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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In January of this year I picked up a very straight 65 Impala that was literally in my back yard, and I'm hell bent to put it together this year. It's a basket case, which I definitely didn't want. But after several aborted attempts to find a clean 65 Impala SS, I figure this is too good of a body to pass up.

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood

I knew in 5 minutes that this was the one. Previous owner, who owned a body shop, put hundreds of hours into straightening the body and replacing panels. Doors and Fenders from Arizona. In primer and guide coat, ready for final block sanding. He even shaved the upper part of the firewall.
Rectangle Grey Font Wood Technology

Originally white, he picked a silver color, and even cut it in with color. I'm going with Danube Blue.

Cloud Wheel Sky Tire Car

Picked it up the next day. It also came with a lot of extra parts, including tilt column, 12 bolt rear, fender, door, SS console, 2 sets of bumpers and a whole lot more.

Car Wheel Vehicle Hood Automotive design

Made some room in the shop, then began taking inventory.
Colorfulness Font Circle Rectangle Diagram

I made a spreadsheet to list what I had, what was missing, and charts to show how much this basket case was ultimately going to cost. I think I could do it for about half in 2019 of what it's going to cost in 2022. Ooof!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Vehicle registration plate White Motor vehicle Hood Wood

Last time it was on the road?

Shoe Wood Bag Sneakers Luggage and bags

The 14" hub caps aren't going on. But that console is. It came with 65 SS Bucket seats too. Previous owner was going to make it a SS clone. I will probably do that too.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Rim Automotive exterior Gas

The 12 bolt was supposed to be a posi. It turned out to be an untouched, 3.31, open carrier, passenger axle from 1965.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread Tire Automotive design

I toyed with the idea of using an 8.5" Corp 10 Bolt from a 96 Impala that I had lying around. It has a Truetrac, disc brakes, Non C-clip axles and had already been straightened and welded. The lower trailing arms fit perfectly, but I would have to fabricate upper brackets, either triangulated ones at the frame or parallel ones at the housing.

Automotive tire Tire Gas Flooring Asphalt

I decided to build the 12 bolt instead. Got tubes welded and straightened plus Non C-clip ends installed. Finally got all the parts to build it; Eaton truetrac, 33 spline axles, 3.73 gears, Wilwood disc brake kit. Just waiting on better weather so I can blast and then paint it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Got a paint sample. Danube Blue Metallic (Code E) on the spare fender. I really like it, and more importantly so does the wife!

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Before it goes to paint I need to clean up the frame and the underside of the body. The previous owner had his workers do some cleanup on the underside, but he never got around to painting it, and now it has a little surface rust. Likewise, he did nothing with the frame. So I need to get it, and the underbody, prepped and painted so that it's a roller and able to be towed to the painter.

Next step is to get the frame ready. I plan to blast it, paint it, and then put on all of the suspension parts. I'll then blast and paint the under body of the car before putting it back down on the frame.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread

Frame is all disassembled with nothing left attached and sitting on the rotisserie. If the weather cooperates I may get to to blast it tomorrow, followed by paint over the next few days.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Rim Automotive wheel system

The frame isn't as clean as the body. It supposedly sat under a car port with the trunk exposed for many years. I plan to reinforce the frame in key spots to hold up to the increased horsepower and shock of 1/4 mile launches.

Water Window Wood Rectangle Road surface

VIN stamped into the frame. I can barely make out 5T1422, which matches the VIN. The rust after the second 2 is so bad that I doubt I'll find more of the series number, if it was ever there.
 

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I do love me a project thread! Thanks, looking forward to updates. Where's that VIN on the frame? Body off to see it? I know it's in my chassis manual, but that's in the basement, lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do love me a project thread! Thanks, looking forward to updates. Where's that VIN on the frame? Body off to see it? I know it's in my chassis manual, but that's in the basement, lol
The VIN stamp on mine was:
  • on the driver side
  • in the crumple zone behind the back wheel
  • on the top of the frame
  • very near the inside edge (Open side of the C channel)
  • Text was oriented from back to front

Rectangle Bumper Automotive tire Font Automotive exterior

For reference, it was above the frame part number and date stamp that is on the side of the frame.
Note that the text on the frame number stamp is oriented front to back. While the VIN stamp was oriented from back to front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the links. I found a couple over on CTF too. All I can think of for now are:
  • Triangulation braces between the upper and lower trailing arm mounts
  • Gussets at the lower trailing arm bracket
  • Something to beef up the rear upper shock mount (for coil-overs).
I don't know the rationale for bracing the side of the frame where it's already boxed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got thinking about the plan to paint/protect the inside of the frame, and I'm concerned that I'll never get all of the blast media out of it before painting it.

Wood Asphalt Road surface Wall Plant

So I washed the frame today.

Water Automotive tire Wood Automotive exterior Liquid

I don't expect it to be perfectly clean, but I'm glad I did it.

Wheel Hat Wood Motor vehicle Automotive tire

The power washer did a great job, and now that the decade of body shop dust is gone, it definitely looks like a rusty 57 year old frame.

Automotive exterior Gas Cable Composite material Auto part

OK, so what happened here?
 

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I got thinking about the plan to paint/protect the inside of the frame, and I'm concerned that I'll never get all of the blast media out of it before painting it.


So I washed the frame today.


I don't expect it to be perfectly clean, but I'm glad I did it.


The power washer did a great job, and now that the decade of body shop dust is gone, it definitely looks like a rusty 57 year old frame.

View attachment 30640
OK, so what happened here?
I'm guessing someone was thinking of installing a different shorter/longer transmission and thought they would weld in a new cross-member bracket?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Plant Tree Sky Grass Helmet

Started blasting on Tuesday...

Tarpaulin Blue Shade Tent Tints and shades

It only took about 3 hrs of actual blasting time to get it clean

Product Temperature Measuring instrument Gas Gadget

Throw in another 40+ hours to; dial-in the blaster settings, unclog the blaster, change to a smaller media, fix the blaster, buy more media, fix the blaster, recycle media, let the compressor cool off, fix the blaster, buy a new blast hood so I could actually see the frame to finish the last 5 minutes of blasting.

Sky Road surface Plant Asphalt Flag

...finished on Friday.
 

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Do the ackerman fix before you paint the frame!

I paid 800 to have my new frame blasted and powder coated.



I would paint it original color...if you ever sell ... you will wish you did. but if you keep and just drag it, it doesn't matter. paint it what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I plan to paint BEFORE doing the the Ackerman fix because I want to install the suspension and then be done with the frame, and then install brake and fuel lines. Besides, from what I've read about the Ackerman fix, and there were a lot of differing opinions/recommendations given, it involves simply drilling new holes in the passenger side frame rail to SIDE mount the 67 idler arm, and that the pitman arm and centerlink should be in place before hand to properly locate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
MOD #1: Upper Shock mount reinforcement for Coilover Shocks.

Although QA1 didn't say to do this, I thought it would be a good idea to try and strengthen the upper shock mount and tie it into the frame a little more.

To do this I:
  • Added 14 ga hot rolled steel plate with a 90 deg bend onto the back side of the crossmember.
Wood Aircraft Motor vehicle Aviation Vehicle
Wood Aviation Engineering Automotive exterior Motor vehicle
Hood Motor vehicle Engineering Gas Machine


  • And another plate on the bottom, also with a slight bend to match the frame, to tie the two sides of the shock mount together.
Chair Wood Grey Stairs Tints and shades
Wood Chair Metal Auto part Pattern


I also added a brace to the passenger side at the front of the crumple zone to match the one that was installed on the driver side at the factory...
Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Gas Auto part
 

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