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Old 02-07-2018, 12:55 PM   #1
jjzepplin
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58 Bel Air 348ci

So I didn't need anything to slow down my truck building, But mom insisted I have her 58. This thing is like a show piece and has been in several judging from the easel and info board in the trunk. NO rust at all that I can find just a couple chips in the paint from transporting to Florida. It is a four door 348ci and I think a 2sp powerglide. It has nice five spokes (I think Torques) And factory added air condition (York compressor). It is power steering and power brakes.The steering pump hangs off the back of the generator. I know ---I need pics or it didn't happen. She gave my brother the 56 Ranchero. Also a very nice all red car but modernized with a 302 and c4 A/C etc. I have lots of questions about the 348. Funny-my small block is now bigger than my big block! Bwahaha. Pics of both to come. Oh and she gave my other brother a house so we don't feel too bad about the cars.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

In to see pics , Congrats .
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:51 PM   #3
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

I will get some pics Sunday I think. I don't want to tow it home so I will be tuning it a bit before it comes home. I think it still has a points ignition. I have been looking at a kit at Summit that replaces them with a Hall Effect type and looks totally stock still. Of course it will get new Edelbrock aluminum valve covers.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:53 PM   #4
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

I hope this works. My phone was out of memory and I worked most of the day to get it running. It sat for a long time bad gas and the new Eddy carb had green gook all up in it. Cleaned it out and got this running just not so good. Thinking of going with a "hall effect" replacement for the points and a 600 Holley. The interior is just as nice the the exterior. Stay tuned...Bwahaha
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:20 PM   #5
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

Wow ,that is very nice .
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:32 PM   #6
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

agreed.....very nice.....
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:18 PM   #7
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

The '58 is one beautiful car....
Started really falling for the looks when American Graffiti came our years ago.

Congratulations on getting it back to life.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

Great looking machine. Like the color and the wheels. Love to see the interior when you get the chance. A one year only model design, gotta be a real Saturday night Sunday afternoon cruiser !!
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

Love 58's
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:07 AM   #10
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Thanks folks. I don't have the title yet sooo we will just hope she still wants to give it to me once I get it running nice. Psyched just to work on such a nice car. Crossing my fingers. Maybe I shouldn't get it running too nice...Hmm
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:06 AM   #11
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

And I will take many pictures when I get back over there. I did not know it was a one year design. I guess the next step will be to start with the basics of a compression test. Mom says it is rebuilt and has paperwork to prove it. The steering was just redone with what looks to be some sort of ram-assist? I think somewhere along the way one of the trusted mechanics may have "removed" the power brake booster as there is some question as to where the cruise control hose may have been routed to. It looks to have been hooked to a port somewhere near the master cylinder yet there is no vacuum source near there. Did these come with vacuum boosters? Oh and I think the heater control valve has been "jumped" and the heater may be on all the time. The A/C was added at some point and is the old York Style compressor. There is no solenoid on the carb but I do have one. Should I keep the York? I do have a SD508 in the garage. SOOO many questions I know. I am pumped to cruise this baby!!! Oh- and I found two power antennas in the rust-less trunk that need to be installed. I cannot see where they would mount so I have to do some research on that.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:14 AM   #12
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

So I hate taking pics with my phone so I will take some with my camera soon. Got the Hall Effect unit in the mail and sent for an Ethanol safe rebuild kit for the carb. I am suspecting bad fuel in the tank even though it is only 6 months old or so. I will run a compression test-new A/C plugs-The parts above and try to run from a secondary new fuel source. Anyone have a good fuel conditioner that can fix the fuel? If not, What do I do with it? My tenant swears by Star -Tron. Oh and my uncle says this is a one year only variable pitch 2 speed powerglide. That could be fun. I have been searching and found that the rear is probably a 3:36? Most likely open but they did have some posi units that year. Either way it is a BIG dif and somewhat resembles the 9" FURD. Oh and front disc brakes but no power booster? What gives?
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:14 PM   #13
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

So we were farting around waiting for parts to come and took the carb off to find two gaskets under the spacer plate. Got to looking and found that the spacer plate should be an "adapter" plate. It was too big for the old 4jet mounting. So big vacuum leaks on the rear and both sides. New plate is coming tomorrow from Speedway. So now I have the new ignition and carb kit came. With the new adapter plate we hope to be purring nice. The compression was about 150 psi across the board with no oil and no open throttle. Pics to come. I found a 4jet to rebuild and may go that route in the future. Anyone have experience with those?
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:20 AM   #14
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

That's a great looking car! Cool engine too.

