My Duster Adventures

Members Restorations

  1. 75slant6

    75slant6 Well-Known Member

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    Well, today (14th) was my birthday. Unfortunately I had to work and didn’t get home until around 7 but I did end up working on the Duster for 3-4 hours. First, I took out front and rear seats, all the front seat belts, and the rubber floor mat. Then I started wire wheeling the floor pans in preparation for some rust repair and the subframe connectors but my drill battery died pretty quick (need to get a corded drill or a wire wheel for the grinder). So I vacuumed out the interior and decided to see about mocking up the seats and console. And I’ll be dipped if the seats are gonna take less work to fit perfectly than what I thought they will. I’ll post some detailed pics of how I do the mounting to the floor once I get to that point but for now, here are some pics.

    here’s the drivers seat and console set in about where they’ll be going. I hooked up a battery to the drivers seat so I could get it in the ideal spot for me. I also had Marge come out and sit in it and adjust it to where it works for her. I’m 6’4” and she’s 5’1” and I was able to get it to where it fits me perfectly and fits her well enough and if we get a wedge pillow for her to sit on, it’ll be prefect for her as well.
    753049E0-967C-4D75-BB07-F6A2955A0367.jpeg

    As can be seen here, I’m gonna have to modify/fab up a new shifter to fit the console. The current shifter design won’t even let the trim bezel fit in place. 868B0F19-01AD-47B5-9E17-76918493D3D6.jpeg

    Here’s a similar example as to how I’m gonna have to build the new shifter. Might even go pistol grip instead of the ball. Opinions? 2E50131E-CBD1-4A1F-A355-AD06CADE6DCA.jpeg B1F24833-1F48-48AB-958E-92AD75914C55.jpeg

    Here’s the room to get in the back with the drivers seat slid way back...
    F8D2622C-4B02-43C6-B400-15B83484D8E6.jpeg And here’s slid way forward. Look at all that room!! With the seat positioned where I have it, the seat back just touches against the steering wheel when it’s folded and slid way forward like this. 35509568-9CE5-4245-A07A-786D26DD03FE.jpeg

    I also got the passenger seat set in place. It’s seat back is straight up to keep it from falling over backwards. Once again, I drug Marge out of the house and had her sit in the passenger seat get it ideally located. I’m pretty dang happy with how it’s turning out! 3787AE26-5CAE-4222-BA17-3700B5F83C70.jpeg

    Unfortunately, we’re gonna be gone this weekend so I wont be able to get anything else done until Monday afternoon/evening. That said, I told Marge that since I had to work today, I’m going to take a day off for my birthday and I’m going to work on my Duster All. Day. Long! I’m looking forward to it!
     
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    • dartfreak75

      dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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      Happy Birthday yesterday! I'm typically not a fan of modern interiors in classic cars, but that looks really good! I love those seats that black leather looks awesome! And the console looks like it was made to fit there! Good job buddy!
       
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      • 75slant6

        75slant6 Well-Known Member

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        Well, since I worked all day on my birthday last week, I decided to take off today and spend all day working on the Duster. And it was a success!! First off, I put the front wheels back on, lowered the car (all the way down. No torsion bars. Lol) then rolled it outside to prepare to drop the engine, trans and suspension.
        I reeeaaallly wish it was easier to install air-ride on these cars! I’d love to be able to slam the car this low when parked!
        0E5AC254-68CC-401F-A4DA-C48EE9387549.jpeg

        I wish I’d taken a measurement of what the original ride height was before I pulled the torsion bars and also without the torsion bars. But I didn’t measure it either way.

        Anyway, next, I dropped the k-member and trans crossmember onto a moving dolly, undid some bolts and lifted the car off the suspension.
        14AC134B-C89A-4D06-92F4-9D449A9F6F76.jpeg

        I then washed the engine bay and interior out some, pushed the shell back in garage and started mocking up the HDK stuff. I don’t have a 3/8 or 1/2” drill bit on hand, so I just installed the k-member and rack and also reassembled the upper and lower control arms so those are ready to install tomorrow. First thing tomorrow though, I plan to roll the shell back out again and hook up the ole power washer and wash out the wheel wells real good and freshen up the paint in there before I go ahead and install the suspension. With any luck, I MIGHT just have it sitting on all fours again tomorrow night or sometime Sunday. We’ll see!
         
