1969 Barracuda 340 Formula S Restoration

Members Restorations

  1. RealWing

    RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Have just started a restoration on a '69 Formula S 340 auto.
    First - A bit of my Mopar history:
    My very first car was a 1969 Barracuda Formula S fastback 340-4 speed that I purchased at Healey Motors Ltd in Pembroke Ontario shortly after I was married in July 1968. I bought it new in Oct 1968 for $4,598.60 CAD less $1,501.10 that was my wife’s prized 1965 Plymouth Valiant V100 4 door with a slant 6.

    In addition to the 4 speed and Formula S Package, the Cuda was optioned with power steering and brakes, AM radio, Fold down rear seat, 3.55 sure grip, variable speed wipers, wheel disks and E70x14 tires. (The options totaled ($147.50 CAD)
    After family arrived, I reluctantly parted with it and bought a 1978 Dodge Aspen 360 cid Station Wagon!!! The Cuda was subsequently destroyed when it was T boned by another car.
    I've owned a couple of other '69 Cuda's over the years but later sold them.

    This will be the 3rd major project I’ve tackled since I retired.

    The first was a 1970 Superbird Pace Car
    1970 Plymouth Superbird - Pace Yourself - Mopar Muscle Magazine
    Cover sheet.jpg


    The 2nd was a 1969 Barracuda convertible 6.1 Hemi restomod.
    https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/m...-Mopar---1969-Plymouth-Barracuda/3751202.html

    SRT8CUDA Build


    IMG_4699 c.JPG
    IMG_4395_1280x719.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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    • RealWing

      RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Back to this current restoration project
      The Barracuda was sold new by Raynal Plymouth in Detroit MI and later traded by the original owner at a used car lot in Holland MI.

      The 2nd owner purchased it from the used car lot in 1975. He spun the #1 rod bearing in the 340 and it was parked. There was some kind of "domestic dispute" with his wife and she took out her revenge on his Cuda by smashing in the side and front of the Cuda!!! She must have been really ticked off!!!!

      The 3rd owner - Norm VerHage - bought the car in the summer of 1978 for $25.00!!!!! He repaired the damage and did a full restoration on the car in 1978-1979. Norm won several awards and also drag raced it several times.

      As the 4th owner, I bought the car from Norm in July 1988 for $9,375.00 USD and imported it into Ontario.

      These are the "revenge" photos
      damage001_1280x934.jpg damage002_1280x934.jpg

      These are some recent photos
      DSCN8386 (1024x768).jpg DSCN8388 (1024x768).jpg DSCN8394 (1024x768).jpg
       
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      • RealWing

        RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        It was heavily optioned from the factory and the previous owner installed power front Kelsey Hayes disk brakes. There was no Broadcast Sheet but I've reproduced a Window Sticker based on the options that were originally installed, as best I can determine.
        Window Sticker R0 no VIN.jpg
         
        Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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        • Riddler

          Riddler Project EH-Body

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          Can't wait to follow along with this one. I'd love to check it out in person one day.

          Riddler
           
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          • RealWing

            RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Tranny out and everything stripped off under the car.
            IMG_4313_1280x960.JPG
            My son helping me remove the engine in his garage
            IMG_4328_1280x960.JPG

            Then moved it into my garage to be completely stripped.
            IMG_4421_1280x960.JPG
             
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            • 'Cuda_ragtop

              'Cuda_ragtop Well-Known Member

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              This will be cool to watch. Thanks for sharing Jim!
               
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              • toplscuda

                toplscuda Well-Known Member

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                Glad to see you doing a build thread on it Jim. I will be following along.
                 
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                • qkcuda

                  qkcuda Well-Known Member

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                  I'll be watching too. I've seen that car in person, and it was better than mine before he started the restoration.
                   
                • RealWing

                  RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Engine compartment stripped
                  IMG_4466_1280x960.JPG IMG_5610_1280x719.JPG
                   
                • KosmicKuda

                  KosmicKuda FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  I read and enjoyed your entire Hemi convertible project thread so looking forward to this one.

                  As soon as I saw Holland, MI, I knew VerHage had to be involved. I bought quite a few parts from him back in the day. I probably have pictures of this car when he owned it.

                  You sound a lot like my friend Bill who has 3 VERY nice 69's including a 440. His wife sold her Camaro back in the 70's so he could pursue his cuda habit.

                  Good luck! My retirement project is going to be a 69 340 'cuda that has been waiting patently while I got sidetracked doing other things.
                   
