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Thread: My 64 Commander.

  1. #1
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    My 64 Commander.

    Hi everyone!
    I bought my 1964 Commander in August 2017 and have been changing things to better suit me since then. I hope this is the appropriate place to post my progress photos.

    The car at purchase date had a mismatched interior that included blue commander rear side panels and blue dash, that's all that was stock. Otherwise red r-active seats up front, purple zebra door panels, blue grand marquis seats bolted in place, camaro steering column with key and shifter on column(ignition really on dash, manual car).

    Drivetrain had obviously been swapped somewhere in its lifetime. Sporting a sbc 350, t10 4spd and an s10 rear end sitting on two leaf springs.

    I stumbled upon a very rotten bodied parts car in November which gave me the idea to change interior all black Daytona style. Parts car is my savior in so many ways looking back.

    My fun started by changing the interior completely. I gutted the entire interior and kept only the blue carpet that also was not stock fit(close enough so it stays). Ordered some seats from Braum through Haute Ag in Calgary, AB. I couldn't stop there. During the gutting and swapping I saw things I couldn't put back to the way they were so I also got a new steering column from Summit Racing.
    My door locks never worked very well and ignition stuck out from dash. I had parts car ignition re-keyed and order earlier door locks with the dust caps(future service in mind).
    After my front seats from Braum showed up I dropped off the parts car rear factory seats at a local upholstery shop to be matched to my fronts.
    I modified the factory manual steering shaft to accept a 3/4" DD coupler to accept the 1" DD steering column from 30" Summit column(could have went with 28"). After the "new" parts car black dash was mounted I ordered my steering wheel with 1.5" dish to not sit me too far back.
    To mount my new front seats I learned to weld and made brackets to bolt into the factory mounts and space me just under 2" from the floor.
    While putting gauges back in place and making things work again I put blue led lights behind them.

    A few test drives after the streets dried up here in Saskatchewan I realized I needed new brake master cylinder and a new wheel cylinder. Wheel cylinder was no issue but took some time to find Napa master cylinder 8142 was a direct replacement.

    Shifter linkage fell apart one night on a drive as well, that was scary. Hurst steel bushings and clips were installed then.

    Overheating became an issue, found chunks in the radiator and a 160 degree thermostat. Threw me over an edge in my own mind and I ordered up a new rad/fan combo with electronic thermostat. Now that I'm currently mounting this I've found my long style water pump to be too close. Now I'm swapping in a short water pump and relocating alternator with studebaker mounts from 65 Daytona. Need to find proper crank pulley now.
    I figured overheating the car hurt some oil seals so pulling the engine before mounting new rad had to happen. Where I found some weird stuff going on to mount passenger side of engine. Now that's back closer to factory with stude mount on frame and new 65 Chevelle engine mounts(direct fit).

    Been cleaning up the 65 Daytona D44 rear end to put into the car yet and some better leaf springs. Would like to sit the car more level than it currently is. Will require new 15" rim/tire combo.

    I'm sure there is lots I'm missing that I've done to the car so far but here's some pictures. FAR from done right now but the important part is I'm getting there and learning a ton from this experience. I'll do my best to keep this thread updated on my progress.

    First night I brought it home. Keeps loading upside down....

    Next day.


    Interior progress.

    Before pulling the engine.

    New radiator after engine installed.
    Last edited by RyleeH; 07-01-2018 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2
    President Member Bullet's Avatar
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    Great progress! I like the glow of the gauges. Keep us updated on the progress. I have a 64 Cruiser as a daily driver, so know some of what you are going through.


    Mark

  3. #3
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    Thanks Bullet! Doing my best to get everything done properly.

    So I tried getting 65 Daytona alternator bracket to fit my current GM alternator and that's not working for me. I broke down and ordered brackets from local performance shop today. Should put it directly forward of my passenger head/valve cover. I'm hoping it wont block the side of water pump so heater may still work. Wanting to route that hose under the alt and back to heater core.

    Wanting to find a different fuse panel under my dash so not too many accessories running from stock panel.

    I'm short a few houses, water pump bolts and gas line. Gas line now that its moved a bit and I noticed a kink I'd like to relieve. Small amount of wiring to be done as well.

    Hiding behind to grill, looks good.


    Short water pump gives me 1-3/4" space between itself and fan. You can see fuel line kink in this photo.

  4. #4
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyleeH View Post
    Should put it directly forward of my passenger head/valve cover.
    I don't think you can put the alternator in front of the valve cover if you are using a short water pump. It must go outside the VC or between the VC and the thermostat housing.
    Also, you won't be able to use that crank pulley shown in the photo, it's for a long water pump.
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
    Douglasville, Georgia
    See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/qP6MR

  5. #5
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    Jerry, I was concerned at first the bracket I just ordered wouldn't work either. The shop owner was sure it will for my application. Ya the crank pulley I have is for a lwp but the middle groove sits perfectly with middle groove of my water pump pulley which I believe is where my alternator should line up to as well. I'll order a shorter crank pulley later to clear more space.
    I'll see Tuesday night how it all lines up and go from there.

