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Jack Leslie's 1957 Sedan Delivery

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1980 301 removal and replacement of cam, lifters and timing chain

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Hi All 

here is my story on my 1980 Firebird TA that I have had since new. Everything is original except the water pump. I drove it on weekends and nights for the first 11 years. then after putting a car seat in the back, I cried and stored the car in a garage. I would start it up once in a while and drive it around the block. then about 2 years ago, I pulled it out and got the front end, exhaust done, carb rebuilt, new belt, hoses, new gas tank, etc.

I then had an issue with the car overheating and bogging down. found out that it was the ICM in the distributor and removed the new Chinese after market part with a new GM type. this seemed to work. Then I was going to drive it up to a transmission shop to get it overhauled. as I drove it out of the garage and up the Highway I heard the lifters tapping. so after the transmission got overhauled I stored the car in the fall and slowly started to remove the engine to get to the cam and lifters. My son installed the cam and lifters yesterday and now I will slowly try and put the rest of the engine back in its place. Wish me luck as I have never taken an car engine apart or visa versa.

I have put some pictures up so you can see the progress.  

I have a question on painting some of the parts. what is the best method to remove grime and grease and have it ready for painting. I plan on doing one coat of heat primer and at least 2 or three coats of GM  blue paint?








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I assume you are doing a rattle can re-spray of your engine.

1. Scrap off all the grease, dirt, and grime off that you can get to. Use putty knifes or stiff brushes here.

2. Use engine degreaser like Gunk or some other heavy duty degreaser to break up the greasy/oil bits

3. Wash off the engine with a high pressure hose or power washer (cover up areas to prevent electrical shorts or water getting into the engine)

4. Allow engine to dry

5. Take rags and a wax and greaser remover to all parts of the engine you can reach. Wear gloves to prevent your finger oil from being re-applied to the clean parts.

6. Apply your primer (wear gloves)

7. Apply your paint (wear gloves)

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Thanks all for the quick and enlightening responses.


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