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Florida "Key Lime" 76 Duster Build

  1. Last year, I picked up a Lime 76 Duster with a 318, 904 and Sunroof. It's an A/C car as well, so it's a candidate for a direct install Classic Air at some point.

    The car ran OK, and the tranny seemed sound.....BUT, it's got a 7-1/4 toy rearend in there, so I'll have to be careful as I go.....I'll probably change that out last.

    I'm gonna post running totals on the costs of this build to demonstrate that you can still build a nice lookin' and runnin' A-Body without breakin' the bank......and that when you're finished, you can actually still PROFIT from a sale. I've built 3 A's now, and one is my driver (the 67 Cuda)......Both sales went very well, and I expect the Cuda to do the same. I never went overboard on parts that would increase my 1/4 mile slip by a couple hundredths (stuck to reliability, and very mild mods if at all)......Never overspent on labor costs, doing most of the work myself, even if it meant learning it from the ground up. AND, I picked the brains of the guys here at FABO when I got stuck, instead of relying on a mechanic to do it all......Sometimes I still had to pay, BUT I shopped and learned who to trust, and who would "rip" me.

    I believe this Duster is gonna surprise some of you'se guys when it's finished.....It won't be everyone's cup o' tea, but I'm gonna design and finish it, inside and out, according to what I KNOW will "turn heads" and get people's attention wherever it goes. That's why I bought one in Lime....High impact....it's orange peeled, but it's 2K urethane and takes sanding and buffing nicely.......I picked up the car for $3200. as it sits. We'll see how it goes as I start the "enthusiast's resto" on this gem.
  2. i love the green/white interior combo. i am a firm believer in doing it yourself, you can build it the way you want and for a fraction of the cost to pay someone. i do everything myself. great project, i will be watching this one.
  3. Nice car and GREAT idea for a thread! I'll be watching your progress. Good Luck

  4. Looks like a nice starting point. Good luck on the build.
  5. I want to show 3 reasons WHY I picked this particular car to purchase, keeping in mind that I don't want too big a project due to limited finances.

    First, the BRAKES and shocks were just overhauled....A BIG expense for the everyday Joe that can't (or won't) do them himself.

    Second, the Vinyl Top and Sunroof were just overhauled! All they need is a cleaning to look brand new. Another big expense saved.

    .and Third, the paint (though not in the door-jambs or the trunk area) was just redone....a backyard job, to be sure...BUT, as I said, it's 2K Urethane colorcoat.....easy wet sanding and buffing to get out the orange peel and rid it of imperfections..... The door jambs are EASY with some "fine" Scotchbrite pads, some prep solvent, a can of Lime spray bomb basecoat (available online), and a can of 2K clear spray bomb.....No equipment needed....as a matter of fact, I'm doing them right now.....I'll show you the results as the thread goes on.
  6. Looks like a fun project. I'll be watching.
  7. What are your plans for the project?
  8. If you take a look at my Dart Sport, you'll have some clues........

    .......and when it's done, it's gonna be sold for our Church Building Fund.
  9. Is it bought with church funds as well and intended to be sold for profit, or bought with personal funds with proceeds going to the church? Not my business, but curious. I am tossing around the idea of building a car with my youth group, a 1974 Opel Manta track car, "The Praying Manta". Hope it goes well for you.
  10. No Church funds involved at all. All personal.
  11. To demonstrate how an enthusiast can do some of the harder work himself, I used actual "spray bombs" for the door jambs......Pictured below, with manufacturers labels clearly seen in the shot. This stuff is the same paint used by the pro's, and with a little experience in spraying smoothly, you can do a heck of a job by yourself.

    I prepped the jambs with sanding pads (320 grit...one shot shows the general shape the paint was in), cleaned thoroughly with prep solvent, a quick spray of a non-sanding light grey sealer (available at auto parts stores) to even the color, and then the basecoat color. let it dry for about 15 minutes, wiped it with a tack rag to pick up the overspray, and hit it with the 2K clearcoat.....2 light coats. What you see is what you get. (those are EXTREME close-ups....like using a magnifying glass....trust me when I say that the jambs look great by the naked eye....I'll take area pics later).
  12. nice... I'm doing the same thing with mine.. only with black.
  13. I really like the color/interior combo. A nice candidate for detailing, going to look sharp when it is done.

    I sprayed a couple of engine bays with bombs, mixed single stage enamels, and they turned out great, and lasted. The base/clear looks even better.

  14. I removed the old Magnum 500 rims and white outline tires and put on my set of Keystone Klassic gold anodized wheels with BF's that I took off the 67 Cuda. I paid $400. for the complete set about 8 years ago (used, from a guy in Tennessee) and put about 3000 miles on 'em since then.

    They look a LOT better than the old stuff that was on there.......and while I had the backs off, I painted the rear drums (you can see 'em through the Keystones). I'll do the springs and other stuff when I swap out the rear later on. Probably gonna pick-up a decent used 8-1/4 for it.
  15. Looks like a good start. I'll be checking in on this one.:coffee2:
  16. Well, I finally got the seats stripped, and the foams look good......that's a BIG expense if they were torn up.......All they need is new covers.

    I brushed and cleaned the lower seat frames, baked 'em in the sun, and hit them thoroughly with "rust cap" hammered enamel.......Baked it on in the sun, and it's a clean hard finish. Did the same with the seat tracks.
  17. Hey Tom, that is a cool Duster. I like the options and the bright color combo works with the car. I think your church fund will get a boost from the sale when you are done
  18. I like the car, and unless you plan going radical on the engine or unless you just happen to have a 8 1/4 or 8 3/4 sitting around I would leave the 7 1/4 be.
  19. When they painted this car a few years back, they didn't paint the door jambs or trunk, etc......a real back yard buck savin' mess fer' sure.

    I painted and cleared the jambs previously, and today, I finished around the trunk lid area.........new weatherstrip'll go on tomorrow.........I did base/clear as before. The inside of the trunk floor and well has been prepped, and it's ready for paint.......but it ain't gettin' lime green.....instead, it will get semi-g black base after some rust preventive (not undercoating).....that way, any subsequent owner who wants to restore that area has an easy fix. When it's finished, it'll get a "tip-up" wood floor-board and wall to wall carpet to match the load deck.
  20. Both the trunk lid and the hood were different colors inside......The hood came from a black car, and the trunk from a bronze........To save cash (remember, this thread is about saving money and still doing a nice job on an enthusiasts resto in your4 back yard or garage), the inside surfaces were sanded (320) and cleaned with prep solvent, blown out thoroughly with air, and then given a coat of Dupli-Color universal black metallic....It's a lacquer base, so it grabs hold nicely and dries fast....looks like a "hot rod black", but with a "sheen" from the metallic. Since this car will have semi-gloss black accents, it'll do nicely for these surfaces.....and it's very forgiving on scratched or uneven surfaces.

    The trunk lid is then laid out with proper templates for the new spoiler bracket mounting holes....This is one area where you want to be accurate, so I keep a pair of these templates on the wall.
  21. Great idea for a fundraising donation. Good luck on it!
  22. I traced the cutouts with a sharpie silver marker....great on dark surfaces....Cut the holes with a Dremel Quik-Lok metal cutting wheel so they were accurate with no mess......Ground down the edges and cleaned them up with the Dremel, and painted inside the holes as far as it would reach...touched up around the holes, and we're ready for the exact final measurements for the bolt holes. After they're marked and drilled, on goes the Go-Wing.
  23. Mounted the trunk lid and the hood today after painting the undersides. I lined up the body lines without much trouble because I LEFT the imprints of the original washers......More often than not, lining up the previous marks (in other words, NOT sanding the marks completely off when you refinish the trunk lid underside and/or the hood hinge) will put you almost dead on. I had to tweak the hood about an 8th of an inch after the initial tightening.

    I circled a few small dents to take care of, and set the hood scoop in place so I could determine the amount of shaving needed to match the slight "V" in the center of the Dusters hood......Piece of cake with a sanding block and some 80 grit......after that, I'll lay out my template for the air inlets and scoop mounting bolts.
  24. I have a 73 sunroof car from what I found there where only 713 made with sunroofs mine is missing so many parts Im gonna build it my way but yours looks pretty complete
  25. Yep, it is complete......but I'll be honest, I'm a little hesitant to open the dang sunroof.......They put in new seals and vinyl and such, along with a nice new headliner......BUT, the previous owner said they didn't renew the mechanism.......that scares me.......so I haven't opened it.......:banghead:
  26. Gettin' started on the hood now......Some dings and small dents to be smoothed out, then some 2K primer......after that, we sand the rest of the area that will receive the black eggshell, including the scoop.....I'll cut the holes for the fresh air before the final paint.
  27. Some guys insist on stripping everything down to bare metal before they start any body work.....problem is that most enthusiasts that want to do it themselves have no viable way to strip without getting into an expensive, time consuming or incredibly messy job. (and that's what this thread is about....doing it yourself, correctly, without breaking the bank).

    Most small dings and dents can be repaired without stripping, and as I'm doing here on this section of the hood, can be done by just about any auto enthusiast, and done so it will last the lifetime of the car. Small dents can be ground down with a power grinder to give some metal to work on (then roughed with 60 grit paper), OR taken down with 40 grit paper.....a good wipe with prep solvent (or lacquer thinner), and your body filler will stick like glue. (I realize that this is a matter of contention with some....but I've been restoring cars for over 40 years now and have never had an adhesion failure on small areas like this....ever).

