C3-Corvette Restoration

Restoration of a 1977 Corvette Stingray

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October 2009

Part 2






The recaros have been stripped and the frames cut down to size.









Frame welded back to the seat base, primed and painted ready for re-trimming.
















I have spent a few days and nights prepin the engine for the first start and breaking in the cam, after talking to some well known oil specialists and reading through forums it was clear i needed a mineral oil, fairly thick, with a high ZPPD content (zinc) to help break in the cam, rings and bed in the new components.


I opted for Millers SAE30 running in oil for classic and vintage engines, this has a higher ZPPD level and has been formulated for breaking in.  Comp cams data sheet suggests that the cam is broken in by running the engine at 2,000 RPM for 20 -30 mins, varying the revs upto 2,500 to help ciculate the oil around the system more efficiently.


I filled the engine upto the correct level which took just under 5 liters (5 US quarts with a new filter), when i built the engine i used plenty of build up oil/grease to protect the engine during the first start up, because of this i didnt feel the need to prime the engine using an adapted dizzy to turn the oil pump before hand.


I used the starter to turn the engine and watched the oil pressure gauge which didnt move during the first 2-3 turn overs, i pulled the wire from the sender and earthed it, the gauged pegged out, so i knew the gauge was working, the sender is new so shoud be working fine.


I turned the engine over a few more times and still nothing, now i was getting worried, third time lucky i turned the engine over again and the oil pressure came upto 40 lbs :)










I filled the rad with a mix of antifreeze and distilled water (60/40) and filled the system, the newly built tranny took 16 of the potential 22 pints, the engine needs to be run to get the pump upto speed and fill the cooling lines and TC.


I ran the fuel pump and cleaned the lines through to the filter, connected everything back up and checked for leaks, all good.


I am waiting for a delivery of a fuel pressure gauge to bolt into the regulator and we are ready to fire her up!!




Heres a video of the first start up, have you ever seen a more worried looking man???









This was the initial start, i wanted to see if the engine was going to run, the engine had been turned over to get the oil pressure up, with the ignition leads connected back up, 3-4 pumps on the throttle and turn the key...... and she fired into life, i kept the revs up for the first minute to flush/burn up all the build up oil/grease from the engine.


Checking the oil pressure, fuel pressure and temp the engine was run for 2 mins, i then checked fluid levels and checked hoses and connections for leaks.


The next step was the timing, altho the timing was set by hand, a timing light was used to get the ignition set at 12 degs BTDC.










The revs were set at 2,000ish RPM and the cam break-in commenced, an eager eye was kept on all the gauges, hoses for any problems.













The exhaust headers were glowing red after 15mins of the break-in period, but the engine held steady at around 240degs, the BeCool rad and Spal fans worked a treat.


The result was a successful break-in of the cam, im now very relieved and going to get drunk :)


A big thank you to the guys that came over to help and all the guys on the CCCUK website who have helped and supported me so far.







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