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Knurled. MegaDork
12/28/18 6:42 a.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :


Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
12/28/18 10:14 a.m.

Use a Stage 3.1415 turbo with a 5/6 Race Cam. Put on some coiled overs for the right stance, roll the fenders, add some bumb steer brackets, too. Swap in a manuel transmission, a lightweight flywheel, a "full racing clutch" and weld the diff. Then get some huge subs for the back. Mount a racing harness to the floor with unknown fasteners.

Did I cover all of the potential idiocy? I feel like I missed something.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
12/28/18 10:22 a.m.
Knurled. said:

Had to stop reading when an overbore was tauted as a performance mod, and saw 3/4 race cam used honestly...


I think, in extreme cases with a lot of sonic checking, some blocks like the Chevy 235 could take insane overbores, gaining a not immaterial amount of additional displacement.  I think it also helps open up different piston options from more popular engines, so that compression ratios and piston types are more flexible.  "3/4 race cam" is at best slang, to me, and pretty meaningless without a lot more context.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
12/28/18 10:28 a.m.

In reply to Patrick :

I asked about the B-body chassis as I think it might be an avenue to improved front suspension geometer, general frame stiffness, and better brakes all around.  I don't know a lot about the frame under these cars but I assume everything made by anyone from this era to be a bit lacking.  

It would also come with some flavor of small block V8 and a four speed automatic (that probably needs to be rebuilt because reverse is dead or dying) which may or may not be of interest to you.  The Atlas seems kind of cool but also not inexpensive to really improve on.  An Eaton M90 blower might be a nice way to change things up and it would probably sound interesting... And I doubt there's any kit to create that combination on the market today, if there ever was.

Patrick MegaDork
12/28/18 11:23 a.m.

I did look online for b chassis swaps because i do have my impala sitting here, but the car is too solid and original to do anything to that requires cutting anything.  If the frame is anything like my 54, it’s built like a tank, but i stripped that down to the rails and did new everything 

i want to just keep it simple here.  Bolt on some discs and a power booster/dual mc, replace some bushings, bolt on some giant sway bars, find stock looking 15” wheels that take the stock hubcaps.  An LS swap makes the most sense for simple, because I can do it in my sleep, but I would really love to mess with an atlas.  Aside of oil pan fabrication, it’s the same concept.  Build a fuel tank and system, make a stand alone harness, stick a 4L65e behind it, tune the pcm and go.  Everything but the pan needs done for the v8 anyway 

Knurled. MegaDork
12/28/18 8:05 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

I know someone who is one of the very few people remaining who knows how to set up one of those old Hydramatics to work right.


He helped us convert a '55 Olds to a Quadrajet while keeping the Hydramatic's linkage, which is instrumental in its operation.  It was a real kludge and literally required most of a machine shop to make the linkage with the correct ratios and arc motions.


I don't know where that car is now... the owner sold it and bought a '40 Cadillac, which also had a Hydramatic, but the old version before they put a blocker clutch (cannot think of correct name) in the system, so shifting to reverse required a momentary shift to a different gear otherwise it would grind and not engage, and I still have vivid enough memories of NOT getting that car into Reverse that the PNDLR shift pattern still gives me mild PTSD

Knurled. MegaDork
12/28/18 8:10 p.m.

(fugue state fades off)


Anyway.  A lto of those "4200"s had a 285hp rating.  There is a kind of beauty in that given that the top engine for the '57 was the 283 "Fuelie" that made roughly the same power rating.


Ignore net vs. gross horsepower, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/2/19 4:15 p.m.

Cool car. Post-holiday bump for you. 

Patrick MegaDork
1/2/19 6:14 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

I’m heavily leaning toward atlas with turbo and overdrive.  However, there are others in line first.  With the test stand i’ll be able to build stuff and make it run so there will be lots less down time for swap wiring

Knurled. MegaDork
1/2/19 7:09 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

Atlas with turbo and overdrive sounds really, really cool.


I wonder if one could do something to the valve cover to make it look like cast aluminum...

Greg Smith
Greg Smith HalfDork
1/3/19 3:52 p.m.

Super cool. Following.

Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee PowerDork
1/4/19 11:20 a.m.

epic barn find man!

Patrick MegaDork
6/8/19 9:07 p.m.

Little update.  Peeled back the cocoon and dropped a battery in.  Pulled distibutor cap to clean the wasp nests out of the terminals.  Poins look perfect.  Wire from coil to points fell apart.  Hit key and car cranks very well.  Tomorrow I plan to make a wire for the points and pop some new plug wires on and find my starting fluid.  

Did not intend to mess with the 235 but my curiosity is getting the better of me.  Plus i was sick of grinding on the Wartburg.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
6/8/19 10:36 p.m.

Thanks for the update!

Norma66-Brent Reader
7/6/19 7:28 p.m.

I love seeing old forgotten cars find new life! 

Patrick MegaDork
7/6/19 8:09 p.m.

I tried to give it life last week.  New wires, set timing kinda close, new wire to points.  It’s a no go, the original cloth covered wiring is crumbling to dust and I don’t want to burn it to the ground.  Plan now is to put it in line, hopefully by fall we have the other house sold and can move forward on garage expansion 

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