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cargeek2014

My First Project Car

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I'm starting on my first project car, a 1966 (Chrysler) Imperial LeBaron. It has a 7.2L V8, with a three-speed automatic TourqueFlite transmission. It is a four-door sedan with all the bells and whistles. Is there anybody out there ever worked on one of these, or got any tips???

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Welcome aboard! You should find plenty of help here, unfortunately not from me. I do know the Imperials from the 60s were well engineered and any ChryCo drivetrain is pretty bulletproof. I have heard that 60s Imperials were banned from demolition derby tracks because they were built so tough they had an unfair advantage! --not sure if that is true. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

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Thank you, and yes, that is true. Mainly the 1964-1966 Imperials (which were engineered by Elwood Engel, who formerly designed the Lincoln Continental). These were the last three years before the unibody construction, which had somewhat weakened the design.

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I have heard that 60s Imperials were banned from demolition derby tracks because they were built so tough they had an unfair advantage! --not sure if that is true.

Yes, absolutely true and if you search derby rules on the 'net you'll see that many promoters still say "NO IMPERIALS ALLOWED". One local promoter banned them years ago as they were indeed just about invincible. On the side though he said it was also out of respect, sort of like when the ancient Romans would free a gladiator slave after an extremely good career. If nothing else it saved the last remaining ones from being beaten to pieces, on the other hand it probably accelerated the demise of other full size cars. You win some, you lose some.

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Owing to my lack of tire knowledge, I came across these numbers when looking at specs for this car on the internet: 9.15 x15 4-ply. I know enough to know that this car originally came with Bias Ply tires, and had a few questions about them, I'm wondering if any of you know.

First, what do the numbers mean?

Second, what is the difference between radial and Bias Ply, and can radial tires be put on a car with original bias ply?

And third, are radial tires manufactured as white walls, or is it just the Bias ply?

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Well, I figured now it's time to update. So far, I've been able to test all the electronics on my Imperial and basically everything works. The only thing I'm having trouble with is the automatic antennae is not retracting when I push the button. As far as I know, the radio itself works. The lights turn on with the knob, but the scanner is a bit flaky. I think this might be bad signal from the antennae. But as far as lights, automatic seats, the rear reading lights, automatic dimmer for the high-beams, windows, etc., they all work. The fan for the heater and air conditioner works, but I have not been able to start the engine. But, in order to start the engine, I need gas, plus a leaded additive, and I'm not real sure where to find that. But it does turn-over.

And, I do need to find a good place to get some radial tires, and I'm not sure where to look. Any suggestions???

Thanks!

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Your local tire stores should be able to help you. They should have a chart to translate the old tire size to new radial size. If not you could do a search for Coker Tires or other old time tire dealer, they have an online calculator to tell you what size you need.

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I will get pictures up as soon as I can. I'm still having trouble uploading them, but I'll figure it out soon. I just gotta mess around a little bit and see if I can get them up here.

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I will get pictures up as soon as I can. I'm still having trouble uploading them, but I'll figure it out soon. I just gotta mess around a little bit and see if I can get them up here.

If you can limit the photo pixel size to 2000 pixels in both directions, the photo should load. If you still have trouble, you can send them to me and I will re-size them and post them for you. John

keiser31@charter.net

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Thanks, and I might just have to do that. But I'm going to mess around tomorrow and I should be able to get them on here. I didn't realize there was a certain pixellation, and I'll change that.

Thanks again!

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Here are some pictures of my car. It's in. . . interesting condition, but nothing a little bit of water, soap, polish, and some good ol' elbow grease can't fix!

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Those are very cool cars and handle like a dream. I love the telescoping steering wheel adjustment ring. Those cars are very comfortable to drive and ride in. Can't wait to see photos of it all cleaned up. There were only 1,878 of the 4 door hardtop LeBarons made in 1966.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Looks like there is s nice car under all that, start scrubbing! It looks like rodents or some kind of critters may have been into that car, be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you are blowing the dust around...

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Yes, I'm not real sure how the rodents got in. I've kept it locked and sealed up, but that doesn't always guarantee anything. It shouldn't be too bad to clean up. I've got the interior basically cleaned out, and it's really not in too bad of shape, minus the headliner. But, for right now, I'm more concerned with getting it running. Which, won't take much to be honest.

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Question: Where is a cheap, yet reliable place to buy a set of radial tires?

Thanks!

Zachary

discounttiredirect.com has been a good resource for some cars and they have free shipping.

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