The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

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The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:26 pm

These past few weeks I have been working on my daughter's 74 Chevelle, and in the process of fixing one thing, of course there is another thing that reveals itself as needing attention sooner rather than later. For instance, after I got some heads rebuilt for her engine- it got toasted due to a thrown fan belt- the car that didn't have a leak anywhere when we looked at it was now slinging oil all over the engine bay. So I go get a new front seal and discover a nasty groove cut into the harmonic balancer by the now inflexible and chunked out old oil seal.

The search for a new balancer resulted in only one in stock in any parts store in town. I get it and discover it isn't the same as the one I just removed from the engine. The timing marks aren't even in the same spot! WTF??? So I research a bit on the internet and discover the engine is very likely a mid 80's model due to the timing tab being at 12 o'clock. This is after of course figuring out that the factory dual groove water pump pulley was likely never installed on a chevelle in the first place, then trying to find the belt that fits. I could have just used the factory sizes and only had the one belt on the water pump, but I just can't let a pulley groove go unused. So I go on the various websites to find the correct balancer and once again there is only one. Only one in the entire SW corner of the state and it is 47 miles away from me in a store in Dodge City. So of course I go get it. Get everything put together and running and hoping beyond hope that the smoke that was evident during the oil-slinging cruise was simply residue burning off has now proven to be signs of the rings being damaged from the overheat. I love/hate this part of working on a new to me car of this generation.

I know I can get anything I want for this engine, but it is just a sign of the times that took me by surprise a little bit that parts for one of the most common engines in history are just not readily available anymore in the sense of just going to your favorite parts store and walking out with something that will meet your needs.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by bigredlaguna on Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:27 pm

Oh, and the window came off the track in the driver door. SMDH
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by Dinomyte on Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:39 pm

my 305 had the timing tag at 12 o'clock too. I was told it was all original. I know the intake was wrong for a fact but don't know that anything else had been done. Just my $0.02 worth.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by ant7377 on Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:47 pm

True. Stuff that just was always in stock is a project today. The parts stores im sure have a very thorough inventory system. Im sure they only stock what moves quickly. I know if I go to one of them near some kind of dirt track there is always stock on certain items like say a water pump. This is why I like rockauto. Sit home buy what you need and it comes no need for driving all over.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:01 am

Dinomyte wrote:my 305 had the timing tag at 12 o'clock too.  I was told it was all original.  I know the intake was wrong for a fact but don't know that anything else had been done.  Just my $0.02 worth.

I believe the 305's had the tab at 12 o'clock since inception, but the 350's didn't move there until 1984 or so.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:17 am

ant7377 wrote:True. Stuff that just was always in stock is a project today. The parts stores im sure have a very thorough inventory system. Im sure they only stock what moves quickly. I know if I go to one of them near some kind of dirt track there is always stock on certain items like say a water pump. This is why I like rockauto. Sit home buy what you need and it comes no need for driving all over.

I could have ordered from the computer also, but what was once an afternoon job even with part misfits/mistakes is now at least a three day affair.

The car had been down for a month already waiting for the heads to get done and for me to re-assemble everything. Once again, I could have simply ordered heads and had a finished product in shorter time, but the machinist I used has a stellar reputation and was less money overall. At least I know that whatever problems I have from this point won't be because of those.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by Limey SE on Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:26 am

The joys begin LOL
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:44 am

The joy is all mine so far. All my daughter sees is me taking too much time to fix something. She just wants to drive the thing and grumbles something under her breath about all the money she spent on this car, lol.

All kidding aside, she is actually learning why some things take time even if she doesn't understand or care to know how things work in the vehicle.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by Joe73 on Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:55 am

Auto parts stores have a sleeve to fix the groove in the balancer from the seal. Its real cheap and works great. I put one on my chevelle back in the 80's. Rockauto has them for your 74. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=257550&cc=1054482&jnid=534&jpid=0

Felpro also makes a repair sleeve for the timing cover.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:57 am

The repair sleeve is something I could have gotten anywhere and it doesn't matter the year of sbc, but I didn't like the look of the rubber in the old balancer. I don't know what the service life is for the bonding ring, but when the stuff I see has a weathered/cracked look to it then for me it is done.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:59 am

I like that graphic in your sig, Joe.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by Joe73 on Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:04 am

bigredlaguna wrote:I like that graphic in your sig, Joe.

Thanks,  too much time on my hands.  LOL

I agree on replacing the balancer as well. Ever since I bought my car in '82 I've always had some clutch chatter and a shifter (hurst super shifter III). Shifter would vibrate at highway speeds. Could never track it down. Then I realized that everything had been replaced over the years except for my balancer, rods and crank. Original rods and crank were reused with the new motor in '87. I figured it was the balancer due to age.
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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by knightfan26917 on Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:46 pm

bigredlaguna wrote:The joy is all mine so far. All my daughter sees is me taking too much time to fix something. She just wants to drive the thing and grumbles something under her breath about all the money she spent on this car, lol.

All kidding aside, she is actually learning why some things take time even if she doesn't understand or care to know how things work in the vehicle.

That's good that she is learning now. Sometimes, that waiting is the most painful part.....


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Re: The joys of working on a gen 1 chevy these days

Post by thatfnthing on Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:49 pm

ant7377 wrote:True. Stuff that just was always in stock is a project today. The parts stores im sure have a very thorough inventory system. Im sure they only stock what moves quickly. I know if I go to one of them near some kind of dirt track there is always stock on certain items like say a water pump. This is why I like rockauto. Sit home buy what you need and it comes no need for driving all over.

Yeah, I gave up expecting to find anything for my car locally a long time ago. Everything is off the web now. The only thing I'll go to a local store for now is wiper blades.
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