83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant - Third Generation F-Body Message Boards


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83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:44 PM   #1  
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83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I have an 83 Camaro with the 305 5speed. The engine is toast. I also have a 95 Chevrolet Caprice Classic with a good running LT1. Our plan is to put the LT1 in the 83 Camaro. I've been reading the threads here on 3rd Gen of guys that have done this, BUT those threads were dated back to 2001 and links are not current anymore and the guys have probably moved on to other things. I have the factory service manuals for both cars and plan on using the donor car's PCM and most of it's wiring. Looks like just chasing the electrical diagrams and combining the harnesses. Next I'm trying to figure out the fuel system. My Camaro doesn't have an electric fuel pump in the tank and I assume that fuel lines will have to be run to the fuel rail connectors. Long shot, but will the fuel pump in the Caprice work in the Camaro tank? Now comes the A/C. Our plan is to find a 92-95 Vette A/C mounting of the compressor and alternator. Are we on the right track? Power steering looks like another issue to figure out. Has anyone upgraded to rack and pinion? With an obvious increase in horsepower, I assume subframe support will need to be installed. Do they still make these systems for my 83? One last thing, cooling system, the LT1 is reverse cooling. Any difference in plumbing?

I know this is a long post on an old subject, but I'm willing to update things as we work this project. Any advice or tips would greatly be appreciated.

This is my first input on this forum. Looks like a very informative site.

Last edited by Strick1; 03-26-2013 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:17 PM   #2  
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Welcome aboard thirdgen.org.

I moved this to the LTX and LSX Engine Swap subforum to improve responses.

There is a "sticky" in the top section of this forum that has a bunch of LT1 swap information in it. Sorry some of the links in there are broken (mostly the victim of a server shutdown that caught the originator by surprise), but there is still a wealth of information in there.

The B-body AC can be used if you notch the K-member.

I don't know if the Caprice fuel pump will work in the Camaro tank, but my first guess would be the pump would, but not the sending unit. Easiest solution is probably to find a 3rd gen EFI tank and put a good pump in it like a Walbro 255.

Rack & pinion info would be in the Suspension and Chassis forum.

Subframe connectors should be added to V6 cars. Can't even remember what it was like driving mine without them. Offered by several companies. Check out Board sponsors Spohn and Hawks.

Done right, this swap could make the Camaro outrun the Vette...
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:53 AM   #3  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I'm not sure it will be able to out run the Vette as it is not stock and soon will be much more. You are right the Camaro will be much more responsive and this swap will be fun as my son and I will be spending a lot of time working together. I hope I can find the new place you put my thread in. I also have to work on posting pictures as we progress on the project. One quick question, does the Caprice LT1 have a 4 bolt main or is it a 2 bolt? Thank you very much for your inputs.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:43 PM   #4  
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If I recall correctly, only the Vettes got 4-bolt mains.

Okay, so you're cheating with the Vette...
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #5  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant




Just testing

Okay that didn't work, how do you post pictures? I have photo bucket.

Last edited by five7kid; 04-02-2013 at 11:17 PM. Reason: Sorry, couldn't resist fixing it for you
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #6  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Try #2

Okay, I think I figured out how to post pictures. These are my 2 cars, 95 Caprice and 83 Camaro ready for their transplant. More pictures to follow.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:30 PM   #7  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Here we are hoods up:
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The Caprice LT1 untouched:


The Camaro 305:
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I expect the factory manuals on the Caprice in a day or 2.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #8  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

After taking a harder look at the Caprice, I noticed that the PCM is cooled by the air intake. Does this PCM get hot? Do I need to direct an air flow over it?
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:10 PM   #9  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

You can extend your wires to the PCM about 3' and tuck it under the dash, thats what I had done.

Nice looking 83 man! ill be watching this swap, feel free to PM me with questions
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:22 PM   #10  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

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You can extend your wires to the PCM about 3' and tuck it under the dash, thats what I had done.

Nice looking 83 man! ill be watching this swap, feel free to PM me with questions
The 83 is a little rough right now, but after the transplant it will get a new coat and shoes. This looks like fun to me. No time limits either. Thanks for the offer to help out with questions. I've got a lot of questions right now, but I need to focus on a good order to do things. My first act will be to remove the 305 and clean up the engine bay.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:48 PM   #11  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Yeah that part was alot of fun... lol.

