Sitting 17 yrs... - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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Sitting 17 yrs...

 
Old 03-12-2019, 06:51 AM
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Default Sitting 17 yrs...

Picked up a 96 Z28 1LE yesterday w 28K miles. It has been sitting in a barn for all of those years started and driven occasionally. Fired right up, idled nice, excellent oil pressure, runs cool while idling and driving ( about 5 miles). Get it back to the guys house and while idling I attempt to run AC ( Yes, 1LE's had AC in 96/97) Did not kick on? Nor did it seem to draw power..? In watching the compressor ( which was very rusty) the front hub would spin intermittently, but no noise or screeching.. I cannot remember if the fans kicked on or not? The coolant temp began rising above 220-230 while sitting their idling upon my return. I shut it down, allowed to cool off for a min and popped the radiator cap and the coolant spilled out of the overflow..? Also, checked oil and it was clear and ONLY oil...

Initially I checked the coolant and it was full ( looked more like water. I also checked the overflow and there was no sludge on the long plastic piece.

I am picking up the car Thursday and will begin working on it this weekend. First order of business is

1) change oil, filter. ( looks to be a small leak from the filter gasket)
2) drain, flush, refill coolant
3) clean out radiator fins, condenser, etc..
4) change fuel filter

What else should I look for? How can I test the fans as I cannot remember whether or not they came on?

Thanks in advance.



,
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:26 AM
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I would charge up the AC with a can of refrigerant as the system is probably empty if its been sitting for a long time. The compressor will run intermittently if the system is low on refrigerant. From what I know the fans come on around 220*. The fans have a relay thatís should be checked. Pull the relay out and jump it with some wire or paper clip to test the fans.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:56 AM
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I bought an old M5 with stupid-low miles. Here's my advice. Don't know what your plans are with the car, but after sitting that long and driven that little, expect to find loads of fluid leaks and air leaks. Rubber in particular does not like to sit that long without use, which keeps it flexible. Even under the best of circumstances, dry rot is an issue you will be dealing with. Check every - and I mean every - rubber line under the hood and under the car. Plan on replacing a lot of it. If the car sat that long with fluid in the radiator and block, don't even bother with the radiator. Replace it. They're cheap and you will never get it to flow as good as one that's been used regularly. Pull the water pump and inspect the innards for corrosion. Change the thermostat. Pull the knock sensors out of the block and with the water pump off - flow and back-flow the entire system until the water is clear. Once that is done, put the heater to full hot, disconnect the heater lines and do the same thing. Put it back together with good coolant and a proper mix and bleed bleed bleed. Put new oil in it and run it for about 100-200 miles, then dump it and change the filter and you're good. Do the same with the trans and diff. Change fuel filters and then run a double-dose of Techron in a tank to work on the injector baskets in the hopes you don't have to service them too.

Hope that your rear main, front crank seal, and some other key seals / gaskets don't start to leak once you start driving it. Plan for it, but hope it doesn't happen.

FWIW, I spent about $4k getting the M5 road-worthy after sitting for years.

Edit: obviously change the tires immediately.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:30 AM
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Thank you for the detailed response. Man, I can easily remove the WP and replace with a new GM one as well as a Radiator. I am just scared to death to get water on the Opti... As I stated.. there is NO MISS when idling and driving the car. Runs, drives, shifts very nice... I guess if I drain the entire system, perhaps place a towel over the opti not much water will get on it once removed... Also insuring the little gear drive shaft is lined up when I reinstall. Any advise on those things?
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:33 AM
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As said, rubber seals may need to be replaced including valve seals. If the compressor is engaging it could mean there's pressure in the system, but maybe not enough refrigerant for cooling, or the compressor itself is just jacked and needs to be replaced. Check to see if there are any leaks on it underneath from dye. Pressure in the reservoir could mean a blown head gasket where cylinder pressure is only leaking into a water jacket and not getting mixed in the oil, or the hoses for the coolant return and reservoir ports on the radiator are reversed. Your fuel pump may die soon, as well. If it were me I'd address the coolant pressure thing first, then A/C, put fresh oil in it and drive it. Replace seals as they start to let go.
Change out that coolant ASAP if everything checks out.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SS RRR View Post
As said, rubber seals may need to be replaced including valve seals. If the compressor is engaging it could mean there's pressure in the system, but maybe not enough refrigerant for cooling, or the compressor itself is just jacked and needs to be replaced. Check to see if there are any leaks on it underneath from dye. Pressure in the reservoir could mean a blown head gasket where cylinder pressure is only leaking into a water jacket and not getting mixed in the oil, or the hoses for the coolant return and reservoir ports on the radiator are reversed. Your fuel pump may die soon, as well. If it were me I'd address the coolant pressure thing first, then A/C, put fresh oil in it and drive it. Replace seals as they start to let go.
Change out that coolant ASAP if everything checks out.
Bro... Wow... Man, I did not want to hear of a blown head gasket... I know the chances of seals leaking was a definite possibility now or down the road. I do not think the WP has ever been replaced nor have the hoses been removed...? I did notice band clamps on the hose going from radiator neck ( by cap) and the hose had a plastic insert joining the hoses together. Looked as though a rodent nibbled through the hose. Also chewed into the air bellow but not all of the way through. It also had a band clamp at the bottom where it looks to go into a igh pressure hose?? As I said I am picking Thursday and will be able to better describe what is going on... Could the T stat be stuck? Initially when I started the car I let it run for 5, 10 min while looking at it... temp didn't get over 190... If the fans are inop would that cause the coolant to go through the overflow once I remove pressure from cap? Please... Tell me more.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:00 PM
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You can test the fans easily by causing a DCT that turns on the check engine light. If it still has the air injection thing pull the fuse and the fans should come on. I think unplugging the MAF or the O2 sensors will cause it too.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:59 PM
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Could be a faulty cap. Replace it since it's cheap. Could be the reservoir is also filled too full. You can test the blown head gasket theory by getting a coolant pressure tester from any auto parts store (can usually rent it) and don't put more pressure than (I think) 19psi, which I believe the radiator cap is rated for. Let it sit with that pressure for a half hour and see if the pressure remains constant. If not, pull the spark plugs and rotate the engine (by hand) and see if coolant start spilling out of one of the plug holes. Do the pressure test when the coolant is 100% at ambient temperature.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:00 PM
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IIRC, the overflow tank is pressurized to 18 psi before the cap lets go, so pressure in the tank is normal. Increasing pressure of the coolant increases its boiling point. Also, these cars are not considered "overheating" until 230. The fans kick on at 220 I believe - someone will chime in if I am wrong. Do check (or just replace) the cap, as SS RRR said. Note: ANY air bubbles in the cooling system will lower the boiling point and increase heat in the coolant. Make sure any nibbled hoses have been replaced and that the cooling system is air-tight.

