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Old 04-01-2019, 09:59 PM   #91
zimmej51
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C3 Seat Track Adjusters

I'm gonna make one more post about these ^$%#@! seat tracks and move along! Man, what an ordeal this turned into! Lack of accurate documentation combined with internet mis-information really makes it difficult to track down parts (no pun intended).


What started all this was my removing the deep drivers side seat pan on my 81 and replacing it with a shallow pan. The purpose was to gain room for exhaust components on the drivers side. I knew that I would have to lose the power seat on the drivers side. I also planned to use C6 seats mounted on the manually adjustable tracks from the late model C3.


So here is what I believe to be reasonably accurate info for someone venturing down this path.



Some say that the power seat option was tied to the tilt/telescope wheel, and cars without T/T wheel would have manual seats with the shallow pans. But research indicates that T/T wheel became standard in 79. This is still unclear to me, but not essential to know if you're looking for the shallow seat tracks.


The 79 without power seat MAY have had a shallow drivers seat pan and used the same adjusters on both driver and passenger side.


The 80-82 all MAY have had a deep drivers seat pan with or without power seat. I know that manual adjusters with legs on them to elevate them to the correct height are out there, so there must have been some 79-82 produced with the shallow drivers pan. The height of these tracks makes them different from the passenger side.



79-82 all used the same seat adjusters on the passenger side. This is the key thing to keep in mind when searching for shallow, late model C3 manual seat tracks.



So, if you have a shallow drivers seat pan (either factory or modified) in your 77-82, below are the manual adjuster GM part numbers you need. Refer to the screen shot from the GM parts catalog. You will see that the manual adjusters for the shallow pan have the same index numbers for both driver and passenger side. The diagram also says it is for 79-82 models.



470645 - Left side track for both driver and passenger. This one does not have a knob or adjuster lever.



470646 - Right side track for both driver and passenger. This is the one that has the adjuster knob.


If you need these I would advise that you start looking now! The difficulty of finding them is exceeded only by the difficulty of finding someone that understands what you are looking for! The simplest thing to do is just ask for seat track adjusters for 79-82 PASSENGER seats.


I hope this is of some use to anyone converting to the shallow pan drivers seat! Meanwhile, I'm moving on to body prep/paint using the excellent guide provided by 7TRoadster!


More to come!


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Old 04-02-2019, 09:01 PM   #92
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C3 Seat Track Adjusters

Since I'm big on accurate information, I have a correction to a typo in my post above. The 6th paragraph should read:


The 80-82 all MAY have had a deep drivers seat pan with or without power seat. I know that manual adjusters with legs on them to elevate them to the correct height are out there, so there must have been some 79-82 produced with the deep pan and manual driver seat. The height of these tracks makes them different from the passenger side.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:20 PM   #93
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Body prep for paint

Finally got started on the body prep. I'm following the procedure detailed by 7TRoadster in the sticky so I'm not going to post every step. But just to satisfy my curiosity I did try something.


I know my way around a car with a DA, not an expert by any means but I'm a long way from a novice. Plus, this is my first experience with SMC.



On the fender in the picture, I used my standard method of paint removal with a DA, being very careful not to gouge and trying to keep the surface as flat as possible. What I quickly discovered was that the SMC surface sands just as easily, if not easier, than the paint itself. No matter how carefully I worked, I could feel the slight variations in the surface. I'm certain they could be corrected with high fill primer, which I'll be using anyway, and blocking. But I prefer not to disturb the original panel any more than necessary.


On the other areas I used the recommended stripper and steel wool. The stripper will bubble up the paint almost instantly, but there appears to be 2 layers of primer or something under the paint: A dark grey and then a light grey. It must be some kind of catalyzed paint because the stripper will not bubble it up. It does soften it though, and it isn't too difficult to remove with steel wool.



So, I confirmed that stripper is the best method for total paint removal on the SMC panels. I suspect the same is true for the laid up fiberglass bodies on the early C3's. Just takes a little patience and a lot of steel wool!


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Old 04-02-2019, 11:16 PM   #94
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Don't forget to wash the stripped areas with lacquer thinner and mineral spirits when your done. Be sure to get the edges, you want to chemically kill the active ingredient in the stripper.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:47 PM   #95
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Quote:
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Don't forget to wash the stripped areas with lacquer thinner and mineral spirits when your done. Be sure to get the edges, you want to chemically kill the active ingredient in the stripper.

10-4 on that, I've been cleaning immediately after I'm through with an area using plenty of lacquer thinner and CLEAN rags. It's easy to see why cleanliness is so important with the bare SMC exposed. It looks to be quite porous as you can see how the lacquer thinner slightly darkens the SMC until it completely evaporates. That means any contamination with oils or other chemicals could be permanent, just as you say.


