My 1969 Dart GTS 340 thread!

Members Restorations

  1. Ddaddy

    Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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    First of all, I'm very happy to be a member here now and I have been getting a lot of great information here over the past few months as I pull my car together. I thought I would share where I've been with car up until now and then track the progress in the future.

    I owned lots of old A body Mopars back in the '80s (and a few B bodies) and the one I loved most was my F8 green '69 Dart GT. I always said that if I found another one that I would buy it. In late June of this year I found one listed for sale by pure chance and decided to get it. That's where this story begins...

    The car was listed by Fast Lane Cars in St. Louis. It had 72k original miles and factory AC. I decoded the fender tag and the VIN and verified that it was what they claimed. The car had a 360 magnum engine in it but very little else was known about where it came from or what had been done to it. I could tell from the videos I requested that it had a healthy cam but that was about all. I checked out the dealer, did some face-time inspection of the car by video and requested very specific pictures of certain details.

    Everything seemed good, so I made the deal and had it shipped to me without having actually looked at the car in person (yikes!) and held my breath until it arrived.

    Below are the pics of what it looked like before it was shipped and coming off the truck when it got here. Once it arrived I discovered that it was running like total crap but otherwise was exactly as represented. In the next few posts I will try to walk through what I figured out about what the car was, where it had been in it's life and what I've done to it so far.
     

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  2. QWKSLVR

    QWKSLVR Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to FABO. This is the place to be if you are looking for any kind of help with your car. Very nice Dart also. Bobby
     
  3. Ddaddy

    Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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    Thanks! This is a great place. :)
     
  4. Ddaddy

    Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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    The saga continued...

    The car was delivered to me in mid July. The initial excitement wore off (quickly) once I realized how badly she was running and was able to see all the details. The car was in generally good shape but showing her age. She appeared to have been partially restored about 15 years ago and reasonably well done...but a lot was missed or ignored and the 360 Magnum engine install was apparently done by some local garage that didn't really know Mopars.

    The car wouldn't stay running in gear at idle, it bucked and shook, rattled, groaned, the brakes were badly out of adjustment and it was nearly unroadworthy. Since I was going on vacation a week later all I could do was get a storage garage for her (no garage at my house) and park her while I wondered if I had gotten in deeper than I wanted to be. :(

    It was going to be mid-August before I could even begin to figure out what I had on my hands...
     

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  5. Sparky

    Sparky Well-Known Member

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    Love that car!:prayer::prayer::prayer:
     
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    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks! It has gotten even better as I've pulled it together. :)
       
    • 4spdragtop

      4spdragtop FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Absolutely gorgeous! My 69 cuda is the same color.
      I would have bought your car sight unseen as well. Lol
      Welcome aboard
       
    • toplscuda

      toplscuda Well-Known Member

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      Love seeing pics of that car. Here or on the charger forum
       
    • WRB426

      WRB426 Insane 4 Mopars FABO Gold Member

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      Looks like you've got a great starting point.
      Was that a Hellcat in the trailer with your Dart?
       
    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks!
       
    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Ha! Nice to see you here too! I thought the name looked familiar!
       
    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks and Yep! That was a Hellcat Chally being delivered to upstate NY the day before my Dart came to me. Kinda cool that they were on the same truck!
       
    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks! Buying sight unseen was a risk but I did as much diligence as I could before pulling the trigger. I'd love to see your 'Cuda!

      (I meant to post more of a response last time)
       
    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      The saga continued...

      In mid-August I was finally able to get back to figuring out what the car was, where it had been and what it needed.

      I also got a small folder with some paperwork from the previous owner and a few of the original sale document notes from 1968.

      The car was ordered new by a housewife in Baton Rouge LA sometime in late August of 1968 and built on October 9th (that explains the lack of headrests on the seats). It has 3.91 rear gears and was originally a V88 stripe-delete option too. From there it was sold to someone in Mississippi in 1979 and then later bought by the person in Missouri who owned it before me around 1995. I am the 4th owner.

      The car was partially restored in 1999 and a Mopar Performance 360 Magnum 380 hp motor was dropped in around 2003. The AC was retrofit for modern R-134A refrigerant and the second gear band in the tranny was replaced with Kevlar. The intake was the Mopar M1 single plane, Edelbrock Performer 600 cfm carb, Mopar Performance electronic ignition and Heddman short tube headers. The motor install was done by some local garage that did a bit of a hack job on a bunch of details. The motor had 12k miles on it since the install.

