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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

Vette was in a shop for 8 months, but finally back home
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Old 11-28-2019, 01:00 PM   #1
Rich Z
Vette was in a shop for 8 months, but finally back home

Had the vette in a shop for the past 8 months and finally brought it home this past Monday. Hopefully that nagging drivetrain noise I have been having nearly forever is finally gone. Best I could tell the pilot bushing was causing the problem, but I had the clutch, flywheel, throwout bearing/slave cylinder, pilot bearing, input shaft to the torque tube, and the front torque tube bearing all replaced.

Might as well post pics of the C5Z being back where it seems to spend most of it's time. I knew there would be things I would have to touch up after being in a shop, so that is what I have been doing since Monday, and will continue to do for the next few days.

Old 12-08-2019, 12:35 AM   #2
Rich Z
Sigh.... and now it is back in the shop. After developing an oil leak in the turbo scavenge pump lines and the finding that an oil line was pushed up against a rubber boot on one of the half axle shafts and slit open the boot, I had them send a tow truck to take it back there.

That was after I fixed many different problems I found. A wire was pulled loose from a connector on the ABS pressure sensor. Multiple hose clamps were loose. One hose clamp was oriented in such a way that it was pretty darn difficult to get to the adjustment nut, and the end of the threaded shaft was pressed right against the bottom of the radiator. Which would have eventually worn a hole in the radiator from vibration. One of the three nuts holding the engine cradle to the frame was not only loose, but a good quarter inch of bare thread was showing.

So after bringing it back home, it never left the lift again before being pulled out of the driveway to be driven up onto the flatbed tow truck...
Old 01-28-2020, 08:58 AM   #3
Nice vette Rich! Super clean too! I had a 97 for a few years and sold it to buy my wife a Mustang. I really liked the vette, but my wife couldn't drive a manual and since I already had a manual Mustang, I made the move.

Anyway, here is my 97.
Old 01-28-2020, 07:08 PM   #4
Rich Z
Yeah man! Nice looking vette!

Been taking the car out whenever I can to do a break-in of the new clutch. Still haven't put it into boost yet to make sure that turbo system is all air tight and not leaking pressure anywhere.

Somewhere along the line through the years my catalytic converters "fell off", so I am going to put new ones in sometime soon. Getting tired of the unburned gasoline smell that fills up the garage whenever I start it up. So right before I do that, I'm going to be checking all exhaust couplings for leaks before and after. If those front most clamps aren't leaking, I won't have to remove the X-pipe because I put that in front of the straight pipes replacing the cats. This gave me two spare O2 sensor bungs that I was able to easily use with the wideband O2 sensor when I was doing the tuning via EFIlive.

I may have to do a little bit more tuning sometime down the road, because when the car is in open loop mode, the idle is a little bit unstable while warming up and stumbles sometimes at low speeds. So even though it would be better to put the cats forward of the X-pipe, I really don't want to do that quite yet. The cats might be just a bit less efficient behind the X-pipe, but hopefully no big deal with them dealing with the exhaust fumes.

And as for the manual shifting, yeah, that is getting to be less and less fun with each passing year for me. Several days ago I cracked my left elbow on a sharp corner of a desk in my den. Brought tears to my eyes. It's just now getting better. I did something like that a few years ago to my right elbow, and then later on when I moved my arm over my head, something popped and that arm was really bad off. No way I could work a manual shifter then. And it took a while for that to clear up. I was working a lot on the car then anyway, so I couldn't drive it. Funny thing is, the arm sort of fixed itself in an odd way. I was in the bathroom and spotted a mosquito flying around. So I grabbed a damp hand towel and attempted to snap the skeeter with it. Well, I did a sharp downward motion with my right arm to snap the towel, forgetting about the elbow problem, and yelped out in pain. But after that, it started feeling better, and eventually healed completely. So I must have knocked something out of joint, and then snapped it back into place just by pure dumb luck. But I can see where something permanent like that could happen, and then my manual transmission days will be over with. Heck, a problem with my left knee or ankle could put me out of commission too with working that clutch.

I would sell the car, but there is something very intriguing about driving a car that feels like it has almost unlimited power to the wheels. So I am reluctant to give that up until I really have to. I know it is something I will never have again in my lifetime.
Old 01-28-2020, 07:14 PM   #5
Rich Z
Oh yeah, when I brought the car back home fro the shop this last time, they screwed something else up on it. The detail guy was obviously inexperienced with a buffer, and probably used a rotary buffer instead of a random orbital. He obviously had it too close to the front and rear decals and wound up cracking them in places from the heat. Wear marks are obvious on the sharp edges of the decals. The service manager of the shop gave me a bit of grief about it, trying to turn the tables accusing me of bad mouthing his employees, but did get me replacement decals. Didn't offer to install then, however. Not that I would have been inclined to take the car back there anyway.

What is it with shops that think breaking something else when they are fixing something on a customer's vehicle is OK? And then pretend it was like that when it came in and you just didn't notice.
Old 01-30-2020, 08:24 PM   #6
You've got more patience than me, that's for sure. Kudos for hangin in there with the small vette issues. My problem is that the little things scare me too much.
Glad to hear about your elbow. Guess you need something around you to keep swatting flies in case it happens again.

I would be livid about the shoddy detail work. It's so easy to burn through paint with a rotary. He should have known better.

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