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Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



I think i was about 15 years old.. I was in Myrtle Beach for some dance competition my younger sister was competing in.. we were walking down the sidewalk and heard some sudden sounds similar to an air tool / impact driver being used.. I looked back and an S10 pickup had lifted up on its side and continued to drive down the street on an angle.



Father: Woah did you see that?
Sister: Cool!
Mother: That's DANGEROUS! Where are the traffic cops? Look at that person being irresponsible… someone will get hurt.. (continued worrying and complaining for another half hour)
..
..
Me: I have to have this.

As time went on I became obsessed with lowriders.. I desired less of a transformers kid toy contraption and started to appreciate the classic style of a traditional lowrider. I wasn’t really into the crazy show cars with their outrageous interiors or the silly donks with 55” wheels (for some reason these cars started to bleed into this art-form).. lowered trucks were cool but not my style. I wanted something that still kept its original style and was clean and classy.

My heart was soon set on the iconic Impala lowrider.. a 1964 SS convertible. It became my dream car obsession.



Years later I had built and sold a business, saved some decent money, and started shopping for my new project. Kijiji came through with the perfect car for sale near Brantford Ontario. A triple-black 1964 Impala SS convertible, 327 4-speed manual. It was in really good shape with only one owner in it's history. 77,000 KM on the odometer. Price was fair so I bought it.





Looks awesome! Its an old car though.. so here is what’s needed to fix it up.

Repair List:
- Shifter was really sloppy.. very difficult to get into gear.
- Convertible top hydraulics needed new fluid / bleeding.
- Few dings / scratches on the body
- Front and rear bumpers had either chrome plating coming off or a few dents.
- Front grill had some dings
- Speedometer didn’t work
- Tachometer recently stopped working.
- Power steering hydraulic cylinder was leaking (piece of poo poo)
- Passenger door power window controls were not working (the window motor did work though)
- No side mirrors??
- Wiring issues / shorts
- Missing reverse light switch on the transmission
- Broken rear license plate light
- Battery hold down bracket missing
- Non-functioning windshield washer pump system (washer fluid reservoir was missing entirely)
- Alternator external voltage regulator was not functioning / charging
- No rear seat-belts
- Rusty front seat belts (but they would pass inspection.. just ugly)
- Broken climate control levers
- Super finicky parking brake.
- Stereo didn’t work at all.
- Trim / Chrome cosmetic issues.

The previous owner had started to buy parts to repair it before he decided to sell. The car came with brand new front and back bumper sets and a new Hurst competition plus shifter ready to be installed. The trunk also contained the original assembly manual and some cool original advertising material.



Now I’m pretty handy and have worked on cars before. Minor repairs and some engine work and definitely car audio work.. but I’m no expert. I’m definitely not a welder/fabricator so the suspension work will head to a qualified shop. Everything else will happen by myself with help from my father and will be posted in this thread.

So here we go.. Let’s build a lowrider!

Next Post: Suspension requirements.

(note.. this thread will catch up to some work already done.. )

Thrasher fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2018 around 18:25

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InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I want to believe


I hope you have a rabbit in a hat with a bat as well.

Obligatory Roadkill video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc2mU_q6jH8

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



InitialDave posted:

I hope you have a rabbit in a hat with a bat as well.

Obligatory Roadkill video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc2mU_q6jH8

Hahaha.. now that’s a first.. I’ll stick to the paved roads.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



Suspension / Chassis / Wheels etc.

The 64 Impala is one of the most popular cars to modify to be a lowrider. It’s long X shaped frame, large trunk, and spacious wheel wells provide the perfect building blocks to work with. The convertible’s frame is also reinforced and has extra mounts due to no hardtop being present.

I didn’t want to build a ‘hopper’ and while riding on 3 wheels would have been cool, it wasn’t something I wanted to take on initially. I really just wanted to raise and lower the car, have some variation on front vs. back or side height options, all while still keeping the ride smooth for cruising.

The shop I had been talking to suggested I stick with a 2 pump setup to keep things simple. This would mean I wouldn’t need to wrap the frame for extra support and we could keep the costs lower. It would also be safer as I wouldn’t be playing around with so much hydraulic power without at least some experience handling such a setup. ‘Lay and Play’ to feel things out. My convertible frame was already a bit reinforced so this sounded like the correct approach.

So here is what was needed:

Frame & Chassis:
- frame obviously needs to be modified for the hydraulic cylinders. cutting holes and adding supports etc.
- custom fabricated trailing arms for the rear end
- custom fabricated Y-bone to permit the rear end to tilt side to side, swivel mounts / bushings etc.
- custom fabricated control arms on the front-end
- swap to caprice spindles on the front-end.
- swap the rear-end from stock to a Ford 9” Lincoln Versailles.

