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Author Topic: 69 Z/11 L78 Pace Car "Unrestored survivor"  (Read 1622 times)
6667ss138
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« on: April 27, 2014, 04:43:50 PM »

Is that a 11N638372 VIN stamp on the block??  "born with drive-train including L78 396 375hp engine"
"Unrestored - Survivor 1969 L78 396 375hp Z11 Pace Car. Numbers matching and documented with original dealer order invoice, complete owner history and correspondence with the original owner".
Also several parts have very early dates for an 05A car.  January dated exhaust manifolds, posi rear etc..??

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-Camaro-Pace-Car-Unrestored-Survivor-1969-L78-396-375hp-Z11-Pace-Car-/141270022242?forcerrptr=true&hash=item20e4597862&item=141270022242&pt=US_Cars_Trucks
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1969 07A X77D80 Hugger Orange/Black Vinyl Top, 3 owner car
1967 Chevelle SS396 138 Convertible/Red/Black int.
1966 Chevelle SS396 138 4sp California/Smog/Black/Red int.
ko-lek-tor
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 04:54:25 PM »

Saw that car and ain't buying that claim. Car, according to Vin is late April/early May 69. Block casting is August 68. Stamp by filter looks suspicious, but will hold my comment as I have not seen that many oil filter pads. Most of my cars have had stamp on pad. Also (conveinently) decked pad, I may add. Just not giving it the "Survivor" claim stated.
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Putting you First...Keeps me First. Talent on loan from God. Helping the hobbyist and exposing the fraud
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 bought in 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79
1969 307 4spd. coupe Daytona Yellow 711 bought in 85
z28z11
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 05:50:06 PM »

Why would you deck a standard bore block ? If the bores were in that good of shape, the deck surface should be pretty flat. Hard to imagine a 92,000 mile block that didn't require some overbore, considering yesterday's materials. Could be wrong, but normally one might require the other. That early a casting for a May car ? One month, maybe two, but 9 is unlikely.

Regards -
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1968 Z28 BRG/W
1969 Z28 X77 LeMans/W
1969 X66 L78 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 07:29:22 PM »

Why would you deck a standard bore block ? If the bores were in that good of shape, the deck surface should be pretty flat. Hard to imagine a 92,000 mile block that didn't require some overbore, considering yesterday's materials. Could be wrong, but normally one might require the other. That early a casting for a May car ? One month, maybe two, but 9 is unlikely.

Regards -

Machine shops, what are they in the business of doing? Why, machining, of course!! I never and mean NEVER had an engine where the shop did not recommend it all. Regardless if I thought it needed boring or whatever after checking with my own guages/mics, the shop wanted to do everything to the engine. Two reasons: They want to insure, as much as possible, the engine lives, protecting their reputation. 2, That (machining) is their business, so of course they will sell what work they can. The material and casting/machining variances from that era, as pointed out, almost if not always guarantee boring, align boring with relatively low miles. I only insisted that the decking was not to be done to protect the numbers after some discussion with shop owner.
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Putting you First...Keeps me First. Talent on loan from God. Helping the hobbyist and exposing the fraud
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 bought in 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79
1969 307 4spd. coupe Daytona Yellow 711 bought in 85
BillOhio
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 08:40:02 PM »

Vin by the filter are usually very hard to read
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1969 Z28, Burgandy, numbers matching, 12,900 miles
1967 Plymouth GTX Hemi, 4 speed, dana
69Z28-RS
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2014, 11:12:59 PM »

Bill Ohio wrote:
"Vin by the filter are usually very hard to read"

Yes, they are, and that one was very legible, for whatever reason?   

But there IS a lot of like about that car (besides the price - although it might be worth it?); Most of the car *looks* original and worn, but ...
1) it's hard to believe an orange interior on a convertible being in that good a shape after 45 years and 92K miles..? 
2) Some folks buy a high performance car (which the 386/375 certainly is), and might 'deck' the block and/or heads to increase the compression a little even when brand new?
If they did that when new in '69, probably the 'stampings' on the block didn't mean very much...

