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  1. #1
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    Default The way the factory meant for'em to be

    You all know these '81 are a one of a kind year with carbs controlled by the ECM and such and they can be a headache and many have gutted these factory set up to others non-computer ways......well I for one am glad now that mine is still as she was meant to be. Once you do get all the ECM items working properly she runs fine, better gas mileage and makes me proud that I was able to keep her as she was meant to be. Long live the factory meant 1981 Corvettes.

  2. #2
    Administrator Yoda's Avatar
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    Move over Tommy and make room for me on that Bus

    It took a bit, but GerryLP finally saw the light

    Bud
    "Quality, not quantity"
    "The American people will never knowingly adopt "SOCIALISM." But, under the name of "LIBERALISM," they will adopt every fragment of the "SOCIALIST" program, until one day America will be a "SOCIALIST NATION," without knowing how it happened.
    (Norman Thomas, U.S. SOCIALIST PARTY CANDIDATE PARTY presidential candidate 1940, 1944 and 1948)


  3. #3
    The way the factory meant for'em to be GerryLP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post


    Move over Tommy and make room for me on that Bus

    It took a bit, but GerryLP finally saw the light

    Bud
    yeah...Old Bull knew best, ha,ha,ha (refer to young bull / old bull joke)
    GerryLP

  4. #4
    Moderator bill81vette's Avatar
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    I'll take that bus as well!!!!
    mine runs great with it!!!!!
    Bill and Gail...save the wave
    NCRS member 42415
    1981 St.Louis car #2735
    all matching numbers

    born Sept 18,1980
    Cruisefest 2008
    Cruisefestous 2009
    Cruisefest 2010
    Cruisefest 2011
    Cruisefest2012



    Without Trucks......
    You would be Hungry,Homeless and Naked!!!!!!



  5. #5
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    It's not easy but ones it's working properly she run's great that is true!

    Greetings Peter

  6. #6
    Member Wajulia's Avatar
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    Mine is BONE stock and runs great. Drove it about 300 miles to carlisle and it ran great and got nearly 20mph (it did throw a code 44 "Lean")

    Also, I never got the dwell to be 30 at idle, but I keep trying to find out why!

    Long Live the 1981 CCC Corvette, the ugliest small block ever made, but beautiful to a small crowd of us

  7. #7
    Member Jon S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Almond View Post
    You all know these '81 are a one of a kind year with carbs controlled by the ECM and such and they can be a headache and many have gutted these factory set up to others non-computer ways......well I for one am glad now that mine is still as she was meant to be. Once you do get all the ECM items working properly she runs fine, better gas mileage and makes me proud that I was able to keep her as she was meant to be. Long live the factory meant 1981 Corvettes.
    I can ony speak for my '81. I've owned it since 1983. It's 100% original and has never been a problem at 34,000 miles. It starts up 1st try cold and even after sitting for weeks/months. I just filled it up and got 15 MPG in mixed driving - exactly what the window sticker claimed for this car. You have to believe the engineers at GM knew what they were doing in keeping with the emmission standards of the day. I still have the original exhaust system and it looks as new!
    Last edited by Jon S; 10-10-12 at 06:41 PM.

  8. #8
    The way the factory meant for'em to be GerryLP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon S View Post
    I can ony speak for my '81. I've owned it since 1983. It's 100% original and has never been a problem at 34,000 miles. It starts up 1st try cold and even after sitting for weeks/months. I just filled it up and got 15 MPG in mixed driving - exactly what the window sticker claimed for this car. ou have to believe the engineers at GM knew what they were doing in keeping with the emmission standards of the day. I still have the original exhaust system and it looks as new!
    Jon S,

    That is a remarkable current mileage. I bought mine in 1985, with 14K original miles, but added about 140K miles, and with a frame-on restoration, she still runs pretty well. Even though she developed a timing problem while on my way to a cross-state trip, she limped back but brought me home (about an hour's distance). So in my eyes, I don't really count this as one in which she left me stranded because she brought me home.
    GerryLP

  9. #9
    Gone but not forgotten XLR8's Avatar
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    Default FYI: Sticky thread notice

    Based on the topic of this thread, which seems to be "originality" and preservation of 1981 model Corvettes as they were delivered from the factory, I've made this a "sticky" thread, which means it will now stay at or near the top of the L81 Vette Registry Forum.

