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Help on my "New" Car!

D

dmark760

Guest
Hello All and Happy Presidents Day Weekend!

My father and I recently purchased a 1976 Stringray Vette that was in storage for about 5 years--great condition and the motor sounds pretty clean. Got a great deal on it, and we need some help on how to start.

:beer

1) The front wheel bearing on left side was out, so we are going to replace seals and bearings on both front wheels...what is the torque I have to tighten the main spindle down to? My book only says the rear wheel torque.

2) Should I do the rear wheel bearings anyway as well?

3) What should I look into in the engine to make sure is running fine or into replacing after so long in storage?

4) What is that key lock cylinder for on the front left quarter panel by the STINGRAY logo? (My door and engine keys do not fit it).

5) Which muffler is best to replace the stock ones with? Please incl. Pipe diameter and the type--we were thinking just 40 Series Flowmasters on both sides...2.5"...center...offset?

Thanks for the help now and in advance for the future! We can't wait to get started and will be looking forward to meeting more people with this beautiful classic.
 

bill81vette

Moderator
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,321
Location
Troy,NY
Corvette
1981 dark blue metallic
1st... Welcome to CAC!!!
hope you enjoy the vette as well as the forums!!!!
2nd...my suggestion to you would be to get a service/shop manual for your particular year corvette,As well as a assembly instruction manual.these are the bibles for our vettes
as far as the engine goes change the oil/filter and a tune-up would be my first order for the vette!
I think that the lock cylinder was an alarm system of some type(not sure)

don't forget to post some pics of your 'new' vette!!!
 
D

dmark760

Guest
THANK YOU for the warm welcome! I just bought the manuals you mentioned on CORVETTE CENTRAL and they will arrive in a week or so. We're getting started on the tune up now, and looking for different exhaust options.

On the other note--does anyone have a manual for this model and can tell me the torque specs for the spindle? The rear says 100 Ft. Lbs...the book I have says info only for that rear wheel!

Thanks again, and I look forward to getting it up and running and pics to you all.
 

red70vette

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
328
Location
Cortlandt Manor,NY
Corvette
1970 red cpe 350/300
Most of the typical Corvette vendors have them. Year one, Corvette America, Zip, Paragon, OR Dr. Rebuild. You can also go the the NCRS site www.ncrs.org for all sorts of materials, information, and books. Before you begin to tear into the car you need to have a plan. What do you want the car to be. Stock restoration? Hot Rod, driver, custom, etc. ? It will save a lot of time and money if you set down a plan and follow it.

A good start is to get it running safely. To check the rear wheel bearings jack up the rear to get the tires off the ground. Grab the tire at the top and see if there is any play in the wheel. Ifthere is you need to replace the rear bearings also. Check the brake calipers for leaks and if sound change the brake fluid. Corvette brakes tend to leak when sitting too long.
 

fine69

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
975
Location
Maryland / D.C.
Corvette
'69 Convertible Vette; '72 Z28 Camaro Rally Sport
dmark,

A service manual will be a good first step! There's one on eBay at: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1976...ryZ34215QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

Corvette Central, Mid America (madvet.com), Corvette America, Summit Racing, and many others are great resources for parts. You can access them online and get their catalogs.

Congrats on purchasing your Stingray, and Welcome to CAC!!!.... Have you noticed other Vettes drivers waving to you? That's always a nice surprise for new Vette owners, so ...

SAVE THE WAVE!!!
:w
 
D

dmark760

Guest
EXCELLENT! I'm going to check the brakes and rear bearings as well--full tune up--front bearing and spindle replacement just to get it on the road so I can see if I get waves!

After it's running, smogged, registered, and insured then I'll be figuring out how in depth this restore will go, what engine we are going to go with (this one or a crate), and get a plan together!

Thanks again--anything else I should look at? I've not worked on a car so long untouched in storage...
 

Nobody Cares

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
421
Location
Higgins Lake , Michigan
Corvette
red 81, orange 74 vert. , 80 claret,69 chevy pu
Welcome to the:CAC . Dave
ACORVETTE81REDCORVETTE81REDCORVE-2.jpg









:w
 

fine69

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
975
Location
Maryland / D.C.
Corvette
'69 Convertible Vette; '72 Z28 Camaro Rally Sport
One more thing...

5) Which muffler is best to replace the stock ones with? Please incl. Pipe diameter and the type--we were thinking just 40 Series Flowmasters on both sides...2.5"...center...offset?...


I went with the 2.5" chambered exhaust system, and love it - low rumble at idle, and loud at WOT (wide open throttle). Do a topic search in this forum and you'll obtain lots and lots of info and opinions on this system.

Some folks really like the Flowmasters... I have them on my '72 Camaro, and I personally think they make it strangely sound very much like our Mustang -- so
I am changing them to chambered mufflers also.
 

Crimson Thunder

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
Messages
814
Location
Orange Park FL USA
Corvette
1970 Marboro Maroon Convertible
The key on the side is for your alarm system.I went with 2.25 inch pipe with Flowmaster 50's.The 50's are a tight fit on my 1970 but im happy with the sound.(they will sound better if i ever get headers on it)
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
264
Location
Stafford, VA
Corvette
1978 L-82 4 speed Pace Car
Welcome to CAC!

