Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fire Extinguisher Mount

Thirty plus years ago I installed my first Holley carburetor. It was a used 850 double pumper going on my mild 331 small block chevy. The size of the carburetor vs the size of the motor tells you how little I knew about what I was doing, to further prove the point after getting it running and jumping in to drive it around the block, the float stuck causing raw fuel to dump out the vent tube on the intake starting a nice fire that took out the distributor, spark plug wires, firewall harness and windshield wiper motor. After spending over $300.00 to fix everything not including a new 650 Holley, I bought a fire extinguisher and mounted it in the car. That extinguisher got used a few years later when a car at the gas station I was filling up at caught on fire, and over the years Ive bought a few others for some of the cars I drove.

I decided since there was a simple way to mount one in the Corvette I would get one for it as well, its cheap insurance.

Again being a cheap ass I wasn't going to spend $90.00 for a flat piece of metal with a couple of bends in it, granted they are usually powder coated, maybe that's worth $75.00 or so.

Its really as simple as a couple of bends, the bracket mounts to the forward seat mount studs, they are long enough to slip the bracket over them and add another nut.

Here is the extinguisher on the bracket I made, notice the plastic mount, there weren't any metal ones available locally, I have since replaced it with one.

Here is a shot of it installed on the passenger seat.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Suspension Mods

Next on the list was the suspension. The Corvette handles great but the base coupe suspension compromises some performance for ride comfort. When we were at Bloomington Gold I specifically rode in the RideTech cars because I was interested in their coil over suspension. After researching more into what was available I settled on just replacing the sway bars and shocks.

I contacted Sam Strano (multi time SCCA Autocross National Champion), Sam is active on multiple forums and has a small parts business. Sam's business sells the coil over suspension I was looking at, after talking to Sam and describing what I wanted to do with the Corvette he sold me on his spec sway bars and Koni adjustable shocks. If they work for him on his Corvette and are less than 1/3rd the cost of the coil overs that works for me.

Sway bars from top to bottom: Old Rear Bar, Old Front Bar, New Front Bar.

Sway bars from top to bottom: Old Rear Bar, New Rear Bar, New Front Bar.

Koni Adjustable Sport Shocks

After I got everything installed I drove it for a few days and played with the dampening on the shocks. The difference is night and day over the factory equipment, the car is much more stable on small bumps during braking, it has significantly less body roll and the ride is only slightly harsher than it was before. The nice thing is, I can soften the dampening on the shocks in less than five minutes and it rides as nice as it did before I put them on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tow Hook

I plan to do a HPDE day this summer and decided to add a few things to the corvette. First on the list was a rear tow hook, corvettes do not have a good area to tow from in the event you run off track and end up in a sand trap or somewhere you cannot drive out of. Any strap or tow line to the suspension will most likely damage the bodywork because of how it wraps around the car and how low the car is to the ground. I also wasn't willing to pay $130.00 or more for something I felt I could make for a few dollars.

I looked up some of the installation instructions available online and pictures of tow hooks. From that I was able to ballpark the dimensions of the tow hook and fab one up. It only took a few hours with the hardest part being the hole in the bottom plate.

The tow lug simply mounts to the aft cross member using the exhaust hanger attach points.