73 Black Vert Bitza

C3 Specific - Technical and Performance

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ScottW
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:59 am
Location: Gold Coast

73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:47 pm

Here's my 1973 vette that I bought around 10 years ago. It has a 1980 front end and 80's dash and seats.

Engine is a 400 sbc that was backed up by a Turbo 350 auto. That box is now shelved with a TKO600 sitting under the work bench waiting to go in once I finish fixing some damage to the floor.

I've been slowly tidying it up and replacing stuff, but when ever I do one thing, I notice about 10 other things.

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I had to fix one of the rear control arms. One thing lead to another and next thing the whole rear end was off.

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The whole underbody, including the chassis was coated with some sort of sound deadening. This was find for the body, but trapped water and lead to surface rust on the chassis, so the whole lot was cleaned up and fish oiled, undercoated and painted.

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Also the gearbox x-member was pretty badly bent, so I fixed that up and gave it a coat of paint also.

Along the way I have accumulated a few parts, including a glass rear spring and a new set of control arms.

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I have just cleaned up and painted the diff and support member so hopefully they will be back in place soon.

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I love the red 'Limited slip diff oil only' tag
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Gotta love milk crates :)

I bolted the diff to the x-member and added some fresh oil.

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Still got the little red tag ;-)

Using a trolley jack, the whole thing was carefully moved into place, jacked up, with the tailshaft slotted into place and the x-member bolted up.

Then the front diff mount was bolted on with a new poly mount.
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I thought I'd gotten stuck putting in the bolt for the front diff mount but I could just get it in by lifting up the front of the diff.

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New Trailing arms in place.

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A few pics of the rear end back together.
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And my Brakes eady to go back together. I have been waiting on an o-ring for where the halves join. I didn't think it would be that difficult.
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I now have a rear spring, and my rear brake calipers back on.

I was searching through the back-up drive the other day and I came across a couple of pics taken the day I got the car. It's at the servo right near the docks in Brisbane.

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This is what it looks like now. Today I finally got the car back sitting on it's wheels after what was probably 2 years.

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It's been a long time coming. I picked up a set of cheap rims a week ago, and got some tyres on there this morning. So now I'll be able to roll it outside and give is a clean, once my old man gets his car out of the way anyway.

I have also been fighting the engine mounts for the last week. I finally got them in, so I can bolt the headers up next.

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For the past 2 months though, I have been cleaning up the seat shells.

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After a lot of thinners, most of the red and white paint that was thickly applied is now gone. I'll have to clean my soaking container and go over all the pieces again to remove the left over splashes and what-not, then give them a coat of paint. I'll have to clean up the other seat pieces and rails, then I can bolt everything back in and make it look like a useable car again.

Well, once again I have bought a batch of parts, and once again, I couldn't help myself. I now have new tierods and tubes, ball joints, lower arm bushes, a few other bits, and a set of tubular control arms! These have 5 degrees of castor ove the std 3 degrees. VBandP had their february sale, and since the top arms have new bushes and ball joints, I got them to leave out the duplicate items from the front end rebuild kit. All in all, it came out at a very decent price.

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Last night I set the car up and removed the wheels. Tonight the fun started. First step, caliper and rotor off. I also dropped the shock out.

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Next I spent the best part of an hour trying to get the tie-rod off. Using a separator (that I bought on the way home this afternoon), a hammer, the oxy, a bigger hammer and it didn't budge, so I gave up on it for now and moved onto the upper ball joint. A few easy hits of the hammer on the separator and the ball joint popped off. I think removing the split pin took the most time.

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Then I removed the top arm, making sure i taped the alignment shims together and labeled them.

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and Lastly, I wrestled the spring out. It is almost impossible to get the spring compressors in there, but eventually I got them on the spring just enough to get the spring out. Luckily it's completely un-compressed once the lower arm is dropped.

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So that'll keep me busy for a while, especially since I'll have to clean up and paint the chassis as I go along :shake:

The front end rebuild is coming along nicely with only a few hiccups. I left the last update pulling the front end apart. Fun and games.