    Went to local drag strip this spring to see what the car could do, 15.744@91.47mph was my best. Pic of my best three slips of the day in my album.


    Going to try remember to upload a picture each time I comment here.

  6. #6
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    Hi, nice car.I have a 64 commander as well. What is your vin#? Mine is 64S-4215. They didn't make many of them and I was curious how far apart they are. Mine has a 259 swapped in. I have a ways to go before it's drivable,but I am slowly making progress.
    Dave
    .

  7. #7
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    Are you looking at the tag in the driver door?

    OR
    The tag under the hood on the passenger side?

  8. #8
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    Door tag. Mine is a South Bend car.I wasn't even thinking about yours being a Canadian built car(Duh)It's been a long day. I'm going to bed before I say anything even dumber. Lol.
    Dave

  9. #9
    President Member junior's Avatar
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    if you want to move the alt. to the driver side of the engine, find a complete set-up off a 70-72 chev 1/2 with sbc engine and no power steering or brakes. single groove pulley top and bottom, cast iron lower alt. bracket, extra-thick top alt. bracket... both brackets bolt to a factory head (which you have) inexpensive, clean, simple and robust system that works with factory rams horn manifolds. you're from sask, so should be lots of old c-10's and gmc 1500's in your province for parts picking. cheers, junior
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    Last edited by junior; 07-07-2018 at 03:35 PM.

    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

  10. #10
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    I gave the style that mounted to my manifold a thought for a little bit but I have issue with the current driver manifold and exhaust. It looks like when the 350 was swapped in to what was not originally chevy, the wrong driver manifold was used. You can see in this pic that it is bent backwards instead of going straight down like the passenger side. This causes my steering arm to hit it at full right turn.

    So I have the plan to eventually buy headers. From what I hear cc3 Sanderson headers should fit my car, then re-do the exhaust.

  11. #11
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyleeH View Post
    I gave the style that mounted to my manifold a thought for a little bit but I have issue with the current driver manifold and exhaust. It looks like when the 350 was swapped in to what was not originally chevy, the wrong driver manifold was used. You can see in this pic that it is bent backwards instead of going straight down like the passenger side. This causes my steering arm to hit it at full right turn.

    So I have the plan to eventually buy headers. From what I hear cc3 Sanderson headers should fit my car, then re-do the exhaust.
    Go back and read post #9. He's talking about an alternator bracket that bolts to the front of the head, It doesn't have anything to do with the exhaust manifold.

    BTW, that driver's side swept back manifold is a truck manifold. You need a car manifold, they go straight down.
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
    Douglasville, Georgia
    See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/qP6MR

  12. #12
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    I see that now he didnt mean bolt to manifold, guess I was a bit confused but I don't like wiring is the other reason I want to stay passenger side.

    I have car manifolds from the parts car I had but pipes need to be changed regardless because of the angle on driver side and kinks on both sides. Did these straight down manifolds ever come on a 350? It has smaller diameter than the bent manifold. I thought that style of blockhugger would let the engine breathe better than these little manifolds.

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    I don't know WHAT that is you have for a Right Side Engine Mount BRACKET, but it should look like the Left side!
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  14. #14
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyleeH View Post
    I see that now he didnt mean bolt to manifold, guess I was a bit confused but I don't like wiring is the other reason I want to stay passenger side.

    I have car manifolds from the parts car I had but pipes need to be changed regardless because of the angle on driver side and kinks on both sides. Did these straight down manifolds ever come on a 350? It has smaller diameter than the bent manifold. I thought that style of blockhugger would let the engine breathe better than these little manifolds.
    You can get the rams horn manifolds with a 2 1/2" outlet. But I don't know if you have room for that due to the pitman arm.
    https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Corve...air,58966.html
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
    Douglasville, Georgia
    See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/qP6MR

  15. #15
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    Studerich, haha I had a similar reaction when I got the engine out and had a good look. It WAS a camaro mount on a steel plate and matching on block but driver side block WAS I still have no clue what. NOW I have stude mounts on frame and 65 chevelle mounts attached to block. It's been taken care of, I would not put it back together how it was. Just like most of how the car WAS before I started on it.

    Jerry, good to know they can be found in larger diameter. But I made a post on Facebook a while ago asking for cars exactly like mine with blockhuggers. I even received pictures from a couple people showing Sanderson blockhugger headers, think cc3 od something like that for part number. I'll have to look back to see but that's something for winter to take care of.

    This is where I am now, just grabbed water pump pulley and shims today. That and a bit of wiring and I might start it up tonight.

    Before anyone comments about fuel line, left it long until pulleys and belt done then trim it down.

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