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1  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: Sinkhole in the Corvette Museum on: August 30, 2014, 11:08:57 AM
NCM Museum Board finalized decision (released today via email to NCM members):

"The National Corvette Museum Board of Directors held their quarterly meeting and finalized plans for repair of the Museum’s Skydome building, and the eight Corvettes affected by the February 12, 2014 sinkhole collapse.
After careful review of additional information and revised plans with price quotes from the construction company, the board voted to completely fill in the sinkhole.
“We really wanted to preserve a portion of the hole so that guests for years to come could see a little bit of what it was like, but after receiving more detailed pricing, the cost outweighs the benefit,” said Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode.  “At the June board meeting, the information available at that time indicated a cost of around $500,000 more to keep the hole, but after incorporating additional safety features and vapor barriers for humidity control, the price tag rose to $1 million more than the cost to put the Skydome back how it was.”
Keeping even a portion of the sinkhole would require 35 foot retaining walls to be built inside of the sinkhole, additional micro piling, visible steel beams running through the hole, and soil nailing.  All of these additional structural features are to ensure the safety of the sinkhole and prevent cracking and breaking of the sides in the future, which could result in stability issues, but take away from the natural look of the original sinkhole.  The board also considered future maintenance issues that could arise if the hole was kept and the possibility that the hole wouldn’t look like a naturally occurring sinkhole any longer.
“The interest in our new attraction has been phenomenal so we do plan to leave it ‘as-is’ through our Vets ‘n Vettes event November 6-8, 2014, after which time we will begin the process of remediating and filling the hole,” Strode added.
Chevrolet and the National Corvette Museum will restore three of the Corvettes that were damaged when they were swallowed up by the sinkhole.
Chevrolet will restore the 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype, known as the Blue Devil, and the 1-millionth Corvette produced – a white 1992 convertible. The GM Heritage Center will oversee this process.  In addition, the restoration of the 1962 Corvette will be funded by Chevrolet, but will be handled by the National Corvette Museum.  A restoration shop has not yet been determined.  The remaining five cars were determined to be too badly damaged to warrant restoration.  They will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars and what happened on February 12, 2014.  They will become part of a future display at the Museum.
In total, General Motors will provide nearly $250,000 in support to help the Museum recover from the sinkhole. The National Corvette Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend as it welcomes the Corvette enthusiasts nationwide who have helped expand and support the non-profit Museum.
“Our goal was to help the National Corvette Museum recover from a terrible natural disaster by restoring all eight cars,” said Mark Reuss, GM Executive Vice President, Global Product Development. “However, as the cars were recovered, it became clear that restoration would be impractical because so little was left to repair. And, frankly, there is some historical value in leaving those cars to be viewed as they are.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Corvette enthusiasts from around the globe.
“There has been an outpouring of messages from enthusiasts the world over, asking us not to restore all of the cars,” said Wendell Strode, executive director for the National Corvette Museum. “For Corvette enthusiasts, the damage to the cars is part of their history, and part narrative of the National Corvette Museum. Restoring them all would negate the significance of what happened.”
Timelines for the start and projected completion dates for the three Corvettes’ restorations have not been established. They will be announced later."

2  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: My New '68 Camaro Z/28 Butternut Yellow on: August 30, 2014, 09:18:19 AM
Personally,  I didn't see a need to replace the crank gear from his photos.  I'd replace the chain and use an all metal cam gear, but leave the crank/gear in place.   There was a time in the past that replacement crank gears were not as strong/good as the originals... not sure how that might have changed, but still didn't see a need to replace the crank gear...   IMO...
3  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: Took the Day Off.... on: August 29, 2014, 10:52:49 PM
Darrell,

That broken spring would bother me, esp if you have a high lift cam installed...  Are you close to 'spring bind'??
PS.  The car looks great.  I like the gray spokes...  Smiley
4  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: enclosed vehicle shipping from Washington to Pennsylvania on: August 29, 2014, 04:01:26 PM
purchasing a 68 rs/ss from Washington state. I need it shipped in late November/early December to Pennsylvania. anyone recommend an enclosed shipper the have used? trying to avoid a broker. looking for an independent insured shipper. thank you.