The Versailles is the holy grail of rear-ends for an impala lowrider.. It offers the most compatibility for the wire wheel with a disc brake setup and is short enough that the wheels will clear the wheel housing when lowered or if a skirt is added.

Springs / Shocks:
- new shocks on the rear end with new reinforced mounts (the stock ones would snap off under stress apparently)
- new springs to best match the sizes of the hydraulic cylinders and optimal ride height of the car
- no shocks on the front wheels.. just a stiff enough spring

Wheels / Tires:
The ‘original’ wheel for lowriders is the Dayton wire wheel. These are a knock-off style rim that spins onto a hub adapter and is held in place by a knock-off wing-nut / locking cap. China makes a bunch of cheaper rims but Dayton is the best.



- I wanted a 100 spoke, 13” x 7”, deep dish reverse lace wheel with a double 'wing' cap. Since my car is black I wanted the laces painted black and the rest of the rim all chrome.
- For the tires the go-to style is a 5.20 with a 5/8 inch white wall strip.

Brakes:
- new disc brakes all around. As the impala had drums stock this meant replacing everything.. the caprice spindles and ford 9” rear end facilitated this swap.
- new dual master cylinder setup and new lines.
- new rotors and calipers, pads etc.

Drive Shaft:
- a new custom built drive shaft with a slip-yoke was required. this would permit the variation in length as the rear end was raised or lowered.

Hydraulics / batteries:
The Juice! I didn’t want an air-ride. Hydraulics have the bounce and sound you want!
- 2 pumps
- 6 batteries, deep cycle
- various solenoids, switches, wiring, hoses and hard-lines etc
- custom battery trays and hold-downs

The shop was a black-magic hydraulics dealer, so I went with that. http://www.blackmagichydraulics.com/Home.htm

Example:


OK, Time to get a quote for all this...

Thrasher fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2018 around 22:01

berth ell pup
Mar 20, 2017

by FactsAreUseless


This is an extremely rad car just as it sits and it sounds like you’re going to do this the right way too.

The 64 impala was namedropped in so many early 90s songs as you are well aware.

RaceBannon
Apr 3, 2010


What a beaut.

Seat Safety Switch
May 27, 2008

MY RELIGION IS THE SMALL BLOCK V8 AND COMMANDMENTS ONE THROUGH TEN ARE NEVER LIFT.



Pillbug

How long is the slip yoke on the driveshaft for it to allow this much articulation?

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



Seat Safety Switch posted:

How long is the slip yoke on the driveshaft for it to allow this much articulation?

8” travel on the slip yoke, which is a lot. I’m only using 10” cylinders on the rear end so it’s definitely got lots of room if I want longer cylinders in the future.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



AI, where I can watch one guy build up his 5 tonne, about guy ls-swap a century, some other fella import kei trucks and then someone else slides in with a 64 impala lowrider build. Best forum ever.

This is all foreign to me so please go nuts with the details, pictures, history and theory behind everything.

Awesome.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



cakesmith handyman posted:

This is all foreign to me so please go nuts with the details, pictures, history and theory behind everything.

Will do. I will have a ton of pictures to take as well once the car is out of storage in the spring.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



There are a few things I needed to get fixed up before taking it to the shop for the suspension work. I was initially planning on having the car safetied and plated in Quebec before getting the work done and it wouldn’t safety without these fixes:

- Reverse lights switch needed to be installed on the transmission
- Side mirrors needed to be added.
- Parking brake needed to be fixed.
- Shifter needed to be replaced.

Amongst these I also wanted to just clean the car, test all the signal lights, make sure the horn was working.. etc.. Everything else I figured should pass safety.

So I purchased a new backup light switch and a pair of reproduction mirrors from Impala Bob’s.




I already had a replacement Hurst shifter new in box in the trunk. I did however go on eBay and purchase some steel bushings to use with the new shifter linkage rods as the supplied plastic ones can wear out over time. When replacing this I found that there were practically no bushings left at all on the old shifter linkage and everything was sloppy.


Also for some reason one of the old linkage rods looks like it was welded together half-assed?


New shifter is in and shifts like a dream now. (only got this one pic.. will take more later in the spring)


The parking brake problem is that it wasn’t staying put when engaged.. the spring had failed in the pedal mechanism. I figured it could use some spare extension springs I had lying around. It only needs to pass inspection as it’s going to get overhauled anyways when the disc brakes get put on. (Forgot to take a picture of my pedal repair..)

Once this was done I took the car to an authorized Quebec SAAQ inspection garage on a temporary permit. The Quebec system is actually very thorough and has a massive list of items to inspect before a safety would be issued. I failed on 8 of them and would need to do more repairs.

Some of these repairs are listed in the first post as well:
- Rear license plate light wasn’t working
- Battery hold down bracket wasn’t fitting the battery properly. (bottom crimp/clamp style.. battery was actually a bit smaller than the tray)
- Climate control for front window defrost wasn’t working. (Summer car only! WTF)
- Power steering hydraulic cylinder was crap.
- Speedometer wasn’t working.
- New shocks & bushings needed all around.. car wasn’t tight enough.
- Small hole in floor cross member needed a patch.
- Exhaust pipe on right side would touch the rear wheel when on the hoist.. (not when driving)

Crap. I can fix a few of these easy ones myself so that's no problem.. but the bigger stuff I called the shop and explained my situation.. As they would be doing the suspension work they could fix some of these at the same time?

The shop was surprised this was going to be a Quebec car .. they basically said I would have endless problems and headaches on the road even if I could get it safetied. Quebec really doesn’t like cars with +/- camber more than a certain amount.. additionally they have prohibited air bagged suspensions and while this doesn’t mention hydraulics its really not something to argue at the side of the road with a cop. Quebec also has a category of safety inspections specifically for modified vehicles and no hydraulic lowrider would ever pass this in their opinion.

They urged me to register this as an Ontario car.

Thrasher fucked around with this message at Jan 21, 2018 around 17:48

Fermented Tinal
Aug 25, 2005
PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP

tia


We let all sorts of poo poo on the road here in Ontario.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



Fermented Tinal posted:

We let all sorts of poo poo on the road here in Ontario.

Good enough for me!

In true AI spirit of replacing the crap with the new.. I present the obligatory photo:



I moved everything over to Ontario.. taxes, health card, drivers license, vehicle ownership, etc. My house in Quebec is now my 'cottage'.

I called the shop and scheduled a time to transport the car down for the suspension work.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011



I LIKE LOWRIDERS. SEE AVATAR FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



Olympic Mathlete posted:

I LIKE LOWRIDERS. SEE AVATAR FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Wrar
Sep 9, 2002



Soiled Meat

Lowriders are rad. Thank you for sharing your adjustable ride height journey with us.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011




InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I want to believe


Thrasher posted:

Quebec also has a category of safety inspections specifically for modified vehicles and no hydraulic lowrider would ever pass this in their opinion.
Not even for Mr Franklin Borden?

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



InitialDave posted:

Not even for Mr Franklin Borden?

Thought about that option.. In Quebec all the inspection garages have a networked computer system linked to the SAAQ that records the details of the vehicle safety visit and keeps all history.

The individual mechanic needs to sign his name to each report and they are reviewed for accuracy etc.

Quebec SAAQ actually sent me a follow up letter from my first inspection and told me I had yet to return to re-inspect the vehicle after a period of time. It was deemed unfit and couldn’t be driven on any roads etc.

I had to phone them back and tell them I left their province. They still wanted proof I safetied it in Ontario and said their would keep the unfit record in place on the VIN until I provided that, which didn’t make any sense?

In Ontario the safety is just a simple piece of paper with a shop owner signature + date.

keykey
Mar 28, 2003

He was shortish, and oldish, and whitish, and hatey, and he monster trucked over his favorite lady



To truly ride low, one must procure the potion of sipping.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



So with a laundry list of work the shop will be doing and a quote that gave me a small heart attack it was time for the next step.. I loaded up the car onto the uhaul carrier and hit the road.

Destination Toronto!



The shop is none other than "Switches & Thangs" run by Jeff ‘Skinny’ Forgione and his crew.

http://www.stanceiseverything.com/2...tches-n-thangs/

Switches happens to be the HQ for the Toronto chapter of the Majestics car club.


They have put out many lowriders and custom cars with even a few making the front page of Lowrider Magazine. Some of their best '64s to leave the shop:

Anthony’s Longevity:

http://www.lowrider.com/rides/cars/...ding-test-time/

Ruben’s Chilango 64:

http://www.stanceiseverything.com/2...olet-impala-ss/

OK getting excited! Next post ill detail exactly what the shop will be doing.

Coasterphreak
May 29, 2007
I like cookies.

