Probably the most difficult panel on this car will be the hood. I say that now because I haven't worked on anything else yet...
This one is nas-ty underneath, and although this is intended as just a driver car, I'm not a big fan of cutting my fingers to shreds every time I want to open the hood. So I spent a little time here.
First I used a magic marker to draw an outline where I would cut away the jagged rusty edge. I placed it well up into the healthier metal with the idea that the rust won't come back too fast up here, and it is extremely difficult and pointless to try and weld to metal that is too rusty.
I then used plain masking paper to make patterns for the patches. Using scissors, I spent little time cutting them to shape to fit the areas cut away from the bottom of my hood. The dotted lines on the pattern show where a crease in the metal will be.
I then took this old mangled fender from my junkpile, and traced around the patterns, and transferred the dotted lines too.
Using an air chisel for the long cuts, and doing the smaller cuts with normal hand-held shears, I cut out my patches, and then worked them on the bench vise and anvil to form the shapes. I cut them slightly big, so I can tune up the shape by grinding down the edges. These are super crude, but good enough for this particular car.
The '77 Impala exhaust manifolds are a lot different than the ram horn manifolds I have, so I quickly fabbed this galvanized tin heat shield for the passenger side frame rail.
The engine runs very well. Starts well, is quiet and idles well. Running the engine from an old oil jug for a gas tank gets to be old pretty quick. I dropped the car's gas tank to see what was happening there. It has an old repro tank. It's rusty inside, but decent outside. No holes. I'll use a fuel filter.
The sending unit is a problem though. The old brass float has deteriorated, the metal has split. By the looks of everything, I'm guessing this car has been sitting around for more than 5 years or so. The sending unit was stuck. In keeping with the NOOPE plan theme, (No Out Of Pocket Expense), I used an old aspirin bottle for a new float, sealed up with JB Weld. We'll see if it holds up. I can do a better job later, if it needs it.
This first picture is the one that was supposed to be with the last entry. Not sure why we can't edit the photos in our entries here.
It took a few trips to the Pick and Pull, the hardware store and AutoZone to get everything I needed to get this engine running. This car is far less of a pain in the butt if it moves under it's own power, and in this case, will greatly increase the likelihood that I'll still actually own it next spring. I bought compression fittings and a length of tubing to fix the transmission lines that had been hacked through. At the yard, I bought thermostat housings from several different GM products of various vintages to try and get an upper radiator hose on this car. In the end though, I used the one I already had, when I discovered a 1977 Chevy truck that had a long, Z-shaped hose. I cut some off of each end of it, and it solved my problem perfectly. I wasn't about to spend $200 or more on a new radiator. I have no problem taking my chances with the old one that I took out of the sedan I just parted out.
I used some of the exhaust pipe scrap that came with the engine, and some other scraps I had, to fabricate pipe to hook up to the dual exhaust that was dangling under this car. I mocked it up, cut little strips, and welded it together like this. It didn't take long. What took lots longer was repairing and fabricating new hangers and brackets for the rest of the exhaust system that was barely attached.
I painted the member so it wouldn't rust. I had some green Rust Oleum. What can I say, it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time...
I welded together some stuff to create the throttle valve cable mount and the transmission shift selector linkage.
For an easy 'direct bolt in', there are a lot of minor problems to solve. The alternator is on the wrong side, and is the wrong kind. The upper radiator hose is facing the wrong direction. The throttle linkage on this car is mechanical, and it's wasted looking. Good thing I had parted that other car out recently, I had something to look at to make up what I needed.
The guy I bought the engine from didn't want my help pulling it, but I wish he would have had it anyway. Not sure what his hurry was, but rather than unplug or unhook anything, he simply cut everything. Power steering hoses, heater hoses, the exhaust system, everything. It didn't seem like a smart move to me, because he is keeping the car it came out of, and neither of us got any use out of the hoses, wires and cables which were cut right in the middle. New ones are not expensive, but why ruin stuff that was fine just to save a minute and a half to undo a few clamps? The guy didn't look overly prosperous either, so it was basically just a waste. His loss was not my gain.
And these are not the pictures I intended to upload here.