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Major Descision

76okievette

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
697
Location
oklahoma
Corvette
Early 1976 L-48, 2008 Victory Red
Hello all, its been a while since I have been online no real excuse just the normal stuff grand kids, wife and the job.
I do have a question I am considering a major project this winter and not sure which to do first, engine tranny overhaul/replacement or paint job. I have a numbers matching 76 with only 46,000 miles. It does run good but leaks oil has a starter problem when its hot, the carb is rough it does not want to idle down, just some minor little things that don't require a engine overhaul but I would like to do it and then know that I have a completely trusty worth engine.
The paint job appears to be orginal and is great from about 10 feet but has some nicks, scrapes and the rear bumper has paint peeling off. Again not major but I would love to have it repainted.
So after all that my questions are:
1. Engine overhaul or replacement
2. Tranny overhaul or replacement, its has the factory auto installed now
3. Paint job first or wait til after the engine and tranny work to get it painted
I would love to hear your thoughts and options
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
485
Location
Denver, CO
Corvette
'72 Targa Blue Coupe
Mechanicals first

Personally, I recommend you do all your mechanical work first. Removing and replacing the engine over that long front end and the fender peaks is a lot of leaning, resting, etc. on the paint. You don't want to do that on fresh paintwork.

Plus, all the dial-in, tuning, etc. when you do put the engine back in and bring it online is even more rubbing on the paint. Depending on what you will do to the engine (cam/intake/heads, etc.) will drive your funds for the rest of the work as well.

So, I recommend a careful consideration of what you want from the car (daily driver, occassional fun bursts or street/strip action, etc.). Budget the mechanicals-including transmission (converter, shift kit, etc.) accordingly. Add extras like oil pump, water pump, ignition, hardware, deck block, balancing, etc.

How much work can you do yourself? Do you have a cherry picker, engine stand, jack, jackstands, etc.? All this needs to be considered. Myself, I do my own work except for the machine shop stuff. I assemble the engine and install it at home, so that saves money.

The starter problem-I suggest you replace it with a fresh lifetime Autolite from Checker, buy 2 spark plug heat boots from NAPA, 1 to cover the + cable and the other for the smaller wires (you mave have to cut the rings out the boots), then add a $20 starter blanket from Summit Racing. Hot soak problems are gone.

Hope this is helpful. :)

Rick
:gap
 

76okievette

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
697
Location
oklahoma
Corvette
Early 1976 L-48, 2008 Victory Red
Great info and makes sense, I can do the small stuff but don't have the room or the engine stands cherry picker etc to do the major stuff. What's you thoughts on keeping the numbers matching engine and overhauling it vs. a create motor? My main goal for the car is a weekend driver that runs great and retains as much value as possible. I drive about 100 miles a month and love it would like a little more power, but may be able to get that with a new intake and carb?
Great idea on the starter, I will do that which ever way I go.
 

LVMYVT76

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
I pulled my engine and tranny last fall on my 76. I had the tranny completely gone thru for about $225. Nothing but stock, no shifter kit or anything else, was working ok before and just leaked fluid. Found out the fill tube was broken leaking fluid and the drain pan was bent on the corners letting fluid leak also. The motor was just cleaned and repainted before going back in. The motoe was detailed on the outside with everything getting painted or replaced. New alum radiator and condensor. Engine area detaild with new stainless brake lines. New a/c hoses and rebuilt VIR. power streeing pump and ram rebuilt. Carb restored and rebuilt. New wiring harness to lights, motor and a/c. Now my alt guage works correctly. Wiring harness were gettting very brittle. New vac lines to headlights and carb. So everything is done under the hood. NOW I can think of getting it painted. But keeping the overspray off of these improvements will be a big issue with the painter, and I will have to pay extra to do this, most likely. I also dtailed out the under carriage as much as possible and went thru the rear end the year before replacing the spring. Also everything in the rear was sent off to be rebuit with stainless energ brakes Etc. New dual exhaust was just finished with new headders. The interior will be my winter project, not that anything needs replaced, but a heat and noise barrior will go down under the carpet. Then everything will be cleaned and gone over before put back in. The consoles have been repainted already and have new insets and lenses in them.
 

LVMYVT76

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
I also replaced both bumpers with flex fiberglass ones. I have the stock starter with hedders, and it has never caused a problem starting. What happens when you have starter problems?? I rebuild all my own starters whcich usually just takes a good cleaning and brushes which usually cost under $2.00. You may have other problems with timing or fuel leaking past the carb. That is a easy fix if you know what to look for in the carb. The stock carb works well with this engine even if it is built up some. The important thing is to know what problem eists and fix it correctly. What are you wanting out of the engine dictates what money you need to spend. I can plenty of speeding tickets with my stock engine. If you want more get up for the strip or street, then as everyone can tell you, get your billfold out. The crate motors are the way to go, and the sky is the limit.Or should I say the billfold id the limit. As for me I just need to cruise, so the stock L48 is great.
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,292
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
What's you thoughts on keeping the numbers matching engine and overhauling it vs. a create motor? My main goal for the car is a weekend driver that runs great and retains as much value as possible. I drive about 100 miles a month and love it would like a little more power, but may be able to get that with a new intake and carb?
1) For such small amounts of mileage, I wouldn't buy a new engine for more power. You'll need 500 miles just to break in the engine.
2) A new carb isn't going to improve nor give you more power. The QJet 750 that's on there is more than enough carb for the stock 350ci.
3) A new intake isn't really going to give you much more power either, but likely just affect where the power band resides.
4) What does "while retaining value" mean? "Value" to a potential buyer down the road? (I find myself becoming more and more adverse to people's ideas of 'keeping it stock so it has more value for the next buyer.' (Not directed to you, but in general) "Why be concerned about the next buyer??? Sell it now if are that concerned. Otherwise, do what you like with it so you can fully enjoy it now! It's going to be a loooong time before the post-1973 C3's gain any significant value for being stock or otherwise.")

