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What did you do to your Wagon this week?

338975 Views 2685 Replies 279 Participants Last post by  Fred Kiehl
I'll start.........

Rear brakes.. (the lining separated from the front shoe on the drivers side and toasted the drum..... :mad:)
and I cleaned the winters dust off of the motor!
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I measured and made a cardboard template for a fan shroud because I need more cooling for the BB. I got a couple of 16 inch fans, and had to make an unusual shroud. I will probably need a higher output alternator for the added draw of the motors. I will transfer it, and the small modifications to the aluminum sheet, and start cutting. Any idea for a sealing foam to apply to the perimeter?
It sounds as though you will have irregular enough mating area not to allow for even a small lip flange running around the shroud. Any number of construction fireblock foams are available, but the colors are garish (by design) and not easily contained to a trim bead. I've never used them, but a spray type RTV gasketmaker may work. Last idea: A long-legged duct transverse joint that's coped and RTV'ed to the irregular surface, then allowing a straight cut shroud slipped in. Added benefit is the shroud is removable.


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Copy all, and quite the old-worlder knowing to turn RTV into 'rivets'. ;) I can't recall which works best whether Saran Wrap, alum foil or Elec tape, but I've laid (lain?) down similar to make "a more perfect seal" on several occasions in the past. You can lay down additional tape on top of the tape ~3/8" outboard both sides of the base outline and then pull them before curing for a no-fuss clean trim line (to look almost like a pre-molded gasket especially if laying it on thick).

Pics upon execution eh - sounds like a neat one-off.
I Don't Have A Wagon - But Bear With Me

I had occasion to amble through Sears yesterday, and boy there's sure a bunch of new wrenching options, - sockets, ratchet drive designs, box-end ratchets of all angle permutations...... A billion ways to part with your dough. And the $1,200 Taj Ma-boxes wow! I need enhancement pills considering my tiny 27" 2-pc. Husky.

I was surprised they sell something like this already made up. I hacked this up 15 years back for an ornery plug with SLP headers. I drilled out the center for the plug to slip on further too. Can't use a ratchet anymore with this one, but I rebent a boxend (??3/4") and together they worked perfect. The only reason I thought to show it is those real short sockets might not project out enough, along the same lines that you often can't just use a box wrench alone.

Pics from photobucket will not display any more. They want you to pay $99 per year for that function. ...
I think you have to do the $400 level to get what they call '3rd party hosting'. I went to IMGUR as the lesser of all (current) evils.
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Rebuilt the Opti and replaced water pump. ....
You mentioned recently in another thread replacing an Opti in '08 with a new AC Delco unit. Was it on this car? If so, how did the assembly look after 9 years, and whose new parts did you use? Tune-up kit prices are all over the place. One mailorder selling a new opti for $68 lists the tune-up kit for $138!!!!!
.....just good old enginuity :grin2: Yeah Bob, that's another pun.

Mark: Snowman-33
You DO realize I have an app that notifies me of posted puns. You're on my spreadsheet pivot table as one of the leading culprits.

So Sting-, there's a special place in hell for guys doing such sano work -- #@make the rest of us all be lookin' bad.....
Just farkin' wow. The motor sure, but the oem quality install more.
Thoughts on this rim? Shown in a ~22" diameter, tire diameter is correct. I wish I had a better full side shot of the car, but this is all I've got for now...

I keep coming back to this = they look great. The combination multiple open spokes with blanked out inner field looks great IMO. But a bit of optical trick it seems, as I can't figure out where the rotor and caliper are. It almost looks like an outside splash shield? I steer away from a painted caliper look on a road car, and I'd like to replicate that on my FWB with its current CTS 19-spoke 18".
The picture in the earlier post is just a cut/resize/paste of the stock wheel photo over the standard 15" wheel with a 31x10.50x15 light truck tire on it (same OD as the 22's I'm looking at)... Here's the original picture :)


[Yosemite Sam:: Richa Ratcha frikka Dadburnit/::] Well thanks at least for fessin' up there. I thought I hit the look I'm after.


Now I just need to figure out a way to do this that is robust and serviceable. The compromise with this solution is that I will loose some steering angle (about a 1/4" at the spindle stops) since the tie rods/center link hit the oil pan before the spindle stop. I would have to pull the engine and weld in pockets on the oil pan to get full steering angle. It's possible, but I'm just not willing to do that at this point. If the engine needs to come out in the future, then I'll do it. For now, I'll just add spacers to the spindle stop :(

In a 'not even close to valid engineering perspective' sorta way, I saw that pic and figured a good candidate for a 'backward, upside down or both' attack on a solution. As in, flip the pitman arm and idler arm sides of your cutoffs outboard and shorten the tie-rods to match. It might put the end swivels closer to bind through full suspension limits, but do not immediately appear to limit steering travel. The upside to all this would sure seem to be less moment distance on all components and able to weld in a stouter cx bar closer to the pitman/idler.

