Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Dry Fit" and Drip Rails

Dry fit continues.  Since we didn't start with a fully assembled car we are not certain about how all the parts and pieces get assembled.  The dry fit process allows us to identify and fix things prior to paint.  Already we have found missing bolt holes (dash), too many holes (under the exterior rear view mirror), mis-located holes (drip rails), missing pieces (clutch linkage), malfunctioning pieces (hood hinge), alignment issues (dash to A pillar), and other similar issues.  All have been fixed, repaired or replaced as needed.  This effort continues and will be well worth it once we start the fit and finish process.

To complete the clutch assembly I needed a pin to connect the clutch pedal to the connecting rod located under the dash.  I was unable to find one on line so I fabricated one out of a stainless steel bolt using my bench top lathe.  The stepped section on the shaft was key to getting a good fit.

Last year I fabricated new drip rails for both doors but never got around to installing them.  Last week  I clamped the rails in place...

spot welded them from the inside...

fabricated drip rail shoes...

then welded both pieces together.

This is the old drip rail next to the new.  The new drip rails will be weather proofed when we do the fit and finish on the car. 

Brakes have been installed.  This is an original 1963 master cylinder that was purchased with the car.  It works great but I did manage to spill brake fluid on the firewall.  You can see where the fluid ate away the paint on the fire wall and exposed green primer.  This will be fixed when we disassemble the car for paint. 

The battery, expansion tank, and the Heater Delete block-off cap on the heater hose have been installed.  Although the battery fits, it is too tall.  A shorter battery will be installed later.

All of the tail lights and running lights have been installed.

The dash, steering wheel and seats have also been "dry fit".

Even the FI air cleaner has been installed.

Except for the windshield, we are ready to Fred Flintstone this thing.  Ty is out of town this week so we will wait until his return before we take this to the road.  That should be fun.  Stay tuned!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Clutch Fork and an Oil Leak

Well, I am a little embarrassed.  I went to install the clutch fork through the clutch fork hole in the bell housing and guess what?  You know the answer, it doesn't fit, the hole is too small.  Aghh...   I had to remove the shifter, shifter linkage, transmission and  the bell housing.  The body is on the car so all of this was done while lying on my back.  Sheesh...

I found oil coming out of the hub on the front of the transmission and the side plate.  I found a brittle gasket and no gasket at all.  A quick trip to Napa was disappointing as the guy behind the counter said they don't carry gasket sets for manual transmissions, only automatics.  Go figure.  So I bought a set of gasket paper and made my own.

I freshened up the clutch fork with a little sand blasting followed by paint.

A 1963 clutch fork uses a push rod to fork configuration much like a push rod to rocker arm, basically a ball and half of a socket.  In 1964 the clutch fork was changed to a pinned configuration as shown below.  I decided to install the 1964 configuration simply because it looks like it would be less likely to fail.  I might change my mind later but for now this is what we will use.

All the fasteners I use are new and either stainless steel, Grade 5 or Grade 8. 

Everything is buttoned back up and we have a functioning clutch. 

It won't take too much more before we can Fred Flintstone (Ty's expression) this thing around the block. Stay tuned for that!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Body Alignment, Engine Timing, and a Cracked Exhaust Manifold

Now that the body is back on the frame we are able to see how much work will be needed to align the doors and the hood.  Both doors look real nice, especially along the roof line. 

The hood may require attention but we are not certain.  There are two support rods and two brackets that fit under the nose to help support the electric motors for the headlights.  We have the rods but not the brackets.  We should get the brackets this week and hopefully the misalignment you see will be corrected.  Fingers are crossed on this one.

Proper timing has been questionable since the first time the engine was started.  The vacuum advance canister would either hit the FI unit or the coil bracket depending on which tooth the distributor was sitting on.  We were never able to get the required 10 to 12 degrees before TDC.  It was like we were 1/2 tooth off.

It turns out that the distributor can be indexed in half tooth increments by rotating the distributor drive gear 180 degrees.  This is not something you will find in any service manual, you get this type of information from people that live and breath Corvettes.

I get technical and mechanical help from members of the National Corvette Restorers Society, or NCRS.  See their response to my timing issue here .  The engine runs great thanks to their help.

And finally, when I sand blasted and painted the drivers side exhaust manifold I spotted a crack at one of the threaded holes where the manifold and exhaust pipe join.  You can see it on the silver manifold on the left side if you double click the picture.  These are very rare manifolds and I was bumbed when I found the crack.  Fortunately, I was able to find another manifold in excellent condition.  It's the one in the foreground, still unpainted.

After painting the new manifold the swap was made and it looks just like the other one.  Only better.

We will start attaching parts to the body next and we will begin with the clutch and brake pedal assembly.  Brother Jim, this will be the bench top work you suggested.

Monday, January 3, 2011

1963 FI SWC Restoration - You Tube Video

Some of you have had trouble viewing video in the past so I am trying a link to YouTube.  This video was taken January 2, 2011 and starts a new year for our build.  Follow along and see how we do in the new year.