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Last bits off.

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Time to start cleaning up. Every thing was de-greased and hit with the pressure cleaner, then the wire brush on the bench grinder and angle grinders. Finally, a nice coat of cheap enamel, applied in my 'state-of-the-art' spray booth.

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The lower arms were a little more difficult. Took a bit to get the bushes and cups out. A little fire did the trick though :drink:

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Then, new grease and bolt all the pieces back together.

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Rebuilding the lower arms wasn't too bad.

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The first one went together fairly easily. Getting the new bush cups in was a bit of a hassle, but I got there.

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The tubes that go inside the bushes are too long, so had to be cut down by about 3-4mm each to give just the right fit. That took a while but I got there.

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When it came to the second arm, experience meant the cups went in much easier and faster. So fast in fact that I forgot to put the rod in...

ScottW
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Location: Gold Coast

Postby ScottW » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:14 pm

I was still struggling to get the steering rack off, so I bought a 2nd, different tie-rod splitter.
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The one on the left here uses leverage and a bolt to pop the ball joint and tie-rods. It took me about 30 seconds to pop the steering off. :grr: I wish I had bought this one in the first place.

Next was the actual chassis.
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I wasn't looking forward to this. Using a bright light and a blunt 25mm chisel, I scraped most of the major chunks of body deadner and crud off.

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Then spent a fair while lying under the car with the angle grinder with a wire brush attachment again. There are some awkward places to get to, but after a few long hours, it was looking much better.

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After getting both sides fairly clean back o the body mounts, and welding up a crack in one ot the outriggers that holds the engine, I spent more quality time lying on my back under the car with a paint brush and the fish-oil.

The chassis was cleaned up, painted and had the shiny control arms, billies, new ball joint, new tierods and uprated front springs added.

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The seat shells were cleaned up and painted a while ago.

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I has the cushions re-trimmed as well and they came out really nice, unlike this photo...

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Today I made a trip to the wreckers and picked up this.

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Falcon thermo fans, well known for their ability to flow bulk air. Also featuring a built in shroud for added effectiveness.

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I spent a fair amount of time removing bits and cutting down my thermo fans to fit. I also made up a whole lot of little aluminum brackets to mount the fans to the radiator.

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Coupled with a heat of stainless nuts and bolts and a little loctite, everything was bolted up nice and securely.
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I went to mount the radiator just the other night, only to discover that the fans hit on the upper control arms :tear: I have figured out that if I remove the fans, and unbolt the radiator frame, I should be able to bolt everything back up in place and trim the fan shrouds a little to clear the arms. Still, it was annoying.

I also decided that I didn't like the large truck pulley on the front of my 400 small block.
Since I was replacing that, I figured the balancer should be replaced too, etc, etc...

I bought a power bond balancer from VPW in victoria and some new alloy pulleys and pulley dress-up bits from Jegs.

Time to ship Balancer from Vic: 4 days.
Time to ship parts from the US: 4 days.

Yes, I ordered on thursday and recieved the parts the next week. Impressive.
Jegs also like to throw in a free hat :)

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Once I had the Balancer off, I decided that I may as well check the timing chain and clean up the cover. This meant the sump had to come off too. Pretty soon, the engine looked like this:

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On pulling the timing cover (which meant also pulling the sump) I discovered the timing chain was very stretched and loose, also the plastic teeth on the cam gear were cracked in many places and badly worn.

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So I sourced a Rollmaster double row timing chain at a good price.
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Much better than the old one. I also got a felpro 1 piece sump gasket to help eliminate future leaks.

I had troubles getting the crank gear on. I bunged it in the oven for a while on the max temp to expand it a little, but still have to give it many taps with the brass hammer to get it into place.
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I also spent some time cleaning up the timing cover and sump to make them semi-presentable.
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One thing that impressed me was the plastic plugs that came with the one piece gasket. The were 4 plugs about 2 inches long that screwed into the engine block. The have a little jag on them, so you slide the gasket over them and they hold it in place. Then slide the sump over as well and it holds everything in place while you start putting the bolts in.
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This made it so easy to install the sump and gasket by myself without anything sliding out of allignment.