    A thin coat of filler over the 40 grit area, enough to fill the ding.....when dry (and I stress "dry"), I'll block sand it with 60 grit until it's flat.....a very thin "kiss coat" of filler goes over that, and I finish with a block and some 80 grit....then comes the 2K primer and I'm ready for finish sanding and painting.
  28. Subscribed.
  29. Are the magnums 15 inchers? Are you sellin them?
  30. The magnums sold a while ago, and they were 14's....Had they been 15's, I would have shelved them for restoration.

    My son-in-law, who wants this Duster when it's done, asked if I would color key the Keystones with the lime green instead of the gold insets that they have now........At some point, I think I'll do one and set it side by side with the stock rim...........Sounds interesting, but I'm not sure what it would look like.......although, I love Olds Rally rims when they're the same color as the car.....not sure about the Keystones. :coffee2:
  31. The keystones should stay with the gold inserts just my .02
  32. Back to the hood dings and dents.......Hoods can be miserable to work on, especially on the top portions where there's little support from framing. For these areas, I use a 3M hand block with 60 grit, and NO hand pressure.

    (remember I told you to let that filler get HARD?......I let hood areas cure for 2 days before sanding because it cuts smoother and easier, and I can get away with ONE piece of paper versus 10 if I sanded too soon....you do it your way if you want, but this is mine....and it works).

    I lay the block over the cured filler, hold the block by my finger tips, then let my wrist twist back and forth quickly over the area until I reach what I call a "ghost layer"......this is when I can SEE the outlines of the ding/dent THROUGH a very thin layer of filler.....a quick swish and a swipe more, and I STOP. It's now ready for a "kiss coat" of filler, and we'll sand it down after it's cured with some 80 grit before priming.....when it's done, you'll never see a thing. Remember....if you cut down to the edges of your dent, you've GONE TOO FAR. Leave a "ghost". ..........and KEEP THAT BLOCK FLAT.
  33. While I'm smoothing the hood out with 80 grit getting it ready for the 2K primer, I laid out my handy dandy template for the 4" "Ram air" cut-outs......I designed the template back in 2005 for future reference.....Just lay it on the hood rear center, check your width on each side, and voila'........ Easy job. Some guys don't use the holes with these scoops......I say baloney......the engine bay temperature is drastically reduced with the downforced air, keeping your passenger compartment cooler and exiting the hot air under the car.....PLUS, you feed the bay cooler air for the carb. Just makes sense I think.
  34. Next, I laid out my handy dandy dual-snorkle stud hole template (which I designed long ago for just such momentous hysterical occasions as this.......).......lay it against the back of the hood, center marked, then check the sides for equi-distance........Voila'.........stud holes marked with silver marker......BUT, I lay the scoop upside down and double check the distances between the holes....they MUST match up with the hood marks......micro adjustments NOW will mean a smoooooooth installation at the end.
  35. Looks like your moving right along. Good job!
  36. In keeping with the purpose of the thread (which is doin' it yer'self, and savin' some cash), I moved ahead with the hood today......

    After blocking the filler to a nice feather with 80 grit, I chose to hit the sanded areas with some 2K epoxy primer.....again opting for a spray bomb....quick, easy, low overhead and plenty effective on small areas..... Only the sanded areas got the 2K.....after final blocking, the whole hood will get a high solids primer before wet sanding and basecoat.
  37. Plastic parts are a nightmare for the average enthusiast. Searching for and trying to purchase the correct color parts for an interior rebuild is sometimes next to impossible, if not merely for the financial considerations. On this car with the fold down seat option, I had to deal with the elusive "inner fender well covers".....many of these have dried out and begun to chalk and crumble.....BUT, you can turn that trash to treasure if you're patient. I'll explain in the next frame.