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        • 75slant6

          75slant6 Well-Known Member

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          Progress report for today.
          First thing I did on the car today was roll it outside (again) and washed out the front wheel wells, engine bay and the floor pans with the pressure washer. The floor pans STILL aren’t very clean, but good enough for now. Next I rolled the car back inside, mocked up the upper coil over hoops, drilled the needed holes, then disassembled everything again. I then sprayed down the front wheel wells with brake cleaner and gave them the ole rattle can restoration.
          Forgot to take a before picture but here’s after I painted the wheel wells.
          1021AA12-FF0B-489D-A5C3-8C806A355043.jpeg

          I then installed the upper hoops/coilover mounts for good.
          CF649019-D86A-44BF-8D96-20FE0400EEC8.jpeg

          Next I started wire wheeling the floor pans. I’m gonna have to change the passenger rear pan and also have a small section on the passenger front to patch as well as holes where a previous owner drilled for bucket seats. Hopefully more progress to come tomorrow!
           
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          • 75slant6

            75slant6 Well-Known Member

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            Well, today I made a step by step “to do” list, and I realized that I need to accomplish an average of two items completed per day in order to have the car done in time! :eek:
            So tonight, I spent a few hours working on the car. First thing I did was pull the heater box to see about rebuilding it with the DMT kit I got last week. Upon removal, I discovered two spots on the box that were broken, so I cleaned the boxes up, sanded around the broken areas, and slapped some epoxy on it.

            First spot was in the fresh air vent area.
            830B4CFE-D350-4620-86B7-207802129ECE.jpeg E7AD5158-AAD5-4C7C-8AA7-D08E44562794.jpeg

            Second spot was where the heater core tubes exit the box.
            211A8D2E-2C93-43C5-BAC7-6A15D93CB213.jpeg 8FC90C09-3A4D-4DAA-9F7C-D92D69F2B43A.jpeg

            And here’s pics of both, after I epoxied them. I’ll be sanding and adding more epoxy inside and out on both spots.
            A1AE3773-3C9B-480F-B4AD-178E5F37FBC5.jpeg D91ED8B8-AAEE-4DF6-848F-2B388E86238F.jpeg

            I also pulled the heater controls and fed pb blaster into the control cables with a syringe and needle until it ran out the other end. I need to stop and get some cable/chain lube tomorrow and run that through yet as well before I reinstall them. The effort to move the heater slides has majorly improved! I REALLY had to push on the controls before.

            After I was done messing with the heater stuff, I went out in the garage and started working on welding up extra holes in the floor pan. I learned 2 things: 1. if you’re filling in a hole with weld, take your time and let it cool between each tack or you’ll be welding that stupid thing in 3 or 4 times!! :BangHead: And 2. It may be easier to cut the bigger bolt holes out and weld in a patch piece! Anyway... I got the whole drivers side done other than one 2x2 patch I need to make and weld in, and one small bolt hole that I didn’t see until I was wrapping up to head into the house.
            It’d be nice if the passenger side would go as quickly as the drivers side, but I’m gonna have to replace the front and rear foot pans on that side so I know it’ll take longer. At least it’s big pieces instead of little holes!
            Well, that’s it for tonight. I’ll be home later tomorrow night but I’ll have to at least get something accomplished to stay on track!
             
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            • 75slant6

              75slant6 Well-Known Member

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              Well, I planned on welding up a few more bolt holes and putting some cable lube in my heater controls this evening but, when I walked into the garage, I saw a nice, flat, square box from jegs. My new passenger front floor pan came in! I’d debated about just replacing the rusted corner and jb welding the pits but @moparmat2000 and a few others pointed out that eventually I’d probably have to redo that. And I don’t wanna do that!
              Anyway, I figured I’d fiddle around with that some and then move on to something else, but I’ll be dipped if I didn’t just go ahead and cut down the new pan to how I wanted it, marked off the old floor and then went ahead and cut that out as well! Enough chit chat. Here’s some pics.

