The Continuing Saga of the Commodore's Cruiser

It Ran Yesterday!?

Courtesy of Richard "Arch" Archer

Richard Archer("Arch") is in the process of rebuilding a 1976 Glenbrook with 128,000 miles that he purchased for $5,000. This is another installment in the continuing saga of one man's adventure with a "bargain" GMC.
A friend with some available shop space graciously agreed to provide room to allow Arch to work on his project protected from the Illinois winter weather. After arranging with his son to perform "chase" duties with a pickup truck loaded with tools, he cranked up the Olds 455 and drove the Glenbrook to the shop. Unfortunately, his friend had closed for the day when he arrived, so the GMC spent the night outside. The shop owner called the next morning to tell Arch that the GMC wouldn't start.

"One cooked distributor" is how Arch described the sight when he pulled the cap off. Apparently, the 22 year old distributor had given its last gasp the day before. Note the rust on the advance assembly. The bearings were so far gone that the shaft was eating into the distributor housing and the shaft had over one eigth inch of play. Arch was amazed that just 12,000 miles prior, this engine had been rebuilt and this distributor had not been replaced.

The cap interior and rotor also show the effects of the shaft bearing wear. The cap contacts are nearly worn through and a coating of oxidation covers the interior of the cap. It was obvious that the distributor was arcing badly the day before and Arch was pleased that he got the Glenbrook to the shop before she quit.

The old spark plugs look fine with a nice grey color. No signs of oil.

With a new distributor and cap the Olds 455 fires right up once again. Compression on six cylinders is 160 with 114 on the other two. Probably a couple of rusty valves. So far it looks like nothing worse than a valve job in the immediate future.

The Continuing Saga of the Commodore's Cruiser
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Revised 6/3/98