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  1. #1
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Jun 2013
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    79 vette clean up

    Well, today I was informed that my eldest daughters wedding is just over three months away and the vette is meant to be the wedding car, she went to her school prom in it and always wanted to use it for her wedding.

    It was used up to about 5 years ago when, because of one thing and another and the clutch starting to slip when hefted, it was just parked up in the garden and left.

    I had been buying bits as and when I saw things at the right price so a fair few items have been stock piled, however the car has not faired well and all the breaks are stuck, the clutch is stuck, the rats and mice have had a field day, most of the instruments don't work and the indicator stalk is very limp wristed. The chassis used to be really nice but now has masses of surface rust, nothing major but not nice looking if you get under it. The bodywork has seen better days, the front and rear bumper pieces have cracks in them, paint is blistered where the cover instead of allowing the body to breath looks like it has trapped moisture. The door locks had jammed and I had to tare the inner panels off to get to the mechanisms to open the doors. The birdcage looks ok, there is a bit of movement between the front of the doors and the rear of the front wings if you jack the car up but nothing too onerous I don't think.

    The engine had to be started in the time honoured way of pouring fuel down the carb, but fired up straight away and once fuel from the tank got lifted by the pump it ticked over nicely with good oil pressure and no over heating.

    I would ideally like to have removed the body from the frame and done the whole thing right from the off, however I know from past experience that that route would mean I would miss the wedding by maybe one or two years

    So the plan is to remove the engine, clean up the engine bay and the engine, add some of the bits I have bought for it such as the new dual plane inlet, rebuild the carb, fit ally rocker covers and a new ally air cleaner, fit the headers (going by MJ's previous header stories I might be in for some serious pain in that area, as I bought a set of stainless ones from a guy who said he thought they came off a vette, we will have to wait and see). Fit a new clutch, unseize the brake and clutch pedals, respray the car, buy some door cards and refit the interior as well as get all the bits that don't work working, electric windows, central locking, heater etc.

    As with everything I do I am usually late but decided to start today, this got delayed till this afternoon as we had to do the Easter egg hunt (told you I am late for everything), so off came the bonnet and I started to get things removed in readiness for lifting the engine out but after getting soaked due to rain I stopped before I could unbolt the bellhousing.

    This will also delay the T yet again, but hopefully one car will get done for this year. I will post some photo's and keep you all posted on progress as and when.

  2. #2
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Bucks
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    2,914
    Brave man! Thats a lot to do.Me, I would just attend to the outside and clean the interior but hey; go for it.

  3. #3
    Carburetion 'sucks' !
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Driving 'round the M25 so fast the centrifugal force is forcing my face against the side window!
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    563
    Very brave man. Brakes if left idle for long periods are always an issue with Vettes. Best budget for 4 new calipers and hope discs are not too badly rusted (same with brake lines) parking brake components usually seize up too, especially on auto's. Vettes don't like being kept in damp conditions. Floor pans and radiator lower support are known areas for rust on late 70's Vettes
    Last edited by roscobbc; 15-04-18 at 09:08 PM.

  4. #4
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Jun 2013
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    1,557
    Quote Originally Posted by fad15 View Post
    Brave man! Thats a lot to do.Me, I would just attend to the outside and clean the interior but hey; go for it.
    That is basically what I am doing but adding a bit to the engine as I have to replace the clutch whatever happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by roscobbc View Post
    Very brave man. Brakes if left idle for long periods are always an issue with Vettes. Best budget for 4 new calipers and hope discs are not too badly rusted (same with brake lines) parking brake components usually seize up too, especially on auto's. Vettes don't like being kept in damp conditions. Floor pans and radiator lower support are known areas for rust on late 70's Vettes
    From what I have seen so far the floor pans look fine, it's a manual but to be honest the handbrake was always pants even at the best of times, no chance of doing a handbrake turn that is for sure

  5. #5
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    welwyn
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    So no photo's just yet but as said above these things do not like been left idle, everything has surface rust on it plus I am finding stuff that the previous owner had "made good", nothing major just little things like joining petrol pipes when a single piece would have been no cost at all. Bear in mind though that I have had this thing for about 12 years or maybe a little more and only replaced the alternator belt twice in that time (I now know why they broke) and redone the power steering ram (wasn't needed in the end as I completely crushed the high pressure pipe when doing doughnuts one day ooops) so whatever is found will get replaced or repaired.

    Didn't have much time this evening to do much as work got in the way, but I did manage to get all the bellhousing bolts undone and the exhaust down pipes, just need to remove the power steering pump, clutch release, engine mounts and a few wires and it should be good to remove

  6. #6
    Site Team
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    Jun 2013
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    You'll have the joy of people saying "at least they don't rust". How little they know!

  7. #7
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plumpcars View Post
    You'll have the joy of people saying "at least they don't rust". How little they know!
    Well the later 70's ones as you are aware had steel floors. Thankfully had another go at it today and looked at the floors and all are fine no rust anywhere so that is good, just the frame is covered in surface rust and which when I decided to look at putting it back on the road I was going to remove the body and get it blasted and then I could paint it and do a proper job but as I said earlier that would probably delay things too much so a quick wire brush and some paint will have to suffice for now and maybe sometime in the future I will do it properly.

    My efforts today means that the engine is ready to pull, all bolts, cables, hoses etc. etc. are completely disconnected including the engine mounts, was going to pull it tonight but would rather have a bit more daylight time than I have left this evening so if work dies off tomorrow then it will be out, if not it will have to wait till Friday.

    I did notice that the front upper and lower wishbone bushes are perished so new ones of those will be required as will a new clutch operating arm to firewall boot. I have a feeling rockauto are going to be making a bigger profit this year

  8. #8
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Outside the M25
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    895
    Some people just don't want an easy life
    You'll probably have it finished before mine.
    Crack on.......

  9. #9
    Site Team
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    United Kingdom Heathrowish.
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    The birdcage and the rear chassis kick ups are rust prone. A mate had a C3 that creaked when we drove it, he put it down to a suspension bush but it was sharper than that. The chassis was creaking.

  10. #10
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    welwyn
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    Only time will tell on that one, bloody hope all is ok, well at least for this bloody wedding.

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