              Here’s what the old pans looked like. Really not that bad but I’m glad I’m changing it.
              A6C7DA8A-A1EA-4086-B8A9-23582A7620AD.jpeg DA9B495B-751A-4CA7-BE8C-6656FF69C19F.jpeg

              After I marked off the floor, I cut the perimeter, then cut out where the wasn’t and frame rails.
              B10CEB62-7C42-4D49-963D-A21173E0463F.jpeg

              Then I drilled the spot welds and busted them loose with a chisel and hammer and cleaned up all the rails with a wire wheel.
              28F807C1-3452-48F5-8BCC-99DA43C0BD74.jpeg

              Then I test fit the piece and was pleasantly surprised at the fit the first time around. There’s a shadow along the right side edge that’s makes it look like a big gap there. The right side does have a bigger gap than I’d prefer, but it’s nowhere near as big as it looks.
              269EA208-6E9F-4ED7-8D2D-B3D7D87B3452.jpeg

              I wasn’t feeling very well (probably not enough ventilation) so I can back into the house. Think I’ll get the heater cables lubed up yet, then call it a night.
              Tomorrow I want to clean out the frame rails, paint inside them and put a piece of rubber fuel line over the steel fuel line that can seen in the 4th pic. Then weld in the pan as well as patch a few other holes.
               
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              • dartfreak75

                dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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                Looks better than mine!! That will look really nice welded in!
                 
              • 75slant6

                75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                Looks don’t matter under the carpet as long as it’s solid. :thumbsup:
                 
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                • dartfreak75

                  dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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                  Yep thats why i didnt give two craps about doing it the way i did it. Lol. Now if someone crawls under my car im gonna have alot of explaining to do Haha
                   
                • RustyRatRod

                  RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                  Lookin good bud! Nice progress!
                   
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                  • 75slant6

                    75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                    They make undercoating for a reason. This may not be it, but it certainly helps!
                    :lol:
                     
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                    • dartfreak75

                      dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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                      Yep :lol:
                       
                    • moparmat2000

                      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Looks like you got it to fit great. Weld up that cut in your frame gusset before putting the floor pan down. Use some weld thru primer on all the overlaps too. I mark and pre drill and deburr 1/4" holes on the new pan where the spotwelds are supposed to go in the frame. Easiest way is to trace the outline of the frame onto the pan from underneath the car. You can see how my son and I did this with the trunk pan in the last pic

                      Then I use self tapping screws in some of the holes drawing the new floor down tight with the frame to pin it together. After you rosette weld up the 1/4" holes not pinned with screws, remove the screws and fill up those 1/4" holes too. Heres some pix where I pre drilled and deburred the rosette weld holes and temporary pinning everything with sheetmetal screws.

                      Screenshot_20210128-081320_Samsung Internet.jpg

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                      Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
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                      • R4Sedan

                        R4Sedan Larry

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                        Good progress, Caleb.
                         
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                        • 75slant6

                          75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                          Got some more holes in the floor welded up this evening. I’m getting a little better at welding but it’s still been quite the ordeal to get the patches welded in the where there’s zero pin holes when I’m finished grinding the welds down. I have a brass hammer in storage that I’m gonna dig out tomorrow and use that to back my welds, maybe that’ll help some.

                          Here you can see a few of the patches I welded in (circled). The reason I took this pic though was to show the hump that the arrow is pointed at, I had to cut that hump off flat with the floor in order to get the passenger seat in the spot that I wanted it.
                          D4270A51-CBE6-402F-B268-9FD6FB8A36E3.jpeg

                          Here’s what you can see how I cut it off, then just tack welded a flat piece of steel in and drilled a hole in it just to position the seat where I wanted it. I’ll be remaking this piece and fully welding it on in the next few days.
                          1FB44E49-E8CA-46A6-8671-BE7724CD1B76.jpeg

