Archive for March, 2010

In appreciation of Never-Seez – 67Vette continued

Friday, March 26th, 2010
Chaz's garage space

Chaz's garage space

Never-Seez is the third pillar of the mechanics Trinity.  A Bigger Hammer (Father), Duct Tape (Son), and Never-Seez (Holy Ghost).  The bigger hammer breaks what’s stuck, duct tape fixes what’s broke, and Never-Seez (a waterproof, non-hardening, rust inhibiting lubricant) insures you never do that again.

Car manufacturers would never use Never-Seez.  It would raise the cost of a new car and reduce the cost of repairs – a no brainier for them.  But for those of us who like to work on our own cars, we would never reassemble a repair without the liberal use of Never-Seez on every fastener we lay a wrench to.  Have you ever tried to change your own flat tire and discovered that even when you stand on the lug wrench it won’t come loose?  Yep, no Never-Seez.  OK, you don’t like to fool with your own car.  Have you ever assembled your kid’s swing set and then had to use a hacksaw to disassemble it when they left for college?  Yep, no Never-Seez.

There have been books written about bigger hammers and duct tape, but not to my knowledge about Never-Seez.  Well ok, maybe you have never browsed that section of Amazon.com, but trust me this is a significant gap.  Remind me of this thought when the Vette is finished, but meanwhile don’t tell Henry Petroski – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Petroski .

So where does this thought train take us with the Corvette?

My first step in starting the Corvette is to make sure it will turn over.  Since it hasn’t run in more than 10 years, it’s likely that the pistons may be a bit frozen in place.  So, I am treating the engine with another automotive wonder drug,WD40.  I plan on a liberal soaking of the cylinder walls with WD40, while I attend to other items in the fuel and ignition system.  Yesterday I removed the spark plugs for the WD40 treatment.  Now I know you have all been waiting for this, but NO SKINNED KNUCKLES!  Never-Seez certainly did the job on those spark plugs.  Bigger Hammer, Duct Tape, Never-Seez, Amen.

No engine compartment is ugly, but this comes close.  But cosmetics are later

No engine compartment is ugly, but this comes close. But cosmetics come later

An original Corvette anticipating return to action

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
Chaz's 1967 Stingray

Chaz's 1967 Stingray

Today is a very good day in my world of cars.  After many years of procrastination and several months of glacial preparation, I have laid the first wrench on the Corvette.  In time (estimates later, but reality is when rubber hits the road) 67Vette will be mixing it up with all of those homogenized, drive-by-wire, cell texting, modern day cars. Ah, the pleasure of being involved with the car rather than the peripherals. Meanwhile, I plan to get reacquainted with an old friend, one bolt at a time.

My Corvette is a 1967, convertible, 427 ci., 390 hp., 4 speed.  I can’t recall any options except, perhaps for the AM/FM radio (rarely used as the more satisfying exhaust note is just a throttle mash away).  I purchased it new in the fall of 1966 and have accumulated about 120K miles (the odometer failed long ago and I only was able to keep track of the miles by my “frequent” gas purchase records).

As far as provenance, I have been the soul owner.  It’s been run hard.  It’s very quick to 100, but the short rear end limits top speed (a good thing since the front end begins fly at about 120.  No surprise that Corvette’s sprouted front end spoilers with the next model change).  It was autocrossed and rallied extensively, and has run fast on Sebring, Watkins Glen, Cumberland Airport, and Marlboro raceways (not in sanctioned races, just autocrosses or “bandit” runs after the officials had departed).  Early on, late summer Sunday night returns from the beach were supremely entertaining.  It was also used for everyday transportation for many years; some residents on Gorman Road, in Howard County, MD may remember my morning bonzai runs on the way to work.  One could hit triple digits by catching the last corner before the bridge over I95 just right.  Yeee ha.  Now that was a workday stress reliever!

The Vette is not a virgin.  I have previously completely rebuilt the engine and the brakes.  I have experimented with various ignition, tire, suspension, exhaust, and fuel delivery setups.  The original parts that are not on the car are preserved, but I have no intention of getting anal about a “numbers matching” garage queen.  The memories of driving are just too vivid and fun to do a restoration and then not drive it. I pretty much completely know this set of wheels from the inside and the outside, so I think this process will be like turning the pages of a favorite long lost diary.

Stay tuned for updates.

Yeeh ha!

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