1968 Dart 270 NON-build

Members Restorations

  1. indirect_connection

    indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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    I've posted a few time here looking for advice as I've looked at various a-bodies. Things finally came together and I brought one home. The title of this thread relates to a promise I made my wife that I was not going to buy another restoration project and only a driver. So while I will be making upgrades, this will have to happen a little at a time. Just the other day I was making a list of wheels/tires, suspension and brake parts, and headers/intake/carb, and my wife had to remind me of my previous assurance... It's too easy to get into the "while I'm at it".

    So I've wanted an a-body since I was a kid. Mostly had my eye on a Duster, but we made an offer on a 1967 Dart GT for my first car. That ended up being the one that got away.

    This car showed up as a "what is it worth" post on Facebook. I contacted the poster as he was in a city I was about to move to. It took a while to be able to actually get out and see it. Turns out he recently bought the car but it was still being held at the previous owners house. We met at the previous owners house, who bought it from the original owner in '89 in California. After moving to Memphis in the mid 90's it stayed mostly in the garage. It still wears the tires from the mid 90s.

    The car has a 318/904/7.25 powertrain. Pretty much stock. It was originally light green (frost green?), with a white vinyl top. It was (poorly) repainted red in the mid 90s. It has scratches/chips, plus paint all over the dry rotted weatherstrip. The paint will have to do for now. I may attempt some touch ups, but a repaint is NOT in the immediate future.

    The car had a really hard pedal and little stopping power. I also had to use starting fluid the first time I started it cold (funny how it had been warmed up when looking at it). The cause for booth seems to be a vacuum leak in the booster. Just trying to decide on using a universal booster or converting to manual brakes.

    It must have been optioned with HD suspension, I measured the torsion bars @ .890 and I count six leaves on the rear. The front suspension is pretty tight, but the boots are disintegrating on all ball joints and ends. Again, I was planning on going ahead and rebuilding, but I'm going to hold off since I promised this was a driver.

    The bottom is CLEAN, with only light surface rust here in there. I could paint it, but it almost seems a shame. I could seal it all with linseed oil. It would protect it and still show the original condition.

    Plans now are fix the brakes, and get new tires and shocks, and cruise. Ok, also a Jegs 2.5 inch exhaust. It needs a little more attitude .

    Future plans include front disks, new rear springs, meatier wheels/tires (Mustang?), and a Magnum 318/360. If I ever paint, I might consider changing to white.
     
  2. indirect_connection

    indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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    1263EF03-ACA9-4A1A-B0EE-150B4D59C86E.jpeg 00E764EF-8D98-4D9E-B367-32C32EBEBB2B.jpeg 65A33819-238E-4609-84AF-7FAE24820D70.jpeg 7A860413-0E99-436A-9FD0-F5AFF498DEC3.jpeg 2E22E21E-E627-4EB5-BC15-83D51102A67E.jpeg D1F3D9F0-FE1E-4C6D-B953-D29AC989DA98.jpeg
     
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    • moparmat2000

      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      The beefier torsion bars are prob 340 bars. Those are stock bars on factory 318 A/C cars. Nice dart.
       
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      • DARTGAME

        DARTGAME Well-Known Member

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        Nice dart!
         
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        • 340doc

          340doc Well-Known Member

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          Looks good, congrats.
           
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          • indirect_connection

            indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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            Well, I haven't been able to leave things well enough alone...

            A new booster/master cylinder has been ordered and received. The rear brake look good, but the fronts are worn. I hate spending money on front brakes, so I spent more on a disc conversion kit...

            The was going to keep the steelies and just upgrade the rear to 15x7, but the correct offset no long seems available. So I bought the mustang wheels I wanted along with adapters. Well the front adapter wouldnt fit over the hub, plus they appear to be 5x100 and not 5x 4.5.

            Received a Jegs dual exhaust kit. Decided on a TTI headpipe with stock manifolds. Called TTI and they said I needed to remove the passenger side manifold to get the part number. I did, and called them back to make my order. Only after I got off the phone did I see that the manifold was cracked. Guess I'm going with headers!

            Finally, as I'm crawling under the car to remove the exhaust, I went to check the block casting number. The previous owner was wrong on there being a 727 installed (it's a 904). Maybe he was also wrong about the engine being a 318. Maybe I habe a 360!
             
