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MrObsessive

1968 Chevy Corvette 427 L/88 Convertible resto Update! 2/2/19

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When I finished my '74 Corvette resto, I had mentioned that the next one on the agenda was Revell's '68 that I built when it first came on the scene in 1988. Well, I've been making some progress and I'm rebuilding this pretty much like I do my other models. First the bodywork, then the engine, chassis and interior in that order.

Here's what's up so far........................

You remember seeing this mess as I posted these couple pics with the '74 when it was about done.

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Well, this is how I found it originally. Lord knows how many years of dust and muck collected. It was in a somewhat open box which was in a seldom used closet.

The windshield frame was somewhat bent which I was able to straighten and there was a hardtop with it, but it's among the missing. I don't know what happened to that. I've since bought a cheap parts kit and it has both the soft top and hardtop which was a plus.

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I carefully pulled the bumpers and lower trim off the body and since I was never one to use a ton of glue on things, I was able to get the windshield out very easily. Unlike the '74 'Vette which I just finished, I may go ahead and use the original glass on this one and save the trouble of vacuforming one .That'll depend on how it looks when I test fit it. I hate distorted looking glass as that takes away from the overall appearance and IMO can make the model look toy like.

I thought that I had simply cleared the plastic but no, this was painted, I just don't remember with what. Might have been Model Master Red. Anyway, I used some Easy Off to strip the paint and an old toothbrush to get to the stubborn areas.

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Here's the pile of parts....... ;)

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The engine was taken apart, stripped and then repainted in Chevy engine orange. One thing I did do that I didn't in 1988 was to get rid of that glue seam on the oil pan. The block came in halves and while it's easier to mold a kit that way I suppose, it wreaks havoc on having to get rid of it and then having to barrier the plastic so it doesn't show up again after it's painted.

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My tried and true Parafilm as this will get a LOT of handling while I'm working on it.  

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I wanted to get a set of those beautiful Holley Carburetors from Fireball Model Works. I sent Joseph an order, and within a week they showed up. Very, very nice and if you've never bought from him, you'll love these once they're on any engine. He molds his on a block, so it's a just a matter of carefully cutting them away from the block as you see here.

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Get a load of all that detail on something this tiny! If I had known about these when I was building my '67 Mustang a few years ago, I would have definitely been a customer then!

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Just a mock up of the carb on the manifold for the time being. I made a couple brackets for the spring and throttle.

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Throttle linkage done......not every nut and bolt's represented, just something a little extra to bring it a bit more to life. I did scratchbuild the distributor as the 30 gauge Kynar wire I needed to use, seemed to be very fussy going into a resin distributor I had.

I didn't want any drama out of fighting those wires, so I went ahead and scratchbuilt my own.

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An alternator bracket made from PE and plastic. I have it so that it'll bolt onto the block like the 1:1 and I'll need to make a pulley and tiny fan for it.

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Speaking of pulleys, I modified the kit's pulleys a bit to give them more depth. I'm not crazy about kit fan belts and pulleys as there's never enough definition to them. These will get painted semi gloss black and I still have belt material I can use.

That's all for now folks! I'll keep zeroing in on the engine for the rest of the week, and then it's on to redoing the chassis. I don't think I'll add any brake lines or such, but focus on painting things better this time around.

Thanks for tuning in!

Edited by MrObsessive

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Very nice work. I'm watching and learning!

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Very nice detail work!

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Beautiful! As always! 

Corvettes are one of my favorite subjects. I’ll be looking forward to updates.

Only one problem, your photo-etch wire looms make my scratch built Motion ones look terrible!😂

I may have to revisit them....👍

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Maybe I can bring them down a bit.

Edited by Superbird McMonte

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3 hours ago, MrObsessive said:

 

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Just a mock up of the carb on the manifold for the time being. I made a couple brackets for the spring and throttle.

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Magnificent carb & detail work!  But frankly I couldn't live with that gap between the intake manifold and heads. :huh:

I don't build many engines anymore, but when I do, this is one of the few things I pay attention to--a solid connection between the heads, block, and intake. I'll spend considerable time getting these mated up, even if it involves making "gaskets." 

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Outstanding engine detailing here. The brackets and the carb. linkage and return spring really ad to the depth. 

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Awesome! 👍

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@Snake45 Yeah, nothing's permanently 'set' at this point. One sticking point for me in regards to the heads and manifold is the color. Some pics I've seen show the heads are aluminum. Others show they're painted the engine block color.

Was this an option for the L/88? Was this year specific? (1967 vs. '68?) Race heads?

Anyone?

@Superbird McMonte That engine is looking great! I hadn't paid attention to the wire looms and looking at the ones I have, mine could stand to be not so 'flat'.

