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Kart build. Another one................

 
Old 08-01-2018, 10:08 AM
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w650gb500
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Default Kart build. Another one................


So I have no imagination. Fine. So Iím easily amused by things that I see on the interwebs. Fine. I have a 1990 Corvette thatís hit in the front and a 1993 Anniversery Edition chassis sitting here. Whatís a guy to do with them? Copy what has seemed to work for others and build another toy.

First let me ask you guys to PLEASE not complain about cutting up a Corvette. I get it. If the car were not in the shape itís in, I wouldnít be cutting it up, I would sell it to someone who would show it some love. In saying that, I will be building something rather COOL and sharing it with the community for your approval and discussion. Letís get this started.

So hereís the back story. Along time ago I purchased the 1990 from a friend of a friend who had recently crashed it. Let me just state up-front that Iím not a Corvette guy, but to help the guy out who needed the $$$, I bought it. I figured I would either part the car out or sell it as-is and try to make a few dollars on the deal. Not long after acquiring the car, I found this forum and someone who was parting out a 1993 anniversary car and had a clean chassis for sale. It was cheap and I figured it makes what I have more valuable should someone want to rebuild it.

In talking with an old racing buddy, he expressed an interest in the cars and we were going to do some haggling over what I would get in return. I remembered that he had a Cheetah replica chassis that I had wanted. We came to an agreement and he was going to trade me the both Corvettes for the Cheetah built up as a rolling chassis. So, I trailer everything out to his shop, drop it off and knowing the way he works, figured I wouldnít see anything for several months. Well, life got in the way(new house, family illness, new shop) and several months turned into several years. I ended up going to his shop and retrieving everything after we found the project was never going to go anywhere . Upon getting everything back to my shop, I saw how much the good car had deteriorated over time just sitting closed up outside. Now I had some decisions to make, what to do with an old C-4 Corvette and a bare chassis? Again, part it out but C-4ís donít bring any $$$. Build one of the numerous kit cars on the market using the donor parts? The current trend is that there are numerous people that have built Corvette karts and seem to be having a lot of inexpensive fun, so why not explore that route? I did some calculating and I figured for a couple of grand I could easily complete one, so here it goes........... It certainly will not be a quick build as life always seems to get in the way, but all I will update it as often as I can. It wonít be fancy with turbos or superchargers, just a normally aspirated toy using as much of the donor car as possible. In true ďgrassrootsĒ fashion, I will be parting out the unused parts from the donor to recoup some of the initial investment.

Here are some pix of the donor 1990 Z-51 6-speed car and the 1993 Anniversary chassis that will be cut up for the project.



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Old 08-01-2018, 10:18 AM
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First the rear fenders were ripped, hammered, saw-z-all’d off the chassis along with the rear floor. Next the “targa band” disappeared. Then the windshield frame went away.
Quarters and rear floor removed.


Targa band cut off.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:25 AM
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Then the windshield frame came off since it wouldn’t work with the roll cage that I planned on building. I hadn’t planned on going any further with the deconstruction but I soon found out that the firewall and transmission tunnel were fiberglass. I wasn’t crazy about that, so some decisions needed to be made........


Windshield-less.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:34 AM
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I spent some time sitting next to the chassis and looking at it. I also looked online at the other Corvette kart builds to see just how far people went in tearing their chassis apart. I really wasn’t crazy about having fiberglass surrounding the engine, so I decide to remove it. Probably further than most other hacks go, but I can build a firewall and tunnel, so why not. When removing the front floor, I find out that 1/2 the floor is fiberglass and the rear 1/2 is sheetmetal. If the front floor has to be replaced, why not replace everything and build a new tunnel, floor and rear bulkhead. It’s more work, but should be a much cleaner job when completed.



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Old 08-01-2018, 10:41 AM
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Since the chassis and rollcage will be constructed from 1.75”x0095” DOM tubing, that firewall surround/cowl/doorjamb structure looked out-of-place sitting on the perimeter frame. Now, you know that I’m not afraid to cut up something, so I broke out the spotweld drill and neatly removed the cowl. Its really only held on with 12 or so spotwelds per side and in 1/2 an hour it was done. Some grinding and all I was left with is the absolute basic frame of a C-4 Corvette or what I call the “blank canvas” for my build.



Cleanly removed cowl.


A naked Corvette frame!


Last edited by w650gb500; 08-01-2018 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:54 AM
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All of the “tear-down” took a week or so of my free time in the shop, but now the chassis can get put on the frame table, squared-up, bolted-down and rollcage fabrication can begin.

I have to fast-forward a bit as I lost numerous pix on my phone somehow. Damn!



Front a-pillar to frame attachment.


Rear downtube attachment.


Main cage.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:04 AM
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The front chassis tubes were also completed yesterday. There will be numerous additional chassis tubes added eventually, but I left them out for now. Until the interior sheetmetal work gets done, any additional tubes would simply get in the way.



Front frame tubing.


FIA a-pillar brace.


Chassis front view.


Another chassis view.


