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Hardway's 1971 240z #8011 - Build and Repair Thread

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With my new job keeping me super busy it has been a few weeks since the Z saw some attention.  With a beautiful Valentine’s Day Saturday upon me and my wife busy with her own projects in the house I was back on the Z to get some things done.  After my last post regarding my valve adjustment I went back and did another round of checking and adjusting to make sure everything was spot on.  Sure enough, 4 valves were too loose and now I know why.  When I was adjusting them I left my wrench under the rocker arm thus giving me a false measurement and making the valve too loose once the wrench was removed.  Now everything is within spec except for my #4 intake valve.  It is currently at zero lash and even the smallest feeler gauge won’t fit under it.  I took it for another test drive and the engine ran smoother and felt more predictable.  Plus, it was both quiet at start up and quiet fully warmed up as I examined it in the garage after my test drive.  I still need to further investigate the #4 intake valve and have been reading up on other people’s experiences.  I did hear back from the previous owner and all he could remember was the engine and head was rebuilt to stock specs.

 

Switching gears, I saw the thread regarding the use of Kia weather strip seals again and was inspired to try this on my Z.  See the thread here -> http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/50845-just-did-the-kia-hatch-seal/

 

The rear hatch seal on my Z was far past its expiration date.  In addition a previous owner had added blocks of black foam to the hatch panel, possibly quieten the squeak of the hatch since the weather strip was no longer providing a cushion for it.  Needless to say it looked pretty sad and really started to bug me when I was trouble shooting my brake light issue last month. 

 

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Seeing I could get a new Kia door seal for $35 shipped I checked my local salvage yard and saw they had five 1993-2000 Kia Sportages in the yard.  After looking at all 5 vehicles I came up with 3 good door seals.  At a cost of $3 each the trip was well worth it.  As I checked out at the pay counter the guy even said they were some of the biggest seals he has seen that still looked good.  Definitely the most bang for the buck!  Below is a picture of what one looks with a can of spray paint for reference.

 

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Next came the task of removing the old seal.  It started out promising but quickly turned tedious as the old seal proceeded to come out in about 10,000 pieces.

 

Debris01.jpg

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Once done I attacked the ugly blocks of foam.  With the foam pulled off a very thick and gooey layer of adhesive was left.

 

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It took several rounds of soaking with professional strength Goo-B-Gone to get it off.  *NOTE: Professional Strength GBG smells and acts just like brake cleaner, protect yourself properly.  Once it was all gone the end result was some good looking original metal.

 

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With all the goo off I moved on to installing the new/used Kia weather stripping.  This is an interim solution as I plan to buy brand new weather stripping once I repaint the car in the future.  With that in mind I decided not to glue it down as the clamping force of the seal was pretty tight.  I used a passenger door piece that already had a 90 degree bend in the top corner so I started at the top left corner of the hatch.  Installing it was pretty straight requiring some patience to work it in and fully seat it with a couple of taps from a rubber mallet here and there.  After about 20 minutes I was done and the visual difference was immediate. 

 

NewSeal01.jpg

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Since this is a used part the seal is a little more collapsed on the right than it is on the left.  There is also a permanent impression in the seal where a panel pressed against it from the factory.  Overall the fit is very good considering the seal probably has 80K miles on it.

 

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A few small challenges presented themselves along the way, the first being a rip in the seal that was not noticed until I was 80% done.  I decided to wrap it in electrical tape for now.  Since the seal is about 2 inches too big I placed the cut below the lower strut mount.  The seal is very hard to cut through even with an industrial pair of shears.  Therefore my union did not turn out as pretty as I had hoped so I decided to cover it with some electrical tape as well. 

 

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All in all for $3 and a few hours of my time it was totally worth it.  Even with the imperfections, given the state of my old seal I will take function over form any day of the week, especially at a savings of $32!  I still have the 2 other seals and plan to replace the door seals in the near future.

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nice - huge improvement!

 

btw: the trick to cutting the seal is to use a utility knife and get between the metal ribs. the clip-on portion of the seal is made of many small metal ribs with a gap in between them where you can slip the knife blade. like cutting a rack of ribs between the bones...

