Here is a page dedicated to my current project. It is a 1981 Corvette that has been back-halved with a S&W 4 link kit. Equipped with a Ford 9" with a spool, 4:56 gears, and S&W disk brakes. Axle studs are 5/8 inch.
Here is the car fresh from a long trip to bring it home from Maine. The car is very basic as it was a drag car and will become a pro street car.
Here is a shot of the engine compartment after some clean-up and pressure washing. The frame is solid with no rust or damage.
Another shot of the engine compartment taken from the passenger side looking toward the drivers side.
The original factory suspension parts were still in the car. A poly, deluxe rebuild kit was purchased then disassembly of the front suspension started. All bushings, ball joints, idler arm, steering arms and tie rod ends were replaced. Brake calipers were converted to "O" ring style and painted.
The frame was cleaned and pressure washed then painted with "Chassis Saver" to prevent rust. Because of the roll cage and back half I could not do a "body off" on the frame and suspension components. The cage is a 6 point.
Here is the drivers side suspension still missing the dust shield, steering arms, brake mounts, spindle and caliper. New brake hoses were installed as were new 550# front springs. A sway bar (1 1/8") was purchased along with poly bushings and end links. It was media blasted and painted.
(11/02/2005) The saga continues. After completing the front end rebuild including rebuilding the front calipers it was time to bleed the brakes. I removed the master cylinder cover and found the seal extremely distorted. No fluid would come out of the wheel cylinder. The crud coming out of the lines was really weird. I checked the master cylinder and found that the last owner had filled the brake system with engine oil, this screwed up the complete braking system and all seals. All lines had to be disconnected and blown out with air and brake cleaner. A new master cylinder is waiting to be installed. No fluid made it to the new front calipers or lines. The back brakes had to be flushed and the rear calipers had never been exposed to the engine oil so did not require rebuilding. I have no idea why somebody would add oil to a master cylinder unless the intent was to sabotage the brakes.
Here is a photo of the rear disk brakes from Strange Enrineering. The 4 link can be seen in this view. The car is on jackstands which are sitting just ahead of the jack visible in the photo. Always use jack stands, never work on a car supported only by a jack.
Here is the 383 LT1 engine after being line bored and honed following the installiation of the splayed 4 bolt main caps. Bearings were installed and miked to insure proper clearences, no plastic gage was used. ARP studs were used and 12 point bolts were used on the outer shoulders.
LT1 Engine with forged 383 crank installed and touqued using ARP moly lube and ARP specifications.
Double row Roller Timing Chain installed and torqued. Locktite was used on bolts. This is a Rollmaster set for roller cam small block Chevies. I am using an electric waterpump and carburator so I will not need the Opti-Spark drive or the waterpump drive .
Dial indicator set up checking cam. This is the exhaust valve as intake valve timing has already been checked. Cam is solid roller with over .600 lift on intake and exhaust. I will not identify the cam manufacturer or grind.
Here is a shot of the complete bottom end, forged crank, splayed main caps, H-beam rods, forged flat top Weisco pistons with deep valve reliefs . Rods are 5.7 inches long. Only the odd number pistons have been installed to this point.
Engine lower end assembled and cam degreeded in.
Melling High Volume oil pump with Canton pickup mounted.
Here is one of the 210cc AFR LT1 cylinder heads that are fully CNC ported with 54cc chambers. Will net a compression ratio of 11:1. Intake valves are 2.080 diameter. Springs are PSI with 200 lbs seat pressure and titanium retainers.
A close up of the combustion chambers and valves.
Here is the 383 with one cylinder head on the engine and a view of the ARP Cylinder head studs. Note the Comp Cams street solid roller lifters.
Here is the 383 with both heads installed and the Miller Engineering roller rockers installed and set for breakin. Here you can see the plug produced by Chevrolet to cover the hole for the OptiSpark.
Engine with electric water pump, valve covers, ATI LT1 Dampener, Chevrolet LT4 intake manifold and MSD ProBillet Distributor .
Another view of the almost completed LT1 383 stroker.
Here is the front view with the Street and Performance sepertine kit for alternator and power steering pump.
This is with headers installed and the reduction gear high torque starter. Holley 750 double pumper with AN-6 stainless lines, fuel pressure gage and anodized fittings. Electric waterpump is installed.
Drivers side of the engine where you can see the polished alternator (100 amp) and the late model powersteering pump. I had to make a custom aluminum bracket for the coil because when the coil was installed in the factory manifold holes it hit the distributor preventing adjustment.
Here is a photo of the new 15 gal. fuel cell taken from the rear of the car looking forward.
The new chrome-molly cage being installed, replacing the ill-fitting mild steel cage. This cage will allow more head and shoulder room and hug the door contours closer. All chassis work is being done by Mike Freeman of Marshall NC.
Here is a more current photo of the car suspension with the sway bar from Jegs and the panhard bar. The track locator bar had to be removed to make room for the pinion mounted emergency brake.
A current picture of the interior panels going in the car. The center panel will be removable using 1/4 turn cam loc fasteners . The floor panels are also scheduled to be replaced.
The interior view from the drivers side.
Here is the car with the new floorboards and the new dash trial fitted in place. Dash face is removable for wiring access. Being a "street" car, the transmission will be a ZF 6 speed. The clutch is a Mcleod Street Twin with a hydraulic throw out bearing.
Because of high valve spring pressures there was need for some valve train support. Stud girdles for center bolt valve covers don't seem to exist so I opted for a set of Miller Engineering Pro Stand shaft rocker systems. Here is a photo of the rocker base installed on the AFR head. (Machining of the stands to the proper height is required based on individual cam / valve train requirements.)
Here is a close up of the completed rockers. Notice the offset pushrod seats to compensate for the modified valve spacing. Each rocker is offset .150 inch. Push rod length is determoned AFTER everything is machined and mounted. Note access to the valve cover bolt holes.
The project has taken a few different turns since the start. The original spool has been removed and a new Detroit Locker has been installed. After grtting the car back from my "Chassis Guy" I noticed a lot of rust flakes dropping from the rockers when I removed the Rocker Trim Pannels. Further investigation discover a large quantity of said rust in the drivers side #2 mount area. After removing a section of the side of the drivers floor I discovered extensive rust. The project is now officially a BODY OFF rebuild. The body and frame are each occupying a different side of my garage with much thanks to Jeff my neighbor, Mike and his son Jake, also known as Jake. The parts to repair the bottom of the Birdcage have been ordered from Volvette in Tennesee, The complete lower half of both sides of the birdcage will be replaced. More investigation into the windshield frame will follow before the body is set back on the frame.
Some of the body mount nuts on the frame will require replacing as will both #1 mount frame brackets.
The body setting on the wooden frame . (Plans came from some helpful individual on the internet,) The down side is that the side rails fit under the rockers so the body has to be raised / moved side to side to replace the metal rocker channels.
Here is the frame with the body off. Awaiting suspension removal and trip to Biltmore Abrasives for blasting and priming.
Here is the view looking up from underneath the body at the #3 drivers side mount area,
Here is the frame with the body off. The 383 and ZF 6 speed transmission are installed as is the new power rack and pinion steering from Steeroids.