As for the 348, if it's the OE 58 engine it would be good to know weather it's the early or late version of the block. From what I have found out about them the early 58 and late 58-61 engines do have some fairly important differences. 348-409.com has been a huge help to me with my 348.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:47 PM   #15
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

I will look into that. What is the best way to tell what I am looking at? I am going to work on it tomorrow and maybe I can get to some of the block numbers IF they are not caked with crud.
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:17 PM   #16
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

The most important number would be the block casting number. IIRC it should be on the bolt flange at the back of the block that the bell housing bolts to. Should be on the left side. The numbers stamped in front of the right head would be good as well. Those will tell you the HP rating, which carb set up (1x4 or 3x2) it came with and, iirc what transmission. The other site I posted has info for all the WBC casting numbers and suffix codes.

Have fun!
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:32 AM   #17
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

The accelerator linkage is in the way so I cannot see the numbers on the block.
Some more pics though.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:35 AM   #18
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

More...
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:38 AM   #19
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

AND more...
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:43 AM   #20
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

And more when I rebuild the Carb.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:52 PM   #21
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

So I got around to rebuilding the Eddy today. The first thing I did was work on the top. I put the needle and seats in and Tried to get the floats on. First one was fine. Second one was a mutha. So I stand back and look at this thing to see why. The one side appears to have been drilled and tapped wrong from the factory. I could not even get the float on as it was swept back sooo far. I had to end up taking the other Eddy apart to see if I was nuts. No such luck. The seat is definitely wrong. I got two other opinions and I am right. So I took the top off the other one and used it instead. I am about to toss a Holley on it and not tell her.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:20 AM   #22
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

Well I am happy to say that I have the title as of yesterday. I have to go down to the DMV to get it transferred into my name. Trouble is I have to bring it down there to get the VIN read. Can I transfer without registration just to get it in my name? It is ready to be started as I have drained all the gas out but that will take some time to tune. Does anyone have a pic of how the Battery tray was originally? That is really the only Wonky thing.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:12 AM   #23
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

Yep, pretty sure that spacer "may" have created a vacumn leak for you, LOL. Always amazes me sometimes the things you find on these older cars/trucks.

Can't help on the battery location thing, might try a Google search for "battery mounting 1958 Bel Air / Impala" Should bring up some pics to look into. What seems to be the problem now, can you post a pic?

Really liking the pics you posted, that interior is really clean. Loving the old under dash A/C. Still hooked up, working conditon? I have a similar unit I would like to install in my '57 2 Dr. 210.

That will make a great cruiser when you get the bugs worked out. Congrats !!
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:51 AM   #24
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

JJ the transmission should be the cast iron powerglide, most of the turboglide transmissions were in the scrap heap before the end of 1958, some wouldn't get off the transport since they were such an automotive engineering turd. If you have the original power brakes the "treadle vac" booster should be under the drivers floorboard if you have front disc brakes they are non original. Leave the 4 jet Rochester on the bench as that is where they worked best holding your papers to keep them from blowing away. Antennas were mounted on top of the rear fenders and were swept back style . ARA air conditioning was a popular aftermarket unit that was based I think in Arlington,Tx. I have an ARA slimline underdash unit in my truck that has been working flawlessly for 361,000 miles since being salvaged from a 1970 Chevy pickup in the boneyard 30 years ago.

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Old 03-08-2018, 12:10 PM   #25
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Re: 58 Bel Air 348ci

Thanks guys! The A/C is still connected but not charged. Could be due to the hose clamp connections. I bought a hose crimper and will eventually replace them all with crimped units and flush the system for a recharge. The compressor still comes on so it is not seized. Not good to hear about the trans. Anyone know anything about the differential? I guess time will tell the rest of the story. Hey Capt. Still got those springs? I will look for the booster but my guess is it's not there. It does have what appears to be a large vacuum canister on the drivers inner fender. Apparently my dad complained about the brakes being very stiff. Could be the shotty brake work installing the front disc. More pics and updates to come. Stay tuned. HAHA.
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