1969 Dodge Dart GT Convertible Stock Resto

Members Restorations

  1. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    1969 Dodge Dart GT Convertible Stock Resto

    Hello All,
    Just getting started on my Mother’s 1969 Dodge Dart GT Convertible restoration project and wanted to start posting on the forum to get input and suggestions.


    Some history on the car: Mom and Dad bought the Car in 92 while searching for a car for my twin sisters. Once they found it Mom fell in and love and my sisters were out of luck. They later found a very nice 72 Dart with a 318. Anyway, Mom has driven the car every summer since and put real world miles on the car. It has been in local parades and some car shows, as well as my sister’s wedding. Mom loves the car and wants to hold on to it the rest of her life SO DON’T BOTHER WITH ANY OFFERS.


    What the car is: The “Convertible” as we always called it, is a 1969 Dodge Dart GT Convertible. 273 V-8 with 904 Auto. The car is from what we know, a complete numbers matching car (I want to verify this). It has power steering, manual brakes. Not sure what rear-end or gears… I am guessing 2.73’s. Has some rust issues (Ohio) but all in all, looks pretty solid. Previous owners did a paint job sometime in the 80’s, coated it with a GM blue, close to the original color… but it is a crappy job.


    What we are doing: A complete frame off stock/original restoration… but not “show quality.” Moms wants a daily driver that she can put real miles on. She wants to drive this car a lot, even regularly travel out of state without fear of having to tow it back home. She wants it to be nice and look original, but functionality is the goal, but some modern conveniences would be nice.
     

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  2. 4spdragtop

    4spdragtop FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Beautiful car! Glad she is keeping it forever..Welcome aboard.....oh...I like twin sisters too....
     
  3. VDART

    VDART Well-Known Member

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    Nice car!! Document your resto!! Lot's of people can help/ salvage parts on here-- ,my car has been out of commission for some time!! Welcome!!! Lawrence
     
  4. 65Val

    65Val Average Length Member

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    Welcome to FABO! Great starting point! Keep us all updated on what you're doin'!
     
  5. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    The tear down process has begun. We started taking apart the trim, front fenders, lights, bumpers, ect...

    The convertible top stopped working this summer so I wanted to do some troubleshooting before the whole car was apart. I could see the pump was very low on fluid. The motor was running but I could see large amount of air in the lines. The cylinder on the passenger side is leaking (pictured). So does anybody know the easiest way to fill the system with fluid?

    I believe we will be replacing both the cylinders and the lines but keep the pump. A whole new setup through Year One is expensive. Any suggestions?

    Also so far there is less rust than I thought there would be, the front fenders look solid, just some rot on the top ridge of the inner fenders, seems common for the Dart.
     

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  6. 65dartcharger

    65dartcharger Dart Charger 273 Historian FABO Gold Member

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    Man that is a great cat to start with. It seems complete and in very good "repair" condition. Good luck and keep the pictures coming.
     
  7. DA69RT GT

    DA69RT GT South Florida Member FABO Gold Member

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    Nice ride... looks familiar.

    Go to this website for great instructions on how to bleed system:

    http://topsdown.com/Convertible+Top+Pump,+cylinder+and+hose+installation+instructions-sp6.html

    They have any/all parts you may need for your convertible. If you have any doubt in regards to the integrity of your current lines... change em. They get brittle and break easily. My cylinders and pump were fine but I did replace lines from Convertible Tops Specialists (Topsdown.com). Best deal (have shipping discounts @ times) and very helpful during the process of installation. Check my 69 Dart post #38 at this link:

    http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?t=82832&page=2

    Let me know if you are looking for any specific parts as I will be listing/selling some items I have not used in the coming months, and also have extras laying around for my 69 Dart GT vert.

    Good luck on the renov!
     

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  8. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    Hey thanks man will do!
     
  9. 66Dvert

    66Dvert Working on my custom car parts again! FABO Gold Member

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    try online for the top cylinders at convertible top specialties (sp) same place that SHESAID said in that post.
    cylinders run around 139.00 each
    hose set's run 100.00 a set
    and top pumps are near 239.00 (BUT a 90's mustang top pump can be found at a salvage yard and has the correct connections and fit's great, I paid 25.00 for the pump and foud some big bodied cars that had a set of hoses that was even longer than mine for another 20 bucks. )
    BTW make sure you get the cylinders with metal ends. the plastic tops/ends crack and leak. metal tops can be o-ringed and resealed.
    I'm going to see if I can convert to the later style cylinders by welding on a pivot point to my 66 dart. That means I can get the cylinders for about 100 bucks new. and it'll give me more clearance to add side speakers in.
     
  10. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    :cheers:I took off the Carter BBD to do my first Carburetor rebuild and bought a rebuild kit from the Local NAPA and a gallon of cleaning solution. It was a lot easier than I thought. The interior of the BBD was really clean. I was expecting some sediment and dirt in the bowl from years of low octane pump gas but it was sparkling.



    Putting the Carb in a large freezer bag and sprayed it down with carb cleaner until it’s ready to go back on.



    Is there anything I need to do to make sure the gaskets don’t dry up in the next 6 months?
     

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  11. Tony Fields

    Tony Fields That's How I Roll Legendary Member

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    That's gonna be a mighty fine ride!
     
  12. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    Just keep movin' along.

