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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to start a fresh thread on this, since the old one is mostly broken images now, but you can find it here:

https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?3760997

In short, my 1986 Pontiac Parisienne Safari (8-passenger wagon) was my first car, which I bought at 16 in March of 2000. It was last registered in 2006, and about a year after that I started on the idea that I would restore it. After many years of fits and starts, I was finally able to make time for a burst of major reassembly progress this year. I hosted these pics on flickr, so hopefully they'll stay up for awhile.

Parts ready for reassembly:



New lines installed on the frame:



Body mounts installed, ready to join the body and frame:



A look underneath, before joining the body and frame:



Body and frame joined:



Rear upper control arms installed, ready to install the axle:



Installing the rear axle:



Rear axle and suspension installed:



Rear brakes assembled:



Ready for rear wheels:



Sitting on rear wheels:



Completed rear end:



Engine and trans ready to install:



Engine and trans joined:



Engine and trans installed:



Front control arms, springs and spindles installed...this was the hardest part of the assembly process so far:



Same thing on the passenger side:



Front suspension and steering complete:



Another view:



Front rotors/hubs and wheels installed:



Right side:



Left side:



This is the first time in about 10 years that this car has had four wheels and an engine!



I'm hoping that the first start will happen by Spring 2019. For those who are into old V8s, I would be interested in your input on how to handle starting an engine that was rebuilt 10 years ago and never started. It was in reasonably clean, dry storage with a blanket over it, and I occasionally spun up the oil pump with a drill and turned the crank over by hand a few times. Otherwise, nothing has been done since the day I assembled it. I just pulled the valve covers and everything under there still looks like it did when I put it together. My main concern is with the cam and lifters (flat tappets). It's all stock stuff, no mods, but I've heard stories about flat tappet cams failing during break-in. I'm thinking I might pull all the lifters out and put a glob of that special flat-tappet assembly lube on the bottom of each lifter before the first start. Or, maybe even pull the whole cam out. I did use the special lube when I put it together, but 10 years later I imagine it's no longer where I put it. Any thoughts on that would be welcome. I rebuilt everything on this car myself (engine, trans, rear end, steering box) and I'm really hoping I don't have to pull it all back out and try again :) I have done one other GM automatic transmission rebuild and it worked (still on the road after 4 years, in fact) so I'm semi-confident on the trans, but the other stuff was my first and only time.

-Andrew L
 

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Ten years? Did you have the ports sealed up good? Should be ok I’ve you’ve piled it and spun it a few times. Intake and valve cover gaskets are cheap, I’d probably pull the lifters and put another dab of assembly line on the cam for break in but it should be ok if you are running a stock or mild cam and you aren’t dealing with crazy valve spring pressures.
 

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Glad to see this finally getting started again.
 

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in
 

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So in.

In your shoes I’d consider putting assembly lube on the lifters, but I’d primarily worry about having oil with zinc (ZDDP) in it. Zinc was removed so as not to load up catalytic converters and all modern engines use roller lifters because of that. You can use a zinc additive or use something like Brad Penn Racing Oil that is formulated for flat tappet engines.

I’d definitely get that oil out of there, as it’s picked up moisture and is possibly more acidic than it was.
 

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IN. I want to see this sucker live again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
patrikman said:
Ten years? Did you have the ports sealed up good? Should be ok I’ve you’ve piled it and spun it a few times. Intake and valve cover gaskets are cheap, I’d probably pull the lifters and put another dab of assembly line on the cam for break in but it should be ok if you are running a stock or mild cam and you aren’t dealing with crazy valve spring pressures.
Yes, the valvetrain is all stock specs...I'm hoping that most of the horror stories involve high-performance stuff that was being pushed to the limits. I think I will go ahead and re-lube the lifters before the first start, just for peace of mind.

Air and water do mix said:
In your shoes I’d consider putting assembly lube on the lifters, but I’d primarily worry about having oil with zinc (ZDDP) in it. Zinc was removed so as not to load up catalytic converters and all modern engines use roller lifters because of that. You can use a zinc additive or use something like Brad Penn Racing Oil that is formulated for flat tappet engines.

I’d definitely get that oil out of there, as it’s picked up moisture and is possibly more acidic than it was.
I was thinking the same thing about the oil...it still looks new on the dipstick, but who knows what happens after sitting so long. I'll put fresh stuff in before starting. I think what I filled it with after the rebuild was just normal 10W-30 plus one of the ZDDP additives. I've read a lot of forum threads about the issues with flat tappets and oil, and it's hard to tell what's mythology and what is really known. The "old-school" guys seems convinced that modern oil will ruin a flat-tappet engine, while some of the more technically-oriented types come down on the side that modern oils are all-around better than anything that was available 30+ years ago. I feel like a good conventional oil with a reasonable amount of the ZDDP additive seems like a good compromise, especially considering that this is a stock engine that won't be racing or anything.