More work to do on this one. Gotta make the exhaust manifolds not quite so 'empty' looking, although the emptiness is on the inside, this should be no big deal. Also, getting the alternator pulley to line up with the other pulleys is going to be a bit of a challenge due to my scratchbuilt bracket. The trick is to get them to line up in some fashion by tacking them in place, then once I'm OK with that, permanently epoxying it to the heads with tiny brass rivets/bolts.

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L88 heads were aluminum. Just did a quick google-image search and most of them seem to be unpainted aluminum but I also found several pics of them painted Chevy Engine Red. I'd say you could go either way, your call, unless you're attempting to replicate some particular car (they were rare enough that this is possible). But many more L88s were swapped into cars than ever left the factory in new Corvettes, I believe, so modeling a "swap" is entirely feasible. 

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42 minutes ago, MrObsessive said:

@Snake45 Yeah, nothing's permanently 'set' at this point. One sticking point for me in regards to the heads and manifold is the color. Some pics I've seen show the heads are aluminum. Others show they're painted the engine block color.

Was this an option for the L/88? Was this year specific? (1967 vs. '68?) Race heads?

Anyone?

 

I found some were painted and some weren’t. It seems like Motion painted most of theirs. At least that’s what I see on unrestored cars.

If you want people to quickly identify it as an L88, paint them aluminum.

 

Edited by Superbird McMonte

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Hi Bill,

I will be following along and enjoying this Corvette resto like the one you did before. Your work on the engine looks terrific to me!

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just did a quick image search of the inventory at Pro-Team Corvettes.  several L88s restored by Nabors Bros. and others have unpainted heads.  These guys don't get much wrong in a restoration, and I'd be really surprised if they missed on something that visible.

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Bill,

  My understanding is that L88s were unpainted as they were intended for racing.  Paint doesn't make it any faster.  However, it was very common for customers to have aluminum heads (both factory and aftermarket) painted to disguise them as regular heads.  My suggestion, paint them aluminum to show their true nature.  If painted it will look like a regular head.

Thanks,

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Thanks for the info guys! I did go ahead and paint the heads Alclad Dull Aluminum. No pics right now as it's soon bedtime for me and I won't be setting foot downstairs again till this evening to get ready for work.

Yes, they do look more distinctive painted this way, so I'm glad I went through the extra trouble. B)

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I suspect that some street racers painted their bare L88 heads to disguise the fact that that's what they were. B)

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That carb is INSANE!

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Just now, bisc63 said:

That carb is INSANE!

Oh Yeah! Joseph is the BEST in the biz! It doesn't get any better than this! You can almost smell that Sunoco 260! :D

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Just a mini update for the moment. Got the engine all done as far as I'll go with it for now. The fan I won't try to put on until it's time to put the engine in the chassis. Since I modified the pulleys somewhat, I don't want to be surprised by 'scraping' or binding against the radiator.

Speaking of the chassis, that's next on the agenda. Got the old paint stripped off for the time being and then it'll be repainted. I thought about adding brake and fuel lines, but I'm going to let that go for this particular 'Vette. Way down the road I have another 'Vette planned which will be more detailed and I'll add that.

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Since this was essentially a race car for the street, I won't bother with adding heater hoses and such. Not many of these had heaters so it's no biggie. I have the air cleaner for it which I really had to hog out the inside so it'll sit down on the carb much better. That's in the tank now getting stripped and I'll repaint that gloss black, with the perimeter in some sort of dull gray to simulate the seal that ended up against the scoop inside the hood. If there's clearance troubles.............well I'll just leave that off.

Thanks for checkin' in guys!

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I believe the L88 cars were delivered without heaters, and maybe without radios too. They were supposed to be for "off road" use. 

Good looking engine. I see you got the intake and heads mated up, looks a lot better now! B)

BTW, I should be seeing our mutual friend at the toy show tomorrow. 

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There's a blanking plate on the dash where the radio is supposed to be and of course, there's no shielding for the distributor which makes it nice as I wanted to take some 'artistic license' and use those orange plug wires.  On the firewall, there's some sort of cover on the heater box, so whatever car they modeled, it more than likely had no heater.

Last I knew, George was in the hospital and I take it he may be back home but I don't know how well he's doing health wise. :(

I had heard this at our club meeting a few weeks ago........his wife had emailed someone in the club about him. 

 

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Wow, sorry to hear that about George. I know his health hasn't been the best for a while now but I always look forward to seeing him. :(

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Nice work, I will be watching !

 

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Very nice work. The way the plug wires sit, looks so real. And the carburetor is the icing on the cake.

I’ve also enjoyed learning about the L88 in this thread. A ton of great info!

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