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71 front cap

jim coulter

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
157
Location
covington,tn
Corvette
71 big block, 84 coupe
The front cap on my 71 was replaced with a 73 style before I purchased it. While adjusting the doors the other day I discovered a 9/32" difference in the space on passenger side vs.drivers side opening for door. Maybe an extra 1/8" fore and aft between door and body. Didnt like it, but not end of world. Trying to get hood to look right, had about 1/2" gap at front, noticed I can only get it correct on passenger side. If it runs true on sides the gap in front is larger on drivers side. Conclusion: the front cap should have been about 1/4" further back on drivers side when originally mounted. Question-how hard is it to remove front cap(so it can be remounted correctly), or at least get drivers side loose and move it rearward 1/4"?
 

6880 Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
Not difficult, but tedious. You must dry fit the panels and have the panel alignment where you want it before you bond the clip. Leave the doors on the car and use the leading edges as alignment guides. If you want to close the gaps at the trailing edges of the doors, do that before relocating the front clip. My advice would be to purchase the '71 assembly instruction manual (AIM) and closely study the bonding areas at the cowl. Any of the Corvette fiberglass reference books will be helpful. Glas-Ra has a good one (plenty of pictures of this specific area), Eckler's has one. There are others. Good luck.
:)
 

jim coulter

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
157
Location
covington,tn
Corvette
71 big block, 84 coupe
Thank you for responding. I have an asembly manual, big thick book, and it has the gap measurements. I think I can get it back on, but I wasnt sure how to go about getting the fiberglass loose from the car now so I could re-align it. Is there a good way to do it without tearing the panels up in the process? It looks to be adhered to the car very well. Thanks for the help.
 

6880 Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
Some folks use a heat gun and heat the existing bonding material, but I am overly cautious (perhaps) with heat around fiberglass. The stuff will burn if it gets hot enough. I used a long, thin-bladed putty knife and my hammer at the doors. Going slowly, I drove the putty knife between the fender panel and the bonding adhesive (you can usually see the joint between the two) then worked my way down the seam, tapping as I went when I needed to. On the inner fender panels, I used a regular chisel to break through the bond, then brought in the putty knife. If you're not planning on using the inner fender shirts again, you can leave them bonded to the fenders.

Once the clip is removed, go back with your grinder or disc sander and clean up the remaining adhesive on the bonding surfaces. Go slowly, and go only until you've got the old bonding adhesive off. Any further and you'll get into the fiberglass of the bonding surface you want to reuse.
 

jim coulter

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
157
Location
covington,tn
Corvette
71 big block, 84 coupe
Thanks. I think I better use the putty knife technique. Plus the only heat gun I have is the ole ladys hair dryer, which isnt a heat gun at all. The heat guns like we use at work could surely catch it a fire. Thanks for the info. I couldnt hardly stand leaving it like that. Every time I try to do something on it, I'll find half a dozen other things that arent quit right, so I end up doing 3 or 4 things instead of one. Once I spot it, cant hardly ignore it. This is a big help, appreciate it greatly. Thanks
 

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