    L81 Vette Registry Forum

    Jane Ann

    For every person with a spark of genius, there are a hundred with ignition trouble.





  10. #10
    Member FactoryC3's Avatar
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    Default Another "Like it like it should be"

    Just got my '81 and it also is bone stock.
    21,000 documented original miles.
    Looks and drives super.

  11. #11
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    Default Congrats!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryC3 View Post
    Just got my '81 and it also is bone stock.
    21,000 documented original miles.
    Looks and drives super.
    There is some work to making these '81 run as originally designed but when do they are so much fun and for me special to know I am keeping something as intended, not changed but as designed. Of course I've questioned several times that someone must have been on some good drugs when designing these C3s....but it was back in the days when there was some "good" stuff out there.

  12. #12
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    Default I am a fan of originality..BUT...sorry not this 81

    I truly appreciate originality and those that maintain it..kudos.
    But..I acquired this 81 4spd already modified by P/O..with Edelbrock intake, carb, cam and all the smog stuff off (i have all the orig and a distributor, except carb in a box..so someday one of you can return it to orig?)..anyway the p/o when making these changes somehow still had the computer hooked up to distrib..well that ain't gonna work with the Edelbrock carb and no smog equip, so I put in a Performance Distributors DUI HEI with mech advance of 24 deg and vac can to manifold of 8-10 deg., so that timed at 12deg static I get 36 with mech all in at 3100. Now stock as y'all have it is fine and dandy..but fact is the state of tune then was for emissions and for fuel mileage..thus along with the low compression pistons/heads, the lowly horsepower of the 80s era. Yes they run well at that state of tune when it is all working, but still the advance curve of the system does not allow optimal advance at optimal rpm..just sayin. Not that it won't run smoothly..it will and will get good fuel mileage..that was the point back then. My other classics are way way original..so I am with you..but this car was what it was when I got it. What I sadly don't know is if in its past history and mods..then pistons or heads were modified. When I replace the exhaust manifolds..good time to get a compression test done and see what it is. Is there an external way to tell?
    Nick
    near Spokane WA..as far as I can tell from car fax this car has been in WA (Lynwood) since 1995..unknown prior yrs. Is there a way to find original dealer..where first sold?
    again..hooo-rayyy for keeping original..but mine ain't

  13. #13
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    This comes up every so often. It's hard to tell if the pistons or heads have been modified from the outside. When you take the manifolds off you can visually inspect the exhaust ports to see if they appear stock, ported or are an aftermarket big port head. If they look stock or modified stock you can pull the valve covers to see it the casting numbers are correct for a 1981. Pistons are harder to tell. A compression test will tell you if things are good inside but cylinder pressure will not equate to compression ratio. Camshaft overlap and lobe profile plays a big part in the amount of cylinder pressure actually measured by the compression tester.

    I have been threatening to buy an inspection camera with a flexible head small enough to fit through a spark plug hole. I think Harbor Freight has a couple that might fit the bill for a reasonable price. Then you can see what the piston top looks like. 1981 should be dished. I can think of many things to use that camera for once I have it to help justify the cost.

    Tom
    NCRS 1360.............SACC 2082.............C1 Registry..............L81 Registry
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

  14. #14
    The way the factory meant for'em to be GerryLP's Avatar
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    Default Originality is great, but updating components ensures longer life

    Hello folks, I have been waiting for the right time to repair Gailís engine....again. The number three exhaust cam lobe went flat. So this time, I got a roller cam with the L81 valve timing and a bit more lift.

    Iíll be driving it to the Route 66 Funrun in AZ starting this Friday. Test drive it today for 120 miles. She runs great. I only have a weird problem that when I turn on the headlights, the temperature gauge needle deflect off the scale. Other than that, it goes back
    to normal operation.

    GerryLP :
    GerryLP

  15. #15
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    Default That's Good News Gerry

    I agree that was a smart move switching to the roller cam. It sounds like a ground problem in the cluster though. I wonder if the instument cluster lights are grounding through the temp gauge or even through the gauge wire to the block?

    It's always something. Have a great drive on the Rt 66 Funrun.

    Tom
    NCRS 1360.............SACC 2082.............C1 Registry..............L81 Registry
    Likes Toms007 liked this post
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

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