Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cool Desert Nights - 2009

Cool Desert Nights was a blast. We brought both the 1957 Chevy Nomad and the 1963 Corvette. I had intended to take the Corvette off the trailer during the car show but Gerri recommended leaving it on the trailer. That was a great idea and saved me a ton of work. The trailer didn't keep people from looking at the Vette. Not by any means... We were getting interest in the 63 even before we were able to set up camp.
I was even able to bolt on a period correct Hawaii license plate. Lots of people asked why it was there and when I told them the car came from Hawaii their jaws dropped. Then they smiled and wanted more information.
Cool Desert Nights was a screaming success. They estimated well over 700 entrants this year.
Tim M. stopped by for a little shade and a bit of socializing. No, that's not a strawberry daiquiri... it's a strawberry slush... :0)
The Nomad looked great and was a really nice addition to the car show. I am glad I brought it but, truth be told, it generated only a couple comments through out the day.
The car started getting a little dusty so I ran the California duster over it. It didn't help much.
We had lots of visitors. Rick and Nancy B, Mike and Diane H, Jack and Shirley M, Ty and Bonnie T, Steven and Kelsey S, Dewayne and Jane J, Tom and Ellen H, and many others.
Ty and Bonnie T arrived in style.
And this photo represents how I believe the majority of the day was spent. Tons of people taking great interest in the car and the story behind it. Everybody wore a smile (double click on the photo and see for yourself). Most everybody looked at it and reminisced about something. Gerri said we even had one guy rip off his glasses, lean way into the engine compartment looking for engine numbers, then he stood up with a smile on his face and told his buddies, "Yep, it's a real fuelie!" The day was great, met lots of friends and we had a blast. Can't wait til next year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cool Desert Nights 2009 - We're Ready

The major components have been assembled and they look pretty good. Cool Desert Nights is this Saturday.
I am told by others that the hood will not be going to Cool Desert Nights because it isn't correct for a 1963 Corvette. Who am I to argue.
The 1967 big block hood looks pretty cool though.
This is how the car will look at Cool Desert Nights.
She's wearing her first piece of jewelry (gas cap cover). I am so proud.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More Fiberglass Repairs

All fiberglass repairs are in process. They are not complete. Some require rivet and tab removal, some require back grinding and fiberglass mat. All will receive minimal glazing compound and lots of block sanding before the first coat of primer is applied. That said, the car is really starting to come together nicely. All areas that require fiberglass have fiberglass. Ty has been religious about back grinding everything and making sure all areas are feathered properly. Both front fenders received full inserts because the openings had already been precut to that size. When the openings were cut the bonding strips on the back side were also inadvertently cut. New full length bonding strips will be installed after all the backside fiberglass work is complete.
This is a previous repair to the firewall that was soft and hastily done. When I power washed the car for the first time this soft spot turned into a sizable hole. The fiberglass was soft because hardly any resin was used. It was mostly fibers.

Using Ty's techniques the new repair is very solid and looks great.
This is another soft spot that resulted in another hole after power washing. This is located just in front of the windshield between the two fresh air vents. Access to the backside of this new repair will be very difficult and may require the tabs and rivets to be abandoned in place.
This is the cross section of a very odd repair we found on the left front inner fender well. It includes at least 20 to 30 layers of woven fiberglass mat and is about 3 inches thick. We are still puzzled as to why this repair was performed in this manner.
This is the spot where the 3 inch thick repair was located. We replaced the majority of the inner fender well. The black portion of the fender well is new.
Although we agreed the third tail light was acceptable because it was a dealer installed option, I elected to go for the standard two lights on each side. Block outs are now installed.
This is pretty amazing. This is a hole that was cut in the passenger side floor board to accommodate hydraulic lines on an automatic transmission. What is amazing is that we found the original pieces that were removed. This is a picture of the new repair using the original fiberglass pieces.
This is the transmission hump at the shifter. As above, we found original fiberglass pieces and reinstalled them. Other holes were glassed over using duct tape as backing. The duct tape will be removed and the backside will be ground and fiberglassed. All of the holes, soft spots and block outs have been addressed. The next step will be lots of block sanding. But first we will assemble the major components of the car and head for Cool Desert Nights. Pictures to follow.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How to Repair Fiberglass

All techniques come from Ty T. who spent many many hours learning the process from his father. As I understand it, Ty's father had a significant passion/hobby for working on Corvettes. The quality of the repairs made on our Corvette are wonderful. Follow along and see for yourself.
As you'll recall the rear wheel wells were really ugly. They were flared and consisted of sheet metal, bondo and a few dozen rivets.

