New to me 64 Wagon - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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New to me 64 Wagon

Hello all! I'm joining your group from scenic Northern New Jersey. I've been tinkering with and restoring all sorts of vehicles nearly all of my life. My first car was a '67 Pontiac LeMans (it was a year older than I am, if you want to do the math). My dad, uncle and I restored it after buying it at auction - a victim of a rear-end collision. Since then I've had several of those "Coke-botte" Pontiacs (a couple more '67s including a GTO, a '66 and a slew of parts cars). Had a few beater Monte Carlos from the late-70s. Bought a '70 Monte Carlo to restore with a factory 402 big block and 4-speed manual but never got around to restoring it before selling it. I've had mostly GMs but strayed a bit with a '74 MGB, '88 Mustang GT, '85 F-150 and an '86 T-Bird. I've dabbled in the Northstar Caddies, having owned a '96 and an '01 DTS (flood total that I restored myself). During my turbo years I had a '92 GMC Typhoon and an '87 Grand National (restored myself - was a totaled recovered theft).

All the toys are gone except for my '07 Avalanche and my '84 Allegro motorhome (31-footer with a Chevy P30 chassis and a 454, also restored myself). That is until this past weekend (sorry it took me so long to get here - you'll find that I can be verbose at times).

This past weekend my dad, brother and son spent 24 hours wheels-turning time to drive down to South Carolina and scoop up a 1964 Impala wagon. My son will be driving in early 2017 and he was looking for something unique. It turns out a distant cousin of mine is very ill and needed to sell the car. It was originally bought new by his dad (my great uncle) in 1964. So it will remain in the family.

It's a 9-passenger car with factory A/C, power steering and power brakes. Power rear window, manual front seat. Originally a 327/250 HP car. The original engine was replaced by the dealer in the late-70s due to a catastrophic failure that took out the block. It runs fine and my cousin would drive it 20 miles a week to exercise it before he became ill.

It is a well-used but well-maintained car. All 8 kids in the family drove it at some point in their lives. Before my great-uncle died it spent 10-years on his farm doing light hauling. It was garage (or barn) kept most of its life. As a southern car, it has very little rust. As per usual the spare tire well is rotted through but that's about it. It's very straight but could definitely use a facelift. The goal is to repaint it and put some nice wheels on it - nothing elaborate.

So anyway, I'm going to have tons of questions the majority of which may be stupid ones. But I'm learning here. This is the oldest car I've ever owned but looking it over there's nothing really too difficult or foreign about it.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Let's see if this works.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 05:42 PM
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Welcome to the Team Jim!

Nice long roof there. Power Steering on your wagon is common to the C2 and C3 Corvette so parts are available on many Corvette sites. Because the C1 and C2 Corvette used the same suspension parts on the front a lot of parts are shared. The Corvette started life as a full size car with the back seat area cut out of the frame and a plastic body thrown on top. to reduce weight and wheel length to create a sporty car.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
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Welcome to the Team Jim!

Nice long roof there. Power Steering on your wagon is common to the C2 and C3 Corvette so parts are available on many Corvette sites. Because the C1 and C2 Corvette used the same suspension parts on the front a lot of parts are shared. The Corvette started life as a full size car with the back seat area cut out of the frame and a plastic body thrown on top. to reduce weight and wheel length to create a sporty car.

Big Dave
Thanks - that's good to know. The power steering box is shot. The output shaft wobbles all over the place. I don't know how the guy drove the car. He did tell me that it wanders around a bit. I was barely able to get it pointed at my driveway when I took it off the trailer.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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So Dave - in searching on the subject it appears you know a few things about the steering.

What are my steering box options? I'd like to simply replace what's there, but I'm not sure what it is. I know it's stock. I haven't looked at it, but it sounds like the stock power steering is a hydraulic ram that assists a quicker-ratio manual box. Is this correct? If so, where can I get said box? I'm not looking into doing anything more elaborate at this point. I just want to be able to drive it for now.

Thanks!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 08:19 PM
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It kind of reminds me of a 63 wagon I had way back when. Welcome Jimmy
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbojimmy View Post
So Dave - in searching on the subject it appears you know a few things about the steering.

What are my steering box options? I'd like to simply replace what's there, but I'm not sure what it is. I know it's stock. I haven't looked at it, but it sounds like the stock power steering is a hydraulic ram that assists a quicker-ratio manual box. Is this correct? If so, where can I get said box? I'm not looking into doing anything more elaborate at this point. I just want to be able to drive it for now.

Thanks!
You are correct in your assessment Jimmy.

The factory original box can be rebuilt with all new seals and balls and any excessively worn parts replaced with new or less well used used ones. That said it won't yield the same road feel as a newer car that you are used to due to the way it was originally designed. It was intentionally vague as to where your front wheels were located, as the engineers wished that your driving experience was similar to sitting on your couch at home while you watched the world pass by your wrap around front widow as you (cue Dinah Shore) cruised across the USA in your Chevrolet. The Chevy "Jet Smooth Ride" of the sixties didn't include road feel input. That didn't happen until the mid eighties.

