file 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS Restoration

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10 Oct 2015 12:26 - 10 Oct 2015 12:28 #1581 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS


Meanwhile, the crew was preparing to trial fit the Ridetech Street challenge suspension system on the Impala’s frame.



This kit consists of tubular upper and lower control arms, specific rate coil springs and coil over shock assemblies, and an oversized front sway bar. We were also installing an upgraded quick ratio steering box.





The original front suspension design used a straight lower control arm and a radius rod bolted to it. The Ridetech design is a vast improvement, using an “A” shaped tubular lower arm with an articulating end in the forward mount rather than a rubber bushing.









The rear suspension consists of tubular control arms with adjustable upper control arms, and a stronger panhard bar with improved bushings.





This frame had some old-school hot rod tricks, like these control arm support brackets that were stick-welded in. We removed them and reinforced the frame to appear more original.



We disassembled the rear axle assembly and media blasted the housing.



After epoxy and Imron enamel in satin black paint were applied, a new gearset was installed along with bearings and seals to make this 12 bolt rear axle like new again.







Here, the yellow paint illustrates the proper gear mesh contact pattern ensuring quiet operation.

Last Edit: 10 Oct 2015 12:28 by oestek.

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15 Dec 2015 16:47 #2018 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS
The front suspension parts bolted to the frame. These are obviously not torqued to spec for driving, but in place to mock-up the build.



Quick-ratio steering gear.



The body was placed back on the frame, and the whole rig was supported on jackstands. It was time to finish fitting the 6.0 LS and T56 transmission in the car.



The transmission tunnel would need completion, but there’s only one way to know if something really fits, and that is to put it together and measure.



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15 Dec 2015 16:49 #2019 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS
The floor opening was increased for the transmission and Quicktime bellhousing.



A loose cardboard mock-up was made to get an idea of the shape of the tunnel. This car will be running a stock 1965 Impala console, so a mounting surface was required for that as well.



The new tunnel was made and welded in place.



A few ribs were added to strengthen the firewall at the tunnel.



Now we had plenty of clearance for the transmission.

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19 Jan 2016 15:34 #2113 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS
Next, the new transmission tunnel was fit to the original SS floor console.





After the new console mounting brackets were made and installed, a considerable gap existed between the side of the console and the transmission tunnel, so a new base was made out of fiberglass to fill the void.





Wire framing was used to form the shape.



Fiberglass matting and resin was used to make the structure.



With the seats in place, and the new base sanded and primed, the gap is now filled.



This will be covered with carpet when finished.

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28 Apr 2016 14:45 #2512 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS
The sheet metal work continued, as our team addressed rust holes in the fenders. Our goal was to use as much of the original GM panels as possible.



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14 May 2016 12:31 #2544 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS
Next, the crew worked on fitting the quarter panel extensions and rear decklid to achieve a better fit.



A little cutting, welding, and grinding were all needed to achieve consistent panel gaps.





After…



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