1962 Corvette Frame Off Restoration

10/01/2015 corvette project start

we have a 1962 corvette for a customer that has been sitting for over 25 years with a partial disassembly started , this is the way we started our project ,the car is not a numbers matching car but it has a 65 327 ci with a solid lifter cam ,dual quads ,11:1 compression, you will see that during the coarse of disassembly the car had some interesting aftermarket add on for the mid 60’s to early 70’s  period and possibly had some nhra/ihra class racing action. The body had been soda blasted down to the primer and just touching the vintage fiberglass. After a through inspection of the body it was evident that it had been involved in a rear collision with the rear clip being changed ,but over all the body was in good shape with the normal corvette stress cracks




before we start the disassembly process we tried to crank the engine over after checking fluids and found that the engine would only turn over a 1/4 of a turn ,oil was clean and antifreeze was as green as could be ,but it would go any further ,, removing the valve covers show no signs of problems in the valve train ,,removed all plugs showed that 1,2,7,8 had rust on the plugs ,but nothing popped out . so much for getting a preview of what it ran like before it was parked ,, With the drive train removed and the heads off the motor showed that water/coolant came in to the 4 corner cylinders and the factory steel head gasket might have been the suspect due to the climate change of storage thru out the 25 years of hibernation that was explained buy the owner

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once the engine was torn down we found the engine to be a 1965 year with a standard bore ,standard crank journal, standard rod journal and appeared a fresh low miles rebuild when it was parked,  but the cylinders had to be bored and new pistons had to be ordered and pressed on to the factory rods ,, With engine block ,rods w/old pistons ,heads,down to the engine machine shop to be machined , pressure checked , heads to be cut and a valve job w/ new stainless valves installed it was time to disassemble the body from the frame and start the frame restoration section of the build

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At this time Gmonde performance fabricated a body dolly so that we could transport the body to the body shop that will be roughing in and repairing the minor fiberglass wear and tear from the 97,000 miles logged on the speedo

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So its all off to the sand blaster to clean up the frame and suspension pieces ,The frame was real nice with only having to change out the battery tray that is welded to the right side, once parts came back they hit the paint booth where the frame received a full sealer and PPG gloss black concentrating on the bottom side 20151119_153713_resized 20151119_153723_resized 20151119_153736_resizedAll of the suspension pieces have been painted in a epoxy black with anti rust prevention as part of the mixture ,the suspension parts where in real good shape and cleaned up and painted ,new shocks,king pins and stabilizer links where changed out

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With all the suspension installed and rear end housing cleaned and painted in PPG gloss black ,The gear ratio is a 4:11 posi traction and was in great shape as well ,The car also came with some nice nostalgia aftermarket pieces like an extra positraction  third member with a 4:56 gear ratio for those days at the drag strip ,All new stainless lines for the brakes and fuel system where installed ,new brake hoses ,wheel cylinders ,, ( a brake job was done just done before being parked over 25 years ago so we used the drums and shoes ),The factory rims where refinished in PPG gloss black and now sits as a rolling chassis


well we made great progress with the 1962 corvette, all of the engine machine work is done it was time to start the process of checking tolerances and assembly ,block ended up .030 over ,standard rod journal size and mains had to be turned ,sealed power forged replacement high compression pistons ,this engine was balance before so we stayed with the aluminum fly wheel as it was balanced with rotating assembly ,the cam was replaced with a tamer solid cam and lifter from lunati ,degreed the cam to the cam spec on the card, should have that muscle car sound and power ,, the heads where fitted with new stainless valves and springs and the head surface was cut just enough the flatten the surface ,,intake was glass beaded and cleaned up nicely ,, the stock 8 quart corvette pan with the factory trap swinging door  was tanked and painted along with the block and heads, changed out the canister style filter and swapped in the adapter for a spin on filter

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with the motor assembled ,we checked the trans for wear and tear and replaced the tail shaft seal and plastic speedo gear ,gave it a real good scrub along with the bell housing ,installed the new center force dual friction disc and pressure plate on the weber aluminum fly wheel with steel insert ,new throwout bearing and roller pilot bearing ,stay tuned for the motor being installed and custom fabricated replica belanger brothers try Y heads built by yours truly

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with all the drive train assembled it was time to install the drivetrain into the chassis ,disassembled the steering box and resurfaced the bearing gear resealed the steering gear ,replaced the bearings and races reassembled with HD grease, disassembled the shifter ,cleaned the aged grease that turned into bubble gum ,reassembled with lite lubricant ,new clutch fan hub,motor is primed with joe gibbs break in oil ,the distributor has been checked and swapped out the points to a pertronics system (heard mixed reviews but will give it a chance),,we opted for an alternator for our build with period correct converted generator to alternator by power master (nice piece),the over flow tank has been repaired an checked for leaks



The carbs where fully disassembled ,cleaned and recoated with a product from east wood made specially for carburetors to resemble the factory coating ,reassembled with a complete rebuild kits finished off a linkage kit from edlebrock  to make it a progressive carb opening so that in cruising its pulling from the 2 barrel portion of the carb


The corvette project deserved a top of the line exhaust system from the heads to the tail pipe ,As I start the fabrication of the headers ,I started with the stainless header flanges by forming and welding up the alternator/generator bracket along with the over flow tank bracket,,, more to come on the header build portion of our 1962 corvette restoration

The header was constructed out of 3/8 header 304 stainless and the primary tubing is 1 3/4 304 16 gauge into a try y design ,with V band clamps into 2″ secondary 16 gauge 304 stainless ,into the final collector with a 3″ V band connection, seams tig welded ,,


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the exhaust is constructed of 2 1/2 ” 16 gauge 304 stainless tube into magna flow stainless mufflers ,with 2 1/2 tail pipes ,,,,tig welded opening up the factory exhaust cut outs in the frame so that the V band clamps connections would fit ,the tail pipes will be finished up once the body is in place and deciding if the pipes will follow the factory route or maybe a custom cut out thru the rear valance

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well the moment of truth is upon us as its time to start and run the engine prior to installing the body and the video will show how it runs ,,