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 Post subject: 1964 Chevy Impala Convertible (*FINALLY)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:15 am 
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Well, it is time. 10 years in the making..... here is what she looks like as of yesterday evening. I should have used the flash I guess.....


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so much more to come.....you have no idea...
-Jeremy


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:13 pm 

Posts: 57
Location: Unionville Tennessee
So I know this won't be a run-of-the-mill, boring restoration deal. Tell us your ideas. Crazy oddball powerplant? Thorough modernization? Old skool rodz style? No top roadster?


Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:47 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:34 pm 

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Location: Raleigh, NC
Very nice! Makes me wish I had my '65 Fairlane to still work on. That car will be the pimpness when its done, more so than it is now.

David


Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:36 am
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:17 am 
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This car and I have a long history together, I will tell the whole story when I have a few moments of typing time. Until then, I can tell you that I have owned it for 10 years, driven it 10 miles(ish), installed air ride suspension, then took it all out, added disc brakes, replaced TONS of metal, did the body off restoration thing, added a 4 speed Muncie to the back of my straight six, and sooooo much more.

My plans for it are constantly changing. My latest plan is:
-Stock color paint and interior, because it is fairly unique and so ugly it's
cool.

-Stock looking wheels that work with the disc brakes (the originals don't)

-Air ride suspension or maybe some serious autocross-style coil-over suspension.....we'll see Bottom line is that it has to be low.

-Stock straight six engine, but with fuel injection, and turbocharged....yes....I said it.

-4 speed muncie (already done)

-The straightest sheetmetal in history. You won't even believe it's real. :)

Thats all for now....more to come soon...
-Jeremy


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:27 pm 
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Impala to do list:
1) Get conv top latch for the drivers side
2) Install the better grille
3) Bolt on lower section of fenders
4) Body mounts - 4 bolts not installed
5) Tighten radiator support bolts
6) Finish welding in the new floors
7) Hood hinges not aligned or bent?
8) Fix bucket seat mounts and install them in place of bench seat
9) Fix lights - a few dont work properly
10) Buy shifter ball/knob - what size thread?
11) Swap the SS steering column in to lose the 3 speed shifter
12) Bolt in the front shocks
13) Prime everything in one color epoxy primer
14) Install window regulators and door / quarter glass
15) Fix exhaust leak
16) Paint the new wheels

Thats all i can think of right now.... more later..
-Jeremy


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:13 pm 

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Location: Unionville Tennessee
I think you're right on with the very low over steelies idea. I'd go a step further and shave the handles and side trim, and add baby moons with beauty rings. Also what's the stock color, the white or green?


Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:47 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:31 am 
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Love the Impala Jeremy! Will be a fun summer car for cruising!

In October, we have "Cruising the Coast" where about 14000 people and cars show up here and blanket the whole south. It is AWESOME!

Find all sorts of stuff to buy, trade, and drool over.

You should roll down sometime! :)

Rob


Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:21 am
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:17 pm 
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well, I guess it is about time I explain this beast. Here goes:
By the time I turned 14, I had wanted a 1964 Impala Convertible for about 7 years. In my mind, it was god's gift to the automotive industry. I had never seen a car that I loved more, and I absolutely had to have one. So after much whining and a lot of paper route money saving, it was time to start looking for the car of my dreams.

I searched through the want-advertisers, auto-traders, newspapers, car shows, word of mouth, rumors, and everything else.... endlessly. My dad and I looked at a LOT of Impalas, from 1958's to 1965's, including wagons, sedans, hardtops and convertibles. My dream, was a 64 drop-top but who knows how realistic that really was... So I searched and searched, and saved every penny I could, and eventually found her.

From the time I found it in the want-advertiser to when I saw it in person seemed like about 10,000 years, but it was actually only about 4 days. My parents and I pulled up at this old and beautiful Mansion in a pretty upper-class town. A nice young lady and her boyfriend met us there, and opened the doors to the carriage house. (That is where the cars were stored.) My First thought was "why the heck did the guy own a 64 impala convertible, porsche 911, and a VW Beetle?" What a random selection that was. Anywho.....The Impala looked pretty decent. It was complete, un-molested, and had all kinds of paperwork. It hadnt moved in about 5 years, so nobody knew what mechanical condition it was in. It's straight six, 3 speed looked promising because everyone knows they run forever. I also knew that a V8 and 4 speed would slide right in if I "needed" to. A deal was struck and we towed her home.

By this time I was 15 and ready to take on the world, even though I wouldn't have a license for another year and a half. This is when I decided, "hey, why not do a body-off restoration?" I had a year and a half to blow before I needed to drive it, so I had plenty of time. Boy was I dumb.
Let's take a look at the reasons why:
Problem 1: Absolutely no experience doing anything like this ever.....I was 15 for god's sakes.
Problem 2: I didn't have sandblasters, big compressors, a full metal fabrication shop, a body shop, and an endless flow of money.
Problem 3: The car needed a lot of work.

So, I tore it completely apart. :D I had no concept of organization, because I would obviously remember where each bolt went (NOPE!). My organization consisted of the interior bucket-o-bolts, the exterior bucket-o-bolts, and the drivetrain bucket-o-bolts. What a friggin mess. And Time passes.

As with all of these cars stories, life happens in the middle, and the project gets delayed for one reason or another. My reason was High school, jobs, college, girls, more cars, buying a house, growing up, girls, and more toys.

So here we are. It is August 2007 (10 years later), the car is sort of together, but not really, it looks like a mess, and still needs a lot. I have been out of high school for 7 years now and my friends are still asking me if I plan on driving the Impala to the Junior Prom....what a bunch of a-holes...

