Purchased in Hawaii in 2009, our split window coupe has a 327 fuel injected engine and the very rare Heater Delete option. Our Corvette was restored over a 4 year period using original 1963 components. Modifications were limited to those popular in the late 1960's. Our vision... Period Correct/Era Modified.
First of all I'd like to thank Ausy Pete for coming up with a possible solution to fix our oil leak without removing the head. I tried it but unfortunately it didn't work. The plug was just too deep. It was a great recommendation though. As you'll recall this is where we suspected our oil leak was located. I spun the oil pump again and sure enough this is it, an oil galley plug. This will require major dis-assembly of our 327. Double click on the following pictures to see the details.
I used plastic wire ties to hold the push rods in place. This head is coming off then going right back on within a day or two.
Look at the size of these valves.
I don't know about you but this is just about the prettiest set of pistons I've seen in awhile.
And here's the culprit. It was only installed tool tight, nothing near the recommended 20 ft pounds. I'll clean up the threads then apply a small amount of Permatex Ultra-Blue (a high temperature oil resistant silicone), torque, then start the reassembly process. A nice set of Fel-Pro gaskets has already been purchased so we are ready to reassemble.
Strike One! It didn't start. Ty & Bonnie T., Dennis & Annette K. and Dewayne & Jane J. joined Gerri & I for the first attempt to start the 327 Corvette. This is one of many video's Gerri took throughout the day but it gives you a general idea of how things went. The video is about 3 minutes long so if you're on a slow connection you may want to pass.
After lots of trial and error we finally concluded that lack of fuel was the issue and we believe it may boil down to this. There were two versions of the drive cable and housing for the high pressure fuel pump. There was a long version and a short version. The difference between the two is about a half inch. Below is a picture of our set and it's mismatched. The housing is long and the cable is short. We believe that when it's installed the cable end to the high pressure pump is not engaged. The engine cranks but the fuel pump doesn't. Thanks Ty for noodling that one. I am not sure how long it would have taken me to figure it out. I will order a proper set today.
A more disturbing issue exists though. During the prefiring preparations we ran the oil pump to make sure the engine was well lubricated. We found an oil leak and it appears to be coming from this oil galley plug (double click on the photo for a good look). This plug, when installed properly, requires sealant and 20 ft lbs of torque. If this is the source of the oil leak it will require removal of the head and that will require the removal of many other components. If you know how to tighten this plug without removing the head please be sure to let us know. I am not happy about this. More to follow.
The fuel injection unit is now back on the bench. While we wait for the new drive cable and housing I am sure we will be exploring and learning more about how this unit works. I will say the education we are receiving is a definite plus.
Thanks to Dennis, Dewayne and Ty for all your help. I am sure these guys would agree that when it did run it really did sound awesome!
We examined the throttle body on our 327 and only found a couple issues. In this photo you can see a gasket that's too small for the butterfly to operate properly. The butterfly valve hung up on this lip. A couple swipes with an exacto knife and the butterfly valve works smooth as silk.
Our first Period Correct item arrived yesterday. We received a new set of stainless steel side exhaust and they look great. They are still being fit to the chassis in these pictures. We will have them fully installed by Saturday.
They even came with stainless steel exhaust tips.
The fuel injection unit has been reinstalled and it's ready to be tested. That's an oil pressure gauge you see above the bell housing.
Oil has been put in the engine and the oil filter. On Saturday we will manually spin the oil pump for a few minutes then hopefully we will be able to hot wire the coil and light this bad boy up. Should be fun. Ty will be here to help extinguish any fires.
The next update will include a short video of our first attempt to start the motor. Stay tuned!
I was able to use my metal lathe today. I made a special tool that's identical in size to the brass fuel line that holds the o-rings.
I used this tool to investigate different options for installing the o-rings. It used it to try 1 o-ring, 2 o-rings, different sizes and even different shapes. I tried each combination by inserting the tool into the fuel bowl until it felt properly seated. I marked the depth of each combination and that told me how many shims (washers) I would need.
One o-ring with no shims was determined to be the best option. This is the exact set-up that was used when the FI unit was rebuilt by others. To make sure the o-rings wouldn't get damaged I cleaned and polished the seats, made sure the threads were not cross threaded, and I made sure the o-rings were installed bone dry (no lubricant). The manual insists these go in dry so they don't ride up over the lip on the fuel line.
I made several tests to make sure the o-rings were not being damaged. These have been in and out several times and look fine. A new set of o-rings were then installed as part of final assembly.
It took a lot of research to determine how everything was supposed to be reinstalled on our 327. This research was necessary because the unit as delivered was assembled incorrectly. The spider lines, vacuum lines and idle air lines in this picture are all installed properly.
