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Username Post: New [to me] '66 Impala SS... What to do?        (Topic#344868)
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
05-21-17 08:32 PM - Post#2692200    

Hello all... I'm new to this forum, and I am a long time car guy, but definitely new to old domestic stuff! I just picked up a '66 Impala SS, but I come from an autocross/track background - I've had a supercharged miata for about 10 years, and I'm into "older" BMWs too (E30s, E39s etc).
Here she is:



https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6036/6352569518_f02 4...

I have a little bit of a history with this car, but as of last Thursday I plunked down my cash and made it my own. It's an Oshawa-built 283/Powerglide with red vinyl interior. I'm a little torn on whether I should just keep it as-is or make it the way I really want it, but assuming the latter, I'd like to do the following, in order of priority:

1) Brakes! Four-wheel discs for sure, which I gather necessitates the next item...
2) Wheels and tires. I'm not the sort to go for chrome 22s, but considering I'm running 225s on my miata, and 245F/265R on my BMW (similar weight and power to the Impala!), I really feel like I could use some more rubber... Which then leads to item 3...
3) Suspension and steering. I'd like to address some of the geometry issues and optimize around a slightly more modern wheel and tire package. I've been considering coilovers/tubular control arms. Ridetech looks to have a nice looking kit for front and rear, with sway bars available as well. Quicker ratio steering box would also be nice.
4) Manual transmission. This is the 2nd automatic I've ever owned (the last was a winter beater Jeep XJ that I had for about six months), and if I'm honest, it's actually the best automatic I've ever driven! With only 2 speeds, it doesn't do a lot of unexpected shifting! That said, I really like to row my own, so I'm pretty keen on swapping to a stick.
5) Engine. For the purposes that I own this car, honestly I think I'd be okay with the 283 as it is, but going down the slippery slope that I am here, it seems like this is actually the easy thing to address!

So, items 1-3 in my opinion really need to be addressed as a package. I've looked at the smallish disc brake kits, which I think in terms of braking performance will be suitable for my needs, but I'm a little thrown off on the spindle options - if I'm going to do coilovers and tubular control arms, and I'm not looking to "slam" it, do I want a drop spindle? I tend to think no, unless there is some other geometry advantage. I read a few threads regarding 65-66 vs 67 and later steering geometry - seems like even the aftermarket suspension kits don't quite address this? To be clear, I'm not looking to make a competitive autocross car out of this, but I'd like it to handle reasonably well, which is to say it turns in, is reasonably well balanced, and not twitchy. Recommendations?

For items 4 & 5, it comes as a bit of a shock to me that it looks like the transmission will be the difficult/expensive part! Going down the slippery slope I'm on here, if I'm committed to a decent manual with overdrive, it seems like I might as well do an LS swap too! Looks like I can buy an LR4 4.8 locally for $500-$600, while a T56 is twice as much! Obviously there's more to that swap than just the motor, but still... Turns out factory 4-speed consoles and tachs are pretty hard to come by too! Looking for thoughts here on whether I'd be better to considering doing an old 4-speed or a T5 W/C with the 283, or going all-out on the LS swap.

Also open to hearing opinions that I should just leave well enough alone and just drive it!

While y'all are spending my money, keep in mind I'd rather not spend all of it!



 


leon phelps 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4146
leon phelps
Loc: Croydon Manor, PA
Reg: 06-04-05
05-22-17 02:11 PM - Post#2692318    
    In response to jduffett

do an ls swap. save the old engine in case you sell it later. the die hards always want the original engine. this will make you get a 4 speed auto trans. then you should get a 12 bolt, because since you wrench your gonna do a cam swap one day for the extra 200 hp. aluminum block is double the hp of the 283 and lighter. some things need to be changed but no too drastic of a job nowadays.

as for the disc brakes, the front ones are an easy conversion from the corvette 69-82 spindles. you will need larger rims. I would recommend finding a nice 17" once and nice sized sidewalls. The 19" ones I have seem to not have enough sidewall for my liking. feel like I am gonna pop one with pot holes.

good luck with the car.



 
raycow 
DECEASED
Posts: 27999
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
05-22-17 02:24 PM - Post#2692320    
    In response to jduffett

The only point on which we completely agree is a manual transmission replacing the auto. If you keep the 283, a T-5 will be the easiest install and the least cost. For more power, especially with the tires you want to run, I think the minimum trans would be a TKO. Other strong 5 speeds cost more than the TKO, but don't really offer much gain for the extra money. A 4 speed should be in the running only if you feel you must have the easiest install possible with a factory console, and that privilege might cost you dearly.

