Top Tips For A Happy C3 Ownership?

GCorvette

CCCUK Member
No doubt a lot of us here are coming to potential C3 ownership with a lot of questions.

Whether obvious or not (and apart from deep pockets!), what are your Top Tips to keeping a C3 in good condition and running well for a happy ownership? 🤔
 

Corvette

CCCUK Member
When buying ask no questions and you will hear no lies. Alot of cars have just been nursed along over the years, be prepared for expenditure. Buy the year, model colour you want. Don't moan about import duties. Do what you want to the car afterall its your car. You may need to buy more than one :)
 

Chuffer

CCCUK Member
Agree with the other guys. Do lots of homework , look at as many as you can , buy the very best you can afford . There will still be hidden expenses even then . As Roscobb said , drive it often when weather conditions allow and store it in dry and well ventilated garage / storage . If you are lucky enough to find one with rust free chassis , keep it that way with a good protective treatment both inside all the channels and outside . Good luck . The sun is shining so off for a spin in mine today . :)
 

kentvette

CCCUK Member
I always say "Read the books" - so as said, do a lot of homework first, so you know as much as possible about each year and the differences/peculiarities of each. Look long and hard at your potential purchase. Use the CCCUK Buyers Guide. Buy the best you can afford. Remember that ideally, you should have some mechanical knowledge, or very deep pockets, to run any classic car.

Then, as said, use it regularly - I have always aimed for at least 30 or 40 miles at least once a month throughout the year, providing the weather is dry and, in the UK, there is no salt. I don't, by choice take the car out in wet weather - that said, over our 32 years of ownership, the old '78 has seen every kind of weather, save an earthquake!

So.... Keep it clean, inside, out and, underneath! Driving and cleaning are NOT mutually exclusive.

Service it every year as per the manuals, mineral oil, and a filter, grease, plugs etc. Check distributors every few years (HEI's don't need much except to be clean) Change coolant and brake fluid every few years, trans fluid and filter perhaps?

Don't expect it to behave like a modern car - that's the fun of them! If you want C6/C7 performance and handling, buy one of those.
 

Roscobbc

Moderator
Thinking on Stephens (and other) suggestions - I'll modify my suggestion for older cars to
1. Use the car (albeit in temperate, dry weather) as often as you can. Lack of of use 'kills' older cars........
2. Only store the car away when it has been warmed-through thoroughly - say, after a 20 mile or 30 minute run. Exhaust system components (other than stainless steel) will rust away internally).
3. Store ideally in a dry ventilated garage - even better if heated (only needs to be a few degrees above ambient temperature).
4. Aim to change engine oil annually. Regular start-ups and use for short journeys pollutes engine oil.
5. Use 50/50 mix of Ionised water/high quality antifreeze. If you have leaks, top-up with same 50/50 mix.
6. Some references say to change brake fluid annually - this is only needed if the car is kept externally on in a cold and potentially damp environment - as regular mineral brake fluid is hygroscopic (and will absorb moisture in a damp garage, rotting braking hydraulics internally)
7. If storing externally under a cover consider effects of temperature/moisture levels on vehicle paintwork and electrical connections.
 

GCorvette

CCCUK Member
I just wanted to say thank you for everyone's advice so far, that really is useful information for everyone.

A few things mentioned above already that I will pick up on separately. 👍😎
 

kentvette

CCCUK Member
Ross's notes on storage are important and I forgot that point completely! :rolleyes: I guess I'd add that for me, a garage is a pre-requisite, but I know that's not always possible.:confused:
 

Daytona Vette

CCCUK regional rep
Go with Stephen's list of points
Car cover is a no no
Enhance the Driving experience if you want performance
Big Block - 5 Speed (or 700R4) - Improve the Suspension set up - and get the Geometry set up by a professional
 

Chuffer

CCCUK Member
Apologies, not knowing people by their actual names, who above is Stephen? 🤔
Don`t feel bad about not knowing names , just go by the `handles` . Some days I can`t even remember my own name . :unsure: :LOL: . Just got back from from a great 30 ish mile blast in glorious sunshine , her first run since doing a full service back in last November . That`s the longest period of lay up in nearly 6 years of ownership due to all the lock down hassles . Got a tank full of Esso Synergie 99 RON ethanol free petrol whilst out . That is something else to be aware of that we all forgot to mention , 5% ethanol in current petrol is not good for old cars and the up and coming 10% ethanol will be real bad news . There is lots of forum posts on the subject and plenty of info on the internet that you should read up on .
 

Mr. Cricket

CCCUK regional rep
All good points. I'll add install a battery isolation gadget (on the neutral) and if you're fortunate enough to have a working original clock get the type that maintain enough voltage to run the clock via a fused link.
 

Roscobbc

Moderator
On the subject of battery isolators - the one on mine had been proving a little 'tetchy' recently - couldn't really seem to tighten enough to make proper contact - took it off this afternoon and now see the reason why.........the main part is cast from some form of 'pot' metal (and coated with some form of gold coloured finish to make if look like brass.
Brass wouldn't have started breaking down like this - I suspect that in addition it had been arcing and additionally damaging the thread in the casting........
 

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Chuffer

CCCUK Member
On the subject of battery isolators - the one on mine had been proving a little 'tetchy' recently - couldn't really seem to tighten enough to make proper contact - took it off this afternoon and now see the reason why.........the main part is cast from some form of 'pot' metal (and coated with some form of gold coloured finish to make if look like brass.
Brass wouldn't have started breaking down like this - I suspect that in addition it had been arcing and additionally damaging the thread in the casting........

Monkey metal maybe ?????
 

Mr. Cricket

CCCUK regional rep
On the subject of battery isolators - the one on mine had been proving a little 'tetchy' recently - couldn't really seem to tighten enough to make proper contact - took it off this afternoon and now see the reason why.........the main part is cast from some form of 'pot' metal (and coated with some form of gold coloured finish to make if look like brass.
Brass wouldn't have started breaking down like this - I suspect that in addition it had been arcing and additionally damaging the thread in the casting........

Made in China from recycled tin cans probably. I suppose for safety, they are cheap enough at £10 to be replaced every few years. How old is yours Ross?
 

Corvette

CCCUK Member
Those cheap ones normally have a green contact knob on them, yes to the pot metal. I have one that is switched on and off by a remote, like an alarm fob, someone had it on a C2.
 
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