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Bikespace's 1980 Build

 
Old 09-07-2017, 09:18 PM
  #21  
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Not a lot of progress during the summer. I was able to replace the fuel line and started taking out the AC. No AC bracket means I can redo the heater core bypass, which was about to fail anyway. I'll pull out the heater box while I'm fumbling around with the passenger side floor rust.

I also cleaned the garbage out of the #2 body mounts. They don't look great. I vacuumed a LOT of rust out of those pockets, which must have come from higher up in the birdcage.

Maybe this ends up being my practice car.

I pulled out the battery, too. I'll probably replace the cables. There was no retainer holding to the floor, so I'll need to buy one of those along with a new battery.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:50 AM
  #22  
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Before I bought my '78 i drove an '80 with Cinnibar. Reminded me of baby poop, but to each their own i guess.


I'd go bright red (over the white), not two tone. Maybe, just maybe I'd do a black carpet, but everything else red. I like the '78 #788 red.

Forgive the condition, this was from a parts car I bought a few years ago that sat without a windshield for quite awhile.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:07 PM
  #23  
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Woot another rubber baby bumper buggy to love!

I'm in the same boat, needing to fix the pan on the driver side, passenger was okay. Hoping to do that a bit later as I'm finally getting her back on the road and hope to enjoy her for a little while until winter comes.

I'm not a fan of red, I think the white ext. goes well with tan, but tan is soooooo tan/beige, meh. Thought about a dove grey?
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:05 PM
  #24  
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Thanks to everyone for the input! I still think the Cinnabar is pretty nifty, but perhaps not for me. If I had a green car or red car, or convertible, I'd absolutely go with tan.

I'm not in a rush to replace the black dash, so I think I'll keep that, and the black center console. Otherwise, I will slowly convert back to the bright red interior the car came with originally. That means I'll have to start with the carpet. Hopefully that won't look too awful for too long.

Who am I kidding? I'll probably just bolt the driver's seat back in, and get some miles behind me before the snow flies. Then carpet.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:09 AM
  #25  
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True to my word, I put the driver's seat back in, and got some miles on the car. I finally bothered to get the car registered, so I can shake out some issues. After the first test drive, I found a few that kept me busy.

1. Gasoline smell: The fuel pump diaphram was leaking, with gas leaking from the weep holes. This was NOT trivial to fix. Seriously GM, why step backwards with these cars? I could change the fuel pump in my Corvair in 6 1/2 minutes, and that's if I took a break halfway through. This took much longer, even with the AC system mostly removed, and the car on jackstands. A tip for anyone doing this at home, make sure you have both gaskets, and some gasket adhesive. The fuel pump came with a gasket, but I needed a "Fuel Pump Plate Gasket" as well, since I needed to pull the pushrod to grease it and hold it in place.
I ended up buying a Mr. Gasket 1515, fuel pump block off plate for SBC, since I could buy it RFN, and it came with the gasket I needed. I'll order some more gaskets when I place several big orders with the Corvette vendors. Now that I have the block off plate, this may well be the LAST mechanical fuel pump I ever put in a Corvette. I can imagine that dropping the fuel tank is just as onerous, but then the problem would be solved for all time.

2. Replaced a dead battery.

3. Addressed the leaking exhaust problem. Turns out one (or more) of the small tubes for the smog A.I.R. system had corroded. I've been soaking the nuts in penetrant for quite a while, but they still don't budge. Finally I cut the tubes off, and used expanding concrete nails to plug them, at least for now. This is unbelievably Bubba, and I will need to replace the exhaust manifolds this winter, but for now the car sounds much better and can be driven without hot exhaust shooting at the steering box.

4. Brake lights: ??? That's next.

Last edited by Bikespace; 09-24-2017 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Bubba
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:10 PM
  #26  
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An update on the brake lights. I'll be as verbose as possible, since this is not a failure mode I had seen when I searched for solutions on the forum.

I pulled the rear lenses off, to make sure it wasn't something simple. I replaced the bulbs (the old ones were fine, though), and with the hazards on, I noticed that I could get light if I wiggle the wires just so. I pulled out the ground wire, and found that the connector was the problem. Photo below.

There should more to that crimp. The tab that folds back, making a wedge and the internal connection, failed. It fell off in both the outboard connectors. The inner, backup light, connectors were still tight.

Thanks to the forum! It was a ground problem, but not an obvious one.

Now to pull the rear wiring harness and redo the whole thing.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:23 AM
  #27  
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That's a good idea to get the mechanical and electric working correctly/brakes also if they aren't working well.

