1964 Dodge Dart 270 Slant Six Restoration

Members Restorations

  1. chinze57

    chinze57 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all! I just got a 1964 Dodge Dart 270 Slant 6. This is my first car and I'm hoping to restore it as much as possible. It's got a lot of issues from the prior owners (gas tank leakage, no e-brake cables, parking lock cable issues, electrical issues, etc) but I'm hopeful. I'll post pictures and updates throughout. Any advice?
     
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    • abdywgn

      abdywgn dismantler

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      Welcome! Do what you can and enjoy it. A factory service manual would be a big help. There may be a link here to get a copy...hopefully those that know will post it. And pictures are good! A neighbor had a GT that I thought was neat looking but being into Camaro's at that time I never pursued it.
       
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      • KosmicKuda

        KosmicKuda FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Welcome. Don't forget to visit the /6 section. Also slantsix.org

        My advice is to research everything, don't be tempted to fix things that aren't broke. But make it safe with good brakes and suspension. These are good cars and have solid engineering behind them. Good brakes are more important that shiny wheels.

        When I got my 225 1964 Valiant running, I got my new tank from Vans Auto. They had the best price out there. If your fuel gauge still works, keep the sending unit and transfer it to the new tank. New repro sending units can be inaccurate.
         
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        • barbee6043

          barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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          Welcome. Lot of good info here and like said, slantsix.org. I agree spend the for a real factory FSM, not a Chiltons. I agree, get it safe and go from there!
          The slant ain't the fastest, just the most durable!!
           
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          • pishta

            pishta I know I'm right....

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            fix the E-brake cable first. Nothing to keep it from rolling away without the e-brake or parking cable. electrical is basic with a FSM. Gas tanks are still available new for under $100. The hinky stuff on a 64 is the pushbutton linkage.
             
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            • chinze57

              chinze57 Well-Known Member

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              OK update time:
              I bought plasti-dip stripper from dipyourcar.com and got about 70% of the black stuff stripped off (entire front end, roof, and 3/4 of the door panels, all wheel wells). The trunk appears to have cracked paint underneath so i haven't stripped there yet. Overall the paint is in excellent condition underneath, requiring a few touchups. I've found that the paint was called "dark poly red" and will be looking to get some and use an airbrush to put it on.

              I took it to a local mechanic to get it looked at bumper-to-bumper. The rear differential is leaking brake fluid onto the rear drumbrakes. Having all of that replaced. They're adjusting the carburetor float so it stops flooding and stalling when tipped forward. Major tuneup is coming, and fixing an oil leak. The steering coupler was worhtless, giving me a half-rotation of play on either side, and the brake pedal was sitting all the way forward. It's a lot of work, but it'll make it significantly safer and run better.

              I'm excited to pick it up next week, finish stripping the plasti-dip, and work on getting the paint restored. She's due for a fresh cleaning.
               
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              • chinze57

                chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                I've had the car back for a week now and it's time for the update.

                Ended up spending 2280USD in order to get it fixed. That covered fixing the rear differential, rear brake lines, engine tuneup (new wires, plugs, fixing a vacuum leak, new gaskets) and a few miscellaneous things (carburetor adjustment and parking cable fix for example).

                Currently the engine is running much better, but yesterday the Drive pushbutton came detached. As far as i can tell, it's just the button, but I don't know what to do. I'm planning to take off the dash this weekend to see what the issue is, but any advice is appreciated.

                The emergency brake is presently inoperational. I've got new cables in, but there's a spacer that goes on the rear wheels to keep tension in the system that's missing from both wheels. The seller I've found in alabama wants $80/part, so I'm looking for other options.

                The speedometer, odometer, and other gauges still aren't functioning, and there's still an issue with the gas tank.

                I will hear any advice that y'all have
                 
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                • chinze57

                  chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                  I'm having trouble with the pushbutton. Just the button seems to have come detached as far as I can tell, hoping to see what I can do this weekend. Any advice?

