The '67 big-block Stinger...
The '67 big-block Stinger from Paragon Reproductions comes complete with the speed nuts, screws, and retainer clips-everything you'll need for the replacement.
Big-Block Hood Stinger Grill Replacement
Applicable Years: C2 (1967)
Difficulty Level: 2
Tools: No. 2 Phillips screwdriver, 5/16-inch socket, ratchet
Time: 30 minutes
Parts source: Paragon Reproductions
What can I say? After 40 years, that bad-boy stinger on the hood of my big-block '67 Corvette was showing its age with pockmark pitting of the pot metal and flaked, peeling black accent paint. All in all, the old warhorse wasn't looking all that bad, however, so I decided that a little sprucing up here and there was all it really needed. I had already put on new "427" numbers, fitted a new fuel-filler door, and replaced the rear script in earlier projects, so replacing the original stinger with an exact reproduction from Paragon was the next logical step.
Here you can see how badly...
Here you can see how badly pitted the factory stinger is after 40 years of exposure to the elements. Two Phillips screws, one on each side at the front of the stinger, have retainer clips holding them on inside the hood. Remove these two screws first.
Three 5/16-inch speed nut...
Three 5/16-inch speed nut are used on the studs of the stinger, and these are removed next. When these are out, the stinger can be removed by pulling on it. Insert the new stinger, thread on and tighten the speed nuts, then insert the two screws and tighten them into the retainer clips.
Here's what the '67 big-block...
Here's what the '67 big-block hood looks like sans stinger. This is a good time to clean things up a bit-this is vintage 40-year-old dirt.
Here's a single-wheel setup...
Here's a single-wheel setup from Corvette America. The cone is at the left, the wheel adapter at the upper center, the spinner at the right, the center cap below it, the mounting bolts, lock washers, and the antitheft pin above them. Multiply this stuff by four, and you have the whole setup. It's important to note the adapters are threaded for left and right sides-the threading goes counter-directionally to the wheel's rotation to help keep the spinners from coming loose.
Direct Bolt-On Knock-Off Spinner Installation
Applicable Years: C2
Difficulty Level: 2
Tools: 1/2-inch socket, ratchet, flat-blade screwdriver, block of 2x4, hammer, antiseize compound
Time: 1 hour (all 4 wheels)
Parts source: Corvette America
My '67 coupe has the optional "turbine" wheels on it with the "starburst" centers. While these are certainly a bit more stylish than the standard steel rally wheels, I always wanted the classy look of the knock-off wheels of my '63 SWC. However, the original Kelsey-Hayes knock-offs can be downright dangerous since they have a nasty habit of working their way loose from road bumps and vibration if you don't keep them tightened on a regular basis (which is why the DOT outlawed them-1966 was the last year you could order them on your Corvette). So the solution, therefore, was to order DBO-KO (direct bolt-on knock-off) centers from Corvette America. The company sells complete sets of DBO-KO wheels with all the requisite hardware as well, so you can mount these puppies on any year C2 (or even a C3, if you're so inclined). But since I already had the wheels, all I needed was the adapters, cones, spinners, center caps, and mounting bolts/washers. It took only about 15 minutes per wheel to go from starburst center to knock-off spinners and achieve that real "competition sports car" look in the process.
So that pretty much wraps it up for our Weekend Projects issue this year. If you're like me, you'll always find something that needs to be done to your Corvette, but that's what makes owning them so much fun. Now go out to the garage and spend some quality time with your car!
Here's my '67 with the factory-option...
Here's my '67 with the factory-option turbine wheels with the starburst centers. They look good, but I really wanted the knock-off spinner look.
A flat-blade screwdriver inserted...
A flat-blade screwdriver inserted and pried at several points around the starburst cap is all it takes to get the cap to release. Once it's off, a 1/2-inch socket is used to remove the five bolts that hold the steel retainer ring in place. There's no need to remove the lugs or wheels from the car for this installation, by the way.
A 1/2-inch socket is used...
A 1/2-inch socket is used to mount the DBO-KO adapter to the wheel using the five bolts and lock washers supplied in the mounting kit. You can see the starburst center cap retainer ring and its bolts, which were removed at the left in this shot.
Once the adapter bolts are...
Once the adapter bolts are nice and tight, the cone is fitted and held in place while the spinner is threaded onto the adapter. This right-hand spinner threads on counter-clockwise, whereas the driver-side spinners thread on clockwise. The counter-directional threading helps to keep them on the wheels. The antitheft pins also help to keep things secure. The label on the adapters advises you to use antiseizing compound to make removal of the spinners a bit easier.
I used a short piece of 2x4...
I used a short piece of 2x4 and a 5-pound sledge to tighten the spinners on. you can also use a correct lead hammer, available from Corvette America, if you're a purist. Once the KO spinner is nice and tight, the center cap can be installed by pushing it on with the heel of your palm.
Here's the completed transformation...
Here's the completed transformation from starburst center to three-blade knock-off center. Of course, it's all a matter of taste, but I personally like the knock-off look the best.