Regardless, I'd love to see the car for a personal inspection.. Smiley
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2014, 11:39:11 PM »

Why would you deck a standard bore block ? If the bores were in that good of shape, the deck surface should be pretty flat. Hard to imagine a 92,000 mile block that didn't require some overbore, considering yesterday's materials. Could be wrong, but normally one might require the other. That early a casting for a May car ? One month, maybe two, but 9 is unlikely.

Regards -

Machine shops, what are they in the business of doing? Why, machining, of course!! I never and mean NEVER had an engine where the shop did not recommend it all. Regardless if I thought it needed boring or whatever after checking with my own guages/mics, the shop wanted to do everything to the engine. Two reasons: They want to insure, as much as possible, the engine lives, protecting their reputation. 2, That (machining) is their business, so of course they will sell what work they can. The material and casting/machining variances from that era, as pointed out, almost if not always guarantee boring, align boring with relatively low miles. I only insisted that the decking was not to be done to protect the numbers after some discussion with shop owner.

The shops I have dealt with locally usually ask what I need done to the blocks I have built over the years - true, they might recommend procedures (like head surfacing), but will check first before they machine any features I did not authorize them to do. Seasoned blocks that have run for a significant period of time have the added benefit of proving things like crank bore alignment, core shift in the cylinder bores, lifter bore wear; heads have their own problems like warpage, and cracking. I've seen more head problems than block problems with deck surfaces.

Shops that force align boring/honing scare me - I hate to risk loose timing chains, especially new ones. If there were no apparent bearing difficulties, with significant mileage, I just check clearances on assembly. Sure, shops can align bore without removing too much from the block side, but I don't like to take a chance on having an inexperienced person.

Concerning this L78 block - it just appears strange to me that the block was decked and not bored after 92K miles. If the wear was concentrated on the pistons and rings, there would still be enough wear for a good ring land, plus some eccentricity to the bores. If the shop was a "pusher", seems like that the suggestion to bore the block would have been there. (Witness the L78 block I have, bored .060, never decked).

As always, just my opinion and suspicions -

Regards,
Steve
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1968 Z28 BRG/W
1969 Z28 X77 LeMans/W
1969 X66 L78 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48
z28z11
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2014, 11:45:05 PM »

Bill Ohio wrote:
"Vin by the filter are usually very hard to read"

Yes, they are, and that one was very legible, for whatever reason?   

But there IS a lot of like about that car (besides the price - although it might be worth it?); Most of the car *looks* original and worn, but ...
1) it's hard to believe an orange interior on a convertible being in that good a shape after 45 years and 92K miles..? 
2) Some folks buy a high performance car (which the 386/375 certainly is), and might 'deck' the block and/or heads to increase the compression a little even when brand new?
If they did that when new in '69, probably the 'stampings' on the block didn't mean very much...

Regardless, I'd love to see the car for a personal inspection.. Smiley

The ad reads "200 miles" since rebuild, although I guess it's possible for someone to have decked it early (why someone would do that to a 11.0:1 big block ?). I guess I need to lighten up and be objective here - anything is possible in this hobby: I don't mean to sound like the devil's advocate in any respect -

Regards -
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1968 Z28 BRG/W
1969 Z28 X77 LeMans/W
1969 X66 L78 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 09:36:36 AM »

Bill Ohio wrote:
"Vin by the filter are usually very hard to read"

Yes, they are, and that one was very legible, for whatever reason?   

But there IS a lot of like about that car (besides the price - although it might be worth it?); Most of the car *looks* original and worn, but ...
1) it's hard to believe an orange interior on a convertible being in that good a shape after 45 years and 92K miles..? 
2) Some folks buy a high performance car (which the 386/375 certainly is), and might 'deck' the block and/or heads to increase the compression a little even when brand new?
If they did that when new in '69, probably the 'stampings' on the block didn't mean very much...

Regardless, I'd love to see the car for a personal inspection.. Smiley

The ad reads "200 miles" since rebuild, although I guess it's possible for someone to have decked it early (why someone would do that to a 11.0:1 big block ?). I guess I need to lighten up and be objective here - anything is possible in this hobby: I don't mean to sound like the devil's advocate in any respect -

Regards -

Steve,

I agree with you on all this, especially when you wrote 
"Concerning this L78 block - it just appears strange to me that the block was decked and not bored after 92K miles. If the wear was concentrated on the pistons and rings, there would still be enough wear for a good ring land, plus some eccentricity to the bores. If the shop was a "pusher", seems like that the suggestion to bore the block would have been there. (Witness the L78 block I have, bored .060, never decked)."

