For several decades, the Chevy Corvette has been one of the most popular cars to collect, restore and customize, and Weekend Projects for Your Classic Corvette 1953-1982, features 52 projects that will allow you to spend lots of weekends, making your Vette even better.
From first-, second-, and third-generation Corvettes, some of the projects in this guide will help you increase horsepower, while others will allow you to improve the car's handling. Best of all, every project in the book can be accomplished over a weekend — some of them in a few hours — and at any skill level.
All you need are some basic tools, a clean work area, the time to devote to each project, and this book!
Book Excerpt: Weekend Projects for Your Classic Corvette 1953-1982
PROJECT 11: STEEL VALVE COVER REFURBISHMENT
TIME REQUIRED: 2 HOURS - COST ESTIMATE: $35
PROJECT 36: WEATHERSTRIP REPLACEMENT
The steel valve covers on my 1967 big-block coupe had seen better days, what with paint peeling and traces of rust starting to lift the paint in other spots. This is a natural occurrence when you live in a reasonably damp and humid environment, such as on the New Jersey shore where I hang my Corvette hat.
Over time, it can happen regardless of where you live. Some underhood beautification was long overdue for this bad boy, so I took off my valve covers and proceeded to refurbish them, documenting the process along the way.
It doesn't matter if you've got a C1 with a Blue Flame Six, a small-block 265, 283, 327, 350, or a 427 engine in your Corvette. As long as it has painted steel valve covers, the steps shown here apply to them all.
To get the absolute best results, you need to strip the valve covers down to bare metal. While you can use chemical paint strippers, I don't recommend them for three reasons:
That said, the other logical choice is sand- or bead-blasting, and that's the route I chose to go.
- the stuff is caustic
- disposing of it is not easy
- it makes a royal mess
You don't need a large or expensive blasting cabinet to do this job. I use a hand-held sand-blasting gun I got from Sears for about $50, and it does an adequate job on items like valve covers, intake manifolds, and other small parts.
The gun holds about 5 pounds of blasting media, which covers quite a bit of surface area. Of course, you'll need an air compressor to power the blasting gun. And you'll definitely want to use a respirator, eye protection, some heavy gloves and other protective clothing - sand particles propelled at high speed hurt! And silica particles in your lungs are definitely bad for you as well.
I highly recommend using a face shield rather than just goggles because getting pelted in the face with ricocheting sand is no fun, believe me.
TIME REQUIRED: 4 HOURS - COST ESTIMATE: $349
Weatherstripping has an important function, especially on Corvettes. Its job is to keep the interior of your Corvette nice and dry, regardless of what the outside elements are throwing at it.
Over time, the rubber weatherstripping gets dry and brittle and ceases to do its job efficiently. When that happens, the only cure is to replace it. While individual weatherstrip elements can be purchased, I highly recommend getting a complete kit and replacing all of the weatherstripping at the same time.
In addition to realizing a savings by purchasing a complete kit, you'll have the added advantage of all-new rubber as opposed to a mixture of dry-rotted old stuff mixed with pliable new weatherstripping. Corvette Central was the source of the weatherstripping kit used on our 1967 Coupe project car.
In addition to the weatherstripping itself, you'll also need weatherstrip adhesive. The yellow adhesive is the correct one to use, although it is also available in black. An aerosol can of weatherstrip release agent is an absolute must, as it dissolves the old adhesive and makes removal a breeze.
You might also want to invest in a set of weatherstripping removal and installation tools. They'll make the job considerably easier. Corvette Central was our source for these items. You'll also need a pop rivet gun and rivets, some denatured alcohol and a rag for cleanup, and an electric drill with a 1/8-inch bit.
A word of caution! The adhesive is very sticky and it bonds to skin easily. If you are concerned about getting all gooey working with this stuff, a pair of plastic gloves may come in handy. Don't use disposable latex gloves, however, because the adhesive will gum them up in a hurry. With all that said, let's dive in.
Subject: Transportation: Automotive: Do-It-Yourself: 1953-1982 Corvette weekend projects. 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982. ISBN-10: 0760337586 | ISBN-13: 9780760337585 | Motorbooks 147302