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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Did an engine swap on my Vette yesterday.

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TL;DR--It was my father in laws car for 30 years and I inherited it, didn't pay a dime for it.


A little back story about this car. It was bought by my father-in-law in 1972 or 73 when he was in law school at the University of Illinois. He drove it as his daily driver for about 6-7 years, while dating who would become his wife and my mother-in-law. Once he had kids, it became his "toy" driving it less and less each year. He was a big fan of Corvettes, even had a '63 Split Window in the 80's alongside this car. He kept this one because he had dated his wife in it, and eventually only drove it a few times a year for parades and such. He would get it out every year and have his mechanic get it up and running, and repeat that every spring essentially.

It was restored at some point in the 80's (I was told around '86, but based on some pics I've seen it may have been anywhere from '86-'88.) and engine was rebuilt, paint, pretty much complete tear down. My FIL didn't really have time to do much with it, as he did everything--he was the Circuit Court judge, did oil and gas law stuff on the side, farmed a little, was a Mason, head of the Fire Dept., Rotary Club, you get the idea. EVERYBODY knew him and his family and they know his car. I could drove it around and got a few ppl asking me who I was and why I was in his car. Most of the above info I got from his good friend who also did most the work on the car.

Unfortunately, cancer took him in 2002, before I even knew him. The car sat in a barn from then, only getting started once in a while and moved to a few different resting places, no one really wanting to put the work into it that it needed. That's where I came in.

I started dating my wife my senior year of college in 2005. When I took my first trip to meet her family, she told me about the Corvette in the garage. Gorgeous blonde, and a Corvette in the family no one wants to claim? Win-win! We got married in 2008 and I hinted I would like to restore the car, and her mom hinted that she wanted it out of her sight because it only served as a reminder of her late husband. She started getting more serious about selling it, word getting out in her small town that it might be for sale, and a few family friends offered to buy it. It was finally offered to us by my MIL and SIL and I had to say yes. I have been gradually restoring things as I drive it.

Last year I was doing some maintenance and broke a bolt off in the block. While trying to drill it out, I accidentally drilled a hole in the cylinder wall. It is a very expensive mistake, and now the engine needs major surgery (a pin in the hole and cylinder bored and sleeved). Since originality is very much prized in the classic Corvette community right now, and so the original numbers matching engine typically adds about $10k of value to the car, so I am going to get it rebuilt right, so the new engine is going in for the meantime, and I may leave it in the car for a while. I will feel a lot more at ease beating on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Some progress pics:

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I'm playing the old hurry up and wait game. I order some parts, put them on, something isn't right, order something else, wait till it arrives, etc. First it was the intake manifold was too tall to fit under the hood, then it was taking some parts to get sandblasted, then paint them (rattle can bro!), now I had to get my distributor rebuilt.

Here's mainly what I've done since the engine got put in:
Put on new Edelbrock intake and carb,
Put on NOS ram horn exhaust manifolds (great deal from Craigslist from an old hot rodder)
Hooking up the side pipes--this was an issue, as there is a heat riser in the pass side one for the mechanical choke. I was hoping to delete it, but without the heat riser spacer, the exaust will not clear the bottom of the car, so heat riser spacer back on, but locked in the open position. PITA to get this on with new aluminum gaskets.
Radiator shroud, F bracket, alernator bracket, pulleys, and a few other odds and ends have all been painted with gloss black engine paint and are ready to go back on
Dizzy was sent off yesterday to Chicago Corvette for a rebuild
Ran SS braided fuel line
Ran the heater hoses
Installed new water pump, water neck, and thermostat
Installed temp sender

Going to get a harmonic balancer installation tool from Advance today to put that on, then hopefull reinstall pulleys and radiator. It may look like an actual engine bay soon.
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Discussion Starter #9
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Advance, what a joke. They have the tool, sure, except a jam nut that is CRUCIAL to putting the harmonic balancer on and almost screwed me. I had to go to Tractor Supply and spend 20 minutes looking for a nut that would fit it, then once installed. The center part gets stuck in the harmonic balancer center bolt shaft and there was NO WAY for me to get to it. It was up inside the center of the balancer, with only a nut on it that I couldn't get a socket or plyers on or anything. I eventually got it, but was fiddling with it for like an hour. What a PITA!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
*cough*LS376 480*cough*

:D :D
I don't have the money, time, nor patience to do an LS. Plus an LS engine takes some fab work for the transmission tunnel in a C2 to work, and my car is very original (until now). The orange engine is all original to this car except for the water pump and carb.
 

