Kerry's 1957 Imperial Restoration - part 13

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I've been on the road for a while and not a lot has been done. Week before last my rear axle bearing came in and I realized that I had not ordered the race. (STUPID ME! You ALWAYS have to order them separate. And should always replace both) That means I could not get Katherine rolling until this week. Unfortunately, I was gone all this week also.

Friday afternoon I picked up my shiny new Race ($9.99) to go with the bearing ($13.50). Had to help with some household chores and got out to the shop about 9:30 Saturday. First thing was to try and get the darn window crank off. I had been thinking about it for two weeks and THOUGHT I had figured out how it worked. About 10 minutes later I had the first one off. The rest took only a few minutes each. The crank has a little "L" spring clip with a square hole in it. The spring part of the "L" forces the square hole to shove into a slot on the square window shaft and keep the crank in place. All you have to do is push the other side of the "L" clip with a upholstery tool until it clears the slot and pull the crank off. I'll draw a picture of the clip and post some photos as soon as I can. I'm almost through with my 36 exposure roll and will put a bunch out soon. Until then, if you are looking at the handle from the inside, point the crank up and insert your tool from the right side. You can actually see the clip if you have the window down and crane your neck.

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The door handle was a bit of a challenge. I found the allen screw pretty quick and took it out. The door handle was loose but would not come out. Finally worked it out. The other side just slid out...go figure! My upholstery tool popped all the spring clips out and the door panels came right off once the 2 screws at the top and 2 beside the door handle came out. My windows crank very hard so I guess I'll pull the glass and fix whatever makes them hard to crank. Since I'm going to sandblast anyway it will probably not be that much more trouble than sealing everything up.

I pulled out all the carpet and pad. TONS of padding, some of it wet even after 6 weeks in my shop. The ONLY rust is in the pan that goes from below the brake pedal to the steering column. There is a small (2") hole. Piece of cake to fix. A little surface rust in a few places but nothing significant. I'll order some more POR15 next week. I'm down to my last quart and that will not be near enough to do Katherine.

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My parts guy gave me all the MOOG part numbers for the front end. MOOG does not make them any longer but he gave me a name of a parts house that carries older MOOG parts. I'll call them this week. I have all the part numbers and prices and will post them all soon. I'll probably put a separate page on my web site just for parts, sources, and prices.

Also on my front porch when I got home Friday was a box of parts from Bob Hoffmeister's IMPERIAL HEAVEN Salvage Yard. I did not get around to installing the ebrake assembly. The rest was some odds and ends I ordered for my friend Ray. A brake spring, the transmission, and the Ujoint yoke should arrive this week.

I took my axle over to my friend Bo and used his press to remove the old bearing and install the new one. I don't think you could do it without a press. The axle went in fine. I had greased the new bearing very well. The race was tight and I had to tap it in with a brass drift (punch). Some of the backing plate bolts were stripped so I found some old fine thread bolts and ground off one side of the head to make new ones. They are a bit longer and I MIGHT have to grind off the ends...I'll see if they hit the brake drum.

I also have been talking with Charlie@benelytics who had an ad on the web page for a 58 Manual. I have sent him a check and expect it in a week or two. It is for a 58 but there are not many differences as far as I can tell.

I also pulled out the old Hurst shifter and cable. Now I'm ready for the 62 Transmission. In looking at things, I noticed that the current aluminum Torqueflight has been moved forward a couple of inches. I have no idea why unless the 440 will not go back far enough. The motor mounts that came with the car are REALLY ugly and were patched together with scrap metal. Stout as all get out but UGLY. If I can, I'll move the motor back to put the transmission where it should be.

Also spent some time inspecting the body. There had been numerous small repairs. I SUSPECT that at some time, someone had the car restored, probably about 15-20 years ago. I tried cleaning the upholstery but it ain't gonna happen. This may be the excuse I've been waiting for to buy a upholstery sewing machine. They cost about $500 from Harbor Freight or other places. An upholstery shop will cost me a LOT more than $500 and the seats are VERY straight forward. And I'll have the tool when I get done. I really would rather do things myself. Not that others can't do it better but I think I can, eventually, do it pretty well. Even with the cost of some rework, I'll come out ahead. Besides, I don't see paying someone to have fun for me. Upholstery is way down the road however.

Next week, if the weather is good, I hope to install the rear brake and push Katherine outside to begin sandblasting.

I'm also going to mate up the torqueflight to the 440 and slip it in the car before I have the transmission rebuilt. Just in case.

My son's 90 Bonneville blew a water pump and I'll have to replace that as a next priority. I just hate working on new stuff!

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