There's a large car shipper right there between Carlisle and Harrisburg in PA...    I've used them as have many others who attend the Carlisle shows.  If you are anywhere close to there, seems it would be ready made for you..   I think their name is Thomas Sunday?    (Unless my old mind is playing tricks again)..
5  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: My New '68 Camaro Z/28 Butternut Yellow on: August 29, 2014, 03:54:43 PM
Hi Danny,

I agree with Maroman and Kelley....  Your key doesn't look good.    Clean up the slots, buy a new key, and ensure it fits tightly in the crank slot and the balancer slot, then install it correctly.   You have to make sure the key is firmly down in the center of the crankshaft, with it's outer tip *slightly down* from level, to ensure it slides into the balancer slot..  when you are installing the balancer, make sure it's slot slides over the key at the front.  Once it engages correctly, it's generally not a problem.   Yours seems to have been mangled by improper assembly in the past... but hopefully your crank keyway and balancer keyways are good..   WHen you are cleaning up the slots (for burrs, et), check the crankshaft snout for burrs as well and remove any extending burrs, but you don't want to reduce the circumference of the crankshaft when you do that.

The slightly bulging rubber between the inner and outer balancer rings is not unusual, and is not necessarily a problem; your outer wheels is still aligned so it hasn't moved on the balancer as yet.  If the rubber is 'cracking and peeling/falling out', then I'd be more concerned, but yours doesn't look bad to me.   The 'hammer marks' on the center of the balancer is also not unusual, as that happens often, but you can avoid that by using a plate (metal, or even a hardwood?) across the front of the balancer -center only - make sure as you are tapping it on, that you don't put any force on the outer wheel.   When the balancer bottoms out against the crankshaft, you will hear it clearly, and should stop, and install your crankshaft bolt/washer.  Torque to spec.   your *might* be able to pull the balancer on using that bolt, but generally tap them into place (using a spacer to spread the load as I stated up there), and then install the bolt.

If you have the overhaul manual, it should have instructions for that checking and reassembly also.
6  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 20th Anniversary of the NCM opening on: August 29, 2014, 12:00:39 AM
I've been coming to Bowling Green for shows and visits to the plant since 1988 or so, and I've been a lifetime member of the NCM since 1997 and have been been thru the museum hundreds of times; I've even used their garage and shop to replace parts on my and friends' cars.. Smiley    But after that number of visits, it gets a bit old.. Smiley   For me this trip, it was seeing the hole for the first time along with the crushed cars, and of course the paved Motorsports park...

For someone who has never been there, it is a great trip and and would be great couple of days spent seeing the NCM and Corvette production for the first time.   
7  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / 20th Anniversary of the NCM opening on: August 28, 2014, 01:10:50 PM
I did see some Camaros yesterday.. (to make this Camaro related)..  while caravan'ing to the NCM for the 20th anniversary of the grand opening.  I joined up with some 300 additional Corvettes and their drivers and co drivers... when they stopped in Athens, AL for a lunch break..  then we made the 175 mile or so trip up I-65 to Bowling Green.   Reminding me why caravanning with such a large group of cars is such a PITA..  Smiley    I wouldn't have done it this time, but I'd been in all the others (driving my '69), but this time I drove my '90 ZR1 (#246) which I *thought* had a working air conditioner..  but wouldn't I know. it quit during that trip, so I made most of the drive (up and back) with the windows down, sweating in the 90 Plus Fahrenheit heat.    The gathering in BG was one of the largest I can remember seeing there on my many trips..   but almost all the Corvettes seemed to have been produced since 2000 or so..  almost no older Corvettes.    THe oldest one in our caravan (Gulf States) was a '70 model from my area.   The Gulf States caravan began in the Houston Texas area last Saturday, picking up more cars as it came thru New Orelans, southern Mississippi, Alabama, etc..  They had opportunity to make some 'quick laps' around Talledega while in the Birmingham area.. which I wouldn't have minded, had I wanted to drive 150 miles south first.. Smiley

Anyway, I'd paid for the trip, I got to pick up my T shirts..  see the HOLE with my own eyes.. and the damaged Corvettes..  still caked in red clay dirt.. UGH..   They actually looked WORSE than they did in the videos..  I think only the Blue Devil and the '62 are repairable.. The others are crushed to 'nothing left'...  it was more depressing than hearing/seeing it when it happened... Sad

I also bought myself a 'numbered, authenticated brick' from the Flint Corvette production plant..  it has a plaque on it... but I will mount it on a mahogany base, and mount a small model of a 1953 Corvette to it's top for display purposes.   (I can always tell people that the brick was from the plant, true.. and that the mahogany base was cut from one of their conference tables.. Smiley .. anyway, after seeing the hole, viewing/photographing the cars, and doing a walk thru the Museum, making my purchases, completing my registration, and getting stuck in a LONG SLOW line of traffic after making a run over to view the new race track..  I decided to head home..  the LT5 needed some AIR blowing thru it's radiator..  and I was anxious to get home and get my butt out of that sport seat!  Smiley

if any of you are near Bowling Green, seeing the plant and museum is well worth a day or two... 

Gary
8  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 69 Z/28 X77 garage/barn find on: August 28, 2014, 12:54:13 PM
possibly.. and it is possible the stampers just missed one..

