New owner of a '66 from NC - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: valdese, nc
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New owner of a '66 from NC

How's it going fellas. I'm "Sid" from western, NC and just found a great deal on a base '66 Impala, L30.
I have a couple questions concerning the opinion from you guys, one being:

How do you feel about "cloning" or building a "tribute" SS.

But first, about the car. It's apparent that the car was parked for a VERY long time and is in Excellent condition. It's a 327/Powerglide, Mist Blue with two tone dark/med blue interior, which is almost flawless except for some cracks in the dash and an 8 track tape player...lol.

I've already started some updates, one being changing it over to electronic ignition in the guys driveway before making the attempt to drive home. A new set of Wheel Vintique Rallys, disc centers and 3" bands wrapped with Mickey Thompson Sportsman St tires from Summit.

I bought the car for $2,800 and a wore out '00 P71 Crown Vic. Funny thing is, after doing a little research, this is almost what the car sold for when new.

My next question is similar to my first. I realize it's ultimately my decision, but considering the condition, would you guys continue to restore it as original as possible, or resto-mod it?

Thanks in advance for the replies, all are welcome, and I'll attempt to post a pic or two if I can being as I'm still a newb.

Sid.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 10:19 AM
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Welcome to the Team Sid!

Most folks on this board hate clones. They are more frequently in facvor of a restoration or if modified keeping all original parts and limiting any cutting or permanent modifications to a reproduction parts where you save the original part you remove from the car and replace with a cheaper lower quality reopo part that no one cares if you carve it up.

As to the SS identity crisis the only thing a SS package bought you on a 1966 Impala was some cheap (well back when it was new the SS trim cost pocket change) pot metal trim and bucket seats. You can install bucket seats wiuth out the SS trim pieces without upsetting anyone except a true SS owner wanting to use the seats you found to install in your car.

In the 1966 Chevelle SS when you ordered the SS package in addition to bucket seats you got a limited production high horse engine, heavy duty cooling, heavy duty electrical, and a special heavy duty suspension package, plus those same pot metal SS badges. With the Camaro and Nova in following years the SS treatment was the same, an SS car really was different from the rest of the heard.

You can build a true SS without the trim by installing all of the police car parts that were used back in 1966 or newer more sophisticated modern replacements such as using QA-1 , Koni, or Bilstein shocks in place of the factory sourced Walker brand. Another example would be sourcing a Griffin HD aluminum radiator in place of the stock Harrison copper and brass unit. Paint covers a lot of restoration sins.

As to power I would go with a set of painted Orange aluminum heads on top of a 496 cubic inch or bigger big block Chevy engine with an appropriate 390 horse 427 decal. Sit your BBC in front of a 4L80e or even a newer double over drive 6L90e transmission to live behind the added torque and to mitigate on mileage. A 12 bolt rear end from Moser and it could cruise to any car show and look just as it does now only being able to kick gravel in the grill of most any other car on the road.

Being from North Carolina I imagine you are as concerned with braking and handling even more so than high horsepower under the hood. Heavy duty AFFCO or Hotchkiss suspension upgrades will keep the car between the ditches and a set of Wilwood or Baer big rotor discs can keep your brakes as good at the bottom of the hill as when you crowned the top of the hill.

Now all you have to do is win the Power Ball lottery. Good Luck!

Big Dave
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 08:31 AM
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Very nice car. Sound like you got a great deal. You should build the car the way you want it, period.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:04 PM
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Hey Sid,

Sounds like you got a good deal on the 66 and it looks good. As far as restoring goes that's your call. Personally, I like modern technology mixed with old...resto & car crafting is the way to go for me.

Have fun!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 09:52 PM
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Except for Wheels, Mufflers and some Height, I'm for basically Original (although my car needs to have a Clutch, lol). It would look all factory though.

And as Dave has mentioned, clones are pretty much frowned upon.

Bill
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 10:01 PM
BA.
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Nice looking ride man, welcome to the site.

I'm a fan of updating the underpinnings like suspension, swaybars, brakes, drivetrain, etc.
Then the wheels/tires and stance can be changed to the owners liking. I like the look you have now, but I also like'em lowered with something like 19"/18" rims too.

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: valdese, nc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Welcome to the Team Sid!

Most folks on this board hate clones. They are more frequently in facvor of a restoration or if modified keeping all original parts and limiting any cutting or permanent modifications to a reproduction parts where you save the original part you remove from the car and replace with a cheaper lower quality reopo part that no one cares if you carve it up.

As to the SS identity crisis the only thing a SS package bought you on a 1966 Impala was some cheap (well back when it was new the SS trim cost pocket change) pot metal trim and bucket seats. You can install bucket seats wiuth out the SS trim pieces without upsetting anyone except a true SS owner wanting to use the seats you found to install in your car.

In the 1966 Chevelle SS when you ordered the SS package in addition to bucket seats you got a limited production high horse engine, heavy duty cooling, heavy duty electrical, and a special heavy duty suspension package, plus those same pot metal SS badges. With the Camaro and Nova in following years the SS treatment was the same, an SS car really was different from the rest of the heard.

You can build a true SS without the trim by installing all of the police car parts that were used back in 1966 or newer more sophisticated modern replacements such as using QA-1 , Koni, or Bilstein shocks in place of the factory sourced Walker brand. Another example would be sourcing a Griffin HD aluminum radiator in place of the stock Harrison copper and brass unit. Paint covers a lot of restoration sins.

As to power I would go with a set of painted Orange aluminum heads on top of a 496 cubic inch or bigger big block Chevy engine with an appropriate 390 horse 427 decal. Sit your BBC in front of a 4L80e or even a newer double over drive 6L90e transmission to live behind the added torque and to mitigate on mileage. A 12 bolt rear end from Moser and it could cruise to any car show and look just as it does now only being able to kick gravel in the grill of most any other car on the road.

