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Father & Son 1st Car Swap Project Chronicled

Old 02-20-2005, 10:04 PM
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Car: 1982 - Z28
Engine: 350 / CCC Q-Jet
Transmission: THM-700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 Bolt - 3.73
Unfortunate Engine Swap Victim..... ADVICE PLEASE

(Moderator note: This thread is a TGO legend, one of such popularity as is rarely seen on this Board. The original title is within the thread box above. In honor of the great spirit and tenacity, to say nothing of good work, that Kurt and Derek demonstrated, it is being added to the Engine Swap forum Sticky list. For those of you reading this for the first time, be prepared to spend a couple of hours on it. For those on dial-up, I suggest you open up another browser window, and start downloading the next page while you read this one - that will keep it from taking 4 hours to read!

Congratulations again to Kurt and Derek - may your project live in all our hearts until 3rd gens are no more.)


I recently (1 month ago) purchased a 1982 Z-28 with the intention of working with my son (age 15) to return it to good condition. It'll be his if he completes 11th grade with all "A's".

Unfortunately, I purchased the car on EBay and I had no real opportunity to look it over.

The previous owner, who had absolutely NO mechanical ability (and probably no common sense) replaced the engine with different type of engine (probably from a 1983 Firebird Eng.Id# V0303DUK). The original Cross-Fire is long gone, and in it's place sits a Rochester Quadra-Bog and a manifold full of plugs, capped lines and mis-sized nuts and bolts. The car has retained it's original wiring harness but it has been HEAVILY modified, cut, spliced, burned, shorted etc. Duct Tape and Hot Glue (YES.....HOT Glue!) are everywhere. Believe it or not the darn thing actually runs.

The original computer is still in place and the original wiring harness (what hasn't been cut, spliced or burned) with plugs for injectors, ox sensor, air temp, egr, idle control etc., are litterally "hanging around." The jury-rigged wiring is also keeping some of the instruments and idiot lights from working.

The only wires currently "connected" to this engine are: Coolant Sensor (which doesn't work) & Distributor Wiring.

I'm am now on a first name basis with all the Junk Yard managers in my area.... Finding an original motor w/intake & Cross-Fire is a little far fetched for a 23 year old car.

At this point, it seems like returning this thing to anything even sort-of stock is out of the question. Here come some of the tough questions.......

What if anything is the computer good for at this point?
Can I replace it with the proper computer for a 305 with a Quadra-Bog?
Should I just remove all the wires that no longer have a purpose back to the computer?...Some of them are still electrially "hot" when the ignition is on. I can tell by all the sparks..LOL

The Z-28's body is in great shape as it is probably native to the South and has NO rust and appears to have avoided any major accidents. I can't fathom giving up on it......

ANY Ideas, suggestions, or instructions would be greatly appreciated....

Sincerely,
Attached Thumbnails Father & Son 1st Car Swap Project Chronicled-c-documents-settings-derek  

Last edited by five7kid; 08-10-2005 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:21 PM
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Car: 1981 Chevy Malibu, 1987 Formula 350
Engine: 229 V6, L98 TPI 350
Transmission: TH350, 700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 bolt ???, 9 bolt 3.27 posi
Welcome :-D
I like the color first of all.....

are you dead set on keeping the engine pretty much stock/origional, or would ya concider just ditching all the computer crap and putting in a carb'd 350? I'm in the 11th grade as well (you said it was your son though, meh) and my firebird origionally had a 305 TBI, but was replaced with a carbuereted 350.....unfortunatly i'm looking for a new engine and transmission now, as the old ones were crap
How much $$ are you looking to spend, and what do you want the car to be for mainly? I guess it depends on that, cause i mean you could buy a used 305 for a few hundred bucks and put it in and be happy with it, or you could buy a 10,000 dollar race engine and put that in.....
depends on what you want out of the car and how much you wanna spend :-)
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:30 PM
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The wiring and all that from a computer-controlled carb 305 is pretty easy to come by, and very easy to install inspite of looking intimidating. That might be the easiest and best way of dealing with the situation..... assuming of course, that the carb and distributor that are in there, are of the computerized variety. Are they?
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:45 PM
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Car: 1988 Firebird S/E
Engine: 406Ci Vortec SBC
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Swap in a GMPP 350 Ramjet EFI crate motor. Get the optional Closed loop EFI package.
Upgrade the mild Ramjet camshaft for a LT-4 Hotcam and springs.
Easy 425hp+ low 12's

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 02-20-2005 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:54 PM
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Car: 1982 - Z28
Engine: 350 / CCC Q-Jet
Transmission: THM-700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 Bolt - 3.73
Gentlemen,

Thanks for the prompt replies....

The Distributor is not original as it has the standard Junk Yard markings all over it. It look just like the Dist. I had in my 78 T/A,
Standard Coil on Top HEI(?).

The Carb must be rather old as it has NO electrical input/functions on it at all.

What I want the car to be is
1.) Safe.
2.) Reliable
3.) Safe & Relaible.
4.) Attractive
5.) A little fit of FUN!
6.) Safe.
I do not want a 400hp screamer. I had that with my T/a and I DON'T want my son having that kind of power.

I have the ability to put several dollars under the hood, but not a fortune. We intend on pulling the motor and having it checked, acid dipped, honed or bored if necessary. Replacing all the bearings and seals. The heads will get new seals and guides etc. That should get me most of requirement #2 above.

I can purchase an aluminum intake and a good carb (Please make a suggestions on the intake & carb ). The car is past the sniffer test here in GA as it is over 20 years old. I know EPA is federal but I'm not too concerned as I bought the car from a Police Department (Court Ordered Forfeit) and I have a statement that it was modified.

The problem is the wiring..... Where, or from whom, can a different harness be purchased? Guess-timate a good price?