But you know..  there ARE some weird people in the car hobby.. Smiley
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 10:26:35 AM »

As I have been told by more than one machine shop, Big Blocks almost always need align bore. I don't neccessarily agree as bearing wear should be a good indicator of align bore. Whether a "wives tale" or not, I have never verified what I have been told and it is this: "When Chevrolet align bored the Big Block at Tonawanda the fixtures were designed to do the Small Block and the boring bar was not long enough to do the Big Block in a single step, so the block was indexed 180 degrees and did the back two mains on a second pass coming in from the back. This is why B. Blocks always should be align bored.". Not saying this is the gospel, but how it was explained by more than one shop. I personally, do not like doing machine work for sake of just doing it, but rather, try to just what is needed or neccessary. Sometimes it is hard to know where to stop when doing machine work. Decking just to true up surface would probably leave evidence of block numbers as only .010 or .015 should be all that is needed. If I were taking more off, I would consider doing more, like making deck have zero deck height (blueprinting) and making all rods and pistons even. This would improve the "quench area" and improve combustion and full burn across top of piston increasing power and reducing detonation. If piston is clean across top (farthest away from plug) upon tear down, this indicates that fuel is not being fully burned leading to lost power. Even more critical with a domed piston. Ideal quench area (distance from piston flat on top to deck)is .030 which is achieved with a composition head gasket and zero deck height machining(this according to Smokey Yunick). I built a 350 like this once. Of course, this leads to more machining as heads have to be CC'd. So to wring out extra ponies, it gets exponentially more expensive to achieve as you approach 100 percent efficiency (not possible). Basic performance tricks and machining yield close to 80 percent and is a practical approach for most. Stack up tolerances effect so much of a builds performance and that is why two identical stockers can have such a varying difference in performance.
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Putting you First...Keeps me First. Talent on loan from God. Helping the hobbyist and exposing the fraud
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 bought in 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79
1969 307 4spd. coupe Daytona Yellow 711 bought in 85
JohnZ
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 10:52:59 AM »

<<Whether a "wives tale" or not, I have never verified what I have been told and it is this: "When Chevrolet align bored the Big Block at Tonawanda the fixtures were designed to do the Small Block and the boring bar was not long enough to do the Big Block in a single step, so the block was indexed 180 degrees and did the back two mains on a second pass coming in from the back. This is why B. Blocks always should be align bored.".>>

As a former Chevrolet Manufacturing/Production Engineer, I seriously doubt that assumption. NOTHING is more important in a block than having the main bearing bores absolutely concentric, and I can't imagine doing three from the front and two from the back - there's only 1-7/8" difference in the overall length of the block from the SB to the BB, and BB's weren't built using old SB tooling.

Machine shops that want to align-BORE every BB block are just looking to pad the bill; align-HONE is a different issue entirely.
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 02:48:46 PM »

Hello guys, don't usually post here but do get a lot of great info. That being said I want to address some issues that ko-lek-tor and some other had on this car. I am the one that found this car (in 06 I believe) in a old warehouse in Texas. I have pics of it as we rolled it out. The interior is the original interior and I have pics to prove all that too.  ko-lek-tor what claim are you not buying. The deck was cut by a machine shop in the late 70s or early 80s. I personally have talked to all of the owners of this car more than once, to the owner of the dealership that sold it originally and then took it in for a trade a year later and sold it again. When I got the car I had the engine and trans freshened up due to the fact they had been sitting in a not so clean envirement for a long time. We just honed it, bearing and rings, valve job and put it back together. I would not even let them clean the block or any other parts. Same with the transmission, just freshened, not even cleaned. Steve, I can say I have no idea why they decked the block but it was done a long time ago so I am sure we will never know that answer.  I sold this car to my friend that now has it for sale and I can assure you he is not saying anything about this car that is not true. If any of you have any questions or want to come see the car come on down to Texas, I and the owner have tons of pics and docs with the car.
Thanks
Roy
Camaro Concepts, Inc.
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ko-lek-tor
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 07:33:09 PM »

