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My two deepest C3 pains

Sensei

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
393
Location
Jacksonville, Fl
Corvette
'81 dark blue
Well I'm not sure if I'm asking for advise here or just venting. Don't get me wrong, I love my '81. It's not too pretty (needs paint bad), but it runs like the wind. Well anyway, here are the two most frustrating problems I have. The first will probably manifest itself in a major way eventually and then get fixed. The other is the one thing that has made the thought of getting rid of the car actually go through my mind.

1. Clunking from the rear end: The guy I bought ther car from lied about a lot of things when I asked about leaks (see problem #2), but one thing he was right about. The differential did not leak at all when I got the car. It was bone dry. The car clunked from the rear end and I found it dry, put in lube and additive to no effect. I then found the right wheel bearing was bad. I replaced it myself, along with the u-joints on that side (which were bad) and the clunking left, for a while. Six monthe later, the same wheel bearing was bad again. This time I had a drive train shop with a Vette specialist fix it. Again, it was quiet for a while. Then the u-joints on the other side went bad. I replaced them. Now I'm clunking again and can't find the sourse.:hb

2. Air and water leaks! AAAGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! I probably need not say more. But after hours of searching, sealing, reading books and threads on the subject, replacing weatherstripping, etc., I'm still soaking wet in the rain and my badly needed air conditionong is sucked out by the wind around the windows and tops.

Oh well, end of venting, have a blessed day, Sensei
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
1,060
Location
Motorcity USA
Corvette
1973 L-48 Coupe
My issues too.....it seems.

Water leaks seem to be part of what this car is...like with out them there wouldnt be a universal complaint. Not being my daily driver and being a bit pampered, i have learned to deal with the leak i have, usually from the area around my rear view mirror.
The diffrence between my leak and yours, is your vette has a metal floor pan and mine is fiberglass. So the leak is more of an issue to deal with on yours more than mine i guess, you need to keep it from rusting and i only have to keep it dry to keep it from rotting my carpet.

The clunk......
I had to replace my rear end 3 years ago due to the ring bolts backing out and trashing the inside of the hog. When it happened it was like i ran over a cinder block....a heart wrenching sound that changed the movement of my car.
I changed from a 3:05 to a 3:55 and really like the diffrence.
Very snappy out of the hole, and at 70 mph, has a great amount of jump to offer as well....the guys calibrated my speed-o to perfection and it all seemed great.
I had the u joints all replaced also, i replaced the leaf spring....best investment to date by far......i have totally redone my entire brake system as well.
However I have a clunking sound that sounds like its coming from the rear end.
The sound i hear is like when you first start rolling from a stop and the disc kind of pops thru the caliper....i have hear it in most any car or truck i have driven. but this seems louder than that slight braking sound, its just the same kind of sound. but the one thing i noticed is my sound dont start until i have 20 or so miles into the ride.....like something heats up and then starts to pop. this makes me believe and U.P.John concured, to be a bad bearing in the rear wheel spindle.....at this point im not in position to fix it, but it is the only thing i have yet to replace.

I doubt this helps much other than to know you are not alone in this misery....but its a sure sign that your in tune with the car, picking up on sounds and such that others may just think as normal i guess.

When i fix it i will post it here as to my final solution.

Good luck Sensei...keep a towel in the back, and ride on:w

Chas
 

Victory Red C6

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
205
Location
Gibbon, MN
Corvette
2007 Victory Red Coupe
Sounds like all the joys of owning a classic. Not sure, but I don't know of any country music songs related to this. There might exist an opportunity to write a song about it, make millions from it, and get that Vette restored to showroom condition. Just a thought. Good Luck!!!!!!
 

pbcanney

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
240
Location
Sharon Center, OH
Corvette
1981 383 4 speed 3.55 rear
clunk

I had a clunk in mine when I first got it. It would happen from a dead start (when it was still an automatic). What it was , was the shims for the right trailing arm had disintegrated (through neglect and abuse of the previous owners) and the trailing arm would slide on the rod and bump into the frame (hole)

My son (mine is a running father /son project) had the arms rebuilt with new pins and shims and it's fine now. (or was when it last rolled under it's own power (as an automatic)
 

Phill

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
216
Location
s.florida
Corvette
1979 Blk L48
nice pic chas, kinda looks like a toy model car. i just love them yellow vettes, they almost look as nice as the black ones.:D
 

smithjw

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
71
Location
Modena, New York
Corvette
1981 red
I believe your rear end problems are due to the trailing arms being not quite what they should be. This is the classic one bad part leads to other parts going bad. Your fixing the parts that are currently broken but never actually getting to the source that caused those problems. I would have someone check out the trailing arms.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2002
Messages
812
Location
Midlothian, VA
Corvette
1981 white/blue interior automatic
I feel you sensei,

I have a balance/brake problem, that will never go away, as far as I'm concerned. At around 45 mph, and when I turn the wheel slightly (to make a gradual turn), my steering wheel shimmies. Wheels have been balanced several times. Also, about 50% of braking feels like its pulling slightly to the left, the thing is, the harder you push on the brakes, the less it pulls?! Try describing that to a mechanic! Also, it sounds like the front driver caliper is binding ever so slightly, but no one can find anything wrong with it. So, is that 2 or three problems?

But nothing could EVER make me sell her. She'll get the proper care one day...

-Tatortot

Oh, and +1 on paint!
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
2,141
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Corvette
1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
I feel you sensei,

I have a balance/brake problem, that will never go away, as far as I'm concerned. At around 45 mph, and when I turn the wheel slightly (to make a gradual turn), my steering wheel shimmies. Wheels have been balanced several times. Also, about 50% of braking feels like its pulling slightly to the left, the thing is, the harder you push on the brakes, the less it pulls?! Try describing that to a mechanic! Also, it sounds like the front driver caliper is binding ever so slightly, but no one can find anything wrong with it. So, is that 2 or three problems?

But nothing could EVER make me sell her. She'll get the proper care one day...

-Tatortot

Oh, and +1 on paint!

Tator,

My Vette also wondered/shimmy on the freeway, and after checking all of the other obvious problems with steering linkage (and fixing whatever I found bad), I replaced the front shocks, and now she rides nice as when she did when she had barely 16K miles.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2002
Messages
812
Location
Midlothian, VA
Corvette
1981 white/blue interior automatic
Thanks for the reply, Gerry. Shocks were replaced. Maybe that is the problem? Cheap/incorrect shocks?? I gotta get this alternator on before I can look into anything else.

-Tatortot
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
2,141
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Corvette
1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
Tator,

Have you looked at your idler arm? If you can get get it to budge slightly with your hand, then it is probably ready for replacement.

I know how tight it is for you college-aged-Vette-owners, so if you need one, let me know. I have an extra one I can send you.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2002
Messages
812
Location
Midlothian, VA
Corvette
1981 white/blue interior automatic
WOW Gerry! I greatly appreciate the offer. I'll check it out when I put the alternator on. Thanks again!

-Tatortot
 

trane48

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
6
Location
Atlanta
Corvette
1981 beige t tops
Water leak. Check the seals that press the outside of the door glass. If this is not tight the rain will go into the door and leak through to the floor board. This is tough.
 

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