Thanks again,


P.S. For anyone curious the purchase price was $775.
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Old 02-21-2005, 12:56 AM
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should just got him a v6.......i mean.... how bout putting a crate 350HO the one rated at 330hp?
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:26 AM
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Does the distributor have a vacuum advance?

If not, it's a computer-controlled one. They made them in the coil-in-cap variety, until 87.

Is there something wrong with the engine per se? If not, you'll spend no telling how much on that, and then when time comes to put it back in, .... you'll be right back where you are now, except with a lighter wallet.

I'd strongly recommend doing a little more research, before doing the yank and rip thing. You could easily go from bad to worse, especially in the bak account department.
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:03 AM
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Sign up here: http://www.crossfire.homeip.net

All the knowledge you need is there, and you can probably find all the missing parts too. You can keep the engine and bolt a Cross-Fire intake on it and get it close to stock if you want to.
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:03 AM
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my vote is just to put in a carbed low output 350 that way when he gets older and and your willing to let him have more power he can do simple mods.
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Old 02-21-2005, 11:20 AM
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Engine: 229 V6, L98 TPI 350
Transmission: TH350, 700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 bolt ???, 9 bolt 3.27 posi
if ya need crap from an 86 IROC with a cc quadrajet, lemme know soon, i can get ya a bunch of stuff for a good price
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by kboehringer
I have the ability to put several dollars under the hood, but not a fortune.
The best way to make that car safe is to change that pronoun to "he".

It doesn't much matter if the engine is a hot V8, mild V8, weak V8, V6, or I4, if he doesn't respect it and drive it like he paid for it, it won't be safe once it's out of the driveway.

It looks like you've got a nice car, there are just some "issues" to sort out; but getting him out under the hood and sorting them out will help him appreciate it that much more. I would recommend finding out exactly what you've got - engine (including block & heads casting #'s), carburation, exhaust, transmission, etc. After you have that information, advice as to where to go from there will be much more useful.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:41 PM
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Car: '83 Z28, '07 Charger SRT8
Engine: 454ci, 6.1 Hemi
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I suggest doing what I did with mine...

Look around in the paper, junkyards, etc... for a smogger 350 thats in good shape. I found a really nice, stock 350 out of a '79 Z28. It ran great, good compression, oil pressure, etc.

Anyway, thats the engine I got for my '83 Z28 when the 305 was dead. It was just yerbasic smogger 350... 8:1 compression, lame cam, 180hp, etc... but the nice thing about it was it was already a 350, which means that later on when I had money, it would be easy to upgrade to make some decent power.

I was in Grade 11 when me and my dad put the 350 in my car. 180hp sounds lame, but its easily enough to wallop most HS kids cars, and have alot of fun with. And since then, I've slowly upgraded it with a few things, like a new intake, carb, exhaust, etc... and power does come from the 350 much easier than from the 305. I have no regrets about adding more CI to the car.
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:18 PM
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im with AirAdam on that.

if you dont want a high HP car, and its somthing he wants to build on a budget, then build up a simple smogger motor.

get a 350 block, but keep somthing like 882 heads on it and a performer (non-RPM) dual plane intake..

you'll still be a slow car (for a V8) but he'll have the pride that he did it (or helped do it, whatever the case may be) and have somthing hes proud of, but you wont have so much power that he cant control it...


the nice thing is, you'll have a solid shortblock for later, higher output builds... and the smogger heads and non-performance intake are cheap.


and with such a mild motor, no trans, rear or reliability worries..


more of a stock rebuild from a diffrent car motor then a performance build.


athough if you really want to go EFI, id understand.. its nice to learn the electronic stuff from the getgo...
in that case, id look on the crossfire boards for ideas.
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Old 02-21-2005, 03:00 PM
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Car: 88 Camaro SC
Engine: SFI'd 350
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If you have to pass the sniffer test then FI might not be a bad idea. The closest thing to a low buck bolt on FI system would be one of the 86-89 tpi systems (complete of course). IIRC, the 89 would probably be the best. You have to pull the wire harness anyway so youll just be putting the ecms harness back in with all the other stuff. With the proper camshaft, TPI will give decent seat of the pants feel without alot of top end power that can be used for things like wrapping the car around a telephone pole.

Wireharnesses are always a pain, so no matter which way you slice it, youve got alot of work to do. Im in the same boat with an 88 blazer. Why is the wiring always their preffered thing to chop up?
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:24 PM
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I have an 83 z-28 parts car that i'm only using suspension, tranny, and rearend. I don't think the wiring harness is hacked. the guy I bought it off of pulled the block when he blew it up, then i bought it to swap the driveline in a v6. If you wanted to, the intake would probably bolt on to the block you have now, and give you back the stock cross-fire injection.
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Old 02-21-2005, 11:05 PM
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Engine: 350 / CCC Q-Jet
Transmission: THM-700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 Bolt - 3.73
Engine Swap Victim Replies

Gentlemen,

Thank you for so many good ideas and great information. Here is what I think we're gonna do based upon your input.

I'm going to check with a couple of the people and places suggested to return the car to the original cross-fire. Although, I am pretty sure that is not the best course for this car for a couple reasons;

1.) I'm pretty good with repairs, provided I was the guy that took it all apart. In this instance that is not the case and "remembering" or "marking" where all the stuff came from is not possible. Haynes and Chilton's have almost nothing (Haynes actually has NOTHING) on the cross-fire.
2.) We (Derek & I) will have to buy everything back to original that is missing... Air Pump, Air Pump Lines to All Manifolds, Air Cleaner(s), Distributor, Wiring Harness, All Hoses (Water & Air), Sensors etc. so therefore, buying the intake and injectors would be only step #1 of a multi-step process.
3.) If it's converted back to Cross-Fire...... We (mostly I) wouldn't know enough to tweek it here an there when we are ready for a little performance or even when it acts up and that is absolutely inevitable.
4.) Although you folks have been great you're not going to want to answer questions about every wire and plug on a daily basis.

At this point I think several of the members of this forum have convinced we that putting a mild little 350 in the hole with some mild parts is the best course.

Way back when (about 1985) I was the extremely proud owner of a '78 T/a with a 400 (6.6). I remember how few the options for performance parts and accessories there were for me. The guys building the 350 Chevys had litterally thousands of performance parts and accessories available at a fraction of the cost from several vendors, I had only a few expensive options. I even remember when you could buy a aluminum intake right off the shelf at the local parts store (Twin-Bee of VA Beach / Norfolk) for a 350. ANYTHING for a Pontiac was a special order. It appears that is kinda the same story with a 305 vs the 350.

The main idea was to get together with my son before he is gone to college in a couple years. I want to teach him the basics INTAKE, COMPRESSION, POWER, EXHAUST.... BRAKES, STEERING, and COMMON SENSE DRIVING. I also want him to know enough to keep his vehicles running properly and avoid getting ripped off by those few unscrupulous mechanics out there when something is a little to big to handle on his own.

A 350 is probably the way we're gonna go... Maybe the knuckle-head that trashed the cross-fire did us a favor (not really) as we'll have to spend MANY hours together getting this thing to a "RELIABLE" condition. We might even build a 350 in my tiny little shop area of the house, using the jury-rigged 305, until we're ready to do a swap.

My son and I read ALL the messages together that you guys sent to us. We've decided to work on the BRAKES for the next couple weekends until we get a better idea of how much the entire car needs. Safety is MY #1 concern.... I better make it STOP....BEFORE it actually runs well.

Thanks again... All of your input is greatly appreciated.
(I'm sure we'll be back for more)

P.S. Most of the Camaros I've found in the junk yard are pretty well picked over but if anyone need that special little something maybe we can help find it at one of the local yards. Most of our parts are relatively rust-free in GA (something I couldn't say about our Native state of PA). Let us know maybe we can help return some favors..........


Sincerely & Thank You,

Kurt & Derek Boehringer
Peachtree City, Georgia
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:21 PM
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Axle/Gears: 12B-3.73/9"-3.89
Keeping us posted on progress will be sufficient reward.

I'll repeat my suggestion to find out exactly what you've got. Just as it isn't too surprising that the crossfire is gone after 23 years (first 10, most likely), it may already have a 350 in it as well. Find out! There's no sense in spending money to get something you may already have.

To answer an earlier question, you can remove all of the computer-specific harnessing and keep what you need - distributor power, tach, oil pressure, engine temp (in the head - the CTS is in the thermostat housing), alternator, and most likely, choke power. They separate out fairly nicely, in fact. The computer isn't doing anything for you as it is now.

305 vs. 350? Actually, there isn't much difference. As long as you aren't talking about pistons, rings, or valves (and, technically, heads themselves), everything is the same within similar eras. Everything I put on my 305 will fit the 350 shortblock I have in the works. And, the 305 does run pretty decent, actually (better than I'd turn a 16-year-old loose in, anyway).
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:59 PM
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The computer may still control timing if the stock distributor is still on there. The stock one is a large HEI.
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:22 PM
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Axle/Gears: 12B-3.73/9"-3.89
If the computer is not getting proper inputs, it will default to limp-home mode. That is built into the ignition module.

However, he said it is a junkyard-marked distributor, assumed to have been put in in order to de-computerize it.

Assumed, but a reasonable assumption.
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:49 PM
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Car: 1982 - Z28
Engine: 350 / CCC Q-Jet
Transmission: THM-700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 Bolt - 3.73
Originally posted by five7kid
I'll repeat my suggestion to find out exactly what you've got.
We have verified that the engine is a 305 from a Pontiac, probably a firebird. (Engine ID# V0303DUK= Flint, Day03, March, 305 Firebird). The Distributor is definately equipped with Vacuum Advance and therefore not an original.

You are absolutely correct..... We're gonna look everything over. and check the numbers on the Trans, Rear, and Heads. There is no telling what else we'll find.

Thanks for the info on the Computer.... We'll finish what the previous owner started by removing the unnecessary wires back to the computer rather than have them laying on the maifolds and fender wells and sparking and shorting everywhere. Some of them will give ya a pretty good zip if you touch 'em when the engine is running.....

Thanks again,
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:41 PM
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Axle/Gears: 2.73 posi, 3.06 posi
Why not just remove the computer system entirely? Its not difficult. I did it on mine last spring in about a half hour. Its just got two screws holding it up under the dash, and has the wiring fed through the passenger side of the firewall. All you have to do it unplug the wires from the computer itself (should just have a connector clipping onto the computer) and then pull them through the firewall from the engine-side of the firewall. Once thats done, you just follow those wires around, and unplug them. Since they are not on the computer anymore, they arent doing anything. Some may have to be cut, as they will feed into connectors with other wires going elsewhere, but theres only one or two of those. It sounds like a PITA, but its not that hard really.
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:36 PM
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This is good stuff. My first car was a 88 tbi LT camaro maroon and gold. I was 15. It had a blown head gasket and other comon issues like brakes and heater core like most third gen's. I mean it was a tipical beat down camaro. My father guided me along but it was up to me to get off that school bus. So he got me my first chiltons and let me use his tools.

