Corvette Restoration Tips

Corvette Restoration Tips from Zip Corvette

  • NCRS Corvette Judging Manuals - New Editions

    The National Corvette Restorers Society has published new editions of the NCRS Corvette Judging Manuals. Completely redesigned, the updated manuals are the result of more than 30 years of Corvette experience.

    If you're chasing valuable judging points or just wanting to restore your Corvette to the highest standards, the NCRS manuals are for you. Thousands of hours of research by the most knowledgeable Corvette hobbyists in the country are packed neatly into one little book - specific to your generation Corvette! Filled with vital information for maintaining a Corvette, each manual breaks down part by part the finish, part number, casting number and detailed description of each item on your Corvette.

    The updated NEW expanded editions are a complete redesign, including photos of thousands of items to aid in authenticity and installation. New features include calendar years, production codes, information glossaries and technical service bulletins.

    Every Corvette owner should have an NCRS manual. In fact, anyone even considering purchasing a Corvette could benefit greatly from the information included in the manuals. Whether you're a hard-core restorer or simply want to know how your Corvette looked as it rolled off the assembly line, these books have the information you need, right at your fingertips.

    Purchase online at Zip Corvette Parts

  • Corvette Headlight Switch Assembly Removal for 1968-1982

    If you are replacing your 1968-1982 C3 Corvette's dash or are just trying to remove your Corvette's Headlight Switch assembly, here is a helpful tip that will make the removal and installation much easier. Every week we have at least one customer call and ask us this question, "How do I remove the knob and rod from my headlight switch?" It is a very common problem that everyone encounters the first time they try to do this. Continue reading → ... Continue reading

  • Corvette Restoration Tip: Interior Dye

    Corvette Interior Dye Corvette Interior Dye

    This Corvette Restoration Tip is brought to you by Zip Corvette and can be found in our free Corvette Parts & Accessories Catalogs – Request one online today.

    Careful preparation is the key to success when dyeing your Corvette's interior. Cleanliness is essential, so begin by wiping the parts to be dyed with wax and grease remover. This specialty solvent will clean the parts of dirt, interior conditioning products that others may have applied, and the oils that naturally gravitate to the surface of vinyl and leather. Don't use a strong solvent such as lacquer thinner or you risk damaging the underlying material. After cleaning, lightly but thoroughly sand the surface to be dyed in order to promote adhesion. Fine sandpaper such as # 400 grit is sufficient. Wipe the surface down again with wax and grease remover. Though not essential, it is highly recommended that you apply a coat of primer or Interior Dye Adhesion Promoter before spraying the dye. Besides promoting adhesion, this will lessen the possibility of a reaction between the new dye and the old finish. Good spraying technique is very important! Whether you us an aerosol can or a gun, spray the dye from 8-10" away and apply uniform, overlapping coats that are wet enough to flow into each other but not so wet as to run. Since dye does not get sanded and polished it's important to reduce the likelihood of contamination by spraying in a clean environment. It's equally important to spray the dye in an warm, dry environment to avoid blushing.

    For more information on how to dye the interior parts in your Corvette, read our technical article "Dyeing Plastic & Vinyl Parts" at Corvette

  • Corvette Shop & Service Manuals On CD for 1953-1981 Corvettes

    Corvette Shop/Service Manuals On CD Corvette Shop/Service Manuals On CD

    The original Corvette shop & service manuals provided to Chevrolet service technicians for Corvette repair and maintenance are now available on CD in PDF format. The new Corvette Shop & Service Manual CD's for 1953-1981 will run on both Windows & Macintosh if you have Adobe Reader 7.0 or higher installed.

    Each shop & service manual is broken down into basic operating systems and shows how to remove, disassemble and rebuild major components on your C1, C2 or C3 Corvette. Step by step instructions are designed for the novice or professional mechanic and allow you to work on your Corvette at your own pace with the reassurance that you are getting the job done right. Each shop & service manual also includes diagnostics, troubleshooting, required tools, and Corvette wiring diagrams to assist with any aspect of your Corvette restoration. You will truly be satisfied with these manuals on CD as they are loaded with original factory photographs and illustrations from beginning to end.

