'62' Impala SS - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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'62' Impala SS

Hello all,
I tried to introduce myself on this forum about 3 or 4 weeks ago, but for some reason, wasn't able to at that time. I was however, able to post questions then, so I've already received some help from you all, but still wanted to formally introduce myself, now that I'm able to do so.
I recently bought my first Impala. It's a true '62 SS, Autumn Gold, with red vinyl interior. After researching, and VIN/trim tag decoding, I've learned I have a complete, original, numbers matching, 327 (250 hp), and a 2 speed powerglide with a column shift. It needs a complete interior & exterior restoration. It's a little rough around the edges, but at least it's all there to start with. I'm looking forward to learning more about these cars, along the way.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 10:26 AM
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Welcome to Impalas Camaro owner. You will discover that a full size, especially an X-frame car, is a whole new kettle of fish compared to a Z.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks Big Dave
Yes, a sub frame 2 door sport car is miles apart from an X frame, 2 door sport car. But I knew that going in with eyes wide open.
I think I have this particular one sold (but waiting on the transfer title to get back to me, in the next few days). I hope to be able to replace it with a 409, 4 speed car, in a year or two, if my health improves.
I've always had a lot of respect for American muscle cars, since my first car was a '67 Camaro, 327 (which I proceeded to change just about darn near everything on, over the next 4 years). It was then ('79) that I was able to buy my first '69 Z/28, at age 20
It was Cortez Silver with black stripes. A rock crusher 4 speed, and 4.56 factory gears, made that little 302 small block a very respected cruiser on Friday, and Saturday nights, on Van Buren Street in Enid, Oklahoma. I know it's hard to believe, but that car had only 4,200 actual miles on it, when I bought it in '79 (and yes, it was still like new). The only thing it didn't have that I would've wanted was a Rally Sport front end package. Sure wish I still had it, today.
But I digress...I know this is an Impala forum...and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can about the early Super Sports.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 07:11 AM
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Well for starters the Impala SS is a trim option (bucket seats and chrome) not a performance option. You could order an SS with a six cylinder in line motor (in 1962 that would have been the last year for the old 235 stove bolt six).

Good news is you have a stretch Corvette limo. The full size car frame and suspension (minus the length of the back seat) is sitting under a 1962 Corvette. The front half of that frame stayed the same right up until 1982, so a lot of Corvette front end parts interchange and are reproduced (even though the reproduction houses say no 1962 front end parts are available). Of course in 1963 the Sting Ray with independent rear suspension was introduced, so the back half of frame and suspension differs after that date. Though if you ever wanted to go the Full Monty (first definition "the full amount expected, desired, or possible", not the second as seen in Magic Mike), and swap out for IRS under the back you know where to look for parts. That is one source for fast power steering and disc brakes.

Bad news is unlike the First Gen 'vette that had two connecting rails to make a full perimeter frame along the out side of the X frame (similar to the Buick, Olds, and Pontiac X-frame cars) to stiffen the flimsy X-frame structure. Your full size Chevy was designed to float, flex and bend like limp noodle to absorb all road feel. It is mounted in sponge rubber to absorb any vibration and that rubber has long since rotted away and needs replacing (in case you wonder what that rattling noise is).

If you want a '62 SS sports car you need to stiffen the frame first with Polly body mounts replacing every rubber bushing you can find. Really want to go hard core swap out a BOP frame out of a 1958-'64.



Chevy was designed for the full frame with a X center, but outside rails were removed to cut cost. Note that BOP frames all used rear leaf springs instead of coils. Here is a Chevy illustration of the 348 powered 1958 Chevy Bel Air:


As to the 409 I would build a 481 instead. Using a 409 truck block and custom high compression hollow dome pistons (factory used heavy solid domes) to replace compression that the block cuts take away; add a cast iron 454 crank turned down to 409 standard bearing size. This yields a 481 displacement. I would also run Edelbrock heads and dual four intake, only painted Chevy Orange.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1969z28dz302 View Post
Thanks Big Dave
Yes, a sub frame 2 door sport car is miles apart from an X frame, 2 door sport car. But I knew that going in with eyes wide open.
I think I have this particular one sold (but waiting on the transfer title to get back to me, in the next few days). I hope to be able to replace it with a 409, 4 speed car, in a year or two, if my health improves.
I've always had a lot of respect for American muscle cars, since my first car was a '67 Camaro, 327 (which I proceeded to change just about darn near everything on, over the next 4 years). It was then ('79) that I was able to buy my first '69 Z/28, at age 20
It was Cortez Silver with black stripes. A rock crusher 4 speed, and 4.56 factory gears, made that little 302 small block a very respected cruiser on Friday, and Saturday nights, on Van Buren Street in Enid, Oklahoma. I know it's hard to believe, but that car had only 4,200 actual miles on it, when I bought it in '79 (and yes, it was still like new). The only thing it didn't have that I would've wanted was a Rally Sport front end package. Sure wish I still had it, today.
But I digress...I know this is an Impala forum...and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can about the early Super Sports.

