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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
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    345
    Country Flag: United States

    1964 Corvette Coupe

    I've been a long time lurker, I figured it was finally time to post my project...



    I purchased this car back in April of 2017. I was very specifically looking for a 1964 Daytona Blue coupe with the solid lifter 365 horse motor and a 4 speed. The only additional options this car was ordered with is the two tone blue/white interior, off road exhaust, 3.70 rear end, and for an additional $10.80......reverse lights.

    As I had/have no interest in conducting a full on restoration, I looked for an older restoration that still showed well. This one was completed between 1979 and 1982. It then sat in various collections, accumulating just 329 total miles, so for my purposes, it fit the bill perfectly. The intent is to build a fun street car with relatively minor modifications and just a bit of late '60s European sports car flair. The plan at the moment is to complete the work in three stages. As I type this, Im about 90% complete with the first stage of modifications....progress currently being put on hold by a Middle East deployment.

    Stage-1 suspension and brakes:
    -Global West front control arms
    -Global West offset trailing arms
    -RideTech shocks with factory springs
    -13/16 front sway bar from 1973 Corvette
    -1969 Corvette rear camber rod bracket
    -Global West adjustable rear camber rods
    -1965-67 Corvette spindles/hubs/bearings/discs
    -Wilwood D8 brake calipers
    -Speed Direct manual rack and pinion steering
    -Baer 15/16" master cylinder for manual disc brakes
    -all new NiCop brake lines
    -all new stainless steel -3AN brake fittings
    -Hurst shifter
    -15x7 wheels (TBD) with Avon CR6ZZ 225/60/15 tires

    Stage-2 electrical and subsystems:
    -new nose to tail wiring harness with pinned bulk head connectors
    -modern alternator
    -DSE headlight motors
    -DES wiper motor
    -DeWitt aluminum radiator with electric fan
    -Rebuilt factory gauge cluster
    -Rebuilt factory radio with bluetooth connectivity and modern single dash speaker
    -LED lights throughout including headlights/tail lights/blinkers
    -power radio antenna

    Stage-3 - engine
    -Holley Sniper EFI with distributor and ignition module
    -Holley EFI tank and pump
    -New fuel line
    -aluminum intake manifold
    -Kooks stainless headers
    -stainless exhaust system

    Of note, I'm retaining the factory 327, Muncie 4spd, and everything is 100% bolt on, and could be reversed, should I ever decide to do so (not likely).

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Norfolk, VA
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    The first order of business was a quick tune up, and removing those horrible factory hub caps until I get a proper set of wheels after the disc brake swap.

    I went with Accel 9000 wires with the ceramic boots and shielded cable. This allowed me to remove the tacky chrome trim that covers the factory wires and distributors in these cars. Not only is it ugly but its razor sharp, which makes checking the plugs down right dangerous. Speaking of, the stockers didn't look bad, but I replaced them with NGK XR4s.
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    Next up was to address the oil leak from the old, factory style cork valve cover gaskets. I went with Fuel-Pro pieces....pricey, but they don't leak! While I was in there, I checked the valve lash on the solid lifter motor, and sure enough, I got lash setting anywhere from .028 to .034. I decided to go through, reset the lash, and then verified it a second time before buttoning everything up.
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    I took her out for a little rip afterwards and WOW what a difference!!! I don't know if it was the plugs, wires, valve lash (most likely) or the combo of the three, but it runs like a whole different animal. The idle is smoother, and about 200 RPM lower, right at 1000, and the throttle response once its warm is instantaneous. Very happy with the motor....looking forward to eventually getting it running on fuel injection and uncorking it just a bit!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    nolando eastern shoreVA
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    4,074
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    I like it!

    Used to drive a 64 Roadster in the 80's was my dads friends, always put a smile on my face!!
    Steve68- 1968 Camaro SS LS1 T56, 12bolt 3:90's, C5/LS1 brakes IROC box, 18" Fikse Profil 13s, Deep Fathom Green,Spearcos,


    http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=475228 some pics

    70 Nova SS street/drag 454, T400, 3:55, ugly!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
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    Thanks....looking forward to getting this completed. I've been building this car in my head since about 2012 when I sold my 2003 Z06. Here are some pics of the inspiration for the look and stance, minus the side pipes.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Indpls, IN
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    615
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    Nice ride! Looks much better without the hubcaps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    345
    Country Flag: United States
    Rear suspension completely stripped. As you can see, the frame is in excellent condition. This pocket where the trailing arm mounts is a typical place to find corrosion and rust. Fortunately, this car is extremely clean.

