CRG Discussion Forum

Camaro Research Group Discussion => Originality => Topic started by: Edgemontvillage on February 01, 2018, 05:00:02 PM

Title: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: Edgemontvillage on February 01, 2018, 05:00:02 PM
From my research, at the time of vehicle delivery the clutch bellcrank or Z-bar had a plastic plug inserted in the center shaft hole that was intended for a grease fitting. During routine service the plug was replaced with a zerk fitting to allow the Z-bar pivot points to be lubricated from inside the shaft. I am trying to determine what the factory Camaro original plastic plug looked like and if were there variations of the style of plug used and differences between Norwood and Van Nuys plants? 1964-1981 Corvettes used a red plastic plug (see photo) which is reproduced (it is NCRS judged). From my research I have seen 4 variations of the plug; NOS Z-bars use an 1. orange plug with a center cross bar (likely so it can be easily removed with pliers) 2. orange plug with a tab. 3. orange (red?) plug with no tab or cross bar and 4. the
Corvette version in red Does anyone have an original Gen 1 Camaro plug?

NOS Z-Bar with Plug: orange with cross bar (source: eBay)
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4712/40023309891_e59c7beae7_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23YHVD6) (https://flic.kr/p/23YHVD6)  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/156633854@N02/)

NOS Z-Bar with Plug: orange with tab (source:eBay)
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4613/39991743252_b955e2ec45_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23VW8YG) (https://flic.kr/p/23VW8YG)  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/156633854@N02/)

NOS Z-bar with Plug: orange, no tab or cross bar (source: HBC)
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4695/40023309771_f3e01cdf32_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23YHVB2) (https://flic.kr/p/23YHVB2)  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/156633854@N02/)

1964-1981 Corvette Z-Bar Plug: red, reverse view  (source: Paragon)
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4619/40024083051_065d15366f_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23YMTtr)[url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/156633854@N02/] (https://flic.kr/p/23YMTtr)



Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: BillOhio on February 01, 2018, 05:16:20 PM
Hi Lloyd
The plug in mine is like the corvette one with no center. I dont remember if it had letters on it. Chick and i discussed this once, maybe he still has the pictures i sent him
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: Edgemontvillage on February 01, 2018, 06:44:35 PM
Hi Lloyd
The plug in mine is like the corvette one with no center. I dont remember if it had letters on it. Chick and i discussed this once, maybe he still has the pictures i sent him

Thanks Bill, is your plug orange or red (per the Corvette plug)? It appears orange in the photo. 
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: 69Z28-RS on February 01, 2018, 06:57:05 PM
Bill is faster than I...  :)    I had to go down to the basement, and take a photo of mine (fortunately I had not reinstalled it since removing, cleaning, lubricating); all I had to do was *FIND* the box it was in.. :)     Mine and Bill's appear to be the same, (hugger) orange and 'inset'...  :)

Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: BillOhio on February 01, 2018, 07:54:23 PM
I dont have much better to do right now that look at this stuff!!
Mine looks like garys, looks like his z bar made it all the way in the phosphate tank tho
Hard to say if it was red and turned a little orange now but it has an orange cast to it
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: Edgemontvillage on February 01, 2018, 09:29:40 PM
Bill & Gary, thanks for the photos, very helpful intel and a good addition to the CRG knowledge database!
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: 68camaroz28 on February 18, 2018, 06:16:16 PM
Bill & Gary, thanks for the photos, very helpful intel and a good addition to the CRG knowledge database!
Lloyd, to know last year while at Legends judging about the orange plug installed in our Z-bar vs. a grease zerk I explained what I had found in research. There was no deduction on my final sheet. Bill had helped me before from what he had on his and a good friend gave me an original but the plug was very brittle and cracked but it gave me enough to find a similar plug as shown. As you started found original with the plug and had that confirmed by a knowledgeable friend. I do believe there were some different type plugs used. What I used looked like Bill and Gary's but its more red then orange but putting it in the sun for awhile softens the color to look more correct. I had to laugh as one of the pictures of a NOS piece I had also saved from an ebay ad. They must have had that on sale for a very long time. LOL Our 68Z will be in the "Class of 68" at MCACN this year so hopefully see you and Mike again. 
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: 169INDY on February 19, 2018, 07:07:00 AM
We use these on Navy Ships (Submarine & Carrier) components as FME enclosures (Foreign Material Exclusion).

https://www.caplugs.com/ergonomic-pull-tab-plug-ecp
CAPLUGS has been in business for decades

I did not see the smaller sizes listed but I bet they make them.

I will post my Z bar plug after I clean up he unit.