Next the fun task of installing the powerbond balancer. Much cranking to pull it into place. Then the water pump, alloy pulleys and the snout covers, as well as a new pulley and cover for the alternator.

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All up, the engine was looking much better than before.

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I'll throw the rest up later.

I needed to convert my tail lights to amber indicators due to it's age. After studying the wiring diagram, I decided it was all to difficult. The indicator and brake lights share a wire and I couldn't work out where they join. So I just cut the brake wire at the switch on the brake pedal and ran a new brake light wire from the pedal to the rear of the car. It was pretty simple, I just followed the existing wiring harness and added the new wire.

I used the test light to work out which wire was which. Then I cut the indicator and reverse light wires. I connected the indicators to the reverse lights and installed amber globes. I then wired in my new brake light wire and I had all my tail lights working, bar the reversing lights. I had an idea for that though. LEDs.
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And I know where I wanted to install it.
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The next scary part was cutting into the body.
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Once I has everything located, I needed a good way to mount everything and finish it off, so I started with a lump of aluminium.
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and eventually got everything looking neat.
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Once it was all in place, I was pretty happy with it.
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It's mounted low enough that it's not hidden in the recess too much and will provide ample light when reversing. My landy only has a single reversing light, and it's much newer so there shouldn't be any problems with just a single light either.

The other compliance issue was the rhs rear view mirror. I purchased one a fair while back, but never got around to fitting it. It came with a very hande template sticker.
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I started removing the interior. I figured it would make installing an extra pedal easier. As it turns out, removing the interiov is extremely easy.

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On the weekend, I decided I should pull all the carpets out too, so now I have a very bare interior. The reasoning behind this was 1) to help remove some of the extra wiring in my car and 2) to fix my floor where it's broken.

Whoever installed the 80's front end and dash into my car, also installed the wiring harness fro the donor car. The problem is that they left the original wiring harness in the car as well. :hammer: I was always wondering why I had so many plugs that didn't connect to anything :)

Also at some stage (possibly when the car was shipped over) both the footwells have been pushed up. The joints between the panels have separated, and some of the panels are cracked so there will be some fibreglassing and bonding in the future.

After marking all the wires I need to keep, I have removed a decent amount of spares, but the ones that run over the steering column are a problem. So tonights job will be to remove the steering column. Apparently not a hard task.

A while back I stripped the whole interior. I cleaned the surface rust off what I could see of the birdcage and gave it all aa nice coat of satin black.
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I have also been stripping all the body deadening crud out of the interior. Fun job. I usually use a wire brush in the angle grinder, but I thought I'd try one of those strip-it discs that are like a tough scourer. They work well, but wear down really quick and are rather expensive. One disk did about 80% of the metal panel behind the seats. I bought a brass wire brush to finish it up. Not as effective, but lasts much longer.

Once again a nice coat of satin black to keep the corrosion away.
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Then set out with the inch wide paint scraper getting all the crud off the floor. Since it's glass, I have to do it by hand. The plan is to get most of it with the scraper, then clean up the remainder with a plastic scourer and some thinners.

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That icecream bucket filled up real quick and I'm barely started.
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Keeps me off the couch anyway.

After much cleaning time, it became glueing time. I bought a 2 part epoxy glue and set about glueing the seams in the floor back together. They had popped, I assume when the forklift gave it a nudge at some stage during shipping. I'll have to do some glass patches where the fibreglass has been broken, but that will be at a later date.

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All snotted up.

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My elaborate wood prop arrangement holding everything in place.

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I also started cleaning up the floot on the other side.
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I had to do this anyway, but it's not a fun job, so it gets put off.

