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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dallas
Posts: 14
Spend my money for me!

So im about to start pulling apart my 66 SS to begin body restoration on it. Since I will already have the 327 and powerglide tranny out of it here soon, I got the bright idea of putting a bigger block in it, and changing to a 4 speed manual tranny.

The "current" budget for engine/tranny is around 6,000, but its not locked in stone. The current 327 will need a rebuild if I decide to keep it and I have heard nothing but bad things about the powerglide auto tranny. No executive decisions have been made about the rear end atm, as I'm not sure yet how big and bad I will have to get it to be.

The ultimate goal for this car is to make it a nice, fun sunday driver, not a daily, drag, or show car. Also this is a total learning experience for me as its my first restoration project, although I have several friends who are not new to restorations to draw information on.

Now I turn this to y'all professionals and see what you guys think.

P.S. I don't expect to be ready to put a new motor/tranny in for at least 6 months to a year since I'm gonna try and do a full frame resto first...
DustinMock is offline  
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 01:01 AM
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Location: Monroe NC
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Hey Dustin, You will have a love / hate experience. I'm on the tail end of the mechanical part of my 68 convert. resto. check out some of my photo's. The first thing you want to do and you already figured it out is what you really want to do with the car, second $6K goes really fast so you want to figure out how deep you want to go.... complete frame off? Just remember paint and shinny rims don't get you down the road. I had a 327 with a turbo 400 and I had a blast in it. I would still have it but the block cracked, so a buddy of mine had a 402 BBC for $300 oil pan to carb. So my 2 cents would be if I just had $6,000 I would take care of brakes;engine;trans.,rear. Plus you'll have some time to think about interior and paint! Oh and by the way I've dumped around 6,000 and have not started on bodywork or interior but I can take it down the road if I want.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lewisburg, Ohio
Posts: 2,909
If you want a fun car to drive, then keep it simple. Some friends of mine have cars that over heat , Wont stop , Wont idle , Carbs and distributor need constant fiddling with and the valves need adjusted at every fill up. Think about what you want.

http://www.impalas.net/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=521&dateline=14693626  69
dadstoy is offline  
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,383
Don't worry about a motor yet that will be your last thought after you get the body and suspension refurbished. If you are talking $6,000 for a motor and tranny then I would buy a GMPP crate motor and an Art Carr @ CPT 200R4 to go behind it.


If as I believe you are saying your total frame off budget is $6,000 then take care of your 327 and PG as it will probably be going right back in again as it is. Paint alone is about $2,000 just to buy the materials for you to shot in yours garage, add about four times that to get it painted properly by a professional shop. And I will bet you will want some new wheels and rubber for the car as well (at about $4,000 for a set of nice billet wheels and tires). This is an expensive hobby that I have all but given up since I retired (and the economy tanked reducing my interest payments on the money I saved to live off of).

Big Dave
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio
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If I was closer I would take that 327 off your hands....

Check out my blog..1964 restore...

1953 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup
261ci Stovebolt.

1966 Chevrolet El Camino
327ci Mouse.

1964 Chevrolet Impala
283ci little Mouse.

Next on the list....1962 Impala convertible..
Beetle is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 08:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,383
A very common but avoidable mistake is buying a crate motor too soon in the build project. I would reinstall the 327 and PG and then install your headers and dual exhaust before you buy the crate motor. Why? Because the warranty starts ticking from the second you buy the motor not when you put it in and crank it up. Make sure your new hoses are all hooked up your new radaitor needed by your increase horsepower. Then I would install the tranny and get the bugs out with the shifting mechanism sorted out before you buy a new motor and swap it in place of what you have.

I bought a ZZ502 and it sat on the garage floor for a year and a half as I went through the car prepping it for the track. I had an issue with the oil pan bought it was out of warranty by the time I discover that GM had recalled all of the ZZ502's and swapped out the truck oil pan and oil pump for one out of a Corvette that didn't drag the ground on every bump. I discovered why they were recalled when I tore the sump off the pan going around a corner of the interstate one late Friday night at a high rate of speed when the suspension bottomed out on a new layer of asphalt they had just laid earlier in the evening.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dallas
Posts: 14
The 6,000 I'm planning on spending is just for the engine, tranny, and mods to them like aftermarket headers, carb and such. Overall, currently, I'm hoping to make it out spending around 15-20k. Although, I figure its gonna end up being a lot more than that once I factor in all the mess ups im going to have.

I know its gonna be a long while before I have a chance to even think about the motor/tranny, and I haven't even put a thought into the interior, paint, rims, tires, etc etc. I was just curious about motor/tranny so if I see a really good deal on craigslist or something I can just pick it up and stuff it in the shop until I need it. That way also I know what kind of rear end to put in while I got the body off the frame.

