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My New Project a 78 (1/6)
 3/18/21 12:24pm
HGN CRVZGold Member
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Vette(s):
1978 T-Top, 2004 Z16 CE


Joined: 2/16/2021
Posts: 7

I am an Expat working and living in Italy. I arrived in 2007 and shortly after realizing it really wasn't half bad living here, I brought my '04 Lemans Z16 over. That's another story for another forum. However, I am looking at retirement and wanted something to keep my hands busy tinkering with. I have always wanted a C3, almost buying a 76 in 1980. For over a year I have been looking, though not seriously enough to make a deal. However, in January one caught my eye. A 1978 base model that has been highly adjusted we'll say. Only two previous owners. I have 95% of the original parts, spare motor, 4 speed, rims and tires, plus a ton of extras he bought in his learning curve of American muscle and iron. 

I have started working on her and am slowly making my way towards a daily driver capable car. My main objective is to de-euorize the car, specifically the wiring harnesses. The previous owner was an aircraft mechanic and you can tell. The harnesses are fully loomed and sheathed to include heat shrink from the sheathing to the connectors. Too bad I can't see the colors of the wires and must peel back some of his work. I wouldn't need to do this if the car wasn't euroized. As my grandmother would say "Bless his heart", but this electrical system is scary.

I am making headway by pealing the heat shrink rather than starting over. Now I just need to find a source for the original crimp on pins and plastic connectors. My enjoyment is in the details of doing it myself. I found the main feed for the Power Accessory circuit above the glove box powering the turn signals. Only problem was that it was intended to be the main power feed, so in reality there was not power being fed.  I should have power accessories this weekend. I also use an ample helping of dielectric paste in all of the connectors to prevent and eliminate corrosion. NO air, No moisture, no corrosion.

 

 

 

 



______________

My LeMans CE Z16 at LeMans and the newest member of the family.  Both well above 400 HP and happy to run.

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Re: My New Project a 78 (2/6)
 3/20/21 11:47pm
NorskyLifetime Member
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Twin Lakes, CO - USA

Vette(s):
SOLD - "The Toy" - 1970 Convertible
SOLD - "The Beast" - 1990 ZR-1 (#682)
"BLKBRRD" - 1978 Trans Am, 400ci/225hp, 4 spd, Black w/black interior, Hurst t-tops


Joined: 1/23/2002
Posts: 6943

Welcome to C3VR and congrats on finding your "new love".  It sounds as if you will be able to keep your hands busy for a bit. 



______________

Jim Olson 

"The Toys"...!!!  Save the Wave!

Where I've been in a Corvette...!!!

Re: My New Project a 78 (3/6)
 3/24/21 6:04am
HGN CRVZGold Member
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Vette(s):
1978 T-Top, 2004 Z16 CE


Joined: 2/16/2021
Posts: 7

Finished installing electric actuators for the headlights. I went with the system which uses the C5 actuator system and controller. Nice easy install except I want the complete functionality of the C5, ie headlights only raise when headlights are activated, not when parking lights are on. Since I have a C5, I will research this and see if I can figure out some of the logic. I may be able to design something to provide the Exclusive OR function of Headlights low or High activation only. 

    I did remove all of the vacuum hoses, but I may just rerun the main chassis tank as a reserve for the rest of the car because the cam is a thumper and does not make vacuum. Couple of fittings and check valves should do the trick. Let me just say that a smoke machine is priceless on a vacuum centric car like these C3's. I had to get another cold snack and sit down when I saw the amount of smoke coming from leaks. Of course this was also aggravating the EFI system trying to maintain a desired idle speed and AFR.  I saw aa youtube video where a C3 owner used a cannister from a camaro mounted in the passenger wiper tray area. It resembled a tennis ball tube container in size.  Using what must be attached for it's intended function and repurpose it makes more sense to me.  IMHO. 



______________

My LeMans CE Z16 at LeMans and the newest member of the family.  Both well above 400 HP and happy to run.

Re: My New Project a 78 (4/6)
 3/24/21 12:08pm
Rawhide
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Johnstown, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Vette


Joined: 11/16/2020
Posts: 8

Sounds like you’ve been busy. You have also convinced me to make sure my motor doesn’t have a big cam in it. First time I have ever torn a motor down to de radicalize it. I hope you have good luck figuring out your lighting system.

Re: My New Project a 78 (5/6)
 6/3/21 6:28pm
HGN CRVZGold Member
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Vette(s):
1978 T-Top, 2004 Z16 CE


Joined: 2/16/2021
Posts: 7

Living and driving in Italy presents a problem of awareness for the other drivers realizing what my indicators are telling them. Because the C3 rear turn signals are red and in combination with the brake lights it could potentially be mistaken for braking when in fact I am signaling to turn. Also in the front the turn signals are amber, but also are the running/parking lights. The running/Parking lights are generally white over here, but by law turn signals must be amber. To solve the front color issue I installed switchback LED's and this problem was solved. The rear was just a little more difficult, but very similar. The biggest hurdle to over come was to retain the factory lens, but include the color scheme I need. My fix is to use the reverse lens as both the reverse white light and the amber turn signal. To separate the brake and turn signals I installed a 2 wire to 3 wire interface normally used to connect a trailer wiring circuit to a trucks lighting circuit. This interface provided separate brake and turn signals, but required me to run new wires for the turn signals since the old wires are now dedicated to brakes only. The final modification needed was to replace the stock reverse bulb sockets with two more brake/turn/tail bulb sockets. These sockets needed to be adjusted to fit into the original reverse lens. 5 minutes with a sharpe knife and Ta-Da. Factory lenses, factory brake lights, factory running/parking lights, factory reverse lights, and amber turn signals using the reverse lens and switchback LED's.

This new lighting scheme was not required as the car is alredy tagged inItaly by way of Germany. However, now all other drivers will see the normal color scheme of all other cars and understand instantly what my intentions are. I had to also add load resistors for the LED's. For a nice neat install I added weatherpack connectors to the resistor/2-3 wire interface box. Then mounted the resistors and interface on an aluminum L bracket which I bolted to the cross support behind the gas tank. All connections were soldered and heat shrinked to prevent corrosion in the future. I also saved all orogonal pieaces for potential return to factory original configuration. I also installed LED's in all sockets to minimize the current draw through the light switch, thusly reducing any heat build up.



______________

My LeMans CE Z16 at LeMans and the newest member of the family.  Both well above 400 HP and happy to run.

Re: My New Project a 78 (6/6)
 6/3/21 9:19pm
NorskyLifetime Member
Lifetime Member
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Twin Lakes, CO - USA

Vette(s):
SOLD - "The Toy" - 1970 Convertible
SOLD - "The Beast" - 1990 ZR-1 (#682)
"BLKBRRD" - 1978 Trans Am, 400ci/225hp, 4 spd, Black w/black interior, Hurst t-tops


Joined: 1/23/2002
Posts: 6943

A bit of work but a GREAT resolution.  I've heard that Italian drivers are a crazy bunch as it is so no need to add to the craziness.  As far as brake/tail lights and turn signals go I had to do just the opposite to my bride's Toyota RAV4 in order to pull a converted fishing boat trailer we use for bikes, canoes and kyaks.  Fortunately I found a solution on etrailer.com that took the 6 wire mess in the car down to a 4 wire that the trailer uses.  Hopefully there won't be any Italian drivers following too close as the amber turn signals still operate on the car...!!!   🤪



______________

Jim Olson 

"The Toys"...!!!  Save the Wave!

Where I've been in a Corvette...!!!

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