Here you can see a few cracks in teh glass panel as well as a nother popped seam. Once it's all clean (inside and outside) I can glue this side up.
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After a lot of things happening, including becoming a father, I've finally managed to spend some time on this thing. First step was hiring a trailer and relocating it from my fathers shed to my shed. Luckily I have a heavy duty tow vehicle.
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Now the vette is in it's new home with it's buddy, and I can just pop out and work on it whenever.
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I've been cleaning the crud from the inside of the car in preparation for fixing the popped seam and cracked glass panels. I also decided that the interior wasn't stripped enough, so I removed what was left of the heater/aircon system which ended in me lying in a pool of coolant on the floor of the shed. Great way to spend a night.

In the end I now have the interior completely dismantled. The trans tunnel has been badly repaired at some stage, so I'll probably do something about that too, prior to installing my shiny new TKO, and then re-installing the interior. I also have a big box of dynamat that will be stuck to everything at some stage.

I'll also have to block up all the spare holes in the firewall. Vettes are notorious for getting hot in the footwell. Everyone claims it's because the exhaust runs so close, but the main cause is hot air running straight in from the engine bay.

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The aircon set-up doesn't look too bad, but I think I'll replace the heater core while it's all apart.

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I've managed to get a bit done on this lately.
A few months ago I tried to align the bellhousing so that it was within the specs Tremec give.

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The dowels didn't line up with the holes in the bellhousing by a little, so I had to give it a little persuasion with the rubber mallet. I then had to use offset dowels to centre it.

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It was different every time, possible since the bellhousing would deform a little to fit the dowels. After climbing under the car 30+ times in one night to check the dial gauge, then spin the engine over a little, inbetween pulling the bellhousing, swapping ans spinning the dowels, I had enough and made a new purchase.

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I was able to use the engine lift to help build the car lift. I got most of it up myself, which is no mean feat considering the weight of the parts and not wanting to stratch the floor.
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Much easier working under it now.
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With the car up high, I sorted the bellhousing alignment pretty quick, using one factory dowel and one 0.014' offset dowel. IT also made it heaps easier to sort out all the mounts for the trans x-member, which were a little out of place from a forklift bending the cross member during shipping...

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It also made it way easier to finish the fibreglass work required to patch up the floor, which had also been damaged by a forklift prong. There was also the trans tunnel patch that consisted of poorly mixed kitty hair and cardboard...

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After a lot of sanding, grinding, dust and cleaning, I was able to spray the interior just to make it one colour and tidy it up a little. It also meant all the random steel panels and the birdcage were coated.

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Once it all dries, I'll start bolting bits back in I guess.

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riverracer
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Postby riverracer » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:32 pm

welcome aboard Scott,
i had a read of your build on the link you gave earlier,
you've had the vette all those years and never made it here till now, :x- , we've missed out on a lot of fun times... :-x

question, why on earth did they used a forklift on the car, was it not movable before? :x-

i've got a '72, so i can help with half your car :shock:
Speed has never killed anyone,
Suddenly becoming stationary that's what gets you.

ScottW
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Location: Gold Coast

Postby ScottW » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:15 pm

I did sign up years ago, but my account disappeared. Then I didn't read the certification post when I made a new account, so it never became accepted.

The car was driven to the depot in the states. They had managed to run one of the forks through the sidewall of one tyre as well while moving it around. Murricans... (or Mexicans since it was LA ).

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australi
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Postby australi » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:16 am

Coming along REALLY NICELY Scott! :o :o

Your account would not have disappeared - likely what happened (it does frequently); is you changed email address at some stage and the system locked you out - ALWAYS contact me if ANYTHING like that happens and I'll sort it for you :D :-)

Steve Mack

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CraigH
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Postby CraigH » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:08 pm

You have done a lot there Scott.

I recall seeing pictures when you first got it and you have knocked off a lot since then.

Craig

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Wabco40
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Postby Wabco40 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:02 am

Good to see you got that 4 poster Scott :o

Bazzas77
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Postby Bazzas77 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:23 am

gotta love the 4 poster, makes life so much easier and creates the ability to do MORE work than you sometimes want to :-x

plus your mates can all use it :o

good story , youve done a lot to it :o

ScottW
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Postby ScottW » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:25 am

Wabco40 wrote:Good to see you got that 4 poster Scott :o


Yep, from the pics I saw, it's the same as yours, just from a different mob.