    Plastic parts I gathered for this build included some black ones.....ALL the plastic has to be cleaned with a good degreasing detergent (I use simple green and a brush), rinsed well, then dried in the sun (at least that's what I do here in sunny Florida). After this, a rubbing with 0000 steel wool.....then a good air blow, and a wipe with a good prep solvent. You can then use standard enamels with spray adhesion promoter FIRST, or Krylon Fusion...... Many guys swear by SEM products, BUT after years and years of testing and spending, I've found the new Fusions to be excellent and cost effective, IF sprayed properly (after cleaning, a "dust coat" is applied and dried.....then "medium coats" until color is achieved...NOT wet coats).....and they WON'T BREAK THE BANK, again, what this thread is about.
  38. The inner fender well covers on this car were trash. Period. Holes worn through, and chalking 1/8" thick......the plastic surface just crumbled off. I had to sand the bad surfaces with 60 grit paper (lightly) until the chalking was carefully taken care of. A good cleaning, and then I applied a coating of what's called "Stone Texture" paint, I believe by Rustoleum. It has an aggressive texture, and can rebuild the surface of the destroyed plastic. Patience is needed, since you need to coat it one day, and recoat it the next, and so on. I used the lightest color available, then a bit of my color over top (a dusting)......NOW, after this picture was taken, I need another texture coat anda a full days cure.....then another dusting of a bit of color.....and I STRESS a dusting, because if you apply color too soon or too heavily, the texture will be RUINED.....the enamel will soften the texture if not allowed to cure. TAKE YOUR TIME. Actual holes worn through the plastic can be filled from the BACK with small strand fiberglass filler before texturing and painting.
  39. Lookin good. Thanks for the info on the plastic panels. Might be interested in it when done.
  40. Nice articulation,attention to detail.
  41. Not sure yet but I think I'm learning something here. Keep up the good work.:coffee2:
  42. I have a 17 month old son, who has a granpa that is awesome. He is doing all this work to this duster and shipping it to new york so that me, being his son in law, and my family can enjoy going to the shows in upstate ny. the car is going great, and me and my family are so happy. Thanks again, i only wish i had the talent that doc has. Conner says keep up the good work and he cant waite to go cruisin..he says "vroom vroom vroom " every time he sees the pictures. when the car is here I will post pics of the car in sonme of the awesome shows here in N.Y...thanks again !!!
  43. Well "Little C", all those nice new lookin' white plastic parts are gonna be goin' in the car this week, about the same time as the new carpeting......I'll post some pics.........By the way, you need a good "avatar" (photo for your identification).......I could think of a few good ones, BUT we'll leave that up to your Daddy.........:burnout:
  44. :burnout:
  45. Well, after a long break (for an illness and another back injury....Joy Rapture.....), I've been concentrating on the Duster again.

    When I bought the car, it was a mess....the paint was fairly fresh, but miserable....orange peel, terrible blocking, etc....... I've been busy correcting what I could on the outside shell, getting ready for striping and accent painting.''Challenger Gary" did the side stripes for me about a year ago or more, and now they're ready to hang..... The sides of the car have been wet sanded with 400 grit, then followed up with 600, then buffed and polished with 2 varying grades of liquid compound. After a good cleaning with prep solvent, Windex and a damp cloth, it's ready now for the stripes to be applied. I'll be floating them into place using "Rapid Tac" liquid (a little alcohol, water and a tiny bit of soap....you can make your own).
  46. Nice work there!! I noticed the keyboard. Are you a keyboard player?
  47. The Z-Hill's car show is the 2nd week of Nov at the Fairgrounds... I always find some part for a Mopar ...The Feb show is much larger but, you may find some thing for your Mopar right in your own back yard ...Rick
  48. Piano, Keyboard, Guitar, Bass & Vocal........& MIDI.......A bit eccentric me thinks.
  49. great info, thanks!
  50. FIRST things first........I'm installing a Mopar stripe, but NOT a factory Duster style....reason is 2-fold.....I happen to LIKE the Demon style, and DIS-like the Dusters......Secondly, and important is the fact that the body man, whomever he was, did NOT block in a true and straight center body line....BUMMER. SO, I could redo the entire body (and spend WAY too much cash that I'd never recover in my wildest dreams), or artistically compensate by applying proper striping. Purists and guys who are loaded with cash need not read further. AGAIN.......THIS THREAD is for the enthusiast who wants to do a decent job on what he can AFFORD, and come out with a great looking car to cruise.

    SO, with that stated (again), I've started by stretching a black vinyl pinstripe down the side of the car exactly where I want the center of my new side stripes.....VERY important step.
  51. I start at the back of the car and work forward.....Big part of the stripe is easier to see and center to start with. I spray the area liberally with my solution so there are NO dry spots where the stripe is going..... Carefully peeling back a little of the backer (about 18" or so to start), I press the stripe onto it's starting point (determined by the rear and center body line)........I carefully place the rest of the stripe OVER the pinstripe guide to align it........When it's floated into place, I begin to "wipe" the stripe with my FELT squeegee.....(plastic will scratch the vinyl)......FIRST wiping lengthwise to "set" the stripe in place, THEN top to bottom to squeegee out the solution. After a short time of working the solution out, I CAREFULLY attempt to start peeling off the "mask" (wide tape that holds the vinyl stripe).......starting at the very end, I peel a tiny bit, holding the end of the black in place with my felt squeegee......then carefully and slowly proceeding, pressing the black vinyl down with the felt as I peel off the mask.........and the mask MUST be peeled at a VERY SHARP ANGLE as pictured....NEVER pull up.....pull sharply down and away.
  52. After the stripes are set in place, you need to squeegee (with felt preferably, but if not, be careful if you use plastic) the remaining liquid from under the stripes. It can look great, but chances are that there's some residual in there that can be removed easily.......Just start pushing up and away on the top of the stripe, and down and away on the bottom.....a small spot at a time.....you'll be surprised how much more you'll see come out. When the sides are done (one section at a time), you'll need to roll the stripe around the edge of the quarter, the door edges and the fender edge......if they don't stick too good at first (I hope you cleaned the inside of those edges!), they will in a few minutes....just work them in around the edges with your thumb and/or finger until they set down properly.......Check back in a half hour and do the same thing again. Don't forget to trim the excess from the inside edges and door jamb for a nice finished look. Three things (other than a good eye) will ensure a good job.............A good solution to float the stripes, a good felt squeegee, and a nice sharp razor cutter to trim your edges with.(Exacto or similar). (By the way, I'm NOT finished with the stripes yet......I have another black section in my mind for the upper quarter, "Duster" style, and the stripes are going to be trimmed with a contrasting color.)
  53. Like I said, I'm NOT finished.........

    I can't speak for everyone here, and I don't mean to insult Mopar designers, but I NEVER liked the unfinished look of Mopar stripes.........I've painted cars for nearly 40 years now, and finish pinstriping has always been a mainstay and finishing touch for a classy paint job. SO.........., I decided to be true to my roots and finish the side stripes.

    I chose Pro-Stripe metallic silver 1/4" for the job......I order bulk rolls from suppliers rather than trying to find stuff at a local jobber.....and HEAR YE......Do NOT "stretch" vinyl pinstriping when you put it ON !!!! This stuff is designed to be PRESSED on, with DOWNFORCE rather than trying to stretch it straight.....DRAW A LINE if need be, but don't stretch the stuff.....it'll stretch itself right back OFF the car if you do. On this application, I just follow the edges of the black stripes.....BUT, you have to look carefully and have decent lighting......it's easy to get it off track....so go SLOW and EASY.....just pressing it an inch or so at a time along your line. Patience pays off. When it's finished, it needs to be set with a blow dryer or direct sunlight for a good adhesion.....get it hot, and press STRAIGHT DOWN on it a bit at a time with your thumb.
  54. If you remember, I previously used plastic templates to mark the underside of the trunk lid for the correct factory holes used for rear Go-Wing mounting. I'm ready to mount the actual brackets now.....they have to be screwed into the lid, and then they provide a flat reinforced surface by which to properly hold down that spoiler......without these brackets, you have holes drilled through the lid into sharply angled steel surfaces......

    I put the Go-Wing together and got it ready to mount.....Pretty easy.....Small brackets screw down and hold the pedestal in place.....I ran a tap through the adjuster holes to get rid of the excess paint from the factory, then inserted the tempered allen bolts which are used to adjust the angle of the spoiler for more or less downforce.
  55. Would like to see how the entire profile of the car looks with the added silver stripe. Diggin the Keystones.
  56. I'm going to put together a separate thread on this Go-Wing installation so the guys can benefit more from it.......It's basically "hidden" in the resto thread.....I'll get it put together soon.

    To install the spoiler brackets, I use the actual factory holes that are pre-positioned for them in the standard trunk lid....A small 3/16 bolt down through from inside, then carefully threading the nut in place and tweaking it good. Next comes a #10 X 1/2" stainless screw in the other hole (I had to drill for that one...no factory hole) to finish the install.
  57. After the brackets are installed, I double checked the overall width from bracket to bracket....I found a tolerance of 1/8" between the holes, so I'm good to go.....the bracket holes are oversized for some possible variances.

    I taped over a small philips screwdriver until it was the same size as the bracket hole......Inserting the screwdriver in the hole, it's now centered.....I carefully line up the screwdriver at a 90 degree angle to the bracket, and punch upward carefully for a tiny "ding" that will show up on the outer trunk lid. I mark both punches, and check for proper width (has to be the exact width of the spoiler studs) AND I also measure down to the marks from the upper corners of the trunk lid, AND from EACH SIDE of the lid to be CERTAIN the holes are centered and even with the body lines of the car.
  58. After being certain that my measurements are correct, centered and straight across the body lines (as previously stated), I'm ready to drill the upper holes that I've marked..........I center punched the mark, and used a sharp 5/8" drill bit....the studs are 1/4".....you want that tiny bit of play.

    After drilling ONE hole, I install that stud on the spoiler posts, and set it in place on the hood INCLUDING the rubber gaskets......When it's set perfectly in place, as I hold it down, I make a ball point pen mark around the bottom of the gasket, and remove the spoiler. After this, I can easily and accurately mark the second hole for a perfect fit.
  59. Included with the spoiler, you get your 1/4" studs and a set of washers and standard nuts.....they're OK I guess, BUT I opted to use the real deal.....Factory nuts are available as a repop, and they look right, AND cover the extra threads.

