Does a 1964 Imperial need upgrades for 70mph?

64Imperial

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Hey I love driving my 1964 Imperial but should I upgrade anything if I will be driving it at 70mph for long distances? Let me know
 

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New tires. The heat on the freeway will help them fail if they are old.

A proper alignment if it doesn’t handle well at 70.
 

Boydsdodge

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New tires. The heat on the freeway will help them fail if they are old.

A proper alignment if it doesn’t handle well at 70.
Hey I love driving my 1964 Imperial but should I upgrade anything if I will be driving it at 70mph for long distances? Let me know
What issues are you having now? Along with correct new tires, Alignment with updated specs. I like 1/4 deg neg camber, try for as much positive castor as you can get 3 deg would be nice, and 1/16 - 1/8th toe in. Check over belts, engine timing for total of 36 deg. Vacuum advance hooked up to ported. Check what your total with vacuum is if you can.
Wheel bearings, fuel filter, fluids. Good over all check up.
I have driven many Mopar from California, Washington and southern states to Toronto Canada with an overall good check of the components and a feel of the car. If what I went for was too far from safe, it did not go for the road trip. Most all the ones that I did drive were currently plated so I could go for good test before taking.
The one big fail I had was in a Caddy, the AC compressor seized and cooked the belts, oh and a water pump in a van, but I knew it was iffy and got stupid thinking it would go the distance. Both fail cars were AC cars, The dozen others regular none AC cars with less stress on the belts and engine. Engine timing made a big difference on California cars, they were all retarded and drove like slugs till I would set the timing for the engine.

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64Imperial

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What issues are you having now? Along with correct new tires, Alignment with updated specs. I like 1/4 deg neg camber, try for as much positive castor as you can get 3 deg would be nice, and 1/16 - 1/8th toe in. Check over belts, engine timing for total of 36 deg. Vacuum advance hooked up to ported. Check what your total with vacuum is if you can.
Wheel bearings, fuel filter, fluids. Good over all check up.
I have driven many Mopar from California, Washington and southern states to Toronto Canada with an overall good check of the components and a feel of the car. If what I went for was too far from safe, it did not go for the road trip. Most all the ones that I did drive were currently plated so I could go for good test before taking.
The one big fail I had was in a Caddy, the AC compressor seized and cooked the belts, oh and a water pump in a van, but I knew it was iffy and got stupid thinking it would go the distance. Both fail cars were AC cars, The dozen others regular none AC cars with less stress on the belts and engine. Engine timing made a big difference on California cars, they were all retarded and drove like slugs till I would set the timing for the engine.

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Wow that's amazing! Then I definitely should be fine lol I've updated and upgraded as much as I could! I just don't want to cause damage to the engine or transmission. I'm not having trouble now but I just don't want something to fail on a trip
 

Yeahrightgreer

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I think you’re asking if the stock configuration is fine to make long trips? Or if you need new fancy gadgets?

Your stock one is fine. Assuming your Imperial is in good running order, the stock configuration is absolutely fine. Just make sure everything is in shape. Good alignment, ignition system, fuel, air, brakes, good fluids, etc

These cars are meant for big open highways and long driving. You don’t have 4.10 gears or anything like that so no worries.

Earlier cars like from the mid 50s often don’t fair well on interstates going 70/80 MPH.
 

Boydsdodge

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They are meant to be driven. How many miles of driving are you expecting to do? An overdrive would be cool, but on our old guys, we won't usually spend enough fuel to pay for overdrive
I'd install a set of 2.94 rear gears and tall tires for regular highway road trips.
Me wrenching the road trip machines.
The AutoZone counter guy was very helpful with letting me wrench in his yard and lending me the pulley wrench for water pump change. Funny thing tho, the new pump didn't last a year, install a dealer part on the next swap.

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Yeahrightgreer

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They are meant to be driven. How many miles of driving are you expecting to do? An overdrive would be cool, but on our old guys, we won't usually spend enough fuel to pay for overdrive
I'd install a set of 2.94 rear gears and tall tires for regular highway road trips.
Me wrenching the road trip machines.