I cleaned up the heater-AC box yesterday. I need to source a new seal for the air diverter flap. I'm not sure I can rebuild is with sika :)

ScottW
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Location: Gold Coast

Postby ScottW » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:33 pm

Still slowly chipping away at it. I figured I needed to put the aircon box back in first. Only issue was it looked like it had been partially buried in a bog hole for a while. There was a definite scum line on the inside.

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So I pulled it apart to clean it up.

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This pic shows the high tide mark fairly well.

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The rubber seal that keeps the hot air out when you don't want it was also borked. Of course these aren't available for purchase.

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A bit of quality time with the spinning wire brushes on the bench grinder and drill and it was looking OK. I bought some adhesive backed foam to 'create' a new seal.

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The new foam seal turned out pretty good in the end. It should keep most the hot air in it's place. I'll probably add a tap to the heater line so I can switch it off for 9 months of the year.

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Next was the task of adding an extra pedal in to the left of the brake. That one was easier than I thought it would be. Undo a clip, slip out the main pin, slip in the new pin, which haw a clutch pedal welded to it and I also got a new brake pedal as part of the kit. Cleaned every thing up with the wire brush and doused it in satin black. Done.

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After bolting the aircon back into place, I started with the sound deadening. I'd hears installing dynamat was time consuming. It's true. The footwells in a vette are like an abstract art piece, with angles everywhere. Plenty of cutting, bending, heating, shaping etc to get each bit in. So far after more than a week of lazy attempts, I have done one footwell. The first sheet I installed simply did not stick. I was wondering if the dynamat had gone off or something as it's been sitting on the shelf for a few years, but it turns out I just needed to add a liberal dose of heat to make the action happen.

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It looks like the dynamat will keep me busy for a while longer.

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nifty
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Postby nifty » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:50 am

welcome mate.. looking good.. but lose them wheels.. all i think of is bloody camaro hahaha

ScottW
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:17 am

I have decided I need to get the gearbox back in this thing soon, so I can use the hoist for oil changes and other useful things, rather than just 'car goes up, car goes down'.

Easy bits first. I threw the clutch on and bolted the new gearbox mount to the cross member.
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I bought some hydraulic oil and topped up the trans hoist I bought cheap on gumtree, then manhandled the box up. Then threw on the hydraulic throwout bearing, and the stud that locates it.

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Bolted the bellhousing onto the block to do some measuring.
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According to the instructions for the hydraulic throwout bearing, I need 150-200 thou clearance between the bearing face and the clutch fingers. It also stated that chev bellhousings are shallow, so you may not have that much. Sure enough I measure it all up and I have around 20 thou clearance.

Apparently It's OK to space the bellhousing out a little from the block using washers.... No thanks. Or I can buy a 250 thou spacer from the supplier and then shim the throwout bearing up to the correct clearance. It's from a US company, so wouldn't be a fast turnaround time, of cheap. I figured I'd have to make my own up instead.

Of course no decent aluminium place is open on a saturday arvo, so I went to masters/bunnings for a look. Sure enough, masters sell sheets of 3mm plate aluminium.
3mm is around 120 thou, which gets me pretty close. The instructions say 100 thou is still OK, so 140 though should be fine. Plus there's more spiggot engagement that if I used a thicker spacer, which I like the idea of.

I've gotten as far as marking the plate up with a scribe and hopefully I get some time tonight to cut something out.

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DOC
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby DOC » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:35 pm

Wow, Tons of work, and somehow I have not been here till now.
a very late, "Welcome to the forum" and I'll be watching from now on.
Looking like she's really coming around! :o

ScottW
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Location: Gold Coast

Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:55 pm

Thanks mate.

I half cut out the spacer tonight. I need to cut the hole for the gearbox bearing carrier, and the bolt holes. Then I can tidy up the overall shape of it to make it neat.

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DOC
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby DOC » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:39 pm

Well it's all looking like it's really coming together, Nice Car.

