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Discussion Starter #1
Welcome to my thread for my 81 restoration.

This started with a leaky crank seal but you know how it goes, now I have a brand new 383 waiting to go in, and right now we are fixing to take the body off, and I'm a hell of a lot poorer lol

There is an Instagram account that shows what I have already done, front breaks, front suspension, engine bay clean etc etc @white.stingray

I started this thread after getting way off track with a very helpful member zimmej51 who suggested i should just start a thread for my car and all the juicy helpful info can be found here from here on out.

To get up to speed prior to scrolling down have a flick through the cars Instagram white.stingray, and read this digital corvette thread 1981 Fuse box

But right now we jump in at body removal with a two-post lift.

103670


103671
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This is in reply to zimmej51's reply over on this thread 1981 Fuse box

Thanks zim for another in-depth reply and pictures, pictures are always good! it takes a while to type these replies out and I appreciate it

Body Removal

I understand the perils of trying to shortcut it by unbolting the crash bar from the fame and trying to lift the body off with the crash bar, honeycomb, and bumper still attached which is a shame because it would be a lot quicker and easier. I will have to be sure to take measurements for the front nose body mount and take plenty of notes on my disassembly because this is going to be a parts explosion!

As soon as the body is off ill disassembled the rear and get sand blasting with my pot blaster

Thanks All
 

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I'll really be anxious to watch your build because the 383 route is exactly what I had originally planned to do with my 81. But, as you say, one thing often leads to another.....
 

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BTW looking at your Instagram pics I notice one shows the red front springs. Are those aftermarket? I had my springs powder coated but they are the original FE7 "Gymkhana" springs. Mine do not have the "progressive" coils i.e. the coils are all the same distance apart. Since I went with the LS3 I'm a little concerned that the front ride height may be too high. I've been told lots of things about the weight difference between the SBC and the LS3, but I don't know for certain. So my plan is to just get it all put together and see what I have.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
BTW looking at your Instagram pics I notice one shows the red front springs. Are those aftermarket? I had my springs powder coated but they are the original FE7 "Gymkhana" springs. Mine do not have the "progressive" coils i.e. the coils are all the same distance apart. Since I went with the LS3 I'm a little concerned that the front ride height may be too high. I've been told lots of things about the weight difference between the SBC and the LS3, but I don't know for certain. So my plan is to just get it all put together and see what I have.
Springs

I'm at not sure of their history, the arm bushes looked original and I would imagine if the springs got replaces I don't see why whatever owner back then would not have changed the bushes too. I sandblasted them and painted, but I kind of wish i had but adjustable on but that's more money ay. Maybe il treat the rear end to some upgrades
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Front Bumper removal

Got the front bumper off today, was not too difficult with the headlights out, my top tip would be get one of the 3/8 nuts off that are easy to get at then run it down the threads of the rest that you haven’t touch yet to act asa thread cleaner because you may want to have the best chance you’re going to get, don’t snap them off that will be a pain in the ass.
I snapped the studs off in both wheel well area but they where allot more corroded

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103673
 

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Yep, same thing happened to me. I got new mounting plates with the studs pressed/spot welded in, but discovered they were a huge PITA to install. Apparently they are installed at the factory before that wheel well baffle (or what ever it is called) is glued in. I had to do a number on that "baffle" in order to get the old plates out and the new ones in. I'd say if you can drill them out just replace them with a screw and nut. You might be able to grind the head off of the broken stud and punch it out.

This is the best pic I have of the mounting plates, doesn't show the problem area but you can see that "baffle" thing that gets in the way.

Looking good! Keep posting pics and updates!
103682
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think I will cut them off flush, drill them through, and use nut and bolt on the first two (wheel well heading toward the front) and then a hex head self tapper on the 3rd as acsess is allot less on that one

tonight I’ll try the honey comb, do you know how these button/popper type things are correctly removed without damage?
103683
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Front bumper removal
This evening I took the honey comb off, very easy 6 bolts 2 of which are captive. I then undid the front mount bolt and out of curiosity pushed the nose up to feel the weight, quite heavy to push up half an inch, next will be to remove the headlight sub assemblies and then it will be crash bar removal and I think that’s it for the front end
But I was sure to take some reference measurements for the crash bar against the front of the body work
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Classic1275cc - Good work! Man, that sure looks familiar! I think you will be glad you went to the trouble. Even if you are not repainting the body or bumper it's a good time to do a good cleaning and touch up if necessary.

Today I took a better picture of the mod that has to be done to replace the bumper retainer. The assembly manual calls the piece that has to be cut the "skirt" assembly. I used my smallest die grinder and it was still a %$#!& to make the cut without damaging anything else. Since I was going for the "new" look I got it done but I don't recommend it. I think your best bet will be to work on the broken stud head with a small dremel grinder, then punch it out. The orientation of the picture is inside the wheel well, looking forward along the cover/fender joint. The thing with wires is the side marker/corner illumination fixture in the bumper. This is the RH side of the car, but had to do this on both sides.

Oh, one other thing I'll throw out there. On the bottom edge of the bumper cover there is another one of those metal retainers pop riveted on to the bumper cover. It's where the air dams fasten to the lower edge of the bumper cover. Mine were pretty rusty so I removed them thinking I would replace them as well. But no, I couldn't find NOS or reproductions anywhere! So, I dug them out of the scrap pile and removed the studs and cleaned them up. The pic shows the upper retainers on the left that I replaced, and the lower retainers on the right that I had to reuse. I cleaned them up and had them powder coated. Since then I was able to locate some reproductions (supposedly) but by then I already had the old ones reinstalled. Figures that the lowest, most exposed metal part on the car doesn't have any reproductions!
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