A used T-56 could be installed for less money than a new TKO, but it would take more parts and more work. A used TKO would be great from the cost standpoint, but not very easy to find. You didn't mention it, but I would definitely want a posi if I were going the "more engine" route.

As for the front end, I would love to see a real lower control arm replacing the stock strut setup, which more properly belongs on a Pinto (or maybe not even there). However, I honestly don't know what is available, especially if it has to work with the stock crossmember. Also not mentioned by you, I would want power steering. This could take care of the quicker ratio at the same time. I have no complaints about the factory PS gearbox or steering linkage.

Getting on to the brakes, I can't see much need for discs on all 4, but if that's what you really want, the rears won't be fun to install if you like having a parking brake. On the fronts you have lots of choices, limited only by your wallet and the wheels you want to run. You can run C2/C3 discs on their own spindles or aftermarket discs on your stock spindles or drop spindles.

If you feel the car has to be lowered, than I like doing it with spindles rather than springs, although I think stiffer (than stock) springs wouldn't be a bad idea along with stiffer shocks front and rear. Anti-sway bars couldn't hurt either, if you don't have them at both ends now.

Ok, I'm done. The foregoing are just my personal opinions, and I fully realize that it's your car and your money.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-17-19 04:47 PM - Post#2780388    
    In response to raycow

Okay, well, checking in again a year and a half later...

For the first year, I just drove the car as it was for the most part. Did a little road trip down to Ithaca, did some mountain biking (bike fits nicely in the trunk!), and took my niece out for a few cruises (she loves the Impala):







And then last May I finally decided on some wheels and tires:




They're 17x9s with 255/45s on all four corners. Despite the fact that I'd calculated and measured, and bought a single rim to test fit, I ended up running into a slight clearance issue (https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?tid/351200/), and between fixing that, and now having clearance to run the brakes I wanted, I set off down the path to some brake and suspension upgrades!

I guess I'm going to end up turning this into a bit of a back-filled build thread... I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I'll follow up with some details.

John
66 Impala SS


 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-17-19 05:29 PM - Post#2780394    
    In response to jduffett

So here's what I ended up with:



- C3 Corvette spindles
- Global West tubular control arms
- Ride Tech shocks
- Wilwood master cylinder and adjustable prop valve
- Wilwood Forged Dynalites on 12.19" rotors on all four corners with drum-in-hat parking brakes

The Corvette spindles I mostly got because I wanted to build up the assemblies before I took the car apart, plus they use bigger bearings. I agonized over all the disc brake options, and I ended up paying the premium for the Wilwoods for two reasons. For one, they have excellent documentation (parts lists, diagrams, instructions, specs etc). I have a hard time with the kits where they don't even tell you what the caliper piston sizes are, or where you can't look up part numbers and costs for spare parts. Secondly, after reading a few of the horror stories about the Caddy based parking brakes, I thought the drum-in-hat solution was worth a little extra.

Initially I looked at drop spindles, lowering springs, etc, but when I actually measured the car up, I decided I really didn't want to go lower. For the rear, since I've got a 10 bolt back there with three control arms, I decided that other than the shocks, I'd leave the suspension alone for the moment until I decide what (if anything) I'll do with the rear end.

I started taking the car apart last September, but only picked away at it intermittently until about March, when I ran into some trouble getting the front lower control arms out. The bolts were seized to the metal sleeves in the bushings, and absolutely refused to separate! I've run into this on other cars, where the solution was just to cut the control arms out, but I had been hoping to get the arms off intact, and in fact I'd been hoping to re-used those bolts since they seem to be NLA. Anyway, I ended up cutting through the bushings/bolts between the arms and the frame. Whatever those sleeves in the bushings are made of, man, I've never seen anything like it! I ended up spending a fortune on carbide tipped sawzall blades - regular blades wouldn't even make a mark!

Here's my access to cut those bushings/bolts:




Few more random pictures from the install:







I was a little bit concerned when I discovered the Ride Tech shocks were shorter than the ones I took off, but the guy at Ride Tech assured me the length was correct, and it hasn't been an issue.





