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Resto Tech - January 2014

Reader's Chevrolet Restoration Questions

Mark Lundquist Jan 29, 2014
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Atomic Blast
I am writing in reference to the MSD Atomic fuel injection installation featured in the March 2013 issue of Super Chevy magazine. The article does a good job of explaining the advantages of the system and the step-by-step coverage really helped me understand the installation process. However, I have a couple of questions you might be able to answer. I plan on installing an EFI system on my stock 1957 Chevy Nomad with a 350 V-8. The addition of a quality EFI system with its drivability qualities would go a long way toward improving the old-fashioned carburetor idiosyncrasies. First, does the hand-held control unit need any outside connections other than plugging it into the control box? Second, can the hand- held programmer be mounted inside the vehicle for monitoring? And last, can the system be programmed while driving the car? Thanks in advance for your reply.

Matt Stevens
Via email

Thanks, Matt, for your Atomic EFI questions. We had a blast installing it. First, the hand-held programmer plugs directly into the EFI control box. No other connections are needed. Second, the programmer can be mounted anywhere in the car with optional extension cables that come in lengths of 2-, 4- or 6-feet. As you can see in the above picture, ours is mounted by Velcro on the center console of our '65 Chevelle for easy access. Yes to your third question. The system can be adjusted on the fly while driving. All programs are available for adjustment while mounted in the car. In fact, the test Chevelle we used for the install was experiencing a slightly elevated coolant temp compared to the old carb. A slight fuel ratio adjustment at cruise brought down the temp to the normal range. The initial set up was a little too lean, causing a hotter burn so the ratio was enriched by .5 percent to bring it in line. Below find the MSD part numbers for the optional extension cables.

PN 7782-2ft extension
PN 7784-4ft extension
PN-7786-6ft extension

Tag Team
I need help. I have a 1970 Nova SS, which I have owned since 1994 (and prior to that my Grandmother owned it since 1973). I recently had a body shop replace the dash panel due to rust where the dash panel meets the cowl. When I went to pick up my car I noticed that the VIN tag was still on the old panel they removed and was not transferred to the new dash panel. The body shop owner said they are not allowed to transfer the VIN as that is illegal. Even though the car matches the rest, the local DMV wants to put a new VIN decal on the body where the door striker is and keep the original VIN. Having this new VIN decal probably makes the car lose value. How can I have the VIN transferred legally? How can I obtain Rosette rivets? How do restoration shops replace dash panels and keep the original VIN? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Via email

Unfortunately, Jesus, since the original VIN plate was removed you are probably stuck doing exactly what your state DMV suggests. Removing the original plate without a plan and original rivets can be problematic to be sure. I'm not sure what state you are in, but I can tell you that California wants to see the original VIN on the dash and the VIN sticker on the driver's side door that was installed at the factory before you can register an out-of-state transfer. I see nothing wrong with the DMV adding another VIN plate on the door jamb. You might consider saving the original receipt from the body shop showing the dash panel replacement and all pertinent paperwork you receive from your DMV. With the proper documentation I seriously doubt the work will affect the value. If you want original style rivets to reattach the dash VIN plate, try the J. M. Murphy Co. at www.rivetingsolutions.comor at 877-389-2469.

Vibration Without Representation
I have a 1976 Stingray that had a Turbo 400 trans. During the rebuild, I switched to a manual transmission. It is a Muncie four-speed, flywheel, bellhousing, etc. out of a 1969 Camaro with a 350. Now I have serious vibration at almost all rpm. Do I need a different flywheel or a different balancer. Summer is waning and I would like to enjoy driving this car soon.

Scott Hefton
Via email

Thanks for the letter, Scott. Let's see if we can help. We are assuming you are working with a small-block V-8, perhaps a 350, and since all early two-piece rear main seal V-8s are internally balanced, something has disturbed your rotating assembly. My first thought would be the wrong flywheel. Several other issues could be causing your situation. Bent drive pulleys or damper can also cause a problem. On one occasion, after chasing a vibration, we found the damper had been bent on the front sway bar after this engine had been tilted during a transmission removal. A few simple procedures can help locate the offending component. With the car parked and the clutch pedal out and trans in neutral, rev the engine from idle to about 4000 rpm. This will tell us if the flywheel, pressure plate and disc are in balance. Now push in the clutch and repeat the first step. If the vibration goes away you probably have a bad clutch disc. If the vibration is still there, the flywheel or clutch pressure plate is suspect. If the vibration is so severe it rattles your teeth, I would highly suspect the flywheel. The small-block 400 cubic inch engine uses an externally balanced flywheel and it is common to get the 350 and the 400 flywheel mixed up. Sometimes the transmission is blamed for vibrating, but this is highly unlikely since the gears are precision machined so for a gear to vibrate it would have to be severely deformed causing major shifting and engagement problems. Since the only thing that you replaced were the flywheel and clutch assembly, I really suspect the flywheel is your culprit. Keep us informed on what you find. Vibrations like this can really make a car unpleasant to drive.

Got a restoration question that's been puzzling you? Send it to:

[ m ] Super Chevy, Resto Tech, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. [ e ] [ f ] 813-675-3557



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