1965 Valiant 200 convertible (minor project)

Convertible A-Body Mopar

  1. scott_s

    scott_s Well-Known Member

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    Hello all!
    When I was a kid, my dad had a '64 Signet hardtop with the 225/6, push button transmission and bucket seats. I loved that car. I was recently looking for a true convertible to replace my Jeep. Initially, I was focused on a Foxbody Mustang, but when this '65 Valiant popped up, I couldn't resist.

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    • Ron_M

      Ron_M 1970 Plymouth Duster 318

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      That's a sweet ride, you did good!:welcome:
       
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      • 65dartcharger

        65dartcharger Dart Charger 273 Historian FABO Gold Member

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        Nice looking car!
         
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        • scott_s

          scott_s Well-Known Member

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          It's certainly not a show car, but it's a really nice driver. The top and interior are new. New radials, new Lancer hubcaps. The paint is a good 10-footer; nice enough to draw stares but not so nice I'm afraid to drive it.
          It came to me with a leaking front wheel cylinder and a driveline vibration. I've already repaired the wheel cylinder, replaced both front drums (one was at the wear limit, the other had a cracked hub) and converted the front trunion to a U-joint.
          Someone before me converted the master cylinder to a dual circuit with a booster. There's also some sort of proportioning valve. The pedal travel is a little long (manual brake pedal with power brake booster?), but the brakes certainly work much better than when I got it! They also get a little better after I've been driving for a few minutes and some vacuum has built up in the system.
          20220301_130340.jpg RF drum.jpg proprtioning valve.jpg
           
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          • scott_s

            scott_s Well-Known Member

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            I also see a few things in the engine bay that aren't quite stock, like the air cleaner, some engine breather/CCV stuff, etc., but it runs good and I'm hesitant to start messing with too much right now! Maybe I'll tweak those little things along the way...one thing at a time.
            Oh, it's the 225/6 and 3-speed automatic.

            The next few things on my "punch list" are:
            - find out why instrument cluster lights aren't working. I plan on checking the fuse today, and I've heard that the rheostat in the headlight switch can be the culprit. Also something about an extra ground?
            - Get the steering wheel straightened up. The car rides nice, tracks straight and doesn't pull, but the steering wheel is off center. Drives me nuts!
            - Get some better tunes. The crappy CD player and single dash speaker ain't gonna cut it.

            Speaking of the steering wheel, it has the optional wood grain wheel. I'm undecided on getting it restored, wrapping it with a leather cover or just leaving it alone.
            wood grain wheel.jpg
             
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            • scott_s

              scott_s Well-Known Member

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              The body is overall really solid. The rear quarters have some bondo, but when I look at them from inside the fender wells everything looks solid. The rear floor pans have been repaired. Not pretty but, again, solid.
              The trunk, frame rails, door sills, jambs, bottom of doors, etc., are all really nice.
              The top could use a very minor adjustment at the left front. I've given it a wash and it doesn't leak, but I think it could be just a bit better. It has the cast frame with offset linkage and I've been reading up on making adjustments.
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              • scott_s

                scott_s Well-Known Member

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                Snooping around last night, I found some speakers behind the rear quarters. These look to be newer 6.5", 3-way speakers, but they aren't hooked up. I'll try to trace out the wires and get them hooked up when I get the new stereo installed.
                I wonder how much you can hear them when there are no speaker grills in that area on a convertible?
                rear speaker.jpg
                rear qp.jpg
                 
              • scott_s

                scott_s Well-Known Member

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                I'm talking with a guy on a Facebook group about getting a set of these kick panels. I like his because they are for 5.25" speakers; a little bit bigger than what the others offer.
                I also picked up a Rockville powered sub that will fit under the seats and some Memphis audio speakers. I'll go with a Bluetooth capable head unit.
                kick panel.jpg
                 
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                • scott_s

                  scott_s Well-Known Member

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                  Back to the engine bay....
                  If you look at these pics, you can see that the air cleaner has been modified. I don't know why. Maybe that's not the stock carb? If you guys can educate me on what to look for, I'll try to I.D. the carb. It has a manual choke, but doesn't seem to like it. It can take a couple of tries to catch when stone cold, but runs good right away. Starts instantly once warm.
                  I also noticed that the CCV (or is it PCV?) valve at the front of the valve cover is plugged and there's a nipple on the carb where it would have attached. The rear breather looks to be vented to the atmosphere. I don't mind fixing all this stuff but, again, it runs pretty darn good right now and I'm hesitant to start messing with it. If it ain't broke...
                  The coolant is new, there are some oil change dates on the filter, the valve cover gasket looks to be new, plug wires are new, etc.
                  Feel free to point out anything you see in the pics.
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                  • Car Nut

                    Car Nut Mopar Master

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                    Nice looking Valiant!
                     
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                    • Dana67Dart

                      Dana67Dart The parts you don't add don't cause you no trouble FABO Gold Member

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                      Your car IS a car show car. It's a survivor, and looks great. It's not a trailer queen and that's good.
                       
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                      • memike

                        memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Congratulations on this find before you moved to the Ford mustang, glad to see you enjoying the repairs and updating your music :thumbsup:
                        It would be nice to see the black covered with color under the hood :thumbsup:
                         
                      • WV64Signet

                        WV64Signet FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Watching this thread @scott_s ....

                        I have a new(er) to me 64 vert and have been exploring as I work trying to figure out what's what.

                        Very cool ride!
                         
                      • Dana67Dart

                        Dana67Dart The parts you don't add don't cause you no trouble FABO Gold Member

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                        Maybe it was originally a black car?:poke::rolleyes:
                         
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                        • 65 Cuda 340

                          65 Cuda 340 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          Really nice looking Valiant. Since you asked us to point out stuff we see, here goes.

