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Restoration Advice

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
This topic is to discuss your planned restoration or a project you are working on at the moment.

Maybe you're a "rookie" and need some advice on how to proceed in general...maybe you're already knee-deep and wondering if someone has some better ideas.

Let's hear about your plans or your progress!


  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Thanks for the link!

    In general, with a vehicle like this that hasn't been driven daily (or probably even weekly) for several years, what should I do prior to jumping in it and driving it home (a distance of approximately 60 miles)?

    I went down this weekend and put a new set of tires on it, and filled it with fresh gasoline. The oil level looked fine (but dirty), so that'll probably be one of the first things I do when I get it home. The coolant looked to be mostly water, so I thought I might take some antifreeze and siphon out some of the current coolant and add in some antifreeze to try to ward off any overheating problems as best I can. Driving it yesterday to get the tires put about 25 miles on the truck, and it seemed okay; of course it has no gauges other than speedo/fuel, so I won't know if it's overheating until the idiot light comes on.

    I've mapped a route that follows secondary roads, so I can keep speeds well below those of the Interstate. I'm planning to go get it early one morning next weekend before things heat up too much (and my wife will be following me, just in case). What else am I forgetting?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,518
    How about a car like my fintail...which realistically needs everything to be perfect, but does pretty well as-is.

    The brakes and tires both on it are now maybe 7-8 years old...those'll need to be done sometime. I had the coolant flushed this year and the transmission serviced a few years ago. It's got some kind of small oil leak, but it's so minor I won't bother spending what will surely be a grand to fix it. When it gets hot it smokes some, but not enough to notice on the dipstick, so I just ignore it...I suppose she'll need a valve job sometime. There is barely any rust and the body is a good 10-20-footer, so I am not too concerned there. The interior is also pretty sound.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well you might want to check over the hoses and belts very carefully. Also as soon as you can, flush the brake system out and put in fresh fluid. I know that's a pain but it's really important.

    But for the trip, carry some water at least in case you bust a hose. You can drive home on battery power if you break an alternator belt but you'll need water if you have a leak.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,644
    does your El Camino have? IIRC, that year you could get the 229 V-6, 267 V-8, or 305 V-8, all of 'em Chevy units. I know you could get the 350 in '78-79, but I dunno if it was still offered in 1980, as GM really started cutting back their larger displacement engines around that time. And I'm guessing it's not an Olds Diesel, because, well, it probably wouldn't still be running if it was. :P

    The Chevy smallblock is a pretty good engine, fairly durable. I'm not suggesting you test this out, but they'll survive overheating much better than most modern engines will!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You could run that engine without OIL for half a mile I bet. They are tough and not sensitive to overheats either.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    It's the 229 V6. According to the owner's manual there was also a 231 (Buick) V-6 offered, but from what I can tell those were only offered in California (probably to meet that state's emissions requirements, and since the 231ci/3.8l engine was probably already cleared for car use, it was easier to drop that engine into the El Camino than to make the 229 compliant.

    From a little more research I've done on the Web, it sounds like my bigger concern will be if the truck rusts in half before I get it home! :)
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Got the El Camino home in one piece; the only major problem I've noticed thus far is a coolant leak (probably the water pump from what I can tell). Once I get the coolant problem fixed, it looks like I'll have plenty of other things to keep me busy: shocks, water leaks around all the glass (I discovered at the car wash on the way home), valve cover gasket leak, etc. But overall the truck is in pretty good shape. The AC cools just a little, but is clearly low on freon; I'd love to get that fixed first so it would be more comfortable to drive, but I figure I'm better off getting it in good running condition before I burden the engine with the AC running.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,644
    with the 229 V-6. Its water pump went out in the summer of 1989. My Granddad replaced it for me. I don't think it was really that major of a job. The 229 sits back pretty far from the radiator, so there was plenty of room for him to work as I recall.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Probably the front and rear windshield gaskets are all hard and dry. You can often cure this type of leak by buying some black LATEX caulk and spreading it on with a wet finger...and then just sponge off the excess....don't use that horrible black silicone stuff, it just makes a mess.

