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Building the 81 Imperial

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  • BK
    started a topic Building the 81 Imperial

    Building the 81 Imperial

    My brother bought this 81 Imperial for his wife in 1985, and she wanted it painted white -- and he does as he's told lol

    The 318 EFI in the car gave them nothing but problems, leaving her stranded often. In 1987, the car had 20,000 miles on it and we traded straight up for a 67 Newport Convertible I'd had since the 70s.


    the 67 Newport Vert I traded for the Imperial. My daughter is now 28,. I wish I still had the 67 SS fastback too!

    I replaced the air cleaner mounted computer and drove the car until the big Ice Storm/freeze we had here in Houston in January 1990 -- when I had no oil pressure on the car when starting it one cold morning. The car had 24,000 miles. I was flat broke from being unemployed for three months and hocking everything to start my company NDR (which I later sold in 1998). I parked the car in my barn until 2004, when I moved to Stately Schultz Manor -- and moved the car to an airplane hanger.

    In 2000, I'd been semi-retired for a year and half and decided I wanted to restify this car as a street/strip car - and bought it to my shop. Below are the photos of the car when I started tearing it apart.







  • BK
    replied
    Originally posted by R-body_mopar View Post
    Thanks, Larry! As a longtime Mopar copcar driver, I see no reason your car couldn't handle, brake, and outrun anything on the road today, with the proper mods! And I see no reason to go to rack and pinion (but I'm oldschool), as the firmfeel box with the proper shocks, and beefed up frame should handle well. The Mopar police package was a good one, and far different from the civilian grocery-getter!

    ---------- Post added at 07:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:55 AM ----------




    Is this the "new" 360 with 1000 mi.?? I guess I missed that before.....duh!
    Fixed both

    Leave a comment:


  • R-body_mopar
    replied
    Originally posted by My Imp View Post
    Love those Imp's! I also have an 81. Mine had the DIY EFI to carb conversion. Mine can be seen in FFMJBO photo gallery under "My imp" mine is a 360, 904, 8 1/4. What wiring harness did you use? If you look at mine in the photo, it looks like a plate of "Mama Mia's" spaghetti! I plan to install subframe conn's & torque boxes, solid crossmember mounts, a crossmember from an 85 Gran Fury cop car complete with HD steering, P/S cooler, 727 w/extra cooler, etc.. I also will use the firm feel steering box. I have been reading up on whether to convert to rack & pinion vs recirculating ball. One nobody has done a side by side on anything remotely close to an 81 Imperial. I would like to have a reliable, quick, well mannered car. I feel our vintage Mopars outshine anything on the planet as far as looks. Is it too much to ask for to have one that can run, brake, & handle as well as anything out there? Anywhere I drive my car, it draws a crowd. Everyone has an Imperial story to tell you. Drive yours a while & see the love people have for these forgotten beauties. There, I'm getting off my soapbox, & going to bed. Thank you, Larry

    Thanks, Larry! As a longtime Mopar copcar driver, I see no reason your car couldn't handle, brake, and outrun anything on the road today, with the proper mods! And I see no reason to go to rack and pinion (but I'm oldschool), as the firmfeel box with the proper shocks, and beefed up frame should handle well. The Mopar police package was a good one, and far different from the civilian grocery-getter!

    ---------- Post added at 07:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:55 AM ----------

    Originally posted by BK View Post
    In addition to the dash no longer working -- the the motor now has a knock.

    Is this the "new" 360 with 1000 mi.?? I guess I missed that before.....duh!

    Leave a comment:


  • BK
    replied
    I reused the same wiring. Cleaned it up and reinstalled

    Leave a comment:


  • My Imp
    replied
    Love those Imp's! I also have an 81. Mine had the DIY EFI to carb conversion. Mine can be seen in FFMJBO photo gallery under "My imp" mine is a 360, 904, 8 1/4. What wiring harness did you use? If you look at mine in the photo, it looks like a plate of "Mama Mia's" spaghetti! I plan to install subframe conn's & torque boxes, solid crossmember mounts, a crossmember from an 85 Gran Fury cop car complete with HD steering, P/S cooler, 727 w/extra cooler, etc.. I also will use the firm feel steering box. I have been reading up on whether to convert to rack & pinion vs recirculating ball. One nobody has done a side by side on anything remotely close to an 81 Imperial. I would like to have a reliable, quick, well mannered car. I feel our vintage Mopars outshine anything on the planet as far as looks. Is it too much to ask for to have one that can run, brake, & handle as well as anything out there? Anywhere I drive my car, it draws a crowd. Everyone has an Imperial story to tell you. Drive yours a while & see the love people have for these forgotten beauties. There, I'm getting off my soapbox, & going to bed. Thank you, Larry

    Leave a comment:


  • BK
    replied


    I'm interested in putting Electronic Fuel Injection on this car -- but have not yet had time to properly research what is now out there, what all is involved, and the cost.

