1968 Bel Air Diagnostic Test - Playing Doctor

Sneak a Peek Under the Hood and Between the Framerails

Mike Harrington Nov 2, 2006 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0607_diagnostic_19_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Antifreeze_and_flush_kit 1/35

Let's back flush the radiator. Since the car has only been in my possession for a week there is no way to know if it has ever been done. The radiator appeared to be in great shape, so there was no need remove it or take it to a radiator shop for hot tanking or replacing. While at the auto parts store, we picked up a basic back flush kit from Prestone.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_20_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Back_flushing 2/35

Back flushing the radiator is pretty straightforward and simple. Just follow the instructions on the back flush kit and you will have no problems. This would also be a good time to replace that thermostat-housing gasket.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_21_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Filling_radiator 3/35

Lastly, fill her up with a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_22_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Engine_bay_cleaning 4/35

Since the driveway is a big mess, let's make it messier, shall we? One of the best ways to make a diagnostic check on the engine is to thoroughly clean the engine bay. How does that help? Well it makes it easier to spot any of those mysterious oil leaks that seem to plague old engines. We used a biodegradable cleaner on our engine bay. Some of the more caustic cleaners, running down the gutters, might not make the neighbors happy, not to mention, the EPA.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_23_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Valvetrain 5/35

After the engine was cleaned, we spotted a small leak coming from one of the valve cover gaskets. We pulled off the valve covers and had a look. The valvetrain looked to be in great shape, no gummy residue build up was present anywhere under the covers.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_24_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Gasket 6/35

It just so happened there was a set of Mr. Gasket valve cover gaskets collecting dust in the garage. So on they went.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_26_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Gasket_sealer 7/35

After scraping the last of the old gasket sealer off the heads, a thin layer of silicone sealant is spread on the new gaskets; no need to go overboard with the silicone sealer, a little dab'll do ya'.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_28_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Valve_cover_gasket 8/35

Try 'em on for size. Batten down the valve covers, and that's one more task to scratch off the list.

Sucp_0607_diagnostic_29_z 1968_chevy_bel_air Timing_light 9/35

This next tool has got to be the most useful of the bunch-a four-in-one pro timing light from Equus. When the engine is not running, simply hook it up like any regular timing light and voltmeter to obtain an accurate reading of the battery's current strength.

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