My Corvette Journey - '1974 Restomod - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion

Notices
C3 General General C3 Corvette Discussion not covered in Tech
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

My Corvette Journey - '1974 Restomod

Old 01-10-2019, 08:07 PM
  #1  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
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 <3

110 Point Inspection:
  • Brake fluid is dark
  • Power steering fluid is dark
  • Differential fluid is dark
  • RH rear side marker is out
  • LH outer brake lamp is not working
  • LH inner brake lamp is not working
  • Headlight not going up
  • Shocks are worn
  • Ball joints are worn
  • Lower control arm bushings are worn
  • Front wheel bearings have a little play
  • Steering Ram bushings are worn
  • Strut rod bushings
  • Snubber bushings are worn
  • Spring cushions are worn
  • Trailing arm nose bushings is worn - T-Arm bearings still ok
  • Wipers are bad
  • RH floor Courtesy light not working
  • Radio not working
  • Lighter is missing
  • Rubber brake lines are rusted
  • Tires are bad
Work Done by Corvette Express:
  • Replaced battery
  • Tire mount and balance
  • LH rear brake caliper
    • LH rear caliper is cracked/breaking at lower mounting point – not safe
    • Replace caliper and rubber hose
    • Bleed brake system
      • Replace both front hoses and RH rear hose
    • Check for rotor walk
      • All rotors have rotor walk LF=.008" LR=.665" RF=.006" RR=.006"
        • acceptable is .003"
      • Front rotors still have rivets
        • Drilled rivets to shim rotors
  • Test drive/engine runability
    • Ran for 15 mins and the car shut off.
      • Found intermittent spark once warm.
      • Inspected distributor cap and found center electrode is broken
      • Has an aftermarket Mallory ignition cap.
      • Distributor cap replaced
    • Aftermarket Accel point eliminator kit is failing after it gets hot
      • Replaced
    • Getting black smoke at idle and while going down the road
      • Running too rich
      • Carb is too big for engine
      • Replaced with 650 CFM Carburetor
  • Diagnose headlights
    • Vacuum at headlight actuators is weak
      • Replaced actuators
  • Diagnose Tach
    • Tach cable replaced
  • Diagnose brake lights
    • Both LH brake lamps not working
    • LH outer brake light housing is melted and not holding socket.
      • Has aftermarket tail lights
      • Removed housing and repaired.
    • LH inner light has a weak ground
      • Repaired
  • Shocks install KYB 63-82
    • Replace front and rear shocks
  • Control arms rebuild (Upper and lower)
    • Replace all control arm bushings
    • Replace all control arm ball joints
    • Clean blast and paint arms
    • Replace a-arm bumpers
    • Wheel alignment after control arm rebuild
  • Wheel bearing adjust – Front
    • Both front wheel bearings have some play
      • Adjusted
  • Power steering ram grommets R&R
  • Strut rod rebuild/repair (painted)
    • Remove, strip, clean, and install new bushings
  • Snubber Bushings
    • Replace both upper and lower snubber bushings
  • Spring cushions
    • Replace all 4 spring cushions
  • Replaced wiper blades
  • RH rear marker light
    • Bulb replaced
  • Differential fluid service (rear end)
  • Power steering fluid service
  • Inspect control valve
    • Replaced small j-hose
  • Headlight actuators installed
Drove the car for an hour on the way home from Corvette Express and my back was killing me when I got home. I obviously needed new seats…. aaaaand my dash bulbs somehow didn’t magically fix themselves at the mechanics so they still needed replacing. Where are those good elves when you need them?

Well… New seats and dash bulbs turned into a complete interior disassemble/rebuild as they are sometimes wont to do.

Removed the seats and carpet. Disassembled the seat belts because they were floppy and didn’t fully retract. Found that the passenger seat belt was being held together by electrical tape and water was collecting under the carpet which made the carpet completely nasty. When I showed my wife, the first thing she said was “you’re not putting that back in are you?” SWEET! I wanted new carpet anyway and was more than happy to get rid of that saddle… ugh… I don’t like saddle….

Oh, she was also super excited about the seat belt situation

Well, now all my vinyl/plastic needs to be painted to match the black seats, seat belts, and carpet…. And since I’m removing all the vinyl to paint it, I might as well install a new (low-mid range) sound system so I don’t have to tear it apart again later to do it… I don’t want something explosive, just something I can hear.

So that leads us to today. Part way through my interior rebuild and it start raining…. Of course I didn’t clean out my garage like I intended to the week before….

Interior Rebuild

  • Removed driver’s door paneling
  • Removed driver’s door latch mechanism
  • Removed driver’s door window
  • Removed driver’s door lock cylinder
  • Removed aftermarket mirrors PO installed
  • Removed seats
  • Removed steering wheel
  • Lowered steering column
  • Removed all dash and trim
    • Removed all components for cleaning/painting
  • Removed all console
    • Removed all components for cleaning/painting
  • Removed speaker boxes PO installed
  • Removed door step trim
  • Removed saddle carpet and padding (garbage)
  • Removed seat belts
  • Cut gauge cluster console to fit a 1 DIN radio (blasphemy I know…)
  • Cleaned and painted console and cluster black
  • Painted speaker boxes black
    • Installed 6.5” component speakers in boxes
  • Installed 1 DIN radio cage in gage cluster console
That’s where I stand right now. I’m doing all the things I can do without having to be in the car like cleaning and painting the console and plastic parts… the missing driver’s window and the ‘cold’ makes it hard to work in the rain… I’m waiting for it to warm up before dying the vinyl. Carpet/deadner is on order, Frost King is on the way, and the seat brackets are on order

