Kerry's 1957 Imperial Restoration - part 11

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The definitive Transmission Solution!

The last couple of days have been pretty busy. In addition to my real job I have been working on getting things ready for some serious progress. First on that agenda is deciding what transmission I want to use.

I mentioned last time that I had been corresponding with Bob Hoffmeister's IMPERIAL HEAVEN Salvage Yard - He had given me prices on several things I need to complete the car. I was also talking with him about taking the 59, or most of it, that I had located in a nearby junkyard. I finally asked it we could talk voice to voice as the options and what if's got overwhelming in email. On Wednesday evening we spoke for a long time. A very nice guy, really knows his stuff. In the course of the conversation I uncovered the ONLY TWO solutions to using a 440 with the push-button controls.

In 62, Chrysler introduced the Aluminum Torqueflight. The 62 version still had the Ebrake as part of the transmission. In 63, the transmission did not have an Ebrake but did have a park activated by a separate cable. The other transmission functions work the same. In 63 the Imperial went to "bendix" style rear brakes and the Ebrake is a cable operated similar to GM and Ford. You also don't have the wheel puller issue in 63.

So for me, the best solution is a 62 Aluminum Torqueflight with the Ebrake. This effectively duplicates what was in the car originally right down to the Ebrake foot pedal. Bob has a 62 Torqueflight and I have sent him a check. He will ship it to me and I will have it rebuilt locally. The freight is steep but otherwise I will spend forever looking and even then not know if I have the RIGHT 62 Torqueflight. Only Imperials, 300, and Police Specials used the Heavy Duty transmissions. All others are lighter according to my Hollanders Interchange manual. With a 440, I definitely want the stout transmission. Bob is also sending me the complete Ebrake pedal assembly with cable and some misc. parts.

Last night I finished the rear brake on the side where the bearing had to be shimmed. The other axle would not come out. I did all the luck. Today I called my new friend Ray to ask if he had an axle puller. He said, "Don't need one, just put the brake drum on the axle without the key, tighten the axle nut a bout half way and slam the drum forward a few times. Works just like a heavy duty slide hammer." Sounds like a good idea but just in case I bought some stout all thread rod and some nuts with the intention of making an axle puller if Ray's trick did not work.

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It did work although I had to apply some heat from my torch. I'm very thankful I pulled the axle because the bearing and race are shot. Tomorrow I will try to find a Timken 2788A in town. If I find one, I'll be able to press it on Saturday at a neighbors who has a press. (See I don't have EVERYTHING!)

By the way, if anyone is looking for Brake pads for 57, and I expect thru 59, the Raybestos part number is 50PG.

I also pulled the trim off the doors and back. Boy what a difference in quality. I guess royal breeding does tell. The weight and durability of the stainless is awesome compared to my 64 Impala. The trim on the passenger has come loose in the past and the clips are different. I am going to need some clips. Does anyone know where to get them?

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If I get the bearing, by Saturday, Katherine will be rolling again.

I'm going to be traveling for a couple of weeks so I'm taking off tomorrow. I'll pull the current transmission and finish stripping the trim and bumpers to get ready for body work.

Next Chapter...


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