Yuppie Scum said:
Those are rear drum brakes, right? No interest in 4 wheel discs?
Yes, those are actually *the* original brake drums with the GM part number stamped on them. They were machined once when I was driving the car, and they still look good, so I cleaned them up and used them. This is basically a completely stock restoration, with just some minor substitutions where original-style parts aren't available, or an improved direct-fit part is available. I generally like to see old cars restored to their original condition more than custom builds, plus if I went down the rabbit hole with mods, I would probably never finish this project in my lifetime :p

-Andrew L
 

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I was thinking the same thing about the oil...it still looks new on the dipstick, but who knows what happens after sitting so long. I'll put fresh stuff in before starting. I think what I filled it with after the rebuild was just normal 10W-30 plus one of the ZDDP additives. I've read a lot of forum threads about the issues with flat tappets and oil, and it's hard to tell what's mythology and what is really known. The "old-school" guys seems convinced that modern oil will ruin a flat-tappet engine, while some of the more technically-oriented types come down on the side that modern oils are all-around better than anything that was available 30+ years ago. I feel like a good conventional oil with a reasonable amount of the ZDDP additive seems like a good compromise, especially considering that this is a stock engine that won't be racing or anything.
I had been using Brad Penn, but my old engine tends to smoke a good amount with it and it doesn’t seem to do so much with good ol’ Pennzoil, so I’m running a ZDDP additive with that right now.

I wouldn’t consider not running a ZDDP additive during break in, as that’s the time of highest stress and the surfaces isn’t yet work hardened. At least I think domestic V8 cams do that like mine. 🤔 I need to build one of those. 🙂
 

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Has the cam been broken in?

If not, wait to start the engine until it can be driven under load. Start the engine and, drive, and keep the RPMs above 2,500 for 20 to 30 minutes to harden the cam and lifters. This process worked well for me when breaking in old school GM engines (3 Chevrolet and 2 Pontiac engines) in the eighties.
 

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Yaaaassssssssss :heart::heart::heart:
 

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Why not use roller lifters?
It’s not necessary in this application, it’s mostly retrofitted for motors using higher lift cams. It’s also somewhat pricey as you have to change many parts:

cam & lifters -obviously and in an older block without provisions for retainers you need to buy certain lifters with tie-bars on them to keep them from rotating

timing cover - to adjust thrust to limit cam movement

pushrods - stock pushrods will be too long

valvesprings - they will be working harder, most roller cams require a larger diameter spring you’ll need to cut the spring seats and not all head castings will allow that especially the later ones
 

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Use Valvoline VR1 racing oil or Amsoil high zinc oil are two brands I am familiar with, and I am sure there are others. The high zinc oils will keep your flat tappets happy, and reduce issues with worn cam lobes.

Of course if you go to roller can and lifters the issue goes away.
 

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Based on those pictures the amount of work being done to a 1986 Pontiac Parisienne Safari just blows my mind.

So far that car looks to be in better condition than any mid 80s GM wagon I even remember seeing when new.

:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Wow - as one of many who grew up riding in and learning to drive wagons like this, can't wait to watch the progress
 

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Mobil makes a V-twin branded oil, 20W-50, available even at Wal-mart. 1750ppm for Zinc. You could "blend" it if the zinc is too high and weight is too thick.
 

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Mobil makes a V-twin branded oil, 20W-50, available even at Wal-mart. 1750ppm for Zinc. You could "blend" it if the zinc is too high and weight is too thick.
For break-in I like a thinner oil. Spin the pump to get pressure, then fire it quickly. Thinner oil moves faster so that localized heat is moved away. Rod bearings get quite hot when new and clearances are low, never mind the heat of new piston rings!

I have some ancient straight 20 weight Pennzoil that I’ll use for my initial startup, but with no filter on a VW that’s only for the first 5 minutes of run time. After that I’ll run straight 20 weight to finish breaking in the cam (another 15 minutes at 2000+ rpm) then switch to whatever I’ll be using long term. Probably 10W-30 in winter and straight 30 weight in summer, but I really need to investigate how that 10W-30 acts in cold weather with the oil cooler bypass before making a final decision.
 

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i was thinking the same thing about the oil...it still looks new on the dipstick, but who knows what happens after sitting so long. I'll put fresh stuff in before starting. I think what I filled it with after the rebuild was just normal 10W-30 plus one of the ZDDP additives. I've read a lot of forum threads about the issues with flat tappets and oil, and it's hard to tell what's mythology and what is really known. The "old-school" guys seems convinced that modern oil will ruin a flat-tappet engine, while some of the more technically-oriented types come down on the side that modern oils are all-around better than anything that was available 30+ years ago. I feel like a good conventional oil with a reasonable amount of the ZDDP additive seems like a good compromise, especially considering that this is a stock engine that won't be racing or anything.



Yes, those are actually *the* original brake drums with the GM part number stamped on them. They were machined once when I was driving the car, and they still look good, so I cleaned them up and used them. This is basically a completely stock restoration, with just some minor substitutions where original-style parts aren't available, or an improved direct-fit part is available. I generally like to see old cars restored to their original condition more than custom builds, plus if I went down the rabbit hole with mods, I would probably never finish this project in my lifetime :p

-Andrew L
I dig the oem , I know youll bebputting some cool oem wheels or hubcaps on this
 
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