So wait, you literally moved your legal place of residence, with everything that entails, to a completely different province? For a car?

That's AI as gently caress.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



Coasterphreak posted:

So wait, you literally moved your legal place of residence, with everything that entails, to a completely different province? For a car?

That's AI as gently caress.

drat straight

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011



Hero move

Left Ventricle
Feb 24, 2006

Right aorta

Coasterphreak posted:

So wait, you literally moved your legal place of residence, with everything that entails, to a completely different province? For a car?

That's AI as gently caress.

It earns my 5.

Breakfast Feud
Feb 7, 2007


Fun Shoe

That's loving hilarious. Way to stick it to the man.

Raluek
Nov 3, 2006

WUT.


Most people just get a PO box and register an LLC, haha. You're way more hardcore.

Wasn't there another goon with a real low blue '64? Don't remember if it was on hydraulics, or what. IIRC he trashed it then upgraded to a different one, or something. Haven't seen him post in awhile.

Adiabatic
Nov 18, 2007



5

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



Raluek posted:

Most people just get a PO box and register an LLC, haha. You're way more hardcore.

Wasn't there another goon with a real low blue '64? Don't remember if it was on hydraulics, or what. IIRC he trashed it then upgraded to a different one, or something. Haven't seen him post in awhile.

Hey as a bonus I found that my taxes will go down a bunch since I work in Ontario anyways and won’t need to have the QC province ding me anymore.

There is a blue ‘63 from Ottawa at the shop who’s owner went a little nuts and his frame ‘imploded’. He didn’t wrap the frame and tried to hop too much. Front wheels now have a permanent 45 degree camber

What are the odds it could belong to a goon?

ExplodingSims
Aug 17, 2010

RAGDOLL
FLIPPIN IN A MOVIE
HOT DAMN
THINK I MADE A POOPIE




I remember the car, but not the user name. I believe he go rear ended, sold it, then bought another one that was mostly the same.

We also had that one guy who had the low rider station wagon. A 65 Rambler IIRC

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.



IIRC Geico tried to gently caress him when it was rearended.

This is AI as gently caress. 5d.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



So here is a description on what the shop is doing.

Caprice spindles swap
They will be removing the front drum setup and installing caprice spindles. The caprice spindle is one of the best options to switch the front end to disc brakes and fit a 13” wire wheel without a lot of modifications. This change will require an 11” rotor for caliper clearance on the wheels.


Ford 9” Lincoln Versailles rear end swap
Another swap.. again to facilitate the disc brakes on the rear. Also this provides a 5.14:1 ratio which will drive nicer than the stock impala rear and get more out of each gear. The shorter axle (3" less from stock) will permit the 13x7 wheels to fit within the wheel wells with skirts if I decide to add them on the car.. and the calipers wont hit the wheels either. The shop will also reinforce the mounts for the Y-bone and trailing arms.


New drive shaft with slip yoke and solid hanger bearing
As the rear end lifts and drops, the drive shaft needs to compensate for the difference in length. Without a slip yoke the drive shaft will pull on the rear end and cause stress on the trailing arms and y-bone support. If you have large rear cylinders you need to notch out the frame to support the drive shaft angle when the rear is fully locked up.


Custom adjustable Y-bone
This support arm provides stability and limits the side to side sway of the rear end. As it only has one point of contact on the axle it will permit independent travel on either side of the rear end. The alternative to a Y-bone is a wishbone support which would connect at the top of the gear housing. Apparently the wishbone is less stable than the Y-bone and used for larger cylinders where more height on a standing 3-wheel is desired. The Y-bone is preferred for daily driver vehicles.


Custom upper and lower front end control arms and rear trailing arms
Both control arms and the trailing arms will be fabricated / extended in house using the shop’s plasma cutter. The extended arms will permit more travel on the front-end and set the curvature path on the rear-end travel. The extension amount is based on the desired size of hydraulic cylinder being installed. Powerball mounts will be located on the trailing arms for the hydraulic cylinders.



New rear end shocks
The shocks are KYB Excel-G and length is sufficient to accept the full travel of a 10” hydraulic cylinder. Cylinders larger than this you would remove the rear shocks entirely and just use tighter springs or add mini-shocks to the spring plates.


New master cylinder, booster, lines etc
The shop will be installing a “Tuff Stuff” Chrome GM brake kit with master cylinder, dual diaphragm booster, lines etc


605 power steering conversion
The existing impala power steering setup is a piece of poo poo and leaks often, even after a new replacement. The most common swap is a 605 gear box conversion. This change will include replacing the tie rods, pitman, drag link, etc..