I'm at work and going off of straight memory, but I think the torque on the front wheel bearing castle nuts is around 12-15 ft-lbs. There is a process for tightening them - something along the lines of tighten to the specified torque while rotating the wheel, then insert the cotter pin. The spindle has two holes drilled 90 degrees apart. Coupled with the castle nut, very fine adjustments can be made. Don't tighten the nut beyond the torque to get a set of holes to line up. You can loosen it if you need to get a set of holes to line up, but you won't have to loosen it more than about 1/16 or 1/8th of a turn. Again, I'm working off of memory here, so check the books that you bought when they arrive.

As for the rear wheel bearings, they require some special tools to set up properly, and 99% of C-3 owners pay a professional to do them (mail the whole trailing arm assemblies out).

I need to take exception to something red70vette said about checking the rear wheel bearings by grabbing the rear tire at the top (when jacked up off the ground). On the C-3's (independent rear suspention), you should grab the tire at 3:00 and 9:00 to try to wiggle it in order to test the wheel bearings. If you grab it at 12:00 and 6:00, the wheel bearings won't be isolated and the suspension components could introduce wobble.

You mentioned checking the brakes: C-3's do not have floating calipers like most cars. Read up on them to understand the differences, and pay attention to bleeding the brake system by the book. The rear calipers have more than one bleeder valve each (I don't remember about the fronts). There are some good tools out there for pressure/vaccum/power bleeding). The old fashioned way still works too!

You mentioned front spindle replacement - unless you have a serious problem, that most likely won't be necessary - just replace the wheel bearings and the seals and you should be fine. The brake rotors were turned on the spindles from the factory to ensure that the rotor surfaces were perpendicular to the spindle axis. Replacing the spindles may introduce problems. Also, when/if you remove the brake rotors, index them so that you can re-install them the same way they came off (I use a punch to make a dimple on the rotor and one of the lugs). Unless your rotors are really, really scored, don't have them turned - again, they were turned on the spindles to get a perpendicular surface relative to the spindle axis.

Read up on the CA laws. I don't think you have to get your car smogged due to it's age, but it does have to have any emissions equipment installed and operational that came on it from the manufacturer (76's had catalytic converters I believe - I think they started in 74).

Last of all - have fun and enjoy!

Semper Fidelis,
Culprit
 

navy2kcoupe

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
799
Location
West Central FL and SE Mass.
Corvette
2000 Navy Blue Coupe A4 Z51
Hello All and Happy Presidents Day Weekend!

My father and I recently purchased a 1976 Stringray Vette that was in storage for about 5 years--great condition and the motor sounds pretty clean. Got a great deal on it, and we need some help on how to start.

:beer

1) The front wheel bearing on left side was out, so we are going to replace seals and bearings on both front wheels...what is the torque I have to tighten the main spindle down to? My book only says the rear wheel torque.

2) Should I do the rear wheel bearings anyway as well?

3) What should I look into in the engine to make sure is running fine or into replacing after so long in storage?

4) What is that key lock cylinder for on the front left quarter panel by the STINGRAY logo? (My door and engine keys do not fit it).

5) Which muffler is best to replace the stock ones with? Please incl. Pipe diameter and the type--we were thinking just 40 Series Flowmasters on both sides...2.5"...center...offset?

Thanks for the help now and in advance for the future! We can't wait to get started and will be looking forward to meeting more people with this beautiful classic.
Dmark760, first, welcome to CAC, second, congratulations on your Vette purchase.
I don't own a 76 so I can't give specific instructions on repairs to that year, but I would get rid of all the rubber hoses and belts, and change out all of the fluids (oil, trans, rear[don't forget the additive for limited slip differential if yours has one], power steering, and even brakes if you pull the calipers off, as well as a cooling system flush[vettes sometimes tend to run hot and need all the cooling help they can get] as a starting point. At least living in San Diego the weather will be warm enough to work on it year round. San Diego is a GREAT place to visit! My wife and I visit San Diego every year over our anniversary and have been doing it for about 20 years. GOTTA LOVE THAT PLACE!!!!! Have fun with the Vette, and don't forget about all the resources/information on CAC.
Andy
:w
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Do NOT torque the front spindle nut and insert the cotter pin - you'll fail the bearings. The correct procedure is in the Chassis Service Manual:

1.While rotating the wheel, torque the nut to 12 ft-lbs. to seat the bearing.

2. Back off the nut one flat and insert the cotter pin; if the slot and pin hole don't line up, back the nut off not more than an additional 1/2-flat and insert the pin (note that there are TWO pin holes - one vertical, one horizontal).

3. This will provide .001"-.008" end play. Do NOT preload the bearings or they WILL fail.

:beer
 
D

dmark760

Guest
Thank you all for the great information! I can't wait to get those books as well.

We have the new bearings in--what about the main spindle nut--the big one--what is that torqued down to? Should we have not removed that? In his haste to remove and clean every part, my father had removed that bid nut and the hub, etc.

I hope the books get here soon!

Thanks again for everyone's input, we'll have to do the tune ups suggested first and get back to that wheel bearing/spindle later.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
264
Location
Stafford, VA
Corvette
1978 L-82 4 speed Pace Car
Do NOT torque the front spindle nut and insert the cotter pin - you'll fail the bearings. The correct procedure is in the Chassis Service Manual:

1.While rotating the wheel, torque the nut to 12 ft-lbs. to seat the bearing.

2. Back off the nut one flat and insert the cotter pin; if the slot and pin hole don't line up, back the nut off not more than an additional 1/2-flat and insert the pin (note that there are TWO pin holes - one vertical, one horizontal).

3. This will provide .001"-.008" end play. Do NOT preload the bearings or they WILL fail.

:beer

Thank you for setting me straight, JohnZ!
 

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