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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it's seems to have slowed down here on Digital Corvettes so I thought instead of my occasional post or question I would try to document my build progress forward. The "bones" of my project, which I bought in 2005, is a 1977 coupe. It showed less than 10K miles and was sitting in a little museum in Arkansas. I did believe the miles because parts of the car were like new, others, not so much. It looked like it had been put away with a leaking coolant hose, so many of the under-hood parts had rusted, the interior had "10K miles of a heavy smoker", all four brake calipers had leaked, and it was sitting on original tires. Even though I was less than happy with the overall condition, I made him a lowball offer and he took it. So my test drive was once around the parking lot and onto the trailer. We were just into Missouri when the 1st tire went down and by the time we were back to Iowa we had lost the 3rd.

So, when I say "bones" it means the basic frame and the shell, less the OEM flex front and rear bumper covers. My current rolling chassis includes a RideTech coil-over suspension, Wilwood Big Brakes front and rear, LS376/480 & 4L70E tranny, coated Melrose headers, Borgeson steering, new EFI tank. So except for some minor plumbing and muffler / tail pipes fab it's in good shape. I also have Vintage Air and Dakota Digital Gauges ready for the interior when i get there.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Tread
 

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Cool. Make sure to give us a bunch of pics
 

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Thank you for your plans to post your build! I know that it takes a lot of time and effort to shoot the pics and type up the narrative but it is very much appreciated!

Sounds like you scored a really good vehicle for your build. I had similar good fortune with my 81. Bought it from an individual that was the second owner, showed just under 46K on the clock. Like you did, I lowballed the owner and he took it! Hard to find those low mileage garage kept C3s nowadays.

Looking forward to seeing your progress!
 

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Hey 77B can I offer one suggestion before you go any further. Ditch the stock harmonic balancer and install an ATI super damper. Trust me it’s worth it in the long run. Motor will run smoother and it will out last the stock balancer. Have one on my LS2 and was the best mod that I have done to it. Just saying IMO. Had mine drilled and pinned just in case I wanted to do force induction somewhere down the road. It’s a big piece of mind that you won’t have to worry about the rubber between the hub and pulley giving up. I had two stock balancers go south on me. The rubber on both broke loose. The first let the pulley get a wobble the second the pulley walked forward. This especially true if you get on the car much at all. So that’s my rant I have no faith in the stock units at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Triple dizzle - it's been on and off my radar for several years. When I say "on" it means I've looked at part selection and pricing, when I say "off" it means I'm 66 and forget **** !

My 2010 C6 (stock LS3) is now 12 years old with 13K miles with no detectible wobble. But at this point, with such easy access on my 77 build, it makes sense to upgrade (so thanks for the push). It's just more money - I quit keeping track years ago (or at least that's what I keep telling myself).
 
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Oh I bet you know how much! Look the first one went out when the car was 10 years old. Now I have to admit I drive the car hard at times especially when I’m down at deals gap NC. The second one lasted two years and let loose at deals gap. Was a long drive home nursing it all the way. This last trip no issues very pleased. Oh I’m 65 and everyone else in the group I run with are in their 30’s. I run right with them till we get out of the cars. Then the age comes into play. So play hard and live long know you’re limits you will be fine. Oh on a side note the pics of your roller are impressive you are doing a very good job. Looking forward to seeing it finished. If the body looks as half as good of the roller it will be stunning. I’m sure it will probably look as good as the roller or better.
 

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Hey 77B can I offer one suggestion before you go any further. Ditch the stock harmonic balancer and install an ATI super damper. Trust me it’s worth it in the long run. Motor will run smoother and it will out last the stock balancer. Have one on my LS2 and was the best mod that I have done to it. Just saying IMO. Had mine drilled and pinned just in case I wanted to do force induction somewhere down the road. It’s a big piece of mind that you won’t have to worry about the rubber between the hub and pulley giving up. I had two stock balancers go south on me. The rubber on both broke loose. The first let the pulley get a wobble the second the pulley walked forward. This especially true if you get on the car much at all. So that’s my rant I have no faith in the stock units at all.
Good advice. I used the ATI on my LS3 build as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, thought I had part numbers saved for several different manufacturers harmonic balancers but after re-reading multiple threads I'm not sure of my data. I believe what I want is a OEM diameter +/- 7.5", "corvette" depth (1.5"), so with air conditioning I need a 6 groove front, and a 4 groove rear pulley. I'm thinking a PowerBond PB1117SS or ATI 917266 - probably go with the ATI since there are many threads discussing the PB 1117SS and how the pictures all over the net do not reflect the part you receive. I know why this happens but it shouldn't be so hard to validate what you getting when you place an order.