    Water pump is easy, valve cover is easy (don't use sealant, just buy a new gasket and spread some white grease on the gasket, then apply it...and don't tighten the valve covers very tightly or you'll bend them (maybe someone has already) and it'll never seal. Shocks are easy and cheap and the AC should be dealt with by a shop specializing in AC. They'll test for leaks as there is no sense putting expensive R12 in a system that's going to vent it in two weeks.

    You're only $500 bucks away from a great ride sounds like.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    My folks came up for a visit today and my dad and I took a closer look at the El Camino. There does appear to be plenty of room to get at the water pump, but I want to get it up on my ramps and look underneath to see if I can tell for certain that that's where the leak is. Hopefully that's the case; if so I'll probably replace the radiator/heater hoses as well just to elimate problems down the road.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I'd actually thought about caulk, but I absolutely would have gone with silicon instead of latex; thanks for the tip on that!

    When I backed it into the garage this morning, I noticed a trail of red fluid as well...thought it was transmission fluid at first, but my dad and I checked it out and it's power steering fluid. Don't know if that's an easy fix or not, but for now I'll just make sure to keep the fluid topped off while I tackle the more pressing items.

    I posted a few photos on my CarSpace page, but I'll try to post one here to give you an idea of what the truck looks like:

    imageSee more Car Pictures at
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hmmm...I actually like the lines of that car! Why is it riding so high in front? That should be corrected.

    Red fluid? Well before you tear into anything, check the RETURN hose (the low pressure hose) on the power steering box. That's a simple fix.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Riding high in the front could be due to the truck sitting on an incline in the photo, poor front shocks, OR more likely the air shocks on the back could have gone bad. I haven't tried putting any air in them yet, so it's possible they could be faulty and riding lower than normal.

    When my dad was up yesterday he watched under the hood while I started the truck and turned the wheel from side to side; he said the fluid was leaking out of the top of the steering box, like maybe there was a seal or something on top of it that was leaking.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ewwww...that's not a good sign...this could be your biggest problem that you might save for last.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,644
    just make sure you get it fixed right away, and don't do like what I did with my '68 Dart and drive it for a few years with it broken! :blush: By the time I finally had some money saved up to get the pump fixed, the steering box itself was pretty shot, so I had to get 'em both replaced. I think it cost about $150 for the box and pump (out of the junkyard, from a mid-70's Dart) and another $150 for my mechanic to put it all together. Considering I let it go like that for about 45,000 miles, I guess I got off pretty lucky.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,518
    I am sure it is a completely different system, but my fintail used to leak from the top of the power steering box, and over time the leak got pretty bad. The seals were wasn't a terrible job to have done by my old MB specialist, I am pretty sure no more than $200.
  • I live in S. Calif. the exterior of my 75 SL is in mint condition. However there is oil leak and the engine is running like a 4 cylinder. Anyone knows a place to overhaul the engine and whatever needs to be done so it can return to its prime time. Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490 might need to think this over. Overhauling a 450SL engine would cost more than the entire car is worth ($10,000--$12,000). I don't mean to be discouraging but only want you to know what you're getting into.

    Maybe all you need is a good tune up and valve adjustment?

    First off, I'd have a cylinder leakdown test performed on the engine. Using those results, if it indicated dead cylinders, you can decide if you just want to do a "top end overhaul" (just the cylinder heads), which would be okay if the bottom end (rings) were holding compression....or...if the top end and bottom end are worn out you could consider a lower mileage USED engine installed...

    But if you let some Mercedes shop start taking apart your engine and you have to bore the cylinders, etc., you are going to be shocked at what this will cost you.

    So get the "facts" first...that is HARD DATA...not someone's opinion....and then let us know what the leakdown test says (it will be expressed in "leakdown rate" for each cylinder, and the mechanic can interpret, from the test, where the primary problem is).

    good luck with it...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 49,518
    I'd do an engine transplant if the unit really is bad. A good used 450 engine would certainly be much less than an overhaul. Or be really smart and drop a M103 in there...there was a Euro W107 with the M103 so I am certain it would be very easy, and then you'd get longevity, economy, and maybe even better performance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    there are a lot of 450s being salvaged right now, since when they are damaged in collision they are immediately totalled by the insurance companies (too expensive to fix relative to their value). I just appraised a 450SLC that was rear-ended, and it's being totalled. It only had 74,000 miles on the engine.