I've got a nice original set of std pistons too...   possibly a number of us do, who kept our engines alive long enough to need boring 30.. Smiley

9  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 69 Z/28 X77 garage/barn find on: August 28, 2014, 08:31:48 AM
Re the VIN stamp on the engine..   Anything is possible, but not having one is not probable... Smiley    
I have emails regarding 2 and have seen an additional 2 DZ blocks which had been vatted, no paint on them, built between mid March and mid April with no VIN anywhere, not in any angle, any light, going so far as to invert colors and use filters in photoshop, obviously there were many Z's built during the period however to find between 2 and possibly 4 from my postings about this years ago illustrates they are around.
Perhaps the confusion resulted from the phasing in of Firebirds to Norwood from Lordstown in April of 69, can you imagine? Pacecars, COPO's, Z28's, RA Firebirds and then in May Trams Ams... Holy crap the number of parts on the assembly line would likely increase by 30% is that correct?  


Those VIN stamps in the cast surface are EXTREMELY difficult to see and read, vatted or not.   it took me a LONG time to be able to see mine, cleaned, using varying lights, etc before I saw one character; once you see a character the others begin to be seen (I think by our brain processors using correlation techniques Smiley..    it took me even longer before I was able to get proper lighting, exposure, etc to get a decent photograph of it.

Also, I believe one could have gone to a Chevrolet dealer in March of 1969, and bought a 302 short block assembly (or a bare block);  the pad would not be stamped with anything, but it would have appropriate casting numbers and casting date in the block...

but yes, it's possible (NOT probable) that one could have been missed..   people (most people) are human and make mistakes..  Smiley       2 or 3 missed blocks for VIN stamping..  from how many thousands?...  is a very improbable event.
10  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Originality / Re: Amazing 69 Z/28 Survivor on: August 27, 2014, 10:06:25 PM
Chick, Thank you for those new photo's.  The carb studs were an item that I've been wanting to compare from this car.  The studs with the undercut at the top seem to be original across the board and very very hard to find.  Some of the more advanced vendors do not have these studs.  I have these same studs in my intake, and know of a few more cars that have them, but many have the replacement type.  I was wondering how rare these studs actually are, or not.

Thanks,
Bryan

Bryan,  your comment would be more meaningful if you could post a comparison pix between the original 'undercut' top type of stud, along with the reproduction you are referring to..  that would show the difference(s)...?
11  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Originality / Re: Paint on steering components on: August 26, 2014, 10:22:52 PM
69 sub frames had a PN and date stamped in yellow on the outside of the left hand rail, under where the bumper bracket mounts....  Myself and others have posted pix of that.
12  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Restoration / Re: Where to cut roof off 69 coupe on: August 26, 2014, 10:18:38 PM
if you can't do the work yourself, I'm quite confident that to buy the parts, then pay someone 'local' to install them correctly will cost you more than the cost of the entire repro body. 
13  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: Found Some More Pics of the Green L78 on: August 25, 2014, 01:28:08 PM
Bet the dealer in Painsville was Earl Evans....They ran a 69 Copo Camaro raced by Dale Evans. It was raced under the name Steppenwolf. I have a slew of pics I can post if interested...

There was a great little Italian restaurant in Painesville...  in an old white frame house across from the closed train station.. Smiley
The last time I was in Willoughby, they had a weekly Cruise in at the local McDonalds...   mostly mid-sixties chevys with hydraulics..  Smiley
14  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Breaking-in of Race engines? on: August 25, 2014, 01:19:54 PM
No, I don't recall that if I ever knew it.   He built his engines 'conservatively', since he was an independent and had to fund his own car (with some assistance from local businesses here).   When he was running IMSA GT in the mid70's, he had both a BB (427) and the 302 which he switched depending on the track he was running, and I recall at one time he switched in the 427 from his tow vehicle when he broke the one in the car.. Smiley 
15  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Breaking-in of Race engines? on: August 25, 2014, 06:16:49 AM
This isn't specific to 'race engines' but it should be applicable as it's based on information I gleaned from a TransAm independent racer long ago.  I'm very interested if any other old racers follow any procedures drastically different than this...
- - -
I've rebuilt a number of engines over the last 40-45 years of my life, and based on that history, I have some opinions myself, although I consider myself still open minded to a different view as long as it's supported by some theory, logic, or fact..   My history includes:

