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Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

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Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

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Old 05-16-2018, 08:31 AM
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Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

As a way of introduction, I am new to the forum and new to third gens. My son (16) bought an 87 camaro last fall with his own money and wants to fix it up a bit. It came with a spare engine. I don't know if the engine in it is the original or the spare is the original or if neither are original but we have 2 of the 2.8 motors. The motor that is in the car runs and the car drives on a AT fluid IV. (add fluid after each drive unless you park it on perfectly level ground. Suspect it is losing fluid through the tailshaft but so much oil under there its hard to tell. That is a different issue though.

Back to the motor. We have stripped the spare motor down to the bare block, sith theexception of removing the Cam and lifters. I have never removed a 2.8l cam before so I could use some tips on how it comes out. Do the square headed plugs in the valley need to be removed? They seem awfully tight and wouldn;t budge with an open end wrench so I put them to soak in some PB blaster tues night. If someone can shed light on how to remove can and lifters, I would be eternally grateful!

As to the condition of the spare motor... It turned over fine by hand, wasn't stuck at all but the top end was badly gunked up and oil caked all over the top of the heads. One plug was badly fouled but the rest looked reasonable. Now that we have it torn down to the block, and have done a visual inspection, here are my thoughts.

Pistons look pretty good, Horizontal machining lines on the pistons and piston skirts are still very visible with just a few pistons showing a little shine on the sides.
Rings all appear to be intact and movable, non stuck although lots of varnish
Cylinders all look pretty good, no signs of scoring, The are shiny, no honing marks visible with a slight wear rim around the top of the cylinder
Bearings all appeared to be intact and in good condition.
Rods all look good. I numbered all the rod caps before removing and paired up with appropriate pistons.
Pistons are stiff on the wrist pins and carboned up but a little PB blaster seems to free them right up. I think they just need a thorough cleaning and they will be fine
Cam looks really rough from what I can see of it, and lifters are sticky.
Haven't done a valve assessment
I pressure washed the heads after we removed them and they cleaned up pretty good.
The crank looks pretty good to me, I will have it measured and it might could use a polish.

Once I get the cam out, I'm planning to take the block to a shop and have it measured to make sure nothing is out of round.

Since my experince is limited to small engines and the rebuild of an old 307 chevrolet engine, I would appreciate as much hand holding as I can get. If anyone sees me screwing up, please call me out! I want this to be a learning experience for my son. He is going to be doing 90% of the wrench turning. I am providing moral support, extra muscle and helping him create and manage a rebuild budget.

We are in VA and don't have to pass visual emissions inspection on cars over 25 yo. so we plan to delete as much of the spaghetti as possible and box it up for posterity.

The car will be sanded down to bare metal and repainted at some point. The fenders are off right now and getting sanded along with the front bumper cover.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:33 PM
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Re: Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

So tonite I was able to get the camshaft and lifters out. I just needed to apply a little more force I guess. After the camshaft and lifters were out, we took it outside and pressure washed the block. Then wiped it all down and put some oil in the cylinders to keep them from rusting until we finish detailing the block and I can get it to a machinist. Took a few pics.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:48 AM
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Re: Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

I'm watching , post up pics
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:05 AM
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Re: Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

Trying to post up pics, hope it works this time. cleaned the oiling grooves in all the mains and removed all remianing gasket materials. Block is ready to be de-rusted.
Attached Thumbnails Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro1.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro2.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro3.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro4.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro5.jpg  

Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro6.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro7.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro8.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro9.jpg   Rebuilding 2.8 for  an 87 camaro base SC...-87camaro10.jpg  

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Old 05-24-2018, 11:47 PM
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Re: Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

Hey that top engine picture , in the v near the lifter holes, what are those brass plugs ? What do they do ? Anybody know ? Saw them in mine the other day and wondered .
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Old 05-25-2018, 01:55 PM
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Re: Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

That's a good question. I thought they were for removing the cam bearings but GM manual and Chilton's both don't show that. Re they really brass? they look like they are iron or steel and they are very tight. Can't get them out with an open end wrench. If anyone could please tell me if I need to remove them it would be appreciated. Right now, the game plan is to finish cleaning up the block (all the inside passages need the rust cleaned out) and then paint it, remove the ridge and hone the cylinders on our own. Polish the crank, get it mic'ed, get some new bearings for the crank, put some new rings on the pistons after we clean them up real good, new camshaft bearings and a new camshaft and lifters. Haven't spent much time cleaning and evaluating the heads yet. If there are no signs of cracks and the valves aren't burned, we will probably do a lap job on them get a gasket set and put everything back together. I believe this engine was probably running when pulled but was just really gunked up with old oil. I think we can pretty much avoid any machine work. If it goes 30-40k mi. after rebuild, that will give him plenty of time to figure out what he wants to do and we'll only have a couple hundred in the motor for the rebuild and know he has a clean motor.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:02 AM
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Re: Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

So with the exception of disassembling the heads, the engine is completely torn down. We have shifted to working on the body a bit for now and have decided to see if any donor cars might come up on CL or the local buzzards nest. If not we can continue rebuild but if they do, he is open to a direct swap. Missed a '95 with 3.4l for $500.00 on sat by literally an hour or less.

We tore the console/carpet out this weekend. The floorpans look great except for one small spot on the drivers side below the hood release. Rotted out in that corner a little bit so I am fabricating a repair for that area. Both fender have been sanded to bare metal and primed, nose is sanded ready for primer and cracked dashboard is being restored. He is stripping rear spoiler now. Seats being sent out for recovering.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:34 AM
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Re: Rebuilding 2.8 for an 87 camaro base SC...

Wow your really going for it 😁 good work
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