store and check it before you buy it. I believe I purchased a National PB656HD and it was non magnetic from my local Oreilly Auto Parts store.

The old bushing can be a pain to get out of the crank. If it's a bushing vs a roller bearing I've had the best luck with the bread method. That is get a bolt that will just fit in the hole, stuff the hole with a bread, and then put the bolt in the hole and tap it with a 3lb hammer. Then add more bread and tap it again until it pushes the bushing out.

If it's a bearing you'll need a pilot bearing puller. You can rent one from the local parts store.
Copy that. Thanks!
 
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