Monday, May 17, 2021

Complete Restoration of a C3 Corvette HVAC Panel

A couple of months ago I posted an article about refurbishing the HVAC panel. For that project, I used a kit that included a new trim panel and control thumb-wheels.

But after posting the article I thought that some readers would enjoy learning about the possibility of actually restoring one of these panels.

At around $90 the new replacement parts are affordable. However, those ninety bucks can be used to purchase other parts. Besides, unless the HVAC control panel is completely destroyed or useless, something that would be unlikely, these units can be taken apart, cleaned, painted, lubricated, and detailed to look almost brand new again.

So I decided to dig through bins of old Corvette parts to locate the original HVAC panel and the old thumb-wheels.

They were pretty dirty and ratty looking, so it justified my decision of replacing those old components with new aftermarket replacement parts. But they also presented an interesting challenge.

Would I be able to bring these old pieces back to life?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Parking Brake Sliding Seal Replacement: C3 Corvette

The moment I pulled the parking brake handle, the cracking noise was unmistakable and I didn't have to look to know what had just happened.


Somehow, the plastic slider seal got caught on something which locked it in place, and as I pulled the handle up, it cracked the seal down the middle.

It happened in a split second, but that's all it needed to be ruined.

And because of where the damage occurred, a repair is impossible since it would be visible and easy to spot. So the logical solution was to order a new one.

Fortunately, they are not expensive even though the shipping charges cost more than the part itself. But for $10, including delivery, who am I to complain.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Replace Upper & Lower C3 Corvette Radiator Hoses

Replacing radiator hoses is part of the long-term maintenance program for an internal-combustion, water-cooled vehicle.

In the case of the C3 Corvette, removing and installing a lower radiator hose (if the factory shroud is present), is a challenging, frustrating, and even infuriating task. There's no other way to describe it.

My original plan was to film the process in detail, but as you probably know, I work alone. So when I found myself under my Corvette trying to loosen the lower hose clamp with my right hand while holding the hose with my left, I was going to use my third hand to hold the camera, but then I remembered I only have two!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

1976 Corvette Stingray Radiator Fan Restoration

Radiator fans take a beating every time you drive your car. And even though they are surrounded by a shroud and hide behind the radiator, debris and road grime find their way into the area. Consequently, fan blades get pelted by small dirt fragments that chip the paint.

The end result is a fan that looks pretty ratty.


I should've had the fan powder-coated when I had the air cleaner and other brackets done, but for reasons unknown, I did not. Big mistake, as it would have looked great for a long time.

The easiest solution, for now, was to take it out, sand down areas that needed it, and then give it a couple of coats of primer and paint.

Monday, February 15, 2021

C3 Corvette Hood Underside Detailing - Part 2

In the first installment of the hood underside detailing project, I disassembled, cleaned, and applied primer to it, getting it ready for paint.

At this point, I decided that the old hood insulation was ready to be replaced by something nicer, so I started my research as to what's available for C3 Corvettes, and the answer was "not that much" unless you're willing to spend a ton of money on a custom liner.

Personally, I do not care for embroidered logos and "bling" of that sort, but I knew I wanted a black liner instead of the grayish ones made out of glass wool fibers, which as effective as they may be, tend to be a dirt and dead-bug magnet.

I took some measurements of the area that was to be covered and made a template as shown above.

And yes, I wanted the new liner to cover all the way to the front edge of the hood, something that eventually would come back to haunt me.