Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bumpers, Spare Tire Tub, Moldings and Strip-Calk

I've been uncomfortable with the body being sandwiched between the bumpers and bumper brackets.   After a little looking I found these rubber "paint protectors" on line.  They're not stock and they were never found on any factory C2 but I like the idea of protecting the paint.  I bought a set.

Installation wasn't as simple as you'd think.  It took a few hours but it's all done, front and rear.

I needed 3 bolts to complete the spare tire tub assembly.  I was shocked to find out the bolts were $160 plus shipping.  As you can see they're much more than bolts but $160.  I don't know...

Installation was pretty simple.

The mechanism is super simple and affective.  The lid will not loosen without a wrench.

It tucks up nice and tight behind the bumpers.

I installed several more bags of stuff.  Too bags here, one for the molding and one for the fasteners.  This is times 2 when you consider the other door.

Same here.  This is the A pillar molding with fasteners.

All of the moldings were sealed with 3M Strip-Calk.  Silicone is just as effective but the Strip-Calk never sets up or hardens and it has properties much like Silly Putty.  It's sticky, molds easy, stretches, flattens, is water proof and snaps apart when pulled suddenly.  It can be rubbed off with a thumb.

Remember the birdcage and fiberglass repair that was made near the dimmer switch?  The transition between the birdcage and the fiberglass needed to be sealed.  I used several strips of the Strip-Calk for this and it worked great.  I really like this stuff. 

So, the exterior of the car is basically done now.  It still needs headlights, a good final buffing, functioning blinkers and taillights, and little odds and ends here and there but, for now, I think we're done.  So what's next? 

Dynamat is next!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Spare Tire Tub and Little Things

My work bench is full of little bags of things that need to be installed.  They're nothing major but they do need to be installed.  I installed the door locks which include the lock, the bezel, a rubber seal, the lock fastener and the lock to latch rod.  It's not major stuff but it takes time.

The rear license plate area needed the hardware and a rubber grommet.  Each sold separately by the way.  There are still several bags on the bench but that's for another day. 

Check out the wiper grills.  They're just sitting there waiting for paint but I think they look pretty good.  From the factory these are painted the same color as the car but they are available in chrome.  Tell me what you think.  Chrome or paint?  

I didn't have a good picture of the bumpers and valance in the last post so I am including this one.

The spare tire fits into a two piece tub that fits up under and behind the rear bumpers.  The pieces are unique to 1963 and both require a little TLC.  This is the tub... 

and this is the lid.  As you can see the metal bracing is rusted and there is over spray on the fiberglass.

I sandblasted both pieces.

The fiberglass was not painted at the factory so I masked it off then...

I painted the bracing with 2 coats each of Rust-oleum primer and flat black enamel.  

I temporarily installed the tub just to understand how it fits.  I need several bolts and brackets to complete this installation which means more little bags.  I need a spare tire too!

So, tell me what you think about the wiper grills.  Chrome or paint? That is the question.

Thanks for watching. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Windshield and Trim Installation - 1963 - Mid-Year - C2

There is very little information on the Internet about how to install a 1963 Corvette windshield.  As such, I'll be a little more detailed with my methods and techniques, be them right or wrong.

The 63 Corvette windshield trim is unique as it is only 4 pieces.  Our trim will be sanded with 800 grit sandpaper, hand rubbed with steel wool followed by a firm buffing wheel then a soft wheel. 

The back side of our trim is dirty and caked with old weather stripping.  This side will be cleaned with Goof-Off only.

The 1963 Corvette windshield requires 18 thin clips and 6 thick clips.  The clips are for the top and bottom molding only, not the sides.  Be advised that after market clips are notorious for not working very well.  

As such, I decided to do a dry fit of the trim and trim clips.  I masked the paint to prevent scratches and used small pieces of tape to mark clip locations.  During this process I discovered that the trim clips I had ordered from Zip Corvette were not engaging, they were horrible.  Corvette discussion groups on the Internet told me Paragon makes a better clip so I ordered a set.  They worked OK but I suspect OEM is best.  You just can't find them though.  Trim clips are pricey at about $4 each.

The windshield was weatherproofed with 3M Bedding and Glazing Compound, part # 08509.   The backside of the clips get this compound before installation.  If you don't do this the windshield will leak. 

All the clips are installed in this photo.  The 6 wide clips are located on the lower trim piece, three on each end.  The windshield frame is extra thick in these locations and require special clips.

Bedding compound is then applied around the full perimeter of the windshield frame.

The windshield gasket is installed around the windshield then a nylon cord is inserted in the slot that accepts the car body.  This goes all the way around the windshield.  The windshield is then set on the windshield opening then the cord is slowly pulled from the inside of the car allowing the gasket to lap over the windshield frame.  Gerri and I did it in the first try but I understand others are not typically as fortunate.  The windshield fell into place when the last couple inches of cord were pulled.  

It looks great. 

The upper corners needed a little extra compound so I force fed them with extra compound and a stick.

I smoothed the corners over with a rag dampened with Goof-Off.

Now it's time to seal the gasket to the windshield.  For this I filled a cake frosting bag with bedding compound then used the back side of a plastic spoon to lift the gasket.  After this was completed I used Goof-Off to remove the excess compound.  It worked very well with no damage to the paint.

Unlike the rear windows, the windshield trim pieces are installed separately.  First the upper and lower pieces are snapped into position then the side pieces are slid into position and screwed down.

I am very pleased with the results and it went a lot better than I had expected.  Patience is key.

I am not sure what's next.  Whatever it is, the wiring harness won't be too far away.

Thanks for watching.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bumpers, Brackets and Bolts

The two front bumper brackets on the left are for something other than a 1963 Corvette.  If you look close you'll also see that they are identical, both for one side.   Fortunately, I was able to pick up an OEM set, the ones on the right.  I believe these were used only in 63 and 64 and the early 63 brackets were extra thick.  But that's what we have, early brackets and an early Corvette.

After sand blasting and painting the brackets I dismantled the front end then installed the brackets.  The  trouble light is hanging off of one.

The bottom of the front grill section gets an aluminum molding cover, 3 pieces fastened with clips and rivets.   Instead of using rivets  I decided to use rivet nuts instead.  You can check out this cool tool here: . The arrow points to 1 of 8 installed.  I am missing the center aluminum section so I'll have to wait to install.  It's due in later this week.

Next are the rear bumpers and exhaust valance.  I jacked the car up using my nifty Race Ramps.

Here are all the brackets needed for the rear bumpers.  Instructions come from the Assembly Manual.

Bumpers are on and looking good.  Duntov's design was intended to mirror the tail lights. 

I installed the valance using stainless steel button hex head bolts.  It's not factory correct but I like it.
All the hardware for the bumpers and brackets are Grade 8.  Unfortunately, the body is sandwiched between the brackets and the bumpers and I am sure even a moderate bump would cause extensive fiberglass damage.  The bumpers are not there to protect the body, I think they're there to destroy it. 

Looking sexy!

I even buffed and clear coated the aluminum license plate frame.

Next will be the windshield and the windshield trim.

Thanks for watching.

Friday, November 9, 2012

360 Update + a Bonus...

Jim P asked for some photos taken at a distance so he can see the overall progress.  It's late in the day and the sun is low but these should do.  If you've been watching this blog you'll know that the car is sporting something that hasn't been discussed recently.  Can you find it?

Did you find it?  It's the side exhaust covers.

Thanks for watching.