1988 Convertible for sunny day drives

Tourmax

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Nearing completion and I think it looks pretty good;

8E3D2148-36A1-42DC-9B20-A1CA62BC9052.jpeg


381E5452-E25F-473C-8880-8B34DCA6A820.jpeg


DF22B2DE-CD7B-4139-AF39-404B56149EFE.jpeg


I don’t have too many complaints about that!

It still needs more finish work, but the bezel is pretty much there.

I’ve only got the left side hooked up to a fairly crappy speaker. It sounds OK, but nothing to write home about

Tomorrow I’ll hook up the rh side and start planning out the amplifier and infinity speakers install details.

But, I’m happy with it so far.

:)
 
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Rruuff Day

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Actually it looks really sharp. You did a great job. :thumbs:
 

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So I fired up the radio and tuned in a local station.

What I got back was....well, not good. At least 95% static. And thats with the engine OFF......so I’m pretty sure it’s a connection issue somewhere.

Some PO had stuck an amplified antenna on the front wondow, and now I know why. Crap reception from the oem antenna. I ripped that out several days ago. Just dead weight as far as I’m currently concerned. Not to mention, I hate it when electrical is not clean, tidy and only as much as needed to serve its intended purpose.

Now, I’m pretty familiar with radio theory and I’m well aware of the limitations of an antenna on a fiberglass body. Not enough steel to form a ground plane so it has to try and use the actual ground surface under the car. Although a good dipole antenna system affects AM more than FM, it’s still not great for FM either.

But I’ve been in C4’s that got perfectly acceptable reception, so I was pretty sure something was “off” in my 88. Wouldnt be a big surprise considering how many other electrical bodges I’ve already fixed all over the car.

First off is the obvious things. So I check the rear antenna. I pull the lh wheel off and then pull the inner liner. I look up at the antenna unit and:

B38FB9C7-FAC2-48A8-A321-71468062A365.jpeg


AH-HA!

Someone has had thier “buck-shee” mitts in here too. If you look close to the top of the unit, you see two “ears” on the housing. On one side, you see a wire. This is to try and tie the ground side of the antenna to the ground on the chassis to improve reception.

But....if you look at the other “ear”, you can see shiny threads in the hole and the faint outline of another ring terminal connector. Thats also a ground to help tie the antenna to the chassis.

Time to dig around to see if that wire is still in there, just hanging loose.

If it is, I’ll clean it all up, give it a coat of electrical grease and reinstall. The other ground will get the same treatment, on both ends of the wire.

If the wire is gone, I’ll pull out the service manual volume with the wiring diagrams (its a seperate book for the 88 Vette), chase it down to where it should be and replace it.

Lets see if that makes any improvement.

Ah, 30 year old car, atlantic canada weather. Grounds, grounds, grounds. Looks like I’ll have to go around the whole car and make sure they’re all good. Bad grounds can get you chasing your tail be causing so many strange problems. Might as well just bite the bullet and clean them all up now to eliminate those concerns.

Stand by for more...
 
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Tourmax

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Well, took the power antenna out of the car.

Someone ahould tell the last a-hole that touched it that the radio reception is MUCH better if the antenna lead is actually CONNECTED!

Sheesh, seems as if theres no end to the “redneckery” this poor old Vette has had to endure.

Radio works great now. No static at all. Or at least as minimal as terrestrial radio can be.

At least the connections are now all clean and solid. That alone was worth the work of getting the antenna out and back in....:

:)
 

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View attachment 30095



Ah, 30 year old car, atlantic canada weather. Grounds, grounds, grounds. Looks like I’ll have to go around the whole car and make sure they’re all good. Bad grounds can get you chasing your tail be causing so many strange problems. Might as well just bite the bullet and clean them all up now to eliminate those concerns.

Stand by for more...
lol.... I'm actually surprised at the lack of corrosion under there... I remember how many times I cursed the Atlantic coast and how much salt they used in the winter... Broke a lot of brake bleeders off in the day....:mad:
 

Tourmax

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lol.... I'm actually surprised at the lack of corrosion under there... I remember how many times I cursed the Atlantic coast and how much salt they used in the winter... Broke a lot of brake bleeders off in the day....:mad:
Yep, terrible place for cars. If you winter drive them.

