Starting my 1963 Restoration - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 7
Starting my 1963 Restoration

Hello all,
I´m 17 years old and recently I have inherited my Grandpa´s 1963 V8 Impala 2 Door. Last summer me and him rolled it out of the garage for the first time since the early 90s and did an oil change. This restoration was supposed to be our summer project. He bought this car brand new, therefore it only had one owner. Here´s where it gets interesting; this car was flooded in 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy. When I drained the oil, I´m not joking when I say there was 2-3 Gallons of SALT water in the oil pan. So I figured that I´ll have to drop the oil pan and figure out what I´m dealing with whether I have to replace it or clean it out. Tranny fluid was as clean as can be and there is only slight corrosion around the vehicle. The water reached about half way up the wheel well so only the bottom half of the motor was in the salt water for a few hours. Also, I hooked up a battery and turned the key to see if I could get the radio working but got no response so I was thinking about replacing the harness. Overall the car is clean and was daily driven it was stored in the garage for the long run.

So, any suggestions on what I should do next or in the future? Any Ideas on what I should check or replace. Any input is extremely appreciated.

- Mike
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Welcome to the Team!

1963 was the last year Chevy used a forged steel crank in all of their motors. So if it was a 283 the crank in a small journal 327 crank would make a nice retro 301 (It was only called a 302 when Chevy put the 283 crank in a 327 block to make a 301.6 cid small block for some reason beyond my understanding). If it is a 327 block (four inch bore) then with a rebuild you would have a nice 331 (331.6 but whose counting). Just be sure to mention the year of the motor as in 1968 a 327 grew in journal size to match that of the 350. Salt water in a motor is going to require a rebuild. I would rebuild or replace the transmission as well as water in an automatic is all bad and aluminum corrodes quickly in salt water.

Biggest issue I see is going to be the interior. Mold and corrosion will be in race to see which can total the car faster. Your wiring issues are probably due to a bad connection in the fuse block where the two halves bolt together. The little contacts inside have probably corroded away.

I would buy a gallon or so of stop rust to see if you can save the car since it was stored out of the weather most of it's life it is probably still in good condition.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lewisburg, Ohio
Posts: 2,909
If you really want to preserve your Grandfathers car, take it apart. Salt water has taken over the lower portions of the car. It will eat the car up. The frame and components, The rear end, The sheetmetal. It will all need dissembled cleaned and protected.  69
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2016
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I agree, thats the only way to do it right. So many people try to shortcut and end up having to back track a few years later when rust rears its ugly head under that beautiful paint job that you just put on there just 3-4 years earlier. Take your time do it right and you will enjoy many years to come
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
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it's cool to hear that you got the g'pa's car but I'd be so wary of every single electrical connection. yeesh. Replacing the full harness is probably a very good idea to prevent constantly sorting and digging into every little electrical anomaly.

and for the engine, with that much salt water coming out of it, I'd be super suspicious of every one of the Main, Rod and Cam bearings.
I'd think that they could have started corrosion, and thus very tiny pitting.

I've not heard of anyone bringing a car back from being flooded but I'm sure it's a lot of work, which is why they are frequently 'totaled' or have a salvage title.
I don't know of anyway you can know how the inside of that engine is looking without a teardown. You can always gamble and see how long it runs once you get'r going. Probably nothing to lose there. Just a little time getting it fired up.

Ditto on the others' comments on the body, you need to power wash it but the beginning may have already started.
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BA. is offline  
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1963, flood, restoration, salt water, two door

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