Introducing Project "Scabra Tulitque"

Members Restorations

  1. dibbons

    dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Over ten years ago, our 1965 Plymouth Signet convertible, a rusty 273 automatic daily-driver, was driven from the purchase site of Port Angeles, Washington, to its new home in La Paz, Baja California Sur in two stages. First to California where it was stored several years and then down to sunny Mexico (without having experienced even a hiccup on the way). The trip totaled 2,250 miles with about 50 hours driving time on the road. ("tulitque" is the Latin word for "signet" & "scabra" means "rusty"). I lost the opportunity to take Latin as a freshman in high school, which I regret to this day.

    This project is waiting behind a 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus ("Project Odyssey" on FBBO), and its cousin, a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula "S" ("Project Chihuahua" on FABO). Funds are limited, compounded by the fact that I don't have any welding skills.

    Signet Purchase.JPG

    Signet motor 273.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
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    • dibbons

      dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      According to the fender tag, she was produced in April of 1965 with few options. Equipment per tag: 273 V-8 automatic w/center console, convertible white top, body in light blue, medium blue metallic upper door panels, and blue premium vinyl bucket seats; heater with defroster and a manual driver's side mirror, retractable seat belts front/rear. No power top, no power brakes, no power steering, no radio. Miraculously, both tail lights are in good shape. Why is the bumper jack always missing?

      Previous owner must have installed a radio/antennas (missing) based on the remaining evidence of the installation of dual rear radio antenna bases/cables. Looking at the photo of the 7 1/4 differential cover, I see for the first time today an Auto Recycler yellow marker notation "1974." In the glove compartment we find a six month guarantee for work performed on the Torqueflite 904, and the steering wheel is aftermarket. I replaced the master cylinder. The vehicle does sport wheel moulding (one missing) and baby moon hubcaps and trim rings.

      Signet Fender Tag.JPG

      Antennas.JPG

      Differential.JPG

      Steering Wheel.JPG

      Lt. Rear Wheel.JPG
       
      Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
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      • Stephen Hotz

        Stephen Hotz FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Rusty is also oxidado.
        Good luck on the project.
         
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        • dibbons

          dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          The floorboards have been patched with some very wimpy material and the hood shows many layers of paint over and above the factory finish. Rust is creeping in everywhere. Water pours inside through the cowl vents. Paying the asking price like I did was probably about double what the vehicle was worth back then.

          Top Hood.JPG

          Hood underside.JPG

          Pass Door Rust.JPG

          Lt Quarter.JPG

          Rearview Mirror.JPG

          Trunk Rust.JPG
           
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          • dibbons

            dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Evidence of welding here on the drivers door latch.

            Driver Door Latch.JPG

            Bottom Driver Door.JPG
             
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            • dibbons

              dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I melted a small patch of the seat of the driver's side bucket when I placed a hot trouble light (with a conventional incandescent bulb) there. I ripped the drivers side of the otherwise flawless convertible top when folding it down, without having pulled the padding from the scissors mechanism. The patch yellowed in the sun. I since stuffed loose foam in that spot, which makes the matter worse. Not much visibility out the rear window. So far my "restoration" has been more like an "annihilation."

              Driver Bucket.JPG

              Back Seat.JPG

              Pass Door Panel.JPG

              Top Rip.JPG

              Headliner.JPG

              Rear Window.JPG

              Rear Seat AshtrayJPG.JPG
               
              Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
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              • dibbons

                dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                The "replacement" carpeting feels like 36 grit sandpaper and the heater box has seen better days.

                Driver Floor.JPG

                Pass Carpet.JPG

                Heater.JPG

                Left Floor Vent.JPG

                Rt Floor Vent.JPG
                 
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                • dibbons

                  dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Typical trunk condition for an older Mopar.

                  Left Trunk.JPG

                  Right Trunk.JPG

                  Trunk Pad:Antenna.JPG

                  Trunk Board.JPG

                  Spare Tire Well.JPG
                   
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                  • dibbons

                    dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Runs smooth at highway speeds, rough idle, uneven compression the one time I checked it (years ago). Recently I "carefully" pulled off the spark plug cables, but nonetheless, the ends came off. Two plugs are oil/fuel fowled (top left in last photo).

                    Distributor.JPG

                    plug wire 3JPG.JPG

                    Spark Plugs.JPG
                     
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                    • dibbons

                      dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I borrowed the original rocker shafts and rocker arms to use on a 340/305 project motor I am working on. Recently, I finally purchased a second set of used 273 rocker arms/shafts and this month I plan on installing them. Needed to clean/brush the inside of the shafts, replace the end plugs, polish up the rocker tips, and a quick hone job inside the rocker arms. The adjusting screws were bathed in PB Blaster time and again. So far the rusty valve covers have been degreased, rubbed down with a scratch pad, and have one coat of Ospho. Now trying to clean up the rocker shaft bolt holes a little. Just trying to get the engine running again so I can move the vehicle around accordingly. Not a rebuild!

                      shaft 1.JPG

                      Blue Magic.JPG

                      Rocker Tip Polished.JPG

                      rocker ball.JPG

                      rocker hone.JPG

                      Valve Covers Washed.JPG

                      Valve Covers Treated.JPG

                      Valve Covers Varnish.JPG

                      valve train 2.JPG
                       
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                      • dibbons

                        dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Are green fins on the radiator evidence of a coolant leak or is that just a reaction of copper with the atmosphere? Six blade fan and no factory shroud.