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Gorgeous car. I'd love to have one. I'd have to sell one of my kidneys to buy one, but I'm partial to both of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I woulda thought the old guy was you :p Lou(born in)64
Nope

Lou has double meaning "Lou"isville is where I live. And St. "Lou"is is where the car was made. '64 is the year the Corvette was born. Its my forum name over on the Corvette Forum, so I carried it over.

Edited the OP to include some history of the car.
 

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Awesome, thanks for sharing!

I was 13 when my dad bought a 65' big block roadster. It was a basket case when he bought it, so he had all of the body work and paint done professionally. I helped him install side pipes, brakes, new pushrods and lifters, and fell in love with that car. It was blue with the 396 big block (first year for a big block Corvette) and Hurst 4 speed. He sold it when I turned 15 and I hated him for it. Being older now, and the father of two, I now know how wise he was for selling that car before I turned 16. It looked a lot like this one, but the hood scoop was black on my dads.

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Discussion Starter #15
Awesome, thanks for sharing!

I was 13 when my dad bought a 65' big block roadster. It was a basket case when he bought it, so he had all of the body work and paint done professionally. I helped him install side pipes, brakes, new pushrods and lifters, and fell in love with that car. It was blue with the 396 big block (first year for a big block Corvette) and Hurst 4 speed. He sold it when I turned 15 and I hated him for it. Being older now, and the father of two, I now know how wise he was for selling that car before I turned 16. It looked a lot like this one, but the hood scoop was black on my dads.

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Love the knock off wheels. I'd love to have a set of those if they weren't $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
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So last night I really got some stuff done to make my engine bay look more like, well, an engine bay. Installed the crank shaft pulley, radiator, radiator shroud, radiator hoses, and water pump pulley. I'm not on the home stretch yet, but nearing it for sure.

My wife even helped me, which she never does. :in love:
 

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Sweet! Looks like you're getting pretty close. What's next, the distributor?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sweet! Looks like you're getting pretty close. What's next, the distributor?
I sent the distributor up to Chicago Corvettes to get rebuilt, although I am using a Pertronix Ignitor III to replace points and condenser. The Corvettes of this era used a tach drive distributor, and the gear to that was stripped, so it had to be taken apart anyway, and Chicago Corvettes has a great price to do the whole dang thing.

While I'm waiting for that, I need to install the starter and fill with fluids, and I will be nearly ready for first start up and break in procedure (I'm actually not even sure the hood is going to fit either, so that will need solved too). I told my wife I could get done by the end of the month if I work on it every night after kids are in bed (7-10ish).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Went to fill the car with coolant yesterday and got about a quart of it pouring on the floor from the driver side motor mount. I was like WTF? Then I noticed this:
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Its a threaded hole upon examination is for a temp sensor (I already have mine mounted on the intake manifold). It's only on the driver side and didn't come with a plug. Here comes the interesting part. Wait for it...

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I ordered the wrong size plug for something else, and so I had a 1/2" pipe plug left that I was planning on returning. SO, I was able to plug it and keep on keepin' on.

Now I am just kinda waiting on the distributor. Here's my current list left to do:
Reconnect steering linkage (2 bolts I need to replace)
Wire electric choke and electronic ignition
Install spin on filter adapter and oil filter
Fill car with break-in oil
Install distributor
Begin break-in procedures

The distributor should be here Mondayish, so my goal is to have her on the road by the end of next week. As I type that I'm getting really excited. It's almost like that feeling of picking up my ST for the first time.
 
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