We ended up gettind a 350 from a 1500 pickup($800), a edelbrock performer, and I (while working at target) put in the money for a barry grant claw (wich is a demon now) because I thought it looked cooler than the edelbrock QJ. I started hitting the chevy HP mags and the internet and started picking up stuff like MSD 6A and billet dist. He made me do pretty much all of it. If it took two people of course he would be there and at first he would check my work. I would sit in the driveway all day on saturday trying to do stuff like drum brakes but hey, I owe it to him I am the mechanic I am today. That was about 6-7 years ago. Now I am an A&P aircraft mechanic

Right before I graduated my parents put a down payment on the 92 RS I have now and sent me on my way. The 92 is 100 times better to start a project than the 88 was. Check out my home page. My point is I agree with five7 he has to do the work and he won't wreck it. I loved my 88 and it was ugly!!!

Last edited by 92heritageRS; 02-28-2005 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:26 PM
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You could do the carb thing, but you might want to look into doing a TPI swap. I get 25MPG on the freeway doing 70. If you have to start from scratch, I'd do the TPI. More work, but what do you want... a good gas guzzler that's easy to work on, or a nice fuel efficient car that's almost as easy to work on? It's true that there are more electrical wires here and there, but it's not bad at all and it's still easier to work on than any of the cars made in the five years or so. My
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:54 PM
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Car: 1983 firebird S/E
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I have a 350 block bored .030 over with the bottom end in it sitting around. It just needs to be hot tanked and rebuilt. I have iron heads with it too (not very good ones) but the motor made almost 300hp which is a nice range for you son. The heads might need to be checked out too but I'll give them to you for almost nothing. I also have a Carter 750cfm carb that came with it, some valve covers, all the bolts and what not, timing chain and more. The 750cfm was too big though so I would get a Holley 600cfm for it instead. PM me if your interested.

Matt
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:44 AM
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Engine: 350 / CCC Q-Jet
Transmission: THM-700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 Bolt - 3.73
Originally posted by 92heritageRS
This is good stuff. ........I loved my 88 and it was ugly!!!
You guys have been great... This is becoming a great deal of fun for both of us. We appreciate all your info. and responses.

As planned we worked on brakes the past weekend ++. It turned into a monster project . After we disassembled the brake drums we realized that the previous owner had installed much of the hardware improperly. In addition we found several other problems. In the end we replaced; 1.) Shocks 2.) Sway Link Ends 3.) Wheel Cyls., 4.) Shoes 5.) Brake Lines 6.) Rear End Cover Gasket & Oil 7.) Wheel Bearings & Seals 8.) Bolts that broke during disassembly 9.) My son Painted everything UGLY!.

My son replaced the shocks and sway link ends by himself. Reminder: Never tell a 15 year old to hold the top of the old shock with a vise-grip to hold it while loosening the nut. You guessed it..... Trashed threads at the top, nut impossible to remove.... HACKSAW time!! I learned to give PROPER instructions.

We took all the parts to my plant and HE Bead Blasted them free of rust and crud. Then HE painted the ends of the Drive Shafts and the Backing Plates Gloss Gray, the Drums and Rear End Cover got and UGLY Gloss Yellow. We worked together to put all the springs and such back in the proper locations using the Chiltons. I held the shoes as HE installed the springs, retainers etc. The bearings, seals, and drive shaft re-install was done my me with the rented slide hammer and a Mapp Gas Torch..... I had to let him watch that part. We also had to go to the junk yard to get replacements for the axle pin retaining bolt (also vice-gripped to death by the previous owner).

All-in-all we only spent about $150 and we were together all weekend. The parking brake actually works and the brakes seem to work quite well.

Over the next few days Derek gets to CLEAN all my tools and place them back in the PROPER locations in my boxes. This weekend we'll double-check the bleeding of the rear brakes and maybe spend a little time evaluating our engine plans.

We'll be back with proper engine swap/info questions this weekend.

I'll try to post a picture of the UGLY drums and Rear.


Thanks again,
Kurt Boehringer


Thought you'd be tired of the Drum Photo.... This is the way my son see the "Ugly Yellow Drums" not too bad after the rim is on...
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:50 AM
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Originally posted by kboehringer
I'll try to post a picture of the UGLY drums and Rear.
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Old 03-01-2005, 09:17 PM
  #27  
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This post is going to make me cry. My first car was an 82 Z-28 with a carbed 350 out of a vett in it. I think I paid $1200 for it. After the engine blew I pulled it and dropped a TPI 350 out of a 91 Z28 into it. Everything was ready to roll and the order was placed for a new chip to bypass the vats. One day before the chip came a guy in a dodge ram fell asleep on the way to work and ran into my car as it sat waiting for the last part. BAMMM It was crushed!!! It was hit so hard that it spun around in the parting lot and was sitting facing the wroge way. The drivers seat was about half as wide as it should have been! The poor girl never seen it coming.
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:07 PM
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well, time to take the drum off and blast it again, LOL
Sounds like you guys are having a good time doing this.....wish my dad was interested in helping me out with my car, lol
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:26 PM
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Kind of the same boat as you guys

Also in grade 11 up here. Bought myself a dead 2.8L, previous owner thought it had thrown a rod, so I bought it with the intention of doing the 350 swap. Well in my mysterious ways I figured out there is no hole in the block like there would be if a rod let loose when driving, the oil was still at the full line so I thought, hey might aswell fix the v6.

Well now that ive spent as much money as a 350 would have cost me, it is just about running. But its teaching me things more then any book would have or any forum would have, the hands on experience is the best.

My dad used to be into cars when he was a kid, probably owned a 100 of them because he was 25, he claims he forgot everything and wouldn't know where to start, but as soon as I started working on the car it kept coming back to him, although he still won't come and help me out, I'm on my own for that.

Good job with the father son project so far, let us know how it goes.

Don't worry about the yellow, he will put the wheels on and look at it and be like o ***, and paint in the first it its running, or he will get another car and remeber not to paint things bright yellow.
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by kboehringer


Over the next few days Derek gets to CLEAN all my tools and place them back in the PROPER locations in my boxes.
if you can teach him to do that, all of his future car friends will love him forever. lol.

such a simple skill...... that so few ever learn.
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:49 PM
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Wow what a great thread!