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It has been awhile since I have posted an update on the Z.  Over the past few months I have completed a few projects but nothing ground breaking.  Back in March I noticed my front calipers were dragging and not releasing like they should.  At first I thought the clevis that links the pedal to the brake booster needed some adjustment.  I was careful not to back it out too much as I did not want the reaction disc to fall inside the booster.  With as much adjustment as I felt comfortable with and a quick trip around the block revealed that did not fix the problem.  I pulled the wheels off and could clearly see the pads firmly pressed against the rotor. 

 

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The pads were being pressed so hard that I could not turn the wheel by hand.  I was able to use a c-clamp and pull the pad away a little bit.  Once I did this the wheel would spin freely.  I pulled everything out to inspect it further and I could see the dust seals were showing their age and there was rust around the edges of the pistons.  Based on the appearance of the calipers it looks like someone sandblasted and painted them, installed new pistons and seals, but reused the brake hardware and bleeder screw.  I don’t know the history of the brake system on the car other than the previous owner installed new hoses just before I bought it and I had adjusted the rear brakes right after I bought it.  Oh well, time for new calipers! 

 

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I ordered a set of calipers from Advance Auto Parts as I had used their re-manufactured calipers in the past with good results.  Plus, they were the right price at $33/each.  On their site the brand is listed as Wearever but the boxes say OEM.  They included new hardware and appear to be well done by the reman. company.

 

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The pistons looked really good and the seals looked to be of high quality.  The reddish liquid you see in the picture is oil residue from the re-manufacturer.

 

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My only point of concern was the threads for the hard brake line fitting.  The driver side caliper’s threads looked a bit questionable but the passenger side looked just fine.  I did a quick test with an extra brake line I had and the fittings seem to go in just fine for each so I proceeded further.

 

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The install was quick and drama free.  With the help of my wife I got everything bled, checked for leaks of which there was none and took a test drive.  Since bad weather was closing in fast I only got in a quick lap around the block but everything seemed good.  Job done!

 

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Several weeks ago I had the Z out on a cruise that involved some of the quickest and most spirited driving I had done with the car.  Two items of attention quickly bubbled to the surface.  The first being that my diff mount was shot as I could hear the diff thunk and clunk as I shifted.  The second item was disappointing as I was advised by a fellow driver that my left brake light was not working.  It appears my fix to the turn signal switch from a few months ago did not hold up. 

 

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After some quick trouble shooting I confirmed the issue was with the turn signal switch again.  Knowing that I was tired of dealing with the old unit that had been messed with numerous times I bit the bullet and spent $140 on a restored swtich from a seller on Ebay.  He offered a 30 day warranty so I clicked Buy It Now and was in my hands within a few days.

My first impressions were good.  The entire mechanism was clean and properly lubricated.  The turn signal switch itself was super stiff and I was a little concerned the action was too tight.  The stalk had been cleaned and painted and the horn contact had a good dome of solder on it.

 

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The only point of concern for me was the mounting pin that is cast in to the switch assembly.  My original switch’s pin was in very good shape which made installing it a breeze.

 

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The pin on the restored switch was crushed pretty good.  Once this happens I don’t know what could be done to fix it but it was a little disappointing.

 

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Swapping the switches was quick and the newer switch mounted up just fine.  Once everything was hooked up I did a round of testing and everything checked out 100%

 

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I have driven the car around some and noticed my turn signals flash faster and the tightness of the switch has let up a little so all in all it was money well spent.

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With the Z’s brake lights working properly again I turned my attention to the diff mount.  I ordered a new RT diff mount the same day as the turn signal switch and both arrived on the same day.  I have installed this kind of mount before and knew of the challenges lay ahead of me.  The rear suspension of my car was rebuilt by the previous owner so I knew I should not encounter any rusty bolts.  However, the last time I installed one of these mounts I had all of the suspension out as well as the diff so access was going to be limited this time around.

 

A quick inspection revealed the original strap mount was shot and was probably original to the car.  It leaves me scratching my head why the previous owner did not install a new one when he had everything out.  I do know he did not put many miles on it after he put all the work in to it so maybe he never realized the ill effects it had on the car.

 

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After some wrenching and “speaking” to the car I got the old strap mount out.  A side by side comparison of the old vs. new shows just how superior the RT mount is.

