68 Dart Project.

Discussion in 'Members Restorations' started by Malex, Nov 9, 2018 at 12:02 AM.

  1. Malex

    Malex Well-Known Member

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    Been working on a 68 Dart that I picked up a little while back. I started on it the beginnning of October and figured that I would start a thread and post some occasional updates for those that are interested. Will go back and start at the beginning, adding pics and will get caught up to current progress in the following days.

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    About a year ago I started thinking about maybe picking up an old Dart to fix up that would keep me busy. A hobby Dart sort of project, that I would work away at over the winter months with no deadline. Retired, and living in Canada, winters can be long. So having a heated garage is a must! To add to the project, there's an 11 year old Grandson who is itching to be part of the project and who has plans of his own 5 or 6 years down the road... The grandson is no stranger to Mopars, and racing, as he comes along with me in the summer months when we hit the local track with an old Plymouth.

    So in the hunt for an old Dart a few were dug up. It didn't take long to find that anything out there had a ridiculous price and all in need of major repair. Complete floor pans, trunks, exterior sheet metal and so on. Months went by and eventually I heard about one, a 67, located just over the border in MT. Approx April of this year I whipped over and had a look. It turned out to be a 68, not a 67 and it had been sitting for a very long time. It needed work, but amazingly in pretty good overall condition, considering... I contacted the owner and yep, he would sell his lawn ornament. He had long lost the keys, the title and had no interest in finding or replacing either. A few pictures when first looking at the Dart.

    Tires flat and rotted. No idea of how many years it had sat in this spot.
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    A GT. Slant 6, buckets, no console, column shift. 100% complete.
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    Headlights bust out and a bent front bumper. Parked behind an old Church, and home to church mice..
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    Damage to the left fender, left door and quarter panel. Obviously taken off the road decades ago because of an accident.
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    A deal was made. 2 problems though. The title was long lost and the owner couldn't be bothered to obtain a replacement. No problem, I'll just replace the title on my own. Wrong, in order to obtain a title I needed to be a MT resident. So the Dart was bought as parts and that's the way it came home, in parts. Some pics.

    Spent a day in late August disassembling and loaded up a trailer full of parts.
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    Grandson was right into it and that was fine with me!
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    Amazingly, only 1 or 2 bolts gave any trouble. It came apart like a breeze, came with a full tank of gas too. Whew..
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    Damaged quarter panel. The fender and door also had some damage, not too bad. In the back seat however was a mint left front fender that went with the car! Now the plan was to remove the rear seat and pop the trunk from the inside (no keys). When we removed the rear seat, damned, the trunk was full... No climbing in.... Thank goodness I just happened to have a set of long extensions with me, we undid the trunk lock and we were in. And as luck would have it, a mint left side door was in the trunk!
    IMG_5317.JPG

    With a trailer load of dart parts we headed home, crossed the border, said the trailer was full of old Mopar parts and we were waved on, all good.. A couple of weeks later we headed back again for the carcass. Crossing the border, no issues, carry on. Not wanting the motor / trans, I took the engine hoist along and that was left behind.

    You can see by the grass where the Dart sat. As was the deal, the motor / trans was left behind and we took a minute to make sure it was left in it's exact spot! The owner laughed and said he's gonna call the mayor and say the car vanished except for the driveline. Aliens!
    IMG_3189.JPG

    October first the Dart was rolled into the garage and the project got into full swing. Stay tuned.
     
  2. Malex

    Malex Well-Known Member

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    October 1 and the Dart rolled in. Some pics, a picture is worth a thousand words...

    The Dart was winched onto the hoist, where it would now sit for disassembly and the winter. Being tight for space, when the Dart is not being worked on it will be raised and the Camaro will be kept underneath. Fortunately, my garage is long enough that the Camaro rolls ahead and down with the Dart.
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    Being a handy guy, I built this 4 post hoist about 17 years ago. Then about 8 years back I fab'd up a rotisserie that would attach to it. Here is the Dart, mounted.
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    At the start of this job I didn't think I would bother setting up the rotisserie. Boy am I glad that I did... And I hit the centre balance point just about perfect.
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    When not working on the Dart it goes up and out of the way.
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    Once the suspension was out from under I got to work on the K frame. Removing about 20 lbs of dirt and grease, and motor mount brackets. An engine plate will be used when it comes to that time. There will be more mods made to the K frame down the road.
    IMG_3398.JPG

    Due to years and years of a leaking windshield while sitting, the front floor boards ended up with rot. There was so much undercoating on this car that the rot was from the inside out. Here you can see where a couple of patch panels went into place. Remember this rolled in on Oct 1, 18, so yeah, I'm getting after it.
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    A picture of the bottom with the panels in place. The undercoating is coming off with a propane torch and scraper, little by little. No deadline... notice, the rockers are excellent.
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    With the undercoating gone, there is a mint mint floor, not a single dent! You can see that I've started working on frame connectors. It worked best to make the connectors out of 2 X 3 and installed horizontally. The rear floor pans are cut and the top of the connector protrudes in by about 3/8", hardly noticeable.
    IMG_3409.JPG

    Both frame connectors are now installed and undercoating has been removed to the diff area.
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    My template for my spring boxes. Yes the springs are getting moved in board. The boxes will be home made. I have a plan...
    IMG_3413.JPG
     
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    • Malex

      Malex Well-Known Member

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      I came up with this plan to ensure that the boxes go into their proper place. Using the redi-rod, it was easy to remove.
      IMG_3429.JPG

      Lining things up. 38" to the outsides of the leafs, 35.5" to the centre pins.
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      Calvert split mono leafs are in place, and sliders used on the rears in lieu of shackles. Cal tracs and QA1 double adjustable shocks will finish off the rear suspension.
      IMG_3438.JPG

      Next up, wheel tubs. Spare tire tub not the best shape neither... stay tuned.
       
