1974 Dart Sport Project

Discussion in 'Members Restorations' started by SharpDJS, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. SharpDJS

    SharpDJS Active Member

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    So last fall while searching craigslist I found this old Dart not far from my house and decided that I wanted a project, I was so naive. I had no idea Mopars cost so much to build. After buying the car I realized that the rust was far worse than I had first expected, the front floor boards are just welded street signs or something, the rears look original but I don't plan on sitting back there anytime soon since the rot is just so bad. A few big things are in good shape though, the deck lid is perfect, rockers are acceptable, doors are good, and the hood is fairly solid, interior is really nice too. Everything else could use some love. Frame rails are solid enough, so its got it were it counts. The same guy I bought it from had a 360 and 727 out of a 73' fury as well. He was a big ford guy so he cut me a good deal on all this. Probably should have mentioned this before but I bought it as a roller, all it had was a 904 automatic hanging in it. I intend for this to be a daily, but I got a long way to go before I get to that point. A few weeks back I posted on the small block forums and some people helped me with the correct motor mounts and then yesterday I posted about the $200 Hedman Header hell, which I resolved today. The 360 is sitting happy in the bay with the headers on now, all I got to do now is the cooling system and run some fuel and trans lines. Oh and I need a driveshaft, the one that came with the car simply won't work with the 727. I'm trying to go the cheapest route possible in terms of parts, I'm 18 years old so I can't really afford any of the high performance stuff. I don't need the car to be savagely fast or anything, I just want a cool old car to cruise around. I'll post more pictures later.
     
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    • SharpDJS

      SharpDJS Active Member

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      I believe this was the original ad photo on craigslist

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    • SharpDJS

      SharpDJS Active Member

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      A few more I found.

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    • Unconventional

      Unconventional Well-Known Member

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      My 16 year old daughter wanted a "cool" car to take to high school, hence the 72 Swinger. Those kids had WAY too much fun in Charlie the Dart. The headers and turbo mufflers, the 15" rallys on the back and 14" rallys on the front were my idea. Charlie got me through 4 months with my right leg in a brace due to a motorcicle accident. Throw that leg on the passenger's seat, drive on. Now he's mine. Time for the real fun to begin. Can you say Straight Axle?
       
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      • SharpDJS

        SharpDJS Active Member

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        I can say Hemi
         
      • Unconventional

        Unconventional Well-Known Member

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        I'm going to stick with a small block of some variety. Thought about a 383 or 400 because of the fitment. I had a 66 Ranchero 4 speed small block that sent a lot of Chevys home cryin, but a friend of mine had 2 340 Dodges. Both of them were real runners. That 340 6 pack Challenger was the single fastest small block powered street car I've ever been in. I drove his Hemi Challenger in later years. Pretty impressive, not the rush of that 340 though. His junkyard 66 Dart GT was no slouch after we put the 340 in it. Maybe a iron headed 408 for my Dart. Don't want to tip my hand too much.
         
      • SharpDJS

        SharpDJS Active Member

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        Those 340s are getting really hard to find, would have loved one for my dart.
         
      • Unconventional

        Unconventional Well-Known Member

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        I was leaning towards a krate stroker motor until I read a post written by a fellow that worked for a mass production engine rebuilding facility. That kinda soured me on that idea. Independent engine machine shops are getting hard to find around here. You would think with Alan Johnson Racing right up the river from me there would be some to choose from locally. Quite a facility he has there, for an old milking barn :D. I have a line on a 9" that will fit the Dart. That little spindly 7 1/4 in there has to go. I'll keep the 904 in there, saves weight.
         
      • SharpDJS

        SharpDJS Active Member

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        Wow, hard to believe its almost been a year since I worked on the dart. But now I'm back at it and I'm starting to remember why I gave up on this rust pile. I'm not getting any spark, I was wondering if there is any differences between the 73' and 74' ignition systems, the car is a 74, but I was told the engine and trans came out of a 73 plymouth of some sort. I know this thread is dead but I didn't really wanna start a new one. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
         
      • 89on35s

        89on35s Inferno Red Duster

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        Get yourself a wiring diagram, or better yet a complete factory service manual. The 74s had a seat belt interlock that was a common problem when losing spark for no apparent reason. There will be a 3 wire plug on the drivers side inner fender close to the cowl. I believe you need to jumper the 2 yellow wires (sorry I don't have my 74 manual with me today) on the red plug to bypass it. The rest can remain unplugged. I hope this helps. This is not my photo. I just got it from Google images.
        Cley
        SEAT BELT INTERLOCK.jpg
         
      • barbee6043

        barbee6043 barbee 6043

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        I congratulate you on your interest in these old Mopars. If I was you, I would strive to make it a safe driver as economically as possible, ie, you need to learn how to do the work. Make it solid, that is get rig of the rust, (yes street signs are good strong steel!) It work!! Headers..... Example of how to save $ just use oem exh. man. use headers later if yo have an engine that actually might benefit from such .
        Good luck and keep us posted. THIS car will be learning experience!
         
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        • Dartnut

          Dartnut I'm H.R. Shovin'stuff

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          Great post/advice here.
          But as mentioned earlier, get a factory service manual asap.
          We all didn't start out knowing as much as we do now without going through some hard knocks of doing it wrong..........
          "73 and up A-Bodies are my area of expertise so to speak, and i have learned a lot about them over the years, but I still learn something new about them every day!
          A lot of great advise here on this thread so far, my hat is off to all of the posters!
          Plug away at it young gun, eventually all of your hard work will pay off.............
          (Love the car BTW!)
           
        • 89on35s

          89on35s Inferno Red Duster

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          When you get your FSM, print off the electrical schematic and tape it together like in these pictures. I find it is a lot easier to follow through that way!

          Cley
          ELEC SCROLLS 1.jpg
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        • Deceus

          Deceus Well-Known Member

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          Looks a lot like my car when I drove it in high school. There's almost nothing left on it from back then except maybe the doors and trunk lid lol.

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        • supertruck

          supertruck Retired Old Fart stock car racer FABO Gold Member

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          I did the same with my schematic, but I added cardboard backing with a couple of folds in it. Made it a bit more durable in the garage and I can lay it all out at once. And it gets used ALOT.
           
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          • SharpDJS

            SharpDJS Active Member

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            Thanks to everyone that replied! I'll try to keep posting updates more regularly, I just got so much more going on in life other than this car it's hard to stay focused. But spring is finally here so the nicer weather should motivate me to put more time into the Dart. I'm on the lookout for a factory service manual, and I'll try messing with the seat belt interlock tomorrow
             
          • SharpDJS

            SharpDJS Active Member

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            Man I wish mine looked like that right now! Did you paint the grill black or is that just the lighting?
             
          • Deceus

            Deceus Well-Known Member

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            It was definitely black. Not sure if or when it was painted. It's got a 71 front end now though. The body was surprisingly nice on it but it did have some bad spots on both rear frame rails.

            Unfortunately I went with a Ron Francis wiring kit when I did my V8 swap so I'm no help in troubleshooting the electrical stuff. Just start with the spark plugs and work your way back is all I can say. Good luck!