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1969 and 1979 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible and L-82 - Shark Bites

68-'82 Corvette Tech Q&A

Chris Petris Nov 1, 2006
Corp_0611_z 1969_1979_chevrolet_corvette_convertible_l82 Front_view 2/2

Black Book Belts
I believe I own RPO A85 customer shoulder belts for a '69 convertible. According to the Black Book, only 600 were made for convertibles. Was it a standard option for coupes? I've been reading your magazine for about five years and do not remember any shoulder-belt articles. Can you confirm what I might have? On the belts there is a sewn-in white tag towards the front reading "Important," followed by safety warnings. At the end of the belt, another white tag reads "GM Hammill 066/0669, Model No. C22 11F69." The metal bracket also has a code of HR on one side of the bolt opening, 16 on the other side. The other shoulder belt is white tag Hammill 021/2968? (numbers were smudged) Model No. C22 43F68 metal bracket is HR-6 and 008. Are one or both of these harnesses for a '69 convertible? Would you have an approximate value for the two shoulder belts on today's market? Were coupe and convertible shoulder belts interchangeable?No Name Given, Via e-mail

Seatbelts were standard on coupes.
Contact Ssnake Oyl Products' (800-284-7777, seatbelt restoration services for correct deciphering of the numbers you listed above. Or contact an NCRS judge at an NCRS meet for verifi-cation of the intended use. We don't set prices here in CF, and we wouldn't want to be in the middle of that can of worms.

No Cutting, Please
I have a '74 exhaust system, and am wondering if there is a hugger or shorty header which will replace my exhaust manifolds without cutting the existing exhaust pipe (which connects to the exhaust manifold). Catalog companies that sell parts for Corvettes tell me the answer is no, but they also don't sound convincing, and they recommend a header which they sell. Any help would be great.Eric, Via e-mail

There are shorty headers that will work. All the header manufacturers use flat, rigid flanges to connect the exhaust system to them. No matter what header you use, the flanges will require modification. When we put together Project Shark Attack (our '79 Corvette project car), we used Hooker Super Comp shorty headers so we could use cata-lytic converters as close to the headers as possible. The Hooker headers ended up close to the original exhaust manifold outlet position.

The exhaust pipe will require modifying to allow the connection, so if the headers are slightly shorter or longer, it doesn't really matter. They will be in the correct area as far as the original position of the manifolds. The Hooker Super Comp headers are equal length or as close as possible, so they take up a little more room than other manufacturers. This is something to consider if you want a direct bolt-on with no other modifications other than flange connection. Hooker also makes a pair of street rod headers that are an easier fit. Patriot makes a set of shorty headers that will work well. Check the Summit Catalog for the options available.

Loose Yokes
I have a '79 Corvette L-82 with a 3:08 differential. I am in the process of replacing the front bushing on the control arms and installing new adjustable strut rods. I noticed the differential side yoke to the left drive axle will slide in and out of the differential. The right side drive axle yoke appears to be fixed into the differential and will not slide out. Is this normal, or should I have repairs completed on the differential while I have everything disconnected? Will this condition allow the left control arm to have side play after everything (strut rods, spring, and shocks) is reconnected?Ken Gazaway, Via e-mail

The axle shaft yokes in the differential are fixed and should not move more than 11/48-31/416 inch in and out. It does affect suspension geometry in aggressive driving. The yoke wears at the end where it rests against the differential gearshaft until the snap ring retaining them in position breaks into many pieces. This requires differential disassembly and removal of the broken snap ring pieces. The broken pieces of snap ring are light enough to flow with the gear oil into the cavity between the front and rear pinion bearings. When this occurs, the differential requires complete disassembly to remove all the pieces or leave them to grind against the bearings. Check the differential pin and case for wear. They take quite a beating from the posi-traction clutches and cornering. In most situations, the shaft is worn, but the case is still OK. Now is the time to take care of it.

Chevy Engine Red
Here is, hopefully, one of your simpler questions. I'm getting ready to start a frame-off restoration to my '72 yellow convertible four-speed Corvette. I was asked a question on the paint color for the engine. Is it to be painted red or Chevy orange? I always thought the color was Chevy orange.
John Riley, Milwaukee, WI

The correct paint color is Chevy orange. The concern comes in the way the paint manufacturer sees the orange. In some cases, it's closer to red than orange. The major Corvette suppliers have the correct Chevy orange. We found Plastikote Chevy orange available at some auto-parts suppliers to be close to the original color.

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