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eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/16/20 7:42 p.m.

Originally, the plan was to find something lightweight, strip it out, throw sticky tires and nitrous at it, and have fun at the challenge.  Then Curtis73 dropped the price on his Impala SS to sub-challenge levels.  These originally came out around the time I hit college, and I absolutely loved them then, and didn't want to pass up on the chance.  Just had to wait until all the no travel orders were up.  A few days ago, wae and I headed out to Pennsylvania stocked up on snacks, drinks, and masks.  We got to meet Curtis, and his parents, and set back off for home.  The drive home was mostly uneventful, except for an occasional squeaking noise, which I think might've been a sticky brake caliper pin, and one heck of a thunderstorm once we were back in Ohio.  Like, buckets of rain, and lightning dead ahead of us.  The car drove great, though, and was quite comfortable.  I've owned a few full size Ford products, but this the the first full sized GM I've owned.  We made it home fine though, and the car is now safely tucked in my driveway:

As mentioned in the for sale ad, mechanically, it's in pretty nice shape, but not the best cosmetically.  The plan right now is to go through it and make sure it is mechanically ready for the challenge, clean it up and do some body/paint work, get some fresh tires, and install nitrous, if the budget allows.

Mechanical issues that need to be checked into:

  1. The aforementioned squealing noise.
  2. The transmission has a slight leak - need to confirm it is slight enough to ignore, or if it needs to be fixed.
  3. Shortly before I bought it, it appears the power steering system developed a significant leak.  It made it home okay after topping off before we left, but it appears to be dumping copious amounts of fluid in my driveway.  I'm not certain yet (need to get it up in the air), but I suspect the return line may be rubbing against an upper control arm mount, so it may have put a hole in it there.  I need to fix this, so I can find out if the transmission (or anything else) has any leaks to worry about.

Cosmetic issues.

  1. Drivers door and front fender need to be replaced.  Thankfully, spares were included.  They'll just need to be painted black to sort of match.
  2. Paint is a bit tired, especially on the spoiler.  Will try to correct this as cheaply as possible.
  3. Interior is worn.

All in all, not bad for a 24 year old car with 150K miles.  The plan is to not overdo it, run it in the Radwood and Gastropod classes(budget willing).  While it'll be cleaned up and made pretty, we may still take the 12 points in concours, depending on how things go.

Today's work:

  1. Vacuumed up some of the crud that had built up around the trailing edge of the hood, and the channel around the trunk.  Don't want to hold any moisture there.
  2. Took a look at the hood latch - it had required pulling the release inside the car, then hitting the leading edge of the hood just right, like the Fonz hitting the jukebox, in order to get it to pop open.  I took a few minutes to inspect the latch, and sprayed some white lithium grease in just the right places.  Hood release is working great now.  

Next up - figure out the power steering leak, and order any parts I might need.  May get transmission lines, too, as they look a bit crusty, and would be nice to have after the challenge, even if the car won't need them for the event.

Current budget spent:  $1500

Thanks very much to Curtis73 for selling the car to me, and wae for joining me in the adventure to go get it!

pimpm3 (Forum Supporter)
pimpm3 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/16/20 7:48 p.m.

That's an awesome radwood entry!

 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/16/20 7:51 p.m.

If it needs oil cooler lines i have a new set.  Not sure if impalas got oil coolers or just the cop cars

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/16/20 8:09 p.m.

Love it. That should be plenty entertaining to wheel around the autocross course.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/16/20 8:31 p.m.

I'm glad it's sold, since I've always wanted one. 

Have fun!

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
5/16/20 9:26 p.m.

I'm jealous, always wanted one

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
5/16/20 9:34 p.m.

Sweet, I do love a good full size sedan! In to follow another RADwood/Gastropod develop.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/16/20 9:59 p.m.

I have a passenger side manifold if you, or anyone else needs one off of a 95

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/18/20 1:49 p.m.
Appleseed said:

I have a passenger side manifold if you, or anyone else needs one off of a 95

 I am somewhat curious as to how you came into possession of a single exhaust manifold from a LT1 B-body

 

Thought regarding the seats - since they are pretty shredded, seems like it would be period correct if I could find a cheap set of Tasmanian Devil seat covers.

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
5/18/20 2:38 p.m.

I'm glad you bought it as I kept checking his for sale ad and thinking about it as I live in Pa and always liked the caprices and Impala SS since they came out when I was in high school. A local PD also had a impala SS as a unmarked. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/20 2:41 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm glad it's sold, since I've always wanted one. 

Have fun!

If you're un/lucky you might be able to buy it from him after the Challenge. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/18/20 6:41 p.m.
eastsideTim said:
Appleseed said:

I have a passenger side manifold if you, or anyone else needs one off of a 95

 I am somewhat curious as to how you came into possession of a single exhaust manifold from a LT1 B-body

 

Thought regarding the seats - since they are pretty shredded, seems like it would be period correct if I could find a cheap set of Tasmanian Devil seat covers.

Bought the only one I could find ( a pair, actually)  for sale on E-Bay back in 2001. Used the driver's side to swap out the cracked one on the 9c1. Never got around to throwing the other one out.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/21/20 7:25 p.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:

If it needs oil cooler lines i have a new set.  Not sure if impalas got oil coolers or just the cop cars

I'm interested.  I didn't think it did, but tonight, I noticed it had cooler lines on both sides of the radiator.  I'm assuming the ones on the driver side are for the oil cooler, unless there is a PS cooler that runs into the radiator, but that seems like a bad idea.