Make sure you check out www.mortec.com to help you with all of the casting numbers you dig up.

You are going about this project in the absolute perfect manor. For someone as young as your son it is important to have him work on the car so that he can build an appreciation for it. They will be less likely to ruin it when it potential "show off for the guys" times roll around.

Even if you stay with the 305 it will give a great low end feeling without the top end danger. He will learn to handle a car that can get tail happy with just a flip of the gas pedal. He will be experienced and self trained by the time more power arrives. All around smart decision there. Learn to control power and avoid the power controlling you. I recently sold my '95Z to a gentleman that bought it for his 15 year old son. It makes me nervous to think that someone who has never driven a car will be starting out with a 300hp car that can do 150. I won't do that if I ever have a son.

Do you guys have any plans to take the car down the strip occasionally or enter into any local autocross events? That is a perfect way to safely test the car to its extreme should the need arise. That is another way to have fun with the car and spend time together once it is road worthy. Plus it is just down right fun!

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:55 PM
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Been reading this post for a while, and I must say that you are going about this in a perfect manner! I wish my father had some father/son projects for us to do when I was that age, espescially with something as cool as a car. Instead I taught myself.

The painting of the parts I think is essentially subliminally... when you paint the part the color that you want, then you feel as though you've made it your own... which gives you a sense of pride. That'll help him/you-guys to continue with working on the car... sounds like it's quite a mess, but it should be worth it in the end .

As for the nasty engine... I'd just rip all of it out and start from scratch instead of trying to figure out what some other fellow tried to do. There's nothing more frusterating than trying to figure out someone else's logic that was clearly screwed up to begin with.

I'd pull the current wiring harness (if there's one left lol), then install a new one (TPI harness if you want to go fuel injected, or the LG4 harness would work well if you want to go computer controlled carb).

When you do that you can have him loom all the wires, and route them all NICELY. Then pull the top end off the motor, put your own on there and connect all the wires up accordingly. Then your huge mess is organized
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Old 03-03-2005, 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by sellmanb
.... when you paint the part the color that you want, then you feel as though you've made it your own...

... I'd just rip all of it out and start from scratch instead of trying to figure out what some other fellow tried to do.....
You hit the nail on the head with this post....THANKS I sure did turn up my nose at the Yellow but it'll be his car (with good grades). He had a good point....what else really goes with a Gold car? He wanted his friends to see that he actually took it all apart and understands what is going on inside the drum & rear. One of his buddies painted some of the "Under Parts" of his car while they were still on the car.... Looks like crap. I prefer the yellow.

We've had so many good suggestions from so many points of view it's had to decide exactly what to do. "I" figure we'll get some use out of the 305 for the moment. We'll buy parts that can be used on either a 305 or 350 and If it smokes... we go 350.

A previous post indicated the fuel economy advantage to TBI and I'm finding that one hard to ignore. In addition, learning about something a little more "Modern" will be better than a 4-bl Quadra-Jet. The wiring doesn't sound to difficult to undertake either. Derek Loves the Coss-Fire Hood but it's awful tight under there with a standard air cleaner. We'll be modifying something to make whatever fit. (The car had no Air Cleaner or filter when purchased, we purchased one at the J.Yard for a Q-Jet). VERY TIGHT! It obviously won't be functional regardless.

We tried to get a start on "I'd just rip all of it out and start from scratch" but found the Chilton's and Haynes worthless for wiring diagrams. I don't want to cut anything we might need later.. We'll follow every wire and cut 'em loose one at a time this weekend. Probably end up in the same place.... Nothing left but we should learn something?

We've talked about what we want to get out of this project and Drag Racing or 1/4 Miles are out. If possible we want the outside and interior to look like it came from the showroom 23+ years ago. Under the hood a bunch of chrome and a spotless block and engine compartment are in order. Hopefully, this car will be in the family for a while, and who knows who'll be driving it several years from now?

We really want people to say " Wow, I remember those.... They were really cool...." or NOT "Look at all the Crap that guy stuck on what use to be a great Z-28. I "think" we really liked the STOCK look EXCEPT FOR THOSE UGLY YELLOW DRUMS. LOL

We found a Camaro/Firebird club nearby and hope to join once the thing runs well and safely enough to get to their meetings. We're looking forward to showing it off in maybe 6 months or so....Without the original block and cross-fire an actual "Show-Car" is sort of out of the question.

I'm not gonna get "FLAMED" (whatever that is) for getting 100 miles off the "Engine Swap" Topic?? Is there a better place to keep this going? I don't want to get anyone upset. Although Derek is finishing up his mandatory 2hrs of homework/study (we're usually together at the computer) we are getting a heck of a kick out of this forum.

P.S. The Tools are Perfectly cleaned (each individually wiped off) and 90% are in the places where they belong.

I have to get a photo posted of the "Current" engine compartment you guys will "BUST A GUT" when you see the mess under there. I'll try to get some close-ups of the "Hot-Glue" wiring splices.... No kidding.... this car was a "Court-Ordered-Forfeit for Drug Possession" THIS GUY DID WAY TOO MANY DRUGS!"

Thanks again,
Kurt Boehringer
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:41 AM
  #34  
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by kboehringer
.what else really goes with a Gold car?

--- A new paint job

A previous post indicated the fuel economy advantage to TBI and I'm finding that one hard to ignore.

--- Not to bash, but if you want fuel economy, and room for some performance upgrades easily at hand (when the time comes of course) You may want to go with an aftermarket fuel injection intake. Or just use an LT1 intake. It will use a TPI harness no matter what, and the fuel economy is a bit better than TBI, plus you get some more of the "Modern"-ness

Derek Loves the Coss-Fire Hood but it's awful tight under there with a standard air cleaner.

