Abandoned for 40 years: 1968 New Yorker 2 DR

Imperial dude

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That handsomely paid job doesn't do you diddly squat when 90% of it goes to pay your basic living expenses! Good Luck

its really not that hard, its called living within your means and setting your priorities
Do you want to live in a $500k house and eat beans or live in a $100k house and eat steak?
Agreed Cali has a pretty high cost of living, but keep it in your pants, or at least be careful, and avoid having 2 or 3 dependants sucking up every spare penny and you'll be just fine
I'm 61, and work HARD at a blue collar job, been at the same place 11 years, and I do alright, nothing exceptional, but ok
Now I could eat at Olive Garden every day for lunch, and own a 15 year old Honda, but I choose to pack a peanut butter sandwich and own an Imperial
When I was younger I worked as a stocker at a grocery store and had a kick ass 78 Plymouth fury ex cop car
Ill always remember one guy on a message board whining and crying about his house getting ready to be foreclosed on, but was having prime rib for supper
I think his priorities were a little backwards
Good luck Isaiah, just keep your eyes on the prize and keep your priorities straight
 

68-NewYorker

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Nice story and nice project. I bought my 68 New Yorker 2dr HT in 2013. It had similar issues but with a little work during some spare time, I was able to get the important things working. Still has issues I am working on now but its worth it. Clean it up all around and it will inspire you to keep moving forward. Looks like you're doing pretty well already, taking the engine out of it and repairing the floors.
 

SPF Required

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Hey there Isaiah. I like your style kid, you definitely have moxie and great taste in cars. I have often said I’d rather hire a guy who can rebuild and engine over a guy with an engineering degree. Keep preserving on this project and it will open up doors for you far beyond just driving a cool car. My daughter is a few years younger than you and not dating just yet, but when she turns that corner I certainly hope she finds someone like you. Keep it up young man, you’re gonna go far!
 

Isaiah Estrada

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Thank you everyone for the kind words! Sorry I haven’t posted much. Haven’t had time to get on the forum and post lately but I’ll post some more right now!
 

Isaiah Estrada

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I had been saving for a long time to be able to gather the feria (Chicano slang for $$$ ) to have this motor rebuilt! So when we pulled the 440, it went straight to a shop for a rebuild. I was lucky enough to have had many recommendations to take it down to a shop where many have had their engines built for their lowriders.

One common misconception about Lowrider culture is that the people who build them have no taste and can’t afford “quality.” It’s actually quite the opposite!! Even within the scene there are many styles and “genres” of cars so to say. My personal favorite era is the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when cars often times were statically dropped, had a nice clean custom paint job and a mild custom interior and other cool body modifications such as the smoothing out of emblems and door handles etc. It’s fun to build these cars but it takes a lot of knowledge on a specific style, and to seek out period correct accessories and to have a whole vision! It’s very expensive to carry out a vision like this, especially when you’re going kustom. It takes a lot of dedication, but that’s the beauty of it!

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The moral is that knowing how much pride people take in their rides and having these cars win awards at shows - I KNEW I could trust this shop. I’m so glad I did! I made friends with the owner and in a little over a week - I had a BRAND new 440.

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(check out that gorgeous 1960 Impala!)
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Being that the car is a cruiser I didn’t want anything too crazy, just a nice functioning engine for my car. It was pretty solid! It only needed new valves and springs, and was bored .30 over. The shop does every engine with hardened valve seats as well! It’s running stock heads, cam, intake and just about everything else. I have all new components for the engine itself like a distributer, cap and rotor odds and ends, oil pump, fuel pump... the whole nine yards basically! I’ve yet to run this engine. My guy put the spark plugs in, masked off all the open orifices, and then Saran wrapped it several times! Then 2 huge garbage bags placed over it and taped so it hugs the engine tight. Lastly we have 2 heavy duty tarps draped over the engine and bungeed on there as it sits covered outdoors on a pallet carved out to hold the engine and not damage the pan. I’m hoping within a few months to get the motor back in after we do some other necessary work to the car to make it road worthy!!!

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In the meantime, I also learned how to drive manual transmission on my dad’s new to him 1950 Fleetline. Stock 216 motor with straight pipes, 3 on the tree and a blast to drive!! Here’s myself and the car at a local car show / cruise night.

