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Discussion in 'Cosmetic & Restoration' started by Colossal68, May 19, 2021.
Sure. His name is Matt. His contact info is 414-349-0871. He does this work on the side.
Thank you. I'll pass it along.
Thinners come in slow, mid-temp, and fast to combat that problem (at least they used too). The rapid evaporation of fast thinners draw moisture from the air and cause the cloudiness. A slow thinner alleviates that problem. Only a dedicated automotive paint supply store would have them. I haven't seen them listed on any of the online suppliers. In this day of temperature controlled spray booths, maybe they aren't used anymore.
Thanks for that info. I’d never heard of the impact of thinners before. Given that I don’t have a temperature controlled paint booth, I’ll remember to ask about that for next time!
Step 8: Finish protection and beautification of underbody and engine compartment
It’s official. I think we’ve actually cleaned and painted every part of the car needed to start the (re)assembly process.
I finished painting the underbody last week (with Eastwood flat black) followed by the firewall (Eastwood under hood matte black) and the inside of all the fender wells (semi gloss POR) to get as much protection as I can from the elements. I also used clear POR over some very light surface rust areas I found under the passenger side doors.
I still want to remove and paint the gas tank to finish the underbody protection, which sits behind the drivers side rear wheel well, but I can do that at any time. So I’ll fit it in when time allows.
Looking good. Steady progress.
Step 9: Start Installing Air Conditioning
The reassembly process started with the first step in installing a new custom aftermarket air conditioning unit made by Custom Auto Air specifically for a 1968 Impala. Since the entire dash was already disassembled, it made fitting this under dash unit easier (but far from easy). Despite being “custom made,” there were a number of pieces that didn’t fit quite right, and the instructions lack quite a bit of detail. I spent more time just trying to understand the instructions than I actually spent assembling. The wiring, in particular, was a complete mystery. But in the end, I figured it out (I think - we’ll see if it works when it’s complete.)
I installed the evaporator/blower unit behind and to the left of the glovebox. It’s so big that they actually give you a new, much smaller glovebox that replaces your old one. That’s okay with me. Small price to pay for summer comfort. I’m going to make sure everything works before I take the nail-biting, heart-breaking move of cutting holes for the vents I n the freshly painted perfect dash. I’m still not entirely convinced I can do it. I might end up installing them under the dash. We’ll see.
Before I could install anything though, I had to remove the old crumbling firewall insulation and replace it with heat shield/sound deadening mats made by HushMats. They’re supposedly good up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and had good reviews online, so we’ll see.
Old carpeting removed, ready for some insulation (The carpet pads were near perfect, so I’m leaving them in place):
Firewall insulation installed (easy peel and stick):
Condenser/Blower installed behind the glovebox:
Condenser pipes coming through the firewall face plate:
Looks like you're making steady progress.
My car came with factory A/C, but it hasn't worked in years. I'm at the point of wanting A/C in the car and taking the steps to get it there. I'm trying to decide if I should attempt to get the original system up and running or if I should dump it in favor of an aftermarket kit.
Was your car an original A/C car?
My car was NOT an original A/C car. I wish it were - I’d have all the needed vents and not have to drill holes in my dash! Custom Auto Air also supplies reproduction parts for cars like yours that originally came with A/C. I’d have gone that route instead if my car came with air but since it didn’t, this seemed easier. Good luck!
Step 10: Install the rear end
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I bought a new 12-bolt rear with 3.73 gears from Moser Engineering. Since that came powder coated (at an extra cost), it only seemed right to powder coat the control arms and springs as well. We were waiting on some control arm bushing to arrive and be seated, and with that done, time to install the rear end.
My dad got the rear end itself and the control arms in by himself by the time I got there after work, and together with my brother, the three of us struggled for a couple hours to get the springs in without scratching the rear end or accidentally killing ourselves with a wayward compressed spring. We ended up getting them in by rigging a ratchet strap to the spring and frame to hold it in place while we slowly jacked up the rear end and kept all the screw holes lined up with a steel drift. Once we figured that out, it worked really well on both sides. I’m sure there was an easier way to do that and/or the right tools that we didn’t have, but it worked, and it looks great.
The spring is daring us to compress it….
Reining the spring in with a ratchet strap to the frame before we aligned it
Rear end installed!
Step 11: Paint Day
Preparing for the engine compartment and drive train assembly, I needed to do a little prep work today by painting a few key components: The radiator and shroud, bell housing and transmission. While none of them technically needed to be painted, the Cold Case radiator is made to look stock, and by painting it satin black with Eastwood’s radiator paint, I could get a nice stock look (even though it will have two electric fans instead of a typical belt-driven fan).
And since I intend to actually drive this car when I’m done, I wanted to protect as much of it from the elements as possible. Eastwood’s Aluma Blast is so close to cast aluminum, it’ll look like raw aluminum while hopefully slowing the pitting/corrosion tendency that aluminum has over time.
Side note: It took a lot of research for me to figure out whether the bell housing came painted orange or cast aluminum on a ‘68 impala with a 427 and aluminum heads. I found a few pix online of supposedly “original” cars that confirmed it should be aluminum, so I’m going with that.
The radiator before and after a couple coats of Eastwood Radiator Paint. I love the way it looks…
The transmission pre- and post-painting with Eastwood’s Aluma Cast. It’s so close to the look of real aluminum, it’s hard to tell what you’re painting…
I believe the ultra, absolute correct paint for the bellhousing is engine color about 3-4 inches back from the block. We painted the whole bellhousing on our '67 Chevy orange. Looks better all one color either silver or orange in my opinion and we aren't taking our car to concourse restoration shows.
What gears did you go with on the TKX? I was forever going back and forth between the Magnum T56 and TKO on my wagon, but it seemed like everybody I saw selling TKO's was swapping to a T56 so I set my mind on that. Then they came out with the TKX. I'm curious how you like the shifts on it.
What great progress you are making with your car. Thank you so much for all the updates. If I ever get back to Wisconsin, I want to see this marvel. Good continued luck with it. It’s looking great!
That’s interesting about the bell housing. I thought I saw that in one set of pictures but figured I must not be seeing it correctly. How odd to paint half a different color?!
I ordered the TKX with the “close ratio” gearing which I believe is 2.89, 1.89, 1.28, 1.00, 0.68. My goal is to be able to comfortably drive the car on the highway going 70-75. If my math is right, that shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll let you know how it shifts once we install it!
They didn't paint it two different colors. They painted the engine with the bellhousing on. They got engine paint overspray on the bellhousing and left the rest bare aluminum. I think it looks better all one color whether silver or orange.