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My Corvette Journey - '1974 Restomod

 
Old 01-10-2019, 07:07 PM
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Auggievf
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Default My Corvette Journey - '1974 Restomod

Hey all,

I’ve had a love affair with the corvette since I was a little kid. In fact, I still have a corvette matchbox car I had from back then and throughout my entire junior high and high school years I had a subscription to various Corvette magazines. Of course, being a kid of the 70’s and 80’s I naturally was obsessed with the Stingray model. When I was in high school, one of my aunts bought a brand new 1990 corvette and one year, she let me ride in it at Thanksgiving. It was the best ride I’ve ever had even though the interior smelled like cigarettes

Flash forward to a few years later. I had joined the Marine Corps and (’93) gotten married. My wife’s step-mom’s brother had a C3 corvette and one year he let me take it for a spin. My first time driving a ‘Vette!!!!! OMG.. it was exhilarating… A few years later, after my reenlistment, my newest commanding officer at 1MarDiv started working on his father’s ‘Vette with him and brought it to the command one time. It was a beautiful white on red 1958 that they had completely restored. So beautiful… Knowing of my love for the car, he took me for a drive and she was amazing. It was awesome just to sit in it….

14 years passed. 1 kid and 1 divorce 1 re-marriage. My obsession for the car never waned. One day, my new wife says “You should get a corvette”. I love that woman. Looked around for a while. Found one that I wanted and took a mechanic friend with me to look it over.

I bought the car a little over 6 years ago

Pics of car at purchase time:

I like that it has a rear spoiler because I prefer that to the downward slope. I also knew that I wanted to replace the sport mirrors with original looking chrome mirrors... I just didn't know that it would be as big of a task as it turned out... more on that later.

Few months later it blew a rod…

Had another mechanic friend with a new engine that he put in a buggy but never sold… so, we put in the new crate engine, cleaned or replaced all peripherals, 750 carb, fuel pump, etc… He let me do most of the work (at my request) while he stood over me and watched so I got to learn a LOT.

Drove great but occasionally turned off when the engine got hot.

Headlights soon stopped moving had to be raised manually at night.

Replaced all vacuum hoses/connectors since many were cracked, headlights still didn’t work. Suspected actuators bought vacuum kit to test and then…..

Burned myself pretty badly cleaning the radiator and replacing the thermostat when the radiator cap popped off after I didn’t replace it tightly…

Got a flat while trying to figure out what was wrong with the new engine

Life happened…. 2 moves and 3 years under a mesh shade tarp later….

Moved to Sacramento and had the opportunity to put it on a trailer and take it somewhere to have a complete look over.

Found Corvette Express

EDIT: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I lost most of this post making an edit :-( ugh...

Last edited by Auggievf; 02-11-2019 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Details details details...
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:11 PM
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I know it's a long post. I mostly just wanted to start a running log of work I'm doing have done and had done. I will let my interior rebuild thread die and post here instead.....
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:40 AM
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74Ken
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Yep still looks like my car when I got it.
Still have top pull the heater core before I'll let the water from the engine back into the cab.
Fiero seats with speakers in them was my best choice, that and the 8" sub in the jack box. I hear everything with the top down driving down the highway.

Enjoy. Mine is a 15 year project and I am 5 years in.

Ken
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:44 AM
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Nice. I went to a couple junk yards in search of Miata or Fiero seats. One junkyard actually had both cars.... gutted of course. Even though the Fierro had only been there for two weeks...

Cant wait to get my sound system up and running. I know the engine is solid and now the mechanics are solid. Once the interior is solid I will be a happy man.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:50 PM
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Weather is looking good this weekend. Was originally going to rain but now it looks like it will be cloudy and about 60 degrees. That's working weather!

Also: Willcox is awesome. I just called and talked to someone there and he was incredibly friendly and helpful. They have secured my business for any parts I need in the future.

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Old 01-14-2019, 12:10 PM
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Got a bit done on the 'Vette this weekend.

Removed old dash/console bulbs and installed LED lights in their place. Need to pick up a couple BIG ones for the kick panel area lights.

Installed 'correct' chrome mirror that I will actually be able to see out of on the drivers side. Still need to remove passenger side.

Put temporary modelers clay (hardens) in holes left by previous mirror install.... :-( Needed a temporary fix because I thought I was going to be doing a water test this weekend. Didn't happen that way. Will do it the 'right' way once I figure out what that is.... I'll ask in a separate thread.

Cleaned, lubed and reinstalled old lock because they are still in great shape.




Ordered a few things for next weekend (hopefully)

Ordered a new alternator to keep up with the new power demand (still need to get new wires. Following @DUB's instructions in a thread I found.)

Ordered a set of front window rollers and mounting kits. The drivers side is disintegrating. I imagine the passenger side is just as bad.

Ordered some CRL black window/body sealant and some solvent cleaner


Like I said... nothing terribly exciting happened this weekend. It was mostly spent taking down Christmas decorations and cleaning up the 'Vette parts strewn across the Board Games and Wine room that my loving wife ever so graciously didn't complain about once in the 2 weeks they were there.