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            • indirect_connection

              indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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              Well that sucks... 00EE1260-B7F7-4378-9C86-79311DAFE0D8.jpeg
               
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              • Darren

                Darren Well-Known Member

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                Very nice car..
                 
              • 4spdragtop

                4spdragtop Well-Known Member

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                Good taste! Very sharp car.
                 
              • MOPAROFFICIAL

                MOPAROFFICIAL Well-Known Member

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                Got some seepage on the head?

                273, bummer...
                Get a 318 block, build it with the 273 steel crank..or stroke it 390 something.
                Either way , car is too nice to complain.
                 
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                • indirect_connection

                  indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                  Seepage? If you mean on the left side of the pic, thats the steering box. That being said there is a lot of sludge on everything underneath. I'm going to have to break out the pressure washer and some degreaser once I can back out of the garage again. Then I can start plugging all the leaks.
                   
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                  • SGBARRACUDA

                    SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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                    Looks like a very nice find!
                     
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                    • indirect_connection

                      indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                      Progress! I've gotten everything on my checklist done, only to add more items I want to address. First up was the brakes/chassis. The leaking master cylinder and booster were replaced with MBM components that I pickup up from someone who had purchased them but never installed. Both are universal components with the brackets needed to adapt to the Dart. In fact the master is the same as my '76 Corvette. I also picked up a disc brake conversion kit (also made by MBM). It was advertised as fitting early B-Bodies. To get it to fit my car I used a lower ball joint from a later BBP A-Body, as well as the Dr Diff upper ball joint spacer. I also had to fabricate a brake line from the master to the distribution block so I could install a proportioning valve. So far I'm happy with the brakes. They are a bit firmer than I expected, but I think it's because the master has a larger bore than stock.
                       
                    • indirect_connection

                      indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                      I replaced the worn out shocks with KYB. They help the car to feel less floaty, but this car needs stiffer springs. Next up were wheels and tires. I picked up "open box" Mustang Bullitt wheels for cheap off of eBay. I had to use a 3/8 spacer in the front with longer studs, and a 1" adapter in the rear. I did not have to machine the disc hub at all, but the front dust caps aren't fully seated. Went with 245/45/17 tires all the way around. The back tires fit perfect, but I had to push the front fenders out a little. I discovered a clearance problem on my first test drive. Dart Wheels.JPG
                       
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                      • indirect_connection

                        indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                        The exhaust was the hardest part. I was going to keep the manifolds, but discovered a crack. I hated to spend money on another set of restrictive manifolds, so I picked up some no name stainless headers. The good thing is I'll never have to paint them, the bad is it's really hard to dent stainless for clearance. And dent I had to do... I would NOT recommend these for power steering cars. The driver side was installed and pulled at least a half a dozen time. First to clearance for the steering box, and then again when I found out the steering coupler hit. In addition to beating on the headers, I also made 3/16 spacers for the motor mounts. I thought I was good until I drove around the neighborhood. In drive I had no problem, but I went to turn the wheel in reverse, and the motor rocked enough lock up the steering! I've already collapsed that pipe enough, I guess I'll need to replace the stock coupler with a u-joint. Dart steering.JPG dart steering 2.JPG Dart ground clearance.JPG Dart ground clearance 2.JPG
                         
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                        • indirect_connection

                          indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                          I can live without A/C for the time being, but I need tunes! And the SuperTuner tape deck didn't seem to work. I didn't want to spend a lot, and I wanted something that didn't look out of place. A search for Dual Knob radios located this on Amazon. It has bluetooth, so I can stream music from my phone. It looks retro, and it was $30! I installed it with new dual 3.5 speakers in place of front 4x10. Dart Radio.JPG
                           
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                          • moparmat2000

                            moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            Looks good, I bet a borgeson box would give you the header clearance you needed without denting tubes, and speed up your steering ratio.
                             
                          • indirect_connection

                            indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                            I agree. Or a fast ratio manual box. Both are an an expensive solution to avoid denting $175 headers. Even if I replace the 273 with a mild 360 one day, I don't think the clearancing will hurt performance much.
                             
