Friday, December 4, 2020

Alternator Not Charging Due to a Broken Terminal

Not long ago I had to repair a broken wire from a fusible link. And this time, the alternator-and-battery plug from the alternator called it quits.

Above: Decades-old wiring and connectors eventually fail.

However, I was very fortunate that this malfunction took place in the comfort and safety of my garage.

Since my car needed gas, I decided a quick trip to the station was in order. But, as I cranked the Vette, the sluggishness of the starter immediately indicated there was a problem. The car started, but the ammeter needle was reading into the negative, so my first thought that was my fairly new alternator had failed.

I turned the car off and opened the hood, and as I was looking around to determine what bolts would have to be loosened to remove the alternator, I tried to unplug the connector shown above, but as I removed it, one of the wires popped off, and from its looks, it was easy to see that the connector and not the alternator itself had failed.

Out of the two wires, the brown one and its connector were fine, so I disconnected the battery and removed the old and brittle plug to do a temporary repair to get the car running and charging properly.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Repacking C3 Corvette Front Wheel Bearings

The 1976 Chevrolet Service and Overhaul Manual Supplement, specifies repacking tapered front wheel bearings every 30,000 miles. There is no specific recommended mileage or time frame for replacing the bearings, so that would be at the mechanic's or Chevrolet's Service Dept. discretion.

If the necessary tools are available, this is a DIY job for the more advanced and/or ambitious shade-tree mechanic.

It is not necessarily difficult, but it is a messy one. Remember, you'll be dealing with automotive grease, road grime, and brake pad dust to name a few.

Gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator are must-have items.

The first order of business is to get the car off the ground, and my QuickJack Portable Lift proved one more time what a great investment it was.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

1976 Corvette Maintenance and Service Schedule

When it comes to Corvette service and maintenance, there's no better guide than the Chevrolet Service and Overhaul Manual.

Yes, the book that was published by Chevrolet for the model year of your car.

These books are sometimes referred to as supplements. This means they are addendums to an earlier edition, and in the case of the 1976 Service and Overhaul Manual supplement, an update to the information in the 1974 Passenger Car Service and Overhaul manual.

Additionally, these manuals often include other Chevrolet models.

This one, for example, covers Chevelle, Camaro, Monte Carlo, and Nova automobiles in addition to the 1976 Corvette.

The book is over 400 pages long, so there's quite a  bit of information packed in there along with over one thousand b&w photos and diagrams.

The Maintenance Schedule below is a condensed version of the one in the manual. For the complete schedule and more, get a copy of the manual or supplement for your model year.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Replace Distributor Cap and Rotor on a '76 Corvette

I want my Corvette's engine to idle smoothly so I decided to inspect the distributor cap and rotor to see the condition they were in.

And it was a good idea since there was a lot of corrosion buildup on every contact, plus lots of carbon dust everywhere. It really looked like the 40-plus-year-old part it is.

I have no way of knowing if either the cap and rotor were replaced at some point, but they were overdue. And while they can be cleaned and reused (the car was running okay with them), the cost of new components is only $25 for ACDelco parts.

This is another DIY project that the average home-mechanic can accomplish in a few hours and save quite a bit of money.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

C3 Corvette Quadrajet: Replace Needle, Seat, Adjust Float

The two videos in this article show the steps necessary to, first, remove the Quadrajet from a 1975-1981 C3 Corvette, then disassembly, followed by how to remove and replace the needle, needle seat, needle hanger, and finally, reassemble the carburetor.

It is not necessary to completely take the Quadrajet apart to perform these tasks, and the steps are also the same if someone wants to remove and replace the primary jets, for example.

By the way, even though I specify 1975 through 1981 Corvettes with OEM Quadrajets, the procedures for pre-1975 carburetors will be similar—if not identical—in many instances. However, I only have experience with 1705 Rochester Quadrajets so keep that in mind if your carburetor is for an older model C3 Corvette.