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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: maryland
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Arrow new member here, 1964 impala ss

hi, im new here, im 16 and just bought my second 1964 impala ss. the first one was pretty rough, needed floors, trunk floors, both quarter panels, hood, trunk lid and some other misc parts, so i bought another that was alot nicer, the new one is a 409 4 speed car, no motor or trans, im going to put a th350 long tall trans in it for now, and just wondering if i will need to shorten the drive shaft or not?
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Last edited by 64 ss; 04-16-2011 at 02:11 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 01:23 PM
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Welcome to the Team Justin!

Yes the nine inch long tail shaft TH350 (also called a TH375) is three inches longer than the Muncie four speed tranny. (The Muncie, Saginaw three speed, and PowerGlide are all the same length as the short tailed TH350 found in Chevelles and lighter cars like the Nova or Camaro).

Big Dave
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
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thanks Big Dave, and iv heard about people putting a one peice driveshaft it the impalas as well, do you know what mods would have to be done to acheive that?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 03:14 PM
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Verify your suspension travel will allow you to have a one price without bending the prop shaft at full compression or more likely full extension (hanging off a lift). The longer the shaft the more critical is the balancing of the shaft to prevent vibration. That is why Chevy went with a more expensive two piece shaft over a cheaper one piece unit original.

Chevy wanted a smooth, vibration free experience so that driving the car felt like sitting at home on your couch. It used a limp flexible frame in the car with everything mounted on sponge rubber to get a marshmallow soft ride with no road nose or vibration being transmitted back into the interior. Steering is so vague that it is like sitting in front of a computer and controlling the car by remote control as you get no feed back from the steering wheel. This was all done at great expense to Chevy and it took years to engineer parts that would do this and still hold a car up. It was done that way because these cars were the first new cars built after WWII and the Korean war (still on going when your car was built) were sending vets out to buy cars after riding in Jeeps and tanks. They wanted a comfortable smooth riding car and Chevy built what they wanted for less than the price of a Caddy.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 05:55 PM
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Doing a one piece usually involves hacking part of the reinforcement between the X in the rear. I have no experience with this, but it seems like the frame is flexible enough in stock form, removing that chunck of reinforcement would just allow more flexing unless you stiffened the frame via other means, but that would probably add lots of weight... can't win .

In this picture, you can see how some steel plate was roughly cut out to clear the drive shaft. If you look carefully, you can see how far that plate extends down the frame. That is how much was removed. This particular car was a bit of a hack job in some areas .

You might want to consider a beefed up driveshaft and center carrier bearing. Seems like the more you wander from stock, the more problems you run into.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 06:41 PM
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I installed a 1 piece in my 4 speed 64 SS about 12 years ago. No cutting anything and no rubbing. You got a good find on your 64 SS Welcome aboard
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 08:03 PM
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Like I said it depends upon how much your rear end goes up and down. Mount the rear axle solid and the one piece draive shaft will clear everything. Allow the rear end to move only a little bit and you may get by with the stock opening in the frame.(limiting is done through either short length shocks or chains and bump stops).

If you allow full travel of the rear suspension it will hit and bend the shaft (it is a just a matter of geometry). A bent shaft adds vibration that comes and goes with speed as the shaft will now have a very definite harmonic in it's natural frequency.

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1964 impala, drive shaft, th350

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