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Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Mar 24th, 2011 6:43 am
by rbryce1
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, No.

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Mar 29th, 2011 6:22 am
by rbryce1
Had a few delays for installing the steering column. When I went to purchase the "Rag Joint", I discovered there were 2 different joints available. They were very much the same, but slightly different. The most notable difference was one had a full circle where it slid over the steering box shaft while the other had about 1/4 of the circle flat and the rest was round. I bought the one that was a full circle, as I was 99.9% sure it was the one that was correct, and took it home to match it up to the 1968 steering box and the 1975 steering column shaft. I was correct, but it was then I realized the new steering column did not have the bottom flange on it, just a cleanliness cap to cover the end shaft. Went to my parts manual and all steering flanges from '63 to '82 were the same. Ordered the flange and it matched perfectly, however, it was unpainted bare steel. So over to the powder coating shop it went.

In the mean time, With the help of a few friends and my new enclosed car trailer, we went to my storage unit and brought the tilt nose portion home. We set it on the frame, bolted the mounts and (yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) it fit fine, with only the need for slight realignment due to the higher rubber body mounts. I found the new gas springs I needed from McMaster-Carr and they should be here today.

I spent the rest of Saturday sanding the nose portion, and boy was I glad I was delayed on installing the new steering column. It would have been so full of sanding dust, it would have probably taken out all the bearings in the column. But now that is behind me and the flange should be back from the powder coating shop Thursday. Yesterday and today they were doing White, Orange and Blue. Tomorrow through Friday they do Black.

Getting real close to the transport to Charleston for the additional custom body work I want to do. After that, the engine and wiring go back in, and enough of the old interior gets installed so I can DRIVE IT AGAIN (in primer).

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Mar 29th, 2011 1:21 pm
by vito
Remember that powder coating will add a thickness to it. make sure that they don't coat the inside area where the shafts goes.

Cheers

Vito

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Mar 29th, 2011 5:29 pm
by rbryce1
vito wrote:Remember that powder coating will add a thickness to it. make sure that they don't coat the inside area where the shafts goes.

Cheers

Vito

Got it covered. They insert plugs into all holes or cavities with tight clearances or threads where they do not want to mess with the clearances.

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 3rd, 2011 7:28 am
by rbryce1
Well, I recieved the gas springs for the tilt nose, and we decided to install the nose and try out the springs to see if they worked. They did. The nose still needs some aligning, but everything is working better than I anticipated. I can lift the entire nose with one hand and minimal effort, and it will actually hold position anywhere I stop it. The locking lift holds it fully open with no worry about it coming down.

Here are a few photos with the nose in different positions.

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The left one is the locking spring and the right on is the standard spring. The right one looks a little skinny in the photo, but believe me, it has more than enough strength to it. Each spring is rated for 270#'s each.

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Nose is full up in this photo with no support other than the gas springs.

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About 50% up with no support other than the gas springs .

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About 20-30% up with no support other than the gas springs.

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As far down as it will go right now due to alignment interference with the front fenders.

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Aligning the nose consists of shimming the nose supports until the nose piece fits straight and in line with the rest of the body parts. It is not difficult, just time consuming. Once the correct amount of shims/spacers are arrived at, I intend to fabricate a solid piece of aluminum to replace all of the shims.

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 3rd, 2011 10:51 am
by MaineVette
Wow, that's coming out great - your making a lot more progress than I have been lately!

The tilt nose is really cool. I imagine you must have had to reinforce it to keep it from flexing all over the place while it's in the raised position. I know my stock replacement front clip was quite flexible.

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 4th, 2011 1:14 pm
by rbryce1
MaineVette wrote:The tilt nose is really cool. I imagine you must have had to reinforce it to keep it from flexing all over the place while it's in the raised position. I know my stock replacement front clip was quite flexible.

Actually it is really quite stable. If you look at the photos of the underside, I kept all of the original hood to fender superstruture (which I don't assume your one piece front clip has), kept the upper half of the wheel wells intact with the upper fender portions and then added some a little more steel superstructure in the front under the nose to construct the hinge from the original front bumper mounting arm. No flexing of the nose clip at all. The gas springs provide even more support to make it very stable in the raised position.

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Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 11th, 2011 9:35 pm
by rbryce1
Well, I successfully installed my 1975 tilt telescopic steering column in my 1968 Corvette which has 1972 body mounts. To my amazement, it lined right up. After putting the old steering wheel on the steering column, the front wheels responded enthustiacally. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Needless to say I was pretty sure I had covered all the bases, but you never know when Edsel Murphy will bite you in the rear. I guess he was messing with someone else while I was doing this. But he got back at me this evening. I took several photos, but the Photobucket web site is not allowing me to log on to upload them. Maybe they are doing some site maintance or something. Will try tomorrow.

This was the last piece of work I needed to finish before taking the car to Jamison's Corvette in Charleston, SC. As I said before, I want him to paint it, and it is only fair if he is going to be responsible for the quality of the final paint job, he should have complete control over any exterior body work to be done. So, we leave for Charleston next Wednesday. He should have the car for about a month or so, which will give me a much needed break from the work. Might even clean the garage while there is no car in it.

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 13th, 2011 8:10 pm
by MaineVette
Wow, that's great! I really wouldn't have guessed that swap would have gone so smoothly. I know the frame was essentially unchanged 68-75, but I would have expected other chassis and body changes that would have made that swap a challenge.

In any case, glad to hear it'll be off to the body shop soon. I'm really envious - can't wait to get mine to that point. I'm going to try and work on my project for the first time in about 4 months this weekend. I really need to start making some progress now that warmer weather is back.

I hadn't heard of this shop in SC - do they have a website I can check out? Obviously too far for me, but I like to see what's out there. It helps me know what to expect when I start looking for a body shop.

Re: '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 13th, 2011 10:10 pm
by rbryce1
MaineVette wrote:Wow, that's great! I really wouldn't have guessed that swap would have gone so smoothly. I know the frame was essentially unchanged 68-75, but I would have expected other chassis and body changes that would have made that swap a challenge.

If I had not done both the steering column swap AND the rubber body mount swap, I would have been twisted into a piece of wood radically! The rubber body mounts are about 1.1/2" thicker than the '68 aluminum body mounts. That additional distance between the frame and the body (firewall) would have caused about a 1.1/2" misalignment between the steering column shaft and the steering box shaft. Unknowingly, I also desired, for totally seperate reasons, to install the tilt-telescopic steering column, which I purchased from a 1975 Corvette. Since the '75 came stock with the rubber body mounts, the '75 steering column mounting bracket (between the steering column and the dash) had a correspondingly different angular construction. Similarly, if I had used the steering column with the stock '68 body mounts, I would have had the same misalignment. But by using both features, I didn't realize it, but I had compensated for both problems at the same time. Wish I could have said I planned it this way, but someone else was looking out for me. Just goes to show you how a seemingly small modification can have drastic results where you least expect it.

:cheers: Welcome to the world of Full Custom! :cheers: