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Restoration Corner Aimed at Originality

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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-16-2016 02:16 PM
Big Dave I agree epoxy and fiberglass should seal it for the rest of time if stored in a dark warehouse out of the sun.

Big Dave
06-16-2016 01:50 PM
gnfast87
Floor pans are almost done

Finally got the driver side floorpan in. Came out pretty good. I decided to cut the floorpan in half before I
welded it in. Made it so much easier. I wasn't going to replace the whole floor for a couple of 2 to 3" holes but I'm glad I did. Don't have to worry about it in the future.

The plan is to epoxy primer both sides and then use Evercoat short hair fiberglass on both sides of the seams. Then a 2nd coat of epoxy primer followed by a coat of undercoating. Was told that there is no reason to seam sealer if you use the fiberglass and epoxy. What do you guys think?? The car is only driven in nice weather and put up for the winter.
05-28-2016 09:17 PM
gnfast87
The restoration continues

Haven't posted my progress in a while. Up in the far north of Vermont, we just had snow 3 weeks ago. Today it was 90 degrees! Go figure. Well, I finally got the motor/tranny back in the Impala. Exhaust is Pypes with Violators. Should sound pretty nasty!!
09-02-2015 09:09 AM
Big Dave The SBC 400 was externally balanced and most low cost cast cranks are similarly externally balanced. Usually you had to buy a more expensive forged chrome moly crank to get the missing internal counter weights for the crank to be neutral balanced.

Did you pay twice the price of the cast crank to buy the forged steel internally balanced one when you built it? If you are in doubt as to whether your crank is cast or not you can examine the parting line visible on the rear flange to see if it has a wide seam with grinding marks, or a thin pointed mold parting line.

How to tell cast from forged. The cast parting line is on the left. the forged seam that is ground down is on the left.

Here is the rear flange of a cast 350 that has the thin pointed crest of a parting mold line on the top of the square part of the flange.
Big Dave
09-02-2015 09:09 AM
Big Dave The SBC 400 was externally balanced and most low cost cast cranks are similarly externally balanced. Usually you had to buy a more expensive forged chrome moly crank to get the missing internal counter weights for the crank to be neutral balanced.

Did you pay twice the price of the cast crank to buy the forged steel internally balanced one when you built it? If you are in doubt as to whether your crank is cast or not you can examine the parting line visible on the rear flange to see if it has a wide seam with grinding marks, or a thin pointed mold parting line.

How to tell cast from forged. The cast parting line is on the left. the forged seam that is ground down is on the left.

09-01-2015 07:43 PM
gnfast87 Hey everyone: Haven't worked on the Impala for a couple of weeks. I'm right in the middle of building a hay barn for the wife.

Today was around 84 degrees and low humidity so I said it's "Brian Day" today and worked on the car all day.

I purchased a 2800 stall convertor for the Turbo 400 a couple of months ago. I separated the tranny from the engine and realized that the new convertor has a 10.75" spacing on the flexplate. The old flexplate is 11.50" and won't work.

Here is my problem. The motor is the stock 327 but has a 400 crank in it to make a 383. I'm assuming that the 400 crank had to be rebalanced when the motor was built. If that's the case, can I buy a neutral balance flexplate and not have any problems?? I don't want to take this motor apart because it's running wicked strong right now. Those aluminum Brodix 2.08" heads really make some power!!

thanks,
08-04-2015 05:49 PM
gnfast87 I thought about that when I had it sandblasted. If it leaks or spins the tube I will have more ammunition with the wife to upgrade to a Ford 9".

I'm trying to keep this Impala a driver/cruiser but that "need for speed" feeling keeps creeping in.
08-03-2015 10:46 PM
BA. Your work looks good man. Nice to see you going with some better gearing too.

May want to consider welding the axle housing to the differential if it isn't too late. I had heard of others' overpowering the small pins keeping them in-line on the diff., but imagine my surprise when I completely rotated my passenger side housing enough to make the whole rear-end sit cock-eyed back there! (I was doing a burn-out)
08-03-2015 03:34 PM
gnfast87
New Updates

Made some good progress this past weekend. Swapped out the existing 2.73 carrier with the new 3 series carrier. Decided to go with a 3.55 gear. Should make it a little quicker out of the hole.

Installed the rearend with all new suspension parts and brake lines. Came out really nice!

I have to finish the passenger side front suspension and then it's time to roll it back under the body. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
07-29-2015 08:11 PM
gnfast87 Front end is almost done and rearend is being setup tomorrow. Should be a rolling chassis by the end of the weekend. Damn heat in Vermont is killing my car time.

The plan is by next Wednesday the body will be back on the new frame.

I've taken pictures that I need to post on spring compression and a couple of little tricks I found when installing them. Maybe we can create a sticky on this topic Dave.

I will post them up tomorrow.

Brian
07-29-2015 12:39 PM
newmexguy How is that project going? Local yard still has the 68 Impala sedan if you need anything. Yard has closed but owner is still selling parts to locals. Clean metal in firewall, cowl, and rockers / floors.

I would use solid blocks or build cribbing out of 2" x 4" 's or 2" x 6" 's to support that body, btw. One hit on one of those wall blocks, and it could fracture and all come down.
07-17-2015 08:25 AM
gnfast87 Thanks Dave! I've used AMK for my Chevelle. Great stuff.

Don't get me started on Chinese policies in this country.
07-17-2015 03:03 AM
Big Dave I would much rather buy the parts you need from the original OEM source (Lake Erie, & Rockwell) but they are no longer made here in the good ole US of A.