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      • Frnknsteen

        Frnknsteen FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Nice!! The car seems incredibly clean considering it was sitting in the grass for so long!!
         
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        • Malex

          Malex Well-Known Member

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          ---
          Thanks Frank! Yes when I gave the car a good look over I expected to find a lot worse than it was. The grass was kept cut around it so that may have helped too, and under the car not much was growing. Upon first inspection I did find the right side front floorboard was rotted out but the left side looked good. There was a couple of small holes so I just replaced a larger portion from the firewall to the crossmember. Found 2 build sheets in the car as well. One in the rear seat and one on top of the glove box.
           
        • Malex

          Malex Well-Known Member

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          Next I got started on the wheel tubs. Marked out and cut. I used a zip cutter on my 5" grinder to do all the cutting. The quarter panels were left on and attached to the outer tubs so that I could get everything back in proper place.
          IMG_3439.JPG

          After cleaning up the tub and trimming all the not needed metal off I fit the tub into place holding with sheet metal screws. Trimmed right to the frame rail and will be welded to.
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          In this picture you can see how the finished tub is shaping up. I found that because of the compound curve, it was best to install the filler metal in 3 sections, which were 3.5" wide. Total width increase is about 2-3/4".
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          Both tubs widened now and ready for finishing. Note the gas tank brace has some corrosion issues on the edges. The rear window was also leaking and that was where it ended up puddling. No big deal, just a little more work and it will be good!
          IMG_3448.JPG
           
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          • abdywgn

            abdywgn dismantler

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            NICE! The car is a wonderful find. Your fabrication ability is outta site!
            Do you have a thread for the hoist? or sell plans? How tall is the garage? Bob
             
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            • Malex

              Malex Well-Known Member

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              ---
              Thanks ABdywgn. It's fun to build cars and things. Boy, that hoist was many moons ago. No plans, the rotisserie too, drew up on a sheet of paper and went from there. I built my house in 2003, a bungalow with 9' walls. A bit of a raised basement and the garage height ended up being 13'2" inside. Enough that I built a man cave upstairs, if a guy is less than 6'3" there's no issues.

              My temporary paint booth. I find that I'm not rushing between coats anymore, now that there's a bar overhead!
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            • Malex

              Malex Well-Known Member

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              The leaking rear window ended up rotting a small portion on each corner of the panel over the fuel tank. Being that the plan is to go with a trunk mounted fell cell it was an easy decision to fabricate and install a full panel. Picture below.
              IMG_5529.JPG

              Conveniently, a buddy called and said that he had rounded up the Dana parts and pieces that I was asking about so the time was right to scoop those items up and get to work on the Dana.

              The future Dana for the Dart. After several hours of scraping, cleaning, grinding and wire wheeling the old housing was ready for mods.
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              The Dart is a 100% home build, and that includes building the Dana. Lots of time was taken setting up the old chop saw and making sure everything was measured and square. Cutting the tubes took one hell of a long time too!

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              The new width. 41.375" to the ends.
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              Ready to install the used housing ends that were taken from a 8-3/4. Everything squared up with bearing blocks and 1.250" solid shaft that a buddy borrowed to me.
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              Lots of time was taken when first tac welding the ends. A couple of tac welds needed to be broke due to pulling. Making sure the shaft moves freely between each weld paid off. In finished form the housing is a touch under 46.5" and the shaft slides effortlessly back and forth, a nice straight housing that will be running 3.54's, spool, 35 spline axles with green bearing and long studs.

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              With the Dana housing finished up it was time to spend a little time in the rear tubs, cleaning them up and making them smooth.
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              The spare tire bottom showed up so it was time to get the old floor cut out. The new bottom will be raised 3" so it won't be hanging down and instead be tucked up in between the frame rails.
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              Fitting the new bottom went smooth, the future home of the fuel cell. At some point I'll cut out the drain holes, maybe..
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              Getting started on building a base for the fuel cell. I'm using 18 gauge, cutting with a zip cutter and breaking with an old home made break that I mount in my vise. Hey, it works! And this is a back yard Dart project.
              IMG_3476.JPG
               
            • Jim Kueneman

              Jim Kueneman Well-Known Member

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              Nice.
               
