Imperial Home Page -> Imperials, Arranged by Year -> 1954 Imperial Home Page -> Kerry's '54 Imperial Restoration -> Kerry's '54 Restoration - Part Three
Here is my short term shopping list:
Rinnnnng! Rinnng! Rinn... "Wholesale Auto Parts, Joel," the voice answered.
"Hey Joel, it's Kerry. You ready to earn your money today?" I asked.
"Let me guess," he said, "You're working on that new 54?"
"Oh yeah," I replied "and I have a shopping list." Two minutes later Joel was chasing parts while I was taking the gas tank in to be boiled out at the radiator shop. Half and hour later I called Joel and was disappointed to learn that he could not find anything but the inner wheel seals and he had to order them. One down, four to go.
My number two parts house was nearby so I drove over. These were the folks who were able to get shoes and cylinders for my 57. Of course, nothing was in stock but they found them in a warehouse and the shoes and cylinders should be in tomorrow. The carb kit and more important, the fuel pump, was nowhere to be found.
I had a couple more places to call. The first was a strike out but the second was a grand slam. In 1982, I was restoring my 40 Buick Roadmaster and dealt with an OLD parts house in Nashville called Gardners. John Gardner was about 150 years old and I was fortunate to get him on the phone in '82. As I was describing the front end parts I needed for the Roadmaster, he started rattling off part numbers and said, "Yep, we got that." and he did. This was a real hole in the wall place 19 years ago and I did not expect them to still be in business but called them anyway.
Ringgg! Rinnng! "Gardners"
"Hi, I'm looking for a fuel pump for a 54 Imperial."
"Just a minute......Got two, different brands but they look the same." a crusty voice said.
"I'll take both." I replied. "Can you check on some other stuff?"
"Sure." he said.
I gave him my list. He had the carb kit for the 54 ($31) and I also got on for the 64 ($25). Also had brake shoes ($36 with a 10 buck core. I'll have a spare set if the others come in. He also had wheel cylinders In STOCK. I would have gotten them also but they are still made by Wagner and somewhat expensive. 30 bucks each for the four needed on the front wheels and SIXTY for the rear. He also had some front end parts and although I'm not sure I need them, I'd rather get them while the getting is good. The good Lord is still making whales but He isn't making any more of these things. I was able to get one side upper control arm inner shaft ( $48) and bushing and both sides lower outer bushings.($20). My son came home from class for the day so I sent him up to Nashville to pick up the parts. If the wheel cylinders don't come in locally, I'll have Gardner ship them to me. Oh, yeah. I asked who I was talking to. "John Gardner," the voice replied. The man must be 180 by now! Still knows his stuff and his inventory. Four hours later, I had a box-o-goodies. With any luck by tomorrow I'll be ready to put the fuel system back together and hear the engine run by the weekend. By Saturday, I HOPE to have he brakes done and a road test. Exhaust system is pretty rotten so the old hemi will make some noise. Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me.
By the way, the Moog numbers for the kingpin set is 8469B and the tie rod ends are ES166R and L, two each. There is a place in Dothan, Alabama that has a bunch of old Moog stuff. I'll call them tomorrow. The fuel pump is a Delco 40332
On another note is the paint job. While it looked really, really nice when it was dirty, once it was washed, it was obvious that it is pretty thin. Just a little polishing compound shows primer in spots as shown by the gray in this photo.
I'm open to ideas about this. I don't particularly want to paint the car. Some ideas rattling around is airbrushing over the thin spots and trying to buff it out. Black is easier to match than most colors.
Kerry's '54 Restoration Saga Main...
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