The wheel wells were cleaned, wire brushed and ground down to bare fiberglass. The replacement inserts were trimmed in order to preserve as much of the original body fiberglass as possible. Fiberglass tabs were made and riveted to the backside of the wheel wells. The outside of the wheel wells were then feathered back with a grinder and sheets of fiberglass mat were layed down.

The rivets and tabs were then drilled out and removed. The back side of the wheel wells were feathered back at least 6 inches with a grinder for the full length of repair. Long sheets of fiberglass mat were layered in making sure all matting was fully saturated and all air bubbles removed.

The front side received more fiberglass mat and resin making sure enough was installed to fill all low spots.

Liberal amounts of resin and glass filled the rivet holes and low spots created from the feathering process.


Rough sanding with a long block was performed to bring the body contours back.

Viewed from inside the wheel well you can see the final results. The body and the wheel well insert are sandwiched between the new (clear) fiberglass.

After rough sanding the body lines are near perfect.

More sanding is still required but the fiberglass work is complete. Any minor imperfections that still remain will be fixed with small amounts of bondo or finishing glaze. The results are absolutely spectacular. A huge thanks to Ty for doing the majority of this work and teaching me the techniques. I'll post photos of other repairs shortly.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cool Desert Nights 2009 Preperation

As odd as it may sound, we decided to enter our Corvette in one of the areas largest car shows, Cool Desert Nights. If available, our category will be Under Construction. Cool Desert Nights is just 2 weeks away so we decided to start by swapping motors, tightening up the frame hardware and Armoral the tires (of course). The body will be set next week. She won't be functional but she should be fun to show off. Wish us luck! Removing the old 1975 L82 engine.
Ty, Master Fiberglasser, is showing off the fuelie. Thanks to Dennis K. for lending us his engine hoist.
New motor, new tranny and the bell housing from the L82.
Stephen S. ran the speed wrench and helped set the motor and tranny.
Armoral on 30 year old tires? Are you kidding me?
Ty made sure everything was done just right.
Armoral, hubcaps and a fuelie. How sweet is that?
Stay tuned for more Cool Desert Night preparations.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

327 Fuel Injected Motor, Air Cleaner and Ty

The following is the write-up for the motor and the air filter as written by Shaw City Engines.

