1966 Imperial Crown convertible

patrick66

Old Man with a Hat
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This is my refurbishment thread for the ragtop. It's more of a refurbishment vs a resto, as the car is pretty straight and clean to begin with. I'll be addressing several items:

Trunk carpet and finish panels
Windshield header weatherstrip remove/install
Wheel covers
Dash pad removal and install
Radio swap, with new speaker
Steering wheel removal and installation of the restored wheel ($$$!)
Air conditioning repair
Heater core remove/install

The restoration of the walnut veneer is going to be something for perhaps 2018.
 
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More parts ordered! Sent for new courtesy lamp lenses and bezels (one of mine has a missing lens), a new dash speaker, new inner trunk finish panels (8-piece set), plus a very nice passenger side mirror assembly and bezel, along with a spare wheel cover. We've got a three-day shot of 60* to 75*F weather this week up to Friday, so I'm gonna be out in the shop removing the heater core for refurbishment, removing the old dash pad, and what's left of the speaker shell. If I remember to do it, I'm going to send the spare tire cover (looks like a giant Frisbee!) out to get blasted and powder-coated.
 
Where did you get the Inside trunk cardboard panels and carpet ?
 
1964-1966 IMPERIAL CONVERTIBLE Trunk Side Panels 7 Piece Set 64 65 66 | eBay

The parts shown in the ebay ad are not what fits the car, just a generic trunk. But the panels are made to each car specifically. The seller lists '67 - '68 Imperial convertible, as well as several pre-'71 C-body cars and Mopars back to 1956. This seller is located in Ohio.

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My dash pad and my new dash speaker both came in today, different vendors. This dash is a BRAND NEW pad (not restored) that comes from ABC Moparts in Arizona. Sweet-looking black pad that is going to look great in the ragtop!

The speaker is a new (not re-coned) speaker with a neodynium magnet. It is a smaller, but considerably more powerful and efficient magnet than the original ceramic magnet speaker is. Another reason I chose to go new versus reconing the original. It comes with a five-year warranty, to boot. It comes from Electro-Tech in Blaine, Minnesota. Both the pad and the speaker were packed very well, and have zero signs of damage.

We won't warm up for a few days, so I'm gonna wait on the installation until a warm day (over 60*F) appears. In the meantime, I'm going to remove the dash pad and speaker, as well as the original radio, this weekend sometime. I need to bench-check both the original, and another original radio I picked up late last year, to see if either work or not.
 
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The windshield header rubber and the top rubber that goes between the top and the windows arrived today! Need a day over 60*F to get all of that installed properly.
 
Received more parts today! I got a spare wheel cover and a passenger-side mirror assembly. The mirror housing needs to be rechromed to be perfect, but it will do just fine for now. The wheel cover has one very small ding, and will be restored like the others by me. So, here is what I have, so far...

Dash pad
Speaker
Top header w/strip & along the window tops.
Right-side Mirror
Wheel cover

Waiting on the trunk inner finish panels and the lower interior lamps. This week looks great through the weekend, so I'll be busy.

Below is the first wheel cover I restored, a few weeks ago. The center can be body-color or bright chrome, depending on year. But I'm inclined to strip that paint off the center, inside the ring, and polish that.
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OK, tonight's taskings include installing the passenger side mirror assembly and R&R the radio speaker...and possibly pull the radio for bench testing. Pics in a bit.

Well...wasn't that fun? Got the right side mirror on. Easy. No sweat.

The dash pad and speaker are proving to be difficult. I unscrewed the speaker grille (four screws) expecting it to lift off...nope. Four more along the top of where the pad meets the moulding. Now it's loose and decides it really likes where it is. I loosen the windshield base mouldings and the A-pillar mouldings, as they are all interlocked. Still, the speaker grille assembly won't budge. I think I have the code broken, though, and am gonna reattack tomorrow.

While I had all that to stare at, I also looked at the top moulding seal and the upper side window seals I now have, and set them out flat on the hood of the Imperial. They appear to be reasonably straightforward (famous last words!), and they'll be attached sometime during the week.

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My trunk kit came yesterday! I'll install that after work today. My original is a bit beat-up. Does anyone know of a source for the jacking instructions decal for a '66 Imperial???
 
Got most of the trunk kit it this afternoon. It was 76* out, so it wasn't going to be wasted. Before and after pics of the trunk so far. New carpeting next week!

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I found a pair of the fiberglass boot end covers for the car! The seller is passing through OKC later this month, and will deliver them to me. Can't beat that!
 