    I NEVER use a wrench when installing these nuts.....Being sure the spoiler is setting down FLAT to the trunk lid, I install a flat washer and the factory nut under the bracket......I FINGER tighten it.....I install the second nut the same way......THEN, moving to the other side, I repeat it......After a close inspection to be sure it's again FLAT on the lid, I gently press the Go-Wing DOWN onto the lid one side at a time, and again FINGER TIGHTEN the factory bolts to snug them in.......If you OVERTIGHTEN them, you'll adversely draw down your lid and get big dimples around the spoiler. When it's just right, add a drop of lock-tight on the tip of the nut if you want.

    If you've done it as stated, you'll have a perfectly installed Go-Wing.
  60. Nice tutorial.
  61. As you can see in the last photo after the Go-Wing installation, the tail panel of the Duster is just a plain Jane.......It's green.......that's all......kinda' like Kermit Thee Frog........and the body work was leaving MUCH to be desired.....again.....(I honestly don't know WHY more guys don't use a simple sanding block on flat surfaces......SO, I stared at it for a while..............

    I decided to lay out a tail panel blackout design similar to what I've seen on classic Mopars.....not exactly like anything, but in the ball park.....I decided on a split stripe, over but not under the tails, and again, trimmed out in silver with a Duster logo. Problem was the finish.....the green was pretty rough.....I decided to lay out the pattern, then block the area a bit flatter than it was.....after this, I cleaned it with a good prep solvent, finished the masking and laid on a couple coats of a "textured" metallic, similar to Mopar Argent (but a LOT cheaper than the big brands)........After it dried for an hour, I b4egan to lay on thin dust coats of flat black to match the Go-Wings finish....(keep in mind that the wing is textured too.....This will be a close match).....After thorough coverage with the black, dry time and demasking, I stood back and saw that I liked it...........(sometimes I don't....that can be a bummer).
  62. After a bit of drying time, I laid out my silver metallic pinstriping to match the side stripes, and added a Duster 340 logo where the old "holes" were for the metal tail badge...............I think this treatment SCREAMS Mopar......and it cost me under 10 bucks, + the logo decal.......and the flat treatment is VERY forgiving on less than perfect surfaces.
  63. If any of you guys are actually being helped by this thread, could you please hit the "thanks" button on the bottom of the posts..............I'd appreciate knowing if any of the sections are doing anyone any good............:coffee2:
  64. Right now, she's in a tight spot in the garage......When I get her outdoors, I'll post some good profiles for ya'..........Thanks. :burnout:
  65. your tail light bezels look like they are in decent shape, you need to clean them up and paint the black line on them. Consider yourself lucky it took my 5 years to find nice factory replacements. I hear the repo's are junk and they are def over priced
  66. My buddy has a set of repos and loves them he just had to touch up the black stripe on one side
  67. Since I've been working on exterior finishing touches, I decided to finally clean that vinyl top........The previous owner had it redone a while before I bought it with new deep grained ivory white (Navajo, Antique, whatever shade you want to call it....it matches the new Legendary seat covers nicely).

    I wiped the dust off, gave it a quick wipe with windex, then did small areas at a time with a stiff bristle tooth brush and some Lemon Simple Green.....really digs out the dirt and grime from the grain....I followed close behind with paper towels on each area..... After half of the roof was scrubbed and wiped, I sprayed it lightly again and wiped it good........Did the other side, and baby it was clean.

    Next, I used some Armor All "Ultra Shine" protectant....Got the entire top good and wet with the stuff (it's thicker than normal....pretty good stuff)......I let it sit for HOURS so the vinyl drank up what it needed, THEN came back and "scrubbed" off the excess with dry paper towels.....Not much excess came off....Now it looks like new.

  68. Car looks awesome!!!!
    Cool!!! I play Keys also. I have a current stable of a Korg Triton LE, Kurzweil K2000, A Roland U20, a Yamaha PF85, Roland E500. and 2 upright pianos and 3 Yamaha Portasound boards. Been playing since age 8. Classic Rock and Blues.
  69. Yeah, we could open our own music shops........I like the Kurzweil PC88mx....have 3 of them, a Suzuki Grande Ensemble 6 foot Grand for Church, a Korg X3R and a Roland MT32 MIDI set-up....along with my MIDI drums and my geeeetar & amp stable......I've been tryin' to thin the herd, but it ain't easy........:banghead:
  70. Any updated pictures of the build?
  71. Subscribed. Just the thread I needed to find, for this is something that I will be doing very soon I hope. You're doing an awesome job. Hope your family in New York is OK.
  72. Nice job Tom!
  73. Thanks guys.......... I'll be getting back to the next phase of the build in a few days......

