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Discussion Starter #1
This goes to show you that whenever you buy a classic car like a 71 vette:

#1 you should always be able to test drive it. I couldn't because the brakes were bad.

#2 you should have the car inspected on a hoist.

Here I thought I had a good grip on what the ailments were on this car. I did see early on when I looked at the car at the bank that the right exhaust seemed to be pretty low in the hole through the transmission support. I thought maybe sometimes they were just a bit low and didn't think much about it. I also knew that there was an alignment issue with the door, that alone should have been a HUGE sign that something was amiss. Here is the passenger door rear bottom:



As you can see, the door is too far into the frame. Both of these things have been nagging me just a tiny bit in the back of my head until the other day when I put in my transmission main shaft rear seal. When you're that close to things underneath you get to see that car in a different way. Well I started looking again at why that pipe was hanging so low in the passthrough hole. I couldn't figure it out until I saw this:



Holy mother of Satan! :spanked: :nuts: :spanked:

How did I miss that the two times I went to look at the car. Now I see that the transmission mount bracket is bent slightly upwards which presumably brought the passenger outside frame in a bit, which is causing my door alignment issue.

So this was the ghost hiding in my car I didn't see until it was too late. Now I'm wondering how it's going to drive once I get it all together as remember I still haven't driven it even once.

Goes to show you that even when you think you've done a pretty good, maybe excellent, job of scoping out the car that they can still bite you. This one find really puts a damper on some of my enthusiasm about the car and had a hard time falling asleep at night last night as I kept thinking about the implications of this.

I've never had a car to a frame repair shop, is this something that can be easily corrected or is it major surgery?

Mad at myself now for not seeing this before I bought the car. It's a pretty big kick in the groin feeling. :nuts:

I'm writing this so that others who may be looking for a first vette purchase, like I was, may be a bit wiser than I when checking out their vehicles. The outside may look gorgeous, but you really have to look at structure holding that beauty together.
 

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Welcome to the Classic Car Hobby

It's an old car buddy

And cars, like old girls just wear out

The 71 Corvette is a Beautiful car

And In recent years I've seen some pretty good deals on them (71's)

I don't know what you paid for this car but

Alot of guys stick 20k or more into their older vettes

when all things are said and done.

My car is a 03 and I have a 15k budget planned for it.

I just finished going through the electrical system on mine

testing, testing, tracing etc:

Because the fuel pump was not kick'n on and I found as bad ground at the back of the car but not before I went through the entire electrical system
Till I finally found the problem lol

Ahhhhhh you should have been there on Fire-up

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww was I happy

Anyway



I even bought a new batterie "Cheapie" from WalMart just to make sure the fuel pump was getting a full 12volts

So no matter what year you have your going to have to

put alittle work into it from time to time

Especially if you drive it hard

Bon
 

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If your car is an automatic, just replace the bolt in crossmember- if not, it's a good excuse to build a removable crossmember. Not the end of the world = even if it's pushed back far enough to pull the frame rails, they will probably come out without much effort after the bent cross is removed.

remember too, that not all of the fit and finish stuff from the factory was 100% perfect all the time
 

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I cannot tell if you car is a auto or stick car, If its a automatic the crossmember should be a bolt in piece and is fairly easy to change (except fot the $200 price tag)

The section of frame under the door (unless really bent) would not move enough (with the damage shown) to cause you door fitment problem. My wife (then fiance) took my C3 to a company picnic (at a park) and had her park in it the grass (due to the parking lot refinishing) when she went to leave she drove OVER a tree stump and the same crossmember did not clear ans squashed it alot worse than your picture and did not effect my door fitment.

I first guess would be the rear quarter has been replaced or the door is not adjusted properly. I have seen alot of C3 with this ame issue (rear quarter sticking out past door at the bottom)
 

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It's an old car buddy

And cars, like old girls just wear out



Bon
Awwwww Mr. Bon,

What age are we talking about here??? :spanked::nuts::spanked:
So no matter what year you have your going to have to

put alittle work into it from time to time

Especially if you drive it hard

Bon
:agree::agree:





Good luck with your Winter project. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alot of guys stick 20k or more into their older vettes when all things are said and done.
Bon
I paid $8,333 through a sealed bit at a bank, it was a repo. They guy apparently cared more about his car, he had offers to buy it, than he did his mortgage. :surprised


If your car is an automatic, just replace the bolt in crossmember- if not, it's a good excuse to build a removable crossmember. Not the end of the world = even if it's pushed back far enough to pull the frame rails, they will probably come out without much effort after the bent cross is removed.

remember too, that not all of the fit and finish stuff from the factory was 100% perfect all the time
Unfortunately, it was originally a manual (now an automatic), so it's welded on. My uncle who had a 70, also said the vettes didn't always line up correctly. Maybe, hopefully, the outside frame isn't bent enough to cause alignment driving issues and the door issue is just a matter of poor quality control when it was made and the built-in Chevy fudge factor.