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              • Malex

                Malex Well-Known Member

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                The fuel cell bracket is complete except for the straps, which I have to build still. A 18 X 20" fuel cell just fits. 15 gallons.
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                Another shot from underneath. The fuel neck hole is now filled in, no need for it any longer, will remove the fuel cap on the quarter when it gets to that time.
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                Spent a little time smoothening things out with some fibreglass and a touch of filler. Note the fuel pump bracket, will keep the pump sturdy and below the fuel level. Note the hole in the side of the frame, the fuel line will be run through the inside of the frame.
                IMG_3483.JPG

                When I fab'd up the spring boxes I cut in 1" holes that allows the fuel line to travel in the full length of the frame, through the connectors and up to an underhood regulator. There is lots of room for the spring eyes and cal trac brackets, checked out and no issues.
                IMG_3445.JPG

                Stay tuned..
                 
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                • n.y.340 dart

                  n.y.340 dart Well-Known Member

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                  Very nice job, dart will be killer!
                   
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                  • DARTGAME

                    DARTGAME FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Subscribed :popcorn:
                     
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                    • Malex

                      Malex Well-Known Member

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                      ---
                      It should be a fun car when it's done. Depending on what I end up doing under the hood it should be either good, or very good.
                       
                    • BrianT

                      BrianT Let's go! FABO Gold Member

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                      Man you're working fast. Good job, I'll be following along this winter!
                       
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                      • mygasser

                        mygasser FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Once the fuel line is run through the chassis front to back will you fill the rails with something like expanding foam to stop the line moving about and chafing through?
                        Neil.
                         
                      • Malex

                        Malex Well-Known Member

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                        Thanks for the heads up on this. The line will be going through 5 grommets and in the frame connector I can access to install a brace or 2. I'll make sure it's not bouncing around at all.
                        Should be able to run a rear brake line in the opposite side as well.
                        Thanks again!
                         
                      • Malex

                        Malex Well-Known Member

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                        Thanks! Yes I make sure to get something done each day. Today I fab'd up the fuel cell braces and did some finishing In that fuel cell area, both in the trunk and underneath.

                        Fuel cell and brackets for the Dart.
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                        This is the trunk of the old 64. Same strap set up. Nothing moves even during 1.38 60's.
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                        A crappy pic, but the bottom of the Dart is pretty much ready for a good coat on Epoxy primer, then high build to follow, wet on wet. Priming is quite a ways down the road though...
                        IMG_5681.JPG


                        Still have to build in a drive shaft hoop, need to do some measurements. The transmission though, it's done and waiting.

                        This is from my buddies 68 GTX. Has 4-gear planetaries. Trans bracket made the job easier.
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                        Rebuilt, ready and waiting. Did this last winter.
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                        Who remembers these old Hurst shifters. Hurst Auto stick II. Early to mid 70's. This will be home in the Dart.
                        IMG_2132.JPG
                         
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                        • mopardude318

                          mopardude318 Well-Known Member

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                          IMG_2965.JPG Very nice work! Fuel line inside the frame is interesting... not sure how I feel about it, I'm sure it'll be fine.

                          Tell me about your shop. What is the size and height? Can you post some pics of the inside corner to corner? Sure looks neat in there. I'm in the process of building a 28x30, in the picture above.
                           
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                          • Malex

                            Malex Well-Known Member

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                            ---
                            Thank you for the compliment Sir!
                            I'm not too worried about the fuel line in the frame. It has to make several turns, up and over the diff, it will be pretty snug in there and there will be some adel clamps added as well.

                            My garage is attached to my house. I planned and built it in 2003. The original plan was the garage being another 6' wider but I had to shrink it down to fit on this particular lot.
                            43' long, 26' wide in front half, narrows to 20' at the back. 13' ceiling, in floor heat, drain, etc. I park 5 cars and the Harley inside, the hoist gives me the 5th spot.


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                            This is my paint booth frame. Slips together, I wrap it with heavy poly, filtered air in, and good exhaust draw.
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                            Poly paint booth!

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                            • famous bob

                              famous bob mopar misfit

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                              All kick a$$ , very nice . I wouldn`t worry too much about the gas line inside the frame, My feed line, later converted to a return is in the frame. Only about ,what 3 1/2ft. actually not in a bend or grommit? I also used -08 s.s. braided tpfe line for thayt one .
                              Like ur garage and whole set up !!
                              KEEP IT COMING.
                               
                            • Malex

                              Malex Well-Known Member

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                              ---
                              Thanks, will do. Everyday a little more gets done and within the next week I'll be getting started on building the roll bar. Once that is done it will be time to get started on the body and I'll have to decide whether to go with the Superstock look or not. Biggest decision, stretch or stretch and raise the rear wheel wells...
                               
                            • famous bob

                              famous bob mopar misfit

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                              I stretched my fender wells to the inner panel, before painting. Wish I had mini tubbed it before the roll cage now, will be hard on an old man !!
                               
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                              • Go Mango

                                Go Mango Well-Known Member

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                                Congrats on a great project! It's awesome the grandson is helping. Looking forward to seeing this as it progresses.
                                 
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                                • Malex

                                  Malex Well-Known Member

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                                  Yeah the tubbing job would have been easier before, that is for sure. And the thing is too that if you thought it was a big job when you were younger, better X2 it now!