'68 Impala - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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'68 Impala

Hello all. Sorry if this is a bit long winded.

I just purchased two 1968 Impalas rollers. Essentially this car is one of the few classic cars my wife is into so I bought them as something we could build and enjoy together. I also have a 69 Cutlass project that is underway which is going to be my more expensive build (LS swap, TKO-500 tranny, brand new performance suspension, the works.) so the goal on this is to keep the build as "budget friendly" as a resto can possibly be. I paid 1500 for the two so I think I did ok.

Car 1 is a titled 68, originally a 307 w/ a power glide. Frame is in good shape. Floor pans are in good shape, driver door and front passenger fender look like they were in a demo derby. No interior. All glass is there. very little rust. Mostly just around the front and rear window.

Car 2 is a non-titled 68 parts car, originally a 327. Frame is shot. Front clip is in great shape. Interior is rough but all there. Pretty much everything else is rusted to hell. Car does not have a rear end. Previous owner wanted to put it into his project.

Essentially the plan is to tear both cars down. Anything salvageable will be saved. Everything else will get scrapped. Frame from car 1 will get media blasted, sealed and painted. Front Clip from car 2 will go onto car 1. Anything I don't use will likely get sold only after the car is completed.

So, I am wondering what are my most budget friendly drivetrain options are that won't require a ton of customization. This is going to be a cruiser so I don't need a ton of power, but I do like a little mmph (don't we all?). I would refer to do a manual trans but that isn't a hard point for me. At this point, it is no longer original as I got no motor with the vehicle, and don't intend to ever sell the vehicle, so resale vale is not a concern. I'm leaning towards a 350, but weighing all options.

Will post some pictures of them soon. Haven't got them on the laptop yet. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 10:00 AM
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The small block crate 350 is a 'budget friendly' option. Lots of choices. Anything that gets you close to 375-400 lb-ft of torque at around 3800 rpm is sufficient (let hp 'fall out'). Don't get a flex plate if you intend to go manual. One piece rear main seal. Don't be afraid of the flat tappet cams. They are less $ than the rollers and it takes ALOT of zddp additive to amortize the price difference. BUT, the 'roller' cam is a slight upgrade. You decide the cost/benefit.

AutoGear sells new "Muncie" 4 speed manual transmissions. Not cheap (2k or so), but they fit w/o expensive mods. One may buy direct, and a few vendors sell them to. The 4 speed will 'help' with the 'mmph' factor.

Match the flywheel, clutch and bell housing.

This vendor sells many of the parts you may need:

https://www.4speedconversions.com

Dual exhaust. NO headers.

Keep everything GM make/model equivalent, and using parts the car was designed to accept, and it will all connect and fit.

Just trying to be helpful.

Pete
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japete92 View Post

Match the flywheel, clutch and bell housing.
Thanks Pete. Appreciate the feedback and advice. When you say match the flywheel, clutch and bell you mean match to the trans or motor?

With the Muncie does the OEM trans crossmember work or will I need to buy/fab one?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thowey182 View Post
Thanks Pete. Appreciate the feedback and advice. When you say match the flywheel, clutch and bell you mean match to the trans or motor?

With the Muncie does the OEM trans crossmember work or will I need to buy/fab one?

I am not a historian but:

Flywheel:

two sizes: 153 tooth and 168 tooth. They have different diameters. Bell housing must match. The 'older' 350 engine blocks will have two piece rear main seals. "Newer" (don't remember when they changed) blocks have one piece seals. Make sure the flywheel is for the type seal the engine has. They do not interchange. The starter must 'match' the flywheel too.

Some reading:

GrumpysPerformance.com ? View topic - selecting a flywheel

Bell housing:

There are a bunch of GM bell housings which will attach to a small block Chevy engine. The bell housing needs to match the diameter (determined by the number of teeth) of the flywheel.

Clutch:

The clutch needs to match the flywheel size and the transmission input spline.

Transmission:

LOTS of versions of the 4 speed Muncie. One spec'd like an OEM '68 is good.


