Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1954 Imperial Home Page -> Kerry's '54 Imperial Restoration -> Kerry's '54 Restoration - Part Two
April 1, 2001.
Not too funny a day. After church I pulled the fuel pump. What a pain! The fuel pump is hidden below the AC compressor (which is larger than a small Honda) and is REALLY hard to get to. I had to sacrifice the fuel line to the carb in order to get it out. Just could not get the upper line loose. When I finally got it out, I noticed the lever was REALLY crudded up with petrified oil. I hope the rest of the inner engine is in better shape.
I also pulled the carb when I noticed it was pretty grimy in the bores. I'll take the gas tank in to have it boiled out and when I get a new fuel pump and rebuild the carb the fuel system will be new. It will probably take some time to get parts. I suspect AutoZone is not going to stock this stuff. While I was at it, I decided to pull the brake drums. The front wheels come off easy but the left front shoes are covered in grease. It looks like the inner bearing seal is leaking. The right front is ok except the shoes are worn pretty bad. The drums look OK. There are a bunch of grease fittings on the front end and it looks like excess grease was NEVER wiped off. Now it is a petrified mess that I will try and clean off. It is really much easier to work on a clean car. In addition, I won't be able to find any leaks until I can clean it up. Right now it's just to cruddy to tell. The suspension bushings look like they will need replacement if the grease caps are any indication but driving will tell for sure.
Decided I better check the rear brakes also and broke out the great ceremonial hub puller. This is the one you need to pull the drums off tapered hubs. Anything smaller is dangerous and a waste of time. You can rent them. Remove the cotter key and back the big nut off a few turns but DO NOT REMOVE IT COMPLETELY. When the drum comes lose it can fly across the shop. The nut will keep you from getting hurt. I left tension on it for an hour and then put my big breaker bar on it and tapped it a few licks with a hammer and POP, it comes off. The right rear looks OK. Shoes are pretty good. I'll probably rebuild the cylinder unless I can find new ones easily. They are cheap. Btw, the left hand side threads on the wheels are left hand threads but are NOT marked with the big 'L' like they are on later models. They also have a bolt instead of a stud and nut to hold the wheel on.
Don't think I mentioned that the car came with 5 NEW wide whitewall tires. They are dirty and old but still have the new tire nibs on the tread. I hope to find some other wheels that fit to put the new www tires on. I hate to take the good tires off the wheels, mount the wwws and find out they are out of round from sitting for 15 years.
I really want to get the engine running and brakes done so I can drive it around a little and see what else needs to be done. I had hoped not to have to do the whole restoration thing but won't know until I get a little further along.
Kerry's '54 Restoration Saga Main...
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