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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Fl
Posts: 3
Newbie questions

Hello, newbie from FL and don't have a 64 yet. I was looking for a little info to help me decide if I should grab one near me. Its a 64 red in color, owner says it's straight and rust free, 4dr, mildly built 350 and freshly rebuilt trans.. He's asking just under 4gs for it and it looks pretty good from the ad. I know it wasn't produced in 64 with a 350 and I'm not looking to make a numbers matching show car but a cool classic to get me back and forth to work in. Had a 61 lesabre years ago and want to get back into a classic boat.

My question is what do I need to check for? I'm pretty comfortable around sbc but don't no the little money robbing issues of the impalas. I would be trading a very reliable DD for it and don't want to get into something that I can't handle like a cracked frame of other major issues. Please let me know of any gremlins to watch out for.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:25 PM
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Welcome to the team Jimbo!

Rust! Rust says it all. Just have to watch out for the sheet metall of the floors trunck lower quarters and around any place water can gather. The frame can be an issue if the car was driven down here from up north by some one retiring to a cypress tree lined lot in Florida from some northern climate such as Detroit (at the other end of I-75), or New York (off I-95 via I-4) as most people who live or died in Florida weren't born here.

To check for a lot of plastic filler and old newspapers hiding benmeath the shinny red paint filling cancerous cavities in the car take a refirgerator magnet with you and see if it sticks every where and any where you lay it (windows excluded of course). Mechanically these cars are neither complex or teribly expensive to maintain. Insuring one is a whole different issue.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by No64yet View Post
owner says it's straight and rust free
Don't they all say that
In terms of resale, a 4 door is not as valuable, but I like them.

Check out the power steering (if it has it), the system is famous for leaks, which can destroy control arm bushings with the constant bath of fluid.

Check the frame to body mounts that are near the rear axle area. They are known to rust out on the body side.

I would think carefully about using an old car as daily transport, particularly one that you are buying. Lots of things wear out at inconvienient times, leaving you without wheels till they get fixed. I can remeber using my bicycle a lot when I depended on only my 64, and that was back in the 80's

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1964 Impala 4 door sedan

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Fl
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Thanks for the input.. I'm pretty handy with a wrench and welder, I build jeeps also, so as far as trouble shooting and changing bad part are concern I'm not scared of it. As far as dependable goes I had to drop 2 gs in my Cherokee right before Christmas so I truly believe no cars are fail proof but my have a hard time getting the wife on board with that. The Cherokee just shut done.. Dead.. And of course it was all computer stuff that I couldn't fix. I'm also a little hesitant because I feel my jeeps worth about 5k private party and I don't think he would want to trade and toss in any cash.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 10:09 AM
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1st: Is it a 4-door sport sedan (w/out the post between the doors) or a regular sedan? The pillarless models usually command a higher price, and are much more scarce. For a driver, it won't matter much but it does effect the value. As for the 350 motor, if it's a 'driver' .. again, it shouldn't matter as long as it runs well. All the SBC engines as long as their orange look pretty much the same.

"rust-free" is subjective. In my opinion: the less rust in the most expensive places, the better. I, for instance bought a lowly 6-cyl. 4-door sedan for a dirt-cheap price, and was (luckily) surprised to find out it spent most of it's life in CALI and thus, the floors, trunk, and frame were virtually rust-free. That equals HUGE savings when it comes to restoration dollars. Expect to find some bondo here, or there - but it's not a big deal compared to having to cut and replace trunk pans, and such.

As someone stated above, familiarize yourself with and make sure to check the body mounts. They are a common issue with the "X-framers" and not cheap to repair. You can buy brand-new fenders, hoods, etc. - but the labor in replacing rusted parts climbs very quickly.

As far as reliability goes: these cars, no matter what engine or body style, were relatively simple to own, run, and repair. All cars break down - but repairing a computerized widget-laden 80's box can be a whole lot more frustrating (and expensive) when it comes to service than one of our late-great chevies, which you can buy almost any part now out of a catalogue.

Good luck, and keep us in the loop! ~

'63 Impala Sedan

Last edited by medisalle; 09-29-2010 at 09:47 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Fl
Posts: 3
Thanks medisalle that's kinda some answers I was looking for. Off to google impala body mount locations. The only body parts that scare me to replace myself are the rear quarter. I've done floors, trunks and even welded to pick up cabs together to make one good one. So hopefully this frame is in solid shape
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