Work to be done by me once the rain stops or I clean my garage… whichever comes first…
  • Dremel kick panel rust
  • Wire brush/Shop-vac interior
  • Spray rust converter
  • Spray rust proof paint
  • Clean/repair firewall issues (gromets, cracks, whatever)
  • Remove T-top chrome trim
  • Disassemble/clean T-tops
  • Disassemble map pocket (replace springs?)
  • Replace all bulbs with LED bulbs
    • Replace any bad bulb sockets
  • Clean/replace driver’s door latch actuator
  • Replace driver’s door lock
  • Replace driver’s door mirror
  • Clean/replace window
  • Remove passenger door panel
  • Remove/clean/replace passenger door latch mechanism
  • Replace passenger door lock
  • Replace passenger door mirror
  • Mask parts I don’t want black on vinyl pieces (chrome)
  • Clean all plastic/vinyl
  • Dye/paint vinyl/plastic
  • Mask/paint steering column trim
  • Buff paint off of chrome highlights on console pieces
  • Remove scratches from cluster lens (???)
  • Clean/replace gauge cluster
  • Clean/replace speedometer/tachometer
  • Install 6x4 dash speakers
  • Find water leaks
    • Seal leaks
  • Clean dash electrical harness
  • Replace seat belts
  • Lay Frost King FV516 heat shield (front and rear)
  • Lay deadner (front and rear)
  • Run speaker wire
  • Lay new black pile carpet (front and rear)
  • Install rear speaker boxes
  • Install new amplifier somewhere
    • Dimensions: Depth 13.5” x Width 10.3” x Height 2.3”
  • Install new slim subwoofer wherever it will fit
    • Dimensions: Depth 13.78” x Width 9.84” x Height 2.95”
  • Clean/install door step trim
  • Check/replace all fuses
  • Check replace all wires/connections (replace all Bubba)
  • Fix/paint rear window trim (broke while removing)
  • Adjust weather strip ☹
  • Replace dash
  • Fix rear view mirror tensioner/clip
  • Replace all plastic/vinyl trim including T-top
  • Seal and replace chrome T-top trim
  • Secure steering column
  • Put new seats on brackets
  • Install new seats in car
  • Install new steering wheel
  • DRIVE!!!!!!
  • Disassemble/clean/replace parking brake and springs
  • Electric headlight conversion (???)
  • Crack on fiberglass next to engine bay fixed (???)
  • Hood corner crack fixed (???)
  • Crack in front bumper fixed (???)
  • Paint!!!!
  • Clean engine bay
  • Check spare tire serviceability
Well, thanks for looking and making it to the bottom of my post. I’ll be updating the thread and photo album with more information and pics as I get more work done. I’m all ears for comments and suggestions if you have any thoughts

Last edited by Auggievf; 01-17-2019 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Details details details...
Auggievf is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Auggievf For This Useful Post:
Metalhead140 (01-10-2019)
Old 01-10-2019, 08:11 PM
  #2  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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.....
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-11-2019, 09:40 AM
  #3  
74Ken
CF Senior Member
 
74Ken's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Location: North Oshawa (where all the Camaro's are made) Ontario
Posts: 927
Thanked 47 Times in 42 Posts
Default

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
74Ken is offline  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:44 PM
  #4  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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.
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-11-2019, 01:50 PM
  #5  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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.

Last edited by Auggievf; 01-11-2019 at 03:53 PM.
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:10 PM
  #6  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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 01:14 PM.
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:31 PM
  #7  
74Ken
CF Senior Member
 
74Ken's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Location: North Oshawa (where all the Camaro's are made) Ontario
Posts: 927
Thanked 47 Times in 42 Posts
Default

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
74Ken is offline  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:47 PM
  #8  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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 :-)

Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:47 PM
  #9  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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 01:49 PM.
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-14-2019, 03:19 PM
  #10  
74Ken
CF Senior Member
 
74Ken's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2012
Location: North Oshawa (where all the Camaro's are made) Ontario
Posts: 927
Thanked 47 Times in 42 Posts
Default

OHHHHHHH, you jinxed it now
74Ken is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 74Ken For This Useful Post:
Auggievf (01-14-2019)
Old 01-14-2019, 03:46 PM
  #11  
CraigH
CF Senior Member
 
CraigH's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2010
Location: Canberra Australia
Posts: 1,728
Thanked 117 Times in 107 Posts
Default

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.
CraigH is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to CraigH For This Useful Post:
Auggievf (01-17-2019)
Old 01-15-2019, 07:47 PM
  #12  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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....

Last edited by Auggievf; 01-15-2019 at 07:53 PM.
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:20 PM
  #13  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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....
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 01:41 PM
  #14  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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 01:42 PM.
Auggievf is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 03:35 PM
  #15  
F22
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Oct 2006
Location: Palmdale CA
Posts: 6,507
Thanked 103 Times in 93 Posts
Default

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
F22 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to F22 For This Useful Post:
Auggievf (01-21-2019)
Old 01-21-2019, 06:42 PM
  #16  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

Thanks! I will definitely add that to my ToDo wish list :-D
Auggievf is offline  
Old Yesterday, 03:43 PM
  #17  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

Got my new seat belts, the rest of my parking brake springs, and carpet grommet/fastener kit yesterday :-D

Auggievf is offline  
Old Yesterday, 05:16 PM
  #18  
F22
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Oct 2006
Location: Palmdale CA
Posts: 6,507
Thanked 103 Times in 93 Posts
Default

I've got to replace mine too. They are well-worn...
F22 is offline  
Old Yesterday, 06:57 PM
  #19  
Auggievf
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Auggievf's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2012
Location: Sacramento CA - California
Posts: 110
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Default

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.....
Auggievf is offline  


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: My Corvette Journey - '1974 Restomod


Sponsored Ads
Vendor Directory

Contact Us About Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: