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Old 05-04-2022, 03:36 PM
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Default Expensive 1bbl exhaust manifold

As I mentioned elsewhere the exhaust manifold on my recently acquired 1bbl 69 Firebird ragtop was cracked in a bunch of places. A search for an NOS or good used one went nowhere so I looked into welding but the only guy in town who has a good reputation told me I’d be looking at nearly a G note (almost a foot of linear crack-actually several cracks-to repair) with no guarantee and it would look awful.

Luckily I found on the local trader a pair of 68 OHC engines and a 2speed automatic for sale.

$800 dollars later they are in my garage. And one nice intake manifold for my car basically paid for the two engines. It has a different part number but looks identical other than a heat riser (which I removed and plugged).

Both engines are 68 model year (one early and the other late production), both are 1bbl auto trans engines. The seller was restoring a 68 bird. He rebuilt his engine (the clean looking one) but let it sit for 20 years. Now it’s seized. He found another engine (the dirty one) from a 68 LeMans with AC and was going to use that one but bought a 400 instead this year.

I figure I’ll dress up the clean one as a display engine and keep the other as a parts supply. Apparently it ran well.

Apart from the heat riser on the exhaust the other changes I noticed are the air cleaner looks different than the 69 and the 68 block has a different part numbers, likely related to the change in the coolant bypass? (69 doesn’t have that line going from the thermostat housing adaptor to the water pump.
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1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
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1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #2  
Old 05-04-2022, 05:55 PM
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I think a lot of us have gone down that OHC parts rabbit hole over the years.
I have bought several engines in the past just for particular parts.
'69 sort of mirrors '66 in as far as one year only design and parts.

I think that '68-'69 1BC breathers are the same across the board.

You are correct on the elimination of the by-pass as well as the shortened water pump shaft.

I'm glad you were able to secure an intake, even with the added expense your still ahead with all the reserve parts now.
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When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did, in his sleep.
Not screaming like the passengers in his car.
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Old 05-26-2022, 06:02 PM
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Just got my head back from the machine shop, changed a few valves that had stem wear (luckily found them NOS with the rockers (followers?)). Probably was running zincless oil. Gave it a shave of 10 to address a slight head gasket oil leak above the accessory drive area.

While the 68-69 Sprint air cleaners look identical it seems like the 1 bbl changed; 69 1 bbl looks like the sprint unit less the chrome once installed (as in the pic you posted) but the 68 units (the one I have and most pics online have the look of a downsized 68-69 2bbl V8 air cleaner with a pronounced outer lip on the lid.

Interesting that my 69 1bbl has a spacer at the thermostat housing that is basically a blind version of the 68 spacer that had the bypass fitting. Maybe it wasn't correct since my 69 Sprint doesn't have one and I can find no reference to it in the MPC for 69 model year.

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1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #4  
Old 05-27-2022, 05:48 AM
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FWIW I just scoured through all my files and found no '69 with water neck spacer/bypass.

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When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did, in his sleep.
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Old 05-27-2022, 08:51 AM
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Interesting, the head and block etc are all date matched originals but I didnt look for a date on the cam cover..

Two possibilities, one is the cam housing was replaced at some point or they did some interim thing since this car is a very early build.

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My Break Away Squad
1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
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Old 09-20-2022, 09:27 PM
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Engine back in and running well. Odd thing is I had to run the distributor timing at about 5 degrees instead of the specified 0 degrees. We double checked the cam timing and belt tension.

Doesnt ping so Ill leave it be.

With the 1bbl, 2 speed auto on the column it doesnt exactly ring car-guy bells but I think it has its own look with the factory wire wheel covers and the E70 white lines.
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My Break Away Squad
1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #7  
Old 09-20-2022, 09:32 PM
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Somehow managed to lose the PCV breather pipe (from oil filler tube to air cleaner) during the eight months the engine was out. If anyone has one for sale I’d be happy to buy it.

I checked the MPC and 69 is one year only (9794883) but I can’t image the 68 one being much different (9791993). In both cases they are the same for 1 bbl and 4 bbl engines).

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My Break Away Squad
1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #8  
Old 09-21-2022, 04:48 PM
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Did all these come with the ball-type vents in the dash or was this originally an A/C convertible car?

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Old 09-21-2022, 07:44 PM
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Ball vents are all 68-69 and 67 AC cars

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1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #10  
Old 09-21-2022, 07:46 PM
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This car is early production so it has the early style ball vents and the non-angled headrests

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My Break Away Squad
1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #11  
Old 09-22-2022, 06:29 AM
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Glad you have it all back together.

You might try reaching out to Rob (WOODLAND MOTOR SPORTS)
He may have a Tube.
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When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did, in his sleep.
Not screaming like the passengers in his car.
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Old 09-22-2022, 02:41 PM
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Thanks Jeff, would you happen to have contact information for him? I found a number on line but it’s not function.

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My Break Away Squad
1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #13  
Old 09-22-2022, 04:47 PM
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The second image above shows his current contact info, on the side glass of his Cammer Wagon.

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When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did, in his sleep.
Not screaming like the passengers in his car.
  #14  
Old 09-22-2022, 09:39 PM
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Sorry Jeff, I’ll never make detective! I was wondering why you posted the wagon pics, duh!! I should have looked!

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My Break Away Squad
1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
  #15  
Old 09-23-2022, 05:00 AM
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Someone posted this on an old thread in the 70-72 section I started. Thought you guys would enjoy seeing it. By the quarter trim Im guessing its a 67? LeMans Sprint two door hardtop with aftermarket moon dogdish, probably just came in as a three year old trade in.

Dealership is in downtown Portland Maine so survival is unlikely. We get several months of road salt a year and lots of salt air the rest of the year with prevailing on shore wind.

Interestingly that building is still there and it was originally built as a Studebaker franchise. Today its a yoga studio or something like that but the Studebaker crest up top is still there.
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My Break Away Squad
1969 Fbird (Base, 350 & Sprint Cvts - TA Hardtop)
1969 LeMans (4dr Hardtop & a Cvt)
1969 GTO (a Cvt, 2 Hardtops & Judge Hardtop)
1969 Catalina (3 Cvts & a 2dr hardtop)
1969 Ventura 2 Seat Wagon
1969 Executive 4dr Sedan
1969 Bonnie 3 Seat Wagon (2 of them)
1969 Bonnie Brougham (4dr Hardtop & Cvt)
1969 Grand Prix SJ (2 of them)
1969 2+2 2dr Hardtop (Canadian model)
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