    So get that leakdown test and if it's bad news, start looking for a good used engine asap, would be my advice.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Considering my El Camino is leaking oil, coolant, and power steering fluid, I'm wondering if there is a generally accepted plan of attack when bringing an old vehicle "back to life" that has been sitting in storage (or used sparingly) for an extended period of time. It occured to me that if I simply go after the "biggest leak first" I could waste time doing some things twice. For instance, my inclination is to replace the water pump, belts and hoses first; but are there other things I should simultaneously (of before)?

    I'm just looking for the most efficient/logical way to approach this to avoid doing things twice. I realize this is a very broad question, so if anyone can direct me to a resource (book, website, etc.) that could get me going in the right direction I'd appreciate it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    If you want to be really efficient, I'd throw out this idea, which at first might sound horrifying: pull the engine and just keep in on the can reseal it (front and rear engine seals), do the pump, etc, and then the power steering and front end is such an easy shot. You'll learn a lot, too.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    The only way I could do that would be if I was single, and as I'm married I'd quickly become single if I did that (at which point I could probably only afford to drive the El Camino, since I'd have to sell my good car to maintain my ramen noodle supply)!! :D

    Seriously though, you're absolutely right, that would not only make working on the engine much easier/efficient, but would also make dealing with the power steering and such easier too. To go that route I'd have to find somewhere else to store the body, since I don't think my wife would give up her side of the garage, and I don't have any place outside to store it. My lot is terribly sloped too; I could probably erect a storage building of some type in the back yard and work on the engine out there, but I'd have to have some type of powered crawler to move it out there and back.

    So assuming for now I'd probably be better off (both financially and maritally) having some of the big jobs done professionally, and taking on some of the smaller stuff myself, would there be a logical list of things to have a shop knock out first/at one time?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,644
    it was leaking oil from the front seal, valve cover gaskets, and rear seal. Looking back I don't know why I did this, but I took it to a different place from where I normally went. I think it was because they were open on Saturdays and I wanted it done fast. Well, they came back with an estimate of $1700 to fix all the leaks! :surprise:

    That was enough to shake me back to reality. I ended up taking it to my regular mechanic who checked it out. I remember he did the valve cover gaskets and front seat, plus put on belts that I had bought (this sucker had 4 of them) for about $230. As for the rear seal, the mechanic simply said it wasn't worth fixing. Not leaking enough. He didn't give me an estimate on it, though; he just said "A lot" :sick:
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I've got to take the El Camino in at some point when the weather cools down and get an estimate on getting some things like that done to it. My former 1982 F350 had the same rear seal problem; I never got it fixed because I had receipts from the previous owner which showed they'd spent a relatively huge amount of money to get the seal replaced (and of course it didn't last forever). It didn't take too long to do the math and determine it was cheaper to add a quart of oil every now and then than it did to get the seal replaced again. But if the front seal can be done without pulling the engine, and I could get the water pump and valve cover gaskets and such done all at once, that's probably the best way for me to go.

    If I had a stand-alone shop somewhere I'd love to tear into it myself, but at this point in life I just need to get it in good driving shape as quickly as possible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You can do the front seal without pulling the engine, but you will have to pull the radiator, etc. and without air tools it could be *real* fun in there....
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,644
    You can do the front seal without pulling the engine, but you will have to pull the radiator, etc.

    Actually with a 229 there might be enough room to work in there without pulling the radiator. At least, I remember my Granddad doing the water pump in my Malibu and having plenty of room. Now a couple years later when I did the water pump in my '69 Dart, I pulled the radiator for more room, because the slant six took up a lot of fore/aft space.