--- This is so true, but really, there's more room there than you think. Grab some silly puddy , clump it on the air cleaner, drop the hood, then put the hood up again and check how flat the puddy is. That's how much room you have left.



We really want people to say " Wow, I remember those.... They were really cool...." or NOT "Look at all the Crap that guy stuck on what use to be a great Z-28. I "think" we really liked the STOCK look EXCEPT FOR THOSE UGLY YELLOW DRUMS. LOL


---Yes, the stock looks are crazy good, dont do any aftermarket body mods (except maybe clear sidemarkers, those are always a fan favorite). If you're like me, and a lot of other people here on TGO, you'll like the 91-92 ground effects a heck of a lot more than the 82-84 ground effects. Are you trying to keep it stock for the VIN, or just like a Camaro WOULD come stock, using stock body colors and such? I kinda dont like the gold, but you gotta work with what yah got, right! (my car is white and I detest white, lol dont worry )


We found a Camaro/Firebird club nearby and hope to join once the thing runs well and safely enough to get to their meetings. We're looking forward to showing it off in maybe 6 months or so....Without the original block and cross-fire an actual "Show-Car" is sort of out of the question.

--- You should go to the club just to sort of get an idea what those guys like in the F-Bodies of this generation. Also it might motivate you to do different things with the car. And often times I've noticed that when I cant find a part for my car, someone in the local f-body club more than likely has a spare they'll sell you for REAL cheap!

I'm not gonna get "FLAMED" (whatever that is) for getting 100 miles off the "Engine Swap" Topic?? Is there a better place to keep this going? I don't want to get anyone upset.

-- NO, the moderators would prefer if you kept everything in one post. This is fine, and easier to follow if people dont come in from the beginning, then they can keep up. If/when you stumble across a problem that you cant figure out though, I'd post it in the proper board in a new subject though. But definetly use this post to keep everyone updated. It's such a great thing that you two are working together on this.


No kidding.... this car was a "Court-Ordered-Forfeit for Drug Possession" THIS GUY DID WAY TOO MANY DRUGS!"

---probably sniffed up some of that awsome asphestis (or asbestos, I dont remember which it was) from the brakes when he screwed them up
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Old 03-05-2005, 11:49 PM
  #35  
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Originally posted by sellmanb
I'd just rip all of it out and start over.... There's nothing more frusterating than trying to figure out someone else's logic that was clearly screwed up to begin with.

I'd pull the current wiring harness (if there's one left lol)
We started the day by finishing cleaning up the remaining mess from the Brake Project. Got it started and decided to try a lap around the block. Decided against it after about 150 yards. It STOPS GREAT! Doesn't do much else good

Although the car "RUNS" we hadn't actully tried to really drive it until today. We won't be trying that again for a while

Decided to stop dancing around the engine compartment and "Dig-In". Started pulling and label the wires we DIDN'T want to snip and clip (wiper/washer, cruise, a/c, etc.). Cut & Pulled some out, removed the computer and it still starts, although that isn't saying too much. We don't know if the computer is any good, but it's FREE to anyone who wants it.....

Derek pulled the Valve Covers and got the casting numbers:
B28 3 (Left Side of Head)
14014416 (Left Side of Head)
GM 3 (Right side of head)

The only item we have yet to find the numbers on is the tranny. Judging by the general shape of the pan it looks like the TH350 I had in my '78 T/A . It certainly doesn't have the strange shape I recall the TH400 had although that was way-back-when. If the nose is still a good indicator of transmission condition the fluid smells like burned eggs. Not generally a good sign....

If we can confirm a smoked tranny we'll just do a pull of the engine and trans immediately. Mechancially the engine doesn't sound too bad. There are no unusual knocks or mechanical noises and it will idle. However, once you hit the gas it's another story.

I'm certain the vacuum advance is connected to an improper location and the PCV seems to be getting way too much pull from the Quadra-Jet's base port. There's too many hoses and ports on the intake & carb plugged and capped. Lines with bolts jammed into them and ports filled with RTV and Screws.

Tomorrow we'll get the Trans numbers. Any sure-fire way to check the Auto Trans for damage????

Thanks for your help guys. We appreciate it.....
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:30 AM
  #36  
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Father & Son

For anybody who hasn't tried it..... Getting together with the kids under a hood is a lot of fun. (Although MOM is a little upset with all the grease on our clothes and the condition of the sinks and bath tubs at the end of the day.)

We have three sons, and one daughter. Derek (Middle Son) and I have not found too many common interests in the last few years. However, this Z-28 has been just the thing to get him off of the couch.

Thanks again for all the help we've already received....
Kurt Boehringer
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:24 AM
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http://www.nastyz28.com/transid.html

would help you out if it worked/came online. Its a page with a bunch of different transmission pans on it and it helps you identify what transmission you got, then you know for sure what you have.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:39 AM
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i too have been reading this thread for a while and this is some great stuff. Im a junior in high school and i wish i had a dad that would tkae the time and help me out with my interests. I had to learn everything the hard way. i bought a motor off a co-worker when i was 15 with. he said it was a 350 but after it blew up i ran the casting numbers and found it was a 305 . lesson well learned. Now im am researching day and night to do it right this time around. glad you guys are doing the same. IS your son in any auto classes at school of any type? they are great to learn how things work.