But this car? i doubt it’s ever seen nova scotia winter road.

One thing is for sure: it never will as long as I own it....;)
 

Darrellg1

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Yep, terrible place for cars. If you winter drive them.

But this car? i doubt it’s ever seen nova scotia winter road.

One thing is for sure: it never will as long as I own it....;)
Yep those winters out there are a special kind of nasty you don't get to see elsewhere in the country. I remember having long johns and wind pants and still felt like I was in shorts. I remember a buddy had bed change parade in a snow squall in Cornwallis and had to set his rack up in the storm. Have it inspected. Take it down and reassemble in the barracks for re inspection. 3 times he did that. We stopped laughing after the 1st time.... the poor guy.
 

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Well, the new stereo has been a major PITA, but I’ve finally figured it out.

The problem was it would not hold it’s memory once shut down. Clock, user settings, radio staions...all of it wiped out after shutdown.

Making it even more confusing was the fact that if I hooked it up on the workbench, it worked fine and kept its memory. But once in the car, poof! Lost it’s settings every time the key was turned off.

I went through the trouble (and expense) of installing a 4 gauge power wire and a 4 gauge ground wire, figuring perhaps there was something in the car’s circuitry that was messing with the radio. Wouldn’t be the first time GM wiring has given me trouble becuase they decided to do something “proprietary”. At least there was already a 4 gauge sized hole in the firewall right behind the battery so I didn’t have to drill one. Just needed a small hole “poked” in the firewall inside insulation and the 4 gauge shoved through.

I chased the problem for a couple days until I hit upon the issue.

What it turned out to be was the power antenna. Yep, you read that right: the radio was “farking up” because of the power antenna.

Seems every time I turned the key off and the radio antenna wire signaled the antenna to retract, there was a back voltage (or a “spike” ) back up the antenna wire. This was freaking the radio out and it would drop all its settings. I’m actually probably lucky the radio isn’t totally fried.

What lead me to it is one time when I turned the key off, the door speaker made a “pop” as the radio shut down. That told me the radio wasn’t the last thing to shut down, like when you get a speaker “thump” if the amp isn’t shut down before you power off it’s audio source.

So now I have to make a relay network to isolate the radio from the antenna. The radio will just trigger the relay and the relay will supply B+ to extend/retract the antenna. The relay will take the “bump” and the radio should be fine.

One of the many hazards of “made in china” products. Had the antenna circuit in the radio been properly designed, it woukd have been built with a filter or “rejection circuit” to deal with any voltage issues.

So, turns out I will have spent almost as much as I would have for something like a pioneer touchscreen radio.

Oh well, at least now the power supply is built to handle the amps when I get to installing them. Also, having the radio “isolated” from the car wiring means no chance of ground loop interference problems, which is a nice plus on a fiberglass car!

:)
 
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Tourmax

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Well, nope.

The radio won’t even tolerate controlling a relay without dumping it’s memory.

So the power antenna is going on a relay that will be triggered by ACC. There will also be a switch in line to lower the antenna when I want.

The acc trigger will make sure the antenna goes down when the key is off, the switch will allow me to manually lower the antenna when listening to things like cd’s or mp3’s.
 

Darrellg1

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Well, nope.

The radio won’t even tolerate controlling a relay without dumping it’s memory.

So the power antenna is going on a relay that will be triggered by ACC. There will also be a switch in line to lower the antenna when I want.

The acc trigger will make sure the antenna goes down when the key is off, the switch will allow me to manually lower the antenna when listening to things like cd’s or mp3’s.
Thats EXACTLY what I did with my car. Except I wired a Single pole, single throw switch, that I can use to raise the antenna when I want or need to. I took the relay right out of the loop. The relay is in the back storage area by the hatch lock. I get good reception even when its down, and Im in town.
 

