2015/2016 Winter Progress (New engine, again)

Unfortunately for me, the winter car progress of 2015/2016 started off with a bang. Okay, more of a knocking. I went out to the Beach Barons Rod Run in Longbeach Wa with my Girlfriend. While out there, the car developed a faint tinging sound under acceleration. Metal on metal, it sounded like my fan had come loose. Not something beyond the realm of possibility for this car. Unfortunately, tightening up the fan bolts did nothing and the knocking became deafening under acceleration. Alas, I had rod knock. Dropping the oil pan and feeling the rod bearings it was clear rod #2 had bearing failure. Superior Performance in Portland Oregon confirmed my suspiscion, and thus began the long battle of "whose fault was it" with the engine. Superior performance cleared me of any configuration issues. The engine builder tried to claim I'd somehow switched up the firing order putting cylinder 2 90 degrees out on detonation. Fortunately for me, I had plug wire holders still on my distributor cap along with some line clamps that kept everything presentable and also in their order so I could tell their claim was bullshit. I requested the engine back and prepared to lawyer up, after all... they were trying to fuck me out of a $9k motor. They shipped it back in the end though rebuilt, and all seems well.

This put me back on progress for the 2015/2016 overhaul, although it just cost me about $2500 more than expected (engine removal, engine replacement, and some other work) but it also enabled me to accomplish a lot more with Superior Performance's help. The engine also seems to have come back stronger as the engine dyno chart showed a notable jump in power. It now puts out 423hp and 437ft/lbs of torque.

With the engine out of the car I had Superior Performance clean up and paint the engine bay. They redid all of the wiring in wire looms and damn did they make it look good! The entire Corvette looks absolutely excellent now with everything clean painted in the engine bay.

As we were now reinstalling the engine, I took this opportunity to get new headers and sidepipes. The original hooker headers my dad was so keen on were rusted to high heck. The sidepipes themselves were so rusted that holes had developed in them. This wasn't going to stand. So on went the new Ceramic Coated Hooker Headers and sidepipes.

A DeWitts direct fit aluminum radiator was installed as part of this winters build. The original was also rusty, and in general just heavy. The new Aluminum radiator ditched a lot of excess weight along with bringing a major visual improvement to the engine bay. To top this part of the project up, new hoses were used as well.

Some other minor improvements were made along the way. After nearly knocking myself unconcious discovering the original cast iron starter weighed a portly 45lbs (I removed it while directly under it not realizing it's weight), a modern lightweight alternative was in order.

All in all, I was able to make lemons out of lemonade with the engine situation. The engine itself even came back better as the builder cleaned the block and my fathers classic valve covers. The car looks like something else entirely now! Check it out in the pictures below: