FNG here, got a 65 Impala SS last week - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1
FNG here, got a 65 Impala SS last week

This is my first rebuild, and I'm limited on time.

I want to make a 850 mile journey in the dead of Texas summer up to Nebraska in 4 months or so in this car for a PCS. I'm military so I'm working on a limited budget, I also have to rely on an auto shop on base that is only open on the weekends and doesn't have a lot of specialized tools. All of this, combined with very little experience, is an issue: how the hell am I going to get this thing in good enough shape to make the run to Nebraska? Not to mention off the freaking base.

The good news is, I'm single with no debt, and I'm dead set on investing all of my free time and money into researching and buying parts, and working on the car. She runs, but she'll die once or twice driving down a football field length of road. Tranny was rebuilt recently. HEI ignition kit. Drum brakes in decent shape. Frame in good shape, no cracks. It only has 47k miles.

This past weekend me and the retiree gearheads working the shop diagnosed some issues, but I have to do a lot of legwork getting parts and diagnosing issues on my own in preparation for the time during the weekends where we tackle the more serious issues. This is where, I hope, you guys come in.

My time on your guys' forum for Nebraska or Bust will most likely be chaotic and short. If I can make it to Nebraska, I'll have much more time to work on it. But for now, the FNG has a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time to do it. I'm not sure where to look or post to get things figured out, again I'm a FNG to cars and to this forum but I don't want to make a blemish on the site or occupy the mods' time moving posts and such so some initial guidance would be great.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 10:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,365
Unless you are planning on showing it first concern is safety, second is reliability, third is appearance.

Need to work on why does it die. Might try popping the car in neutral when it loads yup or sounds rough to see if taking a load off the motor and giving it gas helps keep it running. If it does it is time for a compression test followed by a leak down test. If the car cranks up it should continue to run, so you need to find out if it is fuel issue, ignition issue or a compression (or lack of it ) that is putting out the fire in the belly of the beast.

All motors work the same. And all fires need three things, fuel, air and heat to continue. The only difference in modern OHC engines and your old push rod car is a carb instead of EFI and a valve system operated at distance from the cam. Carbs are easy to understand and tune, simple checks can tell you if you are getting a steady supply of fuel in the motor. Air is controlled by the valves. They have to open and close at predetermined times to get fresh air in and spent gasses out. If your cam is going flat, you have a broken valve spring or bent push rod that won't work. But these are physical and can be observed or measured. Ignition provides the heat to light the fire at the correct time but the compression of good rings and adequate gas octane for that compression built provides most of the heat to light the fire.

Cracked rings or carbon build up from burning oil can prevent the motor from running. That is the purpose of the compression check followed by a leak down test. There are other tools that make things easier such as a bore scope TV that can look inside the motor, but you have to work with what you have. Best of luck and don't be afraid to ask others for assistance; even civilians found off base at a car show.

Big Dave
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