                  Got the parking lock cable fixed, but missing spacers for the emergency brake. The seller we've found what's $80 a piece for the two pieces I'm missing.
                   
                • chinze57

                  chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                  It certainly seems durable. The engine overall was in great shape, the issues with operation of it were from a bad carb and improper intake manifold and vacuum leaks. Runs much much better now. I got a CD copy of the FSM as it was much cheaper, and am printing pages as needed.
                   
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                  • pishta

                    pishta I know I'm right....

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                    If you need a 64 coupler pot and shoes, I got one for shipping. If it gave you half a turn slop, you were probably missing both shoes! Or the steering gear is so out of adjustment that it wasn't the coupler but the worm gear adjuster. Loosen the lock nut on top of the steering gear and turn the slotted adjuster clockwise 1/2 turn and see if the steering is any more responsive. The adjuster tightens the rack to the gear (simplified) ask for those brake struts here, Im sure someones got a 7.25 in the shed that's going to get scrapped anyway.
                     
                    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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                    • chinze57

                      chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                      5D443D35-1CCD-45A5-9849-63C6F436D4A1.jpeg 5D443D35-1CCD-45A5-9849-63C6F436D4A1.jpeg BD7B1241-D68A-4E23-A986-9EEEA6BEDE26.jpeg F23F30EA-9262-4CA0-B9F7-B9DFF9D80E31.jpeg
                      Here’s what the steering is looking like. Not sure what I’m missing, but it doesn’t look good. Any advice?
                       
                    • chinze57

                      chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                      I fixed my push button mechanism today. Gave me a good way to learn about how all of it connects together. I’m printing pages of the PDF version of my manual as I need them, so there’s been lots of reading involved to learn this stuff.
                      Figuring out how to disconnect the headlight knob I learned from this site today, not found in the manual. Very happy I was able to fix that, looking forward to doing more work.
                      When I took off the part of the dash with the push buttons, Drive first and second, all just fell out. Pretty sure that’s not supposed to happen but c’est la vie.

                      1479119A-CFE4-4DA4-8E07-D94FF58C8737.jpeg
                       
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                      • pishta

                        pishta I know I'm right....

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                        that steering shaft has a wrap on it, dont know why but the coupler dust seal is gone. youll have to pull the column to get the shoes to pull out of coupler pot. Then you can fnd out WTF its tuning 90 before you get any action. On a Valiant its 2 bolts on a strap under the dashboard, scary. loosen and Pull the column out 3 inches and the shoes will clear the pot and will be visible to replace. There is nothing on a 64 to stop the shoes from coming out if the seal is detached.
                        The hex nut on top of the steering box that surrounds a slotted adjuster is where you tighten the worm gear. Lots of play can be removed by tightening the screw adjuster while rocking the steering wheel back and forth. The center has a slight high spot so dont go crazy off center tightening the screw.
                         
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                        • halfafish

                          halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                          You can download a FSM for free at this site. Your Dart is available there. Just my opinion (which is worth exactly what you're paying for it) it's a really good idea to cough up the bucks for a real, printed version. You won't be sorry.

                          MyMopar - Mopar Forums & Information - Service Manuals

                          X2 on this, these are outstanding resource sites for anyone that owns a slant.

                          So that said, first of all good on you. You own a fantastic car which will be bullet proof when you get done putting all your ducks in a row. And good job tackling things in priority order: brakes, tires, suspension, leaks, steering, emergency brakes. If it wasn't done on your initial tune-up, it would be a good idea to adjust the valves. It makes a world of difference on a slant when it's correct.

                          Looking at the condition of the bushing at the top of the shock, I'd be hard pressed to believe the shocks had any life left to them. If you can afford it, this is an area where you get what you pay for. If you're on a budget, there are choices which will certainly be better than what you have now. If you can upgrade it's an excellent place to allocate resources.

                          Don't be shy when it comes to asking questions.
                           
