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Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 6th, 2019 6:11 pm
by rbryce1
We made a lot of progress over the past few weeks on the '68's engine. The parts all came back from the balancing shop a while back and we finally built the short block. Unlike the fuel injected hp 350 I built and is in the '65, I don't expect this engine to see over 4500 rpm, as the '68 is more of a show car, so I was content with the 2 bolt mains.
The 350 in the '65 has 4 bolt mains (and has already seen over 6K!). Plus the fact that both engines are precision balanced helps a lot also. :drool:


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Pistons are all installed and ready to rotate. The camera flash really makes the surface rust in the coolant passages look gross, but they really are not as bad as they appear, it's just a thin film that can be wiped off with your finger. Anti-freeze should eliminate that without any problems. :rolleyes:

I installed flat top pistons to work best with the high compression 100 cc heads I bought as far as compression ratio goes. Some big blocks today have a dished piston to reduce the compression, while the engines from the 60's & 70's had domed pistons to radically increase their compression. Unfortunately, pumped gas does not allow for a lot of compression. This is the most I could get and use pumped gas.


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The small holes in the pistons are not balancing holes, they are to verify the pistons are install correctly, The pistons have an offset wristpin and need to be installed properly to have the desired effect of reducing piston noise. Also, the wristpin offset direction is towards the major thrust side of the engine. The holes all must be towards the front of the engine. All the weight removed from the pistons during balancing came from the underside of the piston. They weigh them all, take the weight of the lightest piston and remove metal from each of the others to make them all the same weight as the lightest one. They only needed to make a few drill holes about 1/8th in diameter to accomplish this.

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Lots of cam lube on the cam lobes to protect it on engine startup. :thumbs:

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High performance oil pump installed. Once the oil pickup screen was in the correct position, we spot welded it to the pump to make sure it could not move. I have seen destroyed engines with the oil pump pickup sitting in the bottom of the oil pan before, and that is not happening here! :eek:

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Oil Pan on with lots of stainless steel bolts. :cool:

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Harmonic Balancer installed.

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Today we installed and torqued the Edelbrock aluminum high performance Performer RPM heads. I needed to move the pushrod guides to get enough clearance for the socket to fit on the bolts! Glad that needed to be done, because the bolts holding them in place were not torqued at all by Edelbrock! I will most likely grind out a little bit of the pushrod guides to allow a socket to clear the bolts. The area needing to be ground out is in the center of the "S" where the guide piece goes around the bolts, and I only need to remove about 1/32" to allow the socket to clear. This is nowhere near the actual pushrod guide portion of the part, and it will allow me to re-torque the heads after engine startup without removing the rockers and pushrods to again remove the pushrod guides. :mad:

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This coming week I hope to install the Lifters, Push Rods, Roller Rockers, and adjust the valves. Then install the Intake Manifold and cover everything with the chrome Valve Covers.

Getting there. It's interesting working on both Corvettes at the same time now. :cheers:

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 12th, 2019 11:38 am
by rbryce1
After installing the lifters and rocker arms in cylinder #1, we installed a variable length pushrod to determine the correct push rod length I needed. After knowing the required length, the pushrods were ordered and should be here today. I was also happy to see the roller rockers and posi-locks I bought from Jegs actually did fit under the stock height valve covers, even without gaskets. Once the pushrods get here we can completely assemble the top end, install the intake manifold and button up the engine in a crate until it is ready to be installed in the car.

I am still fitting the tilt nose while I have access top the inside of the engine compartment. I could not do that before as the 350 was there, and I am taking my time to make sure everything fits right and alignment pegs will prevent it from moving while driving down the road.

After I am done inside the engine compartment, the tilt nose comes back off, the transmission gets mated to the engine and the entire power plant is installed in the car. Then the radiator and re-install the tilt nose.

Then comes the next challenge, finding and getting the carburetor and air cleaner that will fit on the engine and under the tilt nose. Indications are I won't have a problems there, but until it fits, it is a problem to deal with.

I don't think I am going the fuel injection route with this engine as even the throttle body ones will cost almost $1500 more than a carburetor, 3 grand less than a sequential FI system. This will not be a much driven car, as it is a show car, so the efficiency will not be a real big player. Hoping a nice polished Holley 750 dual feed double pumper will do.

More photos when the rockers are installed.

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Apr 30th, 2019 8:50 am
by rbryce1
Fitting the tilt nose is proving to be more difficult than I thought. Since I don't have half a dozen helpers to assist in moving the nose into position while I adjust and shim the nose, I tried to use an engine lift like the one below.

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The problem is that the only way to lower the nose is to bleed off hydraulic fluid with the vent screw, and that is not precise in any way. I have resolved myself that the only way I am going to do this without a lot of help is to bite the bullet and buy a Harbor Freight Crane Gantry. :rolleyes:

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Using this with the dolley I have total control left and right, I can move it back and forth with ease by pushing or pulling on the gantry and I can use my 1 ton chain fall to raise and lower the nose with 1/4" accuracy, none of which I can do with the engine lift. :thumbs:

It sort of expensive, but if it works, it's worth it. If I can finish before the 90 day return period, I can just return it! :D

I measured the carport and it will fit with ease. So, I will be picking it up this weekend, $799 minus 20%. Hopefully I can start to make progress again.

