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WHAT . . . DID . . . I . . . DO?!?


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Been kind of quiet. I've been focused on the Eldorado that I bought for my wife last year.  It's finally done and doing parade laps at MSR-C!  Any of you who made the TDE event weekend before last got to see it motoring out there on Saturday.


On to the Vette.  New bias-ply race rubber bought and mounted.


I'm sure everyone remembers the rotten spring saddles.  I made new ones from high-durometer rubber.






This car has power steering, which puts a lot of plumbing in vulnerable areas and adds complexity and weight.  Planning to revert this to manual steering.



I pulled the fuel cell to begin working on the fuel system.  Noticed the fuel cell straps had some of the most porous welds I'd ever seen -- one broke off easily by hand.  I'll need to redo them.



I'll be running new fuel lines as well -- and avoiding the suspension this time.


Another item added to the list is a re-wire.  The wiring is a mess.  Planning to use one of those 9-circuit hotrod kits from Summit so I can get my lights working for occasional street driving.


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LOL.  This should be fun.  

Mounted the Ultrashields.  I welded up a seat base from 2" C-channel that bolts to the OEM backing plates.  This is convenient because the OEM plates have captive nuts.  Also, they "might" be a tested

So . . . I buttoned it up, bled the brakes with a Motive power bleeder, and went for a drive to get gasoline last night!!  First time I've actually driven the car.  Excited.  I'm going to take it to t

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/21/2020 at 5:17 PM, Matt93SE said:

Your barge is a beaut!!   How did it handle at MSRC?  ?


And do I want to know how many gallons of green it took to paint that sucker?

It did OK.  At parade-lap speeds, it squeeled every corner.  Thankfully, the hubcaps stayed on.  My Grandson thought it was great!


BTW, from an engineering standpoint, when a vehicle weighs more than 5000#s and is powered by more than 500CID, the proper term is "ship."  Ships require a lot of paint.

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  • 1 month later...

Some more progress.

Took an angle grinder to the sidepipe "mounts."  They weren't really right, which is why the PO used wire to hold them on.



Also pulled out all the old wiring.  Here are some beauty shots of what I was working with:




And here is it's new home:


Got all carpeting and ancient 80s-vintage foam carpet padding up.  This let me see the condition of the "firewall" and floors.  I see fiberglass in my future.




Also, got the power steering pulled out.  The condition of the lines was pretty much what I expected given their "routing."  Check out this AN fitting:


Once I patch up the floors and firewall, I'm thinking about spraying the inside of the car with bedliner of some sort before I re-install wiring, fire system and seats.  Anyone have experience with that, good or bad?

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All I can say is thank goodness it's fiberglass.  If this were a metal car, it would have burned up a long time ago.  I'm really not surprised by anything I'm seeing though, and now that I'm down to the bones, it'll be all uphill!

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I'd have a little caution on using bedliner inside the car due to flammability/ smoke issues if the worst were to happen.  I trust you will do a better job of wiring, but that doesn't mean it could never happen.

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32 minutes ago, Matt93SE said:

I'd have a little caution on using bedliner inside the car due to flammability/ smoke issues

Just the kind of feedback I was looking for.  Thank you.  I'll stick to paint.

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frankly I'm not sure any of them are wonderful when they catch fire, but I think bedliner is way thicker so there's simply more mass of stuff you don't want to breathe.

inside my race car, I've started using Rustoleum hammered silver.  it looks pretty good and can easily recoat/patch as you do work on the car.   there's a black version as well-- https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-7215502-Hammered-1-Quart-Packaging/dp/B000BZWZHU

especially with the fiberglass floor and whatnot, it will kinda blend in with the irregular surface.. 

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That's a good idea.  I was kind of looking for something that would "hide" surface imperfections since I'm going to end up with a fair amount of patches -- and the floor is pretty rough to begin with.  Easy to touch up is another want.  I was thinking about going with something lighter than black anyway.

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they also have a hammered silver and I like that in the car..  it's what several local shops put in the cars since it's easy to brush on and really hides imperfections.

the good thing about fiberglass is how easy it is to patch and it's not too hard to smooth back out.  now to copy the texture of a sprayed chopped mat?  nah, that'll be a pain unless you have a chopper gun.  (take it to a boat shop in that case!)

for panels like what you're trying to do,  I grind (VERY ROUGH- like 18 or 24grit) the broken crap away.   then I cover the pretty surface with a plastic cutting board, ABS sheet, or other non-stick sheet of plastic and hold flush over the surface.  mix up the glass and apply from the back of the panel in strips or sheets- the larger you can work with, the better strength in this application.  first use a brush and apply a thin layer of resin to the repair area and it will kinda fill in the voids and reduce bubbles on the surface.  once the surface is wet, then slap the glass on and press as much resin out as you can.  if you have a solid backing, use a small roller and a sheet of saran wrap as cover and then roll across it to kinda squeegee out extra resin.  

let harden and then use a flap-disc grinder to do rough shaping and finish work.  you can usually get it all done in 1 or 2 batches and then skim coat w/ bondo, sand, and finish.

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  • 1 month later...

Some progress.  Welded on correct side pipe mounts and painted black.




Installed new stainless steel brake lines along with a Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve for the rear brakes.  I routed the control for the proportioning valve through the firewall and plan to add a control knob that I can reach while driving.







Main challenge with the brake lines was the rear crossover.  Real potential for it to become a "low point" (along with the oil pan and fuel cell).  I protected it with some fuel line, secured with Adel clamps and bent it to hopefully stay protected by the car's frame.  Fingers crossed.




Depowered the steering.  It doesn't feel any heavier than the depowered steering on the Miata when sitting still, so that's good.



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Mounted the Ultrashields.  I welded up a seat base from 2" C-channel that bolts to the OEM backing plates.  This is convenient because the OEM plates have captive nuts.  Also, they "might" be a tested/engineered mounting location (I wonder how much testing did they did in 1964?).


Also welded up a large, sturdy seat back brace mounted to the roll bar with heavy duty U-bolts.


Both the seat base and seat back brace have captive nuts so mounting the seat is an easy, bolt-in-from-the-top proposition.



Finished seats.  They are super-solid, no movement whatsoever.  I'm going to need a harness bar.  With the original plastic seats, the shoulder harness came out of the seat between the shoulder blades.  No bueno.



Also installed a new Momo steering wheel with NRG quick disconnect.  I got one with a fairly large diameter due to the depowered steering.  Plus, it looks "vintage."


Began working on a fuel cell cage.  This is the "outline" and should give good protection for the corners of the cell.  Still need to add reinforcing structure and tabs for frame mounting.



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  • 1 month later...

Completed the fuel cell cage.  I replaced the top plate on the fuel cell so I could add a fill hose that can be directly accessed.  Got the hose from here:  https://www.fillernecksupply.com/2-1-4-or-57mm-diameter-1/.  Also added a fuel level sensor, vent line and tow hook.



Rewired the rear lights and added wiring for the fuel level sensor and fuel pump.


Installed a Delphi inline electric fuel pump to perform boost pump duties (mainly used to start the car).  It's a flow-through design.  The installation is well-protected by the frame.


I was able to route a hard line to the front of the car.  Again, protected by the frame all the way.  New Holley mechanical fuel pump also installed and plumbed.




The fuel tank tucks in pretty well.


Now for fiberglass work . . . .

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itchy itchy! LOL...I bet! A buddy of mine is literally a fiberglass artist...he repairs and details boats (hulls, decks, etc) for a living...the few times that I've had contact with other things (cars, walls, etc) I've enlisted his services...he can freehand channels in the body, etc...it's crazy. He makes it look so easy. And quick.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Patched all the holes.  General process, clean, grind to bare fiberglass, itch, apply patches, itch.



Repaired the torn-up tunnel by cutting out the damage, fabricating an aluminum hoop to clear the HD U-joint and fiberglassing over the hoop.  Also patched the large ashtray hole next to the shifter.



Firewall patch.



Rear storage area patches.



Repaired the large cutout in the radiator support area to restore airflow through the radiator.  Used construction paper with aluminum tape on top to make a form.


This got 5-plies, 3 from the front and 2 from the back.



Re-bonded the passenger-side fender liner to the fender with 3M panel bond.  Used a wood wedge to hold the pieces apart while I sanded the bonding surfaces.




Small crack repair.  This crack happened because the nose of the car has been unsecured due to the removal of the OEM radiator support.



I bought the product that Matt recommended.  I did a comparison test between the brush-on stuff (Amazon) and the more commonly available spray bomb (Lowes).  The results were startlingly different, with the brush-on product being far superior.





Finished with the brush-on product.  It covered great.  All of this was done with slightly less than 1 quart.



Before and after:





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Masked off the engine bay and gave it a spray of satin black.





The previous radiator setup was pretty unsat.  It had gaping holes for air to go around (rather than through) the radiator.  It also left the front end completely unsecured from the frame and did not tie the forward ends of the frame rails together.  I guess someone missed the memo that radiator supports are structural.




Here's a picture of the original setup compared to the new repro radiator support and correct radiator.



Much happier now.  Everything is well supported and airflow through the radiator will be much better.




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