The opti gets a bad rap. Its not made of glass and it is far more durable than you're led to believe on the forums. Nobody comes on here to post about how reliable theirs has been - you only hear about them when they go ****-up. FWIW, there are loads of people running optis for 100-125k with zero problems. Especially a 95-96, which is when GM vented them. In short, a little water won't hurt. Opti-running cars are driven in the rain quite frequently. 1996 is pin-drive on the opti, so it is pretty easy to install. No need to worry about splines.

AC: rent some gauges from Autozone and see what your system pressures are. I'd bet most of your freon has leaked out over the years.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by atlantadan View Post
IIRC, the overflow tank is pressurized to 18 psi before the cap lets go, so pressure in the tank is normal.
It's not. Port on the radiator for reservoir is above the spring loaded seal of the cap. However the port for the coolant return line is just below the seal.

BTW, hopefully your radiator doesn't look like this, OP.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:19 PM
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Bro, it looks NOTHING like that!!

Replacing cap is easiest... I'll start there... Thank you and stay tuned.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:59 PM
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Quite welcome. That pressure tester I mentioned earlier also has a way of testing the cap. That should be your next step.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SS RRR View Post
It's not. Port on the radiator for reservoir is above the spring loaded seal of the cap. However the port for the coolant return line is just below the seal.
Interesting. My radiator doesn't even have a cap. Yet another difference between b-bodies and f-bodies
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:00 AM
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Purchased a new cap yesterday... Picking up car tomorrow... Will update progress.. Thanks guys for your time, candor.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:04 PM
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Radiator cap replaced.... That was the culprit... She drives cool...….. Going to begin a progress thread on this car. Washed, cleaned it a little today. No compound or wax yet... Not bad for a 23 y/o 4th gen....


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Old 03-15-2019, 04:19 PM
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Love that color. Same as mine, but in hideous condition.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 01Z0H6 View Post
Radiator cap replaced.... That was the culprit... She drives cool...Ö.. Going to begin a progress thread on this car. Washed, cleaned it a little today. No compound or wax yet... Not bad for a 23 y/o 4th gen....
ive always loved the guy-liner camaros over the LS1 models. Just meaner lookin to me.

Originally Posted by SS RRR View Post
Love that color. Same as mine, but in hideous condition.
Thats makes 3 of us then. but mine might be a tad darker....or maybe its not and it just seems that way cause i never wash it cause, hah! the hells the point?
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:07 PM
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Very Nice Pickup
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TheUrbz View Post

Thats makes 3 of us then. but mine might be a tad darker....or maybe its not and it just seems that way cause i never wash it cause, hah! the hells the point?
IIRC there was a medium quazar blue and bright teal metallic that looked very similar especially in pictures. Mine is btm. Iím thinking the one in this pic is as well?
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SS RRR View Post

IIRC there was a medium quazar blue and bright teal metallic that looked very similar especially in pictures. Mine is btm. Iím thinking the one in this pic is as well?
Yes, 73U... Bro, post some pics of your BTM SS... There was also a MTM... Mystic Teal Metallic...
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