Despite my praise of Wilwood's documentation, I will say the situation for the rears is somewhat confusing, and I'm not 100% sure that any of their kits are actually 100% right for at least my rear end. Based on preliminary measurements, I chose the 140-11828 kit. That kit comes up as one of the options for a '66 Impala when you punch it in on their website, but is referred to as "59-64 Impala / 57-62 Corvette". It gets a bit confusing when the instructions refer to modifying the bearing retainer when you don't actually have a bearing retainer. Looking at the other possibilities, none of them seemed to match my configuration. The closest actually seemed to be the C10 kit in terms of the lack of the bearing retainer etc, but those measurements didn't match up either. The good news is it fit up just fine, though I was on the limit of acceptable shims. If you dig into the parts lists of the kits, you can see that the various applications share a lot of parts, so if it had actually been an issue, it looks like a different bracket or spacer would have done the trick. One other thing is that the rotors supplied were not hubcentric for my axles, and are drilled for 1/2" studs. Wilwood recommends going to 1/2" studs, which I will do eventually, but for the moment I got a set of hub adapters to center the rotors on the axle pilot diameter. Finally, I order the matching parking brake cable kit, but it is definitely intended for something like the '64 where the chassis side goes into an open bracket, rather than through a hole in the frame, so I had to cut the end off and crimp a cable stop on after running it through the frame. Not a big deal, I just hadn't even thought about it.


John
66 Impala SS


Edited by jduffett on 11-17-19 05:53 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
bigbowtielover 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2569
bigbowtielover
Loc: Surrey British Columbia
Reg: 09-01-13
11-17-19 07:51 PM - Post#2780405    
    In response to jduffett

Rear shocks on '68-'72 chevelles are about an inch shorter but will work so possibly that's what they gave you.



 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-21-19 07:02 PM - Post#2780718    
    In response to bigbowtielover

I got the car back on the road after my "winter project" in late August. Pretty happy with the brakes so far. The supension feels good, but kinda just highlights that I really should do a quick ratio steering box too... I'll get to that at some point, but getting back to my original list, I started doing some more serious thinking about manual transmissions. T56 or TKO, when it comes down to it, are just too damned expensive for me. I got a quote on a full TKO kit, which came out to $5800. As much as I'm a diehard manual guy, I just choke on that. Used TKOs never come up around here, and T56s pretty rarely, and usually either pricey or broken. Then I came across another option... Not sure how many have heard about this, but there is a company making adapter kits to put an Aisin AR5 out of a Colorado/Canyon or Solstice/Sky behind an LS. I'm sure there are a lot of folks who'll be skeptical, but the information I can find does seem promising. My low-mile AR5 arrived yesterday from a local scrapyard - ~$200.



I haven't even unwrapped it yet, but my only concern so far is potentially the height of the shifter flange - it looks kind of high, but maybe it is just because the body of the transmission is smaller than a TKO. I'm aiming to use a factory 4 speed console (which I've actually got already), but we'll have to see how well that's going to work out.

I'll be ordering the adapter kit next week. Here's the link for the adapter kit: https://www.fabbotfab.com/collections/transmiss ion...

Yes, I did say LS... They do make an SBC version of the adapter kit too, but once I figured I had reasonable path to getting a manual in the car, I figured I'd go whole hog and do an LS swap too. I don't need big power - figured a 4.8 or 5.3 truck motor would do the trick. So I priced that out too... Obviously a pretty wide spectrum out there. I got a price from the Canadian distributor for FABbot (Spence at SS Motors in Calgary) for an aluminum block 5.3 with Corvette cam/springs/oiling upgrades, cleaned up, all seals and gaskets, heads rebuilt, etc etc. Big $$$ in comparison to the local craigslist/kijiji/faceboo k/junkyard stuff, but if you price out all the parts involved, let alone the labour, I think actually it is a pretty good value, and he'll give you a warranty to boot. So I was kinda figuring on going that way, when I came across an ad... 5.3 iron block out of an '06 Suburban with ~115k miles on it, all cleaned up, new gaskets, plugs, wires, all accessories, harness, computer... and a 4L80e! Not that I knew what that meant - I don't know and don't care about automatics! I asked him how much for just the engine, but when he said to make an offer I had to go look and see what it was worth. If I've got this figured right, I should be able to get like $500 for that thing easy, which for the price he's asking gets me such a good deal on the engine I started to think it was a scam! It's about four hours from here, but luckily I had a buddy in the area who could take a look, and it all seemed legit, so I gave the guy a deposit. Turns out he's a high school shop teacher, and he's got his students welding up a cradle for it this week! Going to pick it up on Saturday. Meanwhile, here are the pics from his ad:









John
66 Impala SS


Edited by jduffett on 11-25-19 07:25 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-21-19 07:08 PM - Post#2780719    
    In response to jduffett

And of course, engine mount adapters are already in the mail from kwhizz... Thanks again Ken!

