Category Archives: Car repair

This Old Camaro

Pretty nice car in the shop today, a 1968 Camaro.  This one belongs to my father-in-law, he’s been slowly restoring it over the years, and it’s about there.  I would have to say it’s nicer now then the day it rolled off the assembly line in Norwood, Ohio.  At least all the panels fit better!

68_CamaroRestoring these cars is very doable, mostly because they were made of steel.  You can straighten or repair anything made out of steel.  Makes you wonder how they are going to restore a modern ride that’s mostly plastic and electronic black boxes.

This car has two safety innovations for the time, seat belts and a dual chamber master cylinder for the brakes.  Before this date, it wasn’t unusual at all for a car to lose all it’s brakes due to a leak in the hydraulics, hitting buildings and rolling down hills…. the sixties and seventies were almost hilarious but for the fact that it was you rolling down the hill…. and needless to say the handbrakes weren’t any good either…. and cars didn’t have seatbelts, and why are we still alive?

picture of 327 CamaroThis car has a 327, 3 speed manual shift, and no power steering or brakes.  The worm and roller steering took some getting used to, it took some muscle and quite a few turns of the wheel to get it into the shop.  It may not be the most comfortable car in the world, but it is an adventure!

Engine under the windshield blues…

There is nothing worse than a mechanic who complains. There are plenty of wise sayings, such as “It’s a poor workman who blames his tools…” or other such nonsense to put a mechanic in his place. However, modern cars are getting to be a real pain, and thank God I will be retiring soon…. not!

One thing you notice upon looking under the hood of almost anything with a longitudinally placed engine, you see that at least a third of it is under the windshield. It is pretty obvious that engineers today are being beaten with iron bars to package everything in a tidy small space, and that they believe that their engine is never going to break. Ford is worse with their Super Duty line of trucks, the cab has to come off before you can do almost anything to the motor.

The last four cylinders are under the windshield…

That being said, I guess the positive things to consider are weight distribution, packaging, how hard it is to manufacture, and last but not least, trying to keep the truck’s length under 40 feet. I, for one at least, would like to be able to actually touch the last two spark plugs. (Note: spark plugs are one of those things that GM says you will never have to change. Good luck with that.)