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    Even with the low milage, clean car, you can see all the dirt that had accumulated in the trailing arm pockets. There is a drain hole in there, but it easily gets clogged if the car is driven frequently. I cleaned out the pocket, opened up the drain hole a bit, and touched up any surface rust or bare metal with frame paint. On these cars, cleaning that drain hole is just one of those things you add to the "routine maintenance" list.

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    The only permanent modification I'll be making to this car is cutting the factory bump stop mounting off the frame. When converting from drum brakes to disc brakes in the rear, this needs to be done in order to move the bump stop inboard, otherwise the factory drum brake bump stop would contact the new calipers instead of the trailing arm and potentially brake the caliper. A factory 1965-1967 bump stop simply threads into the hole remaining on the inboard portion of the original bump stop bracket.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Norfolk, VA
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    Mocking up the new Global West offset rear trailing arms. The advantage of these is the inboard offset allows you to run a slightly wider tire. Additionally, they move the e-brake cable inboard, to prevent the mounting bracket from rubbing on a wider than factory tire. They're also significantly beefier than the factory pieces. The last advantage of the Global West arms are the Teflon lined spherical bearing that allows the swing arm to move through the suspension arch without bind. The result makes it easier to tune the suspension because the spring rate is not being affected due to bind.

    The last two pictures show the shim mock up. 1963-1964 shims had holes in the forward portion of the shim. This made it very time consuming to adjust and change out shims as the pivot bolt would have to be removed and rethreaded through the whole stack with each change during alignment. In the pictures, I've changed to the 1965 and later, slotted stainless steel shims and hardware. These are slotted in the front, so that you can slide them in and out of the pockets without completely removing the mounting bolt. They have a smaller hole in the rear which aligns with the small hole I drilled through the frame pocket. This allows the use of a 2" long stainless cotter pin to retain the shims. Once the suspension is aligned, and the trailing arm retaining bolt is properly torqued, tension SHOULD retain the shims in the pocket. The cotter pin is really just added security that they don't back out over time. This is the factory configuration on the 1965 and later disc brake cars.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Norfolk, VA
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    This is the build up of the new trailing arms. I specifically ordered the new hubs from Van Steel Corvette already pressed together as a unit that includes the mounting bracket for the rear brake calipers and the shock/camber road assembly. In the last photo, you can see the final assembly with the hubs installed along with the brake dust shield and the integrated drum brake style parking brake assembly. For the period look, I'm using PS Engineering "Trans Am style" long lug nuts. You can also better see the teflon lined spherical bearing in the front of the Global West trailing arms in this picture.

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    - - - Updated - - -

    Side note, does anyone know how to rotate pictures before you post them? I can't figure it out as they all appear upright before I upload.

    Thanks
    Greg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Ozarks
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    46
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    I don't know it it's true or not but I've been told that the '69 and later front spindle can be used for the brake swap. It gives a larger wheel bearing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Norfolk, VA
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    You are correct. I didn't bother due to the fact that I'm only using a 15x7 inch wheel and tire package. Had I been going full "Pro Touring" with wide, sticky tires, I definitely would have gone with the stouter '69 and later spindle and bearing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
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    Rear suspension being put back together. Trailing arms are back in, Ride Tech single adjustable shocks installed with the Global West adjustable camber rods. I retained the factory springs (front and rear) on purpose. In talking with a number of guys that race these cars in various vintage racing series, you can set them up to handle quite well, over 1 G on the skid pad, with minimal modifications. By keeping the relatively soft factory front (280 lbs) and rear (140 lbs) springs, you can increase the front sway bar size to 13/16. With the adjustable shocks, and sticky Avon tires, this should yield a set up that exhibits mild, predictable understeer at the limits. Ill be able to adjust the understeer/oversteer balance via font bar changes. Fortunately, front bars are readily available for these cars in 1/16 increments. Additionally, I swapped the bracket the attaches the camber rods to the bottom of the differential from the '63-'67 Corvette piece to the '69 and later bracket. This moved the inboard mounting position for the rod down approximately 1 inch which effectively reduces the amount of camber gain in a hard corner. I posted a good video explaining below.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    OMG! I love C2s and this is going to be an amazing car with the changes you're making! Subscribed!
    SMSgt Ty Ingle, USAF
    "CF71" - Freedom Bird
    Hoodpins.com, Inland Empire Driveline, Billet Accessories Direct, Modo Innovations, AutoRad Radiators, Morris Classic Concepts, Marquez Design, Anvil Auto, Fesler Billet, US Collision (DOOM), AGR Performance, Pro-touringF-body.com, Phoenix Transmission Products, Shiftworks, ACC Carpet, Hedman Hedders, BMR Fabrication, American Autowire, MityMounts, TIN INDIAN Performance, Kauffman Racing Equipment, Pypes, RobbMc Performance, WMC, Holley, NOS, PST