ScottW
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:17 am

I used the Bathurst weekend as a good excuse to disappear into the shed and get some stuff done. Luckily I have a borrowed telly in the shed for such occasions.

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Also had my No.1 helper on the job.

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After making and fitting my bellhousing spacer, putting the hyd. throwout bearing on and adding the lines, I hoisted the box up, then spent 15 or so mins adjusting angles and heights before everything slipped smoothly into place.

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I spent more time trying to nudge the crossmember into the right place so I could bolt it to the chassis, and then tightened up the tranny mount bolts. After that I spent some time looking at the angle of the box and thought to myself that can't be sitting right...

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I checked with a straight edge and the cross member doesn't look bent, but who knows. I know the engine is sitting a little high, so I'll fix that up and then try measure the angles of the box and diff. I'll throw int he tailshaft as well. Hopefully I can get the angles right by shimming things up and down. Otherwise, the vibrations will be killer.

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riverracer
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby riverracer » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:30 pm

looks like a nice size shed :o
Speed has never killed anyone,

Suddenly becoming stationary that's what gets you.

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DOC
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby DOC » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:39 pm

I agree, doesn't look right. But if your engine is high, that could throw it out.
Best of Luck with her, I'm sure you'll nail it.

ScottW
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:24 pm

On the weekend I cut the mount off the bracket supplied with the kit and re-welded it 20mm higher. Final result the gearbox now sits a fair bit more level. I'll have to fiddle with the diff angle a little but I should be able to get it to match now.

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ScottW
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:47 am

I've been making slow progress on this still. There are a few pics on my old phone that I'll need to grab at some point.

The tailshaft is in, and the diff and gearbox are running close enough to parallel so there shouldn't be too many terrible vibrations.

One thing I did discover is the starter snout on automatic cars is aluminium, and is a few mm larger in size than the cast iron snout used on manual cars. I spent quite some time trying to work out why my starter wouldn't go close to fitting, and they get heavy once you hold them up for a while.

I bought a cheap gear reduction starter of ebay. After taking a few measurements I bolted it in, but I have no idea how I can check the clearance between the teeth without pulling the gearbox again... I guess once I get more wires in I'll have an idea if it spins the engine or not.

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I also had some fun drilling holes in the firewall for my hydraulic clutch master. It's a 2 person job, which made it extremely difficult trying to do it myself. After way too many hours I finally got the holes drilled in the right place and managed to bolt it up in place. I just need to hook up the lines and reservior, hook it to the pedal and I'll have a clutch.

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I also discovered that since lowering the engine to help with driveline angles, the power steering pump pulley was sitting on the front x-member. For some reason there is a random adjuster bracket from who knows what holding the pump right out at the top, which pushes the pulled further down. I removed that and I'll still only get 3mm clearance at best. The ps pulley is pretty close to the x-member on vettes anyway, but I thought I'd like a little more clearance.

So I sliced the main bracket and I'll re-weld it up to gain another 5mm or so clearance. Normally the alternator would be above the power steering pump on a vette, but mines over the other side as it's a truck motor with a long water pump, so lifting the pump shouldn't be an issue.

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I need to weld it up now and bolt it back on.

ScottW
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Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:36 pm

After modifying the PS bracket, I needed something to adjust it and hold it in place, so I busted out the cardboard.

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Transferred it to metal.

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Kind of worked out how it would fit.

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Then put some bends in it so it would line up right and trimmed it back.

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It had to be flush as that face bolts to the front of the block. I welded it up, and of course forgot to take any more pics of it. It's been sprayed black and now holds the PS pump on teh front of the block, with good clearance to the front x-member.

Next I decided it's time for the engine to make some angry noises for the first time in many years. Since there is no interior, or wiring loom past the firewall, I wired up a push button to hook to the starter. Then I tried priming the oil with a drill. I had no idea if it was working until I pullet the oil pressure sender. Once that was out and the dizzy was in, I kicked engine over using the starter and oil came out the sender hole, so all good.

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I then tried to set the static timing, but ran into the issue of no spark. Tried a few things, but I was pretty tired and not thinking straight. Next night I checked the coil with a multimeter and it seemed fine.

