Restoring Your Corvette

Restoring Your Vintage Corvette

Restoring a vintage C-3 Corvette

Many times people give up on these projects, here is a video…a great example of when you are into a restoration, you are all in. Here is a nice video of a restoration of a 1976 Corvette. The difference between pre-1976 Corvettes and post 1975 Corvettes is that many of the fiberglass parts were changed to metal and the metal gets rust, like any older car. Evident in the video, you will see plenty of rust.

Rust is a tricky animal and you have to make sure that you get as much of it out, and treated because, it will be a re-occurring issue with post 1975 Corvettes. The Floor pan for one is someplace that you have to check when purchasing these vintage Corvettes. Get down in there and check it out. Make sure that not only you don’t have to replace the floor pan, but if you do, there is plenty of good metal around the floor pan. If not this could set you back a few bucks, and it will most certainly be something you will have to do, before you do anything else to the car. Kind of like fixing the roof of the house, before anything else is done to the home. Very similar…check out the video!

Use SEM Multi-Purpose Adhesive

SEM Multi-Purpose Adhesive

OK, the first trial run was simply the placement of the 1980 front clip that I have been writing about. By the way the weather in South Florida is so good, that I have neglected writing on here for a some time and updating my progress, because I have been taking advantage of the cool weather. Thanks to the Canadian winds!

So I return with the news of the new and proper installation of the 1980 Corvette clip. For those reading for the first time, and I am glad that I have about 100 followers already that have either commented or contacted me for some information. I am not a professional at restoring a Corvette. I simply have learned from many of the you tube videos and some of the old legendary Corvette masters that are still around working on Vette’s for 40 plus years.

For those of you who do not know, I have a 1975 Corvette, I chose 1975 and or lower because of simply thing that I did not want to deal with, rust! The floor pans for one are not fiberglass in Corvette’s that are post 1975. Yeah you get the metal floor pan, and those rust my brothers and sisters. So 1975 and earlier have fiberglass floor pans. One less area of concern and not much inspection needed there.

Just on a side note, I cleaned the floor pans both as well as I could and before I introduced some new floor pan plugs (which I purchased at Eckler Corvette fairly cheap) then I painted the floor pans with a rust-o-leum semi flatback. I just wanted to give it some extra protection, because even though the floor pan will not rust, the attaching elements can. So just a thought and tip on what I did. In addition to that I will add some extra sound protecting strip before I do the interior.

So back to the 1980 Corvette front clip. I originally placed the front clip on before adding the SEM adhesive. This was the adhesive that was recommended to me to solidify the front end. Now I was ready to place the front end on permanently. So there are a few things that you will need if you are going to attempt this on your own. One is a good jack. Not the one that the Corvette brings from factory. You will need a strong hydraulic jack. Do not let the front end fool you. It is very heavy. Ideally you will need about three to four people to assist you in placing the front end clip.

The SEM adhesive will be placed in several places to include both the right and left or (driver and passenger side) quarter panels. In addition, you have to make sure that you have the front clip on perfectly before adding the SEM multi-purpose adhesive, we will get back to that statement in a brief moment. You will have to check and re-check the closing and opening of the doors of the Corvette. Don’t worry if the front clip looks a bit separated from the tires, because it will eventually settle just right.

Now back to the statement of settling perfectly. There is always going to have to be some modification. It does not matter that you are dealing with a C3 Corvette. The parts simply do not always fit perfectly just because you are placing a C3 part on another year C3 corvette. You will read on many of the Corvette forums that everything is inter-changeable. That my brothers and sisters is complete bull crap! You will need to modify some part of the body somewhere to make it work. Now not everyone wants to change the body style of their Corvette like I do.

A 1975 Corvette that is being restored with original parts won’t be facing this situation that I encountered. I however, purchase the 1975 Corvette because the price was right for my project budget. Then the 1980 front clip and back clip came at a good price too. Besides the front end that I had on the car originally was an after-market front end, I just chose original over after-market. I will keep you posted on the upcoming paint job and interior modifications.

Now, here is a side note. Many people want to start a project like a vintage Corvette. Well did you know that you can get financing for these projects? Many people do not know it. It is true. The financing is fair and affordable. In fact I am going to use this company for my next project, my intent it so own three Corvettes. One for me, and one for each of my boys. They help out quite a bit, and have taken an interest in vintage Vette’s. I will be purchasing a convertible Corvette, looking for something in the early 1970’s. Anyway this company has helped me out in the past, and I recommend them. Here is the easiest car financing out there. Let me know what you think?

My 1980 C3 Corvette Front End

Well, I started off with a 1975 Corvette, now I have a hybrid 75-80 Vette. I know people must be shaking their heads, but I wanted to rebuild something unique, and something that I would absolutely love to drive for years to come. So, having said that, I want to explain the process of restoration as I see it. Sure, you can find just about everything for a late model Corvette just about anywhere online, but I wanted to restore the car with as many original parts as possible. Heck in Miami, there are even many other places that will work the fiberglass on a Corvette to do just about anything that you would want. I did not want to go that route, but it is always a good safety blanket to have.

I have already explained my woes on other posts here on this site, so I purchased a fully loaded super clean front end off a 1980 Corvette that was abandoned and had no engine. I purchased the front end to include both quarter panels, operating lights, and a fantastic 1980 Corvette hood for $700.00. In hind sight I should have purchased the doors as well, but my 1975 Corvette doors are not drooping and close well so I will make due with these doors. Plus they are already primed for paint as well. The next step is the installation of the 1980 Corvette front end, then I will attempt to sell the 1975 after model Corvette front end on Craigslist. This will be my attempt to get some of the money back that I spent on the front end. I am including a picture of the front end that I will be installing right here on this post as I expand the blog. Thanks for reading…