Livin’ with the Glitches – 07 Corvette

Technology…you love it, you hate it.

It’s the technology that can take a stock small block Chevy engine produce 420 hp and still get reasonable mpg’s. It’s the technology that kicks in the Active Handling when you get yourself in trouble ( I personally drive with it off).

But it’s the technology that can be troublesome and cause confusion.

My 2007 C6 has equal to or in some areas more technology them my wife’s 2011 Lexus RX.  Her car will let you know when the tire pressure is low, the Corvette lets you monitor it was you drive, right on the  Driver Information Center (DIC) and you can toggle between front and rear.  However my Corvette has nasty habit of giving me a false reading every now a then – gives me the “ding ding” warning and then prompts me that my is flat..not just low pressure, but straight to flat and then warns me not go to over 55 miles per hours.  The computer assumes you have run flat tires and that it’s safe to do so.  Of course there is nothing wrong with my tires pressure, (however, I always pull over to check it anyway with $1800 worth of rims and as much in rubber, you can’t be too careful).  Normally it clear up after a while.

Another interesting glitch is the “headlights suggested” warning.  That’s great but in the middle of a bright sunny Arizona day?  Happens all the time.  It darkens the dash so I can’t read it and then as some point it goes away and allows me to continue with just the daytime running light.

Every now and then the light for the passenger air bag show on, without a passenger.

One of other glitches which isn’t technology based, however none-the-less interesting.   It’s emerging now that, that C6 Corvettes with manual 6 speed transmission does not shift well in cold weather.  I’m not talking  85 degree below zero, I’m talking just under 50 degrees (above zero).  I live in southern AZ where under 50 degree weather isn’t as common as else where in the country. How do those of you in northern climates adjust?.  The most common issue is that the driver is unable to shift into reverse.  That is the issue for my 07.  Others have reported not being able to reach 3rd and 4th gears.

How about the known issue with the removal roof?  It often becomes unseated and squeaks unmercifully. The quick solution is to stop the car, unlatch and lift the top and the re-latch.  First ride I took my wife on, give her the impression that I got a lemon.

So are the glitches worth it?  Is the prestige of owning a world reknowned sports car worth the glitches?  Is 420 plus horsepower and suspension that sticks to the curves like a fly on flypaper?

What do you think?


Old Schoolin’ It 70 Mustang

Today I old schooled it.

No gadgets, no electronics, no error code readouts.

Just a ratchet, socket, feeler gauge and a set of 8 Autolite 45 spark plugs.  Oh and a crappy old garage radio, sometimes playing music sometimes just static.

It takes me back in reverse chronological order. Back to some of the important “car” stages in  my life.  Back to  my 82 Camaro, back further to my 69 Dodge Dart, back to my first 1966 Chevy (in 1976).

It takes me back one more stage, working in one of my father’s garages where I worked long days in the summer on customers cars and back a bit further watching my father work on our 61 Chevy Belair and his old Dodge pick up.  Even further back to my grandfather’s garage  with the half dirt half cement garage floor, watching the two of them trying to get that old early 1950 Ford or Chevy truck (we called it the “doodle bug” ..and no I don’t know how it got its name) running.

There was always a radio playing somewhere nearby often a baseball game or country music.

That’s one reason I love my 70 Mustang.  Working on it takes me back to those days.  Today I could have been 12 again, leaning over the fender of a real American made car, just the basic tools and an old radio tuned to a sports station recapping March Madness 2011.  It could have been 1970 again.

Finished up the job and fired the Mustang up and that started the way-back machine again.


1970 Coupe



Thanks for reading.


Quick Contest – Disc Brakes # Answer

Trivia question answer:
Short answer is:
Citroen DS 1955
Citroen DS had the first volume production of cars with caliper/disc brakes in 1955. Although production was on the light side that
year but picked up in 1956.
What wasn’t 100% correct and why:
–  1949 Crosley – yes it had attempted to use disc brakes on all four wheels.  They used Goodyear/Hawley and used aircraft calipers.
These were not designed for the stop and go traffic.  After 6 months all the Goodyear/Hawley brakes were removed and replaced with the standard drum brakes.  Although they are often considered the first American car to sport disc brakes even if the production run only lasted a few months.

Crosley Disc Brake Set Up

– Some might say that the 1902 Lanchester in England was the first, however the disc was thin copper and didn’t fare well.

1902 Lanchester's Disc Brake

– The 1949 Chrysler Imperial had a disc brake option, but it did not function like a disc brake system with a pair of disc pressing against in the inside of a drum.
–  There were a couple more manufacturers in the mix
Jensen (often considered the first) used four wheel disc brakes on there 1956 Deluxe, but not until Oct of that year and
production was only 50 some cars.
Austin-Healey used Dunlap disc brake on it’s 100 but it was a limited production race care where as Jensen was a street car.
Jaguar equipped their Le Mans winner in 1953, but again not a production car.
Triumph use Girling and Dunlop disc brake set ups in 1955, but mainly as tests (during the same Le Mans  where Jaguar won).  Girling impressed them the most, but it wasn’t until late 1956 that they began producing road cars with disc brakes.
So there you have the answer.
Thanks for reading.

Quick Contest – Disc Brakes

Ok contest time. Free gift if you are the first to post the correct answer. What was the first car with disc brakes?

Come lets see what you know,

1970 Ford Mustang Mod Project

1970 Ford Mustang Mod Project.

1970 Ford Mustang Mod Project Heat and Sound help

American Made – Are you sure?

Ran across the article with some interesting facts about what’s made in American.

What do you think is the most red-blooded American car?

Maybe this 07 Vette??

Our government declares that any car where 75% of its value  is from parts made in USA (or Canada) the car is American made.

But here are some numbers:

The Corvette above is only 75%  US where as the Honda Accord is 80% US, Toyota Camery is 80% US.

The Ford F150 is only 60% US.

The Dodge Challenger and Charger only 70% US.

The most American cars on the list are  Honda Accord and Element at 80% and 85% respectively, the Ford Explorer at 85% (90% for the 2010 model year) and the Dodge Grand Caravan at 82%.

Now you know.

Thanks for reading


Aluminum – Chrome 70 Mustang Brackets

As  I start gathering the different parts for all the new mods for my ’70 Mustang one thing I’m sure of is that I want a little more ‘bling” under the hood.  I think the Ford blue engine paint with the brushed nickel look of the current intake need something to offset that color scheme.  I’d like to do most of the brackets for the power steering, alternator, and ac compressor all in chrome. However that’s not going to be possible, if I rely on aftermarket/stock suppliers, as most of my brackets are custom-made. (That’s what you get when you keep the 6 cylinder components when you do a conversion to an 8 cylinder.)  So I’m going to make do with what I can find and the rest will remain iron.

Now with the cost of all this mods looming on the horizon and having less than the average budget, I’m trying to upgrade at least the tension portions of the  Alternator, A/C and the power steering to chrome.  My goal is to replace them with heim joints w/adjustable rods between them.  These are not inexpensive and often require some modification.

So in the pursuit of this end I purchased a kit from Summit Racing for my alternator. This was an all aluminum kit and only advertised as being for a ‘stock” 302 engine.  So going in I knew that it might not work at all.  This turned out to be correct except for the heim joints and the threaded aluminum rod.

So I going to use those for the tension rod for the alternator. However, it wasn’t chrome and had a very heavy coding to make it look like brushed nickel.  The goal for this pieces was to polish it up and see how “bling” like it could look.  This would be a series of repeated sanding, buffing and polishing.

I used my Dremel, sanding disks and buffing and polishing wheel, 200 and 600 grit sand paper and Purple Metal polish, cotton rag (ok..fine it was an old t-shirt) and a vice.

Dremel buffing while and 160 grit sanding disc

Now the 160 grit disk might have been a bit much but the coating was pretty tough and the disc made quick work but did leave a few marks on the test sample that might have causes a bit more work with the lighter grits.

This is actually purple in color and gritty like rubbing compound.

In short the process started with hitting the test piece (one of the stock bracket parts that wouldn’t fit) with the 160 grit disk via the Dremel.  Next I ran the 220 grit sandpaper (by hand) over the aluminum and then the 600 grit and then with the buffing/polishing wheel via the Dremel with a coating of the Purple metal polish.  I switched it up by using some metal polish with the 600 grit sandpaper.

It took a lot of elbow grease and a couple of hours.  Here is what the test piece looks like. You can see the aluminum w/coating and polished portion.

Chrome? Absolutely as shining as chrome.

Now there are some in perfections in the aluminum and if not being careful with the sanding you can leave gouges but generally you can get this type of shine and it looks very close to chrome without the cost, just some elbow grease.

Next will be the polishing of the actual rod that will connect the two heim joints (they are already polished steel).  (I’ve already started, but you won’t see it until it complete.)


Heim joint on one end and the aluminum rod.

Thanks for reading.



Goodguys’ Car Show – Favorites

So I thought I’d take the last few post and just show you some of my favoriates.

First up is a 1957 Ford Fairlane.  Beautiful car with a little some’in extra under the hood.  Check it out:

1957 Ford Fairlane - great looking wheels!

 Great view of the portapotties  – I guess I should have photo shopped them, but that wouldn’t make you feel you were actually there. 

Oh..I bet you didn’t see that one coming!!!! Knocking out some HP with that set up.
Sorry but I have to go back to the wagons.  The two doors are the best!
1957 Chevy Wagon - 2 doors - Great...newish LS2 Corvette engine...enough already!!!
You need to check out this next car!!!
They did this 1960 Ford Starliner just right!!

Header cutouts with side pipes and those headlights!!!!

But check out the bling!!!

Now say that ain't nice!!!

Thanks for reading.
Couple more coming up.