PEELING BACK THE ONION
Well In the words of the late Paul Harvey (1918-2009)…”And
now for the rest of the story”….The onion we were talking about last time got so big it had a name of its own…Yes
the motor needed a complete internal make-over as well as a good cleaning and paint job…Oh according to Bill Douglas
the motor wasn’t “junk” but it was a “hurtin puppy”. The
frame, oh yes, was sad…just about every mount hole was bad and there were some interesting dents underneath leading
Bill to think somebody ran the car off the road at some point in its life. So
plates where welded on and evened out…frame sanded, primed and painted. The
exhaust manifolds which Bill blasted before shipping out to Jet Hot came back and looked like new.
Next was the arrival of the new water pump and oh yes the power steering
rag-joint coupler was broke and had to be replaced. Did I forget to mention that
back in 67 GM was having a problem with the motor mounts due to the engine torque and the initial fix was a safety lift stop
cable which I had on my Camaro. Well when Bill pulled the motor we found that
both of the motor mounts were cracked. Good thing I had the fix in place!! So
new motor mounts were ordered and installed.
So after all this we finally got the sub-frame done, installed the motor
and tranny and into the car it went….The under carriage had already been cleaned primed and painted. At this point it was slowly and methodically putting Humpty Dumpty back together. Bill then took the Driveshaft to Montrose Machine in Wakefield, MA to be shortened and balanced.
Parts blasted, primed and painted including the air cleaner and the radiator
the end was looking close. A few bits of Bill’s magic to make things work
without destroying the original parts was all that was now needed. However, to
save the original shifter I ordered one from ShiftWorks out of New York which fit just nicely and retained all the looks of
And yes the day finally came when we were ready to take the car to D&S
Transmissions in Chelmsford, MA for the pressure tests to initiate the 700R-4 warranty.
From there it was a tweak here and a change there to get the car shifting and running smoothly. One more thing…one night Bill was reading the paperwork that came with the tranny and found in order
not to void the warranty he had to install an inline filter on the return line and run it for a minimum of 100 miles to be
sure no lose debris got into the transmission.
Now with the warm weather here I will be putting the car thru its gentle
paces to break the motor and transmission in. Speaking of break-in the machine
shop gave me six quarts of Joe Gibbs Racing Break-in Oil to be used for the first 500 miles.
And being the curious sort of person I contacted (via email) the Techs at Joe Gibbs Racing and asked about the oil
and what to use after the break-in period. To my surprise I ended up exchanging
a few emails with the famous Lake Speed Jr. He told me that the older motors
need the zinc that is in the break-in oil as well as the JGR regular/synthetic Oils and gave me a recommendation for use once
the break-in period is over. So that big ole onion finally got completely
I would like to thank the following folks:
and foremost Bill Douglas for his professionalism, wisdom and his patients with me
Speed Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing
Chandler, Bowtie Overdrive
Gardner, Gardner Exhaust Systems
folks at Jet Hot Coating
at D&S Transmissions
at Precision Machine and Balancing
Byrnes, Montrose Machine, Inc.
all of Bill’s friends who came by the garage day after day for their humor and comments