Overall...if you are just looking for a little more power and only do about 100 miles per month (give or take, obviously), just replace your rear-end gears with some 3.73's or 4.11's. You won't have more actual power, but it will certainly seem like it! That will likely be the easiest and most cost effective way to get your fix for "a little more power".
:upthumbs
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
485
Location
Denver, CO
Corvette
'72 Targa Blue Coupe
LVMYVT76 offers good advice. You (like me) don't put a lot of miles on the car. Perhaps a pull/clean/detail is the way to go. Refresh the trans, mild converter and shift kit. With the engine out, pull the pan, timing cover, fresh gaskets and seals, add a nice cam (I'm thinking Edelbrock Performer cam and intake), fresh true roller timing chain. Might not hurt to pull the heads, mild pocket port, 3-angle valve job and fresh valve seals, reassemble with .017" steel head gaskets instead of .040" Permatorque blues-bumps compression about half a digit (e.g. 8.5:1 to 9.0:1).

This would be a nice boost, stop any leaks, "fresh" up the engine bay, and you should be able to get in and out for less than $1,000. :)

Rick
:gap
 

6880 Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
Engine first, paint second. Doing the mechanicals first helps ensure you don't bang or nick a new paint job pulling an engine.
:)
 

76okievette

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
697
Location
oklahoma
Corvette
Early 1976 L-48, 2008 Victory Red
Rick, that sounds great but I don't think I have the stuff to do that. I assume the the local Corvette Shop could do all that for me. I don't have the cabability or space to remove the engine, I think I have the knowledge but not the tools and the lack of shop space is the killer. Thanks for the advice, I will go with the engine first now just "get it done"
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
485
Location
Denver, CO
Corvette
'72 Targa Blue Coupe
I'm happy to assist. Hope we help to put things into perspective. Recommend you get a couple of quotes or evaluations for the work, and they understand Corvettes. Best of luck in what you choose to do. :)

Rick
:gap
 

76okievette

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
697
Location
oklahoma
Corvette
Early 1976 L-48, 2008 Victory Red
Great advice from all including Evolution 1980, I agree with you about doing what you want now. The car is never going to be a collector's item I just did not want to do something to it that would decrease its "value". I enjoy the car in its stock configuration and want to maintain as much stock as possible but also take advantage of the moden technology to increase the pleasure to me. I am also considering things like the bolt on rack and pinon steering and a new rear end. I have lots of time to evelauate anything I want to do to the car. I guess I am just trying to figure it all out and develop a plan. I appreciate all the good advice I get here and hope I can help out also. Thanks again I will keep posting and let everyone know what I decide and how it goes.
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,292
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
"I enjoy the car in its stock configuration" does not equal "take advantage of the moden technology to increase the pleasure to me". :L :L
The steeroids is nice if your current setup is well worn, i.e. "really sloppy" or if you just like more feedback from the road. The difference to me was night and day!
Putting some taller gears in the back will definitely give you the perception of mo' power! Going from the stock(?) 3.08 to a 4.11 rear is the difference between mashing the pedal and "rolling off the line" versus "watching the rear tires go up in smoke!"
:upthumbs
 

fine69

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
975
Location
Maryland / D.C.
Corvette
'69 Convertible Vette; '72 Z28 Camaro Rally Sport
"... What does "while retaining value" mean? "Value" to a potential buyer down the road? (I find myself becoming more and more adverse to people's ideas of 'keeping it stock so it has more value for the next buyer.' (Not directed to you, but in general) "Why be concerned about the next buyer??? Sell it now if are that concerned. Otherwise, do what you like with it so you can fully enjoy it now! ..."

Amen Brother! I agree... the only "investment" for my Vette is for my own enjoyment. I personally don't plan on selling my Vette - ever.


:Steer
 

chevy6673

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
286
Location
illinois,crete
Corvette
1973 Corvette ,1966 ss impala
THE BEST OF BOTH ,,,TAKE THE NUMBERS MATCHING MOTOR OUT BUT KEEP IT.. I TOOK THE NUMBERS MATCHING MOTOR OUT OF MY 66 SS AND OVER THE YEARS LOST IT... I WAS 16 AT THE TIME HAD NO IDEA I WOULD HAVE IT THIS LONG... LIVE AND LEARN
 

76okievette

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
697
Location
oklahoma
Corvette
Early 1976 L-48, 2008 Victory Red
Great advice, I am going with the mechanical stuff first and I think I am just going to remove the engine clean it all up replace some gaskets, valve cover, timing gear cover, front and rear seals and oil pan. Then put on a rebuilt stock carb from Corvette American, a new starter with a heat blanket. Clean up the engine compartment and then put is all back together again and just drive it. What about the tranny, I will remove it also I guess and replace the fluid and pan gasket. Can anyone think of anything else I should do while doing this?
 

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