Sunday, April 29, 2012

-=Where I've been and recent projects

I've been absent from blogging for a while now.  The 2012 Corvette and collector car season has hit.  For me this means work, work, work.  Both for the shop I work for and my small side business servicing corvettes.  Mix them all together along with working on my own projects as well as family members and it makes free time almost non existent.  So this AM I have a few minutes and wanted to write a little bit about some of the things I've been working on.

First the 1971 Nova SS (with a 350 and turbo 350 with a floor shifter) pictured above, this is my mother in laws car.  One of a few in the toy collection.  She has owned this car since it was almost new she purchased is in the early 70's.  It is mostly original, up until 2009 it was Nevada silver with a vinyl top.  She decided to change the color to Mulsanne blue and leave the top off.  I really like the color myself, my wife not so much.  The body work was done by a local shop near my mother in laws home.  Before 2009 the car was in need of some heavy work the truck and quarters were rotted away.  The shop did repair the body and some of the mechanical work.  Which she left some of the work for me to do on this car, as I am not a body guy I couldn't really help much with the other work.

To start, we needed to get this car running right, it was running rough and back firing through the carb, I had rebuilt the carb last year, along with setting the timing and at that time found the vac advance not to be working very well.  Needless to say after adjusting the points, setting the timing she was running better, but still not good enough.  The original ignition system was very weak to say the least, so I upgraded it with an HEI distributor.  Since there was a budget of what I could spend on parts I looked around to see what my options were, I found ebay had an HEI distributor, with the cap, rotor, coil, and wire set for a really low price so of course I thought hmm, maybe the quality is an issue.  I read reviews and other peoples experiences and they were not that bad, so I decided to give it a try.  Wow what a difference the car starts cold with depressing the throttle 1 time, warm it will start quickly without touching the peddle.  So far no issues with reliability of course we need to put some miles on the car and see.  If it fails it does have a lifetime warranty too surprising for something being made overseas.

Next it was in need of rear springs, as they were sagging, along with body mount bushings.  I replaces these items, the springs restored the rear ride height by almost 3 inches!  I still have a list of items to replace on this car as I have time, for this year the list included the front lower ball joints, power steering hoses, the trans fluid and install the missing inspection cover, change the coolant ect.  Next year I'd like to install and replace the parking brake cables, and maybe the upper control arm bushings.  Typically I like everything working, and everything in good shape on all our vehicles.

So that's been one of my projects that is waiting in the wings as I have time for it.  A quick update on the '57 project. The exhaust has been installed, we have had it on the road for a test drive, it runs great!  We are currently finishing up the prep for the trim shop which includes mounting a custom built electronics tray which is located under the rear seat all designed and hand built by me and our body guy.  Once it is ready it will be shipped out for the interior work, then return for exterior trim and finishing.  Along with the alignment and working any bugs out of the system.  It should be on the streets by mid season.


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