Since we are on the subject, I'd like your opinion of what to spray the bare SMC with. This car is an 81 built in St Louis. Accordingly, the top coat is lacquer based, and like most solvent based finishes the stripper gets it almost instantly. Under the finish coat is a light grey primer. The stripper will soften it, but it doesn't bubble up like the top coat does. Still, it isn't too bad to remove with the steel wool.



Under the light grey primer is a black primer(?) applied to the bare SMC panel. The stripper struggles with this stuff. You can get it off but it requires multiple applications of the stripper and lots of elbow grease with the steel wool. I'm thinking the black stuff must be some kind of catalyst activated material, maybe epoxy? Whatever it is, it came from the factory.


I'm wondering about using Southern Urethane's black epoxy primer applied over the bare SMC panels. I've used the stuff several times before on chassis parts and things of that nature, but never on a car body, steel or otherwise. It is some really tough stuff. The spec sheet from Southern Urethane says it's compatible with SMC, and they recommend it under 2K primers. But I'm a little concerned with how tough it is. Should repairs ever be required it could be a real challenge to remove.



Do you have any thoughts on epoxy primer directly over SMC?
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Old 04-05-2019, 01:15 AM   #96
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I use epoxy primer over all bare steel: panels, fenders, doors, etc. I like it because it seals out moisture and sticks like, well epoxy.

I don't use it over fiberglass because it isn't polyester based. I believe the substrates need to expand and contract at the same rates. I've seen to many bubbles under topcoats to trust anything else. Although, I have never been able to directly attribute those bubbles to epoxy primer separation from fiberglass. Epoxy separation from an improperly prepared surface yes, but not properly prepared bare glass.

I use Feather Fill primer over fiberglass, it's a catalyzed polyester primer that goes on thick, dries hard, sands reasonably well and costs about half as much as epoxy. Comes in black, grey and buff colors.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:41 PM   #97
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Quote:
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I use epoxy primer over all bare steel: panels, fenders, doors, etc. I like it because it seals out moisture and sticks like, well epoxy.

I don't use it over fiberglass because it isn't polyester based. I believe the substrates need to expand and contract at the same rates. I've seen to many bubbles under topcoats to trust anything else. Although, I have never been able to directly attribute those bubbles to epoxy primer separation from fiberglass. Epoxy separation from an improperly prepared surface yes, but not properly prepared bare glass.

I use Feather Fill primer over fiberglass, it's a catalyzed polyester primer that goes on thick, dries hard, sands reasonably well and costs about half as much as epoxy. Comes in black, grey and buff colors.

Good to know, that's the direction I was leaning toward anyway. In fact, I had already bought the Feather Fill. I used the black epoxy for the underside of the body and in the engine bay. Most everything on the chassis, including the frame, have all been powder coated.


Thanks for the heading check! I sincerely appreciate you sharing your knowledge!
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:54 PM   #98
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Stripping body, prep for paint

Stripping and prepping for paint is progressing nicely using the procedure in 7TRoadster's sticky.




















With stripping and disassembly to this degree, I was thinking of the following procedure with regard to getting the jambs and hinge area painted. This assumes the body has been blocked, primed and is ready for paint.



1. Fit and align the doors, mark hinge locations, any required shims, etc.
2. Remove doors, prime/base coat/clear coat the jambs and hinges on the body and the doors.
3. Re-attach and final fit the doors.
4. Base coat/clear coat the final finish.


Would appreciate a heading check here, one problem I can think of is the finish on the bolts along with any damage that might happen during the mounting process. Was thinking of just hitting them with a detail gun afterwards.



Or, what about using bolts that are plated (like zinc chromate) or stainless or something? I think I'd prefer painted but just throwing it out there.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:12 PM   #99
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Zim,

You're treading on dangerous ground here.... the relationship between body and door fit/alignment will change dramatically once the body is bolted to a weighted frame. Fitting the doors and matching body lines at this stage is (IMHO) a waste of time, you'll just have to do it again. Painting the jams on body and doors is fine but comes with the risk of damaging paint during the assembly and adjusting process.

You'll make it much easier on yourself by getting the body attached to the chassis and sitting on all four's before fitting and aligning the doors. Once that is done you can remove them and paint the jams with reduced risk.

As for the bolts, prep and paint them with a thin coat of paint and they are usually fine. If you do get a chip, mix up a small amount of paint and let it dry until sticky. Dab it on the chip with a detail brush and let it dry. It will usually flow out to a smooth repair.

Hope this helps.....
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:19 PM   #100
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Quote:
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Zim,

You're treading on dangerous ground here.... the relationship between body and door fit/alignment will change dramatically once the body is bolted to a weighted frame. Fitting the doors and matching body lines at this stage is (IMHO) a waste of time, you'll just have to do it again. Painting the jams on body and doors is fine but comes with the risk of damaging paint during the assembly and adjusting process.

You'll make it much easier on yourself by getting the body attached to the chassis and sitting on all four's before fitting and aligning the doors. Once that is done you can remove them and paint the jams with reduced risk.

