Captainkirk's Duster project

More Notes to Self:
Confirmed...100% that 8.75 rear end out of Duke is a 3.55. How? Because it still has the tag attached to the chunk. Found it last night while confirming that both rear axles have 10" drum brakes on them. This should help when ordering parts.
Now that I'm on board with you Captain, I have an extra 741 chunk with a worn out 3.23 SG. I'm changing the B5 to 3.55's, so maybe we can work out a trade. Paul.
So, I alluded earlier to a "New Plan"...and here it is. Gone are the dreams of rolling a cream puff out into the sunlight, magnificent in every way. A car that would put "Graveyard Carz" to, kiddies, the New Plan is to get this thing rolling on rebuilt brakes and suspension, paint the engine bay, drop in the power train, and get it running. New carpeting and such can go in, but not gonna fret about things like paint or trim items for the moment. Seat covers are important, but it can drive without 'em. No, this thing needs to fire up and make some locomotion under it's own power ASAP. And if I stop thinking this thing has to be absolutely perfect before it sees the light of day, maybe I'll quit spinning my wheels and actually get somewhere. This has been my problem all along. In my quest for perfection, I'm wasting valuable time fretting over the small potatoes and driving myself nuts in the process. So, I expect to see some real progress once the weather breaks. More, in fact, that I've made in the last decade, though getting the underside de-rusted and coated took more out of me than I care to admit. It's also time to start squirreling away money for the paint job I see in The Duke's future, whether I do it or send it out to a pro this time around (which is the plan at the moment). Plans will change, new paths will be followed. That's always the way of a project. But at least now I have a plan that has a realistic chance of success. Stay tuned...
That is a good solid plan, I have two dusters, one I made perfect, and it sits in storage, never driven, bought another one, last summer just to drive, it has dings, scratches, but I am not afraid to drive it, or park it by the buggy return at the store.
The old beater one is way more fun.
Now that I'm on board with you Captain, I have an extra 741 chunk with a worn out 3.23 SG. I'm changing the B5 to 3.55's, so maybe we can work out a trade. Paul.
I have the 8.75 3.91 out of the Minx I'm gonna try out first. Whichever rear end I wind up keeping in Duke, the other one will probably go to my son for his Duster project.
Those TV cars cost about $250K to have done. Your plan is more realistic. I'm on the same route. I think the biggest part of the budget will be the paint, like yours. Your son is lucky to have a Dad like you. I hope he appreciates it, instead of a Honda with a fart can. Whatever, I'm quietly in your corner when looking for parts. Paul.
So, progress was actually made today! I dropped off the J-heads with Tony and had a lengthy discussion about them as follows:
First, he is going to do an inspection to make sure they are good to go, then give an estimate on reconditioning them. He said most likely he would want to replace the valves, at which point I asked him that since we are replacing valves, how much extra to step up to 2.02 intakes? He said no difference in parts cost, only possibly a hundred or so extra to blend the bowls for bigger valves. I kinda liked that answer...:D
Next, we talked valve springs. He said he would like to replace them as mine had some rust on the coils. He also said he would prep them for cam lifts up to .550 in case I ever wanted to go that radical. Speaking of cams, We discussed his choices, as that will affect the way he preps the heads. I let him know I really liked the last cam I had in there @ .450/.475, 298/308 duration. He feels the duration is too long for a power brake car. I would agree, but I was able to do OK with it last time around. I'll see what sort of specs he proposes.
Last but not least, we discussed making sure the cost of reconditioning the heads will not be in spitting distance of a pair of Eddy heads (around $1600.00), because that would be money better spent, IMHO. If he can keep it at or around a grand, then we'll probably soldier on with these heads as planned.
And...I finally picked up the crank, new rods, new pistons and rings after the balance job. Now to figure out where to put 'em...
Head Games!
So now that I'm entering the heads/cam part of the game, this is where the anxiety goes way up. I'm finding it costs a helluva lot more now to get all these pieces together than it did back in the day. And I really can't afford to make any mistakes, especially WRT cam selection. Heads; all I can do is wait for the eval/quote. Cam; now that's another story altogether. See, I really, really liked my old cam. Really. But I'm not sure that grind is even available anymore, and things have changed regarding gasoline quality and octane, ethanol, compression ratios (down from 12.5:1 to a more sedate 10:1.) How that will affect cam grind is something I need to explore in better detail. Like I said, don't need any costly mistakes at this point in the game! But first things first. We need a definite direction on the heads before we get to the jumping off point with cams. But that time is fast approaching. I'm not gonna bother running these questions by The Duke. Some things are better left unsaid.
I'm still following you Cap'n. I'm going the full forged crank, H beams, and pistons. Buy once, cry once. I've decided to go with the trick flow 190's, too. I'm shooting for about 10:1. Finding the correct cam and converter are going to be expensive nailbiters, but I'll have to make a decision soon. Maybe after you decide.
So, I fired off an email to Howards Cams today, laying out what I was building and asking for their recommendations on a cam. We'll see if they answer, and what they recommend...
EDIT: Also sent info request to Comp Cams
No word from Tony on the heads yet, so that ball is still in play.
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So, gonna start me an Engine Data page so all the data for the engine is in one safe spot for reference; right here, for li'l old me.
Crank: 1969 Chrysler forged unit
Rods: Eagle forged P/N SIR6123CB 6.123 length weight 584g
Pistons: Speed Pro P/N L2316F forged 4.07 dia (+.030) weight 727g
Piston pins: Speed Pro weight 154g
Rings: Mahle P/N 40787 +.030
Main Bearings: Clevite 77 P/N MS-963 P-10 (-.010)
Rod Bearings: Clevite 77 CB-481 P-10 ((-.010)

