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Monday, May 31, 2010

Rear End Alignment, Stabilizer Bars, Shocks & More

Ty came over on Friday and finished the alignment on the rear end. If you look past the shock tower and past the (left) control arm you will see several of the shims he installed. Unlike the original shims these are stainless steel. This is the right control arm. Shims were installed on both sides of the neoprene control arm bushings.
Ty also refurbished and installed the rear torsion bar on Friday.
1965 was the first year a Corvette came with a rear torsion bar. Although the 63 model did not have a torsion bar it was common practice to have one installed simply because it offered exceptional handling performance. It's hard to believe that a 3/8" torsion bar could do so much. Although it's not period correct it is an era modification that I am OK with.
A close up view of the same area.
The front torsion bar was also installed. This is a 7/8" bar sold only with the hi-performance package. The standard size was 3/4".
The rolling chassis is surprisingly close to completion. The gas tank will be next followed by the drive shaft. If my nephew James comes out for Cool Desert Nights we will most likely fire up the engine at that time. James is attending Michigan Tech for his Mechanical Engineering degree and he and several of his classmates have expressed interest in this motor. I think as a good uncle it's only appropriate he gets first honors. I know, I am a nice guy.
And look who's back. I dug this out from under the tarp and made a spot for it in the garage. This picture was taken yesterday morning and since then it has been fully block sanded from the spring line up and is ready for more primer.
This area desperately needs a coat of primer and it might happen today. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rear Brakes, Parking Brake & Fuel Line

The old fuel line was installed 10 years ago when Dennis S. rebuilt the frame. It had mild rust on the exterior just from sitting in the Hawaiian air. Since this line can only be replaced when the body is off I decided to install a new stainless steel line. You can see it running down the right frame rail. The parking brake assembly was also rebuilt. Once the body is put back on the frame the emergency brake cable will attach to the empty clevis.
This is the right rear brake assembly.
This is the left rear brake assembly.
Ty comes over later today and we will rough align the rear end assembly. Should be fun. Pictures to follow.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Front Brakes and "The Trailer"

Work continues on the front brakes. All the original fittings are fine. I used a little Scotchbrite on the stainless steel lines and a wire brush on the brass fittings. This is a picture of the main fitting that the master cylinder will feed. Only one line from the master cylinder feeds all four brakes. Another picture of the brake lines. This is the left rear. All new hoses and brake cylinders are installed.
This is the right front brake assembly. I was unable to find a good picture depicting the correct arrangement for all the pieces on a 63 Corvette so this is my best guess. It looks good, feels good, but I am not quite positive it's correct. Click on the photo and check it out. If you think something is odd let me know.
This is the left front.
This is one of the rear brake drums (it still needs to be sand blasted and painted). Other than the size, it's representative of all four drums. Do you notice anything odd? For me, it's the brake adjustment hole. I've never seen one on a drum, they have always been on the backing plate. None of the backing plates have an adjustment hole.
Once the chassis was back in a rolling configuration I thought I'd see if it fit on the trailer. The width is a tight fit for sure but then the car does have over sized tires and wheels. When we get the proper size tires and wheels I'll have to adjust the channel iron for the front tires. But that's for a later date. The trailer works fine for now.
It towed very nice. Shouldn't be an issue at all for Cool Desert Nights.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Clutch, Transmission, & Rear End Assembly

Earlier this week I installed the clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing and pilot bearing. In this picture the clutch is being held in place with a splined tool that came with a clutch kit I bought from Napa. The pressure plate was fastened to the flywheel using ARP bolts designed specifically for this application.
Grade 8 hardware was used for the bell housing to the engine and the transmission to the bell housing.
Additional work was done to the front brakes including shoes and brake cylinders. The brakes are far from complete though.
Ty came over today and put in a full 9 hour day working on the rear end. Here Ty is adjusting the rear bearing assembly to one of the trailing arms. This whole assembly is made up of numerous parts that are unique to either the left or right side. It would be very easy to inter-mix these pieces.
Ty installed the pumpkin and cross member first. Only grade 8 fasteners were used.
Both trailing arm assemblies were installed next. They will receive final alignment at a later date.
The installation of the half shafts and the leaf springs completed the assembly. Although the brakes are not installed the wheels and tires were put back on the car for mobility.
Here's the picture you asked for Max. The overall suspension still needs a lot of work but it's back into a rolling configuration. Thanks Ty for another productive day. It really looks nice!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brakes, Clutch, Rear End, etc

This is a video. Be sure to push the play button (triangle) video

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More Suspension Work

Front suspension assembly continues. The idler arm, connecting rods, dust shields, and front hub assemblies are now installed. Although the brake cylinders are shown installed these will be replaced with new ones shortly (they are on order). The steering box has also been installed, however, it doesn't turn as smooth as it should. This will either be adjusted, rebuilt, or replaced as needed. We also have the 1975 steering box that Dennis S. had installed. Replacing this one for that one is also a consideration.
Ty came over Saturday and put in a full day dismantling the rear end assembly. The shop was a blur in activity. We were both so involved in dismantling, sand blasting, cleaning and painting that we forgot to take pictures. These pictures were taken the following morning (this morning).
We have two sets of leaf springs for the Corvette. The 9 leaf set at the bottom of the picture was standard equipment and was built for comfort. The 7 leaf set was sold as a heavy duty option and was often used for racing. We will use the one not designed for comfort. :0)
Dis-assembly will be to the bone. All parts will be cleaned, sand blasted and painted as needed. We have several books, manuals and publications for reference and we use them often.
Here are a few pieces that made it through the process yesterday. We elected not to rebuild the pumpkin simply because it rotates smooth, has no play, and it doesn't have any leaks. The pumpkin weighs at least 100 pounds and it was a pain getting it in and out of the sand blasting box. It cleaned up real nice though. Thanks Ty for another great day.