Did you guys find any build sheets or anything like that yet?
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:42 AM
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my dad tried to make sure i didnt have too much HP back in 11th grade when he finally let me buy my V6 camaro- i graduated, saw the car of my dreams- a beautiful 87 Grand Nash, i think i awoke the kid in him, he wanted me to buy it more than i did lol. sure enough we have spent many of weekends so far pulling it apart under the hood- even if we dont have to lol. its a great bonding expeirience, im 19 now and its still great to go outside and turn wrenches with my pops- keep up the work on that thing its a beauty
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:36 PM
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a great swap would be a GM "Universal 350" carb version. they have a carb version and a tbi version. this would be a great swap b/c the motor is only $1,300. that may sound like alot to some but for $1,300 you won't find a single used car with a brand new crate motor in it that has a warranty for that price. that motor still would have enough power to have fun with, it has 4 bolt mains. you just can't go wrong with this motor for a younger guy. easy, cheap, and warranted.
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Old 03-06-2005, 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by kboehringer

Derek pulled the Valve Covers and got the casting numbers:
B28 3 (Left Side of Head)
14014416 (Left Side of Head)
GM 3 (Right side of head)
Sounds like you have a run of the mill 305. It could still be a 350 with 305 heads however. Make sure that both heads have the same casting numbers so that you know you have a matching set. It is not uncommon for people to throw random parts at these cars to get them to run. None the less those heads are acutally pretty decent and can be used on your project motor (including a 350).
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by ShiftyCapone
None the less those heads are acutally pretty decent and can be used on your project motor (including a 350).
Pretty decent on a 350... with a little bit of work and bigger valves that is
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Old 03-07-2005, 08:38 PM
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Originally posted by sellmanb
Pretty decent on a 350... with a little bit of work and bigger valves that is
Will these really work on a 350? We have every intention of having whatever heads end up on the final engine moderately overhauled (guides, seals, springs etc.) However, I don't know enough about machining engine heads to know if you are kidding about the bigger valves. I didn't realize you could "cut-in" a "bigger valve". Was that a joke?

On Sunday we jacked the old girl up enough to crawl all the way under her and found another mess in the tranny area. The cross member that seems to be designed for 4 bolts has only 2. There seems to me some sort of "Home-Made" bracketing at the tail stock, There are zip ties and bungee straps holding all kinds of stuff up. It appears that the "Hard to get to" bolts from the trans top to the engine are conveniently missing. The entire underside of the Engine, Trans, and Body are covered with 1/4" of CRUD. I couldn't find a number ANYWHERE. Judging by the shape of the pan and the info I got from "Nastyz28" I think its a THM700-R4.

The decision is made WE'RE GONNA RIP IT ALL OUT AND START OVER We decided that we could rush into this and get the car on the road or we can do everything RIGHT including paint, motor, trans, interior and have a beautiful car in the end. I told Derek "once you get use to driving it, its impossible to find the time to take it back off the road to do the stuff that should have been done in the first place".

We're gonna rip it all out either this weekend or the next and I'll cut the kid loose with body work. HE'll get the entire engine compartment cleaned and prepared for fresh paint. Meanwhile I'll figure out what the heck we have that can still be used and track down the rest.
Game Plan
Step 1 - Rip it all out....... EVERYTHING
Step 2 - Clean, Prep & Paint Engine Compartment
Step 3 - Repair the Tranny, Short Block & Heads
Step 4 - Assemble and Install (without Intake/Carb/TBI/TPI)
Step 5 - Decide on Intake SYSTEM & Wiring

A buddy at work has a 350 long block he'll part with for $50 it has 4-bolt mains and a good bottom end. Says it smoked like heck but it ran. He thinks the heads are crap because he tried some home-done porting and polishing on it a few years earlier, he admitted the mistake. Derek and I will tear it down to a shortblock and have it dipped, checked, and fitted for new bearings, rings, and pistons if necessary. We'll put it together ourselves at the house.

FUNNY STORY FOR YOU GUYS....
Derek was in my shop (really a tiny little work area stuffed with lots of tools) He was lookin' around diggin here and there on power tool shelves looking for something. I asked...."What you looking for". "Well I figure you must have some sort of tool here that'll clean those grooves in the hood real nice". He was looking for a POWER tool.....

I said OH YEA.... I know what you need. I fumbled around in the tool area for a minute, grabbed a piece of 150 grit and quickly wrapped it around his index finger and said... "This is the perfect tool and when it runs out of juice you can use the other one" LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL Kids!

I'll post some photos of the RIP IT OUT event!

Thanks again
Kurt & Derek Boehringer

P.S. The Yellow Drums really don't look too bad.....
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Old 03-07-2005, 08:42 PM
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lol nice yellow drums
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Old 03-07-2005, 09:01 PM
  #45  
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Originally posted by carlover01
IS your son in any auto classes at school of any type? they are great to learn how things work.

Did you guys find any build sheets or anything like that yet?
I had auto shop last year "Auto 1" where we learned about tools and mostly did book work. We worked on a pick-up truck we got to change the oil, and rotate tires. One of the teachers was selling his Corvette and we got the change th plugs on it. I took out a couple of the plugs. We didn;t really get to touch too much.

I'll probably take "Auto 2" next year. But my dad wants me to concentrate on college prep classes. I'll be a junior. I'm learning more with my Dad about cars anyway. If we keep workin at it I will able to drive it to school sometime next year. One of my dad's employees knows how to paint he use ot own a Car Painting business a long time ago. He's like 60 or something. He's gonna come over and teach me how to prepare the body the right way. He'll probably come over in a few weeks after we get the engine out and I get some of the rough stuff done. My dad wants me to take off all the gound effect stuff and put it in the attic so it doesn't get busted. We'll might take that stuff to his friend at paint it first in the guys garage. We'll probalby take it to his house to paint the whole car wihtout the gound effect stuff probably late in the summer. Dad wants good paint under the spoilers and stuff.

Whats a build sheet?

