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.


  1. I don't get it. I understand putting the body on so you can align things, then take it off, but will you totally assemble everything else (rolling windows, window trim, working headlights etc) as well and take that stuff back off also.

  2. Yes, any area that has been repaired will be realigned or reassembled before paint. I just put the dash back in and found a couple spots near one of the A pillars that need feathering and I also found a spot near the windshield that needs to be drilled. I am certain I'll find the same when I put all the trim back on. The rolling windows are iffy only because we haven't done a lot of repairs in that area. The door handles will be reinstalled because there were fiberglass repairs made where they attach. The headlights will be reinstalled because we made major repairs to the front end. We need to make sure we get full rotation on each headlight bucket and that the gaps are acceptable. I already gouged the fiberglass rotating the headlight buckets. The culprit was a round-headed screw that should have been a flat-headed screw. Imagine doing that after paint. Bottom line, we want to make sure all feathering, drilling, welding, fiberglassing, alignment, etc, happens before we paint and, for me, that requires full assembly followed by disassembly. Thanks for the question.

  3. The Quality of your restoration is fabulous....

    I love the Blog...keep up the good work.


  4. Les,

    Thanks for the encouragement and kind words. Now get back here and finish the body work you started. :0)