1963 Corvette

Update your progress on your various car projects.

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1963 Corvette

Postby GMJohnny » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:20 am

http://cleveland.craigslist.org/pts/4537882622.html

Hey Smoker....

Saw this while flipping through Craigslist....


GM

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TireSmoker
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Re: 1963 Corvette

Postby TireSmoker » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:07 pm

Wow, 3 years since the last post? I guess there's not much to report here, fortunately. I tried driving the car at the end of last year and it ran miserably. Loud (like a gun) popping out the exhaust, couldnt give it any throttle.. I could barely drive it around the block. Well, this spring, I started it up the other day in the garage for a few minutes. Seemed to run fine? Pulled it out of the garage today, and no issues. Drove it around the block, was able to give it full throttle, and drove it to Sunoco to top off the tank with fresh gas.

The only project I have on tap is a rag joint to try to eliminate some slop in the steering. And a good wash/wax. I guess I still need to get after the RF turn signal, the fuel gauge, and eventually the clock.

-Dave

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GMJohnny
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Re: 1963 Corvette

Postby GMJohnny » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:20 am

I can't say from experience on a CAR that this is an issue, but I've seen several tractors
have an issue like you talked about and it ended up being a bad condenser and/or coil
that creates the problem you are talking about. Usually this happens when those parts
get hot. It might be a good preventative measure to check the points, and change the
coil and condenser.

GM

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TireSmoker
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Re: 1963 Corvette

Postby TireSmoker » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:11 pm

John, that was my gut feeling last year when it happened. I have no idea how old the points/condenser/coil are in that car. I don't remember replacing any of it in 2011 when I installed the 350. I may upgrade to a Pertronix if I have to replace that stuff.

-Dave

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Re: 1963 Corvette

Postby TireSmoker » Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:55 pm

Well, I guess it's time for another 3-year update. Picking up right where the last post left off, I got around to doing a bit of a tune up on Dad's Vette. I was driving it a couple weeks ago across 480, and it just wouldn't pull past 4000 rpm at WOT -- and I was cruising GPS indicated 72mph at 3700! I've never been super happy with the WOT performance of this combination since I put it together, but I tolerated it since it was never supposed to be anything more than a good cruiser, which it IS.

I placed an order from Eckler's Corvette for a new fuel pump, points, and condensor. I wanted to start simple. I changed the points while chatting on the phone with Andy, with both of us acknowledging that we hadn't done such a task since the late 80s or early 90s, as an HEI swap would've been the go-to mod. It's a very simple job-- I probably spent just as much time labeling my spark plug wires as I did doing actual work. The cap and rotor looked almost new inside. Just a little bit of crud on the rotor, that I cleaned off with some scotch brite. Upon re-assembly, the car wouldn't start, Andy suggested the points werent opening/closing. A bit of adjustment there, and it fired up. I didnt gap them and I didn't have a working dwell meter. The butt dyno confirmed an improvement, but still plenty room for more improvement.
20200828_212632.jpg


Last night I swapped the fuel pump. I've done a few small-block fuel pumps, its usually a pretty easy job. I even swapped the one on Tony's Chevelle in the hotel parking lot at Woodward years ago without much issue. Not this car, though. From above, the alternator is in the way, and to a lesser degree, the exhaust manifold. From below, the crossmember and suspension make it a tight job. Also, on my particular block, the hole in the front of the block that can be used to hold the push rod out of the way is not tapped all the way through. Youtube suggested using an old hacksaw blade to get under the pushrod and hold it out of the way while sliding in the new pump. This worked pretty well.
20200829_213702.jpg
Out with the old...

Of course, the new pump was a little different than the old one. I was a bit miffed at first-- that was why I bought the pump from Eckler's, so it would be RIGHT. The mounting flange was measurably thicker, meaning my bolts weren't long enough now. Discovering something like this at 10pm can be a motivation killer. Fortunately, I had my old Holley pump from the Chevelle on the shelf, and it had the thicker flange too, and the bolts were with it. Problem solved.
20200829_215057.jpg


One of the other annoying parts of this job is that the fuel tank gravity feeds the pump. The sending unit and outlet from the tank is on the bottom. After removing the hose from the inlet of the pump, gas POURED out. There's no flow issue there! A 3/8 bolt kept the line plugged while I did the rest of the job. Knowing this, I now realize there's no way for any of the fuel line from the tank to have a pin hole causing a suction problem. I'd have a straight leak if there was anything wrong. All in all, doing a fuel pump on this car is a sucky job, one that I would NOT want to try in a hotel parking lot.

The road test showed not much improvement, but thats ok. The old pump may not be quite as old as I first thought, but now I know its good.

Next up, I'll check the plugs and replace as needed. They were installed when the engine was built in 2011 and havent been changed. After that, I might try putting a bigger secondary jet in the Edelbrock carb.

One of my winter projects this year will be a new exhaust system. Being a 250hp/327 car, the pipes are only 2-inch. Good grief, they look like straws. I'm going to use stock 2 1/2" manifolds & pipes from the 340hp/327. Here's a photo compared to a piece of 3" pipe from my Chevelle's Pypes kit. setup.

20200829_224233.jpg


I really need to drive this car more frequently. It's such a cool car.

More to come..

-Dave


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