FYI: Rings and watches will turn bright red faster than you can react if they come in contact with a 12volt wire that is "Hot"..........
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:40 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by doorgunner View Post
That's a good idea to get the mechanical and electric working correctly/brakes also if they aren't working well.

FYI: Rings and watches will turn bright red faster than you can react if they come in contact with a 12volt wire that is "Hot"..........
Yup, the car runs, stops, and turns, though it could do each thing better. A caliper rebuild is likely in my future, and it looks like the front rotors still have the rivets on them, which doesn't make any sense for a car with 116K miles.

That's a good tip on the 12 VDC.

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Old 10-04-2017, 10:31 AM
  #29  
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I'm hijacking my own thread for a quick rant.

Below are a pair of radiator caps. The one on the left is, AFAIK, a stock AC Delco RC-33 radiator cap. When I tried to remove it, I realized that I was putting enough force into the operation to cut up my hand. I had to use the big pliers.

So, the one on the right is what's going back in, a Delco 12R7S. The one on the left certainly looks niftier in the engine compartment, but two key features of the 12R7S trump appearance: The manual pressure relief valve makes opening the cap much safer, and there are ears on it to enable removal without pliers.

I expect to keep doing this. If stock works, great, but when it fails (or has to be interacted with), an upgrade to more modern components is a fine solution. That said, a mostly stock appearance is what I'm going for, when possible.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:19 PM
  #30  
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I bought a Qwik-Lift for the garage. It makes working on these cars much easier. I've tackled a few fixes and upgrades which I'll document. The first was pretty simple, and that was to swap out the steering wheel with a 14" steering wheel. It was significantly cheaper from Wilcox than from Jegs, so I strongly recommend that you check with the Corvette vendors when you can.

Here's a photo of the old wheel (front) compared to the [See Below] (mounted). Much of the interior is taken out as I'm working on heater core, parking brake, and carpet. The old wheel is in great shape. It is not original to the car, which would have been red, and the leather is fantastic. It isn't dyed, faded, or cracked anywhere, so the PO may have had it recovered.

I really like the Grant wheel. It is noticably smaller diameter, but thicker in the hand. I would do without the finger valleys, though. They never line up, but at least they are subtle.

UPDATE: The steering wheel was drop-shipped from Corvette America. They claim to make their own wheels. Maybe they do, but I suspect they and Grant (the 791 wheel is basically the same) source them from Auto Pro USA, who also owns Volante and NXT Parts. At any rate, many more choices are available at https://www.volantesteeringwheels.com/ or by searching for Volante S6 on Amazon.
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Last edited by Bikespace; 11-08-2017 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Found the real source of my wheel.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:21 PM
  #31  
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One more quick photo. I replaced the Idler arm, tie rod ends, and tie rods. For those of you playing at home, the Moog tie rod ends are parts ES323L and ES323R. The Moog idler arm is K6100. In a complete reversal of the steering wheel pricing (see above) the idler arm is perhaps $100- from some Corvette vendors I checked, and who knows what you get. It's $42 at Jegs, Summit, or even Amazon.

The "Heavy Duty Tie Rod Tubes, with jamb (sic) nuts" are from Mid America. I think it turned out quite nice, and it's now easier to adjust the toe and steering center. I marked the left-hand thread with tape to make it easier to figure out which way to spin the rods (lefty-tighty, righty-loosey).

The new hardware really tightened up the steering. A LOT. In my zeal to get the job done on my new Quik-Lift (I didn't even have to take the wheels of!) I think I damaged the power steering control valve. Somehow I have managed to disable the power steering on my car without causing the system to leak or squawk in any way. A set of rebuild kits are waiting for me for this weekend.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:12 PM
  #32  
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Really Tighten those jamb nuts or they will back off and you'll end up in a jam(b) wearing a tire completely out on a roadtrip

(Don't ask! )

Last edited by doorgunner; 11-07-2017 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:33 AM
  #33  
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Thanks Doorgunner, that's good advice.

If I designed these parts myself, I'd have a full hex at either end, tapered in the middle, instead of a single flat at the center. Of course, my part would cost more than $30- a pair, and would likely weigh more. Still, with just a single flat for an adjustable wrench, I cranked down the jam nuts as best I could. I hope it holds.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:25 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Bikespace View Post
Thanks Doorgunner, that's good advice.

If I designed these parts myself, I'd have a full hex at either end, tapered in the middle, instead of a single flat at the center. Of course, my part would cost more than $30- a pair, and would likely weigh more. Still, with just a single flat for an adjustable wrench, I cranked down the jam nuts as best I could. I hope it holds.
Being a helicopter mechanic, on nuts that tend to loosen no matter what, ive been known to drill a 1/16" hole thru one corner of the nut in order to safety-wired to a similar hole in the rod.......the pic is only a reference for safety wire/I know you wouldn't......it's a doorgunner thang!





