New '65 Impala 409 owner - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 1
New '65 Impala 409 owner

Basically a stock 340 HP, auto trans Impala with power everything & tilt steering. Car has had what amounts to an 'economy" restoration, ie. paint, replaced rubber, trim, interior & factory exhaust. Engine is sound, no smoke or noise, can't say the same for the trans.
Plans are to replace the suspension front & rear with RideTech Level 1 coil over system (ordered) & the Wilwood Big Brake conversion (13 inch front & rear) also ordered.
To facilitate moving the car after installing the above brings up the question of what wheels & tires? Plans are for Classic American Racing or Classic US Mags, 17 or 18 inch, 8 or 9 inch width. What fits & looks best?
A subjective question to be sure but I'm sure someone out there has covered this territory.
Once the car is road worthy I'm installing a Tremec 5 speed, moderate roller cam & Magnaflow dual exhaust.
Am sure as this project progresses I'll have many questions & am counting on the experiences of the other forum members for help & suggestions.
JamesGJ is offline  
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,399
I know your mind is made up, but every dollar of aftermarket you put into that car makes it worth less money. 65s are climbing rapidly in value, and you have one of the most desireable ones out there. Putting it stock will net you more money in the end.

Two doors, four doors, wagons, and ragtops.
jayoldschool is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,455
Welcome to the Team James!

A 409 of any horsepower rating is a rare beast in a 1965 as it was only installed in early builds with the 396 replacing it around November. Because the executive board of GM couldn't make up their collective mind as to which engine displacement to build (it was going to be a Mark IV engine, just undecided as to whether to build it as a 409 or increase the stroke to make a 396 that has a very much smaller bore than a 409).

GM had 409's and 396 equipped Impalas chasing each other around their test track in Arizona as the board meeting was drawing straws intellectually trying to decide if they wanted to preserve the 409 mystic to promote sales or obtain more torque to move a car that was getting progressively heavier every year. As such the big block wasn't really pushed by salesmen on the floor, and only enthusiasts of the 409 (or those who lived in mountainous areas) ordered them. There were very few to none 409's ordered on spec by the sales manager due to the uncertainty. The 396 won out eventually, but because of the delay in deciding the first six months production of 396 blocks had cylinder walls thick enough so that they could handle the 409's bore size.

Just don't take a torch to the car. You can mount all of the things you have ordered by simply bolting them in place of the factory parts. Put all of the old parts in boxes after bagging the small parts and tagging everything as to what it is. That way you can enjoy your ride and preserve the originality should the next owner want a museum piece.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: virginia
Posts: 347
Not being critical, but I don't have anything positive to say about your mods to THAT car. I suggest you keep that car stock (fix what needs fixing). If you want a more 'modern' old car, buy another 'cheap' one and mod the heck out of it.

I've never looked into the after market 409 engine mods. Does anyone sell roller cam (and all that is required) for the 409? I'm just curious; you don't feel obligated to answer that question.

Rather than that 5 speed, a 4 speed Muncie would require less mods.

I may be wrong, but it doesn't sound like 'money' is your biggest concern. That's a great place to be when working on these old cars. Hope all works out as you want it to.

No need to defend your choices. It's your car.
japete92 is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,455
There exist aluminum four bolt main replacement blocks that accept a Mark IV crankshaft, from World Castings. And you can buy aluminum "High Performance" heads that flow better and have larger valves than the original Chevy 409 HiPo heads, and of course dual four aluminum high rise manifolds both available from Edelbrock (along with cheaper brand new fined cast aluminum valve covers that cost over a thousand a set for the older used ones cast by Junior's dad, Vic Edelbrock senior).

CompCams and Lunati as well as Crane and Iskederian all have a roller hydraulic grind, and a few have solid rollers as well. Accell and MSD both offer a billet HEL small cap distributor. You can get a set of Edelbrock carbs brand new to replace the original 460 cfm Carter AFB carbs that the factory used though now the smallest size is a 650 cfm replacement.

Headers are going to be the only real restriction on your choices as I believe only Hooker, Headman and Sthal still sell headers for a 409 in an X-frame B-body.

The best contribution to the performance and reliability (aside from ARP fasteners for everything) is the use of hollow dome pistons from JE or Diamonmd as that really reduces the reciprocating weight allowing even a 481 cube W engine (a 409 bore block stuffed with a four inch 454 stroke crank) to twist to 10 grand and survive.

Yes Sir; She's So Fine my totally aftermarket 409!

Now if I only had a '23 T-bucket sitting on '28 model A frame rails to stuff it in.

Big Dave
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,399
Alaska, I suggest you re-read my (and other) posts. I own modified vehicles as well, and have certainly heard of Boyd, I've got one of his billet wheels on my 71. No one put anyone down, no one was rude, and no one was belittled, we simply gave an opinion about modifications on a valuable car. Don't turn this into something that it is clearly not.

Two doors, four doors, wagons, and ragtops.
jayoldschool is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,455
Actually this page has more traffic than some of the bigger boards I modify. Don't know why traffic is down across all of the car boards I surf. On one board I moderate wouldn't have any traffic at all if it weren't for the spammers.

I think because most of us are way beyond hormones controlling our lives we are less obnoxious than a couple of boards that I look at.

Big Dave
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