  13. #13
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDFLM View Post
    OMG! I love C2s and this is going to be an amazing car with the changes you're making! Subscribed!
    Thanks....this is kind of my dream car build but its intentionally not a full blown "Pro Touring" build. Its more a modernization of the original design/hardware.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    Exactly how I would do a C2! Restomod with improvements to make it more fun to drive... stuff that can easily be undone if you should ever sell it. I'd love to drive a C2 on weekends and to work on a sunny Friday!

    Looks like you picked an incredibly clean car to start with too! Keep the updates coming!
    SMSgt Ty Ingle, USAF
    "CF71" - Freedom Bird
    Hoodpins.com, Inland Empire Driveline, Billet Accessories Direct, Modo Innovations, AutoRad Radiators, Morris Classic Concepts, Marquez Design, Anvil Auto, Fesler Billet, US Collision (DOOM), AGR Performance, Pro-touringF-body.com, Phoenix Transmission Products, Shiftworks, ACC Carpet, Hedman Hedders, BMR Fabrication, American Autowire, MityMounts, TIN INDIAN Performance, Kauffman Racing Equipment, Pypes, RobbMc Performance, WMC, Holley, NOS, PST

  15. #15
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    On to the front suspension...what should have been the easier part of the build actually turned into a massive PITA....

    Factory front suspension completely stripped:

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    Shiny new stuff:

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    Getting the 15" tall spring back into the frame pockets with everything bolted up turned out to be a major undertaking....far harder than any other car I've worked on as a standard spring compressor, won't work (external or internal). What I ended up doing was taking a scrap piece of 3/16 steel plate, drilled a 5/8 hole in the center for a 5/8 all thread rod. Also drilled two 5/16 holes to mount the plate to the bottom of the Global West lower control arm using the holes and hardware for the shocks. I ran the 5/8 rod through the top of the shock mounting hole, all the way down through the spring and the center of the lower control arm. I put two 5/8, grade 8 nuts on the bottom of the rod under the plate. Up top, I used a captive trunion bearing with a 5/8 inside diameter, and a 5/8 grade 8 nut on top of the bering. After I got everything lined up, I slowly started torquing the nut up top to compress the whole assembly. After much grunting and groaning, I finally had the whole thing compressed enough that i could get the spindle mounted top and bottom. I then continued to compress the assembly by turning the nut up top, to the point where the lower control arms lined up with the mounting holes in the frame. It took a fair amount of "finesse" to get everything lined up, and the hardware installed, but in the end, it was all installed safely.

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    Finished up with new Timpken bearings in the new hubs from Van Steel Corvette.

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    Hubs installed, dust shield and caliper mounting bracket bolted up along with factory discs....nothing fancy here as they need to fit inside a 15" wheel, and for a street car, these work exceptionally well. The 1965 and later Corvette brake system was well ahead of its time (more on that later).

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    57
    Very Cool Project! I like it!

    Best Wishes on your build!

  17. #17
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    Jan 2014
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    Norfolk, VA
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    Thanks very much.....shes getting there slowly...