                        Radiator 1.JPG

                        Radiator 2.JPG

                        Radiator 3.JPG
                         
                        Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
                      • dibbons

                        dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        A few more photos to demonstrate the general condition of the vehicle at this time. (Rallye wheel on front belongs to our '65 Barracuda Formula "S")

                        Front View.JPG

                        Pass Headlamp.JPG

                        Passenger Signal.JPG

                        Fender Emblem.JPG

                        Side View.JPG

                        Rear View.JPG

                        Horns.JPG

                        K Frame.JPG

                        Cowl.JPG

                        Air Cleaner.JPG
                         
                      • dibbons

                        dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Accomplished another step with the factory valve covers which I refuse to sand down (just want to get the engine started). Used a scuff pad one more time to remove residue from the Ospho, cleaned up with wax/grease remover, and shot a coat of black RustOleum rust reformer. I find some previous owner brazed around the bolt holes which always split open in that location if one is too aggressive with torquing the tiny fasteners. Before "paint" and ten minutes later:

                        Valve Cover braze 2.JPG

                        Valve Cover Prepped.JPG

                        Valve Cover Rust Reformer.JPG
                         
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                        • 89on35s

                          89on35s Inferno Red Duster FABO Gold Member

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                          That's a real nice little car!

                          Cley
                           
                        • R4Sedan

                          R4Sedan Larry FABO Gold Member

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                          Nice project. You have some nice cars.
                           
                        • tntperk

                          tntperk Well-Known Member

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                          That is a really nice project.
                           
                        • dibbons

                          dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          I'll be installing one of my "limited production" food-grade stainless steel glove box inserts when the time comes. They are patterned after the stock ones (made one for my '72 BBody as well).

                          stainless glove box.JPG
                           
                          Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
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                          • MonkeyMadness

                            MonkeyMadness Well-Known Member

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                            Wow I like this...
                            Any thoughts on selling a few?
                             
                          • dibbons

                            dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            Did not really "restore" rims and baby moons, just cleaned them up a little to prevent more deterioration. From the factory, the outside of the rim was painted black, the inside of the rim was an army green which I imagine was just the rust preventative first-coat they used on the body. I removed all kinds of wheel balance weights on both the inside and outside of both rims, scattered randomly all over. Evidently the dumbshit who last balanced the tires did not think to remove the old weights first.

                            Used chrome polish on the rear trim rings and moons (first photo). Degreased the rear rims, then a coat of Ospho (second photo), used a scratch pad to remove any residue from the Ospho, then a quick coat of RustOleum rust reformer (third photo). Did not sand anything anywhere.

                            The tires are 22 year-old Cooper's, only suitable for pulling in and out of the driveway.

                            Baby Moon.JPG

                            wheel before.JPG

                            wheel after 1.JPG
                             
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                            • JDMopar

                              JDMopar Well-Known Member

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                              You need to work on that hub cap again.....and see if you can polish that dude in the green shirt off of it! :D :p :poke:
                               
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                              • dibbons

                                dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Update: I "preserved" the factory air cleaner by washing, wire brush on drill, sanding, Ospho coating, and gray RustOleum primer. In like fashion to the valve covers, I did not strip all of the paint. This is not the finished product, just interim stuff. Now limited by social security income, this restoration is quickly going from the idea of a complete rotisserie job, to a rat rod/patina thing. (see post #12 above to examine air cleaner original condition)

                                convertible air cleaner 1.JPG

                                convertible air cleaner 2.JPG

                                convertible air cleaner 3.JPG
                                 
                              • dibbons

                                dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                I replaced two bent pushrods, installed a set of used 273 rocker arms and shafts, hand-me-down Accel 8mm plug wires, and Autolite 66 plugs. Adjusted the valves .016"/.025" cold, primed the carb, and with the aid of jumper cables on the dead battery, the motor came to life after about 10 seconds of cranking after sitting for 3 years.

                                I cannot determine why after sitting for years without the rocker shafts installed that I found two pushrods from intake #5 and #6 bent when I put things back together (one barely bent, one severely bent). Must of been Mighty Mouse working out?

                                bent pushrod.JPG

                                rocker shaft 3.JPG

                                finished loom 1.JPG
                                 
                                Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
                              • dibbons

                                dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                The timing upon initial fire-up was exactly TDC. I re-adjusted it to 10 degrees BTDC. The dwell was reading 20 while cranking, but then 28-30 idling (that was strange). I adjusted the carb mixture screws which sped up the idle speed. Dropped the idle speed back down and re-installed the vacuum advance hose. Specs call for 600 RPM idle with headlights on, I raised it a tad in order to smooth the idle out a bit more.

                                There is quite a jar/clunk when shifting from park to either reverse or drive. The temperature on the intake manifold near the temp sensor was 180 degrees according to the CEN-TECH infrared thermometer. The factory coolant temperature and fuel gauge are not working (there is an aftermarket mechanical oil pressure gauge installed by a previous owner).

                                After I pulled back into garage, I noticed a small puddle of oil on the concrete. I can drive it around now (a little disconcerting with no factory power steering or power brakes) except the registration is not current (non-op status).
                                 
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