- Mike Rosenberg
Preservation from the inside out. A lot can happen over 53 years.
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Purchased from the original owner's son in 2019, this 1967 Imperial was meticulously maintained from day one. The car was driven only a few thousand miles over the past 25 years. As part of the preservation project, we decided it was best to rebuild the carburetor, power steering pump and distributor as well as replace the water pump, master cylinder, fuel pump, hoses, belts, etc. You get the idea. We thoroughly inspected all other mechanical and electrical components..........and these are some of the highlights.
We put the car up on a lift and started from there. The first thing we noticed was a leaking freeze out plug.
We replaced the freeze out plug with a new one. See pic below.
Next, we noticed the steering column rag joint from 1967 was in bad shape, We were able to secure a fresh NOS replacement. You will notice the old rag joint, in pieces on the right side of both photos below.
While driving the car we noticed a grinding sound coming from the rear end. Sure enough we needed rear axle bearings. Had to use a blow torch to get the old bearings off the shaft. See pic below.
After removing the old bearings we were ready to replace the axle bearing assembly.
Next we tackled the exhaust system. We replaced the muffler and exhaust manifold. We noticed a damaged flange end, so that pipe was replaced as well. We were able to source a shop that fabricated the exhaust from factory blueprints. See damaged flange below.
With the new exhaust in place we decided to use "titanium" tape wrap around the exhaust pipe (below the exhaust manifold) to prevent adjacent components from getting too hot. See pic below.
Imperials used nylon coated timing gears for ultra quiet operation. To be sure we didn't have an issue, we dropped the oil pan and found no evidence of plastic gear pieces in the oil pan. The bottom of the engine was spotless and looked brand new. We also checked that there was no play in the timing chain by manually rotating the crankshaft and observing the distributor. When we set the timing, the timing gun flash on the timing mark remained steady, showing no play. Everything was good. The original owner's son stated that he and his father never "floored" the car and kept the speed under 60 mph. See the short video of the timing gun in operation.
See bottom portion of engine below, very clean.
We replaced the oil pan and transmission gaskets. All good.
The passenger side rear power window was found to be slipping. We removed the power window motor and noticed the gear had practically disintegrated. See pic of old PW motor below.
We replaced the PW motor with a replacement designed for later models from the 70's. This required the use of a longer bolt. See original shorter bolts and replacement longer bolts. All worked out.
We noticed that the inside of the radiator didn't look so good. It also felt heavier than it should, so we sent it out to get boiled and recored. Looked as good as new on the inside and out. See pic below.
We decided to get the distributor rebuilt. The 53 year old bushings were tired. See pics below, looks factory fresh.
One of the last things completed was the alignment. The car drives perfectly straight, no pull whatsoever.
See pic below.
Now that we have rebuilt, replaced and inspected everything, it was time for our test drive. To our delight the car drives just like it left the showroom. No rattles, no squeaks, no quirks - just smooth floating luxury. Please enjoy the pics.
The current owners of the 1967 Imperial, taken at that time.