Glad to hear that you're goal is to replace the auto with a 4 speed. There are some very nice options. AutoGear (from Syracuse, NY) sell brand new 'Muncie' versions with many gearing options. I personally bought their M22W. It's a wide ratio "rock crusher' configuration. REALLY nice with 400 lb-ft (plus) low end torque. No need to go lower than 3.36 (maybe 3.55 if you really want it) rear. Great street combo in my opinion.

A 409? Very few things look cooler than the valve covers of a 409. But, finding a suitable block/engine that does not cost $$$$$$ is almost impossible. I looked and struck out 5 years ago. I bought a '383' sbc crate engine (all brand new). Nothing exotic just a 'street' engine. It dyno'd at over 400 lb-ft of torque from 2500 (lowest rpm measured) to a little over 4000 rpm (max was 440 @ 3800). Hp max'ed at 386 @ 5200. That's more torque than the 409. And it's a small block! Less cost and complications than the BB.

Just some thoughts for your consideration.

Pete
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thank you Pete,
I always appreciate insight from anyone willing to share it. I'm not going to replace the transmission in this particular '62. Since its an original,complete, and numbers matching, true SS, I've decuded to sell it (mostly because of health reasons).
This car needs to be restored, since its a rare survivor...even tho it needs a major restoration, it's just too good to cut up, and lose another one to the restomoders, or drag racers. (Not that I don't appreciate them also...just not this car).
I've become quite a purist, with age, and I really have a passion for the factory race cars (especially the factory big blocks, but I still appreciate all of them). Thanks again for your input...
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 07:51 AM
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I love the 409 look in the early 60's cars. Another option is a 348 engine block and then you can stroke it and bore it out to make a 438 cid engine. The big issue here is you get a limited lift on the cam as the valves will contact the block, but that is around .550 and you can notch the combustion chamber for more lift.

Bob Walla Racing probably makes a better aluminum "W" motor head than the Edelbrock, but they cost a couple hundred more. A company also makes what they call a Z-12 head, but they are like 6X more expensive and really meant more for the Aluminum aftermarket blocks that are completely different beasts other than using the same combustion chamber design.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thank you, Deadwolf,
I agree. There's no comparison in appearance of GM motors when it comes to the 409 W block, and heads. And of course, big block torque is unrivalled by the small blocks. Although the Chevy crate motors (even the small blocks) are amazing.
Is the 348 the same size motor as the 409, or is it a small block (surely it's a small block)? I've always thought it was a small block, but never was interested in the W motors, until recently.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 09:34 PM
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It was a "W" engine, just like the 409. Smaller bore and a quarter inch shorter stroke (348 had a 4.125" bore which is the same as the 396, with a 327's 3.250" stroke) the 409 had a much bigger bore at 4.313" or a sixty over 427 bore with a 350 SBC stroke).

Reason I dropped the 409 after the release of the 427 engine was the 409's restrictive head. It had the same exhaust port lay out as the SBC concentrating the heat in the center of the block, and the sold TRW forged pistons where heavy compared to a 427 held in place by a SBC sized rod journal with two tiny rod bolts that were as weak as the SBC rod bolts.

This is the reason you can not find a 409 passenger car block today. They were scattered all over the local drag strips across America. Which is just as well as the truck block is stronger (thicker main webs and cast with high nickel content to make it last for 125,000 miles in a medium duty truck). Each cylinder has a notch cut in the deck like a 396 does to reduce compression (to make the engine last longer with cheap gas). Which is funny when you think the cheapest gas available back then was 94 octane; with most being rated a 96 for regular.

The 348 was often promoted to 409 status when being sold as the only external difference was the dip stick tube being on the passenger side of the engine on a 409 and the drivers side with a 348. Pans interchanged between motors, and cost about $27 back then at your local Chevy service parts counter. Difference in price between a 348 for sale used, and a used 409 for sale was about $300 more for the 409 so a new oil pan and a decal was a popular sales item at your Chevy parts store. Hard to tell them apart before cell phones and the internet allowed you to check casting numbers.