This is a completely rebuilt 1963 L84 Chevrolet Corvette 327 360HP Fuel Injected engine. This is a very nice original engine as you can see in the pictures. The part numbers, casting numbers and date codes are as follows:Block-3782870 dated I-13-2Heads-3782461X dated I-10-2 and I-11-2Distributor-1111022 dated H-31-2Fuel injection unit- Part number 7017375 Serial number 1325Exhaust manifolds- 3797942 and 3797901Front pad stamp is FI006RF. This auction is for the engine and fuel injection unit only. The complete original air cleaner assembly will be made available to the winning bidder in a private listing at the end of this auction for an additional $7500.00. If the winning bidder on the engine does not want the air cleaner I will list it separately after the engine has closed. This is an extremely nice original air cleaner and it is complete with the screen cone filter element inside. There is no rust pitting, dents, dings or damage at all on the air cleaner assembly. It is definitely a show quality part as is the engine. The work done to this engine is as follows:1. Engine block has been oven cleaned, shot peened and magnafluxed. The block has no crack repair,or damage of any kind. It has been freshly moly honed and is std on the bore with no sleeves. New oil galley, freeze plugs, and dura bond cam bearings have been installed.2. Crankshaft is original forged steel, stock 3.25 stroke. Forging number on the crankshaft is 4577 and it is a factory high performance crankshaft that has been drilled and tapped for a bolt to retain the balancer. Crankshaft has been oven cleaned, magnafluxed and shot peened,(stress relieved) The crank is standard on both the rod and main journals. Connecting rods have also been oven cleaned and shot peened. They have been resized on the big end with new bolts and nuts, and balanced.3. The short block was assembled with new forged KB dome pistons. They yield the stock 11.00:1 compression ratio. New moly Hastings rings, new Clevite rod and main bearings, and a new high volume oil pump were installed.5. Camshaft is a reproduction of the 360HP Fuel injection grind. GM part number 3736097. It has been installed with new speed pro solid lifters, TRW pushrods, rocker arms, balls and nuts.6. Heads are original 1963, casting number 3782461X, dated September 10 and 11th of 1962. Valves are new Manley stock steel replacement. They are stock 1.94x1.50 size. Valve springs are Z28/LT1 replacement and the heads were upgraded to screw in rocker studs. Hardened exhaust seats and bronze guides have been installed along with a fresh 3 angle valve job.7. The Fuel Injection unit has been completely rebuilt recolored and restored. This is a very nice original 1963 unit with it's OEM ID tag, It is not a converted 64 or 65 unit as many people try to sell. The intake has no pitting or damage and it has never been welded or repaired. It is 100% complete with all of the impossible to find choke and linkage, correct fuel injection choke element, correct hardware, Restored original stamped steel cross flag emblem, linkage and lines and tubes. Also included is the rebuilt correct tachometer drive fuel injection distributor. It has new points, condenser, cap, rotor and the correct oil line.8. This engine is fully accessories ready to install and run. It comes with original correct 6 quart oil pan with baffle, canister oil filter, timing cover with correct big balancer pointer, NOS 8" finned harmonic balancer part number 3817173, 7 fin aluminum Corvette valve covers, and 2 1/2 inch 901 and 902 exhaust manifolds. It also is equipped with the correct early 1963 ignition shielding. This shield has three rivets in the top as opposed to the later two and does not have the provisions in the rear for tachometer ground cable. The shielding is complete even though the driver side shield is not installed in the pictures, it is included in the auction. Also installed on the engine is a rebuilt water pump with 1" bypass hole in the top and we have the correct dated Packard ignition spark plug wires!!. It is ready to install and run the only things that will need to be added are the pulleys and the alternator. If you are restoring a 63 corvette or you have a car with a low horsepower engine this would be a great way to add both desirability and value to your car.I would rather sell engine as a total package and keep engine and the restored complete early fuel injection air cleaner all together. We are a full service machine shop specializing in vintage engines of all makes and models, from stock to high performance..
is for a 1963 1964 1965 327 360HP and 375HP Corvette fuel injection air cleaner assembly. This air cleaner is in excellent condition with no rust holes or pitting, no dents or other damage.This air cleaner has been in my shop on my shelf since early 70's when my dad turn his 1964 into a autocross car, car is long gone.This air cleaner is all metal, no repo fiberglass unit. Air cleaner has no rust or rust pits or any modifications at all!! and is ready for a show car, nice original car or daily driver!!. It has been freshly cleaned, glass beaded and repainted with a new service instruction decal installed. All bail wire clips are intact and not broken or repaired. air cleaner also comes with a hose connection and clamps and air filter cone.
This is Ty T. pointing out that the 327 made it to our garage and is in our possession. In a couple weeks we intend to put the motor and the body on the chassis then enter the Corvette in Cool Desert Nights, a local car show that will have several hundred entrants. It's the biggest car show in the area and it should be a lot of fun showing off our project.

Post Script: We love this motor, however, the quality of the Shaw City Engines rebuild was not perfect.  For details click on the "327" posts in the LABELS section on the right.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

1963 327 360hp Fuel Injected Engine

Yes, I bought one! A couple months ago when Matt P. saw a 1963 340 hp 327 for sale on EBay he said, "It's like seeing a Unicorn, or a miracle" making sure I knew it was a very rare find. Well Matt ol' buddy, this ones in my garage and it's a FUELIE! (I know, I can't believe it either). I purchased the engine from Shaw City Engines, specialists in unique and vintage motors. I'll post details of the rebuild shortly. This is Alan, the owner of Shaw City Engines in Fresno, CA. Alan and his father have owned this business for ever. They only deal in unique and vintage engines. The Fuelie came out of his fathers 1963 split window when he decided to run it with a big block, The fuelie sat in their warehouse for the last 40 plus years. It was rebuilt within the last 3 months.
Although not shown in the pictures, the purchase included the original "vacuum cleaner" air cleaner. I'll post those pictures soon.
Every piece of linkage, hose, nut and bolt is included. Everything is period correct and is dated 3 months prior to our Corvettes build date which is February 1st, 1963. It's a perfect match.
A sea of vintage and unique engine blocks. There is an additional 16,000 sq. ft. warehouse filled with engines waiting to be torn down.
Need a period correct head? I am sure Alan has it. I'll post more details on the engine soon. Dennis S., I hope you approve. I think our car will enjoy this motor!

You can check out Shaw City Engines here:

Post Script: For additional information on the quality of this Shaw City Engines rebuild and the components that were used, please be sure to search "327" in the search block in the upper right hand corner of this blog.