New Dayton wire rims
The shop has ordered brand new 100 spoke reverse lace 13x7 wire rims from Dayton. The spokes will be painted black while the rest of the rim is chrome. This is a custom order so they need a month before they ship.


New premium sportway 5.20 tires
5/8th inch white wall on a 13x7 tire. The best lowrider look and feel.


New 2 pump, 6 battery black magic setup
Pumps, Dumps, Cylinders, from black magic. 10” rear cylinders, 8” front cylinders. 6 x deep cycle 12volt batteries to power the pumps. The front pump will run on all 6 batteries while the rear pump will run on 3 batteries (more weight in the front of the car). The pump setup will be installed in the trunk and the shop will fabricate battery trays and hold down bars along with a mounting bar to support the pumps.


8-way battery charger
Charge 8 different batteries at the same time. Allows me to charge the full hydraulic setup once the car is parked in the garage.


New battery tray and addition of 2nd driver’s side battery tray
I wanted a 2nd battery tray under the hood to drive my car audio setup. They will place this on the drivers side beside the radiator mirroring the other battery tray location on the passenger side. The windshield washer reservoir will be located elsewhere. They are also replacing the passenger side battery tray as it was getting rusty.


New springs all around
Sized accordingly. The hydraulic cylinders are installed with one end on the spring plate and the other either on the trailing arm or the shock mount area on the front end. This permits the spring to still do its work and not force any travel on the hydraulic cylinder (which would probably break the dumps / pumps).

New calipers, rotors, pads
Self explanatory.

Exhaust modifications
Various changes to the exhaust pipes to work around the hydraulic cylinders, springs, and shock locations.

Patch floor cross member brace
Rust sucks.. patching a hole found in this support brace.

The shop will be sending me photos of the build soon.. so, stay tuned..

Thrasher fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2018 around 02:41

Seat Safety Switch
May 27, 2008

MY RELIGION IS THE SMALL BLOCK V8 AND COMMANDMENTS ONE THROUGH TEN ARE NEVER LIFT.



Pillbug

I did wonder where all the people running Daytons were getting new 13" street tires from, but it being a specialist tire manufacturer didn't occur to me until now. Neat!

angryrobots
Mar 31, 2005
=/

What's the advantage of charging 8 batteries individually instead of as a bank? Seems like it would be hard to equalize, or are they all used individually too?

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



angryrobots posted:

What's the advantage of charging 8 batteries individually instead of as a bank? Seems like it would be hard to equalize, or are they all used individually too?

If one starts to malfunction the charger will indicate this for you on the display per battery so you can isolate it and repair. There are other factors as well.. the shop has mentioned people have had fires and battery charger malfunctions when working with a full bank, probably they were just not doing it properly?

The batteries are wired in series so I would be dealing with 36v to 72v depending on how the setup is done and I assume would need to configure the charger accordingly.

Maybe it’s just safer and easier to stick to individual charging?

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



angryrobots posted:

What's the advantage of charging 8 batteries individually instead of as a bank? Seems like it would be hard to equalize, or are they all used individually too?

Quite the reverse, individual charging control allows you to equalise all batteries so if one is weaker it'll get charged more, Vs 1 in a bank being weaker will drag down and ruin all the rest in a bank.

Boaz MacPhereson
Jul 11, 2006

Day 12045 Ht10hands 180lbs
No Name
No lumps No Bumps Full life Clean
Two good eyes No Busted Limbs
Piss OK Genitals intact
Multiple scars Heals fast
O NEGATIVE HI OCTANE
UNIVERSAL DONOR
Lone Road Warrior Rundown
on the Powder Lakes V8
No guzzoline No supplies
ISOLATE PSYCHOTIC
Keep muzzled...


Hot drat, 5.14:1?

This is a cool car and you are a cool dude.

Larrymer
Jan 10, 2007



Cool thread and car. The registration thing is pretty hilarious, too. Looking forward to more updates since this is totally outside what I'd usually read on in AI.

Thrasher
Apr 21, 2002



Cleaned trunk before:





Cleaned trunk at the shop:



New rubberized trunk paint, battery trays and hold down rods, pump support bar, and power disconnect installed.

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angryrobots
Mar 31, 2005
=/

cakesmith handyman posted:

Quite the reverse, individual charging control allows you to equalise all batteries so if one is weaker it'll get charged more, Vs 1 in a bank being weaker will drag down and ruin all the rest in a bank.

I see he said that they're wired in series as well, so that makes sense, versus the parallel 12v banks that I've seen.

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