65 Dart Wagon Conversion to a Sedan Delivery

Members Restorations

  1. 65 Dartman

    65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I finally finished cutting up the other Dart and got the wagon in the garage. A little history on the wagon in in order - I won it off eBay when I placed a bid just for the heck of it - and won it! It was supposed to be a running, driving and stopping LA car so the plan was for the wife and me to fly out and drive it back. In the end I had to have it brought back to here in VA via a transport company. It was a slant 6//904 wagon and the only option it had was power steering, not even a radio! I did drive it from where the transport met me back to the house. It has sat in my lower driveway for nearly 10 years while life, work and a 65 Dart convertible and other stuff I was very slowly working on got in the way. I have a Mopar buddy who happens to be an expert body/paint guy who looked both the wagon and the convertible over recently and said do the wagon - it's in much better shape. So the convertible has slowly been cut up when I had time and now the wagon is in the garage.

    When I got the wagon, the original plan was to swap the running gear out for a 340 I had bought. I was corresponding with another member who asked about the slant. Since the plan was to 340 it and make it look like a 273 HiPo, the slant and transmission got yanked and sent back to CA with the member's father. I did remove both the front and rear wagon seats as well as the carpet - the seats were absolutely trashed and I had other plans for the interior anyway. With a good portion of Santa Monica beach sand in the car, I removed the carpet and found front and rear floors in bad shape - totally rusty and with holes!. And then the car just sat there while I bought stuff to make it my wagon, which is where we’re at now.

    Here are the basic plans for the wagon,:

    Power plant - was going to be a 340 I bought but eventually changed my mind to do a built slanty with either triple SUs or triple Webers then changed my mind again to do a 273/235. It’s a 66 motor I bought off of eBay. The transmission is the 65 833 that came behind a 273 from a Barracuda I parted out.

    Rear End - 8.75 with a 3.23 Sure Grip and disc brakes with a 76 A Body cop car sway bar (rear end is already built).

    Front End - Completely rebuilt front end with 73-76 LBP disc brakes to match the rears, 73-76 UCAs, LCAs with 65-72 sway bar tabs, a Hellwig front sway bar and HD torsion bars (have all parts waiting for the install).

    Interior - 66 Barracuda buckets with a B Body buddy seat and 66 Barracuda rear fold down seat; new foam and seat covers of course. Legendary did them in the 66 Barracuda pattern but used the 65 blue color. New blue carpet to match the seats (have all the stuff to make this happen). Dash is going to be from a 66 Barracuda with a Dakota Digital conversion in the instrument cluster. It’s on hand and ready to install once the dash is finished with a couple of custom touches and painted.

    I’m still kicking around wheels - 15 inch steelies painted body color with dog dishes or J Body 10 spoke aluminum wheels. I've got a set of 4 14 inch chrome road wheels that I'd love to use except I don't think they'll clear the rear discs. We'll be checking it later.

    Repair the floors with the new pans I installed in the Dart 20 years ago. I saved them from the Dart I cut up. Minor rust repair on the driver’s side inner fender and weld all the extra holes closed. Remove the Dart 270 trim and fill the holes for that clean look. I’ve acquired a tailgate with a power window and a factory roof rack. The car will get re-painted in the original white.

    I would like to add factory air.

    While I was working, I tried to buy as much as I could to follow my plan (or changes thereto!) as I am now retired and have a limited amount of extra money. The restoration won’t be quick as the old legs don’t work too well anymore and life still goes on - you guys that are married know all about this!

    Here are a few pics and I will be adding more as I go along.

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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    • 65dartcharger

      65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Glad to hear the official start on the project. Will be a cool summer cruiser! Was there Weber instage manifolds produced? That would look awesome! Keep the Pictures coming.
       
    • pettybludart

      pettybludart Well-Known Member

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      I like the 65 long roof,s,so will be watching.:D
       
    • Larry C

      Larry C Member

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      Good luck Don, this will be a great build to watch
       
    • 65 Dartman

      65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      I bought the triple Weber manifold off of Australian eBay. There's no markings on it so I have no idea who made it (definitely not a Clifford lol!). The Webers are a matched set of Italian DCOE 45's. I'm going to try the triple SU set up first. I got the manifold from SlantSixDan and then sent it to Leanna so she could work her magic. SSDan turned me on to a SU guru in Canada so I ended up sending him 4 or 5 HIF6's of which he picked out the best 3, rebuilt them with all matching internals and set them up to use with a big six - similar to a Jag six. He said they should run quite well right out of the box with little or no tuning. We'll get to that point eventually!

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      Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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      • Keith Mopar

        Keith Mopar Mopar Nut

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        This will be a great build to watch. That /6 will look different with those SU's on it.
         
      • 65 Dartman

        65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        The hood, grille and front valance were removed prior to pushing the wagon in the garage. I had previously sent the dented valance that was on the wagon (plus another valance) to another member who had no valance at all.

        [​IMG]

        Here are some shots showing the engine compartment - it'll definitely need media blasting and some repair work on the driver's inner fender below the battery area.

