About the 62 Impala

Shoestring 62' project

Follow along as I do a restro-mod of a 1962 Impala SS.

I am a Architect by training, and this is my first car restoration. I will be doing as much of the work as I can. I will be learning new skills (welding, body work, etc.) This is my hobby project so there are no time constraints just the pure joy of building and . I have always loved old cars and always wanted to restore one.

The goal for the car is to make a nice cruiser for weekend outings, and local car shows. Also I am planning on finishing the car and taking my Dad who gave me the car on the Power tour.

My shop

My work bench & view from the rear of the shop

So I was thinking last weekend as I worked on my car that I would like a bigger shop, now I built my garage with a specific shop space to work on my car. It is about 12 feet wide by 35 feet long. Now if I did it all over I would have added at least 3 more feet to the garage to make it 15 feet wide. But as my dad told me hot rods have been built in smaller spaces then this. so here are some pictures of my garage space I tried to capture the space. The good thing about a small garage is that you are forced to be organized. So to all of you out there that are thinking of taking on a project but have a small garage I say go for it and do not let that stop you.
Birds eye of the Shop

Milestone Reached

Well I made it to a milestone this last weekend. I have everything out of the car (except for the Windshields) and I am am ready to get it blasted and start the restoration and putting parts back on. The plan is to remove the windows this weekend and be ready to go with the car. I also have purchased a welded and am working on a body cart for the car so I can take it off the frame

Spring Progress

I finally made progress on the car this weekend with a number of smaller projects. I first had to get the garage reorganized if you are going to undertake a restoration then be sure you have the space to store everything. Here is a shot of the garage with all of the boxes of stuff that I have removed. I am down to just the dash and the trim on one side of the car, and the windows. I had my Dad over and he helped me remove the trunk. So I am getting closer to pulling the car off the frame and I am still close on my schedule for my spring projects.

I also have started to pick up some parts for the 409 I purchased these heads for my 409 from a guy in Texas that I meat on the 348-409.com web page. I had to remove the valve springs so that required a purchase of a new tool. I picked up a good spring compressor at Sears for $20. So that was the other weekend project. The heads are going to a machine shop on Monday to get cleaned and checked for cracks.

The process is slow but soon I will have a major update as I get the frame off from under the car. As always my kid came out to help in his special way, but hey at least he is interested in the car, and some day he will get to enjoy it.

Froward movement

Well it has been awhile and the temperature is warming up where I can work in the garage again. So last night I started working on the Impala again. I am close to finishing the dissemble and then its steamed cleaning, and media blasting, and primer then the work of restoration will begin. My goal is to have the car primed by the end of April.

Here is the info on the transmission it is a Brog Warner T10 4 speed build at the beginning of 1961. it has the cast iron front housing and the Aluminum tail. It has a 10 spline input and a 16 spline out out. It needs a rebuild since it jumps out of second gear often. So I may be rebuilding it or replace it with a 5 speed t5 out of a mid 90 camaro


Since it is cold here in Idaho, and I am working on creating additional storage for all the parts from my car, and I am still just taking seats out and trim off so there are not a lot of great pictures to post, I have been working on decoding my car so here is the information so far

This is gathered form a host of sites but mostly www.348-409.com they have a lot of information on the codes etc.

VIN: 21847S262402 = 1962 Impala V8 2D sport coupe (hardtop) St' Louis, Mo serial#262402

Cowl Tag:
Month code: 5B= May 2nd week
Style: 62-1847 = 1962 Impala 2 door sport coupe 8 cyl engine
Trim: 867 = Fawn. Material type is: Vinyl (Impala SS coupe) Seat type: Bucket
Paint: 920 = Autumn Gold
Body: SL 46243 = Saint Louis Ser# 6245
ACC: 12H 1B =??????

What I have not been able to discover is what the Accessory codes for my car are and without a buildsheet for the car I am not sure where else to look I have spent a lot of time on the internet looking for information. I have discovered that the codes were different from plant to plane so a 12H on one car could be something different on a car from a different plant making it hard to figure out what the options were.

So if there is anyone out there that might be able to shed some light on those codes let me know.