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I put the coil back in and kicked the engine over with the lead close to the rocker and got 2 sparks...

Then I hooked up a test light across the + and - terminals of the coils and spun the engine again, and nothing so likely points.

I also took a wire and ground the - coil terminal. As soon as I let it off I got a nice spark from the HT lead. So points it is. Now I just need some time to play some more.

ScottW
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:59 am
Location: Gold Coast

Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:46 am

Still progressing with this. A while ago I bought an allow brake MC to replace my leaking one. Looking at it closely, it's cast from the same style mold at the original, but the reservoir has been formed with a re-usable plug rather than sand casting like the original. the result is a much smaller reservoir and much thicker walls. It's still lighter than the original, but could be much lighter. It still has unneeded lugs on the outside etc. Not bad for the $120US I think it cost me.

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I also found a place for the hydraulic clutch reservoir, tucked slightly under the guard.

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Lines all connected up, ready to go.
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So I started filling up the brakes with fluid, ready for the painful bleeding process, only to discover a major leak from one of the front calipers. Upon pulling it apart, it was full of grit. I had run into this issue previously with the rear calipers. I cleaned them out and replaced the lip seals with the better o-ring type seals. That was a few years ago, so I'd completely forgotten that I never did the fronts.

I pulled the calipers and split them.
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One of the halves has been punched to hold the dust seals in place. These seals still popped out much easier than all the others I've done.

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The piston had a bit of crud on it, but nothing over the top.

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And here's the grit inside. The other caliper had 2-3 times more grit inside and was the one leaking.

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Here's the other caliper half, with no punch marks.

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Once everything was apart, I gave all the parts a good scrub and then dried the calipers in the oven to make sure there was no water in the galleries. 75 degrees did it great. Then I masked off where I didn't want paint and hit it all with some satin black.

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Everything is bolted back together, but no fluid yet as I was distracted by the interior. I've filled all the holes in the firewall with rubber grommets to keep the hot air out as vettes are notorious for having hot footwells, mainly due to hot air shooting through random holes. I also had a bit of a think about the vacuum system that runs the aircon and heater system. There is a vacuum switch that is activated when the temp lever is set to full cold. This vacuum switch then activates a vacuum valve, which turns off the water supply to the heater core. I think I'll just ignore all this and fit a ball valve to the heater line. I can then turn on the heater manually for those 2 weeks of the year when I need it.

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I think the next thing I need to do is put the wiring harness back into the car. I have already pulled a lot of extra wires out of it, but there's still a heap more that I'll be removing I think. I spotted the wires that went to the neutral safety switch on the old auto so I'll have to join those, and I'll be pulling all the courtesy light stuff out and re-doing that with LED's, which I already have. First up I need to buy a decent soldering iron.

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ozziedropbear
*Senior Forum User
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 8:22 am
Location: Canberra, ACT

Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ozziedropbear » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:04 am

The joys of wiring. I went an entire new wiring loom given the butchering that had occured during the lhd to rhd conversion. The new loom was all labelled which made it easier.

Good progress do you have a time frame to finish her?

Also what method of bleeding brakes do you use. Interested as i just did mine and tried the old fashiond two person method (one pumps brake other opens and closes bleeder) with limited success, tried gravity bleed, no better then I used a mity vac and that was quick and worked a treat

ScottW
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:59 am
Location: Gold Coast

Re: 73 Black Vert Bitza

Postby ScottW » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:32 am

Luckily I labelled mine before I removed it all. Plus I have copies of the wiring diagrams as well to help. Still, it'll take a while as there are a few things I need to rewire. The harness is from an 80 model, along with the interior and some things aren't hooked up right, so there will be some fiddling to get everything working right.

There's no time frame on this. I like plodding away on it. April will mark 10 years since I got the car, so it's been a long build.

I generally use gravity to bleed the brakes. I'll add some clear plastic hose to the nipples as then you can run it along the ground and keep a good eye out for air bubbles. I suspect it may take a while.


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