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a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/11/17 10:42 p.m.

Hello everyone, here is my official, highly anticipated (at least by me anyway) entrance into the motorsports blogging world.

My forum Name 'A_Florida_Man' is a contradiction. It references the long standing saying that as a graduate of the University of Florida, "A Florida Man Needs No Introduction." (Inject Ironic Introduction Comments Here).

The contradiction to "A_Florida_Man" is the vernacular of late, ie: "Tonights top story, A_Florida_Man, was found...", I'll spare you the almost certainly gruesome details.

I think this forum name will fit this project well, especially in the early stages anyway.

At times respectable, at times a little less.

Also, I owe the use of the underscores to the UNIX part of me that will not allow spaces in a username. I just can't do it. :)

 

The Build:

This is the story of how I came to build this C4 after being completely hooked on the idea at the 2017 Challenge by my old friend Stafford 1500 and a whole bunch of new friends (Bad Idea Motorsports) and their 1980 AMC Spirit. 

 

C4's have a stigma that I recognize, but that I can't completely accept.

I was 13, and I stood for quite some time on the showroom floor of Bill Thomas Chevrolet in Tallahassee trying to grasp what planet this new Corvette had come from. One singular feature was just mesmerizing, the clam shell hood. Under it, you could see and touch EVERYTHING. So, under the watchful eyes of the salesmen that were not with customers, and with the latitude that is given the son of a customer that is buying a new loaded 1985 Silverado, (did I mention dad was off busy some where in the dealership?) I looked, touched, sat in, and generally imagined all the adventure possible in that monster space craft of a car. 

Today, I'm 46, and I get it. The C4 has not aged very well cosmetically or technologically, and due to their success and production numbers, they have not fared well in market value either.

My own automotive experiences, talents and capabilities have grown over the years, in some ways like the automotive industry has. 

In that process that 85 C4 and the 13 year old got left behind.

As for the build, the 46 year old wouldn't do it, if it weren't for the intersection of the performance and affordability, the mantra of a challenge car. It's not cutting edge tech, it's not old school muscle, it's not popular, it's not innovative in a subaru motor in an Insight quirky sort of way. 

The 13 year old could care less, he is just stoked.

 

So, we have, the car:

1985 Corvette 

The Good:

  • Clam Shell Hood
  • $1250.00
  • TPI 350
  • 6 Speed Richmond Transmission
  • D44 3.08 Limited SlipRear Differential
  • 17x11 Rear Wheels and 17x9.5 Front
  • Never Wrecked
  • Runs (Barely, but that's on the next list)
  • New Injectors
  • Adjustable FP Regulator
  • Intake Air Foil
  • Accel Super Coil (Wrong list?)
  • No ABS
  • New Battery
  • No Frame Rust
  • A couple of big boxes of spare parts.
  • All of the other things that are good about a stock C4 ie suspension, brakes, etc..
  • It's in such bad shape that literally anything I do to it will be an improvement.

The Bad:

  • Over 100k miles.
  • 1985 TPI Computers Communicate on the Data bus about like the old computer you (or your parents) had in 1982 that used an acoustic modem. something like 160 Baud.
  • Sounds like it has a"Thumper Cam" (ewwww) but no, sorry, it's stock, it just misses REALLY bad.
  • Hasn't been driven regularly in 3 or 4 years.
  • Gas is OLD, Tank is rusted all the way through, only the plastic liner is keeping the fuel in place.
  • Rust on Hood Structure
  • Rust on Radiator Air Intake
  • Richmond Overdrive Parts aren't cheap, and this one is NOT quiet.
  • Clutch Hydraulics Leak down
  • Throw Out Bearing is as loud as the transmission.
  • Bad grounds, bad realys, rotted wiring insulation.
  • Interior has been in a black car with a clear top that was sealed just enough to keep the heat in, but not keep the water out. It was in Cape Coral, FL which is like the 5th or 6th ring of hell. It is BAAADDDD hot down there. 
  • Paint is past shot, and well on to not being paint anymore.
  • The 315's on the rear, and the 275's on the front (Automotive Mullet?) are completely bald.
  • It sits so low, I can't get my floor jack under it (Good List?)

And, in closing, what you really want, the pictures:

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Yep, that IS mold.

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Can't see it in this video, but it's so rich, it burns your eyes...

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffacebook%2Fvideos%2Fa.10155928962699350.1073741828.530244349/10155928962814350%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281

 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
12/12/17 12:45 a.m.

Nice! Not sure if you're aware, but the 85 TPI was 1-year only. I removed all mine, so if you need anything let me know. 

Have you checked if it's a Z51 option car?

akamcfly
akamcfly Dork
12/12/17 5:04 a.m.

 

Gut it like a fish - it's the only way to be sure.

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:14 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

It is not a Z51 car. However,... stay tuned, this blog is a little behind real time. There is a parts car...

 

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:16 a.m.

In reply to akamcfly :

That is step one. I have been doing exactly that. Scaling, um I mean striping it as well. Catch up blogging will continue.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
12/12/17 6:04 a.m.

Usually when I work on my cars I have to change clothes before I take them for a test drive. This might be the first car I've seen where that wouldn't be necessary. In fact, you might need an extra protective layer (and maybe a respirator?) to drive this. I applaud your optimism. Godspeed. 

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/12/17 7:49 a.m.

Welcome to the C4 Clan. I picked up a trashed non-running C4 for $500 and pieced it together for the 2016 challenge and a very mediocre effort. Total budget for that year was a little over $900. Blew a motor last year so didn't make the 2017 challenge but joined Pete Gossett in his poor life choices C4 effort that year. I had never wanted a Corvette but couldn't pass up the one I bought. It has been fun and yes frustrating. You will enjoy yourself immensely with this old car. Mine is being hacked up in preparation for 2018.

If there are any parts you need please don't hesitate to ask me...I've already surpassed my allowed recoup so any c4 parts I'm not using will be dirt cheap or free to fellow challengers.  I do have good gas tank (FREE!!! can get it to south georgia if that's near you), new tpi fuel pump, headlights/motors, taillights,  etc if you need.

Where are you located?

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/12/17 8:14 a.m.

BTW, thanks for stealing our mississippi state football coach.angry

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/12/17 9:01 a.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Usually when I work on my cars I have to change clothes before I take them for a test drive. This might be the first car I've seen where that wouldn't be necessary. In fact, you might need an extra protective layer (and maybe a respirator?) to drive this. I applaud your optimism. Godspeed. 

SAYS HE WHO IS NUTSACK DEEP IN A CAB OVER BUILD.laugh

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
12/12/17 9:10 a.m.

Welcome home, kevin.

Looks like we'r both building 2 seaters this year.

 

We found some more c4 stuff while hauling off scrap metal. Need to get it down to you.

I also owe you an apology for getting you addicted to the challenge.  If i was nicer i would have given you amphetamines. 

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/12/17 9:34 a.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

I also owe you an apology for getting you addicted to the challenge.  If i was nicer i would have given you amphetamines. 

The Challenge makes heroin addiction seem like a mild craving for something salty.wink

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/12/17 9:44 a.m.

Let the thrash begin !!!!!!

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
12/12/17 10:06 a.m.

<--- waiting on info about the white El Camino...

ValourUnbound
ValourUnbound New Reader
12/12/17 5:07 p.m.

On the one hand, you are part of the reason I can't flip my 1984 C4 for more money.

On the other hand, I love that you are restoring a classic, even if it isn't worth as much as the earlier gens.

We have absolutely no parts in common and you sound much more skilled than I, so I'll just keep an eye on this thread and see if I can learn anything. 

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:41 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

It sounds like I've taken on something that might make you take a step back, Seth.

I find no comfort in that. lol.

Thanks again for the Manuals, I've sorted them and set out to distribute the duplicates to anyone in need of the information.

There is no replacement for source materials.

As for the car, it will get better, and you won't need any tyvek.

 

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:45 p.m.

In reply to Ovid_and_Flem :

I'm in Glichrist County, Florida which is 45 minutes NW of Gainesville.

I'm sure we met in October at the Challenge.

Where are you?

I remember talking to Pete about his car...

Right now I'd be happy to find a 1986 and up Mass airflow based ECU with OEM Corvette CALPAK.

hint hint Santa...

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:47 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13 :

I'm like a junkyard, I'll take anything. Thanks!

This car will have a life after the challenge so I'm stockpiling now.

No apologies needed, and hold on to the "cold medicine" I'll likely need it in the end,

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:49 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

"Challenge Accepted"

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:51 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

Ahh yes, the El Camino.

Not mine, a project for a friend's father in law.

These pictures were taken in Cape Coral.

I live several hours to the north, where we still have all of the radiation shielding parts of the atmosphere,

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 5:54 p.m.

In reply to ValourUnbound :

84's are some of the coolest C4's

Neat fact about the 84 with the Z51 package.

All 4 wheels are different. 

they are directional (right and left are different) AND the rear wheels are wider, with the same size tires all around.

1984 Z51 only. Go figure.

At least you don't have to rotate,

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/12/17 5:56 p.m.

In reply to a_florida_man :

I'm in mississippi...but I n come to the valdosta area a few times a year.  I have the entire tpi system in full working order for a 89 if you need anything from that.  Completely removing wiring and converting to carb/distributer

a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 6:18 p.m.

So, after GUTTING (like a fish) the car, next I dropped the transmission to investigate the noise.

And... I found this on the drain plugs:

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Seven Teeth and some tooth paste.

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Ok, we are going in...

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All in all, the damage appears to be limited to the OD gear set. No other damage found yet.

Those teeth were on the magnet for almost 2 decades, as this transmission was known to have a loud OD issue from essentially new. Even the synchros were looking great.

Other known transmission complaints such as being occasionally difficult to shift were likely due to the clutch hydraulics issues and the the CONCAVE throw out bearing surface. 

So right now I'm thinking gearset, seals, gaskets, and the input to mainshaft needle bearing.

 

Steve, the model number was 7071626AA, and was found exactly where you described it.

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a_florida_man
a_florida_man New Reader
12/12/17 6:34 p.m.

In reply to Ovid_and_Flem :

Yes, I think I would be interested. ESPECIALLY in the ECU CALPAK and harness, as I think 89 was the last year before the switch from MAF to speed density, and by 89 they had done away with the cold start injector. I'm keeping a TPI setup for the challenge. It can make great torque on the cheap. I'll be remapping spark and fuel for my gears and engine mods. 

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/12/17 6:52 p.m.

Just let me know what you need.  Need gas tank?

ValourUnbound
ValourUnbound New Reader
12/12/17 9:24 p.m.

In reply to a_florida_man :

What the heck. I have a z51 (or at least the steering rack from one) but the car came with C5 rims... With the original runflats from 2003. That was fun. 

The ship has probably sailed on getting original rims for this car, but I'll keep my CL open now that I know they're special. Hopefully the seller won't know :)

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