As for the bolts, prep and paint them with a thin coat of paint and they are usually fine. If you do get a chip, mix up a small amount of paint and let it dry until sticky. Dab it on the chip with a detail brush and let it dry. It will usually flow out to a smooth repair.

Hope this helps.....

Absolutely helps. I got a little ahead of myself and didn't do a good job with this post. I heeded your advice about loading the body back when I first read the thread and have every intention of having the body "loaded down" on the frame before any final paint leaves the gun. Now I realize the pics I'm posting show the bare body shell and can give the impression I'm going to do the door fitting (and other fitting) with it bare and on the lift. Not so! Sorry about that, and I always welcome your input!
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:40 PM   #101
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Why Remove Original Seam Sealer

A friend asked me why I was removing the original seam sealer from the "dogleg" area just below the lower windshield corner, just inside the door jamb area. It was smooth and looked to be intact. It looked a lot better than the "before" picture below implies, I had already stripped some of the paint from it. And it did look totally usable. But in my experience I've learned that looks can be deceiving, especially in any windshield pinch weld area.



Our old "friend" Mr. Rust found a good hiding place...





Cleaned and awaiting fresh application of seam sealer.






Jamb area thoroughly cleaned, ready for fresh seam sealer and joint sealer.





So that's why, as a rule, I try and expose certain areas even though they look fine on the surface. Especially pinch weld joints around windshields and back glass on regular cars. I realize that you can't completely clean out the pinchweld, but you can get it as clean as possible and ensure that any additional water infiltration is prevented. It will make a big difference in the life span of the vehicle. In this case I had already repaired the other side of the pinchweld followed by careful inspection to be sure all potential leak areas have been corked up.


It's also interesting to note that this particular 81 has lived a remarkably sheltered life. In it's 48K mile life (confirmed by the way) it slept in a garage most of it's life with minimal exposure to the elements. Surprisingly, I actually could reuse all of the body mount bolts, notorious for rusting away. The point is, even with this pampered life, there was still significant corrosion caused by tiny leaks that developed most likely in the seam sealer. So I recommend taking no chances. If you are this deep into it you might as well do a little preventive maintenance. It WILL make a difference.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:24 AM   #102
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Your spot-on zimmej51, these are still 40 year old cars and even those low mileage, slightly used C3's can bear surprises. Mine had 9K miles on the odometer when it was parked but the owner obviously had no clue regarding storing a car. Parts of the car were pristine and others, well, not so much. Keep these informative posts coming !
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:10 PM   #103
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Here are two WTF's for you....

Ok, maybe I've been breathing too many stripper fumes, but I thought I'd share a couple of those "WTF" moments with you.


Here is the first one.



"READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!" Ok, I'm cool with that. Let's see.... I have this can of "Aircraft Stripper" in front of me. It shows a picture of an airplane on the front. Check it out...





Ok, got it. Now let's look at the back side of the same can...





Well, that's just great... And I was thinking of refinishing that Airbus I have parked out back. Would probably be cheaper than painting this Corvette....WTF!!

Here's number two...
Holy crap, that HURT!!!..... WTF!!!


You have these..... these..... THINGS! See Below




If you look these things up in the assembly manual it says they are part of the front fender skirt or something like that. Don't fall for it. It's a trick.


After extensive research and shop experience I have discovered what these things really are. They are secretly known to GM insiders as "Model C3 Longitudinal Skull Splitters".


I have also discovered that these diabolical devices were designed with 3 primary objectives:


Objective 1: To cause you to stumble around in your shop cradling your head in both hands while quietly sobbing in a manner that only dedicated C3 owners are capable of.


Objective 2: To expose your brain so that your significant other can poke around and determine what is causing all this Corvette nonsense.


Objective 3: To give first year interns at the ER an opportunity to brush up on their suture skills after your wife has thoroughly whisked your brain with a salad fork.


These things I have determined to be facts.




Ok, back to work now. After my last year I find it beneficial to visit the lighter side of life from time to time! Cheers to all my new friends here!!
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:10 AM   #104
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Objective 1: To cause you to stumble around in your shop cradling your head in both hands while quietly sobbing in a manner that only dedicated C3 owners are capable of.

Objective 2: To expose your brain so that your significant other can poke around and determine what is causing all this Corvette nonsense.

Objective 3: To give first year interns at the ER an opportunity to brush up on their suture skills after your wife has thoroughly whisked your brain with a salad fork.
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Optimists think the glass is half full.
Pessimists think the glass is half empty.
Engineers realize it's twice as big as it needs to be.
Old 04-19-2019, 08:23 AM   #105
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Jamb area thoroughly cleaned, ready for fresh seam sealer and joint sealer.
Was this cleaned using the stripper you mention above or with an abrasive method like a wire wheel? Looks really clean!
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