C3-Corvette Restoration

Restoration of a 1977 Corvette Stingray

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February 2008

Part 1



Chassis Rebuild


With the suspension, spindles and disc's rebuilt and fitted i wanted to get the wheels back on so i could move the chassis out the way ready for the birdcage repairs.










After standing out in the elements for years the alluminium wheels had oxidized and looked quite poor.


I didnt think even a course buffing wheel would cut through the oxidiszation easily so i tried wet n dry paper, G240 wet seemed to work well and not scratch the rims.















After 10 -15mins with the wet n dry paper the oxidization was gone, the surface was ready for the next stage, i wanted to remove the fine scratches the wet n dry paper had left, for this i used an abrasive mat cut into squares and mounted on an arbour.
















These abrasive mats come in a variety of sizes, these green ones were not as course as the brown or red.


I used an old arbour from a flapper wheel, this had a dome head and wouldnt cut into the rim if i slipped during the polihing, with a big nut and washer on the back of the arbour, the mats were help firmly in place.















Starting off at low revs on my drill i applied light pressure and the fine scrates left by the wet n dry paper disapeared.

















I used a heavy mop with grey cutting compound (grey being the coursest) on the drill at high revs to keep the compound flowing, to little heat and the compound returns to a solid, too much and it burns away to quickly.


Ones you have run over a few times you can get a feel of the ideal speed and pressure to apply.


By running the mop off the rim in the direction of the drill is spinning you can remove excess compound, this makes life easier when it comes to clean up.









Now the wheels look reasonable with just the course buffing i'am happy to move on, i am still debating whether to go for a new set of alloys, but if i do keep the stock wheels they will need a final buff with the soft mop and paste then finishing with a power ball, i will also need to repaint the rear and slots.


Next job is to fit the brake callipers, steering track rod arms and new stainless steel brake pipes.








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