    Pulled the Motor and Transmission and started the breakdown. Just going to freshen up the 273 with new gaskets, bearings, paint and such. So far the motor looks good. Typical grease and grime, deposits.

    Not sure what to do with the ignition. I believe it is the original single point distributor. The car was hard starting when the build began so I am think either rebuilding the points, replacing with a points eliminator, or scraping the set-up for Mopar electronic. I would like to keep the stock look and original distributor, but drive-ability and reliability are the name of the game.

    Found one sheared engine mount.

    Also found some plastic chunks in the oil pan. I am thinking this was from a timing chain that broke in the late 90's.

    Overall the motor looks good, may be the first time its been apart. Is there a way to tell this is the first time its been opened up? Anything I should be checking while cleaning everything up?
     

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  13. George R

    George R Mopar Nutcase

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    The bearing shells will have a date on the backside of them if you really want to know if it's ever been rebuilt.

    George
     
  14. 340sFastback

    340sFastback Well-Known Member

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    I would get the book How to Rebuild a Small Block Mopar:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/How-Rebuild-Small-Block-Mopar-Design/dp/1932494545"]Amazon.com: How to Rebuild the Small-Block Mopar (S-A Design) (9781932494549): Bill Burt: Books[/ame]


    You will want to check bearing clearances and check for cylinder wall taper. I would go with a double roller timing chain like the 340s had. The Cloyes timing chain set is pretty nice and priced reasonable.

    A Mallory Unilite will drop right in place of that stock distributor no external box. You can also replace your existing distributor internals with an electronic conversion if the bushings are still good.

    And don't worry about those carb gaskets from it sitting it will be fine.
     
  15. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    Just checked a main bearing and its marked 3-69, so this is the first time undressed.

    Also,

    I think I have the rebuilding small block book laying around. My dad and I rebuilt a 318 about 4 years ago. If not I wll need to pick one up.

    GREAT NEWS,

    Car is headed to the body shop today to start some soda blasting!
     
  16. cwatts

    cwatts Well-Known Member

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    Love 69 Swingers :)
     
  17. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    The first parts are being blasted. Doors, front fenders, hood, and trunk. Both the driver side front fender and door have had some work. Hood has some damage on the same side. Trunk looks good with a nice dent where somebody forgot how to use their rear-view and connected with a pole or something.

    The rest of the car should get blasted tomorrow.
     

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  18. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    Work is progressing on the engine rebuild. Currently in the lovely cleaning phase. Amazing how much goop, gunk, and trash builds up on the outside and the inside of these things. Found that oven cleaner works best to get the baked-on tar off.

    Posted a cam related question in the Small Block Forum here.

    Also noticed the coolant passages on the back of the manifold are blocked (picture 4). Thought it seemed odd, perhaps these are open on a 4 barrel intake?

    Also notices an alarming amount of cast slag reaching into coolant passages, head intake ports, and chambers. Took the Dremel to them, hope time spent here is time well spent.
     

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  19. wjajr

    wjajr Well-Known Member

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    I used this outfit, http://www.hydroe.com/ they shipped quickly, and prices were average.
     
  20. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    Hey Y'all

    Went to the body shop to see the car after the baking soda job. Looks like there is some work to do...

    Picture:

    1:Rot on the Passenger rocker panel rear of door. Looks like a bad spot. Where could I find a replacement rocker panel skin? Also what damage could be behind? Any tips to fix so that this does not rot again in 100 years?


    2:Rear passenger quarter. Pretty much what I thought it would look like. Again I am looking for suggestions on parts, looking for the best quality.


    3:Front clip. "Pow! Right in the Kisser!" :banghead: Looks like someone took a shot on divers side front. When the car was together it was not very noticeable. Any ideas on how to straighten that out??? Or is that a "Work around"?


    4Driver rear quarter, see above. :mumum:


    5:Same rot on rocker on drivers side.


    Again, all in all it is a solid car. But when the body shop starts getting into to fixing these areas I want to make sure they are permanent solutions and dont show back up in a few years. Any finer tips from previous experience would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks FABO:burnout:
     

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  21. PapstXX

    PapstXX Well-Known Member

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    very nice work you have done brother

    i cant wait for next steps
     
  22. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    Have not updated this forum in awhile.

    Progress has been made on the drive line. The Transmission has been rebuilt and just needs a fresh coat of paint.

    Finally got the short block rotating as it should and the motor went together pretty quickly after that. Mostly a stock rebuild with the exception of the Pertronix point eliminator, and new RV torquer cam shaft with a little more lift. Should give this little 273 a little more pull a low and mid rpms while on the street.

    Used NOS 340 Mopar Plug Wires and a Mopar Oil filter.

    2 coats of Duplicolor primer and 3 coats of Duplicolor Crysler blue followed by another 2 coats of clear.

    Really happy with the way this motor turned out. Still need to put grey POR-15 on the exhaust manifolds and paint air cleaner, and accessories.
     

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  23. dusted72

    dusted72 Thanks Hemiroid!!!!

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    That motor is sure looking good. Found a little rust after it was blasted huh? Make sure you are taking pictures of it while it's at the body shop or have them take pics along the way.
     
  24. SheSaid

    SheSaid Mopar/Jeep Guy

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    Ready for primer
     

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  25. 3404speed

    3404speed Ancient Decrepit Member

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    Lovely Resto...how is it going lately?
     
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