Posted by: Mark Polk | 2017

Project 426 Street Wedge – The Before Restoration Recap

When I went to look at and eventually purchase the 65 Coronet 500 I did not expect it to be a running car. As a matter of fact no vehicle I ever restored to date had a perfectly running engine when I started the restoration. So it was a big plus when the owner told me the 426 street wedge not only runs, but runs really good. He said he removed the valve covers and the top of the heads looked brand new and it was easy to see all the new gaskets and gasket sealer at all the seams in the engine. This alone will save me thousands of dollars in machine work, parts and rebuilding this big block engine.

The biggest problem these 426 street wedge engines had was an inadequate intake manifold and an undersized carburetor. My plan for the engine is to get a better breathing intake manifold, larger CFM carburetor, and possibly a mild camshaft grind, we’ll see. I would like to get the horse power in the 375 to 390 range. I will keep the original parts as well.

The interior of the car is in terrible condition and needs total restoration, to include all new floorboards. What is nice is there are aftermarket parts available for the Coronet like complete floorboard sets, OEM matching seat covers and more. It’s a job removing the old floorboards and welding in the new ones, but having replacements available that are equivalent to the original makes the job much easier and a better looking end product too.

When I restored my 71 Dodge Power Wagon there were no aftermarket parts so you had to locate used parts all over the country and recondition everything. A lot of the Coronet parts are not available either, and if you are lucky enough to find used parts in good condition you will pay a pretty penny for them.

 

There are other modifications I can make to upgrade the Coronet, like front disc brakes and a rebuilt steering gear box to help improve the driving and handling. When I restore a vehicle it is so I can drive the vehicle, so any suspension, braking, or steering upgrades are beneficial.

The Coronet is in a much better condition starting out then the 71 Power Wagon was so once I get into the restoration project it should go smoothly.

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

 

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