Sunday, April 28, 2013

First Test Drive Repairs

After last weeks test drive I found a few things that need attention.  This includes soft brakes, loose trailing arm shims and this little jewel, a detached speedometer needle.

It took 3 hours to remove the steering column and dash, push the needle back on, then reattach all the dash wires, switches and cables and reinstall the steering wheel.  It's all done.  Whew...

The gas gauge wasn't working because of  a bad sending unit.  That requires the tank to be siphoned.

Then the spare tire tub has to be removed.

I already had a spare unit, the one is in the foreground.  It came with a new o-ring and locking ring.  I replaced everything.  The fuel gauge works fine now.

The brakes were soft.  I checked the National Corvettes Restorers web site to see if there was a trick to bleeding the brakes.  The most recommended solution was either to open the bleeders and use gravity or pressurize the master cylinder.  A vacuum pump was not recommended.  I decided to pressurize the master cylinder (shown). 

I built a simple plastic lid with an air fitting.  I added a large flat washer as reinforcement.

A standard clamp held the cap in place.  It only took about 5 psi to get the brake fluid moving.  There was a large air bubble in the left rear caliper.  The brakes are much better now.

I found loose trailing arm shims at both trailing arm locations.  My shop manual says the shims have to be packed tight then t torqued to 60 foot pounds.  They're tight now.

Here is one of the shims.

They get stacked side by side and go on both sides of the trailing arm. This view is from the front of the rear tire looking up.

If you haven't guessed, I took the Corvette out for another test ride this weekend to verify everything above.  All is well but I did find a new issue.  The right side of the engine is leaking oil at the #2 spark plug.  I called Matt P. and he recommended I put thread sealer on all the head bolts and exhaust manifold bolts.  That's a job that I will address in the next post.

So, instead of ending on a sour note I thought you'd like to see the headlights in action.  Check them out in this video.  A special thanks to Ty for restoring the headlight buckets a few years ago.  They work great. 


  1. One of the things I look forward to on this blog are the comments that come from family, friends and followers. I received two comments today that I would like to share.

    The first comes from a close friend, Max H. Max sent an email and said he is going to fly from Russia to be here for Cool Desert Nights. I am delighted! I hope he remembers to visit his wife and family while he is here.

    The second comment comes from my cousin Chuck B who sent a great email that I share below. I trust Chuck won't mind.

    "John Its great to see you finally take a ride in the car. I have been watching your blog every week and I am starting to see the end of it in site. I hope you will do the same when you redo your Nomad. I am just amazed at the talent you have shown over the last few years. At times when I looked at the weekly update I felt like I could smell the fiberglass and the new paint! I hope you enjoy your labor of love."

    These are the things that keep me motivated and keep the blog updated. Thanks to everyone for your comments.

  2. Your cousin said it well and I agree with him. Do you still have two Nomads or did you sell one? If so, which one did you keep and is that your next project?

  3. Jim,

    I have 1 Nomad. I sold the one you are familiar with to Dennis K. I kept the one that my brother and I grew up with as it has lots of sentimental value. It will be my next project and I am already getting antsy to start.

    As always, thanks for the comment.

    1. I will be anxious to follow your next project as well as offer some input, even if you don't ask.

  4. Jim Q,

    You are a funny man. You know I look forward to your comments, especially the ones that get me to correct inconsistencies like the coil springs. The Nomad will be next but we have got to get this Corvette finished first. Keep watching, keep commenting.

  5. Excellent post! I must thank you for this informative read. I hope you will post again soon.
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