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Old 11-10-2017, 09:33 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by shaun8484 View Post
With a white car, I am a little impartial to having the cinnabar interior, but it looks so good!

Just my .02
I'm not a big fan of a red interior but I like the cinnabar a great deal.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:37 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Priya View Post
I'm not a big fan of a red interior but I like the cinnabar a great deal.
I thought the cinnabar was pretty cool, too. But I'm committed to red, now. I ordered a new red steering wheel, a red shift boot, red shift ****, and a red parking brake console cover. Without a back seat, this is the best I could do for a photo.

I also made a trade with Forum member mobird, so I was able to finish off my oyster upper interior with a set of visors. Thanks mobird! They cleaned up really well with some SEM soap.

I also removed most of the HVAC system to fix the heater core. I have a bunch of "while I'm in there"s on the punch list now, but nothing that prevented me from taking a quick drive with no gauges.

Heat would have been nice, though.
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Last edited by Bikespace; 11-19-2017 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:07 PM
  #37  
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I also made a point of doing some low-speed driving and parking. The power steering on my car is still NFG. On my wife's '79, it leaks like a sieve, but it works. My '80 found some way of failing without leaking. So, with a complete set of non-leaking parts, I'm considering pulling all of the PS stuff off of the '80, and making the switch to manual.

I've been trolling the forum pretty hard on this question, and I'm mostly convinced. I'll do it the right way, with a '69-'76 standard steering relay rod and a new pitman arm. Then, if don't like it, I'm halfway to a Borgeson box. My '80 only has the high-ratio holes in the steering arms, though. It was fine driving, as long as you only turn the wheel when the car is moving, even just a little.

So what do people think? Manual steering, or not?
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:27 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Bikespace View Post
I thought the cinnabar was pretty cool, too. But I'm committed to red, now. I ordered a new red steering wheel, a red shift boot, red shift ****, and a red parking brake console cover. Without a back seat, this is the best I could do for a photo.

I also made a trade with Forum member mobird, so I was able to finish off my oyster upper interior with a set of visors. Thanks mobird! They cleaned up really well with some SEM soap.

I also removed most of the HVAC system to fix the heater core. I have a bunch of "while I'm in there"s on the punch list now, but nothing that prevented me from taking a quick drive with no gauges.

Heat would have been nice, though.
Those cleaned up really nice!




This sounds funny, but I like how clean your center console is without all the gauges, I had mine off the other day and it is a rats nest of wires. Made me wonder if I could just pull it out, re-wire and make my own sheet metal center console piece.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:57 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mobird View Post
Those cleaned up really nice!

This sounds funny, but I like how clean your center console is without all the gauges, I had mine off the other day and it is a rats nest of wires. Made me wonder if I could just pull it out, re-wire and make my own sheet metal center console piece.
Thanks mobird!

I yanked out most of the wiring that I don't plan to use. Getting rid of the radio made a huge difference, as it eliminated speaker wires and antenna wires. I don't need to listen to music right now. When I do, I'll just put an amp and speakers behind the seats, and listen to mp3s. I will put the gauges back in, but I need to repair parts with JB Weld first.

As for the visors, SEM soap works great!

http://amzn.to/2hF2jYA

I use something different for leather, of course, but I've prepped a bunch of vinyl and plastic pieces with it, mostly as a step before repainting them. I also use the 3M/Scotch gray scuff pads, per the instructions:

http://amzn.to/2hM2GUU

So far I've only used it on pieces removed from the car. You'll be able to tell it's working, as there will be a layer of grime floated on top of the surface, which you can wipe off with a damp rag. I might try it on some of the oyster pieces in my wife's '79 next, being careful not to scuff any gauge lenses.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:02 AM
  #40  
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Slow progress over the winter in the unheated garage. I did get the power steering components removed to be rebuilt for my wife's '79. I replaced the center link with an early model manual which included the damper, though I didn't install that. I also replaced the pitman arm with the correct manual steering version. I replaced the alternator with a 150 Amp 12SI Powermaster 57294. All of the gauges are out of the car right now, so I can't tell you how well it is charging, but it seems to work.

I took the car for a test drive. The steering is dodgy, with a big dead spot in the middle. I'll have to look further into that. With a helper, I'll see if I can find what isn't moving. I have a steering box rebuild kit, and a new repro rag joint to try next, but I suspect much of the problem is in the front suspension bushings.
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