John
66 Impala SS


 
Bramlettjk 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 82
Bramlettjk
Age: 41
Loc: N. MISSISSIPPI
Reg: 12-19-08
11-21-19 07:26 PM - Post#2780721    
    In response to jduffett

Awesome. Please post more of what works and what doesn’t as you continue your build. Great looking car. I’ll be ordering those mounts from kwhizz as well.

67 SS 396 CHEVELLE
65 SS 396 IMPALA

Life is easy, until you have four daughters.


Edited by Bramlettjk on 11-21-19 07:27 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-21-19 07:36 PM - Post#2780722    
    In response to Bramlettjk

  • Bramlettjk Said:
Awesome. Please post more of what works and what doesn’t as you continue your build. Great looking car. I’ll be ordering those mounts from kwhizz as well.


Thanks! I'll be watching your build too. I'm sometimes pretty slow with my projects, but I'll post updates as I go.


John
66 Impala SS


 
brickwhite 
Newbie
Posts: 47
brickwhite
Loc: Missouri
Reg: 09-05-19
11-22-19 01:18 PM - Post#2780770    
    In response to jduffett

Great documentation and pictures. Keep up the work.

Don't see many that can imbed an image URL on these forms.

Do you have any details on your rear brake install with E-brake hats.

Also what springs are you using?

Ted


 
kwhizz 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1172
kwhizz
Loc: Wisconsin
Reg: 01-01-07
11-23-19 07:38 AM - Post#2780823    
    In response to jduffett

  • jduffett Said:
So here's what I ended up with:



- C3 Corvette spindles
- Global West tubular control arms
- Ride Tech shocks
- Wilwood master cylinder and adjustable prop valve
- Wilwood Forged Dynalites on 12.19" rotors on all four corners with drum-in-hat parking brakes

The Corvette spindles I mostly got because I wanted to build up the assemblies before I took the car apart, plus they use bigger bearings. I agonized over all the disc brake options, and I ended up paying the premium for the Wilwoods for two reasons. For one, they have excellent documentation (parts lists, diagrams, instructions, specs etc). I have a hard time with the kits where they don't even tell you what the caliper piston sizes are, or where you can't look up part numbers and costs for spare parts. Secondly, after reading a few of the horror stories about the Caddy based parking brakes, I thought the drum-in-hat solution was worth a little extra.

Initially I looked at drop spindles, lowering springs, etc, but when I actually measured the car up, I decided I really didn't want to go lower. For the rear, since I've got a 10 bolt back there with three control arms, I decided that other than the shocks, I'd leave the suspension alone for the moment until I decide what (if anything) I'll do with the rear end.

I started taking the car apart last September, but only picked away at it intermittently until about March, when I ran into some trouble getting the front lower control arms out. The bolts were seized to the metal sleeves in the bushings, and absolutely refused to separate! I've run into this on other cars, where the solution was just to cut the control arms out, but I had been hoping to get the arms off intact, and in fact I'd been hoping to re-used those bolts since they seem to be NLA. Anyway, I ended up cutting through the bushings/bolts between the arms and the frame. Whatever those sleeves in the bushings are made of, man, I've never seen anything like it! I ended up spending a fortune on carbide tipped sawzall blades - regular blades wouldn't even make a mark!

Here's my access to cut those bushings/bolts:




Few more random pictures from the install:







I was a little bit concerned when I discovered the Ride Tech shocks were shorter than the ones I took off, but the guy at Ride Tech assured me the length was correct, and it hasn't been an issue.