                          I put a set the seats the same, then set a broom handle across the tops of the headrests and got the seats to the same height, and even side to side, by using a level and also by measuring off the ceiling on both sides. I’m hoping to get mounts fab’d up tomorrow.
                          F7E4F1B9-7EFF-43E3-8BF1-69CBCC7A1AD5.jpeg

                          And here’s how the finished product should look!
                          1E91953E-066C-42C0-9734-1A4285E40A81.jpeg

                          I was researching how to modify my shifter to fit my console, and I found a super trick way that I should be able to do it. Wether I’ll be able to pull it off or not, my be another story. Lol

                          Another good thing, I bought a completely set of front and rear door panels, kick panels and armrests from @clin10 the other day and those came today! They’re green so I’m going to dye it all black but they’re in very nice shape and I’m stoked that I found them for sale! I’m super excited to finally have door panels in the car!

                          One bad thing for today though... I went out to cut out the rear floor pan from the valiant, and the passenger side isn’t as solid as I’d thought. I’m still going to cut it out and clean it up well to see if I can use it. If not, I guess I’ll be posting a wanted ad.

                          Oh, one other thing, there’s a chance I’ll be making the drive back home from Colorado by myself, and my wife wasn’t real thrilled about me traveling that long by myself with no one to keep me awake. Well, I don’t think that’ll be much of an issue. When I slide the passenger seat way back, and lay it down, I can stretch out VERY comfortably! And I’m 6’4”! These seats are going to be WELL worth the work needed to install them!
                           
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                          • F21

                            F21 Well-Known Member

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                            Dude that car looks pretty sick what size wheels and tires are on that did you cut and roll the front fenders
                             
                          • 75slant6

                            75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                            Thanks! They’re 17x8 fronts with 245/45s and 17x9 rear with 275/35s. Didn’t have to touch the fender lips. I did have to run a 3/8” spacer up front though to hub bore tapers down on the wheel and doesn’t allow the wheel to fully seat
                             
                          • 75slant6

                            75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                            Last night i worked in the seat tracks for the drivers seat, and I got that one 90% done, just need to weld in one reinforcement and weld an angle iron to the floor when I install the subframe connectors. So tonight, I worked on the passenger seat. I would’ve gotten that one a heck of a lot closer done but the one nut that I welded in place, my hand slipped and I got some weld in the threads so I’ll have to run that by a welding/machine shop tomorrow and have them chase those threads. (I really need a tap and die set).
                            I did have a small win tonight that I was super happy for! My drivers front brake fitting has been rusted to the hardline since I’ve had the car. I just threaded the rubber line on, then installed the retaining clip to hold it in bracket. Well, tonight I soaked it in PB Blaster for an hour or so and that didn’t work. So I got a lighter and held it under the fitting for a few minutes, nothing. So I sprayed it down with pb blaster again and held the lighter under it a few more minutes and I’ll be dipped if it didn’t just come right loose! I was already mentally preparing to just change out that line, but now I won’t have to!

                            And since threads without pics are worthless, I painted the insides of the frame rails/crossmember with some rustoleum appliance epoxy paint the other day, and here’s that. Lol
                            52925147-C323-45B3-9D2A-1CF9241B23B1.jpeg
                             
                          • RustyRatRod

                            RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                            Dammit boy! Ain't it cold up there? lol Yer makin great progress!
                             
                          • 75slant6

                            75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                            Colder’n a witches tit, it is! Thankfully I was able to pull the car into our one car garage that has one of those in wall electric heaters. It ain’t much but I turn it on when I go out to work and I’ve had to turn it down a few times. They’re calling for even colder weather next week! Highs in the low 30’s, lows in the teens. Better get open the garage door and get the engine and trans dropped back in this week!
                            :lol:
                             
                          • RustyRatRod

                            RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                            I must admit......I've seen some pretty hot witch's tits in my time, but most of um are cold as hell. lol
                             
                          • 75slant6

                            75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                            :rofl:
                             