Some conversions with the folks at AutoGear may be helpful (even if you don't buy from them). I found them quite accommodating and helpful. Same for the folks at 4speedconversions.

Oh...you will need the frame attachment for the Z bar.

Cross member? Doubt you have to fab one because GM built the car for the Muncie 4 speed. But they may be different; I do not know. Perhaps it has bolt holes for either.

In general, I HIGHLY recommend acquiring the Shop Manual and the Assembly Manual. They are reliable sources for info on how your car was put together and operates.


Pete
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 03:14 PM
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Muncie uses the same cross-member as the PG. Same drive shaft as well. Hardest part of changing from a PG to a manual is finding the pedals and clutch linkage as it was an uncommon combination in a full size car.

A manual was called a standard because up until 1968 it was standard equipment and you paid extra for an automatic, even though almost all of those made were equipped with an automatic tranny. In 1968 the automatic became standard equipment on all full size cars and the manual became an option (three speed was no cost option but the Muncie cost more than a PG to buy). 1969 introduced the TH350 which replaced the PG. It is a direct bolt in for a PG. Full size cars also had a 427 as an option in 1968 (The 427 was only offered in a full size car or a Corvette) so the BBC equipped cars had a TH400 for an automatic. If you replace the PG with a TH400 the drive shaft is shorter and front yoke on the drive shaft is different. Additionally the transmission cross-member has to be moved to the rear of the car.

One piece rear mains appeared in 1986. As Pete said the flywheel differs by having a different diameter bolt circle between the one piece and two piece rear main seal cranks, as well as the number of teeth on the starter ring. 168 tooth flywheel was used with the BBC and has an 11 inch diameter clutch disc. The 153 tooth flywheel was used with the SBC and had a 10 inch clutch. Starters were different to match the ring gear on the fly wheel and in torque generated.

In my opinion I would use a 400 cube SBC as your engine (I recommend a Blueprint brand all new 400 crate engine) and I would match that with a Muncie four speed (requires a special external balance 168 tooth flywheel) or a TH400 automatic with the modified drive shaft.

I would not worry about the power train until after you get your car out of paint purgatory and the interior is finished. Reason being the warranty on a crate engine starts the moment you buy it, not when you first crank it up. The warranty often expires while you spend time getting the car ready for the motor to go in (that takes only six hours from the time you get it to crank it up).

Big Dave
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 03:32 PM
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
I would not worry about the power train until after you get your car out of paint purgatory and the interior is finished. Reason being the warranty on a crate engine starts the moment you buy it, not when you first crank it up.

Big Dave



Very good advice and spot on.
I had my '58 painted then straight to the upholstery shop and afterwards back at home in the garage.
Almost 20 yrs later I'm finally putting it back together. Biggest problem I have/had was finding all the parts and pieces that were removed at home by me and at the body shop by the bodyman.


To the OP, grats on your projects and don't lose sight of the end goal.

I'm not afraid of Tomorrow, I've seen Yesterday and I love Today...It's been a great Life.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 06:23 PM
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Just some more info, if interested:

Reading thru the below, may shed some light on flywheels and bell housings:

https://www.chevelles.com/forums/33-...ls-photos.html

It is in a Chevelle forum, and was started in '06, but largely applicable here/now too.

My experience:

When I was contemplating power train options for my '63 Impala convertible, my goal was to simulate the intro 409 (340 hp and 425 lb-ft torque). The torque was what I wanted; in '63 one had to get a big block. Today, it's readily available with a small block. I bought a crate '383' sbc engine (externally balanced a la the 400 sbc). It was built from a new 350 block with the one piece main seal and 4 bolt mains. It dyno'd at max 440 lb-ft torque at 3800 rpm (hp was 385 at 5300 rpm). It's mated to the AutoGear M22W 'Muncie' 4 speed (a wide ratio version of the original). I also have the larger 'truck' bell housing (I did not use a 12' clutch and I used a larger front bearing retainer to 'fill' the larger hole, not the adapter). It all just fits.

I'm not recommending what I did. My point is there are MANY available variations. Find one that fits your car, and your needs/desires and budget.

I agree it's too early to buy, but not too early to learn, plan and budget. Become an informed buyer.