Full side view.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:07 AM
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Well, here it is, the beginnings of my Corvette kart build. A bit more involved that any other that I’ve seen, more of an IMCA modified build. A buddy showed me pix of the Monte Carlo dirt car that he built and it looks very similar!

Go ahead gang, but be gentle.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:13 PM
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That will stiffen up that chassis.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:22 PM
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Lookin' good! I wish I had done some of the things you did, with my project. Keep the pics coming!
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:41 PM
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
Lookin' good! I wish I had done some of the things you did, with my project. Keep the pics coming!
Care to elaborate? If there are issues or areas that need some special attention when building one of these, Iíd rather find out early enough so that changes can be made.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:08 PM
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I don't love how my frame/firewall interface (or, how they DON'T interface). I like your solution better.

I also think that stripping it to the bare frame is a better way to approach it than the way I did were I kept it mostly driveable the entire time I worked on it. If I were doing it again, I'd do it like you did and strip it to the frame, get the frame the way I want it, paint, then drop the frame back onto the drivetrain.
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:39 AM
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I took a drive to Contemporary Corvettes, about two hours away, to pick up the engine cradle and left front spindle. Those are the two parts that were damaged from the crashed donor car. Very nice people to deal with and good prices for clean and correct parts. If you haven’t dealt with them before, I would recommend them and give the transaction with them two thumbs up.

I had some free time at the end of the day and threw the rear suspension under the chassis because I wanted to get it to the point where I could roll it around the shop. It was when I got to the front end that I recalled how much you were limited in lowering the front end of these cars because of the damn spring. Back in the Corvette Challenge days, we could get the car a little over an inch lower, but that’s not going to be enough for this build. Years later, we had an SCCA ITE, x-Challenge car that we converted to front coil overs and that set-up worked very well. I put the a-arms on and took a look at how much space was available where the stock shock mounts. 2 spaces over in the shop sits my fathers Lotus 7 which just so happens to have a set of QA-1 coilovers on it. So, I jacked it up and removed a front one to see if there was any chance it would fit on the Corvette chassis. Holding it in place, it looked like it would work. It was going to be tight, but then looking at the upper mount, it would fit better if that weren’t there. Well, I have a saw-z-all and a grinder and half an hour later, both upper mounts were removed from the chassis and ground clean. Now, holding the shock in place, you can see that a mount welded to the newly installed chassis tube is the natural place for the upper mount to go. I ran out of time for the week, but next week should be fun. I will set the chassis at static ride height(5 to 5-1/2” at the pinch weld), figure the height of the front tire, position the upper shock mount and that will tell me the compressed and extended length of the shock that will work.



Rear suspension and engine cradle installed.


Front suspension installed.


Upper shock mount removed in preparation for coilover conversion.



Last edited by w650gb500; 08-04-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:07 AM
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I realize that this isn’t a popular thread to most of you who are Corvette purists, but it was either this build or it went to the scrap yard. I feel like I’m giving it another chance at life and trust me, it will be a fun life!

I haven’t had much time over the last few months as we are doing building/roof repairs and trying to get them done before winter. Anyway, the front suspension has been figured out. I know that there was no way to get the ride height low enough with the stock transverse leaf, so mounting a pair of coilovers was going to be the only solution. Some “massaging” of the frame was needed to get proper spring clearance, but other than that, it was a fairly straight forward installation. QA-1 compression and rebound adjustable coilovers now reside on all 4 corners. Here’s a few pix of the process.



Coilover in place with temporary bolt-on upper mount.

Frame lip removed for coil spring clearance.

Frame massaged and welded.

Rear coilover mounts in stock location.

Stub for front upper coilover mount.

Not pretty, but necessary for clearance.

Rear upper mount in stock location.

Front coilover mount in stock location.

Made this look decent with some welding/grinding.

A few cuts to relive the area in order to eventually get it to where it needs to be.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:04 PM
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I think its a cool build, forget the purist as there was a whole lot of Vettes produced in the 84-96 era and the collectibles are hardly driven anyways, so let's keep seeing them pictures and what you come up with
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:07 AM
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I

The front end is too short and I need to build some extended mounts for the bumper.


C-5 wagon wheels are what I’m going to use on the car.

Rear bumper installed.

Transmission tunnel done.

Rear bulkhead in place.

Front bumper done, but I might cut the corners back an inch and weld a small cap on. I fear this will bloody a few shins/knees if left like this.

Trans and floor almost done. A few floor supports yet to be installed.

Front bumper extensions.

Overall 44” tall.

It’s coming along.


Nothing fancy, just a bunch of 1”x1”x0.125” tubing.

C-5 wagon wheel on the left and C-4 Grand Sport on the right. Not sure which ones are going to get used.
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for the update. That’s going to be so much fun.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:47 PM
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It is not too hard to alternatively see that as being the basis for a really great handling kit car build.

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Old 02-08-2019, 01:30 AM
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Brilliant! There is a FB Vette hack page for cars like yours! I have a very similar build, but I kept more of the car while not retaining much. I love how far you took it. I just didn't have the time for that in depth of a build. Bravo. It looks great
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