The engine is ready for the intake to be bolted down, but I had to order the correct spacer-washers that Weind says I need to use with the bolts. Other than that, the total long block is ready to go. Once the nose work is done and I am about ready to install the engine, I will order the Front Runner serpentine belt system from Vintage Air and install it on the engine.

Here is what it looks like on a Chevy big block, just ignore the fuel injection system and power steering pump. It consists of the drive pulleys, Air Conditioning compressor, Alternator, water pump, belt and frame. The frame mounts to the block and everything else mounts to the frame. Using their frame, their water pump (which is reverse flow because it turns the opposite direction) and their crank pulley, there is no belt alignment required for any of the components. I have this same system on my '65's 350 and I love it. Also, I can buy replacement components like the compressor, water pump and alternator at almost any auto parts place, since Vintage Air does not make any of those, they just provide them.



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I waited this long to order it because I did not want the warranty on the compressor, water pump and alternator to expire before the engine was ready. I do want it installed on the engine before I install the engine in the car though. I'll add a photo of the engine later today, and more photos after the Front Runner is here.

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: May 1st, 2019 8:21 am
by rbryce1
Here are the photos of the engine to date. :D

The intake manifold still looks pretty tall, but it is the lowest manifold could find in a 2 plane aluminum manifold for the big block Chevy. :skep:

I could not use the high profile Polylock valve adjusters and still use the low profile stock valve covers I needed to clear the power steering booster. :mad:

Fortunately I found these on JEGS and they worked fine with the roller rockers. :Hurray:

They cleared the valve cover even without the gasket. :cheers: :thumbs: :drool:

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: May 1st, 2019 8:32 am
by rbryce1
On another note, I am about finished with the air conditioning repair work on my father's manufactured home and we are now just 24 days away from our Corvette Club's annual Corvette car show of which I am again the show director. Once the show is over (May 25th), it is full steam ahead and bust balls on BOTH Corvettes. Lots of time to do the work then, plenty of cash now in reserves and my goal is to have one if not both Corvettes ready for the fall car show scene. I'm tired of screwing around with them, time to get them done and start enjoying them.

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: May 1st, 2019 3:32 pm
by ChrisMiami
That's a great attitude! 3 months oughtta be just enough time, eh?

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: May 22nd, 2019 11:27 pm
by rbryce1
Well, our Corvette Club's annual Corvette show is this Saturday, and I am again the show director.

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As usual, I have been going crazy for the past week getting things ready, coordinating everyone and everything in spite of all the last minute changes! Looking to have around 175 Corvettes this year overall.

Last year we had a hurricane on the day of the show, but this year it looks like 0% chance of rain is in the forecast, but it also looks to be hot. I will be glad when it is over and I can get back to finishing the '65 and making lots of headway on the '68.

I'll post photos after the show, and hopefully have more to post about the progress on the vettes.

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: May 29th, 2019 11:00 pm
by rbryce1
Well, the Corvette Show is now over and I can get back to work on my cars! :Hurray: :hammer:

The show went extremely well, perfect weather and tons of really incredible Corvettes from 1954 through 2019, including some radical customs, awesome paint jobs and even some race cars.

Here are some photos:


The day before the show, calm and peaceful day on the Tampa Bay waterfront.
:cool:
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Vendors setting up and getting ready to go. :leaving:

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Now some of the Corvettes. :drool:

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How about a 1963 Grand Sport, less than 100 ever made. :eek:

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Ken Hazelton's C3 race car which he competes at Sebring with. :cheers:

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This year's show logo was showing the first Corvette and the current Corvette, from the drawing board to reality.

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Now for the actual Corvettes on the banner. A 1954 original, Blomington Gold Corvette with the original "Blue Flame" six banger and a brand new 2019 Corvette Z06. :drool:

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Here was a line of Custom Corvettes, most with gull-wing doors. :cheers:

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Talk about a paint job. He obviously won overall best paint. :thumbs:


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Even the show golf cart was a Vette! :ROFL:

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:thumbs: Table full of trophies.

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Winner of the Overall Best of Show award, a 1960 Red and white Corvette convertible. :cheers:

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All this and a lot of fun, friends and relaxing! That's why we go to shows, not to mention cleaning our cars to immaculate conditions for weeks so we can possibly win a $24.00 trophy! :crazy:

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Well, until next year! :cool:

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Jun 1st, 2019 9:27 pm
by nwav8tor
I was event coordinator/planner for NH's Seacoast Vettes' "Mountain Melee" weekend show way back in 1978 celebrating the Corvette's 25th anniversary. To this day I'm still glad it was a success but, more importantly, that it was finally over! I imagine you feel the same way. Sure looks like a great time was had by all. Were any of your babys in the show?

Re: '65 Coupe Resto-Mod and '68 Full Custom Restoration

Posted: Jun 4th, 2019 9:10 am
by rbryce1
Not this year. The '68 doesn't have paint or an engine yet, the 65' is getting the final body work cleaned up for paint, the '95 is getting the front bumper repainted (under warranty) so I can sell it, and the 2001 is waiting for the '95 to be sold so I can transfer the plates. You are right though, I am glad it's over. Now I can relax and get back to the other things I need to finish.