Despite my praise of Wilwood's documentation, I will say the situation for the rears is somewhat confusing, and I'm not 100% sure that any of their kits are actually 100% right for at least my rear end. Based on preliminary measurements, I chose the 140-11828 kit. That kit comes up as one of the options for a '66 Impala when you punch it in on their website, but is referred to as "59-64 Impala / 57-62 Corvette". It gets a bit confusing when the instructions refer to modifying the bearing retainer when you don't actually have a bearing retainer. Looking at the other possibilities, none of them seemed to match my configuration. The closest actually seemed to be the C10 kit in terms of the lack of the bearing retainer etc, but those measurements didn't match up either. The good news is it fit up just fine, though I was on the limit of acceptable shims. If you dig into the parts lists of the kits, you can see that the various applications share a lot of parts, so if it had actually been an issue, it looks like a different bracket or spacer would have done the trick. One other thing is that the rotors supplied were not hubcentric for my axles, and are drilled for 1/2" studs. Wilwood recommends going to 1/2" studs, which I will do eventually, but for the moment I got a set of hub adapters to center the rotors on the axle pilot diameter. Finally, I order the matching parking brake cable kit, but it is definitely intended for something like the '64 where the chassis side goes into an open bracket, rather than through a hole in the frame, so I had to cut the end off and crimp a cable stop on after running it through the frame. Not a big deal, I just hadn't even thought about it.






I had the same issue with my Wilwood rear brake kit...… I had to use the same one that you now have.....



 
kwhizz 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1172
kwhizz
Loc: Wisconsin
Reg: 01-01-07
11-23-19 07:38 AM - Post#2780824    
    In response to jduffett

  • jduffett Said:
And of course, engine mount adapters are already in the mail from kwhizz... Thanks again Ken!








 
kwhizz 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1172
kwhizz
Loc: Wisconsin
Reg: 01-01-07
11-23-19 07:41 AM - Post#2780825    
    In response to kwhizz

You might as well resolve the Ackermann issue as long as the car is apart

https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?t...



 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-25-19 06:24 PM - Post#2780954    
    In response to brickwhite

  • brickwhite Said:
Do you have any details on your rear brake install with E-brake hats.

Also what springs are you using?


I can take some more pictures when I have the car apart again, if you'd like. Anything specific you'd like to know?
After measuring up ride heights, and reading all the stories about "lowering springs" that ended up raising cars, I just stuck with the stock springs.


John
66 Impala SS


 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-25-19 06:30 PM - Post#2780955    
    In response to kwhizz

  • kwhizz Said:
I had the same issue with my Wilwood rear brake kit...… I had to use the same one that you now have....


It really wouldn't take much effort on their part to clean this up and take some of the confusion out of it. Oh well, it works great in the end!

  • kwhizz Said:
You might as well resolve the Ackermann issue as long as the car is apart


Yep, I'm planning on it. Want to drop the new motor in first, so I can be sure about the pan clearance.

John
66 Impala SS


 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
11-25-19 07:20 PM - Post#2780960    
    In response to jduffett

So here's the latest update...

Saturday was a nice day for a drive, so my nephew and I drove to Ottawa and back to pick up the engine. Had to rent a truck... Turned out to be a brand new Sierra with the 5.3 - kinda fitting!





I forgot to take a picture from the driver's seat, but I figure this is as close as I'll get to driving a Ferrari, with those red valve covers in the rearview!







Up close, it doesn't look quite as good as it did in the ad... I mean it is nice and clean in comparison to a fresh pull out, but aside from the red valve covers, he's also painted the block, the exhaust manifolds, and the accessories, and it looks like with the exception of the manifolds and the valve covers they might have been sprayed in place, since there's some overspray. Not really a big deal, but I definitely won't be satisfied to leave it like that. I did pop one valve cover off, and it looked pretty good in there. I figure the next thing is drop the pan, pull the plugs and turn it over by hand... Any other basic stuff I should check?

On the tranny side of things, I pulled the bell housing off the AR5, and I noticed a fair bit of radial play at the end of the input shaft. A quick google says that is okay/normal, as long as there's no axial play, or, alternatively, totally not normal, and your transmission is garbage... Now not all of that advice was specific to this transmission, so who knows, but I did find one guy who'd gotten an AR5 from a scrapyard with only 5k on it, and it was like this:

value="transparent">

That's pretty much what mine is like. Anybody have any comment on this?

I also just put in a big Summit order for a Holley 302-1 pan, a Tanks Inc kit, and a bunch of other fuel system stuff (plumbing, filter/regulator, etc). Order for the FABbot kit should go in tonight.

John
66 Impala SS


 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
12-11-19 08:50 PM - Post#2781993    
    In response to jduffett

Time for another update I guess.

On the new motor front, I've stripped off the manifolds, oil pan, accessories, crank pulley, water pump, timing cover etc in prep for cleaning/painting.