zimmej51 - I did a "limited" review of your build thread but didn't notice a p/n for your balancer selection - if it's easy to come up with I'd take it but if it's work don't bother. Thanks for your input guys.
 

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Wow, thought I had part numbers saved for several different manufacturers harmonic balancers but after re-reading multiple threads I'm not sure of my data. I believe what I want is a OEM diameter +/- 7.5", "corvette" depth (1.5"), so with air conditioning I need a 6 groove front, and a 4 groove rear pulley. I'm thinking a PowerBond PB1117SS or ATI 917266 - probably go with the ATI since there are many threads discussing the PB 1117SS and how the pictures all over the net do not reflect the part you receive. I know why this happens but it shouldn't be so hard to validate what you getting when you place an order.

zimmej51 - I did a "limited" review of your build thread but didn't notice a p/n for your balancer selection - if it's easy to come up with I'd take it but if it's work don't bother. Thanks for your input guys.
77Blue the ATI damper I used came with the Vintage Air Front Runner kit for the LS3. The paperwork doesn't show the specific ATI partnumber. I believe the pulley is a Vintage Air part. I'll take a look at the damper tomorrow and do a little more digging and see if I can determine the ATI partnumber. I did use the ARP bolt instead of the torque to yield GM bolt. Torque is 235 ft lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey zimmej51 - don't spend any time looking. If the pulley was a Vintage Air bolt-on to the damper it won't be the p/n I was looking for.. I spent time trying to find the right serpentine belt after changing the power steering pump pulley so I'll need to stick with the current OEM diameter w/ pullies. But thanks - was planning to use the ARP bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To follow-up on the harmonic damper upgrade I picked the ATI p/n 917266, 6 rib, OEM diameter, with A/C 4 rib pulley, As expected, for the price, it's a very nice piece - with a $ 50 discount I got it for $ 385. Bought a new timing cover seal $ 27, and balancer bolt $ 34. As far as tools I learned years ago not to skimp on cheap tools not made specifically for my task so I bought an installation tool $ 51, an LS flywheel locking kit $ 14, and a 3 jaw puller for the stock balancer removal $45. Unfortunately after my purchases I realized my 1/2 torque wrench is 150 ft lbs max. The new balancer bolt requires 240 ft lbs so I spent $ 100 on a new torque wrench. In hindsight, although the bolt is reusable, i might have gone OEM on the new bolt (1 time use only) which would have saved me needing a new torque wrench. On the positive side, since i now have all the tools, I might just do my 2010 C6 before I sell the specialty tools.
 

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You won’t be sorry, the motor will run smoother with the ATI than stock. Had mine drilled and pinned just in case I wanted forced air in the future. I paid $1100 for a shop to mine. Didn’t want to buy tools I was only use once. Plus everything I saw on the internet a lift made the job easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
10-4 on the lift Dizzle - pretty sure I wouldn't attempt the C6 job without one. I have a 4 post, 2 post would be better for the damper job since the steering rack has to be removed. However that lift was one of my best purchases ever. It has paid for itself many times over and helped enable my 1 man shop..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Installed the new ATI harmonic balancer yesterday - I had already assembled it so total time was about an hour and 25 minutes (concurrent with a sandwich and beer.). Required removal of the starter to place the flywheel locking device, pulling the OEM balancer, and the installation of the new balancer. All tools worked as advertised and I was able to get to the 235ft lbs for the ARP balancer bolt with just the new torque wrench - no cheater bar. As Dizzle had posted - great piece of mind and at this stage of the build (totally exposed) it was a cake walk unlike many other tasks

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