I was originally going to do a blog on this project, but this seems like a better place to do this as there might be a few more interested souls here than just out in Cyberspace. Since this project is just beginning, now's as good a time as any, and reading Rumblefish360's little blow-by-blow caught my interest so off I go. Feel free to enter your comments and/or suggestions as I go along.
A Tale Of Two Dusters
Actually, this is part two of the story. Part one began back in 1975 when I bought my first Duster; a '72 340 Mr. Norm's car. An acquaintance of mine got it from somewhere, I actually got to see it and ride in it shortly after he acquired it. It was Tor-red, 340 decals and stripes with the little pissed-off looking tornados on it, Rallye wheels with Goodyear E-60's, 3.91 8-3/4 rear end with shackles, air shocks, black split bench seat, 3 speed with Hurst Indy shifter, 340 with Thermoquad and headers. The reason I ended up with it is the guy I got it from was not much of a driver and too much of a partier. He had 2 separate accidents; the first time he ran off the road and rolled it on it's side (left) in a ditch, which (surprisingly) did very little damage other than push in the left rear quarter with some collateral damage to the driver's door and left front fender. He and his buddies managed to roll it back onto all fours and drive it home, after which he continued to do what he did best; party and drive poorly!
Shortly thereafter, he managed to drive off the road and into the corner of some poor soul's brick house. It was pretty banged up in the front, but still ran and the radiator, unbelievably did not leak. It was at this point that I was able to pick it up fairly cheap. (He needed the money for his court appearance......go figure.)
I went to pick up the car at the lot where it had been towed to. About halfway home the hood popped open....as in vertical.....bending the hinges in the process! The latch had been bent in the accident, I guess. So, I forced it back down to where I could at least see, and tied it down with some rope (Yee-Hah!) and managed to make it home.
So now it was time to get down to business. The hood came off, and out with the engine & tranny. I had the motor down to gaskets & bolts in about 3 days. The biggest surprise was finding the TRW 13:1 pistons lurking in the block. A Mr. Norm's freebie! The headers were junk so I pitched 'em. The motor went to Sexton Automotive in Crystal Lake, IL for rework. Meanwhile, I started the bodywork........