Pete
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post

I would not worry about the power train until after you get your car out of paint purgatory and the interior is finished. Reason being the warranty on a crate engine starts the moment you buy it, not when you first crank it up. The warranty often expires while you spend time getting the car ready for the motor to go in (that takes only six hours from the time you get it to crank it up).

Big Dave
Hey Dave, thanks for all the info. I was reading a ton of threads in here prior to making my post and your knowledge and the time you devote to responding to and helping others is astounding. Really appreciate all the info.

I have no intentions of getting to the motor anytime soon. Like you said I want to get the car close to done because one I don't want to void the warranty and two, I have limited garage space and between my motorcycles and other projects, I really don't want a drivetrain taking up space unnecessarily. I am however a over planner to so I am trying to build a detailed budget and then an expense report at the end so I can see how close I was on my budget, where I was wrong, etc to ultimately help me have a better idea of what to expect on projects down the road. I also think that when I get a build thread going that will be cool to attach those spreadsheets in there for other people doing one of their first resto that are not sure what to expect.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japete92 View Post

When I was contemplating power train options for my '63 Impala convertible, my goal was to simulate the intro 409 (340 hp and 425 lb-ft torque). The torque was what I wanted; in '63 one had to get a big block. Today, it's readily available with a small block. I bought a crate '383' sbc engine (externally balanced a la the 400 sbc). It was built from a new 350 block with the one piece main seal and 4 bolt mains. It dyno'd at max 440 lb-ft torque at 3800 rpm (hp was 385 at 5300 rpm). It's mated to the AutoGear M22W 'Muncie' 4 speed (a wide ratio version of the original). I also have the larger 'truck' bell housing (I did not use a 12' clutch and I used a larger front bearing retainer to 'fill' the larger hole, not the adapter). It all just fits.

I'm not recommending what I did. My point is there are MANY available variations. Find one that fits your car, and your needs/desires and budget.

I agree it's too early to buy, but not too early to learn, plan and budget. Become an informed buyer.

Pete
Hey Pete,

Firstly YES! I will take all the reading material you can throw at me I like to learn and fully understand as much as I am capable. A lot of really good information here. I appreciate you taking the time to explain to me.

I've wrenched on cars most of my life, but mostly newer cars that are completely stock, and really nothing trans related so I am admittedly out of my depth but I am looking forward to taking my time and learning everything I can.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seon View Post

To the OP, grats on your projects and don't lose sight of the end goal.
Thank man. Really looking forward to the build. I work a lot so I'm sure I will be itching to get complete faster than I can dedicate the time but got to pay for car parts some way or another right?
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 11:50 PM
 
 
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hey thowey, you said in the initial post "I just purchased two 1968 Impalas rollers. Essentially this car is one of the few classic cars my wife is into so I bought them as something we could build and enjoy together. "

does this mean she'll be driving it if you're driving your '69 Cutlass? if so, does she like driving stick? you may just want to consider a simple TH350 or similar.

as for the motor, how simple do you want to go? Summit and Jegs used to have a $1600 w/free shipping new GM crate motor

here's a starting point
https://www.summitracing.com/search/...l-350_6-3l-383

here's 373hp for $2800
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/mll-bp3503ct1
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65_&_67_Impala View Post
hey thowey, you said in the initial post "I just purchased two 1968 Impalas rollers. Essentially this car is one of the few classic cars my wife is into so I bought them as something we could build and enjoy together. "

does this mean she'll be driving it if you're driving your '69 Cutlass? if so, does she like driving stick? you may just want to consider a simple TH350 or similar.

as for the motor, how simple do you want to go? Summit and Jegs used to have a $1600 w/free shipping new GM crate motor

here's a starting point
https://www.summitracing.com/search/...l-350_6-3l-383

here's 373hp for $2800
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/mll-bp3503ct1
She will drive it occasionally but not often. We mainly got it because her father bought a project car to build with her when she was younger and to this day its sat under a tarp without a drop of work done to it. She just wants to help build and go cruising in it but has already expressed that she has no real desire to drive it much. I did give her the choice and she said she wants it to be a manual, which is weird because she still hasn't let me teach her how to drive manual yet. Ultimately we call the Impala "our" car and the Cutlass "my" car LOL

As far as motor goes I'm pretty undecided, but I think I will most likely want to land in the 350 HP range. I think ultimately I'm just looking for the most bang for my buck.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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As promised, a few photos. Green car is the non-titled parts car with a rotted frame. Red car will be the project car.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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A few more
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2020, 02:02 PM
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thowey182 View Post
Hello all. Sorry if this is a bit long winded......so the goal on this is to keep the build as "budget friendly" as a resto can possibly be. I paid 1500 for the two so I think I did ok.

Car 1 is a titled 68, originally a 307 w/ a power glide. Frame is in good shape. Floor pans are in good shape, driver door and front passenger fender look like they were in a demo derby. No interior. All glass is there. very little rust. Mostly just around the front and rear window.

Car 2 is a non-titled 68 parts car, originally a 327. Frame is shot. Front clip is in great shape. Interior is rough but all there. Pretty much everything else is rusted to hell. Car does not have a rear end. Previous owner wanted to put it into his project.

Essentially the plan is to tear both cars down. Anything salvageable will be saved. Everything else will get scrapped. Frame from car 1 will get media blasted, sealed and painted. Front Clip from car 2 will go onto car 1. Anything I don't use will likely get sold only after the car is completed.

So, I am wondering what are my most budget friendly drivetrain options are that won't require a ton of customization. This is going to be a cruiser so I don't need a ton of power, but I do like a little mmph (don't we all?). I would refer to do a manual trans but that isn't a hard point for me. At this point, it is no longer original as I got no motor with the vehicle, and don't intend to ever sell the vehicle, so resale vale is not a concern. I'm leaning towards a 350, but weighing all options.
just saw your posted pics. $1500 for both? you did more than ok! those bumpers look good for their age and you'll get some money back on the scrap metal at the salvage metal yard.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2020, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65_&_67_Impala View Post
just saw your posted pics. $1500 for both? you did more than ok! those bumpers look good for their age and you'll get some money back on the scrap metal at the salvage metal yard.

Thanks man. I've been constantly looking within a 500 mile radius of myself looking for the right deal. Luckily, I found that about 30 mins after it was posted and jumped on it. I figure between salvage and selling spare parts I should be able to recoup about1/3 of that money.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2020, 03:31 PM
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Here's some general 'Muncie' info for your reading list:

Guide to Muncie M20, M21, and M22 Four-Speed Transmissions

I don't agree with the 'Summit' shifter and bell housing 'plugs' at the end. Hurst Competition Plus shifter and a GM bell are what I used.

In the next few days I'll post some 'ignition' and 'cam shaft' info (I need to find them again).

Pete
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2020, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japete92 View Post
Here's some general 'Muncie' info for your reading list:

Guide to Muncie M20, M21, and M22 Four-Speed Transmissions

I don't agree with the 'Summit' shifter and bell housing 'plugs' at the end. Hurst Competition Plus shifter and a GM bell are what I used.

In the next few days I'll post some 'ignition' and 'cam shaft' info (I need to find them again).

Pete
you are the man!



Thomas
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2020, 09:51 AM
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Thomas,

Ignition:

https://www.chevelles.com/forums/374...ion-101-a.html

Cam:

GrumpysPerformance.com ? View topic - Camshafts - 8 Lessons

My favorite 'cam' excerpt :

"So you can see how a cam maker can tailor the camshaft specs to produce a particular power band in an engine--

Short duration with a wide separation angle might be best for towing, producing a strong, smooth low-end torque curve.

Long duration with a short separation angle might be suited for high-rpm drag racing, with a high-end, sharp torque peak.

Moderate duration with wide separation angle might be best suited for an all-around street performance engine, producing a longer, smoother torque band that can still breathe well at higher RPM.

Remember, there's always a compromise made in this process."

Just trying to be helpful.

Pete
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks pete, that cam info was really helpful!

68' Impala
68' Impala parts car
69' Cutlass
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