Let's think back for a minute at how plans have changed:
*First off, When I was 14, I wanted my car to be like the green Impala in the Ice-Cube "today was a good day" video. 13 inch Gold Daytons, whitewalls, a 4 pump hydraulic setup, chrome control arms and dashboard, straight pimpin' man! Sorta like this, but Green and convertible.
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*Then I heard about the new air-ride suspension systems and decided that air-ride with 13 inch gold daytons would be awesome. Smooth ride, no hydraulic leaks, and still sitting on the pavement.
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*Big rims would sure be cool I thought. Imagine 18 inch gold Daytons...hmmmmm.

*Well, I was wrong about the daytons the whole time. I decide that I liked mini-trucks, so I built a couple trucks, and decide the Impala would be best with some 17 inch chrome wheels (the biggest wheel I could get at the time), and air ride suspension. That would obviously be the coolest impala around.
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*Well, air-ride is cool, but it is expensive, and if you just want to drive the damn car, you can live without it for now. So I say screw it, stock suspension & random wheels, as long as they roll they are good in my book.

...And here I am. My #1 plan is to drive the stupid thing. I don't care what wheels, suspension, whatever. Drive Drive Drive and Drive.

Things that I have done / replaced to it:
1) Sheetmetal - Lower quarters, rockers, floors, trunk mounts, parts of the frame, body mounts, lower door skins, lower fenders....
2) Body panels - Last year (2006) I didn't like some of the body work I had done when I was 15-24 years old, and decided to buy nice original Arizona sheetmetal. 2 rust free doors and a Right Front fender were bought and installed.
3) Frame and suspension - Sandblasted, fixed, straightened, rebuilt. Air-ride suspension Installed & then removed a few years later.
4) Interior is a mess, needs all new upholstery
5) 4 Speed muncie installed this year. It was free and for me.
6) Straight 6 runs decent. It will run better when I decide to fix the leaky carb.

Well, it's bedtime folks, as you can see, I have a hell of a 10 year project and a lot of work ahead. Feel free to help keep me motivated!
-Jeremy


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:54 pm 

Posts: 57
Location: Unionville Tennessee
*motivational bump* I imagine the weather change is killing your ability to do any work, but how's it going? :D


Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:47 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Oh wow,I still have this car don't I? ummm, can I plead the 5th until January 1st 2008? Maybe I will accomplish something by then. :cry: I suck. Oh wait! it doesn't run anymore, does that count? crap. Maybe this weekend....I.....may....do.....something?...maybe?
-Jeremy

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Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:20 am 
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Well folks, I bought a new left rear quarter panel for my Impala and yanked off the heavily patched original. Naturally, I found a lot of rusty and rotted metal behind it. The biggest offender of rot was the wheel well. The reason the wheel well was so rotted was because the fuel filler neck "surround" / "cup" / "thingy" was rotted to hell. Sadly, there was no way to fix this part without removing it from the car, and nobody makes these things new anymore. To make things worse, if I WAS to remove a solid one from a parts car, it would likely be destroyed in the removal process.

It involved drilling, cutting, and grinding, but it eventually that bad larry came out. Once it was out, I could see I would need to basically fabricate all new surrounding edges, because the original ones were gone.

Here is what I started with:

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After some cutting, grinding, shaping, and welding, I ended up with this:

(Here on the back side, you can see where I cut and welded in the metal.)

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(Here is the front side. People will never see this part tucked up in the rear wheel well, but I couldn't live with myself if I left it rusty.)

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Now, I just need to clean up the front and back, paint the back of it black, and the front the body color. Biggity bam, 1 step closer to installing a new quarter panel.

-Jeremy

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Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Last edited by 4g63mightymax on Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:32 pm 
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More pictures of the 64 Impala Convertible quarter panel progress.

In this picture you can see (from the inside of the trunk) where I repaired the quarter panel years ago. I overlapped the metal, and generally did a piss poor job with the repair. It has haunted me for about 9 years.
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Here is the quarter panel being separated from the tail light surround.
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I drilled the spot welds that held the quarter panel to the inner wheel well.
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Here is the front of the quarter panel being separated from the door jamb.
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This is the wheel arch separated from the inner wheel well.
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A few quarter panel shots after it was removed.
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Here we have the gas door area of the wheel well. It was severely rotted for various reasons.
[img]http://www.hotrodcoffeeshop.com/images/1964impala/gasdoor2.jpg

This is the trunk drop off. It is rotted like everything else.
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...And here is the wheel well rot that I have to fix.
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Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:53 pm 
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....And here are a few slightly older pictures from a couple weeks ago when I was rebuilding the 5 layers of the rocker panel. Onions have layers, donkeys have layers, Impalas.....THEY have serious layers...

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Layer number 1 removed
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Layer number 2 removed
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I ended up digging in about 5 layers, and making new pieces starting with the deepest. The deepest layer was the floor support, then the inner rocker panel, then a few mid-rocker panel supports, and finally the outer. In the post above, you can see the quarter panel skin is a work in progress.

-Jeremy

_________________
Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:12 pm 
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Today I ordered a few more replacement sheetmetal parts from http://www.lategreatchevy.com/. I ended up buying a trunk floor drop off, the covers that go over the rear body mounts, and the rear ends of the rocker panels. I could definitely make all this crap, but the time it takes isn't worth it. I want this car driveable and painted before May 9th 2009. So time now has a dollar value.
More to come....

-Jeremy

_________________
Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:23 pm 
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Yesterday I decided to work on the impala again. I ended up replacing the left trunk drop off, making a new section of the trunk floor, straightening out the damaged trunk floor, and repaired a few sections of the outer wheel house.


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_________________
Jeremy N.
1964 Impala Convertible
1972 Pontiac Lemans
2016 Subaru Impreza


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am
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