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7/22 update on '80 frame replacement project

Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
4,611
Location
Newark, Delaware
Corvette
1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
feels good to have a great progress day!!

this was where we left the chassis last week:
page108-1044-full.jpg



and this is where we ended up today after about 5 1/2 hours of work:
page110-1059-full.jpg



We got all the suspension and the motor / trans off the old frame finally. Now it's just a matter of getting in all the new parts and cleaning up & rebuilding the old parts, and than getting everything reassembled onto the replacement frame.

For the replacement frame we only have another coat or two of paint to put on and the frame will be ready to start accepting the parts.

here is the link to all of todays pictures as we were stripping the old chassis:
http://www.vetteclub.org/1980_Project/projectpics5.html

oh, for those that wanted to see more of the cracks in the old frame, take a good look at the last group of pics at the link above, there are a couple good cracks for you to enjoy! One big pothole or speedbump and I think the passengerside frame rail was about to separate from the front crossmember!

We also found more evidence of Bubba working on this car. Look at the rearleafspring mounting bolts pics. There are supposes to be three bolts holding the rear leafspring to the differential and he could only get 2 of them in so he put in the two he could and than to make sure they stayed he mushroomed the end of the bolts after putting on the nuts and tack WELDED it so they wouldn't go anywhere!! :eek
We had to use a hacksaw to get the bolts out. What an idiot!!

we won't even talk about the fact that a few weeks ago we discovered that Bubba decided that the drivers side halfshaft needed a new u-joint and since he didn't have a long enough extention to undo the u-joint to get it off he CUT A HOLE in the fiberglass in the battery compartment behind the drivers seat to get easier access to the u-joint that re-fiberglassed over the hole afterwards. :eek
 

navy2kcoupe

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Dec 16, 2006
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799
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West Central FL and SE Mass.
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2000 Navy Blue Coupe A4 Z51
Barry, with all the "Bubba-fixes" you're finding, I'm glad that you and your club decided to help out this kid. You know.....it could just as easily have been another "Corvette driver killed/seriously injured" headline, and it sounds like it was very close to that! My hat's off to ALL of you that are helping out with this project!
Andy Anderson :w
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
4,611
Location
Newark, Delaware
Corvette
1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
Hi Andy

yeah, this crack here we found is pretty scary:
page110-1068-full.jpg


it's almost all the way thru the passenger side frame rail and the crack continues up along the top of the rail. What you are seeing is where the frame rail joins the front crossmember.
I'm thinking one big pothole or speedbump and it was ready to let go and that would have been real ugly!
The replacement frame we found sandblasted clean real nice and is very solid and in great condition, almost like a brand new frame and with rebuilding the entire front and rear suspension the car should drive and handle like a new car. It won't be pretty with the body/paint/interior work the car will still need but at least he will have a good, SAFE, and roadworthy driving car to enjoy and that was the goal.
 

pbcanney

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Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
240
Location
Sharon Center, OH
Corvette
1981 383 4 speed 3.55 rear
I'm really confused. The cracked frame seems to have a dual pass through cross member for 2 separate exhaust pipes. Is that right? Or is it just the angle of the picture?

Does that crossmember (#2?) unbolt in all C3's ? And can I use a 68-79 on my 81 auto2manual conversion? (currently stuck while looking for the correct 80-81 shifter bracket)
 
Joined
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Location
Newark, Delaware
Corvette
1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
yes, this car had a tranny crossmember with the exhaust cutouts and it's running true dual exhaust that someone added previously. It's not the correct crossmember for this car. I suppose someone swapped crossmembers so they could run the dual exhaust.
The replacement frame came with the correct non-dual exhaust crossmember.

We aren't sure which crossmember will go back on the car yet.

If I'm not mistaken (but I could be...) the early C3's still used a welded in crossmember but later ones are bolt in units like this. If it's a bolt on unit I think you can swap it out with no issues. Or some of the early ones were bolt on and others welded depending on if it was an auto or manual trans and the later models were all bolt on regardless of trands type??
Sorry, I just don't remember now which is the correct way or what years the change occured. I guess I'm getting old and losing my memory.
 