I need to get under the car this weekend and find the leak(s) so I can order parts.  I had Lori in the driver's seat holding the RPMs up around 2000, but I could not see any particular leaks.  I just know there's something leaking out on the passenger side of the engine compartment.  Seems like it could be the power steering lines or transmission cooler lines, or both.  Once their figured out, I'll get the parts ordered, and hope the following weekend has some decent weather.  A lot of the work on this thing will be done in the driveway, because it'll be difficult to use in the garage.

 

 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/21/20 8:17 p.m.

I'll get the oil cooler lines out and trade you for some tea from jungle jims?

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/23/20 10:31 a.m.

Right now, really hoping I didn't cook the transmission on the drive home from Pennsylvania.  Rolled the car back to get it onto ramps, and found a nice spot of fresh transmission fluid.  Once I had it up on the ramps and idling, figured out it was coming from the trans cooler to transmission line.  Threw about .25 quarts of fluid in the trans, since I'm on an incline, and can't get a good read on the fluid level, and am going to give the car a bath, and start reorganizing the garage so it will fit, and I'll be able to work on it.  I'll get a parts order in later today once I'm done messing with it.

 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/26/20 1:12 p.m.

Small update - transmission and power steering lines are on order.  RA didn't have the line from the radiator to the transmission, but that was not the one I found the bad leak on, so I am hoping it is alright.  If not, I suspect that will be the easiest one to just bend a custom line for.  Both lines attached to the cooler look pretty bad right where a bracket holds them in place (where the leak is), so it seems to make more sense to replace both rather than just the one that is leaking, and hope the other one holds together.

The car is in the garage, and pretty much fills the bay.   It's going to be tight working in there.  At least with it sitting in the level garage, it will also be easier to find where any other leaks are dripping from. 

I also made my first tool purchase related to this project - between the Impalas's size, weight, and the fact that it is lowered, I have little faith in my old aluminum 1.5 ton HF jack.  Stopped by the hammer store over the weekend for a 3 ton low-profile long-reach jack.  May look into some ramps, too, as my old rhino ramps angle is a little steep (rubs the airdam), and are so worn they slide on the smooth concrete in the garage, so I can only use them in the driveway for now.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/26/20 1:14 p.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:

I'll get the oil cooler lines out and trade you for some tea from jungle jims?

I'll have to make a Jungle Jim's run soon smiley

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
5/26/20 5:05 p.m.

Extremely  pleased to see the 'Pala' being looked after by a GRMer....wanted one of these too when they came out, but woulda been nice to have a manual wink

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/28/20 1:18 p.m.

I did not get exactly what I expected from my parts order.  It looks like the line that goes from the auxiliary trans cooler to the radiator was not the complete line.  It only covers from the transmission to a rubber line at the front of the engine.  I have not been able to find the rest of the line anywhere, so may have to bend a replacement myself.  There are complete line sets available, but it looks like they are for Caprices that do not have an aux trans cooler.  I do have the trans cooler to radiator line, though.

I'm reluctant to put the car in the air and start pulling lines off until I am pretty sure I have everything I need, since that'll trap the car in the garage until it is back together.

Also, quite a few drips underneath - will have to figure out where they are coming from and which ones are severe enough to need to be dealt with.  Based on locations, I am a bit worried a brake line is letting go, too.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/28/20 2:38 p.m.

Found a piece of 3/8" brake line in the garage that appears to be close in diameter (only .004" smaller) to the steel line on one of the replacement transmission lines.  If it's long enough, I'll have to see about bending it into shape, and using it for the part that did not come with my order, and figure out the FMV for it.

Not the best picture, but here's a quick shot of the garage floor under the car.  Got some work cut out figuring out the sources of each drip:

 

I don't think I've bitten off more than I can chew, but I have bitten off more than I planned on chewing.

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
5/28/20 6:02 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

Found a piece of 3/8" brake line in the garage that appears to be close in diameter (only .004" smaller) to the steel line on one of the replacement transmission lines.  If it's long enough, I'll have to see about bending it into shape, and using it for the part that did not come with my order, and figure out the FMV for it.

Not the best picture, but here's a quick shot of the garage floor under the car.  Got some work cut out figuring out the sources of each drip:

 

I don't think I've bitten off more than I can chew, but I have bitten off more than I planned on chewing.

Shots like this are why I have an assortment of largeish pieces of cardboard

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
5/28/20 6:58 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

.....

.....

...but I have bitten off more than I planned on chewing.

This sums up pretty much EVERY automotive project I've ever undertaken.

sigh.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/28/20 7:17 p.m.

I'd take it back, it's still under warranty, right?  ;-)

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/28/20 7:17 p.m.

The big danger is I have about $170ish in budget over the purchase price of the car if I want to run the nitrous kit I have.  I'll pick up a buck or two when I scrap the old door and fender, but will also have to spend $20 or so on paint for the replacement panels.  I don't want to gut the car since I'd like it to be a gastropod, so any other selloffs will be very limited.

Weather is supposed to finally be nice this weekend, so I will press to replace the trans lines, and see if I can find where the power steering leak is and fix it, and take inventory of the other leaks.  The Ohio BMV has reopened, too, so I need to get there and get a temp tag, so I can take it to get inspected, so I can get the title transferred, then get a permanent tag. 

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
5/28/20 8:12 p.m.

Totally off subject, but that is a sharp looking GTI that you have in the first picture !

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