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zordak
zordak Reader
9/23/20 8:36 p.m.

This showed up today

So I started with disconnecting the battery

Then removed the dash cover

After removing the 4 screws holding the dash in, disconnecting 2 plugs swapping the the odemeter over and re installing everything

I now have a good looking set of gauges. 

 

 

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
9/23/20 11:13 p.m.

The 80s called, they said "Those gauges are freaking sweet!" Wait no, it was me who said that. Awesome laugh

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/24/20 12:25 p.m.

The wood trim on the factory gauges came out great.

zordak
zordak Reader
9/25/20 9:16 a.m.

Well the wood trim was there when I bought the car, and to be honest, to me, up close, it looks cheap. The wife likes it though, so it stays fo now.  So after driving it with the new dash where I can see the speed at a glance I have decided the whole lay out really sucks from a driving point of view. First thing I see when I look down is the driver info center, which to me is a secondary look. When I look down I want to have the tach and speedo right there and then go looking for the gauges.  I will have to think about doing a lot of research and see what I could do to re design the layout to put the tach and speedo where the driver information center is and move the gauges to the other 2 spots doing 4 gauges in each one. Big project lots of time spent figuring out electronics or programmable  controllers with displays. This might just be a thought experiment. I did just drop $300 on the new dash.  

daytonaer
daytonaer HalfDork
9/25/20 8:48 p.m.

Did you get your fuel tank to read correctly yet?

 

My '89 had sat for years with the sender sitting at a half tank so it would read wonky when it hit that spot. When I took it apart the sending unit had corroded and crumbled.

 

I repaired it for a few dollars with parts from a junkyard, non corvette GM parts. 

 

This is what it looks like when you get into the tank:

The whole hanger is held in with bolts and there is a rubber gasket. Unplug and unbolt and you can pull the whole assembly.

 

When I did this repair I was able to reuse the rubber gasket, have a plan in place if it is not usable.

 

As for the sending unit, it is the same one used on GM's of the vintage. If you look at the picture for the corvette hanger attached to the float (black cylinder in picture) there is a "D" shaped gold colored canister, this is the sending unit resistor and sweep. Get a new or new used one from a GM and swap it in. As my C4 was an '89 I grabbed a sending unit from an '89 something in the junkyard and its resistance measured identical to my broken one, but it wasn't broken. (I think I used a full size caprice or something)

 

Check out this picture, I'm pretty sure GM kept the same sending unit resistor for years:

 

 What you can see in this picture is the wire is riveted on, you can drill out this rivet and use a nut and bolt. On the opposite side of the stamped steel "D" shaped cylinder are a few tabs bent over to hold the assembly together, bend those out to access the resistor and sweep, either clean your existing assembly or replace with a good unit.

 

See here:

and here:

 

 

As for your hard brake pedal, this is a common C4 problem when they are daily driven gently. You most likely have a glaze built up on the pads, before you replace them try to remove it with a few back to back high speed stops. This brought mine back to life.

 

Enjoy the car, I miss my C4. 

 

zordak
zordak Reader
9/28/20 9:16 a.m.

I got the new pads on a 4 wheels. There was not enough life left on the old ones to bother with trying to break/remove the glaze. On the test drive the brakes felt much better. I have a new sending unit and fuel pump on order, as well as 4 new shocks. I believe the shocks on the car are originals and are getting tired. I did not look at the front shocks much but the rear shock mounts don't look too corroded. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/29/20 7:16 a.m.
zordak said:

Well the wood trim was there when I bought the car, and to be honest, to me, up close, it looks cheap.

Cheap is relative - it's a definite improvement over the stock plain black plastic. I've sometimes wondered how it would come out to carve some actual wood trim. Checked patterns like on a gunstock optional.

zordak
zordak Reader
9/29/20 8:56 a.m.

To me it looks like someone took wood grained vinyl and put it on 3/16" plastic and screwed it to the dash and console. If some one would have taken 1/16" wood veneer and glued it on the dash and finished it properly I would think it was wonderful. At a distance the dash looks good but behind the wheel you can see  white plastic on the edge of the openings for the gauges and that is what makes it look cheap.

zordak
zordak Reader
10/5/20 12:51 p.m.

Ok the fuel sending unit, fuel pump and shocks showed up and are now in the car but I forgot to remove brake fluid from the master before compressing the calipers. This blew the cap off of the master and I lost it. So with another cap on the way I am going build a cap for my pressure bleeder so I can flush the system.

zordak
zordak Reader
10/12/20 9:10 a.m.

New cap for the master cylinder arrived. A fluid flush later and now I can drive it. Just in time for the cold weather to set in.

zordak
zordak Reader
10/30/20 4:55 p.m.

No snow on the ground yet so I took the vette out to get lunch today and while at a stop light the brake pedal slowly went down. Great leaky hydraulic system. I baby it home and after lunch I go out to find out which rear hose is leaking. check the back of the car and both sides are dry. Double check the master and it is low. Alright check the floor and make sure it is dry and fill up the master and pump the brakes to see where it is leaking. Now for the fun part, the fluid level does not drop and no puddles under the car but the rear brakes are not holding. Pull the drivers side rear speaker out and the ABS system is dry. I think the master is air locked and I am going to need to bleed the system to find the leak. Anyone have any other theories?

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/30/20 10:11 p.m.

Is this a new master? Wouldn't be the first new master to have an internal leak right out of the box.

zordak
zordak Reader
10/31/20 4:16 p.m.

It was the one that was on the car when I bought it.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/31/20 7:07 p.m.

So IMO you probably killed the MC stroking the pedal to bleed.

also, I always recommend opening bleeder screws before pushing caliper pistons in. Push that dirty fluid out of the system, not upstream through ABS valve and back to MC.

zordak
zordak Reader
10/31/20 9:24 p.m.

When I found the cap missing I used a pressure bleeder to change the fluid and the brakes were working fine after that. On the drive in question there was a leak in the system some where. I am thinking the line from the master to the abs system right near the the master as that was where I found some fluid. I cannot get the system to pump up and push fluid out so I can check where the leak is. I think the proportioning valve may be stuck, I am hoping I can pressure bleed it enough to find the leak.

zordak
zordak Reader
11/8/20 10:42 a.m.

Went out to day and started looking over everything and finnaly figured out the leak was coming from the pressure switch on the master cylinder. Apparently it started leaking prior to my ownership and the cheap lazy ass just wrapped the switch with teflon tape and over tightened it. So a master is on its way and I will try to get it in next weekend. Unfortunately is is a rare warm november day today and I can't get out for a drive.

zordak
zordak Reader
11/13/20 4:43 p.m.

The master cylinder showed up yesterday, and I have the day off. Sadly it was below freezing most of today and I have decided I would like to continue to enjoy the car instead of remembering freezing my fingers off working on it. Tomorrow it should be warmer but also rain. I will try to work up the ambition to get it fixed tomorrow.

zordak
zordak Reader
11/15/20 5:09 p.m.

Despite the cool weather I decided to forge ahead and get the master cylinder swapped out. The decision had more to do with needing to get out of the house because of allergies than feeling the need to get it done. The swap went straight forward and now I can take it out till the snow flies.

zordak
zordak Reader
12/26/20 9:27 a.m.

Not much of an update but the wife bought me new front speakers for hte vette. When I first replaced the sound system I bought the least expensive speakers I could find. Unfortunately they sound quality of at least the front speakers was really lousy, even to my tone deaf ears. Well when it gets warm enough I will swap them.

zordak
zordak Reader
1/9/21 5:04 p.m.

A while back I bought a 2nd gen Trans Am steering wheel, it was in bad shape the paint/anodizing faded and the foam missing large chunks. I stripped it down and made a mold to recast the foam. Looking around I could only find polyurethane rubber so I used that with a black pigment. This is what it looks like now.

Now I learned how to drive stick in a 70 Trans Am and have a thing for these steering wheels. So I am thinking about modifing it to fit the corvette. 

Now I would have to cut a slot in the adapter for the lever for the telescoping feature and modify the horn button to fit. I might be able to find another horn button but I think the Trans Am looks better than the stock C4 wheel. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/9/21 9:23 p.m.

Nice job!

zordak
zordak Reader
1/11/21 9:16 a.m.

Changed my mind since the horn button just pops in and out I think I will forgo the slot and just put an allen screw in the adjuster and keep an allen wrench in the console. I think I will buy a second C4 horn button in case I want to switch back to the stock steering wheel.

zordak
zordak Reader
1/24/21 1:35 p.m.

I been working on the Trans Am steering wheel to get it to fit in the Corvette. I removed the stock wheel and measured up what was going to be needed to get the wheel in looking good and functional. First I took the Trans Am mount and made a mandrel to mount it in a lathe. Once spinning on center of the steering shaft I removed 7/16" off the end of the outside of the mount. Next I cut 1/4" of the outside to a straight diameter. Now the tedious part lacking 4-1/2" dia. 1/4" wall aluminum tubing a scrounged a chunk of 4-1/2" square by about 3" aluminum and chucked it in the lathe and turned it up to press fit on the outer dia of the mount and made it to the same dimensions of the stock wheel. Once made I pressed it on to the mount and then pinned it in place with 2 spring pins.

That taken care of I moved on to making sure the horn worked. due the the fact I am cheap...err.. I mean financially responsible I bought a used C4 horn button as I wanted to keep the stock wheel in case I want to return to the stock wheel. The reason I did not go with the stock Trans Am horn set up is it was over $100.00 compared to $30.00 for the C4 horn. Now the C4 uses a spring to both counter balance the telescoping wheel and connect the horn to the horn button. so i took a piece of Garolite (a cheap version of polycarbonate) and made up an insulator and spring mount and then soldered a wire to the spring to connect to the horn button.

Now to mount the C4 horn button to the Trans Am wheel, at first I was going to re-bend the mount tabs, but as i feared the metal was probably heat treated after forming and the tabs just broke off (the reason I bought a second horn button). But there are another set of tabs to ground out the mount plate of the horn button. After a little messaging and making a mount plate to sandwich between the wheel and the mount I have a mounted horn button. 

And now it is mounted in the car.
 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
1/25/21 7:42 a.m.

Nice, looks like it could have left the factory that way.

zordak
zordak Reader
1/25/21 9:00 a.m.

Thank you I was going for that.

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