My Camaro

page 47

April 2009, PCV story, American sunday event Zandvoort and trouble....

On a sunday I took apart the front suspension to install the new heavy coil springs on my coilover shocks. After a few hours I had them in and found out the ride height was up about 1" (2.5cm) with the springs in the lowest position. I did not want to drive it like this, it was a Camaro with an "off the road" stance. Michel came along and helped me put back the old springs and it didn't take much time to reach the status quo, in other words, wasted a day wrenching and being back where I started. I think the difference in springs is obvious....

The alternator v-belt was not tight enough and the alternator was at it's maximum adjustablity after the changes with the steering pump some time ago. So again I modified the alternator bracket and put on a shorter belt, now I am finally satisfied with the setup.

I am now in the process of altering stuff on my motor to be able to change my LPG (propane) carb quickly for a Holley 650DP. The reason is I want to do an occasional track day/drag race and need to get the most from my motor then. The LPG vaporizer has a limit of approx 280hp (fuel supply) which is sufficient for normal driving but on gasoline I expect to get around 400hp (motor has run 13sec in the ¼) LPG is about 2.5 times cheaper than gasoline so for economy reasons a perfect fuel. So I changed around a lot of connections to make the swap as easy and quick as possible, about 15 minutes I guess. I made the same connection for the throttle cable and kickdown cable on both carbs. Here my supply of RC model parts came in handy. I used ball ends for connecting the throttle cable and for the kickdown cable I modified nylon body posts. I put the body posts in a drill and used it as a lathe with some simple tools like a Stanley knife and a caliper (this one cuts nylon easy and to the correct diameter in 1 go) I created exactly what I needed. Now I use a body pin (clip) to secure the cable and it works like a charm.

In order not to have to reconnect the vacuum connections at the carb each time I drilled and tapped for vacuum connections directly in the intake manifold plenum just below the carb. Here I connected the vacuum meter (in the dash), vacuum advance for the ignition and the vacuum line to the TH350 transmission. Only thing left on the carb is the PCV valve connection.

Before the connection was on the intake behind the carb, but this connection had to be plugged due to the fact that the fuel bowl / accelerator pump of the Holley is positioned right above it. But my (LPG) Technocarb had the large (approx 3/8” or 9mm) connection just like the Holley so that was no problem. After I made these modifications I noticed the car ran bad at idle and low rpm. At higher RPM it ran as strong as always so something must have gone wrong with something I did. I suspected a vacuum leak so I took everything off and checked it all and reinstalled again. Still it did not run like it should and everything lead to the PCV valve in my mind. I checked it with the motor running and found the plunger (or whatever the moving internal part is called) was oscillating in the middle of its movement at idle and made the valve suck hard from the valve cover causing a huge vacuum leak as well as sucking in a bit of oil. By doing a lot of reading about the function of the PCV valve I knew this was not correct and it only should have a very small amount of vacuum leakage. After taking the carb off again I discovered that although the hose connection was large, the hole in the carb base plate was only about 1/8” or 3mm. So the PCV valve was not connected to full vacuum but to a restricted vacuum. I took a drill and enlarged the hole in the Technocarb to 3/8” or 9mm and put everything back together again. First start it ran as it should again, and when checking the PCV valve I saw the plunger was sucked all the way in and only a very small vacuum leak was present. So now I learned how a PCV valve works (and not works) the hard way, a lesson I will not forget.

I already cleaned and put a renew kit in the 650DP, connected a fuel line with filter and pressure gauge to it and reinstalled the fuel tank. Next is finishing the connections of the tank, installing the fuel pump, lines, regulator and wiring so I can do some testing.

Sunday 19th of april, American sunday event at the Zandvoort track including a 1/4 mile sprint. I did not have all the parts nor the time to finish my gasoline system for maximum power so ran on LPG again.

This time the amount of participants was a lot less then the last event. I didn't mind since we got to run more often, managed to do 10 runs! Last time I had a one time best run which was a 14.8sec, now I ran 14.4's four times so I am very happy with that.

I went together with my friend Michel (the black Firebird) and got to race him a few times. The Bird is faster of the line and the ET street slicks helped him even more.

These next 8 movies contain a lot of the racing of that day, I am in there somewhere :-) Nice vids for drag race lovers.

I visited the Muiden meeting, nice wheather and a lot of cars and good atmosphere! See the vid of this old guy


getting out of his car…….. Camaro doors are large and they are not easy to get in and out of when parked close to another car.

how to get out of your Camaro

On my way to the Saturday Night Cruise in The Hague I did a 130mph test run and it did great, weather was nice and we had a good time. On the way home again I was driving 120mph+ and suddenly I felt the motor running rough and losing power…… I was close to the highway exit and just 3 miles from home so I let off the gas and continued at around 55mph since I still had oil pressure and did not hear any strange sounds. I just went inside and left it parked since it was late and I was not in the mood to look at it. Next morning I started by pulling the spark plugs to see if that would tell me more…..and it did….all were fine except the no. 5 plug. It looks like something has hit it and closed the gap (and making the car run on just 7 cylinders) . With the plugs removed I cranked the engine with the starter motor and did not hear any strange sounds so I installed new plugs and started it. It ran and had oil pressure, no noises so I drove it to my garage and parked it.

I managed to do a compression test and found out that the no. 5 has the lowest compression, being at 70% of the cylinder with the highest compression and 80% of the second lowest. The car starts and runs fine and oil pressure is okay so I decided to continue driving it at least for the summer. I do not want to open up the motor and watch another season go to waste (not being able to drive the Camaro) For now I stopped working on the gasoline setup since it is of no use now I am not going to race it until I check/rebuild the motor.



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