To Be Continued...
No word from Howards cams, Comp cams, or the shop regarding the heads teardown. Well, they say patience is a virtue.

Edit: Finally heard back from Kirk Peters at Howard's Cams after providing as many specs on the build as I could. Here are his recommendations:

I recommend cam # 711651-12 and lifter # 91712, the cam specs are;
218/226 duration @ .050
.502/.525 valve lift
112 lobe separation w/ 4° advance ground into the cam (the 112 LSA will increase the vacuum)
RPM Range 1800-5800

I asked a few follow up questions which he answered as follows:

1) How does this cam idle? Lumpy, I hope...Good Idle (a gearhead will know there’s a cam in the engine), the lumpier the idle, the less vacuum

2) This is flat tappet, I assume? Yes

3) What are overall duration degrees (not the @.050 which you already gave me) If you referring to “Advertised Duration”, it’s 265/273

4) Is this an off-the-shelf grind or custom? Shelf
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So, I fired off an email to Howards Cams today, laying out what I was building and asking for their recommendations on a cam. We'll see if they answer, and what they recommend...
EDIT: Also sent info request to Comp Cams
No word from Tony on the heads yet, so that ball is still in play.
Well, Epic Fail on that "Please allow 24 hours for a reply" thing on the Comp Cams website...haven't heard squat from either Comp Cams or Howards, and damn if I'm gonna hang on the phone for an hour or better to "speak to tech support". Either you want my biz or you don't. How hard is it to recommend a cam grind to someone who has provided as much detail as he can about the prospective build and the car it's going into? (I did this for both of them). Not really happy about this, folks.
Still no word on the heads yet. Sent another email. No replies from Comp Cams on suggestions, either. Edelbrock's website says their heads are "temporarily unavailable" as well.
OK, so "I'm thinking..."
The machine shop has not had a chance to even look at the heads yet. "Getting into their busy season", so the email said. All fine and good, not gonna pressure them or be a jerk about it. But I don't even have a ball park estimate yet, and the Eddies are once again available. Yeah, they're like 1600 a pair, but I would get 171cc runners and 2.02 valves included, and I recently watched an "Engine Masters" episode on MotorTrend in which both Dulcich and Frieburger were surprised that aluminum heads made more power than casties. Not on a SB LA Mopar, but still...
That and the fact that the Eddies have 63 cc chambers, as opposed to the 67cc chambers my J heads have.
Food for thought.
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Did you actually measure your "J" heads, a set I just had re-done they were 74cc's.
Did you actually measure your "J" heads, a set I just had re-done they were 74cc's.
Yes. I had them cc-checked by the same shop several years prior.

EDIT: Just checked my notes and it appears the shop only cc'd one chamber on one head. However, the first time I had this engine built, I paid to have the heads cc'd, so I can generalize that they "should" all be within 1cc of each other. If I go with having these heads done I will ask them to confirm all chamber cc's.
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OK, so made an "executive decision". It's still too cold to do any parts painting in the garage, too cold to open the windows for ventilation if I paint in the house. So I called the local powder coat shop and asked them about powder coating my now-cleaned-and-ready K frame. Yes, they can do it, for around a hundred bucks. Yeah, that's a bit of money than the quart of Rustoleum I bought, but it's a lot more durable than paint for something as prone to scratching and just plain getting beat to smithereens as a K-frame. So, dropped it off today; decision made. One less thing to worry about. that wasn't that hard...... actually all you had to do is drop it off. Baby steps....just baby steps. You'll have grease under the fingernails and smellin' like brake cleaner in no time. I love the smell of 90 wt early in the morning...smells like...VICTORY

Mopar to ya!
So, finally...picked up the K-frame, done in a miles-deep gloss black finish. Words don't do this justice. The powder coating covers all the inside parts as well as the outside and is strong as an ox. Color me happy!:thumbsup:

No word on my heads yet, called/emailed and left a message. I guess we are getting into the 'busy season'...
I'm not in a rush and pretty understanding about putting big dollar customers first, but it's been two months.
All I'm waiting on is an analysis and cost estimate.
So, another call to the shop. This one was answered. After a brief moment of being put on hold and then a little soft shoe dancing, we got to the heart of the issue; they haven't been touched. No surprise to me, really.
Anyway, with a renewed promise to at least get them in the queue for next week, I was told to check back next Friday. So, maybe we are finally getting somewhere!:popcorn: