Kerry's 1957 Imperial Restoration - part 9

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I hate it when things go wrong. Just ruins my enthusiasm, you know?

Thursday night I laid an old towel in my lap and read the greasy shop manual that Ray had loaned me. Discovered something. There is an INNER seal on the rear axle. Mine is missing on the side I can get out. Might explain why the outer was leaking although it is clear that the seal went away because the case is wallowed out and the bearing is loose. I can put a .060 copper shim all the way around it and still shove in some feeler gauges...hummmm. The case shows definite wear. Perhaps in the past a bearing locked up and spun in the housing. I will shim it and hope for the best. But first I need to find the inner seals.

Friday AM, I Xeroxed most of the shop manual so I would have something to work from until I can find one. Although it is a 58 there appears to be few differences.

Mid morning I went back to Ray Hickeys to pick up the transmission that I hoped would bolt up to my 440 and still do the pushbuttons. The supposedly rebuilt transmission was sitting outside with the filler tube missing. This means that water has probably collected in the pan but should not have gotten much higher before it would run out. I'll have to drop the pan and check. He will have to find the torque converter and will wait until I see if the cases match before he looks for it.

The transmission is out of a 63 which has a cable for NRD21 and ANOTHER cable for PARK. If it fits, I can rig something up to set the park but will not have a Ebrake. The 63's had a cable operated Ebrake that works on the rear axle similar to GM cars (I think). He loaned me a manual for the 63 and I copied the transmission section.

We got to talking about stuff and he showed me his GENUINE MOPAR wheel puller. I mentioned I had borrowed one and was looking for one to buy. He gave me one he had obtained in a box with some other stuff that is just like the one I borrowed and used. It is missing one leg but I think I can fabricate one fairly easy.

As I suspected, the inner seals had to be week.

I also decided to go get my old brake shoes. They are too good to send back for cores. For $24 i can keep them. Someday they may be scarcer than they are now. Besides they look almost as good as my new ones.

Did not get much done Friday afternoon in the shop but did finally finish up my flooring chore so once my sister-in-law's birthday party is over tomorrow, I can get back to it.

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Saturday - Got in the shop about 9:30 for a few hours before I had to clean up and go pick up a big black birthday cake. (my sister-in-law is 50!) I verified the 63 torqueflight will fit to my 440 block. Using my engine hoist, I picked the motor off the stand, set it on the floor and slid the torqueflight up to it. It bolted right up slick as can be! Looks like I can make this work. I then hung the motor back on the stand. A word about engine hoists. They are great but if you get one, get one that folds up. Mine doesn't and although I have a lot of room, it always seems to be in the way. Be safe! On the way over to set up for the surprise party, I saw a bunch of guys pulling engine with a homemade "A frame" made out of 2x4s. Makes me shudder to think about that 2x4 breaking and crushing somebody. Be safe! Life is too short.

Before I quit for the day, I finished up the engine. Mounted the intake manifold and painted the whole thing black. With the new Edlebrock carb on top, it looks very nice sitting on the engine stand.

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I guess I am comfortable with making a parking lever of some type but I'm concerned about not having an Emergency brake. I'm OK with the Emergency side but not with missing a parking brake. I can see Katherine running off down a hill and running over a herd or two of Hondas and such. I think what I need is a 61 or 62 torqueflight. They did not have park but did have pushbutton and the parking brake on the rear of the transmission. I don't know what I'll do. I'm open to suggestions. Ray will give me the $100 I gave him for the transmission back if I don't use it.

Sunday - I have about 4 hours between church and choir practice. It is ALMOST enough time to make it worth cleaning up later but sometimes not. Today was a not day.

I decided I could finish the front brakes and get them ready to go. I got the shoes on and only had to look for a spring that popped off for 20 minutes. I will be more careful in the future.

I then greased up the wheel bearings, installed them in the freshly turned wheels and installed the new front seals.

frntbrk.jpg (19k)

Hummm...that is awful tight, better back off the adjusters. That's better but still VERY tight. Darn, the other side won't even go on with the adjusters completely backed in! DRAT!

This is what I mean about losing enthusiasm! I cleaned up and came inside to work on this and read the shop manuals about the brakes. I seem to remember Tony writing about how to get new shoes contoured....I'll look on the site.

Still don't know what I am going to do about the transmission.......

Next Chapter...


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