68 Impala Wagon modifications begin

Discussion in 'Cosmetic & Restoration' started by Colossal68, May 19, 2021.

  1. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    I case any of you are interested in following along with some updates I’m making to my 68 Impala wagon throughout the summer.

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    New shocks, springs, bushings, bearings, and a front disc conversion. Getting ready to better handle and stop the big block that will soon be under the hood.
     
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  2. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 2: remove the motor and trans
    I’m replacing the car’s original 307 and 2-speed power glide with a 427 and Tremec 5-speed manual

    Everything is disconnected and getting ready ready to take out the motor tomorrow.

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  3. JaySco

    JaySco Noob McGee

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    Nice. Keep the updates coming!
     
  4. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 3: clean up the engine compartment
    We removed the motor and trans as one piece and kept all the lines, etc. together that we feasibly could. Should make it more appealing to anyone who might be looking for a low mileage replacement 307 and related components. If you know anyone who might be interested:
    http://ebay.us/zBZktc?cmpnId=5338273189

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    Now we get to work on cleaning up the engine compartment. One of the first steps will be to remove the inner fenders and get them dipped and powder coated. Then I’ll work on clearing up and painting the firewall and frame. Someday I’ll do a frame off resto and get the whole frame dipped and powder coated, but that’s in the cards at the moment.
     
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  5. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 4: Remove the rear end and exhaust
    I made a last minute decision (at the advice and insistence of my dad and brother) to upgrade to a 12-bolt rear end to remove any doubt of the rear-end’s ability to handle the torque of the new motor. While that rear end is being built, we removed the original 10-bolt posi, exhaust system and control arms. I’ll get the control arms dipped and powder coated after we press out the old bushings. The exhaust, while in excellent condition, needs an upgrade to connect to the new headers on the motor. I ordered a new 2.5” aluminized exhaust from Waldron Exhaust along with some more free-flowing mufflers to get the most horsepower from the new motor.

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  6. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    This looks like it's going to be a great build. Thanks for the photos. Keep em coming as you progress.
     
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  7. VTWAGONLOVER

    VTWAGONLOVER Well-Known Member

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    DEFINITELY following this build - I'm sure I'll learn a lot!
     
  8. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 5: Keep working on the engine compartment
    The more we took apart and started cleaning up, the more work we found that needed to be done. When the car was repainted 20-some years ago, they got quite a bit of overspray on the cowl rubber, screen and stainless steel guard. So, I took them all off. The rubber was brittle and came off in chunks, so I ordered a new one.
    The screen didn’t fit very well from the factory and left some big gaps in the cowl (a common issue I’m finding), so I ordered some new 1/4” square powdered coated stainless steel “car grill” screen from Etsy (of all places), and I plan to cut a new, better fitting replacement piece. I’ll post pics of that when it’s done.
    The stainless cowl guard is cleaning up nicely with a little help from a medium fine and super fine polishing creams and a lot of elbow grease. In some really bad areas of overspray, I used 600, 800, then 1200 grit sandpaper followed by the polishing creams. I learned the hard way that it’s really important to keep your sanding in just one direction.
    It also appears that someone replaced the front windshield at some point and did a very sloppy job of reinstalling it, getting window sealant all over the edges of the dashboard. So, since everything else is already apart, I’m looking into getting the windshield removed so i can repaint the back of the dash as well upper firewall/cowl and then get the window properly and neatly reinstalled. I’m having a nearly impossible time verifying the color code of the dash paint, so I may end up taking something like the glove box to a speciality paint store that can match the color. The disassembly is done. More to come on the rest later.
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  9. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 5B: Keep disassembling the engine compartment
    We removed the inner fenders and radiator support, both of which will be dipped and then powder coated. Removing the radiator support also lets me replace the very brittle support mounts. The inner fenders were quite tricky to remove. It took a lot of patience and three sets of eyes and hands as we slowly maneuvered them out - a very tight fit. But grateful we could do it without taking off the outer fenders. Putting them back in after they’re powder coated and perfect without scraping them all up will I’m sure prove even more difficult and stressful for sure.
    Now that everything is out, we’ll start cleaning up the frame with mineral spirits and painting with black semi-gloss POR.
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  10. VTWAGONLOVER

    VTWAGONLOVER Well-Known Member

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    Looking good! In my experience with builds/modifications, one thing always leads to six more - just always works out that way. But I can tell you are in it to do it right and will end up with an even more beautiful car!
     
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  11. 60Mercman

    60Mercman Well-Known Member

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    Wow. What a great job! That cars gonna look better than when it rolled out of Janesville! I’m assuming a Wisconsin built car.
     
  12. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    You know that factory tag that has all the 3-digit alphanumeric codes? You can decipher that to get the proper interior color and such. GM guys know it better than I do. Or, if you have, or can find, the broadcast sheet (usually under the front or rear seat bottom), that'll spell out the interior code, which you can then google.
     
  13. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Actually, according to the tag, it was built in St. Louis!
     
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  14. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    It’s interesting - according to an impala site I ran across, apparently the tag on the firewall tells me that the interior paint color code is “J”. But obviously that’s Chevy code. I can’t seem to find a translation table anywhere online that would give me the paint code needed to recreate it. I’m pretty sure it’s either Medium Saddle or Dark Saddle, but haven’t found a way yet to confirm. I’ll see if there’s anything on the seat bottom. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  15. 60Mercman

    60Mercman Well-Known Member

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    That would have been my 2nd guess. Between the big Impalas, corvettes, and some trucks that facility was humongous. I remember as a kid visiting relatives, and my uncle lined up a plant tour. I remember like it was yesterday watching and following an artesian turquoise 4 door Bel Air down the line. That was so exciting!
     

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