Bias ply ties exasperated the issue to the point where when new these cars would follow every crack in the new freshly poured concrete road bed. Not a real issue when president Dwight Eisenhower was building his new autobahn highways (we call then interstate roads now) but after heavy trucks had beaten the road bed into submission after a few years it was.

Big Dave
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Hmmm....maybe I'll look into one of the conversion boxes then. Thanks for the info. And thanks for the welcome Txbobcat!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 07:51 AM
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Welcome to the site.

Car looks pretty solid.

On your Power Steering Box, I would stay with an original.

It would also be the easiest and the cheapest.

If you do go used, there are actually 2 different kinds.

The Manual vs the PS Box is hard to identify, but there is a difference.

I have some used ones available if you decide to go that route and can't find any locally.

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 11:25 AM
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Nice car!! IMO, I would not put a 16 year old in that car for a daily driver. My uncle once told me: "Kids learn to drive by accident". I would get him a cheap car with modern safety equipment --> 3 point seat belts, air bags, ABS, etc. Then work on the wagon together and use it as a weekend car.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BigDogSS View Post
Nice car!! IMO, I would not put a 16 year old in that car for a daily driver. My uncle once told me: "Kids learn to drive by accident". I would get him a cheap car with modern safety equipment --> 3 point seat belts, air bags, ABS, etc. Then work on the wagon together and use it as a weekend car.
I agree on that point. As a former street cop I can tell you that not only do kids get into trouble when more than one is in the car (a cell phone counts as a bunch of kids); but they need the added protection of a modern car with collapsible steering column, side impact beams, roll over bars (the reason the B pillar is so wide in modern cars), and air bags.

Once again the solution is a used cop car bought at auction. You can find a Ford Crown Vic (which from personal experience I can tell you accelerates like a dog) that has been very well maintained at an auction lot for less than $2000. The heavy car combined with a 302 (five liter) motor will give good gas mileage and offer full collision protection as they learn to drive at a reasonable price. I suggest the Crown Vic over the Chevy Caprice because Chevy stopped production of rear wheel drive cars in 2000 and law enforcement was offered the choice of a SUV or a Ford Crown Vic ( the Hemi powered Dodge Charger makes a great pursuit car but there is no room in the back for a prisoner requiring buying a second manned vehicle to transport a prisoner which really jacks up operating costs and efficiency while waiting for a transport vehicle).

I bought my wife's old low mileage un-wrecked Caprice 9C1 police car at auction for $1400 and compared it to her brand new Crown Vic which was assigned to her as a detective and the Ford was a slug compared to the 305 High Out Put Chevy police car. Problem with patrol police cars is they have generally been involved in several minor accidents before they are sold so a detective's (unmarked) police car is the best choice.

Big Dave
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 02:15 PM
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I also agree.

My son had a nice '72 Chevelle for his first car.

...he wrecked it.

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 05:07 PM
 
 
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one day............I'll have a wagon!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks all for the advice. I like to think my kid is responsible enough not to wreck it, but don't we all think that?

When I was his age I had my '67 LeMans, 326 with a Powerglide. Painstakingly restored from it's totaled state. I nearly cried the day I slide back on some ice and scratched the paint on some mailboxes. That was the extent of the damage I did to that car. My dad had (and still has) a '67 Stingray and an '80 L82 Vette that I could drive whenever I wanted. No problems. Hopefully my son will follow in the same footsteps. I'll monitor the situation carefully....

On the steering box, I'd be willing to pop a used one in at this point to get us through the restoration. The power assist system isn't leaking - just the box is shot. 62BillT if you don't mind shooting me a PM with pricing on a used replacement I'd appreciate it.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 09:29 PM
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Nice wagon TurboJimmy. That thing screams family vacation to me, circa mid-60's.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 12:22 PM
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The original steering box can be rebuilt, even if it is pretty messed up like mine was. I would suggest you talk to Authentic Automotive http://authenticautomotive.net
for your options if you want to use a different setup. He is very helpful and knows a lot about the power steering on these cars.

A word of caution: you will see a lot of reproduction parts for these cars, they can be good quality, and they can be horrible quality and sometimes they can be listed improperly in catalogs, so do your research before you buy. As a general rule, you are better off restoring what you have than buying a repro part. By the time you fix a poor repro part to work, you have spent more than fixing your original would have cost. There are many little companies that specialize in things like power brake booster rebuilding, hood hinge rebuilding, etc... They all represent people who care keeping vital crafts and knowledge around to help us all keep these cars rolling, so support them when you can.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA. View Post
Nice wagon TurboJimmy. That thing screams family vacation to me, circa mid-60's.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcairns
The original steering box can be rebuilt, even if it is pretty messed up like mine was. I would suggest you talk to Authentic Automotive http://authenticautomotive.net
for your options if you want to use a different setup. He is very helpful and knows a lot about the power steering on these cars.
Thanks for the advice. I haven't done much other than take a quick look under it while my son moved the steering wheel. I can see the play in the output shaft. But there's something else going on when I turn right - I can feel a wobble or something coming from the front left. More research required but I'm going to have to do some repairs before I drive this thing any farther than around the block.
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