Also, during full front-end rebuild I did this entirely by dufus accident letting the jack slip from the crossmember after just a couple pumps onto the steering link. The metal is soft enough the bearing did not "appear" damaged and was able to travel smoothly across full travel. I didn't realize I damaged anything until I couldn't get everything bolted back up - after 20 tries. Entirely uncertain whether altering the angle of the idler and pitman down a few degrees to clearance the pan is contraindicated as far as steering geometry goes. New fubared on top. 'New' new replacement on bottom.

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I like the idea of flipping the pitman/idler side to side, but ......

D'oH! Yah, maybe the tie-rod lengths are a factor of ackerman angle set by wb:track. I'll climb off that dead horse. But there was a recent thread making sidelong reference to a circle track rack n pinion that fits our cars well. I recall ?Nab or one of the other aged guard posted something. Maybe that could clear the pan.
I was thinking "needs some gussets" within the first couple pics, and good to see you included them. Your setup looks stout enough, but I woulda' ramped up all the way to the 90 'just because'. And in the usual 'Merican' fashion about the same thickness barstock as the rod dia. lol But that'll powdercoat up pretty nice.
Amazing. You've managed to take a crappy once-ina-lifetime PITA '$1,800-at-a-shop-repair', --- and turn it into a study in 'lottery-winning-level' good luck, perfect timing and repayment (plus interest) on good karma. ;)
They show fine with Mozilla.
I was wondering if the images Sinister posted are showing up for everyone? I ask because my two web browsers at work, nothing shows up. Same thing on my cell.


I'm rather sure you're already on it, but I've seen companies lock out select sites due to various and random causes. It could be as simple as no .jpeg sites allowed, or they don't like IMGUR. And of course delete cookies, clear cache, flush dns and other strange stuff over the past 20 years eh. At least I didn't say, Did you reboot. haha
I remember the surprise (more like WTF) when you mentioned that here a couple months back:

I got programming done a bit before that and the checksheet had something about "fan speed" and didn't know WTH that meant so I just skipped it. Dam I sure woulda lowered them ::grrrrrr::

Maybe the engineers have actually calculated it takes more than the speed limit before operating fans become an interference, but dam think of all the full-time all-time operating wearing them out years before they'd otherwise.
Thanks. A little relieved, but real confused. So there's a low cutoff for just MPH, and then another higher speed if AC is on?
Nab, re-reading it might be you're referring to the speed at which the fans no longer aid in pulling air and become "useless", not that they actually get switched off at that low speed???? In that case junior- your numbers still apply??
As they say, "It was slow, but at least it was tedious". Looking smart - no one would ever know the whole side was smooshed in. The hood is immediate conversation starter, is it a tiny induction rear?
.......Back to the hood. Personally I would have preferred a more traditional looking one. Buuuuutt, you didn't build it for me. It's unique and yours. Nice job.

Mark: Snowman-33

Negatory Mark. - He aced it. A 3"-4" Goodmark woulda' gotten a brief, "Nice", but that's gonna get alot of, "I gotta go see what's under there." The only way to top it would be to mold a tach in the back. lol
I was able to use one of those online wheel simulators on a stock photo I found. Thoughts?

I seem to be settling in on a 10 spoke wheel...

I finally have all the suspension pieces and wheel fitment tool to get things sized up, but it will be a few weeks before I'll have time/opportunity to work on it.

I actually favor the Escalades as they project a teeny bit more oem look, you know - as most folks are at least subconsciously aware of the wheels that come on those Cady monster trucks. Now that comes with the caveat though that they "Needs more blackout" like your photoshop showed. IMO anything fewer than about a dozen spokes just does not look factory - at least for the past 40 years. If sm dust shields are not the trick then probably the whols well painted flat black can carry off the same look. I was trying to make a business case for SUV wheels for my FWB since they at least have RWD offset, but errthing looked too dam open. Hence settling on a set of 18" CTS 14-spoke. And spacer/adapters. :: pre-coffee thoughts off::
If any solace for you both the rest of us get 'free' learning curve based on your unfortunate experiences. I've seen the before-after of Fred's and it looked like T. Rex and Thor's hammer had a field day with the entire left side. I recall Dan's was subjected to special malfeasance at the shop (?had to get the cops involved with its rescue??). I recently had occasion to take the Cady in to patch 2 doors after altercation with a Tahoe. Of 3 licensed shops, 2 were booked out for 4-8 weeks, and one said they could get it in after just a few days, but their lot was loaded up. Plus super sketchy (i.e. "It'll be X with a receipt, but X-$100 for cash") I didn't know from all that whether I'd actually ever see my car again. lol A 4th shop was Highly recommended but said he didn't want the work since he's doing so many $XX,XXX classic and custom jobs. (you gotta love the current 'good' economy)

My take is that too many shops love the chance to load up their booked work by promising quick attention while knowing you have little recourse after its been held captive in their lot and they know they won't even touch it until muuuuuch later.

I did notice something with those 3 shops that there could be 12-20 cars inside, but almost none over 10 years old. Quick in-n-out assembly line for newer ones must mean our antiques spell trouble and go to the back burner.
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