The Vette had been sitting in my home garage for the whole winter since last September or so when the engine decided to end the partnership with me. Since then I decided to build a new engine for it and the Stroker 383 project is going to be ready quite soon. I will write more about it in a day or so. Anyway, since the home garage is just a bit too low for proper engine lifting and there isn’t much room to work on the engine when the car’s inside, we decided to transport the Corvette to our countryside where we have a much larger garage and an electric winch in the ceiling. I was a bit scared of the transportation process since I hadn’t transported the car before on a trailer but the process went unbelievably smoothly. The guy who helped us out with the trailer was really familiar with his job and the Vette was on the trailer in no time. I just had to make sure before that all the stuff loose in the engine compartment was secured not to loose any parts in the wind on the motorway. The Vette is now safely in our countryside garage and I am ready to build the engine at home as soon as all the parts are ready.
The engine block is currently being bored, honed and cleaned with new cam bearings installed also. They promised to get it ready for today but I guess that’s not going to happen so I have to wait until the beginning of next week. Basically all of the parts are here except the AFR heads which had a really long delivery already inside the States and still have to fly all the way to Estonia. I really hope they arrive within 2 weeks. The other parts I still need are the pushrods which I have to measure once the engine is almost assembled up to the heads. Then I will place a quick order from Summit to get them here as quickly as possible and finally finish the engine assembly.
Alright, I’m ready to share some updates on the progress of restoring the floor pans and carpeting in my ’79 Corvette. Things have been speeding up in my garage again after a pause of a couple of months due to cold weather. After cleaning the floor pans, I went through the whole process of POR-15 protection. It means that I cleaned the pans with Marine Clean, then applied Metal Ready, cleaned it up and finally painted two coats of POR-15 black rust preventive paint. Now these floor pans should be good to go for at least several years to come and they fortunately hadn’t caught any serious rust damage before I began the restoration.
Here you can see some photos of the floor pans after being painted with POR-15. I must say that painting the pans was basically very enjoyable as a job and certainly nicer to do than cleaning the pans with wire brush which I did some time ago throughout several evenings.
As you can see on the second photo, the bird cage part behind the floor pans is a bit uneven on the lower side, but this is not bad painting or rust – it’s some kind of compound used between the floor pan and the bird cage. I’m not sure if this was the method used in the factory or if the floor pans have been replaced at some point in the hands of the previous owners, but such kind of compound sealing is visible also in other parts of the floor area. Since the bird cage was already painted with some good rust protection paint and in the areas where the old paint had come loose I didn’t notice any sort of rust damage to the bird cage at all (it was shiny metal), I decided to paint over it and consider it good. The old paint was still so good in most places that I didn’t feel like brushing it all off and doing the same job again. Since the car has been restored approximately 10 years ago, I think this is one area which was certainly taken care of.
Since people have been complaining in the forums that the floors are transferring a lot of heat into the cabin thanks to the exhaust pipes running underneath them, I decided to completely heat-protect the floors. I used a certain kind of heat/sound insulation material which I bought from a car audio store. It came with its own glue already on the mats so it was a rather comfortable job to make the mats fit and glue them to the floors. In some places their own glue wasn’t enough so I used a spray glue especially made for such purposes. Helped a lot indeed! I was told by certain experts that it’s not necessary to COMPLETELY cover all the surfaces of the interior in order to repell heat and noise. It’s ok to install the mats in pieces, too, so that’s the method I used in more difficult areas like the transmission housing. Should keep most of the heat away.
I wasn’t too critical about sound insulation and didn’t buy extremely expensive mats for this purpose, because it’s NOT my intention to make this car a subwoofer-hut and I want to keep it closer to the state it came from the factory while also taking into consideration certain personal wishes of mine. It’s a hobby sports car which I take out on sunny summer days and I want to enjoy the V8 rumble.
I must say that although the carpet is already in the car and almost completely installed, I don’t have any pictures to show as of yet. I want to finish the interior completely before showing new pictures. I’m hoping to get the car ready tomorrow but my time schedule hasn’t really been very accurate the last days.
Oh, and remember this center console piece which I had professionally leather-covered?
The grey color is somewhat off and doesn’t fit the seats or the whole interior. I sent it back to the shop for re-painting and I will receive it tomorrow. It should be an exact match with my white leather seats and I’m very anxious to see the result.
Finally a video clip for you. I just wanted to start up the car too much and couldn’t wait till it’s all done. So I put the driver seat loosely into the car and started up the engine. I must say that it cranked up almost like new, although it hadn’t been started since late Autumn 2008. Hopefully the engine won’t give me any troubles when the time is ready to go driving.