Last edited by Auggievf; 01-14-2019 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:31 PM
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74Ken
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sounds like a keeper.
Mine is letting me sell the house to buy one on an acre with a shop. The house needs work, but she doesn't mind moving to keep me happy
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 74Ken View Post
sounds like a keeper.
Mine is letting me sell the house to buy one on an acre with a shop. The house needs work, but she doesn't mind moving to keep me happy
That's love right there :-)

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Old 01-14-2019, 12:47 PM
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Found a great thread about fiberglass repair! Seems quite doable.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-drag-car.html




Edit: OMG.... Fiberglass repair???? This was just supposed to be a quick weekend or two job. What have I gotten myself into? Next thing you know I'll be overhauling the transmission....

Last edited by Auggievf; 01-14-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:19 PM
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74Ken
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OHHHHHHH, you jinxed it now
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:46 PM
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Good read , lots of work done and as always a higher list to come.

looks like a nice car and getting nicer. Keep us posted.
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Auggievf (01-17-2019)
Old 01-15-2019, 06:47 PM
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OMG! I thought I would pick up a set of drain plugs from Willcox or Zip... The MINIMUM shipping price to ship the $6-8 set of plugs was over $13! Are they made of osmium or something??? They seriously cant weigh more than a pound. Put em in an envelope and throw a couple stamps on it.... geez...



I've read abut people glassing over them instead... If, heaven forbid, I have a bad enough water problem to need a drain plug after I put in all the new heat shield/deadner/carpet I'll just re-drill the holes... freaking ridiculous....

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Old 01-17-2019, 12:20 PM
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Some parts came in yesterday.
  • 2 brake springs from Willcox, though I'm not sure why they sent 2 of the 6 in a separate shipment...
  • 2 Foot well LED replacements.
  • 2 Front window roller replacements
  • 2 Battery terminals to make room for the new wiring
Hoping that the weather forecast is correct and I can do a little work on the car on Saturday....
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:41 PM
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We had a sunny rain-free day on Saturday so I was finally able to get some work done.
  • Cleaned the leaves and sticks out of the windshield gutter
  • Installed the new alternator (still need to do the "Big 3").
  • Put the new window roller on the window and inserted it into the drivers door.
  • Cleaned, dyed, painted all the vinyl and plastic interior trim black. (OMG this took forever)
  • Inserted new LEDs into the foot well light sockets.
Updated the album. New images are at the end unfortunately....

Fun thing I found.... the rear window sealer tape is completely unstuck on the bottom of the window which is where the water is coming from in the rear of the car. The window bows in with the slightest pressure leaving a giant gap.

Do I need to re-tape the whole window or can I just use the 'CRL Black Windshield and Body Sealant' at the bottom where it came loose?

I started the car up since I had to reconnect the battery to adjust the window height to get to the bolts, so I could to let it run for a few minutes and noticed that it was running a bit rough at first. I also noticed that the exhaust was coming out a bit white until it warmed up (vapor not smoke... see video). Once the RPM's dropped it cleared up.... Is that normal? I don't remember that happening before. I kinda thought it might be because it was cold outside. Quick internet search 'confirms' that but I'll leave this here in case someone thinks different...

The biggest problem I had is figuring out the wiring for the 'Big 3'... I wanted to tackle that but I realized that wasn't sure how to go about it. The red wire to the alternator is way too thin for the alternator and runs into an electrical tape "loom" that the PO created (it's everywhere....) I think I need to go in and rip apart that 'loom' to remove the thin wires and figure out where it attaches to the large 'hot' wire coming from the battery. I assume there's going to be a junction box of some kind under the car somewhere since the battery cable disappears into the transmission tunnel (is that the correct term?)... Maybe it goes directly to the starter? bah... speculation. I'll research today and figure it out.

Again, thanks for reading if you made it this far :-D

Last edited by Auggievf; 01-21-2019 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:35 PM
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Good job! I have a '74 too and a lots been done to it. Since you're comfortable with junkyards and pulling parts, may I recommend changing over your stock belts and fans to a quiet, reliable serpentine belt and electric fan system? It's pretty easy to do, the parts are there for the taking and you'll never have to adjust or tighten belts again, or hear the squealing sound that they sometimes make. And it's relatively inexpensive. I paid $300 for the entire serpentine belt system off've a late 80's Chevrolet Caprice, $140 for a brand new aluminum radiator and $40 for an dual electric fan setup off've a late 90's V6 Camaro. Five years later, still no problems with it. The new serp belt I brought is just having to be changed out. It's a great mod. PS: Ignore the use of the Volvo Dual Relay, I switched to two regular Bosch Relays, as the Volvo relay would only go lo or hi, not both. The wiring is pretty straight forward.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1587817315
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:42 PM
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Thanks! I will definitely add that to my ToDo wish list :-D
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:43 PM
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Got my new seat belts, the rest of my parking brake springs, and carpet grommet/fastener kit yesterday :-D

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Old 01-22-2019, 04:16 PM
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I've got to replace mine too. They are well-worn...
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by F22 View Post
I've got to replace mine too. They are well-worn...
I was honestly a little surprised how much a set costs.... Gotta have them though.....
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:27 PM
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Got an email that my seat brackets are finally on the way from Cipher! The CRL1303 tape is on the way too.... Guess I better figure out how to take out that back window and what else is involved...

Hopefully I don't have to take off the body to take off the window ;-) This dash bulb change is getting bigger and bigger and bigger and...

EDIT: huh... seems almost 'easy': https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...l-on-74-a.html

Last edited by Auggievf; 01-23-2019 at 12:29 PM.
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