Agreed, take your time. Ive spent countless hours going back and fixing/changing diffrent parts. Going to be a whole new car when your done!
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:46 PM   #12  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I'm looking into using the Corvette version of mounting the alt and A/C compressor. I have a watch out for the brackets.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:19 PM   #13  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Looks a lot nicer than the oily mess I had to start with. Gonna be sweat!

I'll follow this thread.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:21 AM   #14  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

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Originally Posted by cprmn14 View Post
Yeah that part was alot of fun... lol.

Agreed, take your time. Ive spent countless hours going back and fixing/changing diffrent parts. Going to be a whole new car when your done!
Did you install A/C? If so, did you "notch" the K-member? Any pictures of the K-member? I'm still looking for a Corvette front accessary set up. Doesn't seem too easy to find.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:24 PM   #15  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Got my Caprice factory manuals today. Just took a look at the wiring diagrams and it may take some time, but I think this is workable. Had to get out the readers.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:52 PM   #16  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Double check your block stamp to make sure its a "5.7" and you havnt fallen victim to a "4.3".
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:09 AM   #17  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

It's a LT1 for sure. vin shows P and this is a virgin Caprice. But thanks for the check up on my project. One thing I learned is that there is a V8 that is a 4.3L. I thought 4.3's were V6's only. Shows you what I know.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:49 AM   #18  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Anybody have pictures of their K-member showing where and how much they had to modify/notch their K-member to make room for the A/C compressor? Is reinforcing of the K-member needed? And can you remove the compressor after the engine is installed? So many questions
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:15 PM   #19  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I finally saw how to notch the K-member. The pictures are on another thread here on the forum. I wish I knew how to copy and paste here on this forum.

It doesn't look too difficult, but I'll wait until I attempt it before I pass judgement on it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #20  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I'm still asking, once you notch the K-member and installed the A/C compressor, can the compressor be removed with the engine in the car?
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:43 AM   #21  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Well, yesterday we started the process. We stripped the inside of the 83 and we were very excited to see that there was hardly any rust under the carpet. In fact the paint looked very clean. So there is a benefit to having a California car, no rust. We finished up the day by lifting the rear and removing the torque shaft and drive shaft. Next step is removing the tranny and labeling all the connections to the engine. We took pictures of everything and will post soon.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:51 AM   #22  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Quote:
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I'm still asking, once you notch the K-member and installed the A/C compressor, can the compressor be removed with the engine in the car?
I dont see why not. Regardless, taking the motor back out can be done in about an hour after youve done it a few times.

Keep at it!
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:15 AM   #23  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Here are some of the pictures:

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Old 04-09-2013, 05:04 PM   #24  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Day 2, we only worked a few hours. Got the tranny, clutch and bell housing off. Labeled most of the wires and hoses in the engine compartment and removed the carb, alt, a/c compressor, power steering and the rest of the accessories. Next will be the exhaust and it looks a little rusty around the bolts. Thank goodness I used some s/s. Then we'll pull the engine and the real fun will begin.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:14 PM   #25  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

My son found a kit for $30 that gives you the dimensions and the support piece for cutting and supporting the K-member so that the donor's A/C compressor will fit. We're also finding many parts designed to help out with this swap. I'll be sure to list those parts as we progress.

But, It says it is for a LS1 not an LT1. Is the notch the same for both the LS1 and the LT1? Ever heard of Hawks 3rd gen Camaro Parts?

Last edited by Strick1; 04-10-2013 at 05:53 PM. Reason: added question
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #26  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Ready to pull the tired old 305 out:
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accessaries off:

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Old 04-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #27  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Looking real hard at the interior, we found 2 cracks in the floor near the tunnel. Is this from stress on the unibody? We're all set to pull the engine and will get to it when I get back from a little trip I have to take. More later.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:38 PM   #28  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Anybody need a nice Edlebrock intake and AFB carb with a fairly new HEI vacuum advanced distributer? I'll put it up for sale in the parts section. It is an old school set up and it got rid of the need for the computer in the 83.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:12 AM   #29  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Started thinking about the clutch linkage. We decided to go with an upgrade to the hydraulic clutch. What's involved here? Is there a complete kit or do I have to hit pull-a-part?
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:08 PM   #30  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I got a 4th gen hydraulic slave, fits great just need to space it out away from the trans with a few washers. The fourth gen slave over-extends alittle
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:34 PM   #31  
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Quote:
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Ever heard of Hawks 3rd gen Camaro Parts?
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:42 PM   #32  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Day 3: Got the 305 pulled and we torn it down to see what happened to it. We thought we'd find a blown piston or a bad cam or even a broken timing chain. Nothing. But we did find 2 non firing cylinders as the top of the pistons were extremely clean and the plugs were fouled more than I've ever seen before.

