My Duster Adventures

Members Restorations

  1. RustyRatRod

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

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    I sure do! I figured you had gotten rid of them by now, but I would still like them. They ain't makin anymore of um .
     
  2. 75slant6

    75slant6 Well-Known Member

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    Yea they’re still sittin in the cars. Now that I have an engine hoist again, hopefully I can get it all out in March
     
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    • 75slant6

      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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      Got the hardware out of the evaporust this morning and got it cleaned up. I gotta say, I love evaporust! Read nothing but good stuff about it on here and I’ve had some for quite awhile but the heater box hardware is the first time I ever used it and I’m impressed! The one cam but was buggered up so I’m gonna get a new one today. That’s why it’s missing in the pic.

      14A38960-F45C-420E-800B-C607A9EDF786.jpeg
       
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      • 75slant6

        75slant6 Well-Known Member

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        Got home late again tonight but I got the passenger seat track welded up good enough that it’s not gonna move, then I pulled out the seat and stuck it in a corner to finish welding and paint later.
        Next, I worked in installing the k-frame. I got it up into place, anti-seized the 4 bolts and cinched them into place!! Milestone completed!!!
        (Fun fact: I started this post while waiting for my wife to get out of the shower. When I noticed I didn’t have a pic of the engine installed, I went out and took a pic. So I thought y’all would be happy to know that I took this pic buck ass nude!)
        :lol:

        BD80D4C8-CF3F-4550-8ED4-27A98710605C.jpeg

        But then.... another step back... :(
        5A136715-C896-41D9-A002-7C3578235968.jpeg AA8B59AA-98A3-41FC-9AA9-2585FCED1317.jpeg

        This k-member is the HDK Slammer version, which raises the engine by 1” in order to gain more ground clearance to run a lower ride height. Well, as can be seen here, with my current transmission mount height, the wiper motor, firewall and distributor are all trying to occupy the same area. :BangHead:
        In the first photo, you can see the boot that the wrench is against, is smushed against the wiper bolt and the boot next to it is smushed against the firewall. The one against the firewall (and possibly the one against the wiper motor) can be remedied by raising the transmission mount. What CAN’T be seen in the pics is the fact that the bell housing is dang near against the tunnel, so I’m going to have to cut out and redo the transmission tunnel to give ample room to raise the transmission. This is actually a blessing in disguise, other than the fact that it adds more to my already ever cramping timeline. The reason I