                          • 75slant6

                            75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                            Well I’ll be dipped if it didn’t feel half ways warm this evening! Or maybe I just put it out of my mind as I was bound determined to get the engine and trans back in tonight!
                            I didn’t get home this evening until 7-7:30 so it was already dark. I was planning on finishing the passenger seat mods but I got an itch to see if it couldn’t get the engine and transmission back under the car. Now, this is no, let’s do it half ways type of ordeal, since I’m doing all this in a one car garage, with maybe 2-3 feet of walking room on either side of and behind the car but there’s only about 15” between the front bumper and the garage door. So it’s not like I can leave the engine hoist in front of the car with it holding either the car or engine up.
                            Anyway, as I was saying, it was dark when I got home so by light of the pole light and an LED work light, I pulled the steering linkage out of the drivers header, rolled the moving dolly with the engine, trans and k-member to the garage door. Now, when I say “rolled” I mean “shoved, yanked, used a floor jack, swore a little, then used the engine hoist for some assistance”. The reason for all that is at some point, between the last time I used my harbor freight moving dolly and when I set everything on it this time, the one caster bent, causing the hard plastic wheel to dig into the side and top of that caster, making where it absolutely wouldn’t roll! What a pain in the ass!! But I got it done. Rolled everything under the car, bolted the trans crossmember in, lifter the engine with the floor jack, then loosened the motor mounts and dropped the old k-member and back out the bottom.
                            The engines being held up by the jack, the strap is simply a backup.
                            72270DD1-9EB6-4978-A464-3F768FA0FC5B.jpeg

                            I was planning to install the new k-frame but I decided I may as well evaporust the k-frame bolts and paint them while they’re out, so those are currently soaking, along with the cam bolts and header collector bolts.
                            6504EEFA-4438-4A2B-B250-5D9696F46E7A.jpeg

                            I don’t think I posted a picture of these patches before. I cut these out and welded them in Monday evening. I’ve never had a battery heat sensor and the metal was thin there anyway, so I cut it out and put a solid piece in. The other patch I’m pretty dang proud of, it’s sort of a concave area and I really wasn’t sure how well it was going to turn out. I made a paper template, cut out the new piece, somewhat shaped it, the tacked the one non curve side, then hammered it a little, tacked, hammered, tack and so on until it was done and it turned out MUCH better than expected! My welding/grinder work still has some to be desired. I hit those spots with some of that epoxy appliance paint. It obviously doesn’t match the b5 but I don’t care. The engine and engine bay will get prettied up when I install my aluminum heads and another cam.
                            53E270F7-8411-4C9E-B7CE-196A65F41F63.jpeg

                            I also have my heater box hardware a shot of epoxy appliance paint. Hopefully get the box out back together and installed this week. 128F9561-E904-40E1-8462-0AFCF0DAE75B.jpeg

                            Tomorrow evening will be either passenger seat or front suspension or possibly (hopefully) both!
                             
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                            • RustyRatRod

                              RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                              Is this your first time doing the installation from the bottom? How do you like doing it that way? I hated the idea on my first one, but I like doing it that way now. Although I didn't do it on Vixen when I pulled the slant for some engine work not long ago. She has tons of under hood room. I won't do it that way when I put the 225 in soon either. Now, when I upgrade to disc brakes, I may pull it all from the bottom then. I'm not sure yet. If the 225 works out like I think it will, It'll probably stay in there. lol
                               
                            • 75slant6

                              75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                              This is my second time pulling everything out and putting it all back in from underneath. I’ve never tried going in/out the top with this car. One reason is the headers. When I rebuilt the suspension, it was just was easier to assemble everything on the dolly, then roll it all underneath. I’ve never tried unbolting the headers and pulling or installing the engine, then bolting then up, but I’ve seen pics where people have done that, and it just looks like too much hassle! In my old shop, I had a 4x4 in the rafters and a chain hoist on it. This made it real easy to lift the front end up to install/pull from the bottom. This time I just used the engine hoist and jack stands.
                              Speaking of 225’s one of these days (after this roadtrip obviously lol) I need to get those slants and transmissions pulled out of that valiant and dart, if you still want them.
                               
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