I guess what pisses me off most is that I looked right around that area quite carefully because they had done this to mount the auto tranny, and I wanted to make sure it looked ok:



But I guess it was too dark down there to really see it with my head on the ground at the bank parking lot and I missed it. That or I was just too distracted with the cut section of that crossmember that I focused too much on it and not enough on the area nearby.
 

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the door and frame look to be totally separate issues. The door need to line up with the rest of the body which is an independent entity from the frame unless there is appreciable deformation of the frame at the body mount locations.

Don't sweat it too much :thumbsup:
 

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Good Lord !!! I would have had a coronary if I looked under my vette and saw that...

That's the reason, before I bought my 1970, I was adamant that I get to check that the Frame was straight and free of rust... That was my main requirement, everything else cosmetic did not matter, only the frame... Luckily the frame was great and very little surface rust, I ended up buying it.

In these old cars, the Frame is Everything ! :surprised
Don't mean to worry you any more than you are already... :)

Can't cross-members by replaced?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
the door and frame look to be totally separate issues. The door need to line up with the rest of the body which is an independent entity from the frame unless there is appreciable deformation of the frame at the body mount locations.

Don't sweat it too much :thumbsup:
Oh I'm sweating it! :laughing: It's my baby now and I'm find bruises and Bubba everywhere I look as I dig in deeper such as a left handle pull on the right hand door. :WTF lazy bastard. :) It's that kind of **** that makes me wonder what the heck else he's done wrong on this car, I now question every single thing about it which doesn't leave a good feeling in the pit of my stomach. If someone can't put on a correct door handle pull because they didn't care enough, you know that same attitude carries through when you get to the important stuff.

You are right though, the frame and body should be separate, in my frustration I kind of forgot that. The crossmember isn't near a body mount bolt. So maybe I can relax a bit and just hope it was a manufacturing defect and lack of quality control, hell I have a front plastic bumper that sticks out on one side on my 2004 Buick Rainier I bought new.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good Lord !!! I would have had a coronary if I looked under my vette and saw that...

That's the reason, before I bought my 1970, I was adamant that I get to check that the Frame was straight and free of rust... That was my main requirement, everything else cosmetic did not matter, only the frame... Luckily the frame was great and very little surface rust, I ended up buying it.

In these old cars, the Frame is Everything ! :surprised
Don't mean to worry you any more than you are already... :)

Can't cross-members by replaced?
Sure, anything on the car 'can' be replaced. My cross-member is welded on so it's a bit more complicated especially since the fuel line runs right through it.

Yes the Bubba hack on that crossmember did cause me concern when I went and looked at the car both times. I thought pretty hard about it, and that's why I missed the bend right next to it. As the saying goes, I didn't see the forest for the trees.

This thread was more to, once again, raise awareness that you should have any car you are looking at buying inspected on a hoist or by someone who knows more than I do apparently. I ignored the rules and now I'm paying the price. :smack This is my very first vette purchase and WOW have I learned a lot by unfortunately not having a "cherry" car.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me! (non-GWBush version).
 

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...The section of frame under the door (unless really bent) would not move enough (with the damage shown) to cause you door fitment problem...
:agree:
The whack on the crossmember isn't much, but indicates the car has probably been off road at least once. Do not be surprised if you keep looking and find other evidence of a past excursion off the pavement.

You can bring out the lower corner of the door by adding door hinge shims to the lower hinge while (possibly) removing shims from the upper hinge. Work slowly and check door fit constantly before you snug down the hinge bolts for the last time.

Check the diagram in the assembly instruction manual (AIM). It shows placement of the hinge shims. Almost all C3s have shim stacks on the hinges.

FWIW: I've owned three and still have two of those. I did not put any of three on a lift before purchase. No harm done.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You can bring out the lower corner of the door by adding door hinge shims to the lower hinge while (possibly) removing shims from the upper hinge. Work slowly and check door fit constantly before you snug down the hinge bolts for the last time.

Check the diagram in the assembly instruction manual (AIM). It shows placement of the hinge shims. Almost all C3s have shim stacks on the hinges.
:thumbsup:
I've never done that before, but won't that move out both the bottom of the front and back portions of the door? The front door fitment is pretty good, it's only the back bottom that is in too far, everything else lines up nicely.
 
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