I dont want to continue to stir the pot regarding wheter or not 1969 z28's
came with full floating piston pins or not. But, I have a comment then a question
for Jerry or someone else with connecting rod knowledge.
The first comment I have is that this morning I met with the owner of Watson Racing
and Engineering in Concord California. He has been in the racing business for over 30
years. His comment regarding whether the 1969 z28 came with full floating rods were
interesting. According to Mike Watson, he seems to recall that some 69 z28's came with
full floating pins that were shipped to certain dealerships and ordered differently. Other
69 z28 came with the pressed pin version. In his own experience having ordered a brand
new1969 z28 along with his friend and upon tearing down the engine one had full floating pins
and the other did not. It was his opinion that GM quality control of components was very loose.
When 302 engines were being built to meet demand and the rods available were pressed pins,
they would use those rods, production would not stop. According to Watson Chevrolet may
have said one thing, printed it on paper, but in production it may have been something else. He
provide me with an example, how two people that he knew (racers) both had bought new 1969 z28's.
One was very fast and the other was okay, he did'nt understand why that would be the case.
So, they tore apart both engines and sent both camshafts out to be measured for lift, duration and
overlap. What they found was that one camshaft had a different overlap than the other by about
2 degrees. His point was that Chevrolet did not have tight quality control over production. Machining
quality was very poor, hence a major cause of many 302's blowing up. He also commented that
Chysler was the worse for quality control and not doing what they said on paper. I dont know if
this makes sense, maybe some one can comment on that. In my own research I'm just not sure what
to believe anymore.
Watson Racing and Engineering also informed me that if he was restoring someones 1969 z28
instead of spending alot of money on checking the rods and balancing. He instead would purchase
a brand new set of Manley connecting rods, keep the old rods in a box. His feelings were that
using Manley connecting rods provided the stability and quality needed.
So my question is if your rebuilding your 30 year old 302. Is it smarter to use a brand new connecting
rods like the Manley and keep you original rods in a box. I would like to know what Jerry does.
If the rods you get in someone's engine are pressed pins do you have them floated? If they are the floating type
due you reuse them or do you use another quality supplier of connecting rods like the Manley?