JIM
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: Edgemontvillage on February 19, 2018, 04:43:26 PM
Bill & Gary, thanks for the photos, very helpful intel and a good addition to the CRG knowledge database!
Lloyd, to know last year while at Legends judging about the orange plug installed in our Z-bar vs. a grease zerk I explained what I had found in research. There was no deduction on my final sheet. Bill had helped me before from what he had on his and a good friend gave me an original but the plug was very brittle and cracked but it gave me enough to find a similar plug as shown. As you started found original with the plug and had that confirmed by a knowledgeable friend. I do believe there were some different type plugs used. What I used looked like Bill and Gary's but its more red then orange but putting it in the sun for awhile softens the color to look more correct. I had to laugh as one of the pictures of a NOS piece I had also saved from an ebay ad. They must have had that on sale for a very long time. LOL Our 68Z will be in the "Class of 68" at MCACN this year so hopefully see you and Mike again. 

Good to know Chick, thanks. I was able to locate a plug from an early NOS z bar which I hope to extricate and put to use that has the cross bar detail however not the extended tab and is definitely orange vs red. MCACN remains on my annual must-attend list.   
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: Edgemontvillage on February 19, 2018, 04:47:17 PM
We use these on Navy Ships (Submarine & Carrier) components as FME enclosures (Foreign Material Exclusion).

https://www.caplugs.com/ergonomic-pull-tab-plug-ecp
CAPLUGS has been in business for decades

I did not see the smaller sizes listed but I bet they make them.

I will post my Z bar plug after I clean up he unit.

JIM

Thanks Jim, very interesting. Caplugs was a supplier to GM in 1968/1969 (and likely before and beyond that period) as I have seen their branded plugs used in the firewall, wheel wells and cowl areas. Will have to dig further to see if they currently make a suitable z-bar plug in red or orange however the order page link you provided states the plugs are color coded by size - might be a crap shoot.   
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: 169INDY on February 22, 2018, 06:01:22 AM
I dug out my bar and cleaned up the plug with a little isopropyl, funny the bar has that same phosphate line as the one pic above. The plug has a weird red or orange faded color that is hard to tell.

This might be a dumb question, are the bars tapped for a Zerk under the plug? & Would the service dept just inject a bunch of grease every 30k miles to supply lube to both pivots, I was digging out really waxy gunk that was basically solidified in the hollow bore, I thought I might heat the plug with a hair dryer to make it a little more flex and pop it out a soak the bar in a solvent tank, then re-phosphate the bar and preserve with Boe-Shield T9.

Jim
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: 69Z28-RS on February 22, 2018, 02:57:14 PM
I don't know of another reason to use such a plug at an obvious greasing location.  Apparently the factory lube would suffice for the warranty period (and longer, much longer in some of our situations!)_..  and it's reasonable to expect the factory to 'let normal maintenance' handle the installation of a zerk fitting later in the car's life.  For ease in later maintenance the zerk fitting would seem to be the solution!

I'm sure many have been 'converted' (had this upgrade) by now.  How do the judging organizations (using the term loosely) handle that?  Do they even look at the plastic plug or zerk fitting?
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: BillOhio on February 22, 2018, 04:28:56 PM
The grease in mine was still nice. It would take half a tube to fill the z bar and that could be a mess!
Is the hole tapped?
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: 69Z28-RS on February 22, 2018, 04:44:22 PM
Some of us are old enough to remember when cars were greased (all the joints) as part of an oil change at the local service station (and how much grease it took was not a factor!).. :)   

I even remember the first car(s) I purchased which didn't have grease fittings....  What a downer for those of us who like to do our own maintenance to get under a car and discover no grease fittings and so-called 'lifetime bearings' and joints...  :(
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: Mike S on February 22, 2018, 04:50:23 PM
 For most of my new cars/SUV's without grease fittings, I use a needle-type adapter to the grease gun and insert it at an angle into the boot to inject. It works great. 
https://www.amazon.com/AUTOMAN-Injector-Stainless-Protective-Plastic/dp/B076LZX794/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1519318157&sr=1-2&keywords=needle+grease+gun+adapter

Mike
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: Z10Mike on February 22, 2018, 08:04:35 PM
Regarding the poster's question: "This might be a dumb question, are the bars tapped for a Zerk under the plug?"  I recently removed(and saved) the original orange plug from my Z bar to install a grease fitting.  The hole was not tapped and I had to tap the hole to install the grease fitting.  Mixed emotions at altering the originality, but my car never is going to be judged at a show.  That tipped the scales toward the service side of the equation and the zerk fitting went in.
Title: Re: Z-Bar / Clutch Bellcrank Plug
Post by: HOGDADDY on April 11, 2018, 04:00:13 AM
Here's one on Ebay I ran across. https://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-GM-NOS-1967-1969-CAMARO-SMALL-BLOCK-CLUTCH-BELLCRANK-Z-BAR-3998652/152901616882?hash=item2399a584f2:g:rWoAAOSwJc9afg6q not mine.
I have a nos z-bar somewhere I don't know if it has plug or not.