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Thats EXACTLY what I did with my car. Except I wired a Single pole, single throw switch, that I can use to raise the antenna when I want or need to. I took the relay right out of the loop. The relay is in the back storage area by the hatch lock. I get good reception even when its down, and Im in town.
I added a relay up front to trigger the power antenna relay in back.

I had already added the relay to trigger the radio on/off with ACC power. All I did was add the antenna trigger wire to the already installed relay. It was simple enough; I just combined the two trigger wires into one blade connector on the relay and “bob’s your uncle”.

The switch is just a small sp/st that I put down in the cup holder area:

D5E18B56-0D3E-4F8C-BEC8-C48DDB5CEBC4.jpeg


Nice and hidden there. No generic switch in the dash panels or hanging out somewhere else in the interior making the car look “Hillbillied up”. The second hole you see in the cup holder area was a mistake. I had orginally put the switch there, but there isn’t enough room under the panel to fit the switch. No big, a little plastic welding, fill and paint will make that just disappear....

;)
 
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Speakers are in. I started with the drivers side and just adapted the midrange to the bose enclosure. I didn't like that very much as it points the speaker in and down. The passenger side I did some plastic welding and built a "riser on to the Bose enclosure:

fr_4121_size880.jpg


fr_4122_size880.jpg


(pardon the "finger", had to block the sunlight in the garage door opening)

Pretty good, but it's only a start. The tweeter is just screwed to the door panel for now. I need to add another "pod" on the enclosure to mount the tweeter properly.

Once I get it built the way I want it, I'll work on making it "pretty" and blend the door panel into the speaker pod with carpet.

Sounds better already though!

:)
 
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I added a relay up front to trigger the power antenna relay in back.

I had already added the relay to trigger the radio on/off with ACC power. All I did was add the antenna trigger wire to the already installed relay. It was simple enough; I just combined the two trigger wires into one blade connector on the relay and “bob’s your uncle”.

The switch is just a small sp/st that I put down in the cup holder area:

View attachment 30228

Nice and hidden there. No generic switch in the dash panels or hanging out somewhere else in the interior making the car look “Hillbillied up”. The second hole you see in the cup holder area was a mistake. I had orginally put the switch there, but there isn’t enough room under the panel to fit the switch. No big, a little plastic welding, fill and paint will make that just disappear....

;)
Nice!
I plan on putting mine in a similar place, but was looking at the blank spot you see in your pic, besides the mirror adjustment.
 

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Nice!
I plan on putting mine in a similar place, but was looking at the blank spot you see in your pic, besides the mirror adjustment.
I thought about doing that as well. But I would have to get another mirror switch as not having a matching switch in that visible a location would drive me nuts....
 

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Got a chance to do a full compound, polish and wax:

53237308-9BB0-441C-8E7B-6E430D4A7F6B.jpeg


991B1355-F0F3-4F8A-84B7-885989A127A5.jpeg


Now it’s a solid “10 footer” instead of a “20 footer”!

Well, maybe it’s more like a “5 footer”.

Lol!

:)


I use Meguiers compound, polish and wax:

368E958E-FAF4-436C-91EC-F829BED52BC2.jpeg


The compound and polish go on with a Dewalt DWP849X rotary buffer:

1CE2C2EF-5A16-4B34-989D-B6041B3F3F6C.jpeg


I can’t say enough how great that buffer is. Variable speeds, takes 7” or 9” pads, constant load circuitry (ie: doesn’t loose rpm with load), soft start circuitry, and on and on. Great deal for 200 bucks. I use it on everything from boats to our fiberglass bodied travel trailer. It’s one serious, professional grade piece of equipment for paint care. But: you need to know how to use it or you can do some serious damage to a paint job in record short time.

The compound allows me to take out minor paint scratches and eliminate the “swirls” you get from people unknowingly washing and rubbing it incorrectly. The polish takes out very fine swirls and marks left by the compounding and leaves a smooth and shiny surface.

I use 9” pads, yellow for compound, black for polish:

915B422F-E369-4155-9654-7592258F6BCD.jpeg


They’re hanging to dry in that pic. They get washed (rinse out the product, squezzed flat and hung to dry) after each use. The slots are for “cooling” when buffing. Helps prevent imperfections. Buffing paint can build up heat, which is not good for the paint finish.

