Friday, February 26, 2016

1976 Corvette Steering Column and the "Vega" Wheel
Part Six

I've been rethinking my original plan to use a few parts from my 1976 steering column when I am ready to do the swap. This approach would certainly save me a few bucks, however, it would delay the swap a bit.

Time and money considerations aside, repurposing parts would also leave me with another steering column in pieces, and that may not be the smartest approach. So I've been doing lots of research in order to purchase the parts I am missing in order to have a fully restored 1979 Corvette steering column, and have it ready to do the swap.

Some of the parts I've had to order include the steering column key lock metal plate (photo on right), the upper bearing spring, turn signal canceling cam and the steering column upper shaft locking ring retainer.

I also found a new turn signal switch (photo below) at Amazon for $21.11 which will supposedly work for my 1979 column.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Getting the Rochester Quadrajet Rebuilt

Attempting to properly tune the Edelbrock 1406, so my '76 Corvette would run properly, has proven to be a frustrating and expensive experience, as well as a losing battle.

I had three professional mechanics tinker with it, and it would either run too lean or too rich, and it would bog down in some occasions. Eventually I took matters into my own hands and got it to work significantly better, but no one is reimbursing me the money I wasted having "pros" tune it up.

Alas, the Edelbrock continues to have issues that have made me decide, once and for all, to give up wasting time and money trying to get it to work as advertised and, instead, have the original Rochester Quadrajet professionally rebuilt.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

1976 Corvette Steering Column and the "Vega" Wheel
Part Five

As I've probably mentioned before, my steering column bearings are shot, so I ordered new ones along with a few other components needed for the restoration of the assembly.

Everyone knows that parts with the Corvette name attached to them cost twice as much as those intended for the rest of the Chevrolet/GM models and, by a fluke really, I came across a kit offered through Amazon.com for the main shaft bearing, including the retainers and clip.

The funny thing is that this kit also fits most Jeep and GM vehicles. Long story short, for $23 I thought I'd get one and if it didn't work I would just send it back.

Monday, February 15, 2016

UPDATE: Edelbrock 1406 Tuning

So far, upgrading the metering rods from 0.75" x .047" to 0.70" x .047" and the step-up springs from 4" to 5" Hg has made a huge improvement to how the car drives, especially the flat-spots it was suffering from during acceleration from a dead stop as well as at highway speeds between 60 and 70 mph.

As detailed in a previous post, changing the metering rods and step-up springs is a piece of cake, and after doing so, I tuned-up the carb once more and have it idling nicely at 600 rpm at operating temperature (1200 rpm on a cold start).

Saturday, February 13, 2016

1976 Corvette Steering Column and the "Vega" Wheel
Part Four

My steering column swap project keeps making progress, albeit slowly, but I am learning quite a bit along the process.

A couple of local mechanics have shared a few valuable tips on disassembling the column, and Inside the GM Tilt Steering Column—a very detailed 69-page article I found online on how to disassemble, repair and reassemble a GM steering column—has proven invaluable, thanks in great part to the many clear photos.

Since the article is published in PDF format, I downloaded a copy to my hard drive for future reference, and you may want to do the same just in case.

If you ever need to disassemble your Corvette's steering column in order to repair or replace one of the many parts it contains, you will need to have a couple inexpensive tools. 

You will need a steering column lock ring compressor. Many auto parts stores have these in stock but I got mine from Amazon (#sponsored).

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuning the Edelbrock Performer 1406 Carburetor

Sometimes I end up buying the wrong parts or stuff that's not good enough for the car or my performance expectations. And while I am totally aware that there's only so much performance an L-48 engine can deliver, I would like it to—at least—perform properly and trouble-free.

It is obvious that in the case of the Edelbrock 1406 Performer carburetor, my choices were not the best for many reasons.

First, I was unable to use the factory air cleaner which, although not the prettiest thing on the planet, at least delivered a good amount of clean and cool(er) air to the original carburetor.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Edelbrock Performer 1406 Carburetor Issues

Even though my car ran pretty well when I first had the Edelbrock Performer 600 cfm carb installed, the car has been developing a few issues which have forced me to take matters into my own hands to try to solve them once and for all.

Based on a conversation I had with a Summit Racing rep, I decided to go ahead and order a few parts to see if what he claimed was part of the problem, would indeed be resolved by the addition of a different carb base plate and gaskets.

I called the Edelbrock technical line to see what they had to say about this "issue," and was told that—as far as a Performer carb to Performer intake manifold application— that problem did not apply.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Rock & Brews Oviedo Car Show

While at a local car cruise, I heard about a car show taking place on Saturday, January 30th from 11 am to 2 pm in Oviedo, about 25 miles from Orange City.

Since the guy who mentioned the event happened to be driving a 75 Corvette convertible, we agreed to meet there at about 10:30 am the next day.

The next morning, as I merged onto I-4 traffic headed west, I spotted him about 5 cars in front of me. Talk about a fluke! We could not have planned that better. And so we caravanned down to our destination and arrived at 10:30 am as planned.

However, the place was already teeming with show cars but we managed to find a couple decent parking spots.

Much to my delight, C3s (for a change) were well represented, with several in attendance.

Here are a few photos of the event.