Body Off Restoration of 1964 Corvette Coupe – Part 40

I have been very busy since the last post and decided it was time to complete the series on the restoration of my 1964 Corvette coupe.


When I checked the AC gauge this morning, they were exactly the same as yesterday afternoon so I feel confident that I do not have any leaks. I charged the system this morning. No issues and it was putting out air nearly as cold as the outside temperature. Which says a lot about how unusually cold this spring has been. The normal high here this time of year is 66 while the current temperature is 45. While I know many people up north would kill for that temp, it is all relative.

After charging the AC, I took it to the alignment shop. For the first time in nine months, I have no car to work on.

I had no sooner posted the previous post when the alignment shop called to say the car was done. It is about seven miles to the alignment shop on one of my favorite local twisty roads. On the way back, a current generation Camaro SS wanted to play. We were running about 65-70 and I stayed right with him through the twisties. Big difference with the alignment as they said the rear was way out of spec. Can ran good. Have a vibration issue that I think may be related to where the exhaust goes through the tube. I knew it was close and I might be hitting. Something to check out

As I mentioned in the earlier post, it is cool today. The Vintage Air heater sure worked well. Would run me out of there if I hadn’t turned it down.

Temp gauge stayed right where it should be and the oil pressure was good. Overall, I am very happy with my first extended drive. Only a few glitches to correct.


I dropped the Corvette off at Detroit Speed to have their new headlight motors installed. Since they are only 30 miles or so from my house, I talked with them last week about having them install the motors. I figured if there is a glitch on this all new product then they would be in the best position to solve it. Mine will be the first one of the production kits installed.

As usual, everyone is super friendly there. Today my buddy Reese and I met Stacy Tucker who personally thanked me for purchasing their product. I told her that I had been very happy to hear they were producing the kit as I knew from first hand experience that their products were high quality. I had installed their wiper motor on my Pro-Touring Camaro and my son and I installed their Quadra Link rear suspension on his ’69 Camaro. They have already sold 34 of the first 50 kits produced. They are offering $50 off the normal kit price through the end of April.



3-27-13 detroit speed '64 Corvette sm 3-27-13 detroit speed headlight motors sm 3-27-13 detroit speed urinal smHere are some photos showing my car in front of their sign and the kit. On the last photo, notice the handle on the urinal. These are serious car people!!!!







Got the car back and the headlights work as advertised. Very happy with them. The AC duct did present a small challenge. I had moved my hood release bracket to the right where it is located in an AC car. They mounted the control unit in the original hood release bracket holes but had to notch it to clear the side bracket for the AC duct. Very clean installation.



Only had this afternoon to work on the car.

When I left Detroit Speed’s shop yesterday, we ran into pretty heavy traffic for about four miles. I happened to glance at the temp gauge and it was higher than it has been running. As soon as we got on the open road, the temp went back to normal. As we entered our huge metropolis of Rockwell and hit some stop lights, it went up again. Once I got back to my driveway, as I suspected, the cooling fan was not running.

There are only three wires to the fan and the first wire I checked was the 12V constant which had a blown fuse. I replaced the fuse and ran the motor long enough for the fan to kick on which it did. Evidently, during the installation of the headlight motors, the tech somehow shorted that line. Should be good to go now.



3-29-13 hood sm 3-29-13 hood 4 sm 3-29-13 hood 2 smReese came over later this afternoon and we installed the hood.






My kick pad carpets finally arrived yesterday. I will install those first thing tomorrow morning along with the sill plates. We have a car show to attend later in the morning. Planning on trying to make that show.




3-30-13 interior 5 sm 3-30-13 interior 3 sm 3-30-13 interior 4 sm 3-30-13 interior 2 smGot up early this morning (5:30) and installed the kick panel carpets and the sill plates.





Took a quick shower, ate some breakfast and left with my buddy Reese about 9:00 to go to a car show in Concord, NC. This is the third year the show has been held at Golden Gait Trailers, a seller of car, cargo, commercial and about any type of trailer you can think of including the one on display that was a five bed hospital!!