    These hard-to-find factory shop manuals are published by Detroit Iron. The CD contains the information as published in the original paper manuals for 1953-1981 Corvettes. Each CD has been completely revised meaning that all images from the original factory manuals have been re-scanned for clarity, and they even include easy search capabilities. No more flipping through a huge binder!

    Common areas included in Corvette Shop & Service Manuals include:

    • Brakes
    • Steering
    • Front and Rear Suspension
    • Wheels and Tires
    • Axles and Drivelines
    • All Electrical Systems
    • Engine Mechanical
    • Engine Fuel
    • Transmissions
    • Accessories
    • Frame
    • Cooling System
    • Instruments and Gauges
    • Lighting System
    • Fuel Tank and Exhaust System
    • Body

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  • Corvette Body Repair Guides On CD (Volumes 1-6)

    Corvette Body Repair Guide Corvette Body Repair Guide

    Be it poor panel fit, seams showing, or even large-scale damage, the fact is most all old Corvettes have had some sort of body problem. Author Ray J. Shiro shares his 32 years of experience in the Corvette body repair business in this set of step-by-step guides for the do-it-yourself enthusiast. Written in "plain language", these easy-reading Cd's (with printable documents) cover location of body seams, seam repair, bonding adhesives, panel removal and replacement, complete front or rear assembly and more.

    Volume 1 includes: 1963-1967 Corvette front body panel removal & replacement, headlight assembly removal, replacement & adjustment, body seam repair, body panel splicing repair techniques and a body restoration guide. This midyear body repair guide on Cd includes over 165 photos throughout with detailed explanations and 24 illustrations, which will help make your Corvette's restoration much easier.

    Volume 2 includes: 1963-1967 rear Corvette body panel removal & replacement, crack repair, panel splicing, body seam repair and a body restoration guide. This volume includes over 195 photos with detailed explanations and 17 illustrations that will help you repair or replace your C2 Corvette's rear body panels.



    Corvette Body Repair Guide Corvette Body Repair Guide

    Volume 3 includes: 1968-1982 Corvette complete front end replacement, door skin replacement, T-top panels, body panel removal and replacement. Over 180 photos with detailed explanations and 24 illustrations are included in this C3 Corvette Body Repair Guide.

    Volume 4 includes: 1968-1982 Corvette headlight assembly, headlight adjustments, door jamb replacement, complete rear body replacement, crack repair, body panel splicing and body seam repair. The 170 plus photos and 11 illustrations are sure to help with the restoration of any C3 Corvette.

    Volume 5 includes: 1984-1996 C4 Corvette headlight assembly & adjustments, door jamb splice, front bumper assembly, hood replacement, front lower fender, firewall repair, dog leg panel and a body restoration guide. Over 220 photos and 11 illustrations are included to help restore your C4 Corvette's body to its original form.

    Volume 6 includes: 1984-1996 C4 Corvette complete door skin & door removal and replacement, rear quarter panel removal & replacement, top panel removal and a body restoration guide. Volume 6 of the Corvette Body Restoration Guides on Cd includes over 280 photos and 10 illustrations with detailed instructions for a much simpler restoration.

    Purchase online at Zip Corvette Parts

  • Corvette Restoration Tip: Cable Driven Wiper Transmission

    The 1956-1962 Corvette Wiper Arms were cable-driven from the Corvette's Wiper Motor. A drum behind the firewall rotated multiple cables to each transmission. Fortunately, these transmission cables do not require adjustment on a regular basis; however, when adjustment is needed, either from cable stretching or following a new installation, Chevrolet designed a system where cable tension can be increased by simply pressing on the outer end of the transmission shaft.