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Old 04-16-2013, 06:56 PM   #33  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Here are the 2 non firing cylinders: Nice and clean
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Oh well, it's history now. So, we are guessing that the loud bang and trailing sparks and smoke were just a big back fire caused by the gas not being burned and collecting in the exhaust until ignited after a down shift from 3rd to second.

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #34  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Now comes the real question. Take a look at my motor mounting locations. Do I have room to cut the notch in the K-member? Looks like the motor mount is too close to the front part of the K-member.

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HELP

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:17 PM   #35  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Check out this fouled plug:

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:21 PM   #36  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Quote:
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I got a 4th gen hydraulic slave, fits great just need to space it out away from the trans with a few washers. The fourth gen slave over-extends alittle
You wouldn't have a picture of this?
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:06 PM   #37  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Today, we removed the K-member. Pretty easy, just messy, lots of grease and grime. The more we look at the K-member, the more we just don't think notching the K-member will be required. The motor mounts are right on the leading edge of the K-member. Looking at several pictures of notched K-members here on the forum, the leading edge mounting holes are cut away. However the LSx motors do sit back more and that is where notching is necessary, I think.

Once we get the LT1 out of the Caprice, We'll know for sure if we need to modify the K-member to allow space for the A/C compressor.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:30 PM   #38  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Today's pictures:
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Last edited by Strick1; 04-28-2013 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:32 AM   #39  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I'm still investigating the "notch in the K-member" question. Does anybody have a LT1 out of the car? I'd like to get a measurement from the pass side motor mount leading edge (front) to the rear of the a/c compressor when mounted. A good side shot of the LT1 with the a/c compressor mounted will do. Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:31 AM   #40  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I just stumbled onto a great thread by diablizzard. He showed how and where the notch should be. It is much smaller than the LS1 required notch.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:21 PM   #41  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

It's good to see that some of my troubles helped someone else out.

I redid notch when I pulled the engine after my depolyment. The places where I marked the K-member I cut straight and welded 1/8" steel in it's place. It made for a better clearance.

You can remove the A/C compressor when it's in the engine bay. You just need to unbolt the one engine mount and lift the engine with a chain and hoist in order to get in there to remove the back bolt. Be very careful doing this, your hands will be in a very vulnerable spot.

I have a set of Firebats A/C conversion hoses that I couldn't use with the headers that I used. Last I heard he isn't producing these any more. If you are intersted in them just PM me.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #42  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I wonder if the Spohn K-member would allow more clearance for the A/C compressor? I'll call Monday.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:16 PM   #43  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Today we took the front fenders and nose assembly off. Then we went inside and took out the dash. This made everything accessible. The HVAC system had lots of inhabitants over the years. The wiring will take some time to reorganize. We took all of the engine wiring harnesses out and the engine compartment is almost ready to super clean and start painting. We saw some guys that did smoothing and shaving and we might get into some of that.

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We used these bowls for organizing all the hardware. We have lots of them from Best China.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #44  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

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Old 04-30-2013, 07:27 PM   #45  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

When we unplugged the harness running through the firewall, inside there was lots of black goo. Was this a dielectric grease to keep out moisture? What a mess. Also, today I ordered a complete front accessary set up from a 92-96 Corvette. Now I don't have to worry about notching the K-member or lifting the motor to get the A/C compressor out. This will also allow more room for the headers. When it comes in, I'll post pictures.

Last edited by Strick1; 04-30-2013 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:52 PM   #46  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

The few cars I have removed this connector from have all had that black too on the
. I am assuming its to seal out moisture as we.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:06 AM   #47  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

Quote:
Originally Posted by 25th327RS View Post
The few cars I have removed this connector from have all had that black too on the
. I am assuming its to seal out moisture as we.
What did you use as a solvent to clean that stuff out? Brake clean doesn't seem to cut it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:36 AM   #48  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I didn't clean it out. Left it alone to continue doing its job
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:41 AM   #49  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I beleive the grease keeps the connector from over-heating, or seizing together
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:36 PM   #50  
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Re: 83 Camaro\95 Caprice LT1\transplant

I wonder if you can buy this stuff for when I put it back together.
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