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| Elvira is back home (60 Imperial)|
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Location: Nashville, TN
|Elvira is living up to her history. Last week I brought her home from the paint shop. She looks like right off the showroom floor. The painter said they also "fixed" the power windows so they all work. Not so. He had the same false idea I did the first and second time I fixed them. Not a problem with the motors, its the crappy design of Chrysler's window switches. No big deal, I have a set of switches built into a nice wooden panel for the drivers door. They work and they are new. Not factory, but they work. |
Back to the drive home. Keep in mind it is hot and all the windows are up. Did I mention that Elvira is black? Anyway, I get to the corner market about 3 miles from home to get some gas (high test). The engine dies and she refused to start again. I brought her home in disgrace behind a wrecker. Interesting though, while I'm waiting for the wrecker six cars pulled up to look at her, and two got out to take pictures. Which proves, even in distress she is quite an eye catcher.
My plans are to finish putting in my door panels and switches before I worry about it not starting...this I can do myself. Tomorrow I'm going to talk to my mechanic about changing or rebuilding the engine and replacing the push button transmission with one that has a PARK and overdrive. By the way the parking brake cable came off again. Not good if you are not perfectly on level ground. My thoughts are to just install a floor shift. Original is fine, but I like the safety of a reliable hand brake and a park gear BOTH.
At this point I am soliciting advise and suggestions from you guys who know more than I do. Should I go with a crate engine or rebuild the one I have? Also any ideas on what transmission should I go with if I stay with the stock 413. Does Chrysler current production transmissions bolt up to what I have?
I am not giving up, I'm going to get her reliably working and drivable. My best friend says I shouldn't do anything to take away from original, but I'm 75 years old and never plan to sell the can anyway. I just want to get to see her go down the road and not be behind a tow truck.
Seriously, I' m asking for advice.
Location: Perth Australia
|Hmmmm for someone that hates it when people crap on modified cars, my advice is the same as your friends, keep it stock |
That car can be made reliable and the starting issue (that you havnt elaborated on) could be any number of things, but assuming it wouldn't fire, but was turning over and
it was a hot day, I am going with vapour lock and/or old fuel
Oh and just remember, new cars break down as well
Location: So. California
|I agree. Fix what you have. Just because it is newer doesn't mean that suddenly all your problems will be solved. In fact, with every modification, new issues can arise. But if you would like a park function, as I do, you can install a '62-'65 push button transmission, but you will need to use a '62-up motor with the newer style crankshaft as well. Doing it this way, your pushbuttons will remain intact, but you can install a lever under the dash to engage park.|
Location: Layton, Utah
|I think 64 torqueflite was the only year that had pushbutton and park. And yes you would need to update to the 62 and up big block engine. I would keep it stock. Just make sure you always park it correctly like backing the front tire up to a curb just to be safe. And obvo=iously make sure your parking system is all rebuilt and working perfect. The little ratchet gears in the park mechanism get a little worn and sometimes don't lock positively. I never liked that they didn't have park either. My 60 DeSoto that I had in 87 rolled away and dented a fin. Really frustrating !|
Location: Kansas City, KS
|I like modified cars, most of my cars are not stock but... |
It's hard to beat the reliability and power of of a big block Mopar engine.
I would really consider the time involved with a major driveline change. Everything on an Imperial will be custom fabrication with trial and error.
The easiest and best option would be a 440 and floor shifted 727 transmission but the engine wouldn't be any different than your 413 as far as any reliability issues you may have
If getting a Park option is the greatest motivation, could a 2nd parking brake be adequate instead?
Upgrading the rear axle with a newer unit would give the typical rear wheel parking brake (and also get rid of those awful tapered axles too)
You could still keep the factory brake on the transmission and use both for extra holding power
A rear end swap could be done in a day with just about any competent mechanic
|I love the 60, its killing me when I see nice 2 dr hardtop 60 roll by for sale... |
50's cars were not made with longevity in mind... so to restore them to great working order you must restore them meticulously which can take a tremendous amounts of time, money and energy.
And you still end up with the issues they had in the 50's. These cars were pretty much disposable and parts were readily available. You could go to the junkyard and pick up a used tranny for a few bucks off a wreck, slap it in and drive around town. Those days are long passed.
If your worried about resale value then yes restore it to 100% stock... I am not, I am making a driver, one you can get in and drive everyday if you wanted to, in comfort and a fair amount of safety if you want. Let it sit, get in and drive it.
So I am putting disc brakes on mine, a updated wiring harness, prob rear discs, electric fan, even an EFI carb, some modern stuff if It makes sense to "upgrade" vs restore. Im still figuring out seats. I did stick with the older engine(392 hemi) just because I had one and its an awesome engine If I didn't have it I would have went with whatever I had or looked for maybe a 440. Gas mileage is going to suck as it is but it wont be a daily driver but could be a daily cruiser for my dad to go golf in or something. I wouldn't want to go coast to coast but I want to fire it up and simply drive it in the spring.
I would say stick with the 413, you can put a modern trans in there with overdrive. Save the original even if you want
How many miles are on it? My hemi just needed a refresh, it had very low cylinder wear, not even a ridge.
They make adapters. tons of them, they even make a Chevy 700R4(4 speed OD) adapter for our cars...
you can slap one in, kit is 450$ and trans will be around 1000$ for a great rebuild, drive shaft fix also.
here is a good read.
Location: Nashville, TN
|The car has around 100,000 plus miles on it. So far I have installed electronic ignition, a new Edelbrock carb, and front disc brakes, along with other fixes like restoring the original R12 A/C unit. I talked to my mechanic today and his suggestion was to send the engine to Jasper for remanufacture and putting (I think) he said a Chev 727 transmission. I'm not sure about the tranny, but I like the idea of the 700R4 Mikes suggested above. I drive a 2007 Merc GranMarquis, so I am used to 50-70mph driving speed at low rpm. I really drive a lot...I bought the Merc new in 2007 and it just turned over 42,000 miles. I just now had to buy new tires. Try finding white sidewalls today! Thanks for all the suggestions. Any more would be appreciated. |
Not having a parking brake or any other method of holding the car in place is really a bad safety issue, and only a parking brake alone is not adequate around here. When I broke down I was at a gas pump with no curb to steer into and a slight rearward grade. About the only thing around here that qualifies as level is a graveyard! I couldn't get out fast enough to put a scotching block behind a tire. My driveway is kinda level at the top, but is typical Tennessee hill mostly, so daily parking in one place gets important. By the way, I have one of the original factory wooden wedges that came from the factory. It came with the 1960 Saratoga I bought from Nick.
Edited by 69coronet 2018-07-10 9:32 PM
Location: So. California
|I put a 700R4 into my '56 Plymouth, '70 Satellite, and '63 Nova. I like them, but I found that the performance difference for a non-race car is not significantly different than just using an older 727 with 2.76 highway gears. You do get a lower 1st gear with the overdrive that helps you to launch the car at a stop light, but if you aren't pushing it much anyway, the overdrive doesn't seem to be worth the trouble. For a manual car, on the other hand, you really need a lower 1st gear to work with the clutch well, so it makes a lot more sense to put a 5 speed overdrive in a stick car. But an automatic doesn't seem to really need it. In hindsight, I wish I had put a push-button 727 into my '56 Plymouth because then I could have had the park function along with a direct connection to my push button shifter instead of having to create work-arounds with the 700R4. But the lower 1st gear does come in handy for towing up and down mountains with a camping trailer, so that is the good part about it.|
|yeah the push button park is a great idea esp because he has a lot of hills. |
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