One of the things that is hard to deal with on a rotary buffer is what is known as “holograming”. Basically, a rotary buffer can leave “tracks” if it has too much pressure applied in a line or if it is not moved enough to prevent creatong these “tracks”. A bad buff job can end up looking like this:

7B8EA89D-AE30-4B41-9712-50992C0F9B6B.jpeg


They’re most obvious in direct sunlight or overhead fluorescent lighting. Absolutely ruins the fresh clean look of properly corrected/buffed paint.

These slots help with preventing that, as well as using a low speed, very little pressure and an operator who knows how to use a rotary. I only use the weight of the buffer itself. I never “press” on the buffer, I never run it “on it’s edge” and I always make at least one pass 90 degrees out to the first passes. Seems to work for me as black is the easiest to “f-up” and mine have always turned out just fine.

I’ve also got some 7” pads and backing plate, but I don’t use them unless I’m working on a tight spot. I find it’s too easy to mess up the paint on a large area with a small pad (ie:hologramming).

Both compounding and polishing are finished with a microfibre cloth wipe down.

I use Mother’s instant detailer spray if I have product that is too dry to just hand buff off. The Mothers spray wets the product and lets me just wipe it off. It’s better than water or any other “wetter” becuase it dries without leaving residue or streaks.

The wax is a simpler process. The two stages of buffing has done the heavy lifting, the wax is just a “protectant”. I just use the included foam applicator, wait for it to “haze” and then buff it off with a clean microfibre cloth. The “Ultimate wax” gives it that final “wet look” and glassy shine. The Meguiers Ultimate Wax is also very “hydrophobic”. Meaning: water doesn’t just bead on the car, it sheets off completely. It’s like Rain-x for your paint. Its so hydrophobic, you almost don’t have to shammy after washing it.

Black is probably the hardest paint to get clean and keep clean, not to mention how it shows up defects like they’re a blazing neon sign. But it’s one hot color when you get it right!

The ‘vette looks spankin’ in those pics, but theres lots of rock chips and a touch of orange peel is evident if you get right down on it and look at the right angle.

The ‘Vette will get another paint job in the future. I’l do a proper color sand and buff when that happens. For now, it’s good enough for me to enjoy.....as is.

;)
 
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Rruuff Day

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Got a chance to do a full compound, polish and wax:

View attachment 30255

View attachment 30256

Now it’s a solid “10 footer” instead of a “20 footer”!

Well, maybe it’s more like a “5 footer”.

Lol!

:)


I use Meguiers compound, polish and wax:

View attachment 30258

The compound and polish go on with a Dewalt DWP849X rotary buffer:

View attachment 30259

The compound allows me to take out minor paint scratches and eliminate the “swirls” you get from people unknowingly washing and rubbing it incorrectly. The polish takes out very fine swirls and marks left by the compounding and leaves a smooth and shiny surface.

I use 9” pads, yellow for compound, black for polish:

View attachment 30260

They’re hanging to dry in that pic. They get washed (rinse out the product, squezzed flat and hung to dry) after each use. The slots are for “cooling” when buffing. Helps prevent imperfections. Buffing paint can build up heat, which is not good for the paint finish.

One of the things that is hard to deal with on a rotary buffer is what is known as “holograming”. These slots help with preventing that, as well as low speed, little pressure and an operator who knows how to use a rotary. I only use the weight of the buffer itself. I never “press” on the buffer and I always make a pass 90 degrees out to the first passes. Seems to work for me as black is the easiest to “f-up” and mine have always turned out just fine.

I’ve also got some 7” pads and backing plate, but I don’t use them unless I’m working on a tight spot. I find it’s too easy to mess up the paint on a large area with a small pad (ie:hologramming).

Both compounding and polishing are finished with a microfibre cloth wipe down.

I use Mother’s instant detailer spray if I have product that is too dry to just hand buff off. The Mothers spray wets the product and lets me just wipe it off. It’s better than water or any other “wetter” becuase it dries without leaving residue or streaks.

The wax is a simpler process. The two stages of buffing has done the heavy lifting, the wax is just a “protectant”. I just use the included foam applicator, wait for it to “haze” and then buff it off with a clean microfibre cloth. The “Ultimate wax” gives it that final “wet look” and glassy shine. The Meguiers Ultimate Wax is also very “hydrophobic”. Meaning: water doesn’t just bead on the car, it sheets off completely. It’s like Rain-x for your paint. Its so hydrophobic, you almost don’t have to shammy after washing it.

Black is probably the hardest paint to get clean and keep clean, not to mention how it shows up defects like they’re a blazing neon sign. But it’s one hot color when you get it right!

The ‘vette looks spankin’ in those pics, but theres lots of rock chips and a touch of orange peel is evident if you get right down on it and look at the right angle.

The ‘Vette will get another paint job in the future. I’l do a proper color sand and buff when that happens. For now, it’s good enough for me to enjoy.....as is.

;)
Your car looks great. I also use Mequiars Ultimate wax... Swear by it as a matter of fact... :thumbs:
 

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So a close up of the lower part of the nose:

fr_4133_size880.jpg


Like any other older car that is actually driven, it's got a butt-load of stone chips. It really takes away from the presentation of the car. So over the next few days, I'm going to try and fill those chips. It's nothing I haven't done before, but not on this scale. Normally, I'd just go for a re-spray and call it a day. But money being what it is right now (ie:tight) I'm going to try the chip fix process first.

A good prep wipe, some paint fill, then wet sand to level the paint fill and finally a cut and buff to bring back the shine.

I'll also look to address some large chips on the top of the hood and body sides, As well as scratches like this:

fr_4135_size880.jpg


Wait a minute! There's no scratches there! Right?

Here's a different angle:

fr_4136_size880.jpg


Now you can see the pretty serious scratching. Looks like someone dragged something across the hood and headlight cover, with the cover getting the worst of it. It was much worse when I got the car, but that's what the buffer can do for you. But I want the scratches gone all-together, so a wet sand and polish should make it just disappear. The scratches don't catch your fingernail, so it's not deep enough to penetrate the clear coat. It should be repairable with some careful work.

Should take a couple days, but hopefully it will be worth the effort.

:)
 

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Ah, Mr Postman brought me a present today:

B767EE86-EB85-4054-8B33-071F58F49F20.jpeg


E728AC27-531E-47A8-A110-9E5BA76EA10C.jpeg


Those will look just spiffy!

:)
 

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Wet sand after a little paint filling:

D8B5F29D-9654-44B1-92CD-7DDCBDA24F92.jpeg


OMG! I ruined my paint!

Not so fast there bucky....first pass with the rotary and compound:

5ABE1807-FF50-47F6-B78B-8F1486BD47FA.jpeg


Oh yeah! There’s that shine! Buffed under where the hood emblem foes as well. The scratches that were still on the headlight cover are now completely gone. Just smooth, shiny paint now.

Couldn’t resist dropping the new emblem in place to see how it looks:

BB0CC372-38B7-4B03-B806-B98C0193E892.jpeg


Damn! Thats snappy!

It’s always the little details that make a car look nice.

Now to polish, then wax and then move on to correcting the next paint problem....;)
 
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I've completed the first sanding on the nose "experiment".

Here's a before pic to refresh the memory:

fr_4133_size880.jpg


None of those marks are dirt or bug bits, they're all stone chips.

:mad:

After:

fr_4131_size880.jpg


:)

That's coming along pretty good! you can see some of the spots that are still a little "low" and the bigger "blobs" are spots I've already re-touched with paint. I'll let those dry and wet sand a second time. Then it's going to be on to buffing and polishing.

The key to "hiding" all those stone chips is to get them all filled with black and the surface as level as possible. That makes the chips blend into the background to the point where you will need to get right up on it to see them.

It's not going to turn out like a new paint job, but it's going to look 100x better than it did.

:)
 

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