3-30-13 top 20 sm 3-30-13 golden gait show 3 sm 3-30-13 golden gait show 2 sm 3-30-13 golden gait show 4 smIt was the first really nice day was have had this spring (is has been at least 20 degrees cooler than normal for the past two months) so there was a huge turnout. Well over three hundred cars from the Charlotte area. Lots of very nice cars. At the end of the day, they passed out plaques to the “Top 20” cars. And I came home with one of those plagues. I was very surprised when my name was called.


I talked to a number of current and former C2 owners who were very impressed with the DSE headlights.


3-30-13 golden gait show 5 smHere is a shot of my car next to my buddy Reese’s ’38 Chevy.








4-1-13 knock off wheels 5 sm 4-1-13 knock off wheels smAt the tail end of last year Virginia Vettes had a special on the bolt on knock-off’s and I bought a set. I also bought a set of Diamondback whitewall tires. I cannot remember the last time I had whitewalls on a car but I had seen some photos of silver blue cars with them and I thought they looked good. Had the tires mounted today and got them on the car. Now I have two totally different looks depending on which set of wheels are on the car. For the show this weekend, I will be showing the whitewalls.



Spring Autofair 2013 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway was, as usual, fantastic, this year. Thursday was a washout with rain and temps in the 30’s with sleet????? However, the weather turned for the better on Friday and got better and better as the weekend progressed. Reese and I spent all day Friday exploring the vendors and the cars for sale. While there were a ton of interesting cars for sale, my fancy fell on a 1964 Riviera with a LS1 motor and 460LE tranny in a beautifully done burgundy interior and exterior. What a cruiser that would make.




4-6-13 2013 autofair spring 3 sm 4-6-13 2013 autofair spring 2 sm 4-6-13 2013 autofair spring 5 sm 4-6-13 2013 autofair spring 6 sm 4-6-13 2013 autofair spring 7 sm 4-6-13 2013 autofair spring 10 sm 4-6-13 2013 autofair spring 16 sm 4-6-13 2013 autofair spring sm 4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 6 sm 4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 7 sm 4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 8 sm 4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 9 sm 4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 10 sm 4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 13 smSaturday morning the alarm rang at 4:45AM. Zero dark early!!! Carolina Classic Corvettes and Victory Lane Corvette Club showed together and we met at a Bojangles near the track for breakfast. While Carolina Classic Corvettes welcomes C1’s, 2’s and 3’s, Victory Lane has the late model Corvettes. A good combination. This would be the first time I hooked up with these people and they were a great bunch. How great would be shown late Sunday afternoon.

With both clubs being new, prime show spots were not available to us. We had pretty decent traffic on Saturday but the forum members who wanted to see the ’64 had to really search. But search they did and I met a number of members who have subscribed to this thread including Jack Fox whose beautiful ’65 coupe was parked next to mine. Thanks to those who found the car and for the positive comments.



4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 16Judging happened on Saturday with awards presented on Sunday after the second day of fantastic lunches provided by the clubs. Great food. It was close but I won “Best of Show” for our clubs. I was really appreciative.







The tradition at this show is that each of the club’s “Best of Show” winners lines up on pit lane and then enters the “Winner’s Circle” for congratulations from a pretty lady and a photo op. This is a big show with many clubs represented so the line on pit lane was long and slow moving. It took about 45 minutes to filter everyone through so there was a lot of starting the car, moving up a bit, shutting down and then do it over again.


4-7-13 2013 autofair spring 15 smEventually, I arrived it the “Winner’s Circle”, had my moment of glory and then drove away. I got about three hundred feet away when the motor died. I hit the key and was rewarded with the sound of silence as the battery was dead. I was pushed twice, it restarted and died again. The second last time it died was just as I entered the uphill tunnel to exit the track. Now I was blocking a bunch of people. With the help of friends, I got the car backed out of the way and got another jump from the track service truck. This time I made it through the tunnel but it died again on one of the track perimeter roads and it was time to recognize that I was not going to be driving the car home. The main suspicion is on the alternator not doing its job but that will be determined sometime this week. So, while it was a day of high moments, the car arrived home on a rollback. Many thanks to Jack and Bob and all the others who helped me in my time of need.


Later this afternoon, I did get a chance to take the car to the electrical shop that had rebuilt the alternator.  He tested it and it was not charging the battery.  He unplugged the two prong plug and put a test wire to one each of the contacts separately and checked them.  On the one side, it was charging as it should.  The other side was not which indicates that it is not getting the correct feed from the voltage regulator.  I had installed a new regulator but I have the old one which was working.  I am going to install the old one tomorrow and take it back to him to see if that solves the problem.


Today is my car’s birthday. 49 years old and looking forward to another 49.

After doing some research last night, I bought a solid state voltage regulator, VR-715, from my local Autozone. According to what I read, the solid state regulators are more reliable and put out a more constant voltage.



4-9-13 voltage regulator 2 sm 4-9-13 voltage regulator sm 4-9-13 voltage regulator 3 smInstalled it and took it back to the alternator guy and all is well. He did say that it was only putting out 12V at idle and noted that my pulley was larger than what he normally sees. I looked it up and my 3 5/8″ pulley is correct for the L76 motor. Shouldn’t be a problem in normal driving.







4-13-13 Kannapolis 3 sm 4-13-13 Kannapolis 2 sm 4-13-13 Kannapolis 4 smOne of the best cruise-in’s around here is held monthly in Kannapolis, the home of Dale Earnhardt. It officially begins at 3:30. I arrived around 1:30 and the primary street parking was nearly full!!! May have to go over the night before.  Jack Fox reserved some spaces for our club members. It was a perfect spring day and we all enjoyed good friends and lots of great cars.



4-15-13 spark plugsYesterday morning I pulled the plugs to see if the carburetor was set properly. They looked great. Won’t be doing this very often as the wire shields are a pain.





4-13-13 speedometer gear 2 sm 4-13-13 speedometer gear smI checked the speedometer against my GPS last week and found it was reading about 7mph slow!! Lucky I didn’t get a ticket. I called American Powertrain and they had me down for 215/70 tires instead of the correct 215/65. They sent me the correct gear and I installed it today. Now the speedometer is right on. The pink gear was the one that I originally received.






4-16-13 power outlets 2 sm 4-16-13 power outlets smI had purchased a triple power outlet but neglected installing it as I was trying to reach my goal of making it to Autofair. I installed it today and mounted it to the bottom of the right side AC duct. Now I have a place to plug in the GPS, phone charger, etc. I have one of these in the Porsche as well.






I had been having a problem with stabilizing the idle. After talking with my son, we decided the first thing to do was to make sure the ignition wires were in good shape and were not breaking down. The plug wires looked to be in good shape so I had not replaced them. Because of all of the ignition shielding, replacing them now was more of a job.



4-20-13 ignitor III sm 4-20-13 resistor sm 4-20-13 coil smI had previously purchased a Pertronix Ignitor III module along with a Flamethrower coil. I found a source for Flamethrower plug wires made up to fit our C2’s with the shielding. The Ignitor III has the capability of setting a rev limiter. You can either do it in the car or it can be done on the bench with a 9V battery. Once you hook up the battery and put in into the programming mode, the red light will flash slow and fast to tell you what the limit is set at. Out of the box it is set to 5500RPM which means you get five slow beeps for 5000 and five fast beeps for 500. A small Phillips screw driver is used to adjust it. I set it for 6500. The installation of this module also means you eliminate the resistor on the firewall. Basically, I moved the bottom wire to the top of the resistor.

I completed all of this work and still had the idling issue. I took the car to the guy who rebuilt the carburetor and told him to call me when he found something. He had a smoke machine so the first thing he did was check for vacuum leaks. He did not find any.

Next he disassembled the carburetor and discovered the power valve he had installed was defective. He put a new one in and called me to say it was better but not what is should be. Just to make sure everything was up to snuff, he hooked up a timing light to check the timing. We had set it to factory specs of 10 degrees BTDC which is what is was showing. However, while he had the timing light hooked up, the engine started to idle down. As it idled down, the timing changed dramatically to 2 degrees ATDC.

He pulled the distributor and discovered that the weights and the plate below them were very loose on the shaft. Plus it had incorrect springs. He ordered new parts and put it on his distributor machine and then re-installed it. Now it idles like it is supposed to.

He also saw a puff of vapor out of one of the carburetor vent tubes which, according to him, usually means the carb is starving for gas. He checked the tank and I had about 2-3 inches of gas in the tank. He put a mirror in the tank and could see that the pickup was barely below the gas level. He said he could probably adjust it but would have to pull it. Since the tank was already low on gas, now was the time to do this. Once he had it out, he called me to say it was a Chinese piece of junk. It had come with my new gas tank.

In spite of having my gauges rebuilt, my gas gauge was not working properly. I had talked to the gauge guy and he said one way to check was to pull the sender wire with the ignition on. With it off the gauge should read 1/2. Touch the sender wire to ground and it should read empty. Touch it to 12V and the gauge should read full. I asked Duane to do this and he discovered that the sender did not work. I ordered a GM Restoration sender which he installed and now the gauge works fine.



5-14-13 idle compensator 5 sm 5-14-13 idle compensator 7 sm 5-14-13 idle compensator smI also had purchased a Holley idle compensator solenoid but had not installed it. One of the reasons I had not installed it was that it required drilling and tapping two holes on the carburetor bottom plate. I could get to one of those holes but a tube on the side of the carburetor prevented me from accessing the area. Since he had the carburetor apart, I took the compensator to him which he installed. I ran the wire to the compressor so it now kicks on when the compressor does. It appears to work OK but does not have enough power to actually raise the idle level. However, if you bump the throttle a bit, it will then retain the higher idle level.


Now I have a gas gauge that works, an engine that idles and compensation for when the AC kicks on. All for the princely sum of $150!!!! Hard to beat that deal. I should have hired him to restore the car!! He was really glad to get the car out of his shop as he was so worried something would happen to it.

And so ends the saga of the restoration process.  I  enjoyed the ride as well and had lots of help, not the least of which are the Corvette forum members who offered suggestions and corrections.

My son Matt was a huge help. It’s good to have a son who is not only book smart but has practical skills as well. Back when he was around 13 or so, if I was having problems figuring something out, I could ask him and he generally had an answer. He was born to be the mechanical engineer he became. I called him many times during this project.

His friend and colleague Nick also was very helpful. He and his father had done a number of body off projects so he was our go-to guy when we took the body off. He is a fabricator who also has a mechanical engineering degree and works with Matt at Toyota Racing Development in Salisbury, NC. They do the R & D for Toyota’s NASCAR teams. He did a fantastic job on the frame repair.

My neighbor and buddy Reese was invaluable in transporting the frame to the refinisher twice, picking up the body dolly and taking the body to the painter. He also lent a helping hand when needed. And I could not have done it without my daily visit from his dog Max!!! If I happened to be on the floor, I was fair game for some serious kissing!!!

Two of my other neighbors, Bob and Paul, also helped out.

Thanks also go to fellow forum member Greg Hunt for loaning me the body dolly. He was also a go to guy for questions since he has done a number of restorations.

While thanking people, I don’t want to forget the surgeon who repaired my badly broken wrist. He complimented me on doing a really, really good job of breaking it.

And finally, thanks to my long suffering wife Sharon. She has put up with this car madness for nearly 45 years and had no idea what she was getting into. I did manage to get her involved with car stuff when I convinced her to autocross and to do track events when we were active in that area some years ago. She was a very good driver who put a lot of guys on the trailer.  And she let me store the hood in her bedroom for many months!!!!



  1. Jerry your gonna laught at this one but its true see the reflection
    on the back of the hood from the air cleaner at the car show .
    The paint blistered on my 63 right thru to the surface on a sunny
    day I always put a towel on air cleaner to stop heat to the underside of hood.Richard The black 63

    • I learned about this issue after that photo was taken. A friend of mine told me about it after he had it happen to his car. I made a cover for the air cleaner out of a Walmart steering wheel cover and keep it in the car. Thanks for thinking of me.




  2. Would you happen to have pictures of how you spliced the compensator to your compressor?

    • I don’t know what a compensator is?

      • The Holley Fast Idle solenoid to bump up the rpm’s.

  3. Wasn’t thinking clearly. I should have known what you were referring to. Here are some links to photos on my Photobucket site:

    I hope these pics help. Good luck on your project.


    • I think I got the idea now! Looks to be tapped into the wire coming straight off of the compressor. I was hoping that is what it was. Should be fairly simple. Thank you for the quick response.

  4. you did a great job on discription and photo’s, thank you sir!!!

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