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So, as most of you know, over the winter of 2009-2010 I pulled the old motor/trans from my car and gutted the engine bay. I built a 383 and 700r4 combo, cleaned and painted everything, etc. etc. I know have 600miles on the motor and Im getting ready to get her up to the strip for the first time soon! However, its now time to start thinking about whats next (of course!)

You may have seen my recent thread about seats. I plan on finishing my interior this summer... the carpets are already done, I built a custom speaker box and other little things, but I plan on doing seats (either aftermarket or customize the originals) and a new dash this summer. Im actually going to pick up a NEW (USED) dash tomorrow! Its an old dirty black dash out of a 1977, but its complete with no cracks! I plan on getting it wrapped in red leather.

However, the interior isn't the big project I have in mind. What I need advice on is the rear of the car. For winter 2011 I plan on gutting the rear suspension. A few years back I had upgraded to a composite monospring, new shocks, new differential w/ 3.70s.... but I think all thats gonna be coming out. What Im planning is this:

1.) Remove spare tire holder which is still in place.
2.) Remove and replace gas tank which has a couple of rot spots.
3.) Gut all of the rear drivetrain (trailing arms, half shafts, pumpkin, batwing etc.) and convert to pre-80 setup with the Iron differential.
4.) Remove suspension and convert to a Shark Bite kit.
5.) Clean rear portion of frame and coat with POR15 like I did last winter with the front. The rear has some rust developing so I want to stop it now.

Basically this is my initial plan. Im looking for any and all advice from anybody thats already been down a similar path, especially someone who is using a Shark Bite setup (I'd love to hear some reviews on it!) Also, what is the advantage of offset trailing arms, just the ability to run wider wheels?

Im going to a Corvette Swap Meet in Connecticut next weekend and I may try to start picking up things for the rearend conversion...if I find any good deals. :D

Like I said, ANY advice/input/critiques would be helpful! Any tips, or recommendations on how to go about things would be cool.

Thanks :thumbsup:
 

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I know nothing about what you plan on doing so I want waste time and dont want to hi jack this thread but I would like to know about leather wrapping the dash. This would be one of the mods I would like to do. Any ideal how it is done? Any details would help Thanks:cheers:Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know nothing about what you plan on doing so I want waste time and dont want to hi jack this thread but I would like to know about leather wrapping the dash. This would be one of the mods I would like to do. Any ideal how it is done? Any details would help Thanks:cheers:Mark
I dont know much on how it is done, but I have seen it on a lot of C2 and C3 resto-mods. Im going to my local custom interior place Tuesday this week to get some more info and an estimate... Ill keep you updated! :thumbsup:
 

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Kevin
Going to Stafford Srpings next week? Good luck, I suppose you've been there before but every Spring swap up there is usually freaking cold and muddy!!

You may find a 79 or older to start getting the IRS parts from, just check them out real good. I've seen some vette diffs in CT swaps from time to time most have been blown up! I remember looking at one in Thompson and then turning it around to see the posi cracked and everything covered in rust and scale.

If the weather is good I may take a ride up there, I haven't been there in 4-5 years.

:thumbsup:
 

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Kevin
Going to Stafford Srpings next week? Good luck, I suppose you've been there before but every Spring swap up there is usually freaking cold and muddy!!

You may find a 79 or older to start getting the IRS parts from, just check them out real good. I've seen some vette diffs in CT swaps from time to time most have been blown up! I remember looking at one in Thompson and then turning it around to see the posi cracked and everything covered in rust and scale.

If the weather is good I may take a ride up there, I haven't been there in 4-5 years.

:thumbsup:
Thanks Gary! Ive actually never been, Im going with a guy from my fire dept. whos a big Vette guy. Yeah, if I do find a differential that looks good Ill be having you go through it all before it goes in anyways. :thumbsup: Thanks though, Ill definitely keep an eye out for ones that are totally junk.
 

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Kevin
Get there by 7:00 am, there will be a traffice jam getting in.
The swap meet is set up around the track and inside on the track, that's where you may find some mud!
I've found better deals outside the track for what ever reason. about 12 years ago I found a guy selling a complete rear bearing setup tool kit for $100, it was used once. Another time there was a complete 78 frame with IRS the guy just wanted to get rid of, I had no way of getting it so I let it go.

There's a car corral there too and most times the cars are way over-priced and needing a lot of work. Since times are not the best up here you may see some decent deals though.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mark76, heres the new (used) dash I picked up today.







Its out of a '78, but looking at the date imprint below the glove box I believe its actual from an 81' originally.... the production date on it is like the 26th of April 1981 or something like that. Either way its in great shape with no cracks or scratches. Also, its not dried out and brittle like mine which is nice! I got for $100 which is pretty damn good too! lol

Im going to make a separate thread on the interior stuff (dash and seats) as I begin the process, so keep an eye out. :thumbsup:
 

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Kevin,

The interior on mine is dark saddle, which is still a rather light color compared to black. I recently bought a dash pad cover in black and was very pleased with the reduction in the reflection in the windshield. Your idea on putting red on the dash got me thinking that you might want to temporarily put some red material on your existing dash and just see how the windshield reflection is affected before you commit to doing it permanently. I had a 72 Mach 1 once upon a time with a red interier, but they kept the dash black. Just a thought.
 

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Kevin,

The interior on mine is dark saddle, which is still a rather light color compared to black. I recently bought a dash pad cover in black and was very pleased with the reduction in the reflection in the windshield. Your idea on putting red on the dash got me thinking that you might want to temporarily put some red material on your existing dash and just see how the windshield reflection is affected before you commit to doing it permanently. I had a 72 Mach 1 once upon a time with a red interier, but they kept the dash black. Just a thought.
Hmm, thats definitely something to think about, Ill have to look into it. My stock interior color is red though, including my stock dash.
 

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Glad you scored a good dash:D Mine came out of a 79 and looks good except the upper ears by the windshield corners are broken. Its also dark blue and I want to change my interior color. I wish I had the 76 interior in my car, I guess the PO liked the 79 interior, not that I dont but a 79 in a 76 is a little odd.:lookinup: Looking forward to your interior thread.:partyon:Mark
 

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Hmm, thats definitely something to think about, Ill have to look into it. My stock interior color is red though, including my stock dash.
Well, then you already know what it's like. I just noticed a big difference on mine with the black dash cover versus the lighter saddle. I'll shut up now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, then you already know what it's like. I just noticed a big difference on mine with the black dash cover versus the lighter saddle. I'll shut up now.
lol no need to shut up, any input is helpful! (usually :rolling:) Heck, the videos you gave me last year were one of the main reasons I got my Sweet Thunders :partyon:
 
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