                          • moparmat2000

                            moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            Theres articles out there bn on people using Toyota yaris EPAS (electric power assist steering) setups with manual boxes. Best of both worlds. Plus its small enough to fit under the dash. My DD 2008 HHR has EPAS in it. For years after I bought it new i thought it had a regular power steering w a pump and lines. Only recently when getting bn under it to change out a down pipe and catalyetic converter did i realize it had a manual rack n pinion.
                             
                          • George Jets

                            George Jets 1967 Dart 2 Door FABO Gold Member

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                          • indirect_connection

                            indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                            I've had the opportunity to take the car out a few times. Went to a local show with my daughter (5). She wasn't impressed, and spent the whole ride watching her tablet. My wife was surprised that as soon as I pulled in, it drew a small crowd. She just see's it as a beat up old car I spent too much money on. We later drove it to get ice cream, about a 10 mile trip. It ran well, but was downright scary when I would hit a bump. The handling needs help.
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                            The ride was way to floaty for my taste. I took the car up to work to let my students install some 1.03 torsion bars and offset upper bushings. We discovered that the lower bushing were also shot, so we installed some poly LCA bushings and new Moog strut rod bushings. I only bought the poly because I had heard that they installed in the stock sleeve, and I wasn't looking forward to pressing that out. Well some may reuse the lower bushing sleeve, but not the one I got! We set the ride height where it had a slight rake forward and was off the bump stops. We were able to dial in some decent caster, and I am much happier with the handling. Even with the loose steering, it no longer wanders all over. There is a rebuilt box from Steer and Gear waiting in my garage, maybe I'll tackle it over Christmas break.

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                            I am not happy with the power of the 273. I've decided that I want a 5.9 Magnum (been looking local on Facebook Marketplace, but nothing so far. There was a post a week or two ago about a clearance sale at Mancini. They had unmarked Edelbrock Magnum heads for about 640 each. I was just planning on taking a junkyard engine, throw in new gaskets and a mild cam, and call it a day. But after hearing about how 90% of Magnum heads are cracked, and E/Q heads are about the same price as I got these, I decided to pull the trigger. I haven't torn them down to inspect yet, but did notice that one head has an area that is mismachined on the intake gasket area. Seems to go right through a coolant port. I'll have to look into ways to make sure that doesn't leak. 3B4BD479-58F2-463E-AA91-850E140B1E9B.jpeg 74D05904-2C0D-4EE7-9070-B4AB0C0A42E3.jpeg 5C8B211D-572D-44D0-83A4-BC0614FBD093.jpeg A2FB917B-B0A8-4D6C-95EC-11D4C17CE955.jpeg
                             
                            Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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                            • Dartsun

                              Dartsun Member

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                              Sweet ride there. Nothing wrong with a 273.
                               
                            • indirect_connection

                              indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                              After buying the set of cylinder heads, next up was the Speedmaster intake. It was a black Friday deal. Still I had no engine to attach my new parts to.

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                              I had been on the look for a 5.9 for months. I was tempted by a running Dodge Ram for cheap, but knew my wife would not appreciate me dragging home a parts car. I didn't want to go to a pick-n-pull, because the local ones in Memphis are a little rough and I could not imagine spending all day in one to pull an engine. Finally one came up in Facebook located an hour and a half away in Arkansas. It was out of a quad cab Dakota. It came with a bad trans, which I probably can't use anyway. Its a 46re, so it would need a controller, or convert to a manual valvebody (I've thought about it).

                              When I arrived I found the engine sitting in the front yard of a small house. It had been covered with a tarp, but I considered walking when I found all the sparkplugs were gone. It turned over very easily though, so I decided to chance it. My hope was that I could get by with a quick hone and slap it back together.

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                              Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
                            • indirect_connection

                              indirect_connection Well-Known Member

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                              Just finished disassembly. It looks like a simple overhaul kit should suffice. There was a small amount of surface rust and cylinder staining, but nothing I think a hone won't fix. The bearings were all consistant, with the a little copper showing on the top of the rod bearings. My one disappointment was the cam. I was hoping to get it reground (Comp, Lunati, and Bullet all are within a few miles). I think the pitting I found on a couple of lobes will rule that out.

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                              Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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