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Imperials came standard with 2.94 gears yes? Unless that’s maybe the later Fueselage years
 

64Imperial

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They are meant to be driven. How many miles of driving are you expecting to do? An overdrive would be cool, but on our old guys, we won't usually spend enough fuel to pay for overdrive
I'd install a set of 2.94 rear gears and tall tires for regular highway road trips.
Me wrenching the road trip machines.

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I'm looking at 300 to 500 one way. Mostly on the highway. I'll definitely look into some new ring gears!
 

Davea Lux

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The Imperial loved the open road, you can drive it all day at 70mph. As others have noted, be sure that the tires are in good shape and the car is in a good state of repair. In the open country of the southwest, back when these cars were new, folks drove them a lot faster than that without any mechanical issues.

Dave
 

Boydsdodge

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My 73 Imperial has 3.23 gears. My wagon has the 2.94 it cruises great in the city and highway, but it's a bit lighter then the Imperial.
 

CBODY67

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As noted, you should have no issues with an Imperial (OR any C-body for that matter), in a good state of repair, on a long trip "at speed". Our '66 Newport Town Sedan 383 2bbl has a "natural" cruising speed range of 75-90 mph. At 70mph and below, it feels "bored", but at 75mph, the chassis feels a bit tighter and the car is enjoying itself more. 95moh is a bit fast for it, though, even with HD shocks (from back then) on it. That car has 2.76 and H78-14 tires, which is right at 28mph/1000rom in 3rd gear. Interesting thing, as I figured out a long time ago, is that with 2.93 gears and P235/75-15 tires, the engine might be running a tick faster per each 1000rpm, but not much, on the road. In other words, it would cruise at about the same rpm at a given speed as with the higher gears (2.76 and shorter tires). BTAIM In ANY event, just below the torque peak area of 3000rpm or so.

Read some of the old MOTOR TREND road tests of '64-'66 Imperials at www.wildaboutcarsonline.com. They tested a Crown Coupe ('64 IIRC) and had a shot of it getting all four wheels off the ground on a Nevada highway. Road testers having fun? Not just an inch or so, but a few inchess off the ground. The caption was something like "She flies through the air with the greatest of ease and doesn't bottom out when she lands." Quite a testament to Chrysler's Torsion Bar/Leaf Spring suspension and its stock calibration! Those Imperials were the "handlers" of the luxury car field back then. Responsive handling and good braking . . . they just "worked"!

When you drive a car, regularly, on trips/escursions of 300+miles one way, regularly, you come to get more "tuned into" the car, what it likes, and how well it does things. Something that just can't happen with driving it a shorter distance at a time. PLUS you find out just how good the long range reception was on Chrysler radios back then! Only down-side . . . it won't get 30mpg on the road.

Let us know how it goes.

Enjoy!
CBODY67
 

mrfury68

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As stated previously, these cars were meant to be driven, especially on the open road. My Fury III has a 2.76 ratio which is great on the open highway. It cruises at 70 mph without any real effort and passing is very easy with just a little more accelerator on the 383 2bbl. As with any vehicle, make sure belts and hoses are good, preventive maintenance has been performed, no fluid leaks and no strange noises or vibrations. You may want to take it for a shorter highway cruise beforehand just to get the feeling of extended open road driving. Good luck and have fun. I'm sure a lot of us would love to see a pic or two of your Imperial. (hint hint)
 

patrick66

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I have on several occasions, driven my '66 Imperial on road trips from 150-400 miles without issue. It's built for 70-80 mph highway banzai runs, all day long. I can go out to the shop right now, and jump in the Imperial and drive to Denver or Houston, and not flinch. 665 and 525 miles respectively.
 

Imperial dude

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Only upgrade I'd suggest is the single to dual master cylinder conversion, its easy to do and adds safety
Cruising at 75 you may need to stop that 2 1/2 tons quickly
 
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