    I'm guessing though, that if you can get the water pump without pulling the radiator, you can get the front seal? When the mechanic did the front seal on my '89 Gran Fury, I dunno if he pulled the radiator or not. Considering that it was around $250 or less to do the valve cover gaskets, front seal, and the labor for the belts, I'm guessing it wasn't TOO labor intensive on that car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's so easy to pull the radiator, I can't imagine why you wouldn't do it. It makes the whole thing much easier and it's a perfect opportunity to have the radiator checked out, and a good time to inspect the hoses outside AND inside for deterioration.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Actually I'm thinking I should probably pull the radiator and send it out to have it checked/cleaned, and will need to replace all the belts/hoses anyway. With the radiator, fan and such out of the way I can probably more easily attack the power steering box too. I'll still take it in to my mechanic to get his opinion on the condition of the vehicle before I put too much time/money/effort into things, but assuming he doesn't find any problems I'm not already aware of, I think I may at least give it the old college try! I can also get an estimate of what they'd charge to repair it, so if I do go it alone I can convince my wife that I'm saving money (it seems to work when she buys shoes)!! :D
  • jbt66jbt66 Posts: 1
    I inherited a 1966 Chevy pick-up and plan to restore it. It has not been started in years and I am still in the information gathering stage. Any way to find out if the hydraulic dump bed it has was a dealer installed option, how many others like this may be around and how to initially start the process?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I didn't see a dump bed on the options list in any of my books on Chevy pickups of that year. I'm not sure it much matters if it's factory or not, regarding value. It's a neat feature in and of itself but rarity does not necessarily mean more value in classic cars and trucks....especially in items of utility.
  • Hi,

    I just bought a 1967 Rolls Royce and the self leveling system is disabled. I am getting wildly different quotes from mechanics as to how much it wil cost to fix it - from five to ten thousand dollars - and also as to whether it is a major or optional repair, some say don't dare drive it until its repaired, yet the system was disabled for over ten years before I bought it.

    Does anyone have any advice or comments on this? The front and back systems were disabled at different times from what I understand from the previous owner. I have also heard that Rolls cars from 1965 to 1967 had difficulty with the self leveling systems.

    I would appreciate any coomments anyone might have.Thanks. Vernon Stepp, Kansasville Wisconsin
  • I have a 1975 Mercedes 450 sl. I did not know when I purchased the car that this particular model and year has significant fuel issues. I have replaced a ton on this car and as we speak it is in the shop again. Here is the problem when I drive the car sometimes when I Park on a slight incline the car will not start and stay running. The ignition turns over ok but the car acts as though it is not getting enough gas. Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so what was the solution. I have replaced the computer the fuel pump and vacumn lines? thanks alex
  • Here's a long one, but I'm a rookie and would appreciate it if you pros could bear with me and offer some advice. I'm looking for some help with what to do with my '72 Chevelle convertible. I don't have the time or knowledge to work on it myself - there's too much to do - so I'm trying to figure out how much it will cost and the most efficient way to get it fixed.

    First, here are some of the problems:
    1) the engine (350 V8, rebuilt 15 years ago) has been leaking oil for some time - bad - and I recently lost compression in one of the cylinders (100 psi in #3, ~140 psi in the rest, if memory serves), but it was running well before this
    2) general overhaul of the brakes is needed
    3) doors hang on the hinges (about 1/2"). They latch, but won't close properly
    4) we did the body work about 10 years ago, and its still in pretty good shape (other than the doors), but lots of small scratches. Also, the work wasn't top quality - paint looks great (still), but some of the lines could be sharper. Basically, I'd be looking for bondo work other than the doors.
    5) I don't know how to really judge the condition of the frame, but there is some rust.
    6) Interior could use some work - carpet is faded, driver seat needs to be re upholstered, door panels could be replaced

    So how much could this cost to fix if I take it to shops and get it done separately, and how much if I get it restored? I'm not looking for a show car, and don't need all factory parts or anything - I want this to be a good looking and (relatively) reliable everyday car.

    My thoughts on cost for those things initially were:
    1) replace the engine - $3000-5000
    2) brakes - $2000
    3) doors - $1000-$2000
    4) bodywork and paint - $5000-8000
    5) frame - I'd leave this alone unless I did a restore
    6) interior - $1000-1500

    I guess that totals to around $12,000-18,500, from my estimate. I would guess that a restore would be $20,000-30,000, depending on the condition of the frame, but with better results. Of course, I pretty much pulled these numbers out of the air (which is why I need your help).

    My questions are:
    a) are these estimates reasonable? and for the individual problems I mentioned?
    b) would it be better/cheaper to simply rebuild this engine, rather than replace it?
    c) does anybody know offhand what options I have if I replace the engine? is it possible/easy/affordable to put a 454 in there?
    d) obviously each shop is different, but any idea how long I could expect everything to take?
    e) I live in southern California, would it be cheaper for me to take my car to Nevada or somewhere else that might have lower labor rates to get it repaired?
    f) anything I forgot to mention, obviously missed, or need to find out to get better help?