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Today, it's back at work on R/R of the dash pad. Today and this weekend, the weather-guessers are saying 70s and 80s, so that means quality shop time! Found a trunk carpet kit, with spare tire carpet cover, on a site called Mopar Mall. I can get that for less than my buddy can do the job in his upholstery shop. So, that got ordered today. I was at the big auto swap meet in Wichita, KS last Saturday. Quite a bit of Mopar stuff up there this year. Nothing for the Imp or the Coronet, unfortunately; but I did get some stuff I wanted for the shop.

There was a guy there from central Kansas there that does AM/FM conversions, as well as adding Bluetooth and an aux input to original radios. I got a quote on my Imperial radio --- $565.00 to do it all. A lot of money? Not really, IMO. Considering if I were to install a modern stereo unit, a couple of amps, a sub in the trunk, and try to hide the head unit and the other speakers...that is well over a grand, done professionally. I can get the original updated, add a speaker where that provision exists in the center of the back seat, and have a decent sound while appearing 100% original. That is what I'm going to do with the second original radio I have, on the shelf.
 
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Today, it's back at work on R/R of the dash pad. Today and this weekend, the weather-guessers are saying 70s and 80s, so that means quality shop time! Found a trunk carpet kit, with spare tire carpet cover, on a site called Mopar Mall. I can get that for less than my buddy can do the job in his upholstery shop. So, that got ordered today. I was at the big auto swap meet in Wichita, KS last Saturday. Quite a bit of Mopar stuff up there this year. Nothing for the Imp or the Coronet, unfortunately; but I did get some stuff I wanted for the shop.

There was a guy there from central Kansas there that does AM/FM conversions, as well as adding Bluetooth and an aux input to original radios. I got a quote on my Imperial radio --- $565.00 to do it all. A lot of money? Not really, IMO. Considering if I were to install a modern stereo unit, a couple of amps, a sub in the trunk, and try to hide the head unit and the other speakers...that is well over a grand, done professionally. I can get the original updated, add a speaker where that provision exists in the center of the back seat, and have a decent sound while appearing 100% original. That is what I'm going to do with the second original radio I have, on the shelf.

I believe there is a fellow in Pa., that does similar radio work and the price sounds comparable. Excellent upgrade. Gonna use that aux in for the sirius tuner??? LOL!
 
Haven't provided an update in awhile. Got the dashpad off a couple of days ago. Tore the crap out of it, but it was junk anyway. Next was removing the cluster face. My old one was crazed and the wood was pot. The replacement is in great shape. Got the old one off - lots of fasteners! - and compared the two.

My original plan was to replace the pad, speaker, and swap radios. It's getting more involved now, of course. Found out I had one good cluster bulb and need to replace at least six. The turn indicators and hi beam bulbs are good. The chrome cluster bezel needs a good polishing. I need to scrape what little pad remains off the dash. Removing the speaker/defroster bezel has proven difficult.

I got the top header seal installed, plus the seals where the top meets the side window. The trunk carpet kit goes in this week. I also the the spare wheel and the wheel disc powder-coated.

She's getting there!

---The replacement cluster cover is on the bottom. You can see the crazing in the plastic on the top one. The woodgrain is very faded on that one, too.

---Pretty fascinating speedometer spindle! Exactly like the '61 - '66 Lincolns. Gotta fix that gear shift indicator, too. More dismantling, unfortunately!

---New top-to-windshield seal. Should be sooo much quieter inside at speed!

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Well, tomorrow is another (partial) day on the Imperial! On the agenda is to finally remove the speaker from its grille; which involves removing the fragile defroster tubes from that assembly. Once the speaker is reinstalled, the grille and tubes go back together. I'm also going to fix the trip odometer, as it tends to stick about every ten miles or so. I've read up on fixing that without having to remove it from the cluster. Next is polishing up the chrome cluster surround. That's what is on Sunday's plate, anyway. That, and I have a script read to do in the early afternoon, so the car work will be done in two parts.

Once everything is reinstalled, then the pad will be ready to install and the rest of the assorted dash screws will be able to be tightened up. This Thursday is when it goes to my friend Sonny the upholstery guy, who is going to do the trunk carpet and tire cover. Later in April, he'll get the car back to do the windlace on both doors.

In the very near future, I'm going to disassemble all four wheelcovers to have one part of each powder-coated, which is the part that goes behind the finned area of the cover. They are five-piece covers!
 
My upholstery friend made and installed the new trunk carpet and tire cover today! Looks great.

Last night, I installed all-new lamps in the Imperial cluster. Only the hi-beam, turn signal and one dash light were working previously. It is sure pretty when its all lit up! Polished the cluster bezel, got all of my weatherstrip installed, and removed the clock to send it to Arizona for a quartz conversion.
 
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