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Making a 40th into daily driver


May 28, 2015
Toronto, Ohio
1993 40th anniversary , Ruby Red
My plan of action to turn a ratty looking 40th Anniversary into a daily driver[/h]
I was looking for a used car under 10000 and I came across a 1993 Vette offered for sale at 4500. Thinking what could I buy for 4500 ? A honda with 150-200,00 miles ? A used up Toyota with 200,000 miles ? A VW that has seen it's better days ? There are not many fun to drive cars in this price range . Maybe a Miata , ? The only one I could find was totally rusted out. So, I went and checked out this Vette. It looked a little ratty on the inside but the outside looked ok. It ran strong, Transmission shifted smooth, and it made me smile when I gave it some gas and it forced me into the back of the seat. Even though the engine has 150,000 miles it runs strong. It has issues though, the transmission fluid is brown tinged (Well over due a change), No Horn, No bright lights, No wipers, Right wheel bearing whine, makes a clunking sound from right rear when in reverse, brakes work but they feel hard, Small transmission line leak (I think at the radiator), Wrong rims it has c5 18 inch rims, new tires on rear 285/35/18, bald tires on front 275/35/18. AC panel lights up, but no fan turns on. Previous owner claims he put a new exhaust in, sounds good at slow speed, but it is way too loud when you give it some gas. It needs all new weather stripping,needs seats and carpet. Power mirrors don't work. I bought it from a mid 20's guy (that can't afford new tires or maintenance) Got this baby for 3000 dollars, and it has an amplifier and is wired for a big speaker system in the back. I intend on turning this beat up vette into a daily driver, then I plan to upgrade it week by week. Happily to say I'm a now proud owner of a 93, Ruby Red 40th anniversary Vette, ...

I've rebuilt Jeep Wranglers in the past, so I'm OK with a wrench.. But most of the work will be done by others as I have two trusted mechanics I use. My best mechanic only charges 50 per hour and he is Awesome, he's a 65 year old man with over 45 years experience. My other mechanic is good but he is young, he's is way cheaper (charges me 20 per hour), he's good at doing the work but not as good at doing the diagnostics. I'm lucky to know these guys.. And honestly I would rather work overtime, and keep my hands clean, to pay these experts for the majority of repairs.

Here's my plan of attack:
1) To the transmission shop for a flush, filter change and new transmission fluid. And a change of differential fluid. and a diagnostic check of transmission.
2) To my old mechanic , check bearings, cv joints etc, and to look over the engine. New hoses lines etc. New brakes etc.,
3) fix transmission first, engine second, and suspension and wheel bearings third
4) electronic issues that don't work, wipers , bright lights, AC fan etc.
5) interior
6) body work, and new Targa top (saw a glass one for less than a grand)
7) If I make it this far, this is the time for upgrades

This is my plan, have i overlooked something ? I'll attach a picture of my new car. It's in a trailer park. I own my house but it's in front of my girlfriend's trailer ( what cab I say, I like trailer park girls ;)

- See more at: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com...y-into-daily-driver.html#sthash.4c8lI2yj.dpuf
I've always loved Rubies! Good luck with your little project. Sounds like you got it cheap enough to do those things you need to do.

As far as mileage, I wouldn't worry too much about the miles. I had 120k on my 94 when I traded it for my 2001 and it was probably running as strong as it ever had. No CV joints on the 93, all U-joints. Not a bad job to replace them. I did all of them at once when I did them on the 94. There will be quite a few routine maintenance items you'll have to do, especially since it sounds like the PO couldn't afford to do them.

Good luck with the project and post pictures of the project as it comes along.
First stop Transmission shop

Well, it has started off with a bang. The PO of this vehicle had lowered it, ( clearance around 1 1/2 to 2 inches) great in Florida or southern states, but not so good for Ohio. It had to be jacked up at 3 points to get it on to the rack at the shop. Then the fun began. Even though the car shifts smooth, the transmission fluid was brown, a little burnt smelling. So, If I don't rebuild it now, I'll have to rebuild it later. I opted for the rebuild now and will be down another 1200 bucks. That adds a fair amount to a 3000 $ car. But It's a Ruby 40th anniversary. So, I'm still in to create a daily ( for less than 10 grand) driver from this Ruby. Mechanically, it still needs new wheel bearings, new brakes and rotors, possible u joints, and to be raised back up to an original height. Before I'll even tackle the electronic issues. Oh btw, the PO installed a great stereo and a huge amplifier , Its all wired for a stereo that can shake the ground with the base. Just what I need. ;( Maybe he should have kept up with routine maintenance , and not changed the rims to c5 18 inch. Add some 40th anniversary rims to my list of options wanted. The PO did put new tires on the back, but said he couldn't afford tires for the front. Live and learn, this ratty Vette, is going to be my daily driver, Hopefully it doesn't bankrupt me. Oh , the parts keep coming in I've ordered steering wheel cover, and Custom made vinyl seats from eBay. These will do till I do a proper restoration of the interior. Wheel bearings, hubs, rotors and brake pads are on the way. All jobs I can do myself. But I've got to go to a shop to get it raised back to it's original height.
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Well, you want it to mechanically sound. Having the transmission fixed is probably a good move.
Transmission done !

I drove this ruby up and down the highway today. I had to dodge a couple of potholes, but I have never had a car that makes me smile like this one does. I thought my Passat handled well at higher speeds, but this 22 year old Ruby feels like it is on rails. Is this a normal for a vette ? I was always under the impression that vettes didn't handle well. I'm starting to think I may have been mistaken.. When I graduated college in 1990 I bought a new 1991 Camero z28, it was good but it didn't have the power of this ratty vette and it didn't attack curves this well. Why did I not buy one of these earlier ? Coming up this week, it is off to the shop to get this Ruby raised back up to a better suited height for the roads in Ohio. Then I will get to break out my toolbox and get my hands dirty. I may be a RN by days, but in my heart I have greasy dirty mechanics blood. I can't wait to get on the creeper, and change that oil.
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Not sure where you had the idea that Vettes don't handle well.....probably reading some crap from across the pond by British automotive journalist, or some Mustang magazine :chuckle, but you have been mistaken for some time. In their time, each generation of Corvette has handled well. Even my old 64 coupe handled better than cars of similar era. By todays' standards, it was crude and not very good, but in it's day. :thumb

I was so impressed with the handling of my 94, then my 01 was even better. I expect that my 007 will be better (haven't put enough miles on it yet to judge). :w
Been driving this Ruby

It is shifting smooth and I dig the power. I did have one hiccup ,. It would start and then shut down. All while the security light was flashing. I cleaned the key then turned it to start till the security light turned off, ( a hint from one of the forums) then it started fine. ??????? I'm thinking the security system didn't recognize the key ? Is this possible ?, or is there a bigger problem waiting me ?.. I wish the wipers worked (since it is raining today) , but I'll use rain x and attack that problem later. This week it's on to the shop to have the suspension raised up. One step closer to being a daily driver.
Good choice. My 40th has been my daily driver for 19 years and has over 190K on the clock.
A few repairs along the way but a strong performer.

May you never have to put in a heater core.....

Drive on!


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