 

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For those that have installed these before you know they are a VERY TIGHT fit.  Since the diff and drive shaft was in the way I used a small piece of wood and my floor jack to drive it in to place.  It was somewhat of a “ballet of persuasion” with my wife working the jack as I was using a rubber mallet to tap the mount until the holes were perfectly lined up.  After about 20 minutes and more “speaking” to the car all four bolts were in.  Another 15 minutes were spent doing some trial and error fitting of the mount.  I ended up having to cut 3 layers off the mount so that is fit correctly above the diff.

 

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The threaded bolt end of the mount and included lock nut are too tall and interfere with the parking brake mechanism.  As part of my trial and error fitting I cut the bolt down and used a short nut to secure it.  As you can see there is no room for a lock washer but there might be room for a star-washer.  The pull of the poly rubber mount should keep it in place.  I will double check it after I put some miles on it and if I see an issue I will address it.

 

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That is all for now.  Next up is looking over my carbs as the car seems to run a tad rich all the time and possibly installing the other Kia door seals in place of the door seals on the Z.

Edited by Hardway

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Hey Hardway that's a beauty.

So much detail work is what makes the difference.

I'm doing mine much the same as you but you have a much better starting point.

My car was in CT it's whole life and has been stored outside for the last 6 years.

I really enjoy your progress reports.

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I love your documentation style, and the thoughtful attention to detail.

 

Oh, and your car is a thing of beauty as well!

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Thank you for the compliments guys!  I really enjoy the documentation side of my projects on the Z and glad they are of use and entertainment to others.

 

SurferD, I know the boat you are in with your car as I was pretty much there with my previous 240z.  Check out the build thread for it here ->  http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/44963-the-lime-green-machine-restoration-thread-1972-240z/  

 

It had been a daily driver for several years when I bought it.  However it had essentially received zero maintenance except for a 2.8L/5spd/R200 swap at some point in its life.  My '71 silver Z is a living example of buying the best car you can afford.  My '72 was very much a project that ran and needed everything done to it, cost me $3,000.  My '71 is indeed a much better starting point but with a better car came a higher price, $9,500.  Is my '71 three times the car as my '72, probably so.  One thing is for sure, I have been able to drive more than three times as much as I did my '72.  Have fun and keep us posted on your progress!

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Thanks for the encouragement.

This fall/winter what started as a simple rear shock replacement became a complete disassembly of the all rear suspension and driveline components.

It's because I couldn't get the spindle pins out.

Everything was either media blasted or wire wheeled and repainted.

New wheel bearings and I used new hardware where I could or refurbished the old stuff.

Today I replaced both fuel lines because as I was putting stuff back they started leaking.

All the corossion on them made them so thin any movement caused cracks.

Hopefully in the next few weeks everything's back together so I can drive it again.

I have the same Appliance wheels you had on the 72.

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Edited by SurferD

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Nice pics SurferD!  I would recommend starting your own build thread and showing more before and after pics of your work.  We love this stuff and it keeps everyone motivated.  The black and silver color scheme of your parts is rather striking.  Good job on getting them prepped and painted so well as we can see the evidence of the rust from sitting outside for so long.  Your experience with the rear suspension is like all of ours.  A strut replacement project can turn in to the biggest case of "while I am it" syndrome. Of course since the rear struts are such a pain anyway it really makes sense to go all the way if you can.

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I just may do that.

I'm pretty active on the CT Z car club site and document stuff there a lot.

The diff strap brackets were so bad I couldn't use them after blasting.

I had a friend at a machine shop make me a set with bushings out of 316 stainless steel.

I have a serious case of "while I'm at it"!

Of course the fuel lines were a safety thing. I'm surprised they didn't leak before.

Everyone should check theirs for corrosion and replace if needed.

It's not easy but can save you from a bad leak or worse, losing your Z in a fire.

Here's a few of the crusty diff and shafts.

post-28032-0-96499500-1429201081_thumb.jpost-28032-0-01580100-1429201104_thumb.jpost-28032-0-02830300-1429201121_thumb.j

Edited by SurferD

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I had some free time weekend before last and wanted to tackle a few more items on the Z.  During the previous week I had received my Carter electric fuel pump, Holley adjustable fuel pressure regulator, and Fuel Lab fuel pressure gauge from Summit Racing.  I had used the same pump and AFPR on the old Lime Green Machine with good results so I went with them again.  The gauge is a non-liquid filled unit, is easy to read, and had good reviews.  All three pieces were around $80 together.  Add another $20 or so for the brass fittings from the hardware store and some new 5/16 inch fuel line.