For safety reasons I didn't want to use gasoline during the bench test. I considered rubbing alcohol but one of the ingredients is water. My solution was Absolute vodka. Yep, top shelf vodka and it worked great. I used a drill to spin the high pressure fuel pump then vacuum was applied to the rubber hose to mimic full throttle. Success! The wet spots are vodka.
The fuel pump is running in this picture. If you zoom in (double click) you can see the stream from the injectors.
It was unfortunate this unit had to be torn down but it ended up being an extremely good learning exercise. Next I'll adjust the throttle body then the unit will be ready to install on the motor.
And at the request of Jim Q., here's a couple photos of the pink helmet. The pink transitions from dark in the front to light in the back. The owner has a black Harley and her only request was that the helmet had to have pink. It turned out pretty nice.
The 1963 rear end won the poll which means we don't have to install the 1965. And since we don't have a 1963 rear end in hand we are in no hurry to remove the 1975 that's currently installed. We can install the correct half shafts though. This is a picture of the 1975 rear end with 1975 half shafts. We will replace these half shafts with the correct smaller diameter shafts from 1963. The swap is half done in this photo. The 1963 half shaft is on the left and the 1975 is on the right.
Here is a side-by-side comparison. Left is the 1975, right is the 1963. Universal joints are identical in size for both.
We also installed a new reproduction of the 1963 battery box.
This is an adaptor that lets us use screw on oil filters instead of the original oil canister. It will be a lot easier to deal with when it's time to change the oil.
Max H. likes to see an occasional "big picture" of what's going on in the garage. Here you go Max.
More on the fuel injection should be next. Stay tuned!
This is a 1 minute video describing the basic function of the fuel delivery system on a fuel injection unit for a 1963 Corvette. This is a video so be sure to push the play button. In the previous post I indicated we had an assembly error that would have made the initial start-up of our 327 impossible. I've circled the area of concern in this photo. This connection is on the the fuel delivery side of the high pressure fuel pump and the connection is cross threaded and it's no where near tight. I removed the fuel meter to make the repair. The fitting is not only cross threaded and improperly tightened, the O-ring underneath was found cut in half. Identical O-rings were purchased, threads were cleaned up and the fitting and fuel meter were reinstalled. In this picture you can see the fitting is fully engaged to the fuel meter (it's directly below the bolt near the center of the picture). The fuel delivery system was then bench tested and it failed miserably. Something was still wrong.
This is a picture of our fitting and O-ring sitting on top of an enlarged photograph of an original GM fitting with it's original rubber seal. The seal is not an O-ring. Not only is the seal not an O-ring, take note that it isn't any wider than the brass flange that holds it in place. Our O-ring extends past the flange and this is the reason the O-ring was damaged. It was sheared when the fitting was tightened because it was too large to fit in its seat.
So, the fuel injection unit is temporarily on hold. I have located a supplier that has the proper viton "O-rings" and a set is on the way. While we wait I'll probably install the 1963 half shafts next. Thanks for watching.
This is our patient, a 1963 360 hp fuel injected 327 engine. Recently we found unexpected minor issues with the assembly that prompted us to perform exploratory surgery to verify that other issues don't exist. If you're a car guy with a squeamish stomach you should turn away. What follows are graphic photos intended for seasoned car guys that are not put off by the sight of spilt oil, dis-assembly or component removal. These are the instruments used during the surgery. If you're going to look but not sure you have the stomach you may want to blur your eyes. This is your last chance to turn away.
Welcome to my work bench. These had to be removed so we could look deep into the bowels of our 1963 fuel injected motor.
The fuel injection assembly was removed, put on a bench, then stood on end exposing it's underside. The brass eight legged assembly you see is the "spider".
The spider delivers fuel to each of the injectors using a closed loop high pressure pumping system. There was a major assembly error made when the spider was installed. This error was so significant that it made this whole dis-assembly process worth while. Let's just say the engine would have been DOA at start-up had we not found this problem. Details will be discussed in a future post.
Because of the assembly error we found it necessary to remove the fuel meter from the fuel injection assembly. The fuel meter includes the fuel bowl, float, high pressure fuel pump, and the cranking signal valve. I'd point it out in this picture but its been r-e-m-o-v-e-d.
And here's our 327 opened up from water pump to distributor. Double click on the photo and take a good look.
Details of the dis-assembly will be shared in an up coming post. We can say for a fact that this engine would not have run had we not taken these drastic measures. We can also say that this is one beautiful engine and it has all of the essential original components from 1963. It really is beautiful. Now go wait in the Waiting Room for the final prognosis.