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                  • RealWing

                    RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Wow - you read my entire SRT8CUDA thread!!!! I'm impressed!! I see it is now over 131,000 views which blows my mind!! How long to retirement and the start of your Cuda resto??
                    Jim
                     
                  • RealWing

                    RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    I knew there was rust along the bottom if the inner fenders at the shock tower, but was surprised to find the top lip also badly rusted. Oh well, AMD has new inner fenders in stock!!
                    IMG_4334_1280x960.JPG IMG_6104_1280x719.JPG
                     
                  • RealWing

                    RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    This car always had poor braking ever since I got it. I overhauled every part of the system and no real improvement. The diaphragm ripped in the booster one time and the brakes were VERY scary then. (Both feet on the pedal and could not get close to locking the wheels!!)
                    So before I removed the booster, I put the brake gauges on the calipers to see what kind of pressure I was getting and only got abt 500 psi - which is way low. Then when I pulled off the booster, I suddenly realized that the linkage at the rear of the booster cut the brake force in half compared to a manual brake setup!! That may be OK if you have really good vacuum to the booster, but with the cam I have, my idle vacuum was less than stock.

                    IMG_5597_1280x719.JPG
                    To increase the brake force, I'm going to modify the linkage to move the connection point up closer to the booster rod connection.
                    IMG_5596_1280x719.JPG
                    I made a paper template to get an idea of the mods I needed to make.
                    IMG_5613_1280x719.JPG
                    IMG_5614_1280x719.JPG
                     
                    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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                    • RealWing

                      RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I found a NOS Booster on FABO and it is at Booster Dewey to get replated, overhauled and tested. Just got a call today that it is finished. This is a photo before it was replated.
                      image3.jpeg
                       
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                      • toplscuda

                        toplscuda Well-Known Member

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                        Jim I wouldn't be surprised if once you remove that inner fender well you also find the upper part of the frame and a frame mounts compromised also.
                         
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                        • qkcuda

                          qkcuda Well-Known Member

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                          Jim, if you move the connection point up, will you not have to shorten the length of that linkage, to keep the booster rod the same length?
                           
                        • AAndrews

                          AAndrews Supercuda

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                          Hi Jim, just read this! Should be a great build as was the 69 SRT -8 Cuda (I was also one of the people who read the whole thread LOL !!)

                          BTW, a heads up.. do not cut out your old inner fenders until you actually size up/purchase the new pieces from AMD. AMD makes great products but you may find that these have holes/dimples etc. that your original 69 pieces do not have. I guess they are trying to make a piece that will function for all years of a-bodies. Depending on the level of originality you are looking for, you may only want to replace the rusted sections. Just a thought as I know how meticulous you are LOL !!
                           
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                          • RealWing

                            RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            Could very well be. There seems to be another layer of (rusted) steel under the skin of the inner fender. Looks oK from the wheel well side. IMG_6166_1280x719.JPG IMG_6167_1280x719.JPG
                             
                          • RealWing

                            RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            Agree- That is my plan. I dont really want to put the whole repro inner fender in if I can help it. The AMD parts are not exactly correct for the '69 Cuda from what I've read. I can easily cut off the top lip and weld on the new lip from the AMD part and also just cut out the bottom rusted section. The rest of my inner fender is in great condition.
                            Jim
                             
                          • RealWing

                            RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            That is definitely a concern. I'll have to mock it all up to make sure I dont screw up the geometry.
                             
                          • RealWing

                            RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            Had my glass guy come and remove the front/back window. The front is non-original but the rear window had never been out. Good news is that there is hardly any rusting in the window frames.
                            IMG_4491_1280x960.JPG IMG_4501_1280x960.JPG

                            I think my body guy can get a good shot of the original paint color from around the lower part of the front window frame.
                            IMG_6170_1280x719.JPG
                             
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                            • RealWing

                              RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              There were several dings and scratches on the trim rings on the "Deluxe Wheel Covers". Took the center sections out and sent the trim rings off to Rick Miller to get them restored. He did the trim rings on my Superbird and they turned out amazing. He has someone who can uncrimp the S/S trim from the rest of the cover so that Rick can get under the trim and massage any dings back flush.
                              The correct finish is polished on the outer edge and brushed on the inner part.

                              IMG_5617_1280x719.JPG IMG_5618_1280x719.JPG IMG_5619_1280x719.JPG
                               
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                              • 1969383S

                                1969383S FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                That pic looks familiar, looking forward to see how the Dewey work comes out.

                                I got pics of that car as well for resto references.
                                 
                              • daves66valiant

                                daves66valiant 68 Dart 340/727:66 Signet Vert 340/5spd: 68 D100

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                                Will be watching this one.
                                 
                              • RealWing

                                RealWing FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Hi Gerald. I asked Steve at Booster Dewey how they test the boosters. They set them up in a rig and put them through a bunch of tests and measure the force exerted by the booster at various brake pedal positions.
                                Jim
                                 
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