                          Backup light lenses have been replaced with some kind of red lenses. Not stock, obviously. Stock type replacement lenses, NOS or repop, are expensive.

                          Door armrests are from a much later car. Ok to leave as is, or the correct plastic bases and the pads are available in reproduction. The rear arm rest pads have been replaced with a flat plat. I'm not aware of anyone reproducing the rear convertible pads.

                          Valve cover is from a much newer slant six. Motor very possibly is, too. Original valve cover is ribbed, the oil filler cap is up front, pvc is in the rear.

                          Master cylinder and vacuum booster are GM.

                          The steering wheel can only go on the shaft one way; the spline of the wheel indexes into the shaft. You center the wheel by adjusting tie rod ends - shorten one side, lengthen the other, hopefully by the exact same amount so you don't mess up the toe.

                          I have small bolt pattern disc brakes up front, original nine inch drum brakes on the rear of my 63 Valiant convertible. Stops great. Much better than nine inch drums all around. And by the way, I have a lightweight dual master cylinder, no power brakes. Just my opinion, but an early Valiant is light enough that it doesn't need power brakes.
                           
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                          • WV64Signet

                            WV64Signet FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            Working the disc conversion on mine as we speak although I decided to rebuild the front suspension while I had I apart. Almost at reassembly phase
                             
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                            • scott_s

                              scott_s Well-Known Member

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                              -I wouldn't have caught that about the backup lenses.

                              -I wouldn't have caught that the front armrests are from a later model, either. I did notice that the rear have been replaced with flat wood. Doesn't really bother me.

                              -Someone else has mentioned that the booster was GM. Unfortunately, I probably have enough in the front brake repairs that I could have gone to discs, but if I'm not mistaken that would have meant different wheels and tires, and the set that is on there now is literally brand new. Front discs may be a future update.

                              - I read up on the steering wheel. I'll be taking it to an alignment shop soon to get it done properly.

                              - Valve cover/engine....Hmmm.... now I'm starting to wonder if it's been replaced. The mechanic mentioned that he thought it hydraulic lifters, but that didn't come until much later. What/where are the engine #'s to check to see what year engine is in it? I do know that it's a 225ci.
                               
                            • 65 Cuda 340

                              65 Cuda 340 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              Here's a pic of my master cylinder. I had reproduction front brake lines for a 69 Barracuda sitting on the shelf, so checked to see how they fit. Surprisingly, despite the early A's narrower engine compartment, they fit as is with a slight bending/re-routing of the firewall line. The M/C lines are a direct fit on my 63 with a newer combination valve in place of the original 63 splitter. The factory splitter in my 65 Barracuda is several inches further to the rear, plus I needed to re-route them for headers anyway, so I just made my own M/C lines for it.

                              DSCF0087 (2).jpg
                               
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                              • 65 Cuda 340

                                65 Cuda 340 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                If you have 14 x 5.5 inch wheels, the discs should fit. If narrower than 5.5, probably not. And if 13 inchers, definitely not.

                                Check the spark plugs. If they have tubes, the engine is pre-1975 or so (can't remember the exact year). If it has no spark plug tubes (the so-called peanut heads), then it is newer. If it has hydraulic lifters, it is something like 1980 or newer.

                                There will be a casting date on the driver's side of the block, but I think it is hidden behind the exhaust manifold. There are stamped numbers somewhere, but can't remember where.
                                 
                              • 65 Cuda 340

                                65 Cuda 340 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Took another look. The exhaust manifold has strengthening ribs on it that didn't come until later. Also, I see a rib on the block that wasn't there on earlier sixes. Finally, I'm not 100% positive, but I think you have a V8 radiator. It's certainly wider than the one in my 63, and also the upper radiator hose connection is in a different place. Again, none of these are necessarily bad, and for a driver are pretty much an improvement over original. (In fact, you may note that I have the later exhaust manifold on my 63.)
                                 
                              • scott_s

                                scott_s Well-Known Member

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                                I have the SBP wheels; 5x4 and 14".

                                Here are some pics of the engine #'s that I can easily get to. There's also a number near the coil: 0225, hence the 225ci.
                                It has the ribbed exhaust and 5 freeze plugs. No spark plug tubes. The one blurry pic stampings are "TORQ S./PLUGS". engine #.jpg engine #1.jpg engine #2.jpg torq.s plug.jpg spark plug.jpg
                                 
                              • scott_s

                                scott_s Well-Known Member

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                                Here's a better pic of the plugged breather at the front of the engine and the plugged nipple on the carb. I've seen other pics where there's a CCV/PCV valve running between the two. I'm not opposed to putting this right, but I'm think about waiting until the valve cover is pulled. With my luck, the rubber grommet will crumble and drop down into the engine. :rolleyes:

                                If this is a later engine, that may explain the butchered air cleaner cover?
                                breather+carb.jpg
                                 
                              • Dana67Dart

                                Dana67Dart The parts you don't add don't cause you no trouble FABO Gold Member

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                                14x4.5 and 14x5.5 will fit front KH disks on a 67 dart at least. I have both wheels and tried them. also there is a reply to a post (somewhere) where I posted a video link showing the wheel freewheeling on the front disc setup of my 67 dart
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                                Last edited: Apr 9, 2022
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                                • WV64Signet

                                  WV64Signet FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                  This is an 81 motor... (brace for impact...LoL)

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                                • cudamark

                                  cudamark Well-Known Member

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                                  Looks like an '80 model engine. Makes me wonder what they did with the original transmission and converter to match the later crank. Definitely get a plug wire set with some good boots. Gas cap and mirrors are not stock either. I would also get the PVC system working again too. It helps keep the engine oil cleaner and less diluted. How about pulling the air cleaner and give us a photo of the carb and linkage.
                                   
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