Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rebuilding and Upgrading the Corvette L-48 Engine | Part 4

Even though Sunrise Automotive is closed on weekends, Mark (the shop's owner), decided to come in on Saturday for a few hours in order to start installing some of the parts that were powder coated by Topp Coat in Orange City, Florida.

He called me Saturday afternoon and asked me to come in to see something. Of course, my first question was, "What's wrong?" Well, thankfully nothing was wrong, but Mark felt that the a/c brackets looked horrible next to freshly powder coated parts. And they did.

After I left Sunrise Automotive, I stopped by Topp Coat and, luckily, John was there, so I explained that I'd have a few more parts needing gloss black powder coating on Monday. And of course, this would be a rush job since Mark wants the car to be done by mid week. John said that he'd do his best, and I am confident he can deliver.

Fast-forward to Tuesday and, after dropping off the a/c brackets yesterday, John called me today to let me know they were done. How's that for super-fast service!

I rushed them to Sunrise Automotive and John and Billy wasted no time getting them on the motor, and what a sight that motor is.

Above: Freshly powder coated a/c brackets are on the left side.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blue Persuasion

With seductive paint names including LeMans, International, Mulsanne, Bridgehampton, Targa and Bryar Blue Metallic—to name a few of the many blue paint shades available on 1968 through 1982 Corvettes—I had to include a selection of beautiful blue C3s that I've collected while web surfing.

Even though my '76 is red, blue has been one of my favorite colors for a long time and I've owned blue 1968 and 1971 Corvettes as well as a Medium Dark Royal blue 1984 Trans Am. My daily driver is a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500, that I purchased because I loved the Atlantic Blue Pearl paint it came with from the factory.

This is my way to pay homage to blue C3 Corvettes.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Painting the Water Pump Chevy Orange

About a year-and-a-half ago I had the water pump replaced, but it recently developed a tiny seepage, so my mechanic recommended I get a new one.

Since this one came from Napa, it had a lifetime warranty, so today I got a brand new water pump. I had painted the previous one with cast metal paint which looks sort of okay. But now, since I want the rebuilt motor to look correct, I decided to paint it Chevy Orange.

First, I gave it a coat of VHT (Very High Temperature) primer followed by a couple of coats of VHT Chevy Orange. Once the last coat was dry, I gave it a final coat of VHT glossy clear, which matches the finish of the ceramic paint the shop used for the engine.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The "Made In China" Syndrome

A few weeks ago I installed a new coolant overflow tank and cap since the original parts were definitely showing their age. I also felt that a freshly rebuilt engine, along with a detailed firewall, justified a few new complementary parts.

So I installed the new tank and cap, as well as the necessary hoses.

Well, as I was looking under the hood today, I noticed that the overflow nipple had failed, even though there was no pressure applied to the cap or hose. My guess is that "strain" caused by the hose—as it angles down to drain excess coolant—caused the part to fail.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rebuilding and Upgrading the Corvette L-48 Engine | Part 3

Mark at Sunrise Automotive called me this morning to let me know that the engine was back from the machine shop, in case I wanted to snap a few pics before they started spraying Eastwood Ceramic Chevy Orange on it.

I did, and glad I got to see it before paint, as the motor looked squeaky clean with new water plugs and hardware. Mark—wanting to get it done—had already masked it so it was ready for paint.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

2nd Annual Classic Car and Corvette Show
at Cecil Clark Chevrolet | Saturday, February 20, 2016

Back in late January, I registered for the Corvette and Classic Car show at Cecil Clark Chevy in Leesburg, about an hour's drive from my house. And even though I thought I was early enough registration-wise, they only had a handful of spots available.

This show was well worth the drive out since they had a full house of Corvettes and lots of other interesting classic cars. About 230 total, and when you travel a bit out of town, you get to see cars you don't see at local events.

Really looking forward to the 3rd Annual show in early 2017.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Green with Envy

Green can be associated with positive or negative things.

A few examples that come to mind are, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence," "We got the green light," "I don't have a green thumb," or as in the title I chose for this post, "Green with envy."

Now to be "green with envy" is not necessarily a bad thing, as some of the dictionary definitions describe the idiom as: "Wishing very much that you had what someone else has," or possessing something that is "extremely covetous."