Thank you,
Derek Boehringer
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:38 PM
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Build sheets have a list of the items you have installed within the engine as you cannot just look at it and figure it out. When you get an engine rebuilt they give you a build sheet so you know what you got in there. Same with crate engines and such.
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by kboehringer
Will these really work on a 350? We have every intention of having whatever heads end up on the final engine moderately overhauled (guides, seals, springs etc.) However, I don't know enough about machining engine heads to know if you are kidding about the bigger valves. I didn't realize you could "cut-in" a "bigger valve". Was that a joke?

No it wasnt a joke. The 416 heads are glorified around here on thirdgen.org because they're easy to port yourself and can be made into some GREAT performing heads! You can have bigger valves cut in, it's a little expensive, but not as expensive as aftermarket heads, that's for sure!

https://www.thirdgen.org/techbb2/sho...itting+%2Bbull

That is a great thread to teach you how to port your own heads. If you want Derek to be really well rounded on cars (which is seems you do from the mechanical, and auto body standpoint ) ) then doing a little machine work couldnt hurt hehe. Really, this is the cheapest bang for your buck mod that you can do. Get them to flow decently (just get rid of most the casting flaws pretty much) and make a few areas smoother then you're good to go (not as easy as that obviously, this takes hours upon hours lol). You can still keep his hp down though with the stock cam... that thing would make a 454 slower than a civic... i swear lol. Then when the time comes for him to be able to get more power, just a cam and intake swap away.


On Sunday we jacked the old girl up enough to crawl all the way under her and found another mess in the tranny area. The cross member that seems to be designed for 4 bolts has only 2. There seems to me some sort of "Home-Made" bracketing at the tail stock, There are zip ties and bungee straps holding all kinds of stuff up. It appears that the "Hard to get to" bolts from the trans top to the engine are conveniently missing. The entire underside of the Engine, Trans, and Body are covered with 1/4" of CRUD. I couldn't find a number ANYWHERE. Judging by the shape of the pan and the info I got from "Nastyz28" I think its a THM700-R4.


hah.... hahaha.... ooh boy, zip ties and bungee cords eh? I'm sure with the search feature that you'll be able to find a picture of what a early model 3rd gen's underbody looks like... but since you're going to rip EVERYTHING out anyways, I think that the mounts you're missing will be replaced anyways.

If I was you, I'd have him start out taking the y-pipe off (make sure he wears glasses for this occassion... dirt + rust + eye = doctor's trip lol. Dont forget to take out the gas can while you're at it though. If you have an in-tank fuel pump, it is definetly the time THEN rather than later to do that.... boy, what a pain is the fuel pump! lol


"once you get use to driving it, its impossible to find the time to take it back off the road to do the stuff that should have been done in the first place".

That's the most true statement I have ever heard about these cars lol. These cars are kinda like crack. You'll try it once or twice and then you're hooked... you think you can get away but you just cant let it down lol.


A buddy at work has a 350 long block he'll part with for $50 it has 4-bolt mains and a good bottom end. Says it smoked like heck but it ran. He thinks the heads are crap because he tried some home-done porting and polishing on it a few years earlier, he admitted the mistake. Derek and I will tear it down to a shortblock and have it dipped, checked, and fitted for new bearings, rings, and pistons if necessary. We'll put it together ourselves at the house.


50 dollars for a good block, rods, and crank is a super deal, wish I could find one like that around here lol, it would get my car on the road a lot faster atleast lol. Have them check out the heads that he did too, it might just be that he didnt install the headgasket right (torque pattern not right) and all you really need for it is an intake and you're good to go... unless you really like buying new parts hehe.


FUNNY STORY FOR YOU GUYS....
Derek was in my shop (really a tiny little work area stuffed with lots of tools) He was lookin' around diggin here and there on power tool shelves looking for something. I asked...."What you looking for". "Well I figure you must have some sort of tool here that'll clean those grooves in the hood real nice". He was looking for a POWER tool.....

I said OH YEA.... I know what you need. I fumbled around in the tool area for a minute, grabbed a piece of 150 grit and quickly wrapped it around his index finger and said... "This is the perfect tool and when it runs out of juice you can use the other one" LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL Kids!
[/B]

heheheh, at 15, you'll take any occassion you can get your hands on power tools hahaha.
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Old 03-07-2005, 11:53 PM
  #48  
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Sounds like a poor job installing a TH700. It wasn't offered in 1982, and the trannies that were offered in 1982 were shorter. So, the torque arm is too long, the crossmember doesn't have the bolt holes needed to fully mount it, etc., etc., etc. Done right with factory TH700 parts, or conversion parts from someone like our sponsor, Spohn, above, it is actually pretty nice. Been there, done that.
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:15 AM
  #49  
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I can vouch for the fuel pump with sellmanb, it is a pain in the ***, if your ripping everything apart and taking the tank off, do the fuel pump while it is still easy to do it. Getting the tank out later is a pain in the ***, to do my fuel pump we didn't even take the tank out because it ment disassembling more suspension then just a few bolts and such, the filler nexk is just too much in the way and mine wasn't removable
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:27 AM
  #50  
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Hey there!
I just wanted to say how good it is in todays day and age to see father and son being able to do things together while the kids are still young enough to learn and do something other than drugs or drinking or getting into trouble.
My son and I,my son is 6 yrs.old;never too young to start I say, helps me out with the car,a 1987 Pontiac Firebird with a V6.He really gets into it,all the tools and gadgets. His brain is like sponge and he soaks up all he can.When he see's his friends at school,that's all he talks about is, "Daddy's Firebird car".
So for those of you who have kids out there,spend as much time with them as you can because before you now it,they aren't kids anymore!
Thanks for all the help to all of those in this terrific place called Third Gen,from all of us parents!!!!!

Ron and Devinn
New Brunswick,Canada
Attached Thumbnails Father & Son 1st Car Swap Project Chronicled-c-my-documents-my  

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