    If you made it this far, thanks for your time and patience. Any advice more experienced folks could give would be greatly appreciated, as the sooner I know what to do, the sooner it will be done, and the sooner I'll be cruising down the PCH with the top down.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think your numbers are pretty darn good except for:

    interior---this will cost you more

    doors ---I don't see re-hanging the doors and or replacing the hinges as costing as much as you think

    brakes --- might not cost quite that much, depending on whether you need new brake lines (rust issues) and condition of the drums, etc.

    The BIG problem with your entire plan is this rusty frame business. I would myself hesitate to put a cosmetically restored body and interior on a rusted frame, as this will devalue the car considerably. of course I don't know what you mean by "rust". If you mean surface rust, well this is just a matter of spending a week or two in misery under the car wire brushing it off and re-painting it as best you can---it won't look great but it will look better than what you have.

    But if the frame has actual perforations from rust, especially where the body attaches, this is an ugly thing that needs addressing with a body lift possibly. If the rust in the frame is forward of the firewall, you can do a "front-clip" restoration....just pull off all the sheet metal forward of the windshield, as well as the engine and trans of course, and clean up the frame that way. You'll have a sweet looking engine bay that way, too.

    Otherwise, if you aren't prepared to attack the frame, I'd just do the engine and interior and clean up the body as best you can for now until you're ready to tackle it properly. A badly rusted frame will devalue your car 50% at least.

    Anyway that's my two cents and yes, a good "street restoration" of a '72 Chevelle ragtop will be worth about $25K....add a few K for the 4-speed if you have one and a little more for the 175HP 350/V8. The 1971s are generally worth more $$$ as you know.

    But it's a great car and will always be worth fixing up---but I 'd hate to see you have to do over again. The front clip resto might be a good compromise, depending on where the frame damage is and how bad.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    1) the engine (350 V8, rebuilt 15 years ago) has been leaking oil for some time - bad - and I recently lost compression in one of the cylinders (100 psi in #3, ~140 psi in the rest, if memory serves), but it was running well before this
    If you are fairly mechanically inclined, you can resonably rebuild the engine. Check this site for rebuild kits.
    I have used this company for several years for most the classic Chevrolet engines I rebuild.

    To add:
    If this is the origianl engine, DO NOT replace it.
    You are better off rebuilding the original engine.

    2) general overhaul of the brakes is needed
    Most of thses parts are readily available from NAPA or any other name brand parts store.
    Total overhaul of the brake system can range around $1500.

    3) doors hang on the hinges (about 1/2"). They latch, but won't close properly
    The hinges are an easy replacement.
    This site has replacement hinges that are a direct bolt on.
    Hinges are about $60 each. Figuring 4 hinges, $250 plus shipping. I have used Bob's Impala's for a lot of products.

    4) we did the body work about 10 years ago, and its still in pretty good shape (other than the doors), but lots of small scratches. Also, the work wasn't top quality - paint looks great (still), but some of the lines could be sharper. Basically, I'd be looking for bondo work other than the doors.
    Find a good body shop that can do the work. Ask for referances and work they have done on similar vehicles.
    Your figures for the body work seem in line.

    5) I don't know how to really judge the condition of the frame, but there is some rust.
    You can do most the work yourself. Knock off any flaking rust and use products from this company.
    Eastwood is one of the leading automotive restoration products company.

    6) Interior could use some work - carpet is faded, driver seat needs to be re upholstered, door panels could be replaced
    Southern California has some of the nation's top interior/upholstery shops. Again, ask for referances and vehicles that they have worked on similar to yours.
    As for some of the interior parts, again, see this site.
    Carpet kits range around $150
  • Thanks for your help 0patience and Mr. Shiftright. Time for me to put the information to work...
  • I have a "57 chevy that came from the factory with power drum brakes. I installed a power front disk kit and since then my brakes have been horrible. I have good brake fluid flow to all four corners, 19 in. of vac. at an idle, have tried another new master cyl. and another new power booster but nothing has helped. The brake pedal is rock hard, near the top and only travels about a half inch. Even when I bleed the brakes the pedal only travels about a half inch. If I take the master cyl. off I can easily push the brake pedal to the floor. When I bench bleed the master cyl. the piston moves about 1 1/4 in. No matter what I try the brake pedal remains high and rock hard, as if the booster wasn't working. Any ideas?
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    When the pedal is high, it is usually an indication of mis-adjusted brakes. Are the rear brakes drum?
    If so, is there a proportioning valve installed?
    Do ALL of the brakes release or do they drag?