    Corvette Wiper Transmission Corvette Wiper Transmission

    To illustrate, each transmission has two spools – one for each drive cable. The inside face of each spool has cast teeth locking them together. When the transmission shaft is pressed down, the two spools separate and an internal spring allows the spools to rotate to their tightest position. Once pressure is removed from the transmission shaft, the spools are locked together again and the cables are tight against the wiper motor drum. When removing the transmission, the operation will require the help of an additional person. With one person pressing down on the wiper transmission shaft to “unlock” the spools, the second person (inside the Corvette) must pull against the cables, rotating the spools against the pressure of the spring. Once all the necessary slack is obtained, the wiper transmission shaft can be released and the spools will lock together. This slack will allow the cables to be removed from the wiper motor drum. The Corvette's Wiper Transmission can then be removed.

    Purchase online at Zip Corvette Parts

  • Corvette Restoration Tip: Aluminum Dash Insert

    Early Corvette Interiors featured a rich tapestry of different materials, textures, and surface finishes. One of the more outstanding features is the aluminum dash insert found in 1958-1962 Corvettes. Replacing the dash insert is not complicated but does require attention to detail and patience.

    Aluminum Dash Insert Aluminum Dash Insert

    Begin by removing the screws holding the chrome escutcheons at each end of the passenger side grab bar. Slide the escutcheons toward the center of the bar to expose the screws hidden beneath them. Remove these screws and lift the bar out. Unscrew the nuts that retain the insert assembly to the dash by reaching behind the insert. Once the nuts are removed separate the insert assembly from the dash. Once the insert assembly is out you will see how it is put together. The delicate aluminum insert sits on a heavy steel backing and is held by thin stainless steel trim that clips over the edges of the aluminum and steel around the perimeter. The stainless trim is tack welded to the steel backing and you must cut the welds, a task best accomplished with a small grinder or rotary cutting tool. Take care not to cut beyond the weld or you risk damaging a part of the stainless trim that is visible. After the welds are ground pull the stainless off and separate the aluminum from the backing. Glass bead and paint the normally rusty backing and polish the stainless trim. Lay the new insert onto the backing and carefully clip the stainless back into position. Avoid touching the insert as it scratches easily and even the oil from your fingers can blemish it. Gently clamp the assembly so that both pieces of stainless fully seat. Apply a thin layer of two-part epoxy to the area where the stainless meets the steel backing on the reverse side. After the epoxy dries remove the clamps and reinstall your newly restored assembly.

    Purchase online at Zip Corvette Parts

  • Corvette Brake Calipers - Original Style vs. O-Ring Seal

    One of the most popular questions asked when replacing Corvette Brake Calipers on Midyear and C3 Corvettes is: should I install the original style brake caliper (Lip Seal Design) or the newer O-Ring Seal style? The correct answer is not to install one over the other, but to decide which caliper will be better suited for your restoration or Corvette Brake Overhaul. Not sure which brake caliper is right for you?

    Corvette Brake Caliper Corvette Brake Caliper

    Original Shark-era Corvettes had the lip seal design caliper installed. With that said if you would like to keep your Corvette 100% correct then the lip seal is the way to go. However, be aware that prolonged inactivity and/or worn brake components are the enemy of the lip seal design and can very quickly cause your Corvette's Brake Calipers to leak. If you enjoy exercising your Corvette heartily, or, conversely, your pride and joy often sits for extended periods, O-ring seals are the better choice. They are superior in design all around and offer the best sealing possible.

    Now available at Zip Corvette are both front and rear brake caliper o-ring conversion kits. These kits will allow you to convert your Corvette's Brake Calipers from the original lip seal design to the long lasting o-ring design pistons. The kits include four o-ring style pistons for front and rear calipers, o-rings, dust boots and caliper fluid seals. There are enough components in each kit to convert a single caliper to the o-ring design.

    Purchase online at Zip Corvette Parts