Hey, our paper currency is green, and we'd all love to have more of it, right?

So here's a selection of green C3 Corvettes that should get your jealousy juices going, and hopefully not in a negative way.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Detailing Gas Cap Door, Bezel and Hardware

There are areas that tend to accumulate lots of dirt and wax buildup over the years, and even though we do our best to keep these areas clean, sometimes the only way to really make them look their best is to take them off the car.

In the case of the gas tank door, it's an easy project that should not take more than an hour to do, provided all the components are there and in working condition. Tools required are a phillips screwdriver, a car finish cleaner, wax, chrome polish, and clean microfiber rags.

I started by assessing the area and as the photos below show, you can see where dirt and wax have accumulated, plus the area indicated by the blue arrow below, where the paint was chipped.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Restoring Factory Exhaust Manifolds | Ceramic Coating

Back in January, I made a post about restoring the factory exhaust manifolds with Calyx Manifold Dressing. The product is a paste with the consistency of shoe polish, that must be brushed on with either a foam brush or an old tooth brush.

The results are quite good for an application that can be done in less than an hour with a cold engine.

Before Calyx

Friday, August 12, 2016

"All Corvettes are Red ..."

It's time for another episode of "All Corvettes are Red," brought to you by My 1976 Corvette Stingray Blog and other fine sponsors.

Okay, just me, but I do like red C3s and I hope you do as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Video: 1977 Corvette Restomod

This is a great video, featuring a 1977 Corvette that's been lightly restomodded.


I must admit that watching this video a while back, fanned the flames that ultimately motivated me to do something about having my 180-horse L-48 motor rebuilt and upgraded into the 300-plus-horse neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Corvette Garage Decor

It seems that every time I stop by the local Hobby Lobby here in Orange City, Florida, I manage to find something Corvette related to bring home, and today was no exception.

While looking at a display of metal signs advertised at half-off price, I found one that had a representation of both a '66 and a '76 Corvette Stingray, and even though the '76 was blue, it did not matter.


So I quickly parted with $20 plus sales tax and found a perfect spot in my garage for it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Air Cleaner Assembly Powdercoated Gloss Black

I couldn't help myself, and I had to have the air cleaner assembly powdercoated by the guys at Topp Coat in Orange City, FL.

Even though the assembly was done approximately only six months ago, the quality of the gloss black coating they use is impossible to resist, and they work fast and charge a fair price.

I dropped off the air cleaner assembly this past Friday, and picked it up today, Tuesday, and I am so glad I decided to have this done.

And with these kind of results, who can argue?

Friday, August 5, 2016

1973 Corvette Video Review

I happened to come across this nicely done video review of the 1973 Corvette Stingray, a model unique in its own way since it featured the then-new rubber front bumper with the traditional chrome rear bumpers, which was a one-year-only feature.


1973 Corvette Review from Discovery Bay Studios Weddings on Vimeo.

The car featured in this video, is in beautiful condition and appears to be all original.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

1976 Corvette Steering Column and the "Vega" Wheel
Part Ten (Final Chapter)

Thankfully, the light at the end of this tunnel was not an incoming train, and this is the last and final installment of my 1976 Corvette Steering Column and the "Vega" Wheel series of how-to articles, where I share how I rebuilt a 1978 Corvette steering column I found on Craigslist, mods I made, which parts I replaced, and the actual swap.

The project was actually started in December of 2015, when I spotted a 1978 Corvette steering column listed on Craigslist, for which I ended paying $65. Needless to say, the unit needed a LOT of work and many parts, as it had not been treated kindly by the previous owner(s). The first installment of the series was posted on Friday, January 1st of this year.


Incidentally, at the end of each installment, I've provided a direct link to the next chapter for those readers who want to easily follow the 10-chapter series.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Firewall and Engine Bay Detailing | Part 6

Glad to be done with sanding and painting, and happy to say that my Corvette's engine bay is 99% done!


Save for a few bolts to tighten down and a couple of wires to plug in, this thing is ready for the few pieces that are getting powder coated and the freshly rebuilt engine to be dropped in.

I am very pleased with how the Dupli-Color Truck Bed Coating textured finish looks on the firewall, and the wiring cleaning and detailing turned out great, too.