Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1954 Imperial Home Page -> Kerry's '54 Imperial Restoration -> Kerry's '54 Restoration - Part Five
Well, by now I should know that EVERYTHING takes twice as long and costs twice as much. Still have no brakes. I did get the gas tank back and since it was stripped to bear metal, I painted it with POR-15. One thing when having a gas tank lined, make sure the pickup tube is clear. Mine was plugged up with the liner stuff. If my friend Bo had not suggested I check it, I'd have mounted the tank and been PO'ed when I got no gas.
The front end was SO cruddy I decided to clean it. First, I scraped off at least 30 pounds of petrified grease and dirt. Really, 30 pounds, I weighed it. I hung the wheels on it, and EASED it out of the shop with just the ebrake. One wheel was dragging (I'll tell people I did a burnout). Got it outside and put it up as high as I could on jackstands. 1 hour later, I was a mess but the chassis was MUCH cleaner.
This is some of the crud that washed off. She starts pretty easily but the tune leaves something to be desired. I want to get it mobile first.
April 13, 2001
I had decided the wheel cylinders were ok until I tried to bleed the brakes but found that I could not get fluid out of the bleeders. Tried air and could not blow air out either. #@$%%$# Took lines apart and one by one, found the blockages and blew the out. The rear axle flex line was kind of old looking and I was able to get one locally. Pulled the brakes apart and changed the wheel cylinders and put the new shoes on the front. My 57 saga has a good section on rebuilding these type of brakes so I won't go into the details. Except for this. The brake drums would not go on no matter what adjustments I did. Called my friend Ray and he brought out his handy dandy brake shoe grinder. This piece of hardware will radius the shoes to the exact radius of the drum After Ray too off the high spots the drums went on. They wheels are still a little tight but a little driving will seat them and wear them in. One thing that was odd was that one of the adjusters would not adjust. Turns out the cam was no longer welded to the bolt. Broke out the mig and tacked it back so now the adjuster adjusts. And there is the brake shoes reinstalled and ready to go.
Not quite finished with the brakes. Still have to hang the master cylinder and pedals. Hooking up all the brake lines was a pain and took about an hour to do 3 lines. Nearly lost my religion over that one. Tomorrow, I will bleed the brakes with my handy, dandy pressure bleeder. I drilled and tapped the master cylinder cap and screwed a brake bleeder screw in it. The plan is that a little pressure in the spray tank will push fluid through the system and allow me to completely bleed the system by myself. I hope this works, I always hate to bleed brakes.
Kerry's '54 Restoration Saga Main...
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