Instead there are companies the scrounge around to find the OEM quality fasteners in the correct grade and finish to restore your car. Not as cheap as going to the big box store to get screws and bolts but at least they are the correct tensile strength to do the job. (grade eight bolts from China is often not even grade five when tested). I have bought from these guys in the past to find the bolts I need to finish a basket case project car where all of the fasteners where all cleaned of grease and then allowed to rust when placed inside a plastic bin for a decade or more.

http://www.amkproducts.com/default.htm

I use ARP fasteners for all of my engine builds buying a single box containing every fastener needed EXCEPT for the main studs and the head studs that I use in place of bolts (which requires line honing the block to accept the main studs because the difference in the clamping force distorts the caps differently enough to affect bearing clearances). You can not reuse the bolts you find as you have no idea if they have been over torqued in the past; or reused twenty or more times fatiguing the bolts.

Here is an importer that specializes in automotive asteners beyond just hex cap screws and bolts (spring clips and specialty fasteners) if you need a hard to find part. But note how many of the parts listed are made in China (5,613) vs Canada (26) or Mexico (zip) which are our NAFTA partners that get to put made in USA on parts that were actually Hecho en Mexico back in the sixties. Also note that like Mexico we make none of these parts anymore; which is why I retired early, as I was an Industrial Engineer that doesn't speak Chinese.

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/oem-auto-fasteners.html

Big Dave
07-16-2015 06:08 PM
gnfast87 Thanks Larry! It's hard not to just put everything back together and drive it but I know that by going through each and every bolt it will turn out really nice and last a long time.

My bolts/screws budget has tripled though.
07-16-2015 09:12 AM
dadstoy Your restoration is looking good.
07-15-2015 08:36 PM
gnfast87 Made some good progress on the frame off restoration today. Started putting the front end together and taught my 11 year old son how to remove and reassembly the 10 bolt posi rearend. My little gearhead. Clutch packs looked like brand new. Will be swapping out the 2.73 gears with a nice performance 3.55 gear. I just hope it holds up to the horsepower of the motor.

I found the sloppy steering problem I was having. The rag joint had 1/2 of the teeth stripped off it and the pitman arm to center link joint was all galled and loose.

I did want to recommend the rearend holding bars that bolt to a motor stand. Bought them at Summit for $49 and served me well. It was so nice to be able to work on the rearend without having to slide it around on the floor.
07-04-2015 06:38 PM
gnfast87 Good Idea Dave. I have a big pile of bushings, old control arms, bolts and washers that I'm sure I will have to go through. Remember me asking about the square bushing mount right in front of the rear tires?? I have the bushing with square sleeve. It definitely is different than what the vendors are sending out.

I think I found my steering wandering problem too. When I wiggle the rag joint I notice the pitman arm moves but the Center link joint is really lose. Between that and the new upper/lower control arms I'm hoping everything tightens up the car.

thanks for the help,
Brian
07-04-2015 05:07 PM
Big Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnfast87 View Post
Finally got everything off the old frame.

Now it's time to reassembly everything back together. I bought everything brand new so it shouldn't take to long. First up, is the fuel lines and brake lines!
Before anything goes in the garbage check the old rubber bushings for the steel sleeves that are inside the bushing and keeps the bolt from crushing the bushing. They look just like aged rubber now only rusty on the inside and are probably vulcanized to the sleeve. You want them because they are rarely included with a bushing kit. A little time in a sand blast cabinet and a coat of self etching primer and you can paint them so they don't get thrown away on the next re-build. Maybe yellow for a red bushing or white if your bushings are black.

Big Dave
07-04-2015 04:54 PM
gnfast87 Finally got everything off the old frame.

Now it's time to reassembly everything back together. I bought everything brand new so it shouldn't take to long. First up, is the fuel lines and brake lines!
07-03-2015 08:14 AM
gnfast87 Thanks Dave!

I'm going to tackle removing the springs today.
07-02-2015 02:31 PM
Big Dave You can cut them in place to get them out with a Sawzall (there isn't much that a Milwaukee Sawzall won't cut with the right blade). Since those springs have had the heat treatment destroyed by heating there isn't that much energy stored any more. In fact they may just fall out once you break the ball joint loose.

Big Dave
07-02-2015 02:03 PM
gnfast87 I don't know if I can get my spring compressors in between the coils. Did you see the coil bind in the previous picture Dave?

I was thinking about chaining the springs to the control arms and then using a reciprocating saw to cut a coil. I don't think my plasma cutter will cut that thick of a coil spring.
07-02-2015 01:56 PM
Big Dave Rear springs will fall off once you loosen the shocks. There isn't a lot of stored energy in the rear springs because the rear drops down so far. That is not true for the front springs because the ball joints hold the upper and lower control arms so close together that there is a lot of potential energy stored in the spring if you let the ball joint free without a safety chain to retain it (you want to remove the shock first because you can break the shock if you let the full force of the spring hit it in extension).

With the frame off the car and the weight off the frame you will need to use spring compressors to safely remove the front coil springs. You can rent them from your corner auto parts store for a lot less than your co-pay for an emergency room visit.

Big Dave
07-02-2015 01:47 PM
gnfast87 More progress on the frame replacement. Old frame is out. Now it's time for removing the rearend and front suspension stuff.

I saw a couple of bad spots on the frame but had no idea that the area between the inner rocker panel and frame was so rotted. You really can't see up between those 2 panels because it's only about 3/4" wide.

Glad I went and got a new frame.

I do have a question though. What's the easiest way to remove the front and back springs if there is no weight on the frame???
06-28-2015 07:17 PM
gnfast87 Made a lot of progress on the frame swap restoration project this weekend. Front sheetmetal is removed, engine is out and all body bushing bolts are removed.

I would like to meet the engineer that thought it was a good idea to put cage plates under the floor for the 2 sets of body bushings. He and I would go a couple of rounds!!!
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