67/68/69 cuda dilemma

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  1. moparmat2000

    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Fixed the "hole" problem. It isnt perfect, but that's what body filler is for. Follow along. I used a 1/4" thick plate of aluminum to clamp on the underside to keep it all level. Small tacks till solid. Theres a little bit of warpage but not too bad. It's a trunk floor so no biggie. The good thing is now I will be able to use the correct 67-69 fuel filler tube rubber floor seal, and the tube will be positioned in the right spot for the fuel tank.

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    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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    • moparmat2000

      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      With the wheel houses in and rear quarter skins temporarily tacked to the outer wheel houses, I finally removed the last section of the trunk floor holding the ass end of the body, and the rear of the frame together. Did a little cleanup with a sanding disc on an angle air "zizzer" as my son calls em on the frame tie bar and it was remarkably clean and free of pitting rust. Hope to finish fitting the trunk floor, as well as primer the underside of the trunk floor, and install It over the next few weekends.

      It's looking like I'm gonna be installing and removing this floor a few times before I am 100% satisfied with how it fits and clamps together. Once I am good with that, it goes in for good. Once its welded, that's kind of a 1 shot deal, because it aint comin back out. That's pretty much the story with replacing any sheetmetal. Multiple fitments until just right. This pan is AMD, but I am guessing NOS would be no exception to this fitting and removing multiple times until just right.

      A side note, The 69 notchback chunk I dismantled for parts had some pretty wild unsightly gaps where the factory trunk floor seams went together at the back edges of the wheelhouses on that one. One gap was close to 1/8" That was followed by large globs of unceremoniously applied seam sealer to squish in there and cover it all up. This is some proof of the "good enough" mentality from 1969.

      I intend to make my seams tighter, and apply the seam sealer a lot nicer since I have a lot more time to fiddle with this than the assembly line did. I have to constantly remind myself this is not an aircraft. This was built in 1969, by hand, pieces didnt fit perfect, assembly line workers didnt care too much either. Still I will take more care to get things a wee bit tighter this go round.

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      Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
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      • moparmat2000

        moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Well today was the first day I felt halfway ok in 2 weeks. The Cedar trees were poppin and my allergies were going insane. Never knew my lungs could generate that much snot lol. Anyways I have become quite the expert taking this trunk pan in and out several dozen times to fit, trim etc. Finally got it exactly the way I wanted it to fit, pulled it back out and drilled 1/4" holes in it for spot welds with my unibit. Also fitted and welded the spare tire bracket onto the pan.

        I also checked for level across the upper radiator support and across the rear framerails before pinning the trunk pan in place. I adjusted and shimmed my jack stands to make sure the car frame is level and square at both ends. As you can see in the first pic, the lower radiator support will also require replacing at some point in time as well.

        Got the underside of the trunk pan sanded down and epoxy primered. Then i dropped it back in place, and used self tapping screws to temporarily pin it in position. If all goes well around here I will weld it in tomorrow evening. Heres todays pix.

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        Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
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        • moparmat2000

          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          So I found these on fakebook earlier this week and bought 2 of them. I had been trying to get data plates made for both barracudas. Was told without broadcast sheets tied to the vins I cannot have these made. I dont have broadcast sheets for either car, neither is particularly valuable in the grand scheme of things. My intent was not to fraudulently represent either car but try to make the plates as accurately as possible down to the engine each of these cars were built with. Still the answer was NO rather rudely I might add, so I got these data plates. I figure something is better than nothing. MoPars just dont seem legit with the data plate holes welded over.

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          Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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          • halfafish

            halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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            Now that right there is funny as hell.
             
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            • 4spdragtop

              4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA!

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              Well executed and documented Mat. I'll be referring here if/when I get some momentum with my 69.
              Thanks.
               
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              • moparmat2000

                moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                I appreciate the Kudos Steve. I thought a lot about how I wanted to approach that modification. In the end my brain was saying, just stop procrastinating and do it, you have been thinking so many different ways to do this now get it done.

                Gotta go into work today. Kinda excited but sad at the same time. Had a big weekend planned for the cuda, but really need the extra funds. As I have said in the past everything in my shop moves at a snail's pace. After work is a list for Sam's club, and then coming home and writing out checks for bills.

                Tomorrow I have to do a thermostat change on my wife's Dodge Caravan. I have the part, just didnt want to deal with it. Now the temps are dropping and she doesnt get good heat, and its setting a check engine light because it's not getting up to temp. In the old days if it was my old 71 chevy pickup that would have been a piece of cardboard to block off half of the radiator sorta thing lol. But then again it was a big block radiator with a 350 V8.

                I am guessing that if I make real good use of my time and i am real efficient, I may actually get to weld that trunk pan in tomorrow afternoon. Valance removal and replacement will have to wait for another weekend. So yeah, busy weekend for me.
                 
                Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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                • 4spdragtop

                  4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA!

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                  Yeah sounds like a busy weekend Mat!
                  I look at our 69 and it's simply overwhelming. You are making great progress! I never turn down OT, ya never know.....
                   
                • IMFURYS

                  IMFURYS IMFURYS FABO Gold Member

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                  I saw those also and thought about a set but still not buying anything for my projects until I decide what's going to happen with them, unless a killer deal, or unobtanium part comes up. I also read somewhere (comments maybe?) that GG was not happy about his name being used and wasn't sure if they would be come part of a legal issue.
                   