 

I started by determining where to mount the AFPR.  I decided to use one of the existing threaded holes that originally held the external voltage regulator.  Next I assembled the AFPR and gauge using yellow sealing tape.

 

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I had been debating whether or not to keep the mechanical fuel pump since it appeared to have been restored by the previous owner.  As I remembered how long it would take to pressurize the fuel system and knowing it might hinder the performance of the electric pump I decided to remove it.  A block off plate was in order but I did not want something that was flashy or screamed "look at me".  A quick search on Ebay revealed a very nice but very plain block off plate from Z Car Depot.  It is a trick piece with a groove machined in to the back that holds an O-ring so there is no need for a gasket.  A few clicks of the mouse, $26, and 4 days later it was in my hand.

 

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Once it was mounted it seems to blend in perfectly with the rest of the engine.  The included countersunk screws finish off the install nicely.

 

BOPlate03.jpg

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Next I installed the AFPR and gauge setup.  Everything went as planned except I used all new hose clamps and saved the originals that had been re-plated.  The original style clamps certainly look good but they are a big pain in the butt to deal with.  For now they are bagged and boxed along with the original fuel pump and associated hardware.  Since I was only using one bolt to hold the AFPR in place I used a lock washer behind the bracket.  This securely held it in place and helps keep things tidy under the hood.

 

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With everything in the engine bay wrapped up I moved to the back of the car to install the fuel pump.  I located the original green and black wires that would have been used for a factory installed pump.  I double checked the ground continuity and all was good.  Knowing I would have to get power to the green wire I found the connector for it behind the radio.  The black wire of the connector is 12v key on so I used a simple inline fuse holder with a 7.5A fuse to complete the circuit.  Another check out back confirmed I had power to the green wire.  I retained the factory bullet connectors so everything could be serviced if needed.

 

Fuelpump03.jpg

 

Next up was mounting the pump itself.  There were three threaded holes in the structural support over the diff so I determined the hole to the far left was best.  The threads had been covered with under-coating so using my M6 X 1.0 tap and some WD40 I cleaned out the threads.

 

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Using a new bolt, washer, and lock washer from the parts collection along with the strap included with the kit the pump was mounted.  With new some 5/16 inch fuel line and clamps the plumbing was complete.  Wiring was a no-brainer and with the connections made and covered in plastic loom the install was complete.  I had planned to replace the return line as well but I did not have any 1/4 inch fuel line on hand at the time.  It is looking rather sketchy so it will be replaced sooner than later.

 

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A quick turn of the key to ON provided a pleasant whine from the fuel pump.  Once everything was cleared out of the way and fire extinguisher at the ready (you can't ever be too careful) I gave her some choke, turned the key to let the pump prime the system for a few seconds and started her up.  She fired right up with only two rotations of the engine and quickly settled in to a high idle.  This was a very welcome change as it usually took 7 - 12 rotations of the engine just to get the engine to initially fire.  I pushed the choke lever down and let the engine come down to a nice idle.  With everything sounding good I looked around both ends of the car to confirm I had no leaks.  With visual confirmation attained I turned the car off, let her back down on the ground, and took her for a test drive.  The test drive revealed more predictable throttle response and maybe a little more power but that could be my imagination intertwining with the satisfaction of my work.  For an afternoon's worth of work I am very happy.

 

I have few follow on items for this project.  In addition to replacing the return fuel line I plan to add a relay to the circuit as well as an oil pressure or impact switch for safety.  In addition I am going to look in to my carbs to double check their settings as the car's power seems to plateau at 5K RPMs.