    I have to do a dash restoration, a console "freshening", new carpets, restoration of some very tired door panels, etc..........I'll post each step as I go. :glasses7:
  74. I really like that car great work
  75. Well, it's been over a year since I last updated the restoration........Sicknesses, scheduling, floods, etc.......WHAT A YEAR....... But here we go again.

    After the last posts, I needed to get going on rebuilding the fold down rear interior of this strange beasty. For those of you who own one, you may know the plastic wheelwell covers are very brittle with age, and can be a pain. BUT, I repaired them using silicone in the holes, building what I needed for a nice surface, then textured the things with "Stone" paint....a really aggressive spatter paint, in various colors. Worked GREAT. I installed the covers after recovering the rear steel deck with black carpet. I rebuilt the rear fold-down out of 3/4 marine grade ply, using the same hardware and latches.....Used the old one as the pattern, including the exact screw holes. Recovered it with black carpet, and it looks great, and works perfect.

    After I finished the install, I covered the lower lips of the wheelwell covers with a custom cut piece of birch to firmly hold the edges down and give it a nice touch (lots of woodwork going in this car)....those edges are very old, and needed some extra support and protection..........I recovered the rear upper deck too, and reinstalled the steel trim...the trim will likely be polished a bit when everything is done. It has a tough factory finish, and I wanted to leave it if possible. Looks pretty good.
  76. God Bless the "Legendary" interior company.....But have you PRICED some stuff lately? They want nearly $400. for a pair of the REAR door panels (you know....the "little ones"....!!!!!!) Mine were ratty, and I hemmed and hawed until I just decided, tonight, to redo them myself. Here goes.

    First, do NOT think this is "too hard".....it ISN'T. WATCH.

    I had some white pleated vinyl left over from my custom interior on the F-100 project.....I measured it, and had enough for all 4 door panels. I also have some self adhesive backed Mahogany Veneer that I bought for this car, to redo the upper portion of the panels.....SOoooooo, I quit cryin' and started flyin'.

    I laid out my patterns as pictured, making sure the lines were "level" with the old trim on the panel. I then cut and tabbed the edges so I could fold them over, securing them with Weld-Wood contact cement. (don't use "spray" glue...it isn't strong enough in my experience). After folding into the glue, I taped the edges just to hold them down while I continued to work (didn't want to catch an edge on somethin').

    Next, I glued the vinyl to the front of the panel, being sure again to be STRAIGHT and true with the pleated line. I then cut out a piece of Mahogany, using the upper portion of the panel as the pattern.....I attached the mahogany, pressing it firmly into place, then trimmed the edges for a perfect match to the panel's shape. I masked off the new vinyl, snaded the top of the mahogany with a quick skim of 400 grit, thoroughly wiped the wood clean, and gave it a nice coat of clear acrylic lacquer to bring out the natural grain. I finished it off with a new chrome strip in the exact location of the old factory strip, and VOILA'........BETTER THAN NEW panels in my opinion. TOTAL COST of materials was appx. $20. per panel.....ONE TENTH of brand new replacements. (Total time for a pair, 1.5 hours including glue drying time). I can now hit the vinyl with a tiny touch of SEM or similar to exactly match the new bucket seat covers from Legendary.

    I'll repeat the same process on the front panels. The edges of the wood that are clearly seen after installation will be sealed with a paintable silicone bead, perfectly smoothed over (making the edge of the old panel and edge of the new wood literally ONE edge), and color matched.
  77. Your car is really looking sharp, I love that interior.
    You've given it a cool custom look. :thumbup:
  78. Verrry Coool....Brian
  79. Thanks guys......... It's a labor of love fer' sher'.........The car has been givin' me fits, but I want to DRIVE IT pretty soon.......It hasn't seen the sun in over 2 years now.:protest:

    The Legendary covers were finally stretched on last week, and the tracks are installed.........I'll put up some before and afters pretty soon. :blob:
  80. Welcome back ,Pastor...
  81. I'll have to keep this in mind on our project.
  82. Nice work, you're gonna make someone happy.

    Just curious, you're buffing out the urethane, will it shine more than a gloss spraybomb without the 2K clear or is the clear just for durability?

    This gave me an idea. 2k urethane could potentially be sanded to make a nice durable semi-gloss... might be easier than spraying a clear with flatting agent which is rumoured to be difficult.
  83. I'm about to use a flattening agent (actually just a cornstarch mix of sorts...and what a mark-up!) on the black-out for the hood. If MIXED properly the first time, you'll get a nice even appearance like "hot-rod" flat or satin, depending on how much additive you use.

