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Lingering Issues After My Corvette Rebuild


Phil Navage

All, this is my first thread, just joined. I'm an American living in Malaysia and have brought in a 1982 Corvette. There are probably less than 6 in the whole country. It just stops everybody in their tracks as I drive to work. Not to worry it doesn't go to my head, just a fat old guy in a car he couldn't afford 30 years ago. But the car is a real beauty. I have pretty much finished my C3 rebuilt. New calipers, new suspension, new dash and carpet, fixed gauges, new paint, new transmission and the last thing, a new crate motor, a 350 ci with 450 HP and 430 torque. A chrome jewel. So I now have a car with more engine than suspension. The tail wants to wiggle, it's loose. I don't know if that is the nature of the beast or whether I can tie it down. My Porsche 964 will run circles around it. I've replaced the whole suspension. It was a sports touring kit with new fiberglass leaf spring, new arms, new anti sway bars front and rear, etc. I even added the Smart Strut in the back. The issues I am now dealing with are:

1. Shark Bite coil over shocks to replace the leaf spring. Is that a significant improvement.
2. Getting tires for the 15" wheels is a big problem. I am left with little choice but to get new wheels. So, what would be the desired size and while at it (16", 17", 18" I don't want to go bigger as in another car with low profiles, I keep getting flats), can I put a bit wider tires in the back. Everyone knows chrome and wider tires make a car faster. How wide can I go?

I appreciate any and all comments. These are, I hope, the finishing touches and I want to do it right. And, sorry tried to insert a picture but it wouldn't let me. I'll figure it out eventually. Thanks for your help.


Well-known member
Sep 4, 2003
New Haven CT
I agree on the alignment and possibly loose toe shims for the TA.


Jan 17, 2004
1981 dark blue metallic
Welcome to CAC!!!

Phil Navage


I have a friend who races cars and I had his mechanics set it up. I noticed a significant improvement, but still lacking. They did mess up some other stuff so getting a second opinion sounds like a good idea. I have asked my new mechanic to have some specialists look at it. Good idea, thank you(s).

And while I was talking to my mechanic, he talked me out of moving up to a larger wheel size citing the difficulties with the speedometer, etc., so that's one problem gone away. He says I can find the tires.

Okay, here is something else. The torque converter, a black art if I've ever seen one. When I got a new transmission out of the States, I told the people I would be dropping in a bigger engine. They sold me the trans (with an overdrive) with a 2500-3500 stall speed. Now that I have the bigger engine in it, it doesn't seem to get up and go like I think 450 HP should. It doesn't seem to be slipping like a worn out manual would (wouldn't that be the feeling, a revving engine, but little forward progress?). It just doesn't seem to accelerate as fast as the engine sound/revs make you think it should. So, does a 2500-3500 stall speed convertor mated to a 450 HP, 430 torque engine sound right? It has the standard rear axle/gears. My current mechanic doesn't seem too knowledgeable on this aspect. A black art.

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