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Your new fuse holder for your pump could be your "Dongle". Everybody wants one... :P

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With the fuel system up to slightly more modern standards and a few more test drives I have noticed a persistent tapping in the valves getting worse.  When the engine is cold everything is quiet and runs like a sewing machine.  However once the engine warms up the tapping makes itself known and gets louder.  Knowing that intake valve #4 will not go in to adjustment spec I knew this was the reason for the audible disturbance.  During previous valve adjustments I cannot get any clearance between the rocker arm and the bottom of the cam lobe even though the adjuster is lowered to its max depth.  After a few conversations with other Z owners and a local machine shop the cause is probably related to the valve seat.  It was either machined too deep or pressed in to far causing the valve stem to stick up too far.  Of course the only real way to tell was to pull the cylinder head.  This pains me since the engine was rebuilt less than 2,000 miles ago and was a big reason I bought the car and paid the premium for it.  Oh well, no sense in risking damage to the engine or any of its components so I bit the bullet and started on it Friday evening.  I used Blue’s excellent pictorial write up as a guide as well as lessons learned from Mike W who just went through this on his 260Z.  You can check out Blue’s write up here -> http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/39674-77-280z-head-removal-step-by-step-photos/

 

Since the engine had been recently rebuilt all of the fasteners came off with no issues.  The first to go was the carbs. While I have them off the car and on the bench I will go through them to perform the checks I had originally planned.  The domes will get some polishing while they are off as well.

 

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With the carbs off and access easier the beauty of the carbs and plated linkages become more apparent.

 

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Next was the exhaust manifold.  Once it was off I found a rather interesting issue with it.  Inside the manifold is a rock hard clay like substance that will not easily come off.  I have posted a separate thread asking about this.  If it turns out to be nothing I will clean the manifold and put a fresh coat of manifold paint.

 

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There is even some traces of it in the exhaust pipe.

 

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With the inspections continuing I noticed a piece of metallic debris in one of the holes in the oil spray bar.  Using a stick pin I extracted it from the hole.  It is debris like this that can cause a cam to fail.

 

OilSprayBar01.jpg

 

OilSprayBar02.jpg

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As items were removed all of their related hardware and fasteners was bagged and tagged along with notes.  As we all know this is key to making reassembly as painless as possible.

 

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Following the write up I properly marked the link on the timing chain. 

 

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Using the template found on Californiaparts.net I made my own timing chain wedge using a piece of 3/4 inch scrap wood.  I made sure to sand all the edges so it would not splinter in the engine.

 

Wedge01.jpg

 

Unfortunately when I went to install the wedge it would not clear the mechanical fuel pump cam even after trimming the corner off.  I had a conversation with Mike W and he said the wedge might be a little too long and advised take some material off the end. 

 

Wedge02.jpg

 

Sure enough with a half inch cut off and the end rounded off it went in.  I took my time with a mallet and half inch socket extension to hammer it in to place.

 

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Next came the moment of truth.  I have read about the horror stories of the chain tensioner plunger popping out when tension is taken off the chain.  Confident the wedge was firmly in place I removed the timing gear.  Luckily everything was quiet so the chain was laid to rest and covered with a rag.

 

Wedge04.jpg

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With the two front head bolts removed and bagged I went about breaking the head bolts loose.  Most were pretty but three in the middle on the passenger side did not feel as tight as the rest.  Anyway, all came out without issue and were laid accordingly.  I cannot tell if these are the original 40 year old bolts so a new set may be ordered just to be on the safe side.

 

Bolts02.jpg

 

With the help of my wife we lifted the head off.  It did not require any prying or persuasion.  A naked eye inspection seems to show the head is in overall good shape.  The intake valve on the #4 piston looks to be fine but the machine shop will give it a thorough inspection and diagnosis.

 

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The cylinder walls feel perfect but with the head off you can see coolant has been getting past the gasket since it has a small amount of rust outside of the gasket.

 

Engine02.jpg

 

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There is much discussion on which head gaskets work best.  Many people have great luck with Fel-Pro head gaskets just like the one on the car while others go with high performance pieces from Cometic and the like.  For now I am going to do some research and order the other gaskets I will be needing for reassembly.

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Thumbs up for taking the safe route and inspecting everything properly. No shortcuts here!

Sent from my iPizzle ringy dingy device....

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You may consider flushing the oil bar with carb cleaner until only clear fluid leaves.

 

Use the straw to spray into each hole as well as through the cam oil holes.

 

Flush forward and backward and hold the bar up at 45 degrees with one end on the ground/catch pan then do the same with the other end.

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Good idea Blue!  No telling what else might be hiding in there.  No time like the present when parts are 100% accessible to take care of small jobs like that.

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