The heads are still on it, but I'm about 85% sure I'm gonna pull them too.

Since it is stripped down to this point, I'm also fairly certain I'm going to put a cam in it. So I've been agonizing over that a bit... One of those drop-in low-lift cams and a set of springs, or something a little bigger? Trunnion kit? Lifters? Scope creep!

My order with all the fuel system stuff, the oil pan etc has been waiting on one fitting that was out of stock. Finally called them today and got them to swap it for an alternate, so that'll ship tomorrow... In the mean time I've picked up (or have on the way) a bunch more stuff:
  • gaskets
  • timing chain
  • headers
  • exhaust
  • cats
  • DBW pedal and TAC
  • clutch/fw
  • steering linkage parts to fix the ackerman issue
  • rear control arms and adj. panhard rod (in anticipation of finding a 12 bolt)
  • clutch hydraulics
  • an intake manifold


I've also been picking away at disassembly. So far I've got the console and shifter out, drained the trans, oil, and coolant, pulled the rad, exhaust, and air cleaner, and disconnected most of the electrical.





I also picked up some plastic/vinyl paint at Canadian Tire to test. It was the only red they had, and it turns out way too bright.



I'm thinking to try SEM Portola red next, unless anyone knows a good match?

The intake manifold I picked up is a Dorman 615-183. That's just a stock replacement part, but Dorman has used a completely different design that looks a hell of a lot better than the stock truck manifold, and apparently flows a bit better too. They're not super expensive new, and there are even Chinese knock-offs of the Dorman on eBay for ~$125, but I scored a new open-box US-made Dorman on eBay for $100, so I figured it was worth a shot. It showed up yesterday, and I've already started shaving some of the extraneous protrusions off it. It looks like a really nice manifold with a lot of thought put into it, right down to the port labels, gasket part numbers, and torque spec and sequence molded right in!



My exhaust showed up today, along with NOS Moog center link and idler arm. Pitman arm should be here tomorrow. I've decided on a used Jeep Grand Cherokee steering box, which I'll pick up from the scrap yard next week when I'm off.






John
66 Impala SS


 
Bramlettjk 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 82
Bramlettjk
Age: 41
Loc: N. MISSISSIPPI
Reg: 12-19-08
12-12-19 07:10 AM - Post#2782006    
    In response to jduffett

Man, your build is looking great. Thank you for sharing. I have a few questions when you get a minute.

- What headers did you go with?
- What year/model jeep steering box and why? I have read about a camaro steering box working also.
- Is the trans linkage opening removable? I am doing the exact opposite and putting an automatic in a 4-speed car and I have found the hump metal insert on ebay, but yours looks nicer. If it is not welded in, interested in selling it?


Thank you again for sharing your build. It is inspiring lol. I am really digging the wheels more and more.

67 SS 396 CHEVELLE
65 SS 396 IMPALA

Life is easy, until you have four daughters.


 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
12-12-19 07:53 AM - Post#2782007    
    In response to Bramlettjk

  • Bramlettjk Said:
Man, your build is looking great. Thank you for sharing. I have a few questions when you get a minute.

- What headers did you go with?
- What year/model jeep steering box and why? I have read about a camaro steering box working also.
- Is the trans linkage opening removable? I am doing the exact opposite and putting an automatic in a 4-speed car and I have found the hump metal insert on ebay, but yours looks nicer. If it is not welded in, interested in selling it?


Thank you again for sharing your build. It is inspiring lol. I am really digging the wheels more and more.


Thanks for the comments! It feels like I haven't really done anything hard yet, just spent money and done research.

I ordered these headers: https://www.ebay.com/itm/232254678026
They were $164 at the time, so you should be able to get them for that price or less ("Make Offer"). I got that link I think from one of kwhizz's threads.

There are a lot of quicker ratio boxes that will fit, but some of them (including F-bodies) have the stops set tighter, meaning your turning radius will increase. The Jeep box is quick ratio, higher effort, and the output shaft stop-to-stop rotation is similar. The best resource I found for figuring this stuff out was http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/?cat=4
The Jeep box uses metric fittings, and has a different input shaft, so you need a different rag joint (Lares 200 should work). I was going to get a rebuilt unit, but I figured I'll be more likely to get the right thing if I buy used. Keep in mind that's all just internet research so far - I haven't actually put any of this stuff together yet!

