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.

Friday, February 5, 2021

C3 Corvette Hood Underside Detailing - Part 1

What was to be a simple detailing, quickly became the project within a project.

As you probably know, the original plan was to simply install a new 3-row aluminum radiator. 

But I set the hood safely on a table with the underside facing up to give it a once-over, but I started taking parts off, and next thing you know, it took on a life of its own.

I started by evaluating the work that needed to be done while reminding myself that my '76 Corvette is not a show car.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

How To Install a New Water Pump

Removing a water pump, then installing a new one is a big project, but manageable for a DIY shade-tree mechanic with the right tools.

It's also an excellent chance to inspect other items and replace them as needed, and you should also take advantage of this opportunity and flush the cooling system to get rid of sediment before installing the new water pump to prevent premature failure.

Things such as belts and hoses are far more easily accessible for inspection and replacement when the water pump is out, so now is the time to do so if necessary.

Last but not least is the fan itself which must be inspected for loose rivets, cracks, or bent blades. If you find any damage, do not try to repair it. A fan that's out of balance can break the water pump shaft while in operation, with disastrous consequences.

Clues that may indicate your fan clutch is failing include an engine that starts running hotter than usual and an air conditioning system that no longer performs well.

Inspect the fan clutch and replace it if there's any fluid loss, looseness, or wobble.