Project Budget

How to build a project car on a budget that is a hard thing to answer. As most of you know anything to do with car restoration cost money. The tools needed, the parts, farming out the work, the amounts add up quickly. So what is the process? Here is how I have approached my project. First I made the commitment that I was not going to go into debt while building this car, so that will add time to the project, but I would rather the project take me ten years rather than paying for it for ten years. That is something that you will have to decide. I am sure that there are lines of credit, or credit cards that can be used.

First determine what you want the car to be? Is it going to be a daily driver, weekend warrior, Weekend cruiser, show car, or a combination of some sort? My project is a weekend cruiser with possibly some entries into local shows, but mainly a cruiser. With that in mind I created a Excel spread sheet listing projects that I wanted to do. However as mentioned in a different post my project plan changed and took a different direction as to the extent of what I was going to do. I think that anyone working on cars will come across this, and should plan and budget accordingly.

Second make a list of the projects to me completed. On my spread sheet I have all the long term projects listed (suspension, engine, body and paint, interior) and I put in some rough estimates for the cost of the project. I list everything that I would like to do as well as my wish list if money was no object as well. As I get closer to getting ready to work on these projects I fill in the parts with cost from the internet or local dealers and develop a fairly accurate cost estimate of what the project phase will cost. Here is the break down for the cost of my suspension project that is next after I get the car up on the stand offs.
There are other projects with the frame as well, such as painting, break lines, new fuel lines, and any repairs that will need to be considered. Right now I do not have the money to do all the projects under the car so I am going to have to prioritize what happens first as I save for the others.
This method has given me a ability to plan and come up with a process for finishing the car. There is the ever present temptation to purchase all new parts for our cars, but for me my budgeting process has helped me realize that yes some upgrades to the factory parts are needed, but not all parts need to be replaced. I can use the front upper and lower control arms and just replace the worn out rubber. I do not need tubular control arms even though they look really cool!

So where does the money come from? I have four sources of income for the project none of them are large streams of income. Let me state this I created a separate account for the car project so that my wife is not worried that I am spending household income on the car, its a good idea to keep the peace with the wife during this process.

1. My Paycheck I transfer $200 a month to my Impala account so that is $2,400 a year
2. I do house plans on the side, but with the current housing market this source has dried but it was generating about $2,000 to $3,000 per year. Keep in mind that I have really only been working on the car since 2006 so there is not a lot of money in the bank for the car
3. I tried a experiment of investing money at prosper.com I did this in August and since then have made $33 dollars on my initial investment, but this will tie up my money for three years. So I am not sure this is the best method
4. I have been blessed to work for companies that give an annual profit sharing bonus so that money goes into the fund; this is a varying amount every year.

This is my basic process I do have a spread sheet with when I think I will get to a project, but that is a ever changing depending on how much time I have and money.

The Things people do....

Last night I thought I would spend a little time on the car with my DA Sander and see what new discoveries I could find. I concentrated on the little spot on the deck lid at the trunk, I mentioned this area in the evaluation of the car post. After about 1/2 hour of sanding and the removal of 5 layers of paint and one layer of bondo I was able to drill out the pop rivets, and I think that I discovered the original location for the Radio antenna, but the spot was dented down into the trunk and filled with bondo.

Which means that the location of the antenna at the front of the car is not correct and I will have to fill that hole. in the future.
I am not sure what drives the thinking of some of the changes, but I am sure that the same could be said for any of us working on these cars.

Storing the Engine

Well I put the short block 409 in to a state of storage until I can get to it later this year. I wanted to be sure that it did not rust, and make more problems when I finally get to it.

The engine has had no machine work done to it. So I was not worried about trying to preserve work all ready done. There are things that I would have done differently if I was. I was trying to just keep it in the condition that it was and to stop rust from developing.

So the process was very simple, I purchased a $20 oil pump priming tool from Mr Gasket. This can be found at any local auto parts store, I got mine from Jegs along with a engine bag.
Step 1: Add oil to the Short Block
Step 2: Prime the oil system
Step 3: Turn the engine over, I did this with a 2 foot long piece of flat steel with a hole in it and two bolts in the Balance.
Step 4: I sprayed the surfaces with WD40. Others recommend a preserving oil from CRC. I could not find this so I went with what others recommend.
Step 5: Bag it and be done
I will turn the motor once a month and reapply the WD40 if needed. I am not a expert and will not guarantee that this is the best method. I did my research and talked to many folks on how best to do this and went from there.
Next... Body off?