      With that basic information and a whole lot of diagnostic detective work (along with some help from my friends at Tillman's Speed Shop), I was able to get her running right between then and now. Since I want this car to be a street cruiser rather than a track buggy, I also tamed down the engine too.

      Here is what was immediately wrong with it...

      Distributor was shot
      Champion plugs were toast
      Plug wires were cracked and frayed
      Carb was undersized and needed rebuilding
      Vacuum hoses leaked

      Here's what I replaced and added...

      Comp Cams 264HR short snout hydraulic roller camshaft
      264°/274°duration (210°/220° @ 0.050) and .512 in. /.512 in. lift
      Double roller timing chain and gears
      Carter rotary vane electric fuel pump P4070 – 72 gph. 4-8 psi
      Edelbrock RPM Air Gap Magnum aluminum dual-plane intake
      Edelbrock 650 cfm AVS Thunder 4bbl carburetor 1806
      JEGS 40500 Forged Mopar Vacuum Advance Electronic Distributor
      MSD Super Conductor 8.5mm silicone suppression spark plug wires
      Autolite Copper 3924 spark plugs
      K&N High performance Air Filter
      11”externally balanced 2500 rpm stall torque converter

      Today the car runs nice and smooth with just a nice little cam rumble. She still has plenty of power and can smoke the tires at will...but is equally tame and cruises comfortably around town and in stop-and-go traffic. I also cleaned up the engine bay to make it more presentable.



       

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    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      The saga continued...

      In parallel with the mechanical work, I have been replacing and upgrading details on the body and interior. Here's what I've done so far...


      New door lock pulls and ferrules
      New dome light
      Grant steering wheel
      New Scat pack quarter window bees
      Rear glass Mopar decal
      New trunk liner
      New GTS tail badge
      New GTS nose badge
      New hood inserts and engine call-outs
      Vintage 1969 PA license plate (permanent lifetime tag)
      Stainless steel wheel beauty rings
      General deep cleaning and touch-ups


      Here's what the details look like...
       

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    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Well, that's the story so far. Winter is coming and it's getting to be time to put her away in the storage garage until we move into our new house with a heated 2 car garage in January.

      Once I have her inside I will continue with the upgrades. I plan to do some more interior trim restoration/replacement and then tackle underneath in the Spring.

      So far on the list is a full replacement of the suspension and steering components, rear springs, shocks, front disc brake conversion and rear drum full restoration. I will also likely replace the exhaust and detail the underbody.

      In the meanwhile, here's some eye candy of how she sits today...
       

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    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Well, today was the closure of the saga for 2015. I took the car over to show my Dad at his Alzheimer's care facility and take him for a little ride. He hasn't seen it in person before. It was a nice sunny day, clear and cool so I took him on a short cruise through the park. he enjoyed it thoroughly but I think it wore him out because he fell asleep shortly after we got back. :)

      Then I took the car over to the storage garage and put her away for the next several months until I move her into the garage in the new house. It was a little sad to park her but I was also feeling satisfied with the work I've done over the past few months and how she is running now. In about 6 weeks or so I will be able to begin the next phase of the restoration in the new garage. :)
       

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    • Teeth & Tires

      Teeth & Tires A-retentive

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      Gorgeous car, man.
       
    • Ddaddy

      Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks!

      I really do love it! :)
       
    • toplscuda

      toplscuda Well-Known Member

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      Glad to see the weather cooperated so you could take dad for a ride.
       
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      • 65dartcharger

        65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Love that car. Find a car that you really want and making it way better then the seller stated. Hats off for a beautiful car!
         
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        • Fisher

          Fisher Old Guy with a Cool car.

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          Thats a very decent car. Congrats on a nice Dart.
           
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          • Ddaddy

            Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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            Thanks! He had a great time. :)
             
          • Ddaddy

            Ddaddy I'm changing the World... one pixel at a time! FABO Gold Member

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            Thanks! I'm really looking forward to doing the rest!
             
          • cudacrazy67

            cudacrazy67 Well-Known Member

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            Very nice. Looks like a 68 dash and hood.
             
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