My 1972 Dart Swinger in F7 Green

j_anderson

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I want to document what I'm doing. This process started a while back so, I'll try to give a bit of summary...

I purchased this car in 1996 when I was 16 years old. The vehicle was listed for sale in the local Peddlers Post. It was for sale about 90 minutes from where I lived. I gave my father the money and he went to look the car over. He decided it was worth the asking price of $900. So, he paid the man and drove it home. I had to work so, I was not along for the ride.



Originally an F7 green car with green deluxe interior, the car was wearing a not so flattering shade of flat black primer. Mechanically, the car had a numbers matching 318 with 904 transmission. She ran well but needed some attention right away. The brakes were in need of work and the steering was a sloppy mess. The body had the usual rust problems. Trunk extenders were suspect, lower quarters behind the wheels were bubbling through some bad bondo work, later, I found out the front floor pans were pretty bad too. The interior was in ok condition. The carpet had been replaced with incorrect black color and type. The AC vents were missing and the AC wasn't in working condition. The dash pad was cracked in a few spots. The stereo opening had been cut long ago and no radio was installed. I used to put batteries in my boombox and would set it on my seat for tunes while I'd cruise with my buddies. My dad and I did a brake job all the way around (power front disc, rear drum) and put on some new tie-rod ends. If I remember correctly, we replaced the gas tank too but I was already thoroughly enjoying the car.



I drove and enjoyed it for 3-4 years before I made the decision to restore it. So, my dad and I took it apart. We bagged and boxed it all up and stored it all in his garage. The body shell was sent to a local shop where they began blasting it to reveal how much rot was there. It was determined she would need new quarters, trunk extensions and floor pans. Also, some frame rail patch work, inner and outer fender patches on the passenger side, a new lower core support and and some other random patches throughout. None of these areas were a surprise and in fact most of those were already in the quoted price.



So, I placed a large order to The Paddock and another to Year One to order all the things...



The block was torn down and sent to a local shop for boiling, balancing and blueprinting. We had it bored 30 over and re-assembled when we got it back. We installed a purple cam and double roller timing chain, a 360 intake and some 340 X heads along with some HIPO exhaust manifolds. I traded the 904 for a 727 and sent that off to be rebuilt. I purchased an 8 3/4 with 3:55's which we took apart cleaned, painted and rebuilt. Once we got the transmission back we stored it the corner and set the assembled engine in the corner ready to be re-installed.



There was some disagreement between my dad and the shop owner about how the car would be repaired and painted and also a huge increase in the amount of money for the job. The car was blasted at this point and the damaged quarter panels had been removed. Regardless, the car was pulled and brought home while we searched for a new shop to take on the job. We found a new shop and they came to collect it. The new shop was a small outfit. The shop owner had a full time gig already but loved automotive body work painting and restoration. He prioritized insurance jobs but would work in full restoration jobs like mine as time permitted. He took on the job with the understanding that it would take quite a while as he had a few jobs ahead of mine. I was between jobs at the time and so, I wasn't in a hurry to pay a huge bill for a restoration. So, I agreed.



Life got away as it does. I went from job to job while I pursued a career in music . The car sat in the shop owners back building...



Fast forward 20 years! 20 years... Yes, 20 years. The shop owners family tracked me down and let me know. He was sick and not doing well. They would be selling the shop to pay for his care. The time had come for me to really get this thing going again. No more procrastinating, no more "it can wait a wile longer". Time to get her going again. When I first saw her after all those years, I couldn't believe how clean her condition was. I imagined the car would be solid orange by now. Remember, the car was blasted to bare steel then sat for 20 years. The building where she was stored was right beside a grain mill. I believe that mill dust worked to keep the shop dry and helped preserve the car. Another 2 months passed and the family was in and out of that shop. This had an impact on her condition. By the time I went back to collet the car, she began to turn orange.



The search for a new shop began but didn't take too much longer. I found a younger guy in the same town who had just opened his own fabrication shop and was willing to take on the metal work. Excitedly, I got the car pulled from the old dusty building and moved to the new place. We decided to media blast it again. This time with glass. Immediately after, we applied primer. The shop began a list of all the problem areas. There were so many more bad areas than the original shop was planning to repair. The driver side frame rail was in need of complete replacement. There were large areas of the rail that were just gone. The upper control arm mount brackets on both frame rails were beyond repair and so I began looking for suitable replacements. No one makes legit replacements. The only thing I could find were rail caps. I wanted it fixed correctly. So, I continued to look for some solid rails and I was lucky to have found a pair in WI and went to pick them up. The guy cut them out of his Dart 20 years ago and stored them. They were cherry!



The firewall had several soft spots that would need patch work and some pretty sizable holes above the floor pans. The driver side door striker post had some rot, the fenders weren't as good as we thought, The Paddock quarter panels that I had purchased years ago were a really bad stamping (Goodmark brand, I think) and were a really thin gage steel. So, AMD was happy to take my money. I made a drive down to their Georgia warehouse with my dad to pick up my haul. I ordered 2 quarter skins, a rear crossmember, 2 new fenders, 2 new inner fenders, 2 new outer wheel house, a firewall and the door striker post.