348 had smaller intake ports in the head compared to the 409; but bolt pattern was the same. So trying to put a tri-power intake off a 348 on a 409 was like trying to bolt on an oval port intake on a rectangular port BBC HiPerf head. There would be an opening above the manifold left uncovered. For this reason the HD 425 horse 409 has two fours on top not three twos.

Big Dave
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Wow, what a history lesson on the 348, and 409's! I think that the only two things I was already aware of in today's lesson was, that a 348 is a W block (like the 409), and that the 425 hp 409 came with two fours (not three deuces). Although, if they were standard equipment on the 425 hp motor...I wasn't aware of that (just always though they were an option). So, I guess that knocks me back to about 1.5 things that I already knew, instead of two. Thanks again Big Dave.
Btw, just curious...did you used to (or do you now) work for Chevrolet/GM, or are you just a well informed enthusiast?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 08:02 AM
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The 348 was introduced in late 1957 for the 1958 Chevrolet. Avoid 1957 and 1958 cast 348 blocks as they were lacking some steam holes and had a tendency to warp heads. The 348 continued to be put into cars through 1961 and then continued in trucks until around 1965. In 1961 the most powerful 348 was 350 HP. In late 1961 they introduced the 409 and 142 cars were built with 409's in them making this the rarest year for the 409 it only put out 360 HP. By 1962 the SBC 327 was putting down numbers close to the max of a 348 so the 348 was dropped and the 409 with either 380 HP or the hi power 409 HP option with dual Quads was available. It wasn't until 1963 that the 425 HP version with the dual quads was added to the line up. Also they had a 340 HP and 400 HP option, both with a single 4 barrel. Same engine line up for 1964 cars. In 1965 only 2 options existed the 340 HP and 400 HP models and both came with a single 4 barrel. Only 2,828 cars were built with the 409 this year and for this year they swapped from the X-Frame to a perimeter frame so it is a unique oil pan and some of the other sheet metal is unique. I believe they continued to put the 409 in commercial trucks for another year or two after 1965.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 10:24 AM
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The 409's max'ed out at about 425 lb-ft of torque. The hydraulic lifter single 4 barrel did it at about 3200 rpm, the mechanical lifter single four barrel did it at about 4000 rpm, and the mechanical lifter 2 four barrel did it at about 4200 rpm. A small block can easily achieve those numbers (my 383 hit 440 lb-ft at 3800 rpm). And it weighs about 200 lbs less.

They are awful pretty but can't produce the bang for the buck a small block can (in my opinion).

Some interesting (to me) reading:

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/articl...ala-impala-ss/

https://www.motortrend.com/cars/chev...d-galaxie-500/

https://www.55-57chevys.com/articles/613/63asty1.html

Pete
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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So much valuable information from you guys (and so quick to reply). Thank you
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japete92 View Post
The 409's max'ed out at about 425 lb-ft of torque. The hydraulic lifter single 4 barrel did it at about 3200 rpm, the mechanical lifter single four barrel did it at about 4000 rpm, and the mechanical lifter 2 four barrel did it at about 4200 rpm. A small block can easily achieve those numbers (my 383 hit 440 lb-ft at 3800 rpm). And it weighs about 200 lbs less.

They are awful pretty but can't produce the bang for the buck a small block can (in my opinion).


Pete
Yes it is cheaper to build a small block chevy or even a Big Block Chevy in terms of dollar per horse power, but I did just see a "W" motor build that dyno tested at 935 HP. It is naturally aspirated dual 4 barrels on a high rise and built on an aftermarket cast iron block with 540 CID.

I've seen some stroked out 348's produce into the 500 HP range fairly easily and stroking out the 409 gets people into the 600's in HP when done right. All of this without forced induction. Talking to some of the builders these engines respond well to boost when built correctly also.

The last car show I went too most SBC impala guys didn't even bother to pop the hood unless it was an all original build. The LS conversion crowd liked to pop hoods, but hey the whole LS conversion thing is kinda overdone. Don't get me wrong the LS motor is a great motor, I have one in my truck, and they can be boosted to make sick Horse power, but that is the problem, it isn't hard to do so everyone is doing it.

A "W" motor though is something you won't see that often and it is a small close knit community that builds them.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 08:25 PM
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Welcome to the site from another Camaro owner!

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thank you, BA.
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