o  assisting friends, as a 'helper', rebuild several engines in my early 20's, ranging from VW 4 bangers to 426 hemis, but with concentration on erly small block chevys.
o  When in engineering school in the early 70's, I met a Trans-AM, IMSA GT car owner, builder, driver (Robert A Christiansen) when he was asked to give a talk on 'engineering materials used in auto racing.   As a result of that, I ended up hanging around his shop, helping him on weekends and evenings, and generally trying to learn as much as I could from him, as he was one of the most 'practical mechanical engineers' I'd ever known, even to today.   He was an IBM engineer/manager at that time; a part-time racer, and ultimately retired from IBM.
o  in 1974 I bought a '68 Z28.. worked on it and drove it daily until '76 when I traded it for my present 69 Z28, which needed an engine rebuild, so naturally I asked Robert (Bob) for assistance.   He let me rebuild the engine in his shop; he told me what to purchase, he went to the machine shop with me and provided guidance to the machinist, but did not do any of the hands on work, instead he told me at each step what I needed to be doing and why..  so that experience formed the basis for most of my opinions on engine rebuilding.   I've rebuilt several (10 to 12 small blocks, and 1 BB 454) for friends since then, and a few of my own all using what I learned from that experience with Bob.

Things I learned from him were:
1.  For 'racing' build your engine on the 'loose' end of the tolerances ie. piston to wall and bearing clearances; basically it gives your engine a head start on the break in and reduces internal friction, and you're not looking for 100,000 miles of wear out of such an engine.
2.  Ensure that the oil returns are opened up; small block chevy oil returns typically have casting flash which restricts oil return.   Grind all those out in the ends of the heads and the lifter galley after tear down.
3.  CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.   Hot tank is not enough.  You'll be amazed the first time you get an engine block back from the hot tank if you use a hot water pressure blaster to blast out all the water jackets..  you'll see metal chunks, rocks, etc..  come out!   USe hot water, detergent, and properly sized engine brushes to clean all surfaces of the engine block.   Obviously you should chase all the bolt hole threads before cleaning also.   After the cleaning and drying, coat the cylinder walls and lifter holes with oil or grease to protect against corrosion, and PAINT all the cast surfaces in the lifter galley, under the timing cover, etc..   in order to capture/hold any residual grit/sand/etc from the factory casting process.   I've always used Rustoleum (qt can will do many engines).  I use black or red so that any bearing material will show up 'silvery' against those colors.
4.  During assembly, liberal use of Molybdenum Disulfide on all 'metal to metal' friction surfaces such as lifters to cam, rocker balls/rockers, etc..  ie. high load, high speed, steel on steel surfaces (not bearings).  I also disassemble the oil pump, and polish all the frictional surfaces on the moving parts, and also use the moly on reassembly.  Lock tite or safety wire the fasteners; braize the pickup tube in the pump cover plate, after setting proper gap to the pan.
5.  Use plastigage on all the bearings with one drop of oil to hold it in place, torque down, disassemble and record each value.  Ensure consistency in the values and measures you get across all the same type bearings.
6.  Pre-adjust valves by your favorite technique.   IT should be good thru the initial startup period.  
7.  Before initial startup, ensure a KNOWN GOOD distributor and carburetor are used - you don't want a malfunctioning, mal adjusted distributor or carb during first fire up or break in.   you have to ensure proper timing and fuel mix during this time.   Also before startup, use an external device to pump oil to all the bearings, and after this, I ilke to actually spin the motor a few times with the starter (NO plugs/fire) to circulate the oil and get pressure up.   Verify proper oil levels and water levels (hopefully you're using a known good water pump as well).   Ensure that you have a working oil pressure and water temp gauge before startup and AND NO LEAKS.

Prior to start up, clean/gap and install plugs.   Set initial timing so the engine will start immediately (this is easy to do - ask if you don't know how).
Prepare to monitor the engine speed, oil pressure, water temp during the initial 30 min run.   Don't do this in a closed up shop...  Smiley   best is outside, because most of us don't have exhaust hookups to the outside.   Start the engine and run it for 30 min at 3000 rpm..  don't let it die..  if it's trying to, then increase rpm.    if you are using a known good distributor and carburetor, you should not have to be doing any significant adjustments during this time, but if everything looks/runs good, and you want to fine tune the timing or carb then do so, but don't neglect the monitoring of the water temp and oil pressure.

After the initial run it, take the car out and put some load on the engine.   I've always followed the 'break it in like you are going to run it' rule.. Smiley
When I took the '69 Z28 out back in '76, Bob went with me.. and I was 'babying it' ..   he said RUN IT!@!   so I did.. Smiley  up to 7000 or so but not in a high gear.   Load increases as the gear increases, so running your engine in low or second is not as heavy a load at a given rpm as it would be in a higher gear.   Main thing during the break in period to to not run it as a constant speed or load.  Vary the load and rpm during the first 500-1000 miles.    Change the oil and drive it... Smiley
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