Hello from Mom helping kid with 68 Impala - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Texas
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Hello from Mom helping kid with 68 Impala

Hi I am Andrea and I have a 16 year old who just bought a 1968 Impala (with a Monte Carlo engine) that needs some serious help. I am doing the basic research, he is doing the work. Anyhow, I am hoping this group will be able to help us out.
He didn't even want to drive until he bought this car so I'm excited for him. How proud he will be when he has it at least street legal, that is our first goal.

Last edited by Andrea; 04-28-2013 at 09:59 AM. Reason: misspelling
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:29 AM
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Great to hear that a your son has an interest in old cars. These cars suck up money very quickly so be careful. This might be a good order of priority for him. These things don't cost a lot of money to start with.

Make the car safe. If tires are older than 7 years (check the DOT date on the tire) replace them. Check all the brake components including the parking brake. Check the suspension parts especially the ball joints and steering linkage. Check the throttle linkages and throttle return spring. Visually check the wiring for obvious frayed wires on loose connections. Check that all lights work.

Make it reliable. Visual all the hoses, belts, spark plug wires. Check the engine vacuum at idle to be sure it's steady and about 15-17 in. Hg. check all the fluids. Trans fluid should be red, clear and not smell burnt. Cooland should be clean and checked for level of protection against freezing. No evidence of radiator leaking Change the fuel filter. Spray clean the carb and change the air filter. Take the spark plugs out and visual them against a color chart that shows how the engine is performing (too rich/lean, burns oil, timing off, etc). Drive the car slowly in a figure 8 in a parking lot somewhere. If you hear a grinding feel or noise from either front wheel or hear a squeak, replace the wheel bearings.

Make it comfortable. Clean the interior and buff the paint and chrome as best you can. Check the shocks. If they look old, show signs of leaking or if the car continues to bounce after you rock the car up and down change the shocks. Check for water leaks from the seals and around the back glass (look in the trunk for signs of a leak).

Have fun. As you get some extra cash buy stuff that makes the car more personal like a modern audio system, new wheels, etc.

Use this forum for great help and advise from people who love these cars. Good luck.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Texas
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Thanks wannaSS. He has a lot of work to do, but we knew it would be possibly a life long project when we let him buy the car, but you can't beat good old fashioned know how and willingness to try. It's a life lesson all boys should have. We do know the engine has a leak in the transmission and it has an exhaust issue that are top priorities for us. I'll get him started on this list though. I think eventually he wants to put the original engine back into this car. As I said... life long project. Thankfully we have another truck he can drive in the mean time
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 11:10 AM
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Welcome Andea. This is a good place to ask questions about your sons car. What part of Texas are you from?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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we recently moved from Arlington to the Hill Country. Enjoying life in a small town now
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 11:22 AM
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Welcome Andrea and son. My SS was born in the Arlington plant. We lived in SA for 11 years before moving east (just north of Houston). I'm in the process of getting my '66 SS up and driveable. One little piece at a time.

Ed
66 Impala SS
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 01:11 PM
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Welcome to the Team Andrea!

What kind of tranny? It could be as simple as an O-ring on the fill tube, but most likely not.

As to the engine all small blocks look alike from the outside. If he wants the born with engine he may become disappointed as that motor is probably driving around now as a Kia or Honda motor car. If he wants a period correct looking 1968 motor with a an oil fill tube and solid valve covers it can be done with what he has now: as we have two members that have SBC 400 engines that look like a 1964 275 horse 327 from the outside.

If he wants a date correct block and all matching date coded parts to recreate his original motor he will indeed be upon a near life long quest as there are parts available out there; but it will take money and time to assemble them all in one place.

Every part used on a Chevrolet has a date code and part number or casting number on it for quality control purposes as well as inventory control. You can buy date coded heater hoses and belts, etc. but they are all custom made and cost through the nose. Every part casting has a date code as well as a casting number and identifying marks to make putting it together easier for the workers on the line.

GM was the industry leader in quality control (a habit they picked up cranking out airplanes during WWII) which is why everything has an identifying mark that concours judges look for when doing white glove restorations.

Big Dave
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 03:49 PM
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Welcome Andrea and son. The above posters pretty much said it all. Ive enjoyed fooling around with old Chevy's sense I was 16. I'm 60 now and still have a couple of Chevy projects on the bucket list.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 12:07 AM
BA.
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Welcome Andrea (and son)!

You're in a good place here to help your son along.

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 02:06 AM
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Welcome Andrea and son! Alot of good real life experience and knowledge in here! I'm on my 3rd 68 and they are fun to enjoy and learn from, but as it was said have a realistic goal and stick with it. You can get carried away with all the "shiny" stuff we can throw at our cars and then find out the brakes are not up to date, just an example.
We have all made our little mistakes and are willing to pass on our knowledge to help out the next person, so ask away and remember that no question is stupid.
Have fun but dont get burned out, its OK to step away from it for awhile just no to long or intrest will be lost. And remember its a hobby and should not replace family.
Good luck and we are all here to help you out.
Post pics when you can.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Welcome to the Team Andrea!

What kind of tranny? It could be as simple as an O-ring on the fill tube, but most likely not.

As to the engine all small blocks look alike from the outside. If he wants the born with engine he may become disappointed as that motor is probably driving around now as a Kia or Honda motor car. If he wants a period correct looking 1968 motor with a an oil fill tube and solid valve covers it can be done with what he has now: as we have two members that have SBC 400 engines that look like a 1964 275 horse 327 from the outside.

If he wants a date correct block and all matching date coded parts to recreate his original motor he will indeed be upon a near life long quest as there are parts available out there; but it will take money and time to assemble them all in one place.

Every part used on a Chevrolet has a date code and part number or casting number on it for quality control purposes as well as inventory control. You can buy date coded heater hoses and belts, etc. but they are all custom made and cost through the nose. Every part casting has a date code as well as a casting number and identifying marks to make putting it together easier for the workers on the line.

GM was the industry leader in quality control (a habit they picked up cranking out airplanes during WWII) which is why everything has an identifying mark that concours judges look for when doing white glove restorations.

Big Dave
not sure he's needing all that now lol. But that is up to him.

It's an automatic transmission. I'm guessing it's going to be a lot of work but who knows I could be wrong. He was under the hood yesterday and right now he is going hose by hose replacing things. Lots of worn out stuff. After he's done with that we need hood hinges (the other dude took them off and lost them) and then we are replacing the tires. Hopefully we will be able to get it safety inspected then.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 09:39 AM
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The tranny leaks might be a simple fix. It might be an o-ring at the speedo cable connection, a trans oil pan gasket, a modulator seal, or a trans rear seal. Beyond that it might be a more difficult fix.
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