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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:19 PM
Original message
DU weekend mechanics check in here!
Yesterday, I replaced the valve-cover gasket on my '65 Chevy. It took me a little longer than I expected and I got really filthy doing it, but I think it'll stop a slow oil leak that I've had for some time. I'll know after driving it a few days. The gasket cost me $8, but I figured I saved about $100 (I had asked a couple mechanics what a job like that would cost).

Next week, if the weather permits, I'll be doing a complete tune-up...

Any other DUers work on their cars this past weekend?
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Bled the brakes on my wifes car
She said they felt a little spongy. She sent me an email that they felt much better today on the drive in to work.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. My hat's off to you...!
I've never worked with the brakes, except with a friend who was a mechanic. I've been doing tune-ups and minor repair work off and on for decades (enjoy the $aving$ and sense of accomplishment), but don't feel too confident about the brakes. I mean, if I mess-up a tune-up, the worse that can happen is I get a rough ride and lousy gas mileage (unless I so something really stupid like forget to refill the oil). However, if I foul-up a brake job I might wind up in someone's living room! Maybe some day I take on the brakes, but for now I take my car to a mechanic when it needs brake work...
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not this past weekend...
but I did some electrical work on mine a couple weekends ago. I have a couple of valve cover gaskets sitting in the garage that I need to put on when I get a chance, but it's been pretty hectic.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Yeah, I know...getting to the job is one thing...
But once you start working and when you finish, the sense of accomplishment is very rewarding (also the savings in doing it yourself!)
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Gold Metal Flake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Finished up this job...


I pulled the V8 from the wagon to replace the seals and gaskets to stop several leaks and to change the timing set and the water pump. This past weekend I stopped by the junkyard and got a few things and finished it up. Runs great, no leaks. The Rabbit truck in the background is a work in process. I pulled the engine and the block and crank are at the machine shop. I have to go out now and get started pulling the dash so I can change the heater core.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Southern California has great weather for weekend mechanics.
I lived there for most of my life (Long Beach area). A little different here in the mid-west. It seems like you have to plan routine car maintenance around the seasons, if you don't have a big enough garage. My job on Sunday took a little longer than I had anticipated and it was starting to get a cold when I was finishing up. The idea for me is to complete all my routine maintenance before the snow and ice come and hope nothing breaks or wears out until next spring...
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. *The* valve-cover gasket?
Six-banger? :shrug:

Otherwise, I was gonna ask if you used spreader clamps with the bolts. Small-block Chevy valve covers are notorious for leaking in the center because the four bolts don't put enough pressure there. So you need the clamps to take up the slack. The good ones look like this:





I need to work on mine right now or tomorrow. Noticed an odd metallic noise today that I first thought was a wheel bearing, but since it did it once while standing still, I'm pretty sure it's the alternator fan ticking against the bracket.

Here's my '65, btw:



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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Nice-looking car!
Here is what my car would look like if I had the extra money to restore it:



1965 Chevelle Deluxe 300: Straight 6, 3-speed.

Sorry for such a small picture, but it's the only one I could find on the internet that looks like mine (same color except mine has significant body rust and some dents). The engine is the smaller of the two Chevrolet manufactured for that car that year.

Thanks for the advice about the spreader clamps. I'll check into them. It shouldn't be too difficult to add them now the gasket is installed and the cover is back on.
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. I don't think you need them for the 'Blue Flame 6'
Doesn't it have six valve-cover bolts, or am I remembering wrong? I haven't worked on one in like 30 years. :shrug:

Yours look kinda like this?





Need anything for it? I have some odds and ends laying around, plus quite a few links to OEM parts houses. :hi:

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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-26-06 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Remarkably similar!
Mine doesn't have the chrome "extras" (wheel well trim and the fin down the center of the hood), but other than that, it looks just like my car.

The bolt arrangement for the valve cover is 4 bolts on port side; 3 on starboard. There are some small triangluar "washers" (they look like a shallow "V") that I assume protect against the bolt ripping through the cover over time.

Thanks for the offer of parts and links! I have gone to this site from time to time:
http://www.chevelle.com/catalog /
...and have their catalog. I thought I might use it to pick up some minor parts (for example, the knob on the driver's window crank broke off) and see how that works out. Eventually, I will need to replace some of the sheet metal (floor pan, trunk, rear fenders) that have major rust problems, but those projects are a long way off.

I worked with a guy a few years ago (who now works for Harley-Davidson in Kansas City) who told me the best thing to do for fenders and such is go to auto-salvage yards somewhere in Arizona or the southwest that has little or no humidity. One could find old parts that are virtually rust-free and more true to the dimensions of the orignial products. He said at times replicate parts might not offer the best fit or have the quality the originals do.

Some days I'm really gung-ho about restoring my Chevy; other days I happy it just gets me from point "A" to point "Z".
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. I drove a couple of rolling toolboxes
But I gave that up. After 1980 I'm lost, your 65 I could take apart and put back together with my eyes closed.
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. Pulled the pistons from my Olds 455
I'm keeping the block, crank, and maybe the rods.
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