                • MoparMike1974

                  MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Frankenstein that bitch and call it a day. Don't tell the wife and she wont know any different.
                   
                • moparmat2000

                  moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  MoparMike1974 it's my sons car now lol. I dont think he's gonna care if its Frankensteined
                   
                • mpgmike

                  mpgmike Well-Known Member

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                  Due to intellectual property (IP) issues, has Galen given permission to use his name on those plates? If not, the company selling them could end up in court, and customers may be harassed after the fact.
                   
                • moparmat2000

                  moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  I have no idea. I planned on painting the inner fender before installing, so if I get harassed and have to remove these from either car, there will be paint under there.
                   
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                  • 4spdragtop

                    4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA!

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                    Use "GG" and tell the pricks to pound salt lol. If they wanna cause grief over THAT:elmer:
                    Funny stuff.:lol:
                     
                  • moparmat2000

                    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    The Grover. Oh well
                     
                  • moparmat2000

                    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Well I didnt get to the welding job, but I got the Caravan thermostat done. Wasnt too bad, but I had a hell of a time bleeding the air out of it. I did open the bleed port on the thermostat housing. These arent as straightforward as an old A body. A Dodge Journey V6 is fucking worse. Doesnt have a normal radiator with a cap. The overflow reservoir has the radiator cap. I hate new cars. I say it all the time. When I retire I will keep my 94 chevy pickup, my 67 cuda and some older stuff I can work on, that's it.
                     
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                    • moparmat2000

                      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Well I got this insane sudden burst of energy early in the evening around 7pm and just came in at 11:30pm. Yep, its gonna be a bit hard on me getting up tomorrow morning at 5:30 for work but I am pretty pleased at the results of tonight's work. I got the floor welded in, and braced up the rear with some steel conduit and angles temporary tacked in. Then I started to tackle that rear valance. Granted the new one is only clamped in place, and theres still a fair amount of work to be done before it gets welded in, but its forward progress. I am pretty happy so far.

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                      Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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                      • IMFURYS

                        IMFURYS IMFURYS FABO Gold Member

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                        Assembly line is looking good.
                         
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                        • 4spdragtop

                          4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA!

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                          Thanks for posting Mat, I have this same obstacle to overcome also. End result will NOT be as good as yours, but its hidden lol. I'll pm you later about this.
                          Great progress
                           
                        • moparmat2000

                          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          I dont mind piddlin and making stuff fit. This valance does fit really really well with a little bit of tweaking here n there, however these bumper supports needed a fair amount of grinding and fitting. So far I have only 1 side ready to go in.

                          I wouldent say swapping this whole rear valance along with the trunk floor is a pain in the dick, but it's sure not a 1 afternoon thing. However the end results will definitely be worth it in the end.

                          The fact that the bumper supports had to come off to replace the trunk pan is part of it. Plus the fact that I had to cut off the mounting tabs that were on the supports to get them off the old floor probably didnt help things.

                          Another issue is my OCD. Being OCD about sheetmetal is great if your doing aircraft sheetmetal which I do for a living. But maddening when doing automotive sheetmetal. I gotta keep telling myself these were not perfect when they came down the assembly line, they were just good enough.

                          Heres todays pix. Due to my OCD, only the RH support is ready for welding LoL. The gray on the floorpan under it is weld thru primer.

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                          Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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                          • 440jimr

                            440jimr Well-Known Member

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                            Thank you for the informative tips!
                             
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                            • moparmat2000

                              moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              Well the bumper reinforcements are in. My welding job in this area certainly isnt my best work, but its fully penetrating, and solid. I will slick a little seam sealer over it to smooth it down after I knock some high spots off. Used silver sharpie on the valance to figure out where I want to drill it for spot welds. I traced the trunk floor lip to get the location height for the spot welds. Then I used the spacing of the spot welds on the old one as a guide.

                              I used the bumper bolts to draw it all together to weld them. I left the front and back ends of the bumper reinforcements open to prevent moisture build up under them, and so after the trunk is painted I can shoot some corrosion prevention compound up inside there. Last pic is the factory welding job on my 67 notchback. I am guessing that this job I did is 100× better than the factory "Stevie Wonder" weld job.

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                              Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
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                              • moparmat2000

                                moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Tech tip. These are Knipex 86 03 300 geared smooth jaw plyers. These are about $70 for the 12" ones pictured. But the linear geared jaws are perfect for tweaking and smoothing panel flanges, and are worth every penny for doing this stuff. I may have posted pix of these early on in this thread, but their value for metal working cannot be understated. Ditto for the el cheapo harbor freight mega pincher vise grips.

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                                Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
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                                • trigger_andy

                                  trigger_andy Well-Known Member

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                                  What amazing work. Really enjoyed following this build and looking at the pictures of how it should be done.
                                   
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                                  • moparmat2000

                                    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                    Well I got a bit further today. Took a vacation day from work, got the valance scuffed up, and primered. Did some quadruple checking to be sure it's where it needed to be, and zzzzzzap!!! In it went. The temp support out of steel conduit and steel angles are all cut back out and tomorrow I will be installing the lock catch box. Trunk closes nice and square though. Very happy with the results.

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