Atm I'm expecting around these numbers:

6k - engine/tranny
5k - frame resto/suspension
4k - body/interior/paint

These are just kinda tentative numbers and like i said since im a newbie and am just learning as I am going along (harassing you guys for advice). I figure I gonna screw enough stuff up to make those numbers a lot higher...

Also this is kind of random, but while talking to some guys around town, they advised me to make sure and go the extra mile for safety on the car which seems like a fantastic idea. I was informed to spend extra money and get the top of the line stuff for the rebuilding of the front end. So as dumb as this sounds, what all was he talking about with rebuilding the front end? I have some base assumptions but I'm kinda retarded so I was hoping for some more advice in that area.

Thanks for the advice and tips so far guys I really, really appreciate the help.

edit: Didn't see Dave's post, thats a very good point, I wouldn't have even thought of. What's the general verdict on a remanufactured engine vs a crate vs just buying a block on craigslist and having it rebuilt? I am scared to even try and do things like set up the appropriate timing, and compression ratios and such so I would be getting that done at my local shop if that route was taken. Same with a tranny, rebuilt/remanufactured or new?

Last edited by DustinMock; 06-12-2010 at 12:40 PM.
DustinMock is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,383
GMPP offers their brand new (no used parts at all) with a full GM one year replacement or repair warranty. If it breaks they fix it for free at no expense to you. you just show up at any authorized GM dealership and they take you in the service door just like a 2011 CTS Cadillac.

If you buy a motor from another shop (even a name brand shop such as Bill Mitchell’s World Products, Reher-Morrison, Sonny's, Schmidit, or Shafiroff crate motors to name a few of the better know names) you get an insurance policy that allows you to get your broken motor repaired any where you want at your own expense (you pay up front) and you then file an insurance claim and see what they will actually pay for. Not surprisingly the insurance company is not as motivated to get your car back on the road as soon as possible with the best parts available. (matter of fact a lot of the time they refuse to pay diddly and the protracted fight to get them to pay is annoying to say the least: but then the manufacturer of the crate motor is buying a product (service) at the lowest cost he can to optimize his profit; so you get what he pays for).

As to your front end a lot of tarmac has gone by the boards. Time has not been kind to a lot of the components. An example is the rubber bushings that holds everything together. The rubber decomposes with time due to oxidation because it is a natural gum rubber product that has been stretched and torn by thousands of bumps in the road. Tie rod ends and idler arms et. al. are worn as well and contribute to the cars wandering and erratic braking. Here a word of caution is in order to try and find quality parts as there are a lot of off shore (and not just China is guilty of shoddy junk being pedaled as real quality as an outright fraud.) parts available on the shelf of your local auto parts store. They will cheerfully give you a free replacement, but not a new car because the brakes failed, or a wheel came off at high speed from a non-grade eight part being actually barely a grade three stud or bolt.

I personally recommend polyurethane parts to upgrade the factory rubber as the rubber replacements are not up to the original factory standards. I also research HD parts catalogs for similar parts available off of a light pick-up truck that will interchange with the Impala as they often share similar parts, or at least some parts close enough that are close enough that they can be modified to fit your car (this is why you see live axel truck hubs on NASCAR racers as the parts fit and are much stronger to support racing forces; what you do not see are the bigger tie rods and shocks not to mention brakes).

This is where a lot of people become distressed as I build high performance hot rods that can run with the expensive imports or embarrass a lot of muscle cars at the drag strip. If you are looking for a complete stock restoration this will not be a path you want to take.

Big Dave
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 02:08 AM
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Location: Northern Ca.
Posts: 109
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Take Bigdave's thoughts to heart If you can...I have found his advice to be that of a "straight-shooter"....crate motor(327-350) for around 2.5k with warranty is a goody, and your budget is right on track. We will expect pics of your project(of course)....
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 03:59 PM
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15 to 20k is a good number for a good resto., ditto on all the advice so far.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 11:08 PM
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Location: Kansas
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Big Dave knows what he is talking about, great advice.

Trust me, you can budget all you want, but in the end, it always ends up costing more than you thought at first

1966 Caprice
1968 Impala (Frame Off Project)
2001 Tahoe LT
1972 Chevy C10
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 05:13 PM
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You will want the car to stop just as good as you can make it go. Don't skimp on stuff like brakes, master cylinders etc. Consider a disc brake conversion if there is money left in your budget. If not, then new shoes, springs, wheel cylinders, hardware etc. Big Dave's advice is right on.
matt's66 is offline  
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