Regarding the shifter linkage opening, I'm not sure. I'll take a look, though my intent is to keep all the original stuff just in case I, or a future owner, decide to return the car to the original configuration.

John
66 Impala SS


Edited by jduffett on 12-12-19 07:54 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Bramlettjk 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 82
Bramlettjk
Age: 41
Loc: N. MISSISSIPPI
Reg: 12-19-08
12-12-19 04:10 PM - Post#2782029    
    In response to jduffett

Thanks for the info. I agree 100% about keeping your trans hump metal just in case. I may just fab up a nice sheet metal plate and bolt it over the 4-speed opening and maybe use some crafty gasket cutting skills to make the seal do I don’t have to use a sealant that I’ll have to scrape off. Not quite sure yet.

Are you going to tackle the Ackerman issue? Kwhizz and friends put out four pages for us. I’m a little intimidated, which is rare, but I think it will be worth it.

67 SS 396 CHEVELLE
65 SS 396 IMPALA

Life is easy, until you have four daughters.


 
Bramlettjk 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 82
Bramlettjk
Age: 41
Loc: N. MISSISSIPPI
Reg: 12-19-08
12-12-19 04:11 PM - Post#2782030    
    In response to Bramlettjk

  • Bramlettjk Said:
Thanks for the info. I agree 100% about keeping your trans hump metal just in case. I may just fab up a nice sheet metal plate and bolt it over the 4-speed opening and maybe use some crafty gasket cutting skills to make the seal so I don’t have to use a sealant that I’ll have to scrape off. Not quite sure yet.

Are you going to tackle the Ackerman issue? Kwhizz and friends put out four pages for us. I’m a little intimidated, which is rare, but I think it will be worth it.




67 SS 396 CHEVELLE
65 SS 396 IMPALA

Life is easy, until you have four daughters.


 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
01-13-20 06:05 PM - Post#2784356    
    In response to Bramlettjk

Okay, time for another update...

Had my parents in town for a couple weeks over Christmas, so really didn't make too much progress on the car (other than spending more money!) until last week. Pulled the driveshaft, and finished disconnecting everything under the hood. Then I enlisted my buddy Brad's help and we pulled the engine and transmission.



Amateurs that we are, we didn't make the chains short enough, and I had to let the air out of the tires to get the pan to (just!) clear.





Feels pretty good to have one big milestone out of the way, and a big ol' hole to work in:




John
66 Impala SS


Edited by jduffett on 01-13-20 06:06 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
jduffett 
Newbie
Posts: 24

Loc: Hamilton Ontario
Reg: 05-21-17
01-13-20 06:29 PM - Post#2784358    
    In response to jduffett

So that was last Thursday the motor came out. Since then I haven't accomplished too much... Spent a few hours Saturday and Sunday destroying a pitman arm puller, but I did also manage to put the finishing (cosmetic) touches on my pedals:





I've got a DBW pedal out of a Yukon that I'll need to mount to the firewall and modify to mate up with the stock gas pedal.

I've also been picking away at smoothing out that Dorman intake manifold. The fuel rail cross-over tube that came on my truck manifold wasn't that pretty to begin with, and it looks like it'll sit a bit high on the Dorman manifold. Not really keen on the look of it, so I started looking at other ways to use the stock fuel rails. I made a post over on ls1tech about possibilities for adapting to the end plugs ( https://ls1tech.com/forums/fueling-inject ion/1930012-modifying-sto ck-plastic-truck-fuel-rai ls.html ), and then I also found some 1/2" quick disconnect to AN adapter fittings that I figured I might be able to use to make my own cross-over:











So, that definitely seems like it'll work, but I'm really not that crazy about it... Okay, I could probably get over the fact that the fittings are green, but they're really tall, and by the time you have a hose end on it, I think it'll look pretty dumb. So I think I'm going to abandon the stock rails and use an aftermarket set. Oh well.

John
66 Impala SS


Edited by jduffett on 01-13-20 06:36 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Double Aught 
Contributor
Posts: 340

Loc: SW America
Reg: 09-28-11
01-13-20 06:45 PM - Post#2784362    
    In response to jduffett

You can always do a mock-up and see if you like it.



 
Texasray 
"4th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 103
Texasray
Loc: Texas
Reg: 11-01-16
01-16-20 01:38 PM - Post#2784489    
    In response to Double Aught

Or go with a 90 deg fiting on the end of your hose. Route it around back if you have the room.

Sam



 


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