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Finally decided to get started are trying to get my late father in law, Tom Dosher’s 68 running after it sat in a garage without running for 25 years. I always wondered how he let it sit for so long. After a year of it sitting my garage, I realized who am I to judge. I’m a novice, done a tone of reading, including this site for over a year (I know it’s been over a year because the annual subscription just auto-renewed - best money I ever spent), and spoke with many people about the car.

I wanted to start a thread for the car to track its path back to road capable. The car 68 Z28, without the engine. Original colors are butternut yellow with pearl parchment but car is currently black lacquer with custom pearl parchment (very worn). Engine is tricked out.

Began tonight pulling the plugs and putting two teaspoons of mystery oil in each cylinder. Drained what was left in the radiator, carrot juice I think. Draining and replacing oil next. Will give a couple days to soak and then see if I can rotate the motor (with plugs still out).

I attached pics of the spark plugs. Most appear to be fouled w carbon. 2 appears normal and 4 close to normal. Looking at the intake, I’m wouldn’t think fouled plugs would be a surprise. But not sure why 2 would appear so different than the others?
 

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Good luck Dan. I am sure you’ll end up with a great car to go along with the great memories of your father-in-law.

Roger
 

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It sure looks "80's" under the hood! Just the way Camaros did when I was in high school.

Watch out for stuck floats, cracked fuel lines, and that aluminum fan. Always have a fire extinguisher standing by on start ups like this. Let us know how it goes, video would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Drained oil, all 7-8 quarts from the large oil pan. There is an odor of gas in the oil. Hopefully that is because mixture was too rich with the intake set up (evidenced by plugs and the varnish on the intake seen in the above photo)

Removed the belt, water pump spins smoothly, alternator spins smoothly. Removed fan for safety and will reinstall later when we get to the running beyond 15 second stage w/ a new shroud. Will see if motor spins without combustion first, hopefully this weekend. After that, with the camaro came a lot of classic car parts. Have a more reasonable manifold and carburetor, and may have carb rebuilt and make a change before trying to run under combustion. Fire extinguisher will be a must (CO2 not powder).

Baby steps, my job only gives me a couple of hours each night to chip away. Added an old pick of a previous custom hood...
 

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Looks like you had one cool Father in law. Anybody who owned a car like that back in the day had to be Cool.
 

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X2 what Tom mentioned. Those fans could surprise you badly and they roar. It looks like gas stain on the front runners. That setup may be why it sat all that time. I wouldnt put gas back in those carbs without taking them apart first. As you mentioned swapping it out might be the best plan. I see quickie valve cover bolts. Assuming the motor has sat for 25 years without the rocker arms backed off you may want to see if there is an old set of roller rockers under there with the crap stretched out of some of them. Thats a nice way back machine you have.
 

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Not wanting to get the cart too far in front of the horse, but down the road you may want to invest in a fan shroud to improve cooling. I'd also pre-oil the engine prior to startup.
 

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Little concerned. Got oil filter off, and the contents in the filter were a milky brown (put in water bottle) The oil from the oil pan was black and looked good. Removed the valve covers and revealed 041 heads. They look like they are in okay shape but did see a little bit of fluid that appeared greenish (coolant?). Starting to worry have some coolant intrusion. Will keep chipping away. If motor moves, will likely have to take the heads off to make sure head gasket is good.
 

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Might be a good idea to grab a coolant system pressure tester and pressurize the coolant system. It will help determine if you have a bad head gasket or crack somewhere in the block or heads
 

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First moment of truth tonight. With engine lubed up, used a breaker bar, was able to turn engine. Felt smooth and consistent. Will let it sit for the night and will try turning engine with the starter tomorrow. If that goes well, will work on cooling system and gas tank/fuel lines.

Can see video here of manual turning of engine.

https://vimeo.com/user102274167/review/356321975/e422419fb9
 

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On to fuel system. Dropped the gas tank. Some old fuel in tank to contend with. All hoses are hard as a rock, but of course already planning to replace. Seems only logical to replace tank and sending unit while I have it down, so will order one this weekend. any suggested places to get one?Some rust on trunk floor. Want to preserve car but not in restoration mode. Wire wheel areas of concern, prime and paint?

Of to watch Huskers season opener, GO BIG RED.
 

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On to fuel system. Dropped the gas tank. Some old fuel in tank to contend with. All hoses are hard as a rock, but of course already planning to replace. Seems only logical to replace tank and sending unit while I have it down, so will order one this weekend. any suggested places to get one?Some rust on trunk floor. Want to preserve car but not in restoration mode. Wire wheel areas of concern, prime and paint?



Of to watch Huskers season opener, GO BIG RED.


Man I wish I had the abilities to build one myself that would make the car that much more enjoyable once complete. Good luck on your build!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Dan - I hope you don't mind me posting this, but here's a scan of the article on your car from the July, 1982 issue of "Popular Hot Rodding" magazine. (Hey everybody - The magazine printed this article at an angle, so please don't knock my scanning skills.)

How many of us bought these magazines in our teens and drooled over the feature cars while we saved up money to buy Camaros of our own? Very few of those feature cars have survived this long in the same configuration, so here is one more vote for keeping it old-school.
 

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Thanks for posting. Have many copies of the magazine article of the car. He had a framed copy in his house, he was very proud of it. The plan is to make the car a tribute to him, but not keep it exactly the same. Will eventually change tires / rims to a more reasonable size but stay w chrome crager like rims. Change the intake to a single 4bbl set up but save the dual set up from the article in case there is a desire to go back some day. There is no hood picture in the article, but will eventually try to have a hood that reflects they way he had it painted at the time of the article. A lot of work ahead...
 

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On the number 2 cylinder, I suspect a slight coolant leak. Probably only when it was running. I have an old pick-up I use here on our farm and one plug always looks clean as can be compared to the others. The head gasket shows slight seepage (externally) only when it begins to warm up. Don't recall where I've heard that theory before, but from the evidence from my old pick-up, I believe it.:) It runs perfectly, btw...

When you 're ready to spin it over with the starter, I advise taking a compression test. Before and after firing it up.

Acetone cuts (dissolves) gas varnish. If the tank isn't rusty, no reason not to use it....
 

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I agree with everything Garth said above. I had an El Camino with a 400 SBC and a bad head gasket. It was find for back and forth to work but hydrauliced a cylinder after my with took the kids ice skating and sat in the truck with it running for an hour or more. IIRC I pulled the plug and pushed the coolant out and drove it some more after that.

Jeff
 
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