  18. #18
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    On to the brakes.... One of the main goals for this car is keeping it as simple as possible. To that end, I very much wanted to retain a factory style, manual brake system. I did a lot of research into brake system design, and what you need for a good manual brake system. This also resulted in a lot of math. At the end of the day, I determined that in order to have the proper level of clamping force, I needed to go with a relatively small master cylinder with calipers with a large piston area. The Baer 15/16" Remaster was a perfect upgrade to the original single master cylinder. As far as calipers go, for a manual brake system on this generation Corvette, you can't get better than the Wilwood D8 caliper (also the only aftermarket caliper that will fit inside a 15" wheel). I used the 6 piston front and 4 piston rear derivative. Both Baer and Wilwood offer a number of high end calipers that will fit these cars, but most of them do not offer the piston area needed for a good manual brake system. By going with the D8's, I also eliminate the need for a proportioning valve, as they maintain the factory front to rear brake bias. If I decide later on that I want to adjust that, I can always add the Baer prop valve to the master cylinder later.

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    These next few pictures show the proper installation of the Baer master cylinder using their tool to properly adjust the depth of the pedal pushrod in order to ensure you don't have any preload on the piston in the master cylinder. For 30 bucks, its money well spent...I've used it twice now as this is the second time I've used a Baer master cylinder.

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    For the brake system plumbing, I'm using NiCop 3/16 hard line with stainless steel -3 fittings. I have an Eastwood flaring too for the 37 degree flares. In an effort to make everything completely reversible, I used holes already drilled in the factory frame with RivNuts (or Nutcerts) to mount a couple of brackets I fabricated. I'm using Frangola stainless braided hose at all 4 corners thats wrapped in a black sheathing to make it look more factory. Due to routing constraints, and the ability to take the master cylinder off the firewall without having to break into the system, I'm using the same Frangola braided lines to connect the master cylinder to the bulkhead fittings on the frame.

    On this generation Corvette, the brake line running to the rear is actually located on top of the frame, and can't be accessed without pulling the body off the frame. After draining the old fluid (which was in excellent condition) and inspecting the factory line, I decided it was in perfectly usable condition and just cut and flared the front end to align with my frame mounted bulkhead bracket. This allowed me to retain the factory routing of the back half of the system.

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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    Great work! Can I be first in line if you ever decide to sell this beauty?


    What wheels are you planning to put on the car?
    SMSgt Ty Ingle, USAF
    "CF71" - Freedom Bird
    Hoodpins.com, Inland Empire Driveline, Billet Accessories Direct, Modo Innovations, AutoRad Radiators, Morris Classic Concepts, Marquez Design, Anvil Auto, Fesler Billet, US Collision (DOOM), AGR Performance, Pro-touringF-body.com, Phoenix Transmission Products, Shiftworks, ACC Carpet, Hedman Hedders, BMR Fabrication, American Autowire, MityMounts, TIN INDIAN Performance, Kauffman Racing Equipment, Pypes, RobbMc Performance, WMC, Holley, NOS, PST

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
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    345
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    Sure thing....dont hold your breathe though....I looked for this one for a looooonnnngggg time. Plus the selling price would also have to reflect the cost of my inevitable divorce....


    I've had an order in since the week after Thanksgiving with PS Engineering for a set of their T/A-1 wheels in 15x7 with 4 inch backspace. These are by far the closest thing you can buy to the original Torque Thrust Ds from the late 60s. Unfortunately, the week after I made my order, PS Engineering and Vintage Wheel Works were bought out by Coker Tire. As they work through the finances and logistics of the acquisition, everything is pretty much on hold. I'm in the Middle East for another two months so I haven't completely given up on them, but if I don't have a resolution by the time I get home the first week in April, Ill have to start looking at plan B. I would just use the American Racing Torque Thrust D, but they only offer it in a 3.75 inch backspace and that quarter of an inch difference just puts the sidewall of the tire too close to the inside lip of the fender for my taste...one big bump going around a corner and you risk contact and cracking the fiber glass fender. With 4" backspace and -1 degree camber all the way around, I won't have any issues with a 225/60/15 tire.

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    I would run then without the center cap. As you probably saw in some of the previous pics, I already have the extra long Trans-Am style wheel lugs.

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