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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I'd start a build thread for my latest round of resto-mods to my '70 vert. Some of you may remember last year I did a thread on the new 555 build & install, TKO 600, Steeriods, & 3" exhaust so this is the next build phase.

The rear end got disassembled over the past week and things are starting to go back together now. Back in December I received my new 12 Bolt rear end built by Gary Ramadei and it's been patiently sitting in it's crate waiting on the snow to melt so I could get the car over to the shop. If you are not familair with Gary's work on 12 Bolt conversions you should search some of his old posts, his work is top notch & he documented the build to me with over 100 photos. Here's a couple of teaser photos of the guts since you never get to see them:





I went with 3.73 gears, Series 4 Eaton Posi case, 10-17 Spiders, Tom's 1350 Axle kit w/ 30 spline heat treated inners, and a billet yoke.



A Tom's locator kit is used on the differential cross member and front snubber mounting points.



One minor modification was made to the stainless steel fill plug Gary installs, it was cut down and a 3/4" stainless nut was welded on top to make getting a wrench on it feasible while installed in the car.



Tom's also makes a frame gusset kit that welds on to strengthen the area near the crossmember. Those got welded in today and it looks plenty stout now. Interestingly the two sides are slightly different from the factory.







I chose the Van Steel Coil Over style Off Set Trailing Arms that use QA1's in place of a leaf spring. These things are so black it's hard to get a good photo of the drop leg that the shock mounts to. Upgraded to 1/2" ARP wheel studs that have been machined to length.



Gary Ramadei also built the T/As up for me and set them up with Wilwood 13" big brake 2-piece rotors. In the previous photo you can just make out the billet brake bracket. They have Tom's heat treated 31 spline outter axles installed and will get 3 1/2" half shafts with 1350 solid Spicer joints.



Both T/As are now in place and now waiting on a couple of parts to arrive tomorrow to get moving again.



I'll post an update after we make a little more progress. I hope you will enjoy the photos and the info.
:cheers:
 

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Looks good Ray, I like the nut added on to the fill plug. Also what exhaust setup do you have, looks a clamp and flange setup for quick removal, I like that.
You should be on the road again very soon!
:thumbsup:
 

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That is super clean man. Looks very cool:thumbsup can I be put in your will so I can have that awesome Corvette:laughing::laughing:
 

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Looks awesome!!

I expected no less from Gary though....:cheers:

Ray you plan on taking it to the strip ever?

You'll give that TKO a good work out for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the compliments guys!

Gary-
It's a 3" exhaust all the back and it uses a combination of flange clamps (Jegs) and butt to butt band clamps so that the exhaust can be removed in 3 sections in about 10 minutes. I'll post a couple of photos below for reference.

Alan-
I'd like to hit a strip some day but the closest one is 4 1/2 hours away. I followed your runs last year that you posted about and it got me to really itching to do it. Good luck this season. I am putting Nitto NT05 R rubber on the rears to play around with.





OH YEAH, the parts I needed today are not coming until the end of the week now!!!
:cheers:
 

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Ray that is impressive work. Everything I see is first class, real nice!:thumbsup:
 

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Great work, Ray. My trailing arms were right behind yours in Gary's shop.

Other than the brakes and coil overs, our set-up is very similar.
500 HP 454, TKO600, 3.73:1 30 spline inner & 31 spline outer. Pictures of your 1/2" studs changed my mind on mine.











I just dropped my baby off at the tire shop tonight for a full alignment tomorrow.

It was great to drive it today. I finished it last night at 10:30 and had to drive it around the block before I went to bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Gary! You and Mike are big part of that.
:cheers:

Curby,
Looking good! Did you modify your crossmember to be removable?
 

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Thanks Gary! You and Mike are big part of that.
:cheers:

Curby,
Looking good! Did you modify your crossmember to be removable?
Yeah, it's not pretty, but it is the only way I could get that monster in and out.

I cut the crossmember and welded some tabs front and back.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well most of the week was spent waiting on parts that were late coming in, or didn't ship with the right quantity of items, or need powder coating....you know how it goes. We got enough stuff finished or mocked up to get a wheel & tire on to check fit and I'm happy to report that they will fit fine and I could most likely go wider still. Rear wheels are AR TTII w/ 5/5" BS with Nitto NT05R tires in 285/40ZR/18.

The QA1 coil over kit comes with beefer upper shock mounts that weld on over the stock ones. The new holes are 1/2" so the old mounts get enlarged. Mike did a great job blending them in. I picked the 600# Hyperco springs for the rears.



The Wilwood 4 piston calipers are now installed BUT I need to get a new brake line to them made. The Wilwood braided lines that come with the kit are ~7/8" too short for the routing. I don't know if this due to the offset T/A brake tab location, or possibly the billet aluminum brake bracket having the caliper bracket mounting holes rotated back a couple of degress, or maybe the lines were just cut too short (which I doubt). Anyway I need to call Wilwood on Monday and see if I can get some custom ones made up since nobody up here makes them over the counter. The 13" rotors and 4 piston calipers look great!!



I forgot to shoot a photo after we got the new shortened sway bar attached to the T/As and the frame mounts installed, but it's almost done. Looks like the spare tire tub will have to be modified slightly but noting drastic (it just hides the fuel pump & filter anyway). The half shaft loops (ordered from Van Steet but they are made by DragVette) will come off for powder coating on Monday along with the lower camber rod bushings that finally arrived. I used a lot of Tom's stuff in this build because it's strong, but I can not recommend using his lower camber rod kit. Nothing is powder coated, the tapered shims had to be machined to the correct length, the grade 8 hardware is not plated, and it took multiple shipments to get all of the parts.