Now all you have to do is win the Power Ball lottery. Good Luck!

Big Dave
Thanks Dave and everyone, you guys hit the nail on the head with several comments.
To be honest, it doesn't matter that much to me if I toss SS badges all over the car, because I love it as and for what it is. A Damn nice looking car in exceptionally good condition, and I'm blessed to have it.
The reason for my question is, as you mentioned, it seems as though when most guys buy a Malibu, the first thing they do is toss on the SS hood, badges...etc, because in my neck of the woods, if you had a Malibu and didn't SS it, people would think you had a few screws a little loose.
I was just curious if this was, well, sort of "expected" with the Impala crowd.
It's nice to see that most of us take pride with what we have and stay true to the car.
Thanks for the replies that confirmed my desired intentions.

Sticking with the "building it as I want" stand, I would like to swap the 327 for a GM Performance crate 427, bucket seats, (Chevelle) type of center console and a, (as crazy as it sounds, a horseshoe/Staple) floor shifter. I've just always had a thing for those shifters.

This may be a topic for another forum but I'm not "extremely" mechanically inclined, so could someone direct me to some good threads on swapping SBC to BBC?

Thanks again for the replies,
Sid
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 12:21 PM
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BBC bolts up to what you have now. No changing of the frame mounts (though I do recommend buying interlocking motor mounts to replace the glued together vulcanized rubber ones). You will need a much bigger radiator with a shroud. The shroud will become an issue as there are precious few four core copper tubed BBC radiators with a proper shroud reproduced. You will need a bigger fan (more blades with a fluid coupling, you keep the same eighteen inch diameter fan) as well. Brackets and pulleys for a short water pump will also be near impossible to find in the bone yard as the BBC uses different diameter and belt spacing than the small block.

You will need to find a stronger transmission (factory installed TH400, or a rear Borg-Warner three speed or the Muncie four speed). I would recommend looking for a 4L80e out of a van or diesel pickup truck and use an aftermarket programmable transmission control unit (TCU). That way you get to use a console with a horse shoe shifter provided you buy the aftermarket 700R4 shift linkage kit with the decal for the console showing your added gear. Your rear end is probably a ten bolt and it will have only one upper control arm. You will need to buy the other missing upper control arm and the mounts that weld onto the body to attach them. Then you can try and find a twelve bolt for your car (Moser sells brand new ones cast out of a stronger material than the factory cast iron and uses thicker walled three inch tubes fully welded to the center section.

Finally I have to ask why even consider a 427? Unless you are buying a ZL-1 all aluminum 427 from GMPP for your Yenko clone; they will sell you a 427 LS-7 7.0 liter Generation IV small block that will make the old big block 427 look anemic by comparison. I recommend buying a ZZ502 instead. It looks like the 427 they would sell you since all GMPP performance crate engines use the new Gen VI one piece rear main seal blocks. So the 427 decal for the air cleaner will not help them figure out the displacement. Just compare the torque figures for the ZZ502 to the ZZ427. Both use a thumping hydraulic roller cam, and rev to the same red line. You just get more motor for your money buying the ZZ502 compared to the ZZ427.

Big Dave
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: valdese, nc
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Again, I'm not trying to clone my car to be anything that it's not. I'm simply considering swapping a big block into my Impala using an engine that was available in 1966.
I wouldn't consider that "cloning". If anything it could possibly be considered creating a "tribute" car, which is Not my intentions either, as I'm not re-badging or painting anything that wasn't on the car originally.
I simply wanted a "period correct" big block size engine,...if that makes sense.

But I have to ask, did Yenko build the car I was describing with the 427, console and staple shifter, or was that just a patronizing hit below the belt..lol?

Sounds like too much work to me anyway, so I'll probably just build the hell out of the 327, keep it numbers matching and call it a day.

Thanks again for your help,
Sid
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 07:27 PM
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Yenko didn't; but Chevrolet did. It was called a 427SS Impala and had it's own hood with heavy duty everything (suspension, cooling, and electrical parts), as well as having the usual bucket seats and SS trim that specified an SS with a 427. It was not a regular production SS car but a special option series car made only in 1967-'69.

My objection to the 427 is that that with out high compression pistons and leaded fuel it will be a gutless motor compared to a SBC 400. The 427 big block has to have high compression to run which is why it was dropped in 1972 after compression was dropped for emission reasons. If you are going to install a big block it needs to be a big displacement big block to justify the added 230 pounds of cast iron you are adding to the car. That is why I was recommending the 502

Seriously a stock 350 horse big block 396 would be lucky to make 330 horsepower on todays gasoline, but a 400 cube small block motor on todays pump gas can crank out 450 to 500 horsepower with a four barrel and modern heads and a cam to match. Your 427 will be of the 390 horse variety because there is no way you can even have a 425 hose 427 run on today's gasoline (it had 11.5:1 compression domed pistons) with out changing the pistons to flat tops. That will have your 427 making about 350 horsepower, the same as a 350 small block does today. Now you are adding a quarter ton to the weight over the nose of the car and expecting something good to happen with a 427?

When the 427 was first released as a new crate engine by GMPP they made it a 454 but labled it with a 427 decal and used a hotter cam to rev higher it higher than the 454 models sold before. Purists got wind of this and objected. So they rereleased it as a 427 motor with 11.0 pistons that requires premium fuel and retarded the spark in the distributor along with including a ridiculous long duration cam to bleed off compression so it would run with pump gas and not get into detonation the way old high compression motors do.

Big Dave
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: valdese, nc
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Dave, seriously, I really appreciate all the advice, but I'm not gonna race the car. I just want a 427 in it.
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