I last drove her 16 years ago and now am ready to get her on the road
again. No longer have the patience or time to do the work myself, like
I did the first time around (everything was perfect last time I drove
it). I would appreciate recommendations of corvette repair /
restoration shops in the NW Houston area. You can also email at
tkdfans at flash dot net.
You might want to buy a running one instead. Some of these shops will charge
you enough to buy a nice running car.
There are a couple I have seen that really get ripped on Corvette Forum, but
I think they are on the south side, so you are safe away from them.
After 16 years, I see the following:
1. Brakes - it goes without saying. the easiest is to unbolt the old
calipers, trade for SS sleeved calipers. $400 +/- $50 most places and they
will take you about 2 to 3 hours to do.
2. Carb - it is probably filled with dried crud and varnish. $15 kit for a
Q-Jet, an hour to take it apart, let it soak overnight in solution, an hour
to put it back together and on the car. Shop will hit you for $200 to $300
for that. The usual problem is the well plugs leaking. Many web sites
cover it. Search "Q-Jet rebuild". Basically, you can re-peen them with a
small hammer and punch, then epoxy over them to seal.
3. Interior - moldy. Unless it was in the middle of the desert, it probably
is. Only real cure is remove the moldy carpet and replace. Seats might
clean with a bucket of half & half water and bleach and a day or two of
soaking up sunlight. Pick a hot sunny day, pull the top/tops off, and let
it soak up some rays until the sun goes down. I do this when I wash them
out. Park them in the back yard, put the tops about 10 am once the sun is
high, and close them up about 7. Carpet will run about $300 and a full
Saturday afternoon. Shop will hit you for $1000 easily.
4. Restarting the engine - go see the "restart ..79" thread down below, or
before, or however your reader works.
Then the rest depends on what shape the car is in.
Paint, most need a painter and have to figure $4000 to $10,000 with most
averaging around $6000 recently.
Chrome - a couple of chrome shops have told me it is cheaper and better to
buy new or in stock rechromed bumpers than to have yours chromed. So unless
you have a local chrome shop, you might think about that. This is a bit of
work, and can take a day or so to remove and replace.
Rust - this can be a killer. You cold have a rusted frame, brake lines, and
so on. If that is the case, it is really easiest to remove the body and get
in there right. If a shop does it, you can begin seeing $10,000 real fast
for them to pull the body and do any work.
If it is more intense, and you are after a restoration, you can figure
$20,000 minimum with few parts and not rare parts. $30,000 seems like a more
common number these days and again, parts. If your '71 is something special,
rare, or in really bad shape, figure a restoration could get to $50,000
before you know it.
I know you may want to do the shop for many reasons, but I've never have
been big on shops. And even less after a guy on Corvette Forum with a '65
coupe was charged $665 by MSI (Motor Sports I???) in Sacramento to remove
the bolt and bushing from one trailing arm.
Flat rate on that is 1 hour so it should have been $95 plus the $10 bushing
The best bet you could have is join a local Corvette club, and find someone
who privately does work like this on the side.
thanks for the advice...checking the local corvette clubs is a good
the car has been garaged the entire time, interior and paint is in
excellent shape. Some pitted chrome but that's ok for now. I expect
the main issues are (as you said) brakes, carb. Probably master
cylinder (I restarted the engine about 10 yrs ago and had no brake
pedal at all, but has not leaked a single drop of fluid). Tires
probably aren't round anymore.
Differential gasket has failed, it leaks. Turbo400 has a small leak at
rear. Most anything with a gasket will be suspect. I'm not looking to
'restore', just get it drivable again. I've put kits in the Q-jet
before, but never had the knack to get it running well.
I may end up doing the simple things myself, like the brakes. I wanted
to check a couple shops and see what it may take for them to handle
some of the things I don't want to hassle with like the rear end and
On the other hand, my first teen driver is about to get their license,
I may want to wait another 10 years until all the kids are out of the
Plus all the rubber EVERYWHERE is shot. Weatherstripping...suspension
bushings Major pain.
I looked at a 'Vette that was stored for 5 years and all the rubber rot
scared me. They wanted 1500.00 for a '91. I did not run. It sold but took a
long time. Maybe for parts.
I don't think it will be that bad. All major systems had been restored
in the few years before I stopped driving it. Are you saying all
systems need major overhaul every 16 years? After restarting the
engine, I see major work for brakes, trans, rear end, probably a/c.
Weatherstripping should be ok. Suspension may not be ready for the
dragstrip but should do for touring around the neighborhood on nice
On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 21:09:11 -0500, "bill kolofa"
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