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Isaiah Estrada

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Since I’ve had my motor built up, it was time to get my 727 transmission built up! Thanks to Facebook, I was able to connect with a member of a local Mopars group who had a big block 727 for sale. It was a very nice core! He recommended that I take it up to Gar’s Transmission in Paso Robles. Best decision EVER! Again, a VERY fast turnaround time. I also bought a Transgo TF-2 kit for it. I have read that it is a 3 stage kit (or something along those lines!) where you can set it up for really firm racing shifts and easily chirps tires, or tone it down as needed! I asked the owner if it was possible to have the kit done “half ways” as in, not too intense but not wimpy either LOL. He got what I was trying to say and he delivered! He stayed in contact with me throughout the build and about 1 week later, I was able to pick up my brand new 727. I’ve been thinking about getting a Hughes torque converter as well, around 2,500 stall. Seems best for for my build anyways!

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Imperial dude

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Sounds like it's coming along
Never really thought about it, but you don't see many MOPAR lowriders mostly Chevy, some Fords, the occasional buick caddy and olds, so you'll definitely stand out in the crowd
Makes me wonder wonder why?
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That's a good looking low ride
 

Isaiah Estrada

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Sounds like it's coming along
Never really thought about it, but you don't see many MOPAR lowriders mostly Chevy, some Fords, the occasional buick caddy and olds, so you'll definitely stand out in the crowd
Makes me wonder wonder why? View attachment 463230

That's a good looking low ride

Thanks! Especially for supporting the idea instead of crushing me like most people LOL. I know culturally too, Chebbies tie in a lot to Mexican American culture because they were affordable and most times kids in the 70s and 80s could have them for next to nothing!

Also too, the suspension is a lot easier to modify and is better for cars that hop really high into the air. I personally don’t like when they hop all crazy and that’s NOT what my car will be!

I do plan to add some custom touches that are period correct to the late 1960s and early 1970s. I get a lot of inspiration from early Lowrider magazine articles too! These modifications include a custom tubular “phantom grill” that will cover the headlamps. It will still follow the same shape as the original (it’ll still have the distinct “V” shape) but it will shoot out straight before the headlamps. This makes for a cool floating headlamp illusion when the lights are on shining behind the grill ! I also plan to make a tube grill for the rear tail lamps on my 68 and to fabricate a custom lens that can light up the whole way across. Other than that, to shave the emblems but leave the beautiful lower rocker moulding and other trim! Inside I’ll be installing 1966 Chrysler 300 bucket seats and a custom center console. I want it to look like a late 60s kustom inside:)

The ‘68 sedan you pictured there belonged to a friend of mine years ago! It is “juiced” (on hydraulics) but it is a very clean, well engineered setup that rides very smooth. It had 4 car batteries in the trunk and 2 pumps. This is what you call a “lay and play” setup. You can raise and lower the car and that’s about it! Perfect for what I want. He left the torsion bars in place to hold everything together, but the hydraulic cylinders replaced the shocks. Accumulators in the rear take the place of shocks. These are little bladders that handle the wear and tear of the road and give the car a smooth close to stock ride. I’ll be doing the same setup to my car! To me, a slab side C body looks so cool laid out. It gives the illusion of a longer car and really accentuates on the beautiful lines and designs of the car!!

A well executed hydraulic system can easily cost upwards of $5k. I do plan on doing it someday but for now I’m going to have it lowered. Not absolutely slammed so it’s un drivable, but a nice “mean” looking lowered stance! I would rather wait and pay to have it done right than to cut corners and have a car with a terrible system. I have beautiful 14x7 Cragar SS wheels and nice thin whites.
 

WOT440

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Engine looks great. Nice job. Like the '50' also.
 
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Imperial dude

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Sounds like you're heading in a good direction
I agree that lower body trim sitting next to the ground looks good,
A 68 dodge Monaco has the full length tail light, maybe something you could use as a starting point for your custom taillights, if you could get it to flash sequential that would be really sweet, but keep a glove box full of bulbs, I had a 68 Monaco and it seemed one was always blown
A word of advice, now is the time to pick a body color and scrub, sand, detail and paint the engine compartment body color, if you don't and paint it satin black, you'll never hear the end of it from the mopar guys:soapbox:
 

Isaiah Estrada

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Sounds like you're heading in a good direction
I agree that lower body trim sitting next to the ground looks good,
A 68 dodge Monaco has the full length tail light, maybe something you could use as a starting point for your custom taillights, if you could get it to flash sequential that would be really sweet, but keep a glove box full of bulbs, I had a 68 Monaco and it seemed one was always blown
A word of advice, now is the time to pick a body color and scrub, sand, detail and paint the engine compartment body color, if you don't and paint it satin black, you'll never hear the end of it from the mopar guys:soapbox:


How funny! My friend who is mentoring me / helping me was just telling me to look up some paint soon!! I believe we are going to use a line a little less than halfway up the firewall as a border for the color of the body and satin black! I think The inner fenders and core support etc will be painted satin black but the firewall from that line up will be the color of the car. The color of the car will almost be black anyways :) I've been eying this awesome "Black Cherry Pearl" color. It looks almost black in the shade, but in the sun you can see a pretty red flake shining through.

