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My c6 Salvage Rebuild Process

 
Old 06-25-2018, 04:08 PM
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overlap
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Default My c6 Salvage Rebuild Process

Long time lurker here. I always planed to get a Corvette to rebuild as I enjoy working on cars. I have never done a full salvage rebuild so this will be a first time for me. I just wanted to have a new project so i decided to go with a C6.
When searching for a salvage car, I wanted a couple of things. at least an 08 because of the LS3, a convertible, and a manual transmission. I was able to find at Copart. 08 Jetstream Blue, convertible, 6 speed. Options it has are, Preferred Equipment Group, 5 Spoke Forged Wheels, and. NPP Exhaust. Car was listed as none running/starting with side impact damage.






After buying the car and having it delivered, I started examining the damage. The main issue I found was that the was major suspension damage. Both Control arms snapped, links snapped, nutserts almost ripped out of the frame and of course inner fender, left fender, bumper, headlight, minor damage to the lower radiator support, minor hood damage, and upper radiator support. The clutch pedal was all the way to the floor and after taking a closer look, the clutch master cylinder rod that attaches to the pedal has bent and broke off with the clutch sensor. So that makes sense why it was a none start car. I read the codes and sure enough it was showing clutch sensor out of range. Here are some pics of the damage.


You can see the upper control arm nutsert ripped out. The other one was bent a little to the left.



Closer look at the nutsert with the broken A-arm.



The other side you can see the snapped Lower A-Arm.



Broken Link and bent shock.

I started to take the suspension apart to check for any other damage. and also to take a closer look at the frame where the A-arm was ripped out. Also I removed the master Clutch cylinder. After taking it apart, the knuckle looked fine as well as the stabilizer bar. the toe end rod looked ok, but I decided to replace it as I already had it apart. Also decided to replace the wheel hub as it was all out. The leaf spring looked ok as well.

I decided to install a tick performance clutch Master cylinder as I have heard the OEM is not that great. Let me tell you, I would not want to install again. What a paint in the butt. Removing and reinstalling the clutch pedal was frustrating with so little room under the dash. I even removed the seat to make it a bit more easy. After fighting it for a while I managed to install it and adjust the pedal. Also installed a new clutch Sensor. After adding new fluid and bleeding the clutch, I was ready to see if it starts. Press the start and same thing, no crank. Then I remembered that the Clutch sensor needs to be programmed. Since I was waiting for my programer to come in, I pulled out my HP tuner and disabled the Clutch needs to be engaged to start. After writing the new config, I try starting again and it starts up right away. Was nice to hear the engine going and it sounded good. Moved the shifter through all the gears and it felt good. No check engine lights or anything.
While waiting for the suspension parts to come in, I replace the plugs, wires, cabin air filter.


New Master Clutch cylinder


Now it was time to decide how to fix the A-Arm frame. After taking a closer look the nutserts are inside a mounting bracket and the bracket is welded to the frame. I decided to make a cut from the top of the bracket and to insert a metal plate, welded and tap a new thread. First thing I cut out the bent nutsert and clean up the hole. Try to get it straight with some heat and a hammer. The second mounting point I used some heat and a hammer to get it straight. After grinding off the paint I used a Multitool with a metal blade to cut out an access point from the top. I got it as wide as I could. I purchased a 1/2 heavy rod and cut it to length to fit inside. Then I had to grind down the corner to make it fit inside and to be straight. It fit really nice and I was ready to weld it in. I used a stick welder as thats what i had and it produces a really strong weld. I weld the plate in place as well as adding some weld points to the other nutsert to make it stronger. Grind off to make it more smooth.



After I decided to add some cold weld just to make it somewhat smooth, sanded some more, and tap a new M10 thread. I took my time measuring and drilling/tapping as I did not want to start over. After that I painted and installed Studs instead of using Bolts. This way if I need to remove the Control arm again, i don't put stress on the mounting points. The repair felt really strong and probably is much more stronger now then it was before.

