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Micktag

Micktag's '83 Imperial

A long story short: I rescued this Imperial in April 2012 simply because I could. I stored it at my home in Arizona for the summer while I went to Washington to work for a big company for the summer. When summer was over I drove another car I owned, a 1981 Dodge Mirada, back to Arizona. Shortly after getting the cars together, I started pouring over them, trying to figure out what to do. That question got answered when I found that the Mirada's rear subframe was rotting clean off, so the recently "rebuilt" 323ci (318 .030 over) and A904 got swapped into what was a completely stock Imperial. After converting it to a carburetor system (it still had fuel injection on it!) I had it running and driving by February 2013, and was daily-driving it by that May. 

 

Other than new wheels and tires in October 2013, I left things alone and just concentrated on making the car nicer. Some interior work and fixing little faults. After I graduated in December 2013, I packed it and my 300C up and started the drive to Kentucky. Fans of Roadkill will have seen this car on one of the episodes, where Finnegan and Freiburger saved my ass in a hotel parking lot when the car didn't want to start. Continued to daily-drive it through late 2014, but after a very poor dyno run at LS Fest (164/204) I was wanting to do something new, and when the 904 let go at Beech Bend, I moved. I yanked the 323 out and had a local machine shop do a teardown to determine why the numbers sucked so bad for an engine that had been built by a reputable shop. Turns out, other than the overbore, they didn't do shit. Couple that with a cooked trans and I just shoved the car into a garage and forgot about it for the winter.

 

Last week I got a wild hair in a funny place, and two days ago I drug home a 400ci big block and 727 automatic. It's not a bolt-in swap...it's not even a simple one. The Imperial is the same underneath as a Dodge Aspen or Diplomat, but with a longer wheelbase. Big blocks weren't meant to fit in here. But I'm determined to see this brick move with a purpose, so we will see how this goes. 

 

post-4688-0-72766900-1430786238_thumb.jpg

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Why not. The car was free, the engine was cheap, and it's not my first big-block swap. I grew up old-school, and I'm sure it goes without saying that what most people consider desirable Mopar vehicles are stupidly expensive. I want a car that I can outright abuse and have fun with, one that will hold up to what I will do to it. And when was the last time you ever saw a 1980s Imperial?

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Why not. The car was free, the engine was cheap, and it's not my first big-block swap. I grew up old-school, and I'm sure it goes without saying that what most people consider desirable Mopar vehicles are stupidly expensive. I want a car that I can outright abuse and have fun with, one that will hold up to what I will do to it. And when was the last time you ever saw a 1980s Imperial?

Not long enough ago

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I totaled at least a half dozen early 60's Imperials.  They were the car to have if you wanted to win demolition derbies.  Some promoters actually outlawed them as they were so indestructable. :)

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Day two into the teardown tells a lot: this is a low-mile motor that was yanked out and let sit for quite some time. The oil dried up, but after a quick blast with some cleaner, internals clean up nicely and show almost no wear. When I separated the 727 from the 400, the torque converter's paint marks looked day one fresh. I'm all but convinced that this engine has never been apart, and so far the only real damage I've found from sitting is the windage tray underneath the intake manifold. That's it. 

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Ok, I've let this one sit long enough. To catch up, there really wasn't much advancement between the last post and now. The 400ci was almost a complete waste...only the bare block, valve covers, and oil pan were savable. Add in that the 727 automatic that I had needed a complete rebuild, and I needed to source an 8 3/4 from a 1968-70 B-body, and I've backed off of the big-block idea. Since then, the Imperial has provided shade and wind protection for my backyard garden while I pondered the next move.

 

Right now I'm looking at Gen-3 swapping it. I know at least two guys who have done it for an FMJ car, and one guy who draped Dodge Mirada sheetmetal over what was left of a Dodge Charger SRT8. Right now, I'm just doing my homework on costs for parts. I've considered finding an insurance auction car for the entire drivetrain and electronics, but I haven't made my mind up yet.

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I am with Lewis.

 

Why?

 

Dude..... this has the makings of a money pit and lotsa time.

 

But hey.... it's your baby! Good luck with it.

 

Post picks when you are done.

 

Stevo

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If you like the car go for it. Plan on keeping it as a daily driver? It's probably not going to be cheap to build and probably frustrating at time but would be fun driver. Even a stock 5.7 would put it way ahead of where your last engine was and if you source everything at once would be cheaper. Keep it with the rover drive and factory computer and gas mileage will even be better than before. These hemis are wide and lime to take a lot of room compared to your old engine.

 

 

Troy

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There is PLENTY out on the web about this. Just search big block in J-Body. Plenty. The 400 (or 383) is easier that the other big blocks. I've seen a 383 in a Mirada, IIRC the guy said the headers were the biggest PIA.

 

 

Sent from my StarTac using Tapatalk

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