See you next weekend!!
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well these update photos will be a teaser for sure, because they didn't turn out well at all....way too dark. I forgot to take the camera off the close up setting and as you will see (or not) how the rear came out. The rear is now done and the front suspension is disassembled. Need to get a few parts from up front sent out for powder coating and get a new set of sway bar bushings but it should come back together pretty quickly.

The 1" longer braided rear brake lines that Van Steel sent did the trick. I really like the cleaned up look without a leaf spring and the stance will be great once the final setting is done. It's currently sitting at 27 5/8" from the floor to the lower lip of the rear tire fender well. Once the springs compress a little I think 27" is about where I want to end up. This will be about 1.25" above the tire.

Here's a pic of the coil over set up at completion. Yes the blue tape is gone now, just insurance we didn't ruin the powder coating while adjusting the stance.






The Van Steel shortened rear sway bar fits very nicely. We did have to slightly modify the tire carrier upper lid and the lower tub to clearance the sway bar, but even if you did carry a spare it would not interfere with the fit of it. I don't carry a spare and instead use the tub to hide my electric fuel pump, filter, and a Slime Compressor Kit.



And here's a photo that will leave guessing until I can back over to Mike's next week end and take a better photo with the correct camera setting....

American Racing Torq Thrust II, 9.5" wide with 5.5" BS, Nitto NT05R 285/40ZR/18. Trust me it really does look great!

:cheers:
 

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Looks like a helluva setup. You've got a lot invested in this thing and it looks great. :thumbsup:

Yes the blue tape is gone now, just insurance we didn't ruin the powder coating while adjusting the stance.
no flats on the strut rods? That's no good...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks.

Yes there are flats on the strut rods, just didn't want to chip the powder coating with a wrench. It wound up that with the load off tire they adjusted by hand quite easily.
:cheers:
 

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Well it's getting a closer to driving season here (it only snowed twice this week) and the car is coming along nicely. The front brakes & suspension are nearly complete and the stance has been rough set.

The Wilwood 6 Piston front big brake kit (13" rotors) looks really sweet and they should perform great. For the money spent however I'm a little disappointed that the hats are drilled for 2 different lug patterns which means you can't attach them with fasteners other than the lug nuts since the 4" alternate bolt pattern does not line up with the OEM rivet locations & if you drilled the hats for that location you would loose a lot of strength since the holes would now overlap, so wheel lug mounting it is. Wilwood also uses fine threads on the rear rotor to hat mounting bolts and coarse threads on the fronts....So the ARP upgrade bolt kit I bought in fine thread only covers the rears. You can see the 4" pattern in the photo below if you look close.



With the 13" rotors you can not use the dust shield on the back side which is no big deal, just save the money and don't order them.



The VanSteel tubelar A-Arms and QA1 Coil Overs are very clean looking. Mike had to modify the VB&P Shock Spreader Bar bracket (not shown in the photo below) slightly to get it to attach properly to the upper A-Arm studs, nothing radical.





There's still some final hook up work to be done, but we got it back on all 4 wheels to get the stance set up as a starting point. I know it will settle a little after driving it some, so we're starting a little higher than where the final ride height will be set. The QA1 Coil Over kit makes the dial in really simple to adjust. And for those of you cringeing over the mud in the wheel wells and on the sides of the car, it will wash off...there was a big snow melt puddle right in front of the shop door a few weeks ago when I pulled in.







I think it's going to look really good once it's got the final stance dial in done and she gets cleaned up. I have ordered an Al Knoch Stay Fast Top in black that will go on later this month to finish up this year's project list.

I've been wanting to come up with some kind of DRL (daytime running lights) for the front in lieu of using the park lamps because with them on people behind you don't seem to notice when the brake lamps come on as well, even with the LEDs installed back there. So now there is a set of PIAA 1400's (in amber) hiding behind the grills that run off the ignition switch but can still be swithched off as well. Now you can see me coming from the front, and from the rear if you hit the brakes it has a much greater visual impact since the park lights are no longer on.



I'm trying to locate an Oil Temperature Gauge from an '81-82 to replace the OEM clock with. I have the found the sender unit but I can't find the gauge. I've checked at least 5 differenent vendor websites for one with no luck. Anyone know where to get one of these and a part # for it?

Later guys!
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I found an oil temp gauge thru Wilcox today. It should be here in the morning.
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Glad to hear that you are running this set up, I haven't found many that are.
How long have you had yours/how many miles on it?
What spring rate did you pick for the rear?
Is the rear as stiff as you like or under/over?
:cheers:
 

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I have ordered an Al Knoch Stay Fast Top in black that will go on later this month to finish up this year's project list.
I am interested in your old top for my 71. It is in rags, and I would like a soft top for it this summer.

If you can get it off without destroying it, let me know.

Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Glad to hear that you are running this set up, I haven't found many that are.
How long have you had yours/how many miles on it?
What spring rate did you pick for the rear?
Is the rear as stiff as you like or under/over?
:cheers:
I've been running it for about 6 months, about 4000 miles. I can't remember the spring rate, but unless I hit a pretty good dip it's very comfortable. I'm running 275/40-18" s in the rear and if I hit a large dip, it will scrape just a little, not bad. At the same time I installed this stuff, I also went with the lightweight control arms w/ aluminum cross shafts and a composite monoleaf in the front. I have Bilsein sports in the front also. The car rides great. Art
 
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