After receiving the suspension parts, I started to put everything together. I used movetech Lower and upper A-Arm, Moog inner and outer tie rods, bilstein Sports shocks, and adjustable end links.








As soon as my new Brake bleed screws come in, I will bleed the breaks and install the wheel and see how the suspension is working. If everything is ok, I will start working on the lower radiator support, then installing the inner fender and the rest. When it passes inspection I will start rebuilding the right side suspension as well as the rear. Then probably supercharger and other things. I will keep the thread updated with progress and pictures.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:37 PM
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Default Nice !

Nice work so far! I'll be watching this for updates, good luck.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:19 PM
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Very impressive work, I wish I had your talent. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:34 PM
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Seems like a determined owner. Good luck with your process.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:49 PM
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Great work so far, a good way to make it your own. Will be following this thread with great interest. A couple questions for you, what were your costs to acquire? How many miles? Thx!
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:05 PM
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That is interesting, the C6Z has upper CA studs like you have installed.

thanks for posting
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:27 PM
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Thanks All ! I did some progress, I installed a new Upper radiator mount as the old one cracked at the mounting points, I also got 2 new front tires, but as I suspected the left rim was bent. It's not too bad, but instead of fixing it I purchased 2 front Rims from a forum member here. I did go for a drive after changing out the break fluid and it pulled really hard, was a nice feeling. It's been a long time since I drove a muscle car. My last one was an 07 Trailblazer SS and the last time I drove a manual was about 11 years ago. It was exciting. I am restoring the headlights right now and next will be fixing the lower radiator mount/plate. I will post more pics soon. Also received the suspension parts for the front right side, waiting on the Eibach front sway bar, and the inner fender should be here soon.
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by S.C. vette View Post
Great work so far, a good way to make it your own. Will be following this thread with great interest. A couple questions for you, what were your costs to acquire? How many miles? Thx!
It was around $5500 to get the car, the clock shows 140K but I was not worried about that as I will most likely be tearing down the motor at some point. Also I found full service record for the car. It was a 2 owner and the 2nd owner was doing highway miles it seems. Also all services were done on time. The records show that the cooling system was completely repaired about 5K miles ago, and I can see that it has all brand new cooling hoses and radiator was replaced. There is no leaks anywhere that i can see. Some suspension parts were replaced on the front right side, but I will be replacing it all as I don't know when it was done.
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by johny125 View Post
Very impressive work, I wish I had your talent. Keep us posted on your progress.
Thanks, it is my firm time doing a complete rebuild, but to be honest it is not too bad. i'm taking my time and it's progressing. Having the right tools helps and of course all the info in the forum helps.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:36 PM
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I've only seen a couple people on here take on this type of job (fellow in Los Angeles, one in Alabama). It's good to see someone do this. I presume altho the hit to the car looks bad, there was no actual "frame" damage. Good luck and keep posting up on here.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:36 PM
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That’s a great question, did you check the frame?

sounds like you’ll be all in south of $10k

c5/6 suspension parts/fenders are cheap, headlights are also if your wiling to re-lens

you have some patience for that metal work.
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Old 07-06-2018, 02:50 PM
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overlap, that's a nice project and it looks like you're well on your way to getting it done - great job man.
Sounds like you already know what you're doing and you don't need any help , but just a tip to when you'll be installing the fender liners - I see that you left the original blobs of the glue on the frame... I did same, except I only left smaller pieces, maybe 1x1'' and used those original blobs as spacers when installing the new fender and just added more 3m glue around those areas. This is super important as it will set the spacing between hood, fender and door.

Not to hijack your post (I can remove the links if you would like me to) but I did a similar project 12 years ago on an 01 coupe, if you want some inspiration or just to look at the pictures...
before: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...shed-pics.html
after: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...date-pics.html
Steve Doten, above, actually help me with some technical issues I was having and this forum, in general, is priceless for this type of stuff.
Good luck and I'll be checking back often to see the progress!
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AORoads View Post
I've only seen a couple people on here take on this type of job (fellow in Los Angeles, one in Alabama). It's good to see someone do this. I presume altho the hit to the car looks bad, there was no actual "frame" damage. Good luck and keep posting up on here.
From what I can see, there was no frame damage. The hit missed the front impact bar and took out the headlight a part of the inner fender and the suspension. All the other panels were lined up fine, now when I finally get it aligned something might show up.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveDoten View Post
Thatís a great question, did you check the frame?

sounds like youíll be all in south of $10k

c5/6 suspension parts/fenders are cheap, headlights are also if your wiling to re-lens

you have some patience for that metal work.
Thanks. Iím doing this mostly for fun and to keep busy. I know I could get a c6 thatís not wrecked, but there is just something when you rebuild and make it your own.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
overlap, that's a nice project and it looks like you're well on your way to getting it done - great job man.
Sounds like you already know what you're doing and you don't need any help , but just a tip to when you'll be installing the fender liners - I see that you left the original blobs of the glue on the frame... I did same, except I only left smaller pieces, maybe 1x1'' and used those original blobs as spacers when installing the new fender and just added more 3m glue around those areas. This is super important as it will set the spacing between hood, fender and door.

Not to hijack your post (I can remove the links if you would like me to) but I did a similar project 12 years ago on an 01 coupe, if you want some inspiration or just to look at the pictures...
before: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...shed-pics.html
after: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...date-pics.html
Steve Doten, above, actually help me with some technical issues I was having and this forum, in general, is priceless for this type of stuff.
Good luck and I'll be checking back often to see the progress!
thanks for the tip. I been reading up on the alignment of the fender and already have the gun/3M glue ready. I will be trimming the old marks like you did as well. I also have the old fender, the only part that broke off was the headlight mount part. I can probably use it to measure the install for the new one.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:48 AM
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Here are some updates on the rebuild. I have installed two new front tires and as suspected, the front left is a little bent. As luck would have it a forum member was selling a set of the same rims, so instead of fixing the bad wheel I bought a set of front. They will be here next week and I will swap out the tires to the new rims. I did take out the car for a short drive and to my surprise it drove straight, even with all the suspension parts that were replaced and no alignment yet. I also exchanged the break fluid with synthetic and used the ABS to pump out all of the old fluid. Here are some pics with the tires on.



Next I replaced the upper radiator mount with a new part and cleaned up the engine bay a bit. Inspected all the cooling hoses, etc. From the service history report I pulled, the whole cooling system was rebuilt a little while ago.



Next I started replacing the headlight lenses and gaskets. I needed a new LH headlight and I was able to find one at a local yard for under $100, it was red color so I needed to paint the inside of the light after taking it apart.
Here is a before pic of the light.


And here is the light after cleaning, painting it, and installing new lens and gasket.



And here is the RH headlight drying out on the bench. Just a Lens replacement and will get a new gasket as well.



Next I replaced the passenger side mirror. Looks like it was damaged in transit as the original picture did not show the damage. I got lucky and again found a mint mirror in jetstream blue color. I had to remove the passenger door panel, all the insulation and install the new mirror. While doing that, I found that the car had a full Pro audio system installed at some point. There were Polk Audio speakers in the front, power distribution blocks and ground blocks, amp wiring etc.
Here is the pic of the old mirror.


And the new mirror on the car.



Also today the fender came that I found in jetstream blue. It has a couple of small scratches but nothing that can't be fixed.

Next I was gong to replace the battery wiring as the original had some corrosion on it, but decided just to cut off the ends and install new terminals I got on Amazon.



The next thing I will try to take care of is the lower radiator support. It looks like it cracked in a couple of places, but nothing big. I don't have an aluminum welder so I will try to use brazing rods to fix it, if that does not work I will take it to a shop to do it. Here is a pic of it on the car.


So that's the progress so far. I'm not sure how much I can get done this week as it is a heat wave here in Cali and not that fun working in the garage when its 116 degrees.
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:25 AM
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Cant braze aluminum, the al will blow away, call a mobile welder. can be torch welded with proper rod n goggles but need to practice a bit or blows away fast.

Last edited by Yokesc5; 07-07-2018 at 01:27 AM. Reason: Addl info
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by overlap View Post
Here are some updates on the rebuild. I have installed two new front tires and as suspected, the front left is a little bent. As luck would have it a forum member was selling a set of the same rims, so instead of fixing the bad wheel I bought a set of front. They will be here next week and I will swap out the tires to the new rims. I did take out the car for a short drive and to my surprise it drove straight, even with all the suspension parts that were replaced and no alignment yet. I also exchanged the break fluid with synthetic and used the ABS to pump out all of the old fluid. Here are some pics with the tires on.



Next I replaced the upper radiator mount with a new part and cleaned up the engine bay a bit. Inspected all the cooling hoses, etc. From the service history report I pulled, the whole cooling system was rebuilt a little while ago.



Next I started replacing the headlight lenses and gaskets. I needed a new LH headlight and I was able to find one at a local yard for under $100, it was red color so I needed to paint the inside of the light after taking it apart.
Here is a before pic of the light.


And here is the light after cleaning, painting it, and installing new lens and gasket.



And here is the RH headlight drying out on the bench. Just a Lens replacement and will get a new gasket as well.



Next I replaced the passenger side mirror. Looks like it was damaged in transit as the original picture did not show the damage. I got lucky and again found a mint mirror in jetstream blue color. I had to remove the passenger door panel, all the insulation and install the new mirror. While doing that, I found that the car had a full Pro audio system installed at some point. There were Polk Audio speakers in the front, power distribution blocks and ground blocks, amp wiring etc.
Here is the pic of the old mirror.


And the new mirror on the car.



Also today the fender came that I found in jetstream blue. It has a couple of small scratches but nothing that can't be fixed.

Next I was gong to replace the battery wiring as the original had some corrosion on it, but decided just to cut off the ends and install new terminals I got on Amazon.



The next thing I will try to take care of is the lower radiator support. It looks like it cracked in a couple of places, but nothing big. I don't have an aluminum welder so I will try to use brazing rods to fix it, if that does not work I will take it to a shop to do it. Here is a pic of it on the car.


So that's the progress so far. I'm not sure how much I can get done this week as it is a heat wave here in Cali and not that fun working in the garage when its 116 degrees.
So i've actually done the same with a totaled c6 and the radiator support bracket was broken the same way. My recommendation is to buy a new radiator support. They're running around $300 shipped, It affects how the front bumper lines up. If imperfection bothers you, it just isn't worth the hassle. My 0.02$

Last edited by rsb213; 07-08-2018 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rsb213 View Post
So i've actually done the same with a totaled c6 and the radiator support bracket was broken the same way. My recommendation is to buy a new radiator support. They're running around $300 shipped, It affects how the front bumper lines up. If imperfection bothers you, it just isn't worth the hassle. My 0.02$
Thanks,
That is what i did. For some reason I thought the reproduction units had no nutserts installed, but it looks like they do now. Should be here next week.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:48 PM
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Hey all, it's been some time since my last post, but I have been waiting mostly for parts and for the heat to die down.
I have installed the lower radiator support with an aftermarket one that is much stronger then the OEM. It looks like it has ben replaced before as the one I took out was the OEM with no rivets in it and a couple of bolts were broken off. It was attached with sheet metal screws to the frame. I used the same mount points and it went in fine.

I also installed the inner fender and it was actually not too bad. There is not much movement in there and can really on go in one way. The most important thing is the prep. I trimmed all the old adhesive to 1 inch strips to use as shims, then I grinned down the strips to about 75% of the original thickness, removed all the high spots and sanded down to bare metal where the new adhesive would go. Applied the adhesive to the frame and installed the fender. Used some large clams on the top and small clams on the bottom. I used the alternator as a clamp mount point as it lighted up with the fender and gave good resistance when I tightened the clamps. I let it dry overnight and after installed the headlight, outer fender and all went in very nice. Next is the front bumper which iI'm waiting for delivery and some small screws/parts.
Here are the pics of the inner fender drying. I will post more later with the outer fender installed.




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