Evolution1980

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Cleveland, Ohio
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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
Awww, c'mon! The kid looks like a walking billboard for Clorox! Get him dirty!!! :L
 
T

TMPJoe

Guest
Awww, c'mon! The kid looks like a walking billboard for Clorox! Get him dirty!!! :L

Yeah I agree... no way anyone working a frame off gets a white T shirt leaving the scene of the crime... or is that leaving the scene of the grime;LOL
 

Evolution1980

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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
I suppose someone swapped crossmembers so they could run the dual exhaust.
On the '80, you don't need the early crossmember with the holes to run duals. I did it just fine with my OEM bolt-up crossmember. (There's 2¢ to defray the costs of the project thus far. :L)
 
T

TMPJoe

Guest
On the '80, you don't need the early crossmember with the holes to run duals. I did it just fine with my OEM bolt-up crossmember. (There's 2¢ to defray the costs of the project thus far. :L)

ditto... take a look at ecklers catalog (mid america has it too)... believe its the duals off the L88 series for 1977??? or 78 that goes down one side.... 2.5 inch and you can bolt it up on jack stands at home
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
4,611
Location
Newark, Delaware
Corvette
1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
sorry, been busy and kinda missed the previous replies until now.......

the reason we are using the crossmember off the old frame with the duals is that the exhausr was built and welded and no way to get the old crossmember off without cutting up the exhaust. We don't want to do that. It's easier to simply move the crossmember to the replacement frame.


update: 8/12/07

ok, it's been a few weeks since I was able to post any updates and in fact last Sunday we weren't able to work on the car but here is where we are at as of today:

The replacement frame has been completely painted and today we started reinstalling the fuel and brake lines.
The exhaust system had previously been replaced with a true dual exhaust system and had been completely welded together meaning that to take it off without having to cut it the tranny crossmember had to come off the old frame and everything removed at once. Today we cleaned up and painted that crossmember and also wirebrushed and painted the entire exhaust with 1200º high temp silver paint. The exhaust looks like a brand new system!

The motor, trans, and rear diggerential/carrier has all been cleaned up as best as possible short of taking everything apart, glass beading everything and repainting and reassembling. We just cleaned and degreased and even pressure washed everything on that items as best we could.
Got new motor mounts installed on the motor today.
Also continued to work on the sole "issue' on the replacement frame and that's the tabs that the rear bumper brackets mount to - the frame must have been hot a bit in the back at one point and the brackets were slightly bent so we are working on getting them straightened out so the rerar bumper will eventually fit and align correctly after the body is dropped back on.

The trailing arms have already been sent out to Vanb Steel for rebuild and waiting for them to come back along with the fiberglass rear leafspring they are donating (along with the rebuild of the T/A's).

We have also started to get in parts from other vendors that have donated to the project such as Muskegon Brake, Bair's, Keen Parts, and Mid America Motorworks.

Next week we will get the motor and trans back in the frame. Maybe by than we will get back the trailing arms to reinstall and/or the front end rebuild ket that was also donated from one of the vendors (currently backordered) so we can start to get the suspension back together.

for the parts situation we have gotten very lucky and have approx 70%-75% of the required parts donated so far and pretty much all of the major parts are included in that figure. What we still need are mostly more minor items with only one or two exceptions.

sorry, I forget to take my camera with me today so no pictures but i'll have more next week for you to see.
 

navy2kcoupe

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Dec 16, 2006
Messages
799
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West Central FL and SE Mass.
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2000 Navy Blue Coupe A4 Z51
Thanks for the update Barry! THIS is a project that I'm really interested in!
Andy
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
4,611
Location
Newark, Delaware
Corvette
1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
Hi Andy

thanks for the interest in our project. :)

originally we had the goal of try to get the car ready so Mike could drive it to Carlisle this year but that was an unrealistic goal with the time frame and our availabe time to work on it but we are trying to get it ready in time for our clubs annual show. it still won'y be pretty to look at since we are not touching the body or interior but at least hopefully he will be able to drive it to our show to let everyone see the car. Too bad you are so far away or you could drive up to see his smiling face in person.
Personally, I can't wait until the car is drivable again and SAFE and ROADWORTHY and watch him as he turns that key, hears the motor fire up, and he can drive it down the road.
for anyone that would exciting but for a 17yo who went through the bad introduction into the corvette world that he went thru than it will be worth every minute of the time, sweat, and scrapped knuckles spent. :)

Barry
 

Bwmurph

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Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
379
Location
Conway, SC
Corvette
'59 Blk/Red, '71 Blk/Red
Barry,

Sorry I haven't been available the last few weeks, but between work and family obligations I've been pretty tied up.

Where are things at this point ? I guess there's nothing going on this weekend (Carlisle), but let me know (here or PM) if and when you're going to be working on the car again and i'll try to break free.

BTW, I'll be heading to San Diego on 9/7/07 to pick up the '71 and then taking 5 - 6 days to drive it back; wish me luck.

Bernie O.
 

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