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November 4, 2006

Burnout Ladies

At the GRM $2006 Challenge I saw a particularly crowd pleasing burnout. Observe:


November 1, 2006

my car is not a camaro

Occasionally I will hear someone say "nice Camaro"... or more likely, "nice Camero".
I've also heard "check out this purple mustang" and "is that a charger?" or similar.

It's the camero comments that sting. The Camaro is a handsome vehicle, and I very much enjoy it, but my car is a Pontiac, dambit.
I was at Buffaloe tire, getting wheels balanced, and the clerk asked me what year/make/model my car was so he could write it on the invoice. He was looking at my car at the time. I said "1968 Pontiac Firebird". He wrote down "1968 Chev. Camaro"

So, just for the record, my Firebird is exactly like a Camaro... or camero.
Except for the engine, transmission, rear differential, brakes, interior, exterior, it is exactly the same.

We focus today on the rear axles. I have a new one :)
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I'm trying to get rid of vibrations. This particular vibration is barely noticeable most of the time, but it's been there a long time and I don't like it. I hope this fixes it. The RR axle is slightly bent. Over time, it will cause the bearing to go bad. I can see the wheel hopping if I run the car in gear with the rear end up. It's done the same thing through a couple bearings, two engines, 2 transmissions, a balanced driveshaft, a replaced axle housing, and a replaced differential unit... oh, and numerous sets of wheel/tire combos, but this is the first time i am fixing a bad part hoping to specifically address this odd vibration.

I must say that "west coast differentials" at http://www.differentials.com/ were very helpful.

Unfortunately the first axle they sent didn't fit.
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You should see two boxes. One is being sent back for credit. The axle has a "Sierra" brand sticker on it.
The one which does fit has a "Tom's Axles" brand sticker on it. Apparently they creatively kick ass.
WCD is taking care of me on this swap.
Please also visit the site i wish I'd found first:
oops. ummm. here: http://www.tomsdifferentials.com/

A camero axle is uncomplicated. Remove diff cover, remove C-clip, slide out old axle, slide in new one.
A Firebird axle is more complicated... and stronger. It's held in by bolts instead of a C-clip. Camaro owners will sometimes simulate this by buying a "C-clip eliminator" kit.
None of this is important right now.

What is important, or at the very least irritating, is that my car blocked the driveway for two days instead of two hours.
and i got to use my shop press too many times.

The "sierra" axle looked correct, so i went ahead and
removed/destroyed the bearing from the old axle in order to get the bearing retainer plate off.

Pressed in new wheel studs
Slipped the retainer plate on
Pressed the new bearing on
Pressed the inner bearing retainer on
and attempted to slip the new axle into my differential.
It didn't fit.

The splines (toothed gear-like end) were not cut right. It looks like the cutting tool must have been worn out because the teeth were just not deep enough.

WCD sent me the different brand after verifying non fitment/fitment of what they had.
I removed/destroyed the NEW bearing off the NEW unfitting axle in order to get to my bearing retainer plate again, and did the whole procedure over again... plus pressing out NEW wheelstuds just to press them back in the good axle.

Now I get to head up to the UPS store to return the bad axle for credit. I won't really know if the vibration is gone until I get new tires and go on the highway at a sustained 70mph. Having plastic beads hanging from the rearview will help tell me if the vibe is gone or not. bzzzz...bzzzz....bzzzz
I hope i don't have to fabricate an OE style vibration damper for the new 4spd tans. Prob'ly'll have to dammmit. At least the bent axle is fixed.

two new tires come today. two more come after i get the credit return on the axle.