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zimmej51 - best accessory I ever bought for my Vettes was my 4 post lift. I really justified it to myself as an additional winter storage spot but it has been invaluable (especially as I get older and less nimble).
 

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Discussion Starter #82
2 post 4 post lift

zimmej51 - best accessory I ever bought for my Vettes was my 4 post lift. I really justified it to myself as an additional winter storage spot but it has been invaluable (especially as I get older and less nimble).

You got that right! I have a 2 post, like you said it's the best tool I've ever bought. I spent a LOT of years laying on my back!
 

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Discussion Starter #83
C3 manual seat tracks

Ok, I sure could use a hand here. I intend to put C6 seats into my C3. Did some research on the subject and I pretty much concur that you have to remove the power track assemblies from the C6 and mount the C6 onto the C3 manual adjuster tracks. Otherwise they are too tall.


The catch is that I don't have the C3 tracks! And they seem to be difficult to find, especially the driver side manual track since most 81-82's came with a power seat and the lowered seat pan.


Here's the question: Does any one know of some other seat track from a different car that will fit the C3? Or one that is at least close enough to modify to fit?


(I should probably post the below in the classifieds, but I have some new never used C3 front end parts and a bunch of other stuff I'd be willing to swap for a pair of C3 manual seat tracks)



Thanks in advance....
 

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Have you tried looking for the early C3 seat tracks? I believe they were mostly all manual. Mine are only about an inch high.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
C3 manual seat tracks

Have you tried looking for the early C3 seat tracks? I believe they were mostly all manual. Mine are only about an inch high.

No, I haven't. Someone told me that the 77 up C3 tracks were different from the earlier C3's, but I have not confirmed that. Since yesterday I have found a few on line but they are pretty pricey. Do yours look anything like this? These are from an 81. The fore/aft distance between the mounting holes is 19-3/16" and the height is just a little over 3/4".


 

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Well they certainly are similar, the knob is in the same place. My seats have been in the car for a while and can't remember exactly. I looked through my photos and I didn't grab a picture of them.

My guess is that you might have to adapt them to your seat. I can try to measure length tomorrow. Don't know how much luck I'm gonna have but will try.
 

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Discussion Starter #87
C3 manual seat tracks

Well they certainly are similar, the knob is in the same place. My seats have been in the car for a while and can't remember exactly. I looked through my photos and I didn't grab a picture of them.

My guess is that you might have to adapt them to your seat. I can try to measure length tomorrow. Don't know how much luck I'm gonna have but will try.

Well, I believe I have uncovered a few things about the seat tracks. I have been unable to positively confirm the info below, I have assembly manuals from 78-82 but they do not show anything related to the seats or seat pan. Nor does the service manual.



C3's that were built without the T/T steering wheel had a shallow drivers seat pan like the passenger side. So when I installed the shallow seat pan on the drivers side I essentially converted it to the non-T/T configuration. I am fairly certain the seat track part numbers are as shown:


470645 is the left outer and right inner adjuster
470646 is the left inner and right outer adjuster.


Then it gets a little crazy if the car does have the T/T steering wheel and does NOT have the power driver seat. In that case, the drivers floor pan is significantly deeper. Again, I have been unable to confirm these numbers.


471999 is the left outer adjuster
472000 is the left inner adjuster
470045 is the right inner adjuster
470046 is the right outer adjuster


So I think what I will be looking for is the 470645 and 470646 (2 each). There are some out there, but they are definitely on the pricey side. More to come on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
C3 manual seat tracks

Well, I believe I have uncovered a few things about the seat tracks. I have been unable to positively confirm the info below, I have assembly manuals from 78-82 but they do not show anything related to the seats or seat pan. Nor does the service manual.



C3's that were built without the T/T steering wheel had a shallow drivers seat pan like the passenger side. So when I installed the shallow seat pan on the drivers side I essentially converted it to the non-T/T configuration. I am fairly certain the seat track part numbers are as shown:


470645 is the left outer and right inner adjuster
470646 is the left inner and right outer adjuster.


Then it gets a little crazy if the car does have the T/T steering wheel and does NOT have the power driver seat. In that case, the drivers floor pan is significantly deeper. Again, I have been unable to confirm these numbers.


471999 is the left outer adjuster
472000 is the left inner adjuster
470045 is the right inner adjuster
470046 is the right outer adjuster


So I think what I will be looking for is the 470645 and 470646 (2 each). There are some out there, but they are definitely on the pricey side. More to come on this.

Ok, so here's where I am today. I haven't completely cracked the code on this seat track issue but I have learned enough to proceed with my installation.


I haven't been able to positively confirm any of the information below (or above) but I think it's close.


I think that for years 77-80 if you ordered a C3 without T/T steering wheel then you got a shallow drivers floor pan. The seat tracks were identical on both sides.



I think that for years 81-82 you got the deep drivers floor pan no matter what. The power seat fit down in the deep pan and the manual seat had tracks that had "legs" on them to get the seat at the right height.


So when I replaced the deep drivers floor pan with the shallow floor pan, I essentially converted it into a 77-80 configuration. Therefore I need 2 sets of the manual seat adjusters, preferably 81-82, since those will fit the passenger side pan with no mods. The new drivers shallow floor pan is only drilled for the front mounts so I can position the rear mounts to match the tracks.


This seat track thing turned out to be a lot more confusing than I would have ever guessed, but I have a way forward now so I'm going to move on. I welcome any additional ACCURATE information and hopefully this will help someone going down the same road. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Bonding Strip Crack

Made it to the body prep stage, finally! The only major flaw anywhere on the body is this crack, about 3" long, on the rear wheel arch just behind the passenger door. I carefully and slowly sanded the area with 320 grit to see what was going on under there.


Is the pinkish area in the photo the bonding strip? The crack is on the upper edge of the pink stripe. You can hang a fingernail on it so it has probably de-bonded.



I've done quite a bit of metal body work, but this is my first adventure into Corvette SMC, so I would appreciate anyone that can tell me what I'm seeing here.








 

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Discussion Starter #90
Seat track part numbers, GM parts catalog

I hate to return to the seat track fiasco that I posted about earlier, but something else has come up once again. I thought I had this put to bed.



Does anyone out there have a genuine GM parts catalog for the 1981 C3?



What I need are the part number(s) for the PASSENGER side manually adjusted seat tracks for the 1981 C3. On the passenger seat tracks, one has the latch mechanism and the other one just slides, so there should be 2 part numbers, or they may be listed as a set with a single part number.



I would be most grateful to get these part numbers. If no one can help then I guess I'll try to find a parts catalog for sale and go from there, but I'd rather be spending $$$ on parts if I can!


Here's a pic of what they look like.


 

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Discussion Starter #91
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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Discussion Starter #92
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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Discussion Starter #93
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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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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Discussion Starter #95
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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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. :D

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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Discussion Starter #97
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. :D

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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Discussion Starter #98
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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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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Discussion Starter #100
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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