1963 Chevy Corvette Project Car - Split Personality, Part 3

Engine, Drivetrain, And Brake Upgrades For A '63 Z06 Pro-Classic

Rich Lagasse Mar 14, 2007 0 Comment(s)

Drive & Halfshafts
Driveshaft ::: A custom driveshaft from Denny's Driveshaft was used. The welds and yokes were smoothed, and the unit was chromed. Spicer universals were used. For further detailing, the universal joint centers were powdercoated in red, the bearings were polished, and the retainer rings were chromed. That made assembly an interesting exercise!

Halfshafts ::: The halfshafts were shortened. You may recall from the last installment that we wanted to retain the stock body profile, but still use wider wheels and tires; this required narrowing the halfshafts, differential carrier, rear toe-rods, and camber rods. We wanted to smooth the welds and finally thought of a way to do that job more easily. We don't have a metal lathe, but do have a wood lathe. We decided to make wooden dowels, which were turned to the diameter of the yoke, to mount the shafts in the lathe. Then, turning at a slow speed, a series of files and grits of sandpaper was used to smooth the shafts (photo 13-shaft mounted in the lathe; photo 14-before and after turning perspective). The shafts were then chromed, and the universal joints treated to the same process of finish as the driveshaft.

In the last installment, we mentioned keeping the suspension parts loose at that point. When you begin to install the halfshafts, you won't have to loosen as many bolts as you have to move the hubs outwards to gain enough space to get the halfshaft universals into the differential and spindle yokes. we found that temporarily removing the rear toe-rod at the hub and the camber rod at the differential bracket can help get enough free area to get the halfshafts in place.

Brakes: Calipers, Rotors, & Boost
Calipers ::: As they say, "once you have plenty of power, you will also need plenty of stopping force." There are many choices for brakes these days, ranging from the stock Corvette units to Wilwood and Baer aftermarket components. Since we are trying to use as many current Corvette parts as possible, we decided to use the stock C5 Z06 calipers up front. Since we are using the C5 front-suspension components, these bolt right up without the need for adapters. We considered using the C6 Z06 calipers, however, we were concerned they might not work as well in combination with the C4 rears. We were also concerned there was not enough clearance with the 17-inch front wheels we are using. In the rear, we used the calipers from the '96 C4 Corvette. One reason for using these calipers is they have an integral parking brake. Braided-stainless lines to the calipers were used, along with stainless hard lines. These were polished and coated with Zoops Seal.

To add more detail to the calipers, the "fins" were smoothed and polished; the calipers were painted in red, and then clearcoated. The brake brackets were smoothed and chromed, as well as the emergency-brake parts. We also had polished stainless plates made to cover the brake pads for a final touch.

Rotors ::: We like the look of the two-piece Baer EradiSpeed rotors, which are slotted and drilled. To add more detail, the rotor hats were chromed, and stainless bolts were used. Also, the outside edge and insides of the cooling vanes were powdercoated in red by Anvil Power Stryke powdercoatings, a division of Har-Conn Chrome in Newington, Connecticut, for appearance and to keep any rust from forming.




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