68 Impala Wagon modifications begin

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

  1. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    That makes more sense. And I agree - it looks better all one color.
     
  2. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 12: Weeks of Wiring
    I’ve spent the last few weeks spending a lot of time figuring out how to wire the new air conditioning, stereo, dash gauges, and the overall engine compartment. Thanks to American Auto Wire and their incredibly helpful techs, the engine compartment was the easy part by comparison. I color coded a photocopy of the wiring diagram from a 1968 Chevy Repair Manual that my dad had laying around, and dreamed about it…a lot. I’ve looked at it so many times, that my wiring decisions have to be right. The have to. Right? We’ll see when the battery gets hooked up. Meanwhile….

    Step 13: Test Fit the Motor and Transmission
    We needed to test fit the transmission in order to a) measure for the length of the driveshaft and b) figure out exactly where we needed to cut the hole in the floor for the shifter. We made the (wrong) assumption that big block motor mounts would fit over the stock frame mounts that once held my 307. We tried several different types of big block motor mounts, and they were all too narrow for the stock frame mounts. We spent several weeks hunting online and graveyards for big block motor mounts and only found one. The optimist in me said “half way there!” But the pessimist in us said “I wonder if small block motor mounts would work?” So, we hitched the small block mounts onto a different big block my dad’s been working on (so we could put my motor on the test stand in the meantime - see next post) and put it in the car, hooked up the transmission and measured for the hole in the floor, removed the transmission, cut the hole, put it back on, increased the size of the hole, fit it in place, measured for the driveshaft, and removed the transmission once again. That took 2 weeks. The driveshaft has been ordered. And the small block mounts appear to work fine. If we can’t find another frame mount before my motor goes in, we may just use them unless we learn why we shouldn’t.

    Test fitting a 427 twin - and learning how happy I am about the accessory drive purchase
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    I’ve never been so excited to see a hole in a car
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  3. 60Mercman

    60Mercman Well-Known Member

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    It’s coming along beautifully!
     
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  4. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 14: Restore the Gas Tank
    Installing the rear end a few weeks ago involved spending a lot of time looking under the car, and the unpainted gas tank just stared back at me feeling unloved and neglected - unrestored while nestled between the rest of the freshly painted underbody. My OCD couldn’t take it anymore, so we removed the gas tank (just a couple of braces holding it in place), and while it was getting hot tanked to remove any corrosion, I cleaned and painted the gas tank cavity with rubber coated underbody paint, along with the equally neglected rear wheel wells. Then I used some of my leftover Eastwood Alumablast paint and gave the gas tank a new coat of armor.

    Gas tank removed and resting before his bath
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    The empty gas tank cavity pre-restoration. (I still need to take a post-photo)
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    Gas tank post-restoration
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  5. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 15: Test Run the New Motor
    We bought a new motor run stand, which may just be my dad’s new favorite thing in the garage besides the cars. Designed to make it as easy as possible to test run a motor and perform the first break in, the stand wasn’t cheap but proved a good purchase. We ran into some of the typical issues like leaky gas lines and oil leaks, but the stand worked very well. It also reinforced just how important a good water pump is in keeping the engine cool and that a hot exhaust system can in fact burn wood. The good news: The motor ran great! Next step is putting in the second valve springs and getting ready for a second run before putting it in the car. Getting closer!

    Setting up the run stand
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    Preparing for the motor’s inaugural run complete with the “water heater” mufflers
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  6. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Watch it peel out and drive away on you....
     
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  7. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    :rofl2::lolup:
     
  8. Colossal68

    Colossal68 Member

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    Step 16: Reinstall the Gas Tank
    There are many aspects of restoring an older car that are nerve-wracking, frustrating and try your patience, and then there are other aspects, that just go swimmingly. Reinstalling the gas tank was the latter. After spraying the wheel wells and gas tank chamber with undercoating, reinstalling the newly refurbished gas tank was a general walk in the park. The freshly-powder coated braces worked in tandem to push the gas tank tightly in place, and the powder-coated gas tank cover added the perfect finishing touch. The only thing we chose to replace was the rather brittle 53-y/o rubber gas line that connects to the fuel sensing unit. Now we just need to run the new black braided fuel line to the engine compartment.

    Gas tank chamber cleaned and freshly protected with some spray-on undercoating - ready to be reunited with the tank
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    Gas tank post-installation being lovingly embraced - side view
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    View from below
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    Powder-coated wheel well tank cover ready to protect the sending unit from too much road debris
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