1965 Impala SS questions

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Howdy all.
I just picked up a '65 Impala SS.. It currently has a 327 with [i believe] a 2-speed powerclunk transmission (console says PRNDL).. My friend is
looking at getting the car from me and making it a project/weekend driver with some pin-you-in-the-seat power.
Question is... what would be the best engine/tranny combo for this car. I'm going to yank the 327 as it's worn out, i'm sure (haven't started it but prev. owner says 'it just needs a carb to run,' but was sitting at least 10 years with no air cleaner judging from the old stickers on the car). Might as well do away with the 2-speed as i'm sure he would like to cruise on the highway at a reasonable RPM. If I was keeping the car for myself, I would probably leave the 327 and the powerglide but since it's for someone else..
Maybe a 350 with a TH350 behind it? Are there any pitfalls when selecting an engine for this car? The car has a 10-bolt rear right now. I haven't really looked at it much beyond that..
Thanks in advance.
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As far as a nice cruise RPM both the PGlide and TH350 are 1:1 in high gear so nothing is gained there. The TH350 however has a lower ratio in First than the Glide does in Low so acceleration is better.
The simplest engine swap for decent performance and good cruising would be the GM Perfomance 330hp crate engine. Being a small block 350 inch engine it is a direct bolt in swap to replace the 327. For extended highway cruising a TH700R4 or the newer electronic version both have the overdrive feature for lower highway RPM. Either of these is longer than the Glide so the driveshaft has to be shortened and the tranny crossmember moved about 2 to 2.5 inches further back.
Unless the 10 bolt needs major work it will be fine for a cruiser with a mild small block
You might hang onto that 327 particularly if it is a 300 hp job, the 300 hp and up all had steel cranks and were basically the Corvette engines but stamped for the body model they were installed in, and are highly sought by those who love the 327.
Just some thoughts...... -- Mike.................................................... "Opportunities are spawned from crisis"
Howdy all.
I just picked up a '65 Impala SS.. It currently has a 327 with [i believe] a 2-speed powerclunk transmission (console says PRNDL).. My friend is looking at getting the car from me and making it a project/weekend driver with some pin-you-in-the-seat power.
Question is... what would be the best engine/tranny combo for this car. I'm going to yank the 327 as it's worn out, i'm sure (haven't started it but prev. owner says 'it just needs a carb to run,' but was sitting at least 10 years with no air cleaner judging from the old stickers on the car). Might as well do away with the 2-speed as i'm sure he would like to cruise on the highway at a reasonable RPM. If I was keeping the car for myself, I would probably leave the 327 and the powerglide but since it's for someone else..
Maybe a 350 with a TH350 behind it? Are there any pitfalls when selecting an engine for this car? The car has a 10-bolt rear right now. I haven't really looked at it much beyond that..
Thanks in advance.
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Actually I was thinking of doing a mild performance rebuild myself. Find a 4-bolt 350 in the paper and stroke it... is there anything obvious to watch out for when selecting a block (other than something like "don't buy it if it's in a mudbog")? Don't want to buy any more boat anchors.. (i already have 5 jaguar V-12s sitting in my shop of questionable integrity) I don't know why it didn't occur to me that the powerglide is 1:1 in high gear... Elementary, watson..
Is it possible to get parts to rebuild the 'Glide into a super-duper powerglide? I'm not sure if the guy will want to take the car on the road, but i'm sure the 'Glide would do for everything he could imagine around this area..
I definitely am going to hang onto the 327 if possible
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I'm not sure of the year that they started, I think some where around 1977 Chevy went to a really thin cast block. You might want to look up some info on that, especially if you want to stroke it. And I would stroke it, a 383 is really powerful.
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Yes sir! :oD
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Keep the 327 and PG, restore the car as original. It will continue to incresae in value, plus be a nice driver. IMHO