        The firewall. If I add factory AC, the time to do all the mods is now! Decisions! Decisions!
        [​IMG]
        [​IMG]



        and
        Driver's side inner fender
        [​IMG]

        With the area below the battery tray. There are a few extra holes on the horizontal part of the inner fender that I will need to close (not shown)
        [​IMG]

        and the passenger side inner fender
        [​IMG]

        I also ran into a minor issue; I needed to swap a rear tire that just will not hold air. No problem with 4 of the lug nuts and of course the last one just spinned. Time to break out the cut-off wheel. A short time later the wheel is changed. Side note: the driver's front and rear side had previously been changed to all RH.
         
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        • 65dartcharger

          65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I must admit Don that it looks like a clean project!
           
        • Rockerdude

          Rockerdude Rock n' Roll and A-bodies

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          Love me some wagon! Keep it going.
           
        • Commando66

          Commando66 She's a beaut Clark!

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          Looking forward to the progress on your wagon. Keep me in mind if you're removing the 270 trim.
           
        • 65 Dartman

          65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Yes all the 270 trim will be removed. I do not have the fender trim.
           
        • famous bob

          famous bob mopar misfit

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          gonna make a cool wagon. hang in there, been working on mine (68 barracuda fastback) for 5 1/2yrs., in the body shop now for some touch up. bought all my "big' parts while working before I retired also. don`t have another build in me , but think it would be a 63-4 valiant wagon if I could.-----bob :coffee2:
           
        • 65 Dartman

          65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I was going to fabricate a set of front roll-around wheels using some 2 x 2 square tubing, part of an old bumper brace and some large caster wheels. While at Tractor Supply looking at some large caster-style wheels, I found this Swing Away Trailer Jack in the trailer section. After looking it over, I thought it might be able to be used. After drilling out the holes in the U channel for the bumper bolts and bolting the swivel to it, it looks like it'll work. I found I need to extend the U channel all the way to to bottom, but it will work. It will raise and lower with the handle and the wheel swivels 360 degrees. Got both of them on the front of the wagon and it supports the car just fine. After I finish with the extra bracing, I can remove the front suspension and K Frame in prep for sandblasting the engine compartment.
          [​IMG]

          View attachment 2015-06-07 17.36.54.jpg
           
          Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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          • 65 Dartman

            65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            In a couple of pictures showing the driver's side, you can see the square rear view mirror. Unless it was a dealer installed mirror, it's got to be wrong. Well I took it off and if it was dealer installed, a Ford dealer did it. Yes, the mirror is plainly marked FoMoCo. It was promptly thrown in the trash. I will add a correct Mopar remote control mirror later on.

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            Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
          • Teeth & Tires

            Teeth & Tires A-retentive

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            Great car to build and can't wait to see this motor.
             
          • 64DartGTinAZ

            64DartGTinAZ FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Keep us posted - I finally got the engine out of my '64 Dart longroof - another couplathree years, maybe it'll get done :)
             
          • 65 Dartman

            65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Ulf, I wish it was so. Besides the driver's inner fender, hole in the front of the driver's door, more work on the passenger side doors/fender, floors, tailgate and probably the worst is the passenger side C Pillar. I really don't want to pull the side window but most likely it'll need to be done to properly repair the C Pillar. The tailgate will be an easy fix - swap to a rust-free[​IMG] one I acquired shortly after getting the wagon. It's all fixable - just going to take time to do it!


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            Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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            • 65dartcharger

              65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Don!

              From my sons Dart ute I have the C-pillar on the passenger side in good condition. You can have that if you want!
               
            • 65 Dartman

              65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Ulf - I'll trade your the C Pillar for those front splash shields you wanted!
               
            • jfreakofkorn

              jfreakofkorn Well-Known Member

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              this is going to be on neat build IMO

              something out of the usually, that is for sure =0)
               
            • 65dartcharger

              65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Sure Don! I will cut it out this weekend and ship to you. Let me know how much of the C-pillar you need.
               
            • robodhran

              robodhran Well-Known Member

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              Hi Don - finally made it on your thread. Gorgeous car. My wife just came along and said:
              "O.M.G." She thought, I would start a new restoration project. haha! Good luck with your plans....and: Have a good holiday! Robert
               
            • 65 Dartman

              65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Hi Robert - tell your wife you'll find a restoration project that she can drive after you finish your Barracuda! Thanks for stopping by!
               
            • 65 Dartman

              65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I finally got the front fenders and rear splash shields removed. There were no front splash shields on either side! Both rear splash shields need to be replaced as they were rusted out at the bottom.

              [​IMG]

              [​IMG]

              I already had really nice rust-free splash shields that were previously blasted and painted black:

              [​IMG]

              So I dug out my Layson's front and rear shield rubber kit that I've had for at least 6-7 years and discovered it was no where even close to matching the original rubber products on the old splash shields. I took a look at DMT's kit which looked correct, ordered it and found it's a real good match for the originals. Here's a comparison between the Layson's and DMT top rubber. Although the Layson's (top one) will fit, the clips are incorrect and the rubber is much thinner than the masticated rubber from DMT. The Layson's kit is at least 6-7 years old so I don't know if it's been updated to more correct specifications. The rubber strips that are installed on the sides are different as well.

              [​IMG]

              And here are the rear splash shields completed and now stored for future installation:

              [​IMG]

              [​IMG]
               
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              • 65dartcharger

                65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Nice work Don! They look great. I might have a front splash shield for you, NOS!
                 
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