New member from North Texas - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Lucas, TX
Posts: 9
New member from North Texas

Hello everyone,

My name is Jerry Coleman. My wife and I live in Lucas, TX. We are new to the Impala line of cars and look forward to learning more about our car as we ready it for cruising. We are Camaro converts. We enjoy the HRPT, Cruisin the Coast, etc., and purchased our Impala for the space and comfort offered by a full size car. We recently acquired a 1961 Impala. It currently does not run reliably or safely, so I am debating what to do to remedy this. The car does not have the original drive train, currently sports a well worn 350 and TH350 transmission. I can tell where its been by the marks it leaves! (engine oil and transmission fluid) I plan on taking my wife and driving this car on the entire HRPT this summer, so I better quit typing and start wrenching! Off to the shed!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 07:05 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth Texas
Posts: 1,273
Welcome Jerry. I have never heard of Lucas, Texas . The 61 might give you a bit more room than the camaro.
Dave will be along to tell you to put a big block in it but a 350/350 combo isnt too bad. Jerk them out and get them rebuilt and then put on new parts like fuel and water pump and 2 wire alternator hoses and belts .
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lewisburg, Ohio
Posts: 2,909
I agree, Pull the engine and trans. Rebuild them or replace them.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,455
Welcome to the Team Jerry!

Naw I'm not pushing a Big Block for a '61 X frame. I do recommend building a 406 instead of a 355 (both are 0.030" over bore stock Chevy bore size engine in case you didn't recognize them). Once you have your 406 up and running buy or build a 200R4 transmission that can live behind the torque of the bigger SBC 406. For reliability I would also replace the wiring and install an over sized aluminum automatic trans mission radiator with a black finish (not painted as paint is a plastic insulator).

The only weak point behind your 200R4 tranny will be the rear end that could have wimpy 17 spline axles if out of an original six banger. Newer V8 powered cars had the little better 28 spline axles. If you could ever find one somewhere the 9-3/8 inch ring gear 31 spline Pont-Olds rear end from a 1957-'64 X frame car would be a tremendous up grade.

Big Dave
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