My Camaro

page 18


Update finally......

I bought myself a balancer installer/removal tool, an engine crane and stand, a gasket set and a B&M transpak.... After Xmas 2003 I took the engine and trans out to do some leak control. This is not an easy task in a small garage and freezing wheather. I bought a small generator so I had light and a small heater to keep the worst cold out. I replaced all gaskets except for the head gaskets on the block. The block seems to be in good condition, only thing I found was that the cam chain was well worn. So off I went to get a new chain/sprocket set (Edelbrock). I also checked valve lash and set it again. The TH350 trans got a "shiftkit" which makes shifts a bit harder.

This took me about 8 days to complete. I think that I could have done it faster in a big garage. I had the car halfway in the garage, so the rear was sticking out. This way I could just work in front of the car. Each night I had to clean/tidy up so I could roll the car back into the garage. I am not complaining since I am very happy to own a garage but a bit more space would be handy.

It is a pleasure to drive now (even more!). The engine is quiet now, no strange noises and has a bit more power (I think). The trans is shifting hard when on power and smooth when cruising....this is how a trans should be in my opinion.

Trouble begins......

After doing all this work I was enjoying the Camaro even more....until I smelled something strange...... It turned out to be a leaking heater core. I was NOT amused I can tell you. I think it had a weak spot and bending away the heater hoses has caused a leak. So I ordered a new heater core from the States through Ebay.com. With the exchange rate at the time I got it very cheap. But since winter had really kicked in I had no oppertunity to replace it. My garage is too small and the wheather was not suitable for wrenching outside. So I drove for 3 months through the winter WITHOUT heating. Wasn't really fun anymore....fogging up windows and driving with gloves/hat/scarf. I guess you can call me a "hardcore" Camaro driver.

When you think that is all....keep reading..... I suddenly noticed a strange vibration in the motor, when I stopped I saw oil leaking. I was afraid it was something in the motor but luckily it was only the fan clutch. So I had another thing to fix.

With all the daily use I have "gathered" a few extra dings in the body, but I will have the car completely resprayed this year.

All good things come in three they say....well, also bad things! Driving on the highway on my way to work (at 130km/h or 80mph) I suddenly hear an enormous BANG! Glass was flying through my car.... windshield broken. When I stopped at the first exit I discovered something had landed on the hood, scraped the paint off down to the metal and then hit the windshield. I usually do not wear sunglasses, but since it was a nice wintersday and the sun was very low I wore it that day. THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT!! There was glass everywhere, on my clothes, in my hair (what's left of it) even on the package shelf near the rear window! When you see the pics you can maybe imagine a bit what happened.

I had a new windshield put in straight away, had to anyways since it is a daily driver. I also got another fan clutch and installed it. A fixed fan robs power bigtime! I read an article somewhere where they dyno tested an engine with a flex fan and with an original clutch fan. Turns out that the original takes less power then a flexfan....I can imagine now.

First Saturday in April....first Cruise Brothers meeting of the year. Allways lots of cars and the quality of the cars seems to be getting better each year.

By now it is Easter 2004....had a few days off from work and the wheather was nice so I decided to put the new heater core in. One and a half days work....maybe it is less work on a non AC car...don't know. I repaired some small things in the heater box and in the heater control panel and lubed it. I also lubed the blower motor while I had access, this made a big difference. Also repaired (epoxied) the top two clips for mounting the ashtray to the console. After finishing I gave the interior a good clean. It is soooooo nice to have working heating again...fogged up windows clear in no-time. I allmost forgot how nice the Camaro is to drive in!

As you have maybe read before the new Dutch magazine KR8 organized a "Minitour" to a meeting in Groningen last year, a 250km or 150miles one way trip. They did an article on it and my car was in it! I think it is a very nice pic.

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You can reach me by e-mail at: camaro-rs@planet.nl