Sunday, July 1, 2012

Headlights, Clutch and Steering Column

I thought I'd show you a picture of the hood and upper air intake cowling.  If you've been following this blog from the beginning you'll know that this area had a lot of issues and consequently received a lot of TLC.  I think you'll agree that the time invested was well spent.  This really looks nice.

I am getting tired of the body work postings so I'll skip all the steps that got us to this point.  All the hard work has already been done to these primered headlight buckets.  They're now ready for paint.

When I let the paint dry for more than 4 hours I have to scuff the paint so that the next coat will stick and not lift.  The bucket on the right has been scuffed and I am getting ready to do the other one.

The buckets are fiberglass but they do have a lot of metal reinforcing on the inside.  I thought it best to paint the inside as a rust proofing measure.

This is the hardware needed to install the buckets.  The assembly manual in the background is a must have if you've never done this before.  I chose stainless steel screws since the headlights on a C2 Corvette are notorious for rusting.  Note the tube of silicone grease.

I chose silicone grease for the headlight mechanism because it's waterproof.  Waterproof?  Yep, that's right.  Not all grease is waterproof, but the silicone grease is.  If I didn't use silicone grease it would only be a matter of time before rain and car washes would wash away the lubricant.  Silicone grease is a great product but it comes with its drawbacks.  It's almost impossible to wash off and it's the worse contaminate you could have when painting a car.  That's the reason for all the tape in this picture.  I am trying my best not to get anything on the primer sealer.

It took a whole afternoon to install and align both buckets.  I even painted and installed the electric motors.  There is still work needed under here but you can see how it's set-up.  This is directly behind the nose of the car between the headlights.

Ty and I did a lot of work on these headlights over the last couple of years.  We must have at least a 100 hours invested.  They look great and I am sure they are better than factory installed. 

Switching gears, this is the clutch pedal and the clutch rod that goes through the firewall.  The clutch never quite felt right to me and it took me a long time to figure out why.  After a lot of research I found out why.

We were missing this plate.  The plate moves the clutch rod higher and it engages the rubber bump stop.  The clutch operates much better now.

Then there's that grungy old steering column.  It's original to the car and it's an original 63 but it's not friendly to "men of measure".  It gets in the way.  I talked to several people that own C2 Corvettes and many of them have the same issue, they don't fit well in their car.  The solution?  A tilt wheel!

Flaming River sells a tilt wheel steering column specifically for C2 Corvettes.  Everything is identical to the original except for the extra lever.  This one will be painted to match our car and it will allow big boys to drive in comfort.  At least that's the plan.  I know, it's not original to the car but this is one of the few things we are doing to improve the driving pleasure.  Besides, it comes with a flasher and that's a great safety feature.

Next I'll start working on the rear exhaust valance.  That is the last piece that needs body work.  Hopefully paint will follow afterward.

As always, thanks for watching.


  1. Not many people use the hood of a 57 Nomad as a work table.
    jim q.

  2. Jim, You're so right. I really shouldn't be doing that especially since I have a buyer for the Nomad. Have you found a replacement toy for your 69 Camaro? A C1 or C2 Corvette maybe?

  3. Not looking right now - we are using the bus. Which Nomad are you selling?