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I am writing you about a customers 1996 Chevrolet Camaro 6 speed standard transmission, I need your advice in handling this continuing problem. This Camaro I am describing appears to be ingesting water and bending the intake push rods. The camaro has a hood scoop with a K&N filter and a large bore throttle body. In short this is a middle aged mans hot rod! This problem only seems to happen when he drives it in the rain! The customer says it has never happened in the past until recently. It now has happened three times in the last year and half. I have suggested he put the stock air filter housing and stock air filters back on that the car came with. The customer refuses to do this and thinks something else may be the cause. Now after another hard Florida rainstorm he has the same symptoms. His “hot rodding buddy's” say that there must be something else causing this “problem”. I just know it happened only when it rains hard, if I change the bent pushrods it runs fine till he drives in another hard rainstorm. All I can see that I think is not normal is an engine compartment splattered with mud and a K&N air filter covered with mud. I believe the hood scoop along with the fully exposed filter is causing this problem. I wanted to get your opinion on what you think the problem is.

I too have seen this very same problem you are describing on a 95 Chevy Camaro. Six speed transmission along with the hood scoop and K&N air filter. We too thought the same thing, so what we did was to plug up the hood scoop holes with rubber expandable freeze plugs. (It took eight of them to plug it off from underneath the hood.) We also made a plastic shield to go around the air filter to deflect any water that may get “sucked” into the engine. I am happy to report after 4 months that this problem has not come back. And the customer is convinced that water ingestion IS the problem! This is what we believe was happening; the large amount of water being ingested into the engine would cool the valve guides down so quickly the valves would momentarily stick in the guides. That split second of metal contraction was enough to allow the push rods to bend, causing this problem. I have talked to engineers about this problem and they all agreed that putting back the stock air filter would be a better repair in the long run.

 

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