    With the engine shut off and the booster bled (no vacuum in it), how do the brakes feel?
    Who's kit did you install?
  • The rear brakes are drum, and there is a proportioning valve. The brakes do not drag at all. The brakes are rock hard when car is off and there is no vacuum. I have tried 3 master cylinders, and 2- 7" dual diaphram power boosters. Yesterday I installed a new proportioning valve. The vacuum is 19" at an idle. Since installing the new proportioning valve I seem to have good power brakes the first time I hit the pedal, if I take my foot off the brake and hit it again right away it is as if the power booster isn't working and I have to stand on the brakes to get the car to stop. Any ideas?
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 2,081
    The brakes do not drag at all. The brakes are rock hard when car is off and there is no vacuum...I seem to have good power brakes the first time I hit the pedal, if I take my foot off the brake and hit it again right away it is as if the power booster isn't working and I have to stand on the brakes to get the car to stop. Any ideas?

    That sounds like a vacuum leak either from a line or a "T" fitting.
    Click edit profile. Click Signature Settings. Type your vehicles in Signatures box. Click Save.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    I'd have to agree with omarman,
    It sounds like either you have the vacuum hose hooked to the wrong port on the manifold, the check valve isn't working properly or you have a leak in the booster.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Me, too. Vacuum supply problem.
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,092
    Might he be able to check a vacuum problem by pushing on the brake pedal without the master cylinder bolted to the booster? If the pedals drops to the floor, there's a vacuum problem. If the pedal's firm, then a linkage/push rod problem.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I don't have a solution but I do have a question...

    Why would you want to make that 57 Chevy non original?

    Oh, I know, the disks are far superior but the original drums with power assist weren't bad either.

    I love old cars but I'm one of those guys that with the exception of seat belts likes them stock.

    Just curious that's all...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    There's a growing trend...a WAVE actually, to use and enjoy classic cars, and this requires upgrading brakes, suspension, etc. As long as no holes are drilled and the old parts are kept, no harm done to the car or its value.

    The only justification for keeping an old classic with stock brakes, tires and suspension is if you are showing it to be judged. Otherwise, to suffer awful braking and handling, or chronic overheating and bad radio reception for the sake of authenticity seems, to me, and to a lot of other car enthusiasts, as something just a bit too fanatical.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Because I happen to think that when driven sensibly as one would think old cars would be that the origianl equipment brakes and suspension would be more than up to the task.

    I don't think braking was **that** awful nor did I see many cars overheat unless something was wrong.

    I just hate to see an old car "Mickey Moused" but, that's me.

    These are weekend drivers, not urban battle cars.

    Holes do get drilled and old cars become something other than what they were.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    I see your point. A lot of purists would prefer that they be kept stock.
    But there are a lot of companies now that are making direct bolt on kits for brakes, transmissions, rear ends and fuel injection.
    Most of these kits do not harm the original parts of the vehicle and can be restored easily to stock.

    I've done several modifications to add fuel injjection and they don't harm the vehicle at all.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Well, if the car can be returned to stock it wouldn't be so bad.

    But, these aren't usually daily drivers. I just don't understand why people feel these mods are necessary?

    A well tuned carb works just fine. Don't tailgate people or try to take turns at excessive speeds and all of these conversions are totally unnecessary.

    These people shouild just use their daily drivers for this.

    At the car shows, I am always attracted to the "survivor" cars and not the "Trailer Queens" that have been over restored or the cars that have been Mickey Moused

    er...modified to make them "better".

    But, again, that's me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well of course one must be sensitive to modifications but I do believe these mods are necessary. For instance, a '57 Chevy CAN easily go on modern freeway....but....but...when that brand new Volvo in front of you stops with its 4-wheel power disk brakes, you'd better be about 20 car lengths behind.

    And really, manual steering on a 60s muscle car is no fun whatsoever, and tons of engine heat wafting throught the firewall on a summer's day isn't either.
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