This is where I'm at now. The metal work is still being completed then she will be off to paint.



In the meantime, I have been going through all the components. I have rebuilt the AC/Heater box, gone through the wiring harnesses, sent the wiper motor and brake booster out to be rebuilt, refinished the steering column. I purchased a new cluster built on a new circuit board with brand new gages and I sent out the cluster housing, radio trim and glove box trim to be refinished, I sent an AM/FM radio to be rebuilt to modern specs (bluetooth, line in, new tuner, etc...) I repainted a new dash frame(a windshield leak caused that old dash structure to rot out and I had to fix that radio opening that had been cut). The radiator has been recored and repainted. The AC condenser has been leak tested and refinished. The engine had sat so long we were worried about the internal condition. It had also developed some light surface rust through the blue paint so, we took all the accessories off, drained the oil and opened up the bottom end to have a look. Thankfully, the cylinder walls are looking fantastic and the top end is too. We roughed up the paint and freshened it up. I took the accessory brackets, fan and air cleaner to get powder coated and have almost finished putting it all back together. I wasn't so lucky with the transmission. I took to the shop who rebuilt it back then just to have them look it over. When they opened it up, it was full of rust. Apparently, its a huge no-no to sit a transmission pan on a concrete floor for an extended period of time. I had to source a new 727 and that is getting rebuilt at the moment.



This bring my story up to current. I know I have left some details out and I will try to update as I go. I plan to upload photos from the story along the way. I have some photos to scan from when I started this process all those years ago that I will post. I've also taken pictures of the more recent progress that I want to post as I reach certain milestones. My Dart is approaching its 50'th birthday and I would love to have it roadworthy again for the occasion.

The first photo I will post is where I left the engine on Saturday when I finished up.

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mad dog

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looks great, what did you use for undercoating?...i will be doing mine soon, im thinking about the Raptor lining.
 

j_anderson

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1972 Vapor canister. 1 year only design and no suitable substitutions…

Mine was missing all the charcoal somehow. I followed this thread on FBBO, Cut the bottom using a fabbed up cutting blade, refilled and then epoxied the bottom back together.

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j_anderson

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Work is progressing nicely. At times it seems to be moving quickly and other times at a snails pace. I have neglected this thread.

Got the AC bracket attachment point sorted
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Door Latches degreased, re-greased and working smooth as butter
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Wheel center caps refinished
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still had the 2 to spray yet. I used Herb's Dark Argent paint for these. Not perfect but they'll do
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Bumper Brackets /Fenfer braces back from the Powdercoater
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Test fitted these mock-up badges (thanks @Dana67Dart) The real ones are still waiting in queue to be made.
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Block work is nearing completion. I'll try to snap some more photos this weekend.
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The plan is to finish up a few things in the trunk and get it ready for primer or even get it shot this weekend. Painter wants it in a week. If I miss that date, I have to wait 2-3 months.
 

65dartcharger

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Work is progressing nicely. At times it seems to be moving quickly and other times at a snails pace. I have neglected this thread.

Got the AC bracket attachment point sorted
View attachment 1715939690
View attachment 1715939693

View attachment 1715939691


Door Latches degreased, re-greased and working smooth as butter
View attachment 1715939692

Wheel center caps refinished
View attachment 1715939694

still had the 2 to spray yet. I used Herb's Dark Argent paint for these. Not perfect but they'll do
View attachment 1715939695

Bumper Brackets /Fenfer braces back from the Powdercoater
View attachment 1715939696

Test fitted these mock-up badges (thanks @Dana67Dart) The real ones are still waiting in queue to be made.
View attachment 1715939697

Block work is nearing completion. I'll try to snap some more photos this weekend.
View attachment 1715939698

The plan is to finish up a few things in the trunk and get it ready for primer or even get it shot this weekend. Painter wants it in a week. If I miss that date, I have to wait 2-3 months.
Go for it! Then all the fun starts!
 

RustyRatRod

I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday.
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Nice work! That's going to be a beautiful car.
 

j_anderson

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I sent @Dana67Dart one of my crusty original marker light welts. He was able to draw it in CAD and send me the file. I used an online vendor called CraftCloud to print them in ABS. $27 shipped for the set of 4 and they turned out great. I just need to shoot them in Argent.

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j_anderson

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Finished up repairing a broken seat track stud. Broken yellow spring so, ordered a new pair. Degreased and painted the tracks and re-assembled them. Turned out great!

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j_anderson

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Ohhhhh snap. These showed up today from the 3D printer. Printed in 316L steel. I’ve got some work to do yet to get them ready. Polish the face a bit more smoothly and paint the black accents but super happy to see these in metal!

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