As for the tail lamps, I thought of that too! My friend says however, we could make our own lens using prismatic ceiling light material. He's made up some awesome kustom tail lights before and he says using that material is pretty easy! I guess it's very malleable and easy to cut. My brother is an IT Tech who says we could program a small computer to control the lights of the whole car and even make the tail lights sequence as well. It would be a cool modern twist on a classic design! Especially with the use of a 1/2" tube phantom grill back there.
 

Omni

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Good Afternoon
My hat is off to you and your project. I am considerably older than you and would not consider this as a project for me. However, I am heartened that a young man such as yourself would undertake this. These cars are awesome. They may not be the fastest that ever left Detroit, but they are some of the best driving/riding automobiles out there.
Keep at it. Do not let the inevitable set back discourage you. Lots of good advice to be found here. As mentioned, buying a factory service manual is the best 'tool' you can purchase.
Once you see that light at the end of the tunnel (and it is NOT another train), the satisfaction of knowing what you have accomplished cannot be measured.
The Best of Luck to You and keep the community posted on your progress.
Omni
 

Fratzog

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Looks like you are going into this project with your eyes open. With most C Body projects it is strictly a labour of love since it is unlikely you will ever get your money back. IMHO getting the form vs function ratio right on these projects is the key to getting the outcome you will be happy with. I'll be watching with interest :thumbsup:.
 

Isaiah Estrada

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Good Afternoon
My hat is off to you and your project. I am considerably older than you and would not consider this as a project for me. However, I am heartened that a young man such as yourself would undertake this. These cars are awesome. They may not be the fastest that ever left Detroit, but they are some of the best driving/riding automobiles out there.
Keep at it. Do not let the inevitable set back discourage you. Lots of good advice to be found here. As mentioned, buying a factory service manual is the best 'tool' you can purchase.
Once you see that light at the end of the tunnel (and it is NOT another train), the satisfaction of knowing what you have accomplished cannot be measured.
The Best of Luck to You and keep the community posted on your progress.
Omni


Looks like you are going into this project with your eyes open. With most C Body projects it is strictly a labour of love since it is unlikely you will ever get your money back. IMHO getting the form vs function ratio right on these projects is the key to getting the outcome you will be happy with. I'll be watching with interest :thumbsup:.

Thank you both so much! It means a lot to have support from people who know these cars the best.
 

Isaiah Estrada

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Since we pulled the motor, we took the entire front clip off. Remember, this car WAS a rat’s nest. A combination of 40 year old crusted on mud, dirt, oil, and mummified rat feces gave me a BIG challenge in cleaning it off. Here’s some pics of the process!

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The whole front end came apart easier than I thought! With the bumper off, I will send it in to have it re-chromed. The grill will be replaced with a custom fabricated tube grill. The grill will follow the same “V” shape of the stock grill, but it will run parallel in front of where the headlamp buckets go to cover them. This is called a “Phantom” grill. I will build custom headlight buckets and mount them on the core support and black it out inside of there so that way they are “hidden” in a sense, but appear to be floating when turned on. Here is an example of a Phantom grill on a 1970s styled 1968 Impala. Notice the square headlamp treatment, also a popular custom modification of the era!

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With the frame exposed I was able to clean and scrape away all of the excess gunk on the frame and then smooth out a lot of the ‘slag’ from the frame welds all those years ago! Then with an air grinder I was able to use some sanding / grinding disks to fine tune everything before paint. Here is what the frame looked like before all of that.

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The Goose

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Wow keep it up - your doing the lords work saving that car. I wondered if any of those poor cars would eventually make it back on the road. Sure helps if they’re at least protected. By that I mean the idiots who shoot them up just to destroy something. We used to find lots of cars in the Az desert that would otherwise be perfect to fix up if they didn’t look like Swiss cheese. Any pics of it being pulled from the elephant graveyard? That would be cool to see. Good luck with the project so far so good!
 
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