    The car is an 81 Imperial; 380HP 60ci with 1000 miles; the chassis has 34000 miles; the transmission is a CRT Street/Strip 904; the rear end is a 8 3/4" with 3.55 gears; exhaust is Spitfire headers, dual 2.25" through pair of high performance cats and flowmaster 40s;

    Intake is an Edelbrock Performer






    Copy and paste the below for your answers:

    Brand of EFI System:
    Cost:
    Other parts required that are not in the kit and cost:
    Ease of installation and time required:
    How is it tuned:
    Other Notes:

    Help me with my research buy telling me how you would do this if it were your car -- and why.

    Leave a comment:


  • hemisatellite
    replied
    Originally posted by 270SE View Post
    If I were to do one I'd definitely go to the 6.1 over the 5.7. There's not much reason not to. For what is essentially only a little more money due to the cost of the swap you get a forged crank, more displacement, etc., etc. The 6.1 is a pretty strong, fairly bulletproof motor, the 5.7 is just decent, better in a new car where the costs are only the build of the motor otherwise a small block or 6.1 makes a bit more sense, but that's just the way I think. It'd not be fun to end up down the same road with a motor that costs a couple K more to rebuild and a few K to swap in to start with.
    Gonna stick with my 5.7 for now, the initial motor to work with was free.

    Leave a comment:


  • 270SE
    replied
    Originally posted by BK View Post
    I just might put a 5.7-6.1 Hemi in it someday.
    If I were to do one I'd definitely go to the 6.1 over the 5.7. There's not much reason not to. For what is essentially only a little more money due to the cost of the swap you get a forged crank, more displacement, etc., etc. The 6.1 is a pretty strong, fairly bulletproof motor, the 5.7 is just decent, better in a new car where the costs are only the build of the motor otherwise a small block or 6.1 makes a bit more sense, but that's just the way I think. It'd not be fun to end up down the same road with a motor that costs a couple K more to rebuild and a few K to swap in to start with.

    Leave a comment:


  • BK
    replied
    I just might put a 5.7-6.1 Hemi in it someday.

    Leave a comment:


  • 270SE
    replied
    Originally posted by BK View Post
    I hadn't seen a kit available for a decade. I converted my own with a Cordoba gas tank without fuel pump, a 380hp/360ci engine from Engine Works, MP electronic ignition, and resistors for gas gauge.
    I must've expressed my opinion before that'd be an awesome ride with an EFI'd Magnum and maybe OD, like they should have made that thing in 1981...

    Leave a comment:


  • BK
    replied
    I hadn't seen a kit available for a decade. I converted my own with a Cordoba gas tank without fuel pump, a 380hp/360ci engine from Engine Works, MP electronic ignition, and resistors for gas gauge.

    Leave a comment:


  • hemisatellite
    replied
    JUNK EFI system

    I just remembered, the "carb" conversion kits that were offered were shipped only to the dealers so only they could install them. You might take a wild chance and look for one of those "kits" and get lucky! The 302 camaro I restored years ago taught me that the ones with crossrams, did NOT come from the factory that way. The "kit" was in a box in the trunk when shipped and the dealers installed them. I got lucky on it, found a guy retired from dealership that still had one of those kits. The box had been opened but everything was there.I paid $1800 for it. Good Luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • BK
    replied
    No 360s. All motors were 318s that were suppose to have hand-selected cream of the crop parts -- and a electronic fuel injection that sucked.

    Leave a comment:


  • hemisatellite
    replied
    Originally posted by Hemi Metal View Post
    That is a great car and a great job done. A truly originally styled car.

    Have only recently discovered this model when doing some research on Mopars of this era. From what I have read they had some interesting editions of this car such as the FS Blue but it seems that the EFI system gave alot of problems. You would think after the problems they had with the Electro-Jector engines in DeSotos over twenty years earlier that they would have been able to build reliable EFI.

    I was wondering if this model had a 360cid as an option and if anyone has successfully run a factory EFI system in their Imperial?
    They had BOATLOADS of EFI problems, so many to the point Chrysler started sending out kits to roll them back to carbs!

    Leave a comment:


  • 270SE
    replied
    Originally posted by BK View Post
    In addition to the dash no longer working -- the the motor now has a knock.
    That sucks. Time to make it better I guess.

    Hope it's nothing too bad.

    Leave a comment:

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