Chevy Monza Maintenance

Service: Monza – Disassemble & Lube

This is an early model Chevy Monza (no turbo sound), was in very good condition and actually in pretty good working order, just a little noisy, understandable for 40 odd years old, I’m a little noisy sometimes myself:p

So this post is mainly just going over disassembly and basic lube, that’s all this one needed, and a bit of a cleanup. I used CRC 556 as a penetrative lubricant, great for loosening up parts that are a bit seized up noisy, and safe on metals and plastics. I would not recommend WD40 for this, for reasons that I might do a blog about later, but it is not really a lubricant like CRC 556 (although that also is really a light lubricant). After a penetrative, cleaning, loosening lube, you could also use a silicone based lube around the flywheel and (potentially) in the motor parts, in a nutshell if at all possible keep it to minimum (to loosen seized parts), as this motor was originally intended to run dry. In this one I did apply a little Super Lube with PTFE (Teflon) on a couple of the shaft points on the outside of the motor, just a little is all that’s needed. At the end of the day this motor ends up transferring quite a lot of kinetic energy into the flywheel and the engagement of that into the rear axle can cause the car to go very fast if everything is in order. It then can become sensitive to any kind of shiny surface and needs something to grip onto from take off, and/or extra weight. But all that’s all part of the fun! This one is not one of those models, and runs at what I would call a good speed for the average kid in the average house. I suspect from around 1980/81 when they added the ‘turbo sound’ (not in this car so it must be pre that), they also added an additional gear that spins the flywheel even faster (which seems like a ludicrous thing to do but there you go!). I’ve found that the ones I have with the turbo sound feature, once cleaned and lubed (as above – just a little around the shaft pints and flywheel, and potentially none in the gears themselves) go significantly faster to the point of needing some kind of grip mat to run on (if revved up to the max, you can also control that by dropping the revs/flywheel rpms).

Chevy Chevelle

Service: Chevy Chevelle 2

This is an early 1980’s Tonka Clutch Popper, Chevy Chevelle model (‘Yellow Streak’) that came into the workshop (aka ‘the shed’) in a ‘not working/don’t know how it works’ state. Exterior actually good condition considering. Disassembled and found the usual culprits, dust and crap built up around the wheels and motor (but not as bad as the other one – probably because it was a slightly later model, less mileage:p). This one has the ‘turbo sound’ so is 1980+ as far as I can tell. You can see in the below picture the little white-ish plastic bit sticking out the back of the motor, that is the turbo sound maker – it vibrates against the dust cover to make that high pitched noise.

Took it through standard service steps 1-8 (kept the turbo sound on though), which you can see in detail on the maintenance page, but was essentially cleaning up around the wheels and motor, lube, cleanup body, sand tires to resurface them for maximum grip.

Then I test it out to see how it runs (this one was basically back to normal), and if all good I leave it at that (as did with this one), if still a bit rough then I’d look at taking the motor out (involves drilling the steel rivet out – easy, or plastic ‘rivets’ out – more of pain/destructive), but I’d rather not do that if it doesn’t need it. I’ll do a blog post about that at some point. You’ll notice on the picture below this is one of the models with plastic ‘rivets’ on each side of the front of the motor, and a hole where the steel one is in other models. Not sure why they made this design change (it may be there were 2 different factories?) as the ones with a steel rivet really have all three (its just that the plastic ones aren’t squashed down) so those models are: a) tougher – more belt & braces, b) easier to maintain.

This one now runs very fast if revved right up so i used a grippy mat to run it on in the test. I’ve since found another trick/hack that will keep it straight(er) at full speed which is essentially additional weight and getting the balance right. But if you just rev it a couple of time it’s fine and still very quick. I’ll leave it up to the kids to sort out:)

Anyway here’s some photos and a short video of how that went, sorry didn’t video the actual maintenance steps as didn’t have a way of holding the camera and doing that at the same time – I’ll work something out for that for the next one. But this one is now ready for a new life of getting run into things by kids (& adults:)) with a bit of imagination, and a strong forearm :p.

Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Pre-Service – Disassembled
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Pre-Service – Motor
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Motor post-service cleanup
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Post Service
Chevy Chevelle

Service: Chevy Chevelle

This is an original Tonka Clutch Popper 1978-80 Chevy Chevelle (Action Series – no ‘turbo sound’), that was is pretty good nick really for its age, but running like a dog, in fact sold as ‘not working’. Which was correct, it was not currently working and did need a service before being returned back out for duty!

This one needed a good clean-out inside, for such good condition outside, the inside was pretty shite and did take a bit of cleaning.

After disassembly the process with this one was:

  1. Scraping around the axles and picking out everything that was wrapped around there with some tweezers
  2. Lifting out any large clumps of fluff/dust/crap around the place
  3. Spraying some CRC on some cotton buds then using those to wipe down all around the motor
  4. Getting some lube (CRC 556 at first, followed by some NOXY) all around the flywheel.
  5. Getting some lube (CRC 556) around the gear rods on the exterior of the motor and along the top joint (not too much, you don’t want a pool of the stuff down the bottom)
  6. Spinning it up to get the lube moving around, then actually needed the motor out as was still a bit rough, and sprayed down with CRC to remove all the dirt as much as possible, air blown dry then a light coat of NOXY that dries to a light film (could’ve also used a dry lube spray which may have been a better bet, but didn’t have any, maybe next time).
  7. Spin up again
  8. Sand rear tires to re-grip as they’d become quite shiny
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Disassembled pre service/cleanup
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Internal pre service cleanup
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Post initial clean
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Chevelle – Post Service
Chevy Monza

Service: Chevy Monza

This is a Tonka Clutch Popper, Chevy Monza model (probably had the Cragar series decals, 1980-ish, was hard to tell with what was left of them!), that came into the workshop (aka ‘the shed’) in pretty rough condition, beat up and down on its luck, barely running and a bit sad.

It was looking like the above picture. Not great, but you can see the potential here. The more beat up the better (to a point:)) on these cars, those are badges of honor for a toy car like this. Sorry a didn’t get a before video of how it was running, but use your imagination, sounded like shit and crawled a few inches. So it was time to get it sorted out and back on track!

So I took this through all the maintenance steps I’ve posted about on the maintenance page (may not have posted on all of them yet, but will update later), bar taking the motor out (which would’ve meant drilling the rivet out) as I wanted to see how well it could go with just the basics. So this was: cleanup axles, cleanup motor (without removing), lube axles & motor (CRC), lightly sand tyres, tire alignment, removed remaining decal/sticker remnants (with citris degreaser – in the states you could use something like Crud Cutter), cutting polish & wax, plastic cleaner, body buff/shine.

Here it is disassembled, post cleanup, body with a wax polish waiting for buffing.

Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Monza – Disassembled

Here it is finished, and running well! I’m not sure how far it will go now on a full rev as I don’t have a stretch long enough to find out, it currently always ends up smacking into something, but I expect it could do 30 odd metres (or more) on a good surface, one day I’ll find out and do a post about it.

Post Service – Chevy Monza
Tonka Clutch Popper – Chevy Monza – Post service run check