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Newbie Questions / Rant!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by skink4president, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. skink4president

    skink4president Registered Member

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    Go into my new K-5 this weekend, a 1973 350/TH350/NP203 12-bolt rear/Dana 44 front, and discovered that the previous owner was certainly more concerned with the trucks cosmetic appeal than he was with the maintenance of the Drivetrain!!! One of the cylinders was misfiring so I did some typical tune-up work and housekeeping. While under the truck I noticed that the "small oil leak" was more than that and had coated nearly every inch of the drivetrain from the oil pan on back with the typical layer of grime and road grunge. It also would appear that the transmission pan as well as both differentials are leaking fluid.

    In addition, the starter has been grinding for a while now. The noise is gut renching! The previous owner (again, I've only had the truck for two weeks now) claimed the flywheel/flex plate was in perfect condition but the, "damn guys at Advance Auto Parts keep selling me the wrong starter". I haven't pulled the cover to check but I think the problem is more than just the starter.

    Soooo, my list of questions:

    1)If I yank the oil pan do I also have to re-seal the timing cover? If I've gotten this far should I also just replace the main seals?

    2)Can I replace the flex-plate (it is a flex-plate and not a flywheel, right:confused: ) without dropping the transmission?

    3)Cosmetically speaking, was everything Chevy Orange in the '73's?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance!
     
  2. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    My 86 had the same coating of oil on the undercarriage, yurned out the oil filter wasn't tight.

    1) not sure.

    2) no, at least not easily. It's not too hard if you have a tranny jack. If you don't have one, rent one. You need to remove the dustcover, unbolt the torque converter, then slide the tranny back so you can reach the bolts holding the flexplate to the crank.

    3) chevy orange is cool:D
     
  3. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Welcome to the club.....

    Nobody seems to like the "previous owner" of thier rig. I bought a K5 that had a fresh 427BBC in it. Shortly after I bought it, the engine destroyed itself, and that's when I discovered that it was a 396 with a standard crank, not some hybrid 396/454crank setup like the guy said... :mad:

    That kind of crap will always happen, especially on your "first" K5. You just don't know enough to find all the problems before you already own it.

    Anyway.... I don't remember about the timing cover needing to be re-sealed. I tried to pull the oilpan off my BBC while it was still in the truck and I had to completely remove the engine crossmember to get the pan out. By the time I was done, I think the leak was worse than when I started.

    You can remove the flexplate (Flywheel is for manuals, Flexplate is for Autotrans) by unbolting the tranny and driveshafts and sliding the entire tranny/xfer case back a few inches. Just rotate the flexplate by prying on the teeth (gently against the tranny housing) with a prybar to rotate the bolts down into position and remove them. You might want to inspect the teeth just by "bumping" the starter around once or twice....to make sure that there really is a problem before doing all that work.

    Chevy orange IS cool...I don't know if it was factory in '73.... go to www.slosh.com and look at the factory brochures. That site is run by a member here (dremu) and is one of the most complete sites I've ever found for factory literature.


    .
     
  4. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    It sounds like you could take care of the first two questions by pulling the motor. This would allow you to replace the flexplate, check the starter engagement and replace the various seals and gaskets that are leaking.

    To answer your first question, when you pull the oil pan, you only need to replace the oil pan gasket. The front of the oil pan seals against the timing cover. You will not be required to replace the timing cover seal and block-to-cover gasket. If they are leaking then that is a different story.

    It just so happens that this weekend I pulled my oil pan and replaced the gasket and rear main seal. I did this without pulling the motor, but my flexplate is not in need of replacement.:D

    Gravdigr is correct........Chevy orange is COOL!:saweet: I would bet that in orange was still the factory color in '73. It wasn't until the late 70's sometime that they went to the blue color.

    :waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:
     
  5. skink4president

    skink4president Registered Member

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    Thanks! My previous vehicles we're either late '70's or early '60's and both were manual transmissions so I've never had to mess with an automatic transmission and was unsure about the flywheel v. flexplate thing.

    Unfortunately, I've promised my wife that the Blazer wouldn't "be like the other cars". Meaning that I wouldn't pull the engine and "turn my carport into a junk yard and if you think you're tracking grease across the new tile to wash you filthy hands in my kitchen sink you can just drive that thing back to where you found it.:mad: " She's relly a great girl but been subject to several of my project cars and spent countless hours of her life waiting for me outside various auto parts stores.

    For now I'm religated to projects two days in length so most everything will need to be in-vehicle repairs.
     
  6. eds77k5

    eds77k5 1/2 ton status

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    after 4 years i am still straightening out things the previous owner did and it will probably be another 4 years before i completely straighten it out:D
     
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    try shims first....

    Its possible to change the flexplate without pulling the tranny completely out--I've done it a few times by putting long bolts in place of 2 bellhousing bolts,and removing the rest,and the crossmember or adapter,shift linkages and possibly the tranny cooler lines if they dont have enough slack-then drag the tranny and tranfer case back on a floor jack--then you can get a box end wrench in there and loosen the bolts holding it to the crank(its a pain to get at them,especially re-installing them--but it beats lifting the tranny back up into place alone..

    But I'd make certain the teeth are stripped on the flexplate before changing it--if they look good,you can probably get away with another starter,properly shimmed if nessasary..I've "cheated" on more than one chevy to avoid changing a flexplate,and had satisfactoy results..It might be the gear on the starter drive thats worn,more than the flexplate teeth..I've seen lots of starters that were too far away from the flywheel,even with NO shims!--and had to file the nose down some to obtain the correct clearance....

    If your taking the oil pan off,its not a bad idea to change the rear main seal if its leaking--but many chevy motors leak out of the rear of the intake where it meets the lifter galley,and oil runs down the back of the motor,making it appear to be the rear main seal leaking,but its not--valve cover leaks and a leaky oil pressure sending unit can do the same thing--again,look closely before leaping in !!...many times the rear main gets blamed,but its not the actual problem!...(and its a suck job to do for nothing!)

    As far as I can remember,it was 1977-78 when GM engines "turned blue"--until then they were chevy orange...it marked the beginning of metric fasteners,thinner castings,and weaker 10 bolt axles--anything to lighten up the vehicles for higher MPG and lower emisions--and lower life expectancy and more frequent parts failures too,unfortunately..

    I'd leave the oil on your undercarriage--its a good anti-rust treatment--and it will wash off by itself soon enough and allow rust to start,so dont rush removing it--it'll only make it rust faster...:crazy:
     
  8. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    Saw a bumper sticker the other day. It went "my wife told me if I baught this car she was leaving me. Sometimes I kinda miss her." :grin:
     

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