Kerry's 1957 Imperial Restoration - part 5

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Well, this was an interesting way to end the year. Last night I spent a lot of time thinking about how to get the reluctant rear wheel off. This morning I went out just about daybreak (my wife gets up at 5:30...She has to work this week so I get to play) As I drank my coffee, I stared at the wheel puller that I had left on the wheel with tension on it all night...a LOT of tension, all I could pull. Just for the heck of it, I picked up my 2 lb sledge and hit it a couple of sharp licks. POP, off it came. I'm glad I had put the wheel nut back on because it came off FAST. I was sure glad because I did not know what the alternatives were other than keep working at it, heating, cooling, banging, etc. until it came off. I got lucky but then luck is a good thing.

Since I had steam cleaned the other 3 wheels, I pulled my trash can under the wheel and invested about half a can of aerosol brake cleaner to clean the brake dust off. After think about it, I decided to get new brake shoes and have the wheels turned. Drawing a diagram of the brake layout (Been there, done that, forgot how to put them back together...draw a picture) These brakes are pretty easy since they do not have auto adjusters. Just two springs and the linings come off. The leak on the passenger rear was definitely the wheel seal so I pulled the backing plate and wheel cylinder off. A RTV nozzle is perfect for plugging the brake line to keep it from dripping. The wheel cylinders look very good so I'm going to rebuild them. Since the dust boots look great, all I need to do is get some 1 inch cups.

CLEANWHL.jpg (31k)

The front wheels have been rebuilt recently. Everything looks new and clean so I'll just get new shoes for my baby.

By the way, I'm thinking of naming her Katherine the Great.

I steam cleaned the backing plates and miscellaneous parts and loaded the wheels, shoes, etc. in my car for a trip to the parts store. I made a shopping list first because I ALWAYS forget something and it's at least a 45 minute round trip. Something I've done as many as 3 times on a bad day but try to plan better.

My list consisted of:

- Brake Shoes

- Grease Seals for both front and rear

- Wheel Cylinder cups (1 inch)

- A single brake spring, one of mine has a spot where something rubbed it about 1/3 of the way through.

- A fuel pump

Based on the excellent feedback from Kne, I decided to get a Edlebrock 600 CFM carb also.

First stop was at my local speed shop that just sent out a flyer for a Edelbrock rebuilt Edelbrock 600 Electric Choke for $179.00. Unfortunately you have to adapt it to the Mopar manifold, another 25 bucks. They also make a Performer aluminum manifold for $120. I was set to buy one but they did not have it in stock. I may check the mail order catalogs and return the adapter.

Next stop was the parts store. I've found that for old stuff, i.e. anything older than 15 or 20 years you need to go to an OLD parts store, preferably one with catalogs. The place I go is a real rat hole. I knew everyone there but most of them have moved on. At first I was disappointed but they have moved to other parts stores so now I know people in many parts stores. Several years ago when I was building my son's 64 Impala, one of the parts guys asked if I wanted to set up an account. I did not want to carry a balance so I started to pass until he told me that with an account I could still pay cash but in addition I got a discount. It turned out to be 50%!!!! I've never complained

I was concerned about finding the brake shoes locally and I was right. My guy Joel spent about an hour looking up numbers and calling all the other old-timers to see if they had the parts. No luck. He had the front wheel seals but had to order the rear seals. They were also able to turn the front drums but could not turn the rears because the spindle on their lathe was too large to fit the small hole in the hub.

The front seals were $6.55 each and the brake turning was $6.00 each. He gave me the 1 inch cups. The fuel pump was $17.10.

Tony, one of the guys that had moved to another store had told Joel that he could order the shoes and I needed to go to his store anywhere to get a new belt for my air compressor. Mine started squeaking. It could be the pressure release valve but I think the belt has just gotten slick. I work the compressor pretty hard. Tony said he could order Raybestos Premium Riveted shoes for $37 a set ($74 total). I checked at a truck repair shop who said they could send my shoes off and have them rebonded for about $60. I told Tony to order the new shoes. I guess I'll have to wait till next week to get her rolling again. I have some other things I can do.

I also stopped at yet another shop and the machinist said he could turn the rears. I left them and will get them Friday.

Took my long suffering wife to a movie and dinner in preparation for a wild new years eve. We'll probably be asleep by 10.

Tomorrow I will probably work on some "Honey Do's" Friday I will be able to do some odds and ends on the Imperial.

Happy New Year Gang!

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This page was last updated October 19, 2003.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club