    I'm not sure how you'd satin out a dry clearcoat without seeing the sanding marks......BUT, if it's possible, it'll be 1000 grit and UPwards that would give the best result overall.....then to maintain that look would be difficult, because every time you wipe the paint from then on, you'll actually be "polishing" it, even if it's with your finger...... Don't think it's an idea that would last very long, all things considered. Even the flatting will polish when rubbed or cleaned too hard, leaving you with uneven streaks.....You need to baby it.
  84. I found some time today to get back on the Duster build for a while. I've been avoiding the restoration of the upper-back seat area, since it's covered with old ratty carpet and dusty contact cement.......Got it stripped though, then cleaned and prepped the steel "body" of the seat (after removing the upholstery, that is.....the seat cover is mere vinyl and foam over a piece of masonite backer....it's held onto the frame with 3 slide-lock tabs, and 3 screws).

    After prepping the steel "pan" or frame piece, I gave it a generous coating of rust-proofing black gloss enamel....sticky paint, adheres great, and has a hard finish. The latches and hinges were cleaned and painted the same. After the paint dried, I installed new black carpet to match the rest of the interior, on the BACK of the steel seat pan......this part folds down to become your "load-deck". Trimmed the edges and sealed them with some transparent glue (to stop fraying of the carpet edge), installed a nice piece of chrome strip to separate the carpet and paint, put the upholstery back on, and VOILA' !

    Now I'm ready to install the rear door panels, and the entire rear seat assembly!!! THEN, on to the console and buckets! The console will be the worst part......For 2 cents I'd remove it and do another Hurst Pistol conversion like I did in the Dart Sport.....FUN when it's 'dun, but a pain goin' in.
  85. I installed the rear seat belts, snapped in the new custom made rear door panels, attached the plastic spring return cover, and then put the rear seat system in. Pretty simple job, but you need to be sure your upper seat 'latches' are seated all the way into their 'perches' before you tighten the 4 bolts for the seat assembly. After a few minute' adjustments, it looks great. I have a little hand painting yet to do on some exposed parts, but nuthin' serious.....I'll most likely match those wood hold downs to the color scheme as well.

    I didn't think I'd like the overall look, BUT it's kind'a neat...especially folded down. Just right for a surfboard.
  86. Well, after an actual 6 year delay (yes, the car has been sitting in the garage for the last SIX years since my last post here), I can get back to work on the project. I lost BOTH of my rotator cuffs since the last post, and suffered a head-on that totaled my beautiful Conversion Van and nearly broke my neck.....Anyway, I'm Baaaaaaaaaaack.

    As I last said, I'd be working on the console. It was an ugly mess, with the usual pitting and bubbling of the alloy top, and to most enthusiasts, a total loss. The ashtray was absolute toast, and it looked as if all was lost....BUT, I never give up, especially when the alternative is laying out massive amounts of cash for new console tops. I chose instead to slightly customize what I had, using a trick I learned from some old school pros. I stripped the console down completely, cleaned it up with a scrub and rinse, then prepped the plastic for a new black satin finish.....Easy enough, but the tops needed a complete "overlay". I did a complete ashtray "delete" by making a template and cutting a top from standard 3/16" lauan. The thickness of the lauan serves to HIDE the massive oxidation of the existing alloy/chrome, giving the unit a new chance for life. When this was firmly attached with construction adhesive around the edges (and clamped overnite), I used the templates I made to cut new Mahogany Veneer overlays (real wood, not vinyl....it matches the custom door panels), and carefully applied it over the lauan.





  87. After carefully applying the veneer, I masked off the chrome for the clear lacquer topcoats. The Mahogany was prepped with 400 grit to smooth the fuzz,and wiped with a tack rag before painting. 3 Coats later, it was a match for the door panels, and looking like a totally different console....From junk to WOW, and no more ugly pits! Just some normal aging on the rest of the exposed chrome....that I can easily live with. I also restored the shifter display parts while they were out, and reinstalled them when the new tops were ready. Here's the finished product ready to go in the car, EXCEPT for the new carpet strips I'll custom cut and glue on beforehand. It'll be a one piece carpet strip, in the shape of a "dogleg" basically, that wraps around the back of the console body for a nice fit.




  88. First, welcome back and I'm glad to hear your doing well!
    Secondly, what an awesome car. You do beautiful work.
    My son and I both have Scamp's. If you ever need any help or just want to talk Mopars give me a shout. I'm in DeLand, just a hop and a skip.
  89. Looks good, you got skills.
  90. Welcome back. I was away for a similar period of time and recently woke up the hibernating frog. It is seeing some slow progress now.
    Nice work on the console.
  91. That looks awesome!!!
  92. Yup....sure looks great all right. Can’t wait to see it in the car with the door panels.
    And....welcome back.
  93. Welcome back that backseat area looks amazing hopefully mine turns out half that good is the trim around the back Dash factory or did you make that
  94. You'll have to clarify for me what exact trim you're talking about.......
  95. The black trim going right to left
    Quarter window to quarter window

  96. That's the factory trim....2 pieces, refinished in black satin as original.
  97. Damn I wonder where I can find one of those