Fourth generation Corvettes

In my earlier post I discussed tackling the under-plenum updates. Here I cover the drivetrain updates which turned out to be more significant and challenging in unexpected ways. Early on Sunday we were back at Jim’s for the drive-train work. Again the WAZOO guys were in full attendance. Darrin was back too to help the transmission pull – this after working all night at his “day’ job.

Jobs for this day included: Continue reading

After the drive down to Baltimore and meeting up with David (including a fun visit to the local Tilted Kilt) we were ready to get stuck into the job at hand: updating the Dragon.

DSCF6040Saturday was warm and sunny, almost a shame to waste it on the WMD (Westminster Maintenance Day), but the WAZOO guys are dedicated to building bigger and better ZR-1s and I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to complete several of the jobs that had been on my “to do” list for far too long.

Jim’s place (the then ZR-1 Registry president) is the garage a lot of people dream of having – me included. Spacious, a  four post lift, hydraulic bridge jacks to lift one end of the car up in seconds. What else could you ask for? Continue reading

I just received the latest copy of Vette magazine and it was nice to see a multi-page feature on the C4 generation of Corvette, including (of course!) the legendary ZR-1. There’s scant coverage of the C4 these days and it sometimes feels as if I own “The Corvette That Time Forgot.”

The article discusses the history of the C4 including the reintroduction of the convertible in 1986, certainly a momentous event. However Vette mistakenly says that Dave McLelland designed the C4 vette with a convertible in mind and due to this, minimal changes were needed to encompass the roofless model. This doesn’t line-up with Dave’s own account in his book “Corvette From the Inside.” The real story is even more amazing. Continue reading

As anyone with a vette will understand, part of the fun is updating the car. Some people like to add Plenty O’Bling (I think she was in a Bond movie), while others just want to improve performance and quality. Personally I like a little of both. The problem I have is limited facilities (no garage at the moment). As a result my backlog of projects has grown. When I had a chance to visit the WAZOO (Washington Area ZR-1 Owners Organization) I grabbed it – what could be better than meeting other owners and also getting some work done. Perfect!

The first part of my trip Continue reading

Okay, so the first stumbling block on my replacement head project arrived in the form of the Metra wiring guide (Metra 70-1857 Bose Integration Tuner Bypass) . First off, instructions are non existent with this product, which isn’t very comforting for a novice (like me!). There’s some general information and a wiring guide on the back of the pack and a tiny note inside the bag telling you where your amp’s located (which I knew).

To make things worse the bag the harness came in had been torn and taped back together, right through the wiring guide! I went to the Metra site expecting to find further help and at least wiring information (it says on the bag “for further information…”). I’m always too optimistic it seems and not only was there no further information online – there was NO information at all! With patience and help from my wife in translating the Spanish, I managed to decipher it. Just in case anyone else has a similar problem, I’ve reproduced the chart below: Continue reading

I had hoped that my stereo woes would have ended after replacing the Bose speaker/amplifiers. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and when I woke the Dragon from his slumber this year the stereo system failed to work. The unit lit up but is completely non-functional.

I do like music when I am traveling, especially on longer journeys. So I’m at the point where I want to address this. I have some longer term plans in this area, but for now I just want to do something relatively simple and cheap that will get me by.

I’d heard from a number of sources that it was possible to swap out the head unit and Continue reading

I visited Niagara a couple of weekends ago. The plan was to meet up with some ZR-1 friends from Southern Ontario also David, President of the ZR-1 Registry, was coming up to visit from Baltimore. We got together on Friday night and had a nice dinner at The Keg in St. Catharines.

On Saturday we dropped my wife off at the Pen Center to do some shopping while me and David went to get the cars cleaned. Finding somewhere turned out to be more challenging than you’d imagine, but eventually we found Superior Car Wash & Express Detailing who helped us clear the hundreds of kilometers of dirt off the ZR-1s. Continue reading

As I was coming back from St. Catharines earlier this year I picked up a noise from the front passenger side wheel area. It was a metal on metal rubbing sound – not the kind of thing you really want to hear on any car let alone your precious Corvette. It was hard to pin it down but there were really only a few possible suspects – I just hoped it wasn’t one of the more expensive ones.

Once home, I jacked up the car, put stands underneath to make everything safe and took the wheels off. One of the advantages of the C4 clam-shell hood design is it gives you great access to the front wheel area. Initial visual inspection didn’t really tell me anything but turning the hub allowed me to better pinpoint the sound. It was definitely coming from the caliper/rotor area. Continue reading

Last time I was looking at the following updates over winter:

  • C5 Brake upgrade
  • Header installation
  • Catback Installation

Those are still on the cards, it’s warmed up a little but not enough to progress very far, but I have got the header fresh air tube welded up and it can now be sent for the ceramic coating.

Due to changes in circumstances I am now going to go down to Bowling Green for the 2012 ZR-1 Gathering. I’ll be taking a rather odd route as I am going to Washington D.C. first to meet up with the WAZOO guys. This has been a long standing invitation and while down there they are going to help me take care of some of the projects that have been hanging around for a while. This will include:

  • Fidanza Clutch installation
  • New Pressure Plate installation
  • Hurst Short Shifter installation
  • C-Beam plate installation
  • RC Injector installation
  • Under plenum service – seals, coil packs, plug leads, PCV hoses etc.

These are all jobs that have been hanging around a while but I haven’t had time or facilities to tackle them.

Many of the jobs have been delayed this year by my attempts at kitchen renovation/installation and the fact that I have been asked to redevelop the ZR-1 Net Registry website. The website is great fun but time-consuming, the kitchen is hell and time-consuming…

I’ve also received the leather trim from RedLine and hope to get that installed before the Gathering.