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Personally I would go with either a TH700R4 or a 4L60E. You can get stand alone controll modules for either transmission. Cross member and srive shaft modifaction will be required.
67 Impala's have alot of room in the engine bay. I love seeing Big Blocks in them, but any good old Small Block will do. I would probably use a 350 or a 400 Small Block my self.
As for the 10 bolt rear end, unless you have a wicked high torque big block, you should be fine. Just go thru it and make sure the gears & clutches are in good shape. Check the axles, and the barrings out. Charles
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I reckon i'll look into the 700r4 .. I think i'll get a pro-built one if that's the case. Brands? Another buddy just bought a TCI TH400 for his truck and is tickled with it..
Back to the Impala friend.. The dude said "hey man, can we put a 454 in the car"... It's possible definitely, but I don't know if it will be worth the extra money.. any thoughts? I know it would make a purty noise.. for sure..
I'll definitely check out the rear axle thoroughly.. leave it there until it grenades with the new engine if I don't have to do anything to it :oD Speaking of the rear suspension ... the car has this funky coil-over deal in the back with these drag links.. the spring on the pass. rear is busted... I noticed the car was sitting weird and i saw the broken spring the other day. Chevy really liked to put that trailing-arm stuff on its vehicles, no? My boss's truck (1969 C20) is like that..
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TCI as well as B&M both build decent perfromance transmissions. Art Carr does a good one too. But if the car is not going to be driven on the road, and just going to be Drag Raced I would go with a TH400.
Beleave me, in a 67 Impala, the 454 is worth it. Heavy cars like those need Torque mosters to get them moving. The most economical GM Torque Monsters are big blocks. Im partial to high winding 427's, but a 454 would do ya'll just fine. You just need to get the correct motor mounts (396 mounts for that year), and a good set of headers.
GM from the mid 60's thru 2003 had a fetish with 4 and 5 link rear ends, with coil springs. It's a better set up for corners then leaft springs. When you go to get springs, I would suggest MOOG brand progressively wound rear coil springs. I installed a pair in my old 72 Chevelle. Gave a nice stance in the rear, and a nice ride. In a tight corner I could feel the spring rate change as the car compressed the tigher would upper coils. The differance between those and factory rear coils was night and day. I did push that car to the limits in the corners. You also will want to use a good brand of shocks. Monroe Sensitracs are not to bad on those cars.
The 67-72 Chevy half ton rear trailing arm suspension was years ahead of it's time. If you look under any Nextel (formerly winston cup) stock car you will see a modified version of it. Charles
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if he wants to really make some people look go find a 525 Cadillac engine and it's TH 400 trans. Not a high revving engine but it weighs almost the same as the 327 that's in there now and produces enough torque to put you in the back seat if you punch it.
--
Steve Williams


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525 eh? Never heard of that displacement... didn't know they got that big.. heard of the 500 and the 472 but not that one..
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The 68 472 is a real bear itself. Something like 375 HP and over 500 FtLbs of torque. with a single 4 on top. Bet you could pull the extra tank for the fuel with no problem.....;-))
--
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Hey, have you ever seen Road Warrior?? A 55 gallon drum in the trunk sounds good to me ;oD
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I had a 1970 Cadillac with the 472 and it was awesome to smoke the tires on a 5000 pound car with all the accessories running off it. Roy

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For me a 383 cu. in. small block with street compression, and a reworked TH350. This would get the big Impala flying down the road. Now about those drum brakes.....
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That sounds like a really good idea. What would you say the max compression would be for something that would run well on 93 octane?
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Keep it to a maximum of 9.5 to 1 if your going to drive it daily. It it's a once in awhile ride you can get by with 10.5 to 1. Depending on the cam that you pick you can reduce the static compression by having a lot of overlap between the intake and exhaust lobe center lines. This is desirable for high end power anyway. I would recommend a Crane cam and would call them directly to pick one. They're great people to deal with. Also keep in mind that you'll need a higher stall speed on the torque converter if you get a hot cam..
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Thanks for the advice, it definitely will help toward the end product! I posted some pics of the car, if'n your interested.. http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2dgdu/impala.html
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I forgot to ask you about the brake options. Are there any cars from which i can get the parts to do a straight-forward swap to factory disc brakes? That would be lovely, and I would actually be kinda surprised if there wasn't a straight swap.
Like you said... this thing has drums at each corner and top that off with a single-circuit master cylinder.. well.. i don't want to have to find out how quickly it will stop.. At least it has a power booster.
Just thought of something else.. is there a master cylinder I can put on there that is dual-circuit and will still work with the original power booster?
Thanks in advance (for your enthusiasm!) Jeff
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Forgot to mention... I removed the exhaust manifolds today .. 10 of 12 screws were new. If all manifolds were this easy to remove, I would love the task... Took the valve cover off the driver's side (BTW - says "Cal Custom" on it). Casting number on head is: 8782461 ... there's a couple other marks, dunno if they are significant: D125 and GM above the number 5.. I got these numbers, obviously, from the top of the head
I would take pictures, but my camera is on the fritz. It's amazing how the alternator mounts to the driver's side manifold... that's definitely something i wouldn't do if i was designing an engine..
The carb is definitely a Quadrajet. It says it clearly on the driver's side of the carb.. I knew there was a reason I thought it was a Quadrajet...
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