Hi Roy,
Thanks for jumping in and telling what you know about this car. Your account and willingness to clarify helps give some credability to the statements made regarding this car. I was having, and still am having, a hard time wrapping my head around a couple of things specifically about the block. I really find it hard to accept that the block used for this car was 9 months old as pointed out. Not saying it is not possible, mind you, or in any way trying to discredit a claim, but I study and review many block stamps and castings here and elsewhere. And although there anomalies and anything, I suppose, is possible, I wonder how that could have happened? And then the decking. it is incredible that no one rebuilt the engine, per se, yet they pulled the motor at some point and dismantled the entire assembly and had it decked, or so it would seem by the description, and then put it back together. They were fortunate the vin stamp by filter is so strong as most are not as noted. I am NOT saying the car is tampered with, so please do not think this is an indictment of sorts. I would have to really look at things in person and a POP would certainly help me make sense of the cars history. The car is real interesting and I do love 69 BB Camaros and try to check each one out and evaluate each based on what I know. Yourself, having acquired the car in 2006 would leave over 25 years of history that would be nice to know a little clearer. If you have contacted previous owners and you say you have, they may shed some light as to what and why it is like it is. Wink
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Putting you First...Keeps me First. Talent on loan from God. Helping the hobbyist and exposing the fraud
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 bought in 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79
1969 307 4spd. coupe Daytona Yellow 711 bought in 85
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 10:57:14 PM »

Roy,

X2 -

What happens so many years/owners/machine shops ago is never easy to understand or explain. I've been building drivetrains for a pretty good while, and I've experienced good and less than reputable machine shops. I sold a verified, documented LS5 SS '70 Chevelle a couple of years back, that had the original drivetrain still on board, with the engine completely rebuilt by a reputable shop in B'ham, AL - sure enough, they decked the block and wiped the numbers, in 1983. I understand the then-owner was furious, and it's probably why I was able to buy a 56K mile beautiful car in 1992 for next to nothing (I found the build sheet on it 19 years after purchase, documenting the car). The shop that decked it blueprinted the motor, but apparently disregarded the engine stamp in preference to building a good engine. Durned thing still runs like a scalded dog -

Point being, circumstance outweighs fact some of the time - casting date coding is unusually early (my L78 original block is one month prior in casting to the build date), I have another L78 VIN coded block the same way, but that sample size does not define the range of dates by itself.

That's why I enjoy, and hopefully everyone else that posts here, the CRG. Ain't it fun ?

Regards -
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1969 Z28 X77 LeMans/W
1969 X66 L78 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2014, 11:55:46 PM »

 ko-lek-tor     I am really not sure I had to give it some credibility based on you questioning things about the car. I am just not sure if you have or don't have the credentials to warrant that. Who said no one rebuilt the engine, it was rebuilt as I said back in the 80s it just was not bored apparently. Since I doubt you are going to come look at it in person I really think it is wrong of you to question not one but two people on something you have only looked at pics of and you study cars on the net. I personally have owned and documented well over 100 cars myself and documented many more with our customers, and most of them being Camaros. I have been restoring cars for over 25 years in my company. The person I bought this car from had it in his shop for a long, long time, it had not run in a long time either and I have as you said spoken with the other owners as well. When I bought the car he had know idea what a L78 was or what it means and never said it was anything but a pace car. I pretty well know the complete and whole history of the car. I can't say why things were done by others to cars over years but just that they were done.  I notice you said "if" I have contacted them, there is no if , I did and have! I have personally owned and seen in person many good VIN stampings and many not so great VIN stampings. I don't think one or the other gives you reason to say it is suspect?  I believe when you question something told to you over and over you are indicting the statements he made and trying to discredit them, Why??? The man selling this car is also very knowledgeable about the cars and just finished a great restoration of a documented Canadian COPO car. I just think if you have questions about a car for sale you really should contact the owner , talk to him or her and ask and not condemn him or his car based on limited knowledge. People who read these forums believe what they read and you might just be wrong and devalue his car at the same time. Sorry if I sound a little peaved but I just don't think people should shoot down a really good car and owner just because they can get on here and do it.  z28z11, I agree with you as I have seen some crazy things done by chevy and by car owners over the years I have been at this!  Thanks
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