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                          • Jim Kueneman

                            Jim Kueneman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            • chinze57

                              chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                            • chinze57

                              chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                              May I ask what the bushing is? I'm very new to cars and learning about this car in order to fix it is how I'm learning about cars at all.
                              I'm not entirely clear on how the suspension works, or what the parts of it are/do. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated, thanks for the link to the manuals!
                               
                            • chinze57

                              chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                              I pulled off my instrument panel last weekend since my gauges are all non-functional or barely functional.

                              The speedometer cable is new and is connected to the speedometer. I spun up the speedometer by hand with the cable detached and confirmed it works, but when running the speedometer does not work.

                              The fuel gauge will say 3/4 full, but after about 2 miles drop down to 1/2 full, and then a few more miles it's at 1/4. It'll stay in the 1/4 to 1/8 range for about a week of normal driving, but I always put in $20 no ethanol gas every week, if it feels like it's starved for fuel, I do it a day or two early, but that's been only once it's felt that way. When detached, the gauge only had one of three connectors attached.

                              The thermometer has no wires hooked up, but the alternator is properly connected.

                              Does anyone have any advice about the speedometer or fuel gauge? Perhaps I need a new sending unit, not sure where is best to get one of those.

                              I didn't see a wiring diagram for the cluster panel in my FSM, but it's definitely possible I missed it.

                              As always, any advice is much appreciated, y'all have been very helpful!
                               
                            • halfafish

                              halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                              The bushing is what amounts to a heavy duty rubber washer. It isolates metal things from each other, that are intended to move about a bit. If you bolted them hard together, there would be wear, metal fatigue, and metal fractures or failures.

                              Your shock bushing is in the photo below. It's in the lower center of the pic, the round black thing with the cracks all around it. There is a big shiny metal washer on top, and the top of the shock (threaded rod with the oval-ish shaped end) sticking out with a nut on it. Rubber of any kind only lasts so long, and clearly this one is past the end of its service life. It's a no-brainer that the shock is also at the end of its service life - nobody would put on a new shock with an old bushing. That's why I suggested you replace the shocks. Suspension is one of the non-negotiable things to make sure your car is working right or you will have severe problems. As in crashing your car.

                              5d443d35-1ccd-45a5-9849-63c6f436d4a1-jpeg.jpg
                               
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                              • Jim Kueneman

                                Jim Kueneman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Likely it has an aftermarket sending unit as your description fits. They are all crap.
                                Speedo, you saying if you spin the cable it works but in when connected to the transmission it does not? The speedo gear in the transmission may be installed incorrectly. In the FSM you will see the housing that hold the gear can be installed in 4 positions and depending on the number of teeth on the gear (set by rear axle ratio) the housing is rotated to a particular place. If wrong the gear can be pulled away from the drive gear and they don't mesh.
                                 
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                                • chinze57

                                  chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                                  Thank you for the info! I will try and check under the car as soon as I can (guess it’s time to get some stands). And see about the speedometer cable.

                                  I’ll check the sending unit for my fuel gauge. Should I replace the unit or see if it can be adjusted somehow?
                                   
                                • chinze57

                                  chinze57 Well-Known Member

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                                  Great information. I will definitely look into replacing all of the shocks on my car then
                                   
                                • Jim Kueneman

                                  Jim Kueneman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                  I don't know. My Coronet the original was fine so I lucked out there. The Daughters Duster I bought a "reproduction" that was not the same. The originals had very long rods for the float any new one I have seen the arms are very short making them very sensitive. Her car works much like yours. You fill it up, it stays on full for some time then once it starts to drop it drips FAST to almost empty but there is still over 5 gallons in the tank. Someone makes an electronic box that goes in line with the sending unit that lets you make the resistance seem nonlinear to the gauge so you can calibrate what a sending unit that does not work right. My understanding is the original units the wiper winding were wound in a non linear manner and then aftermarket are wound in a linear manner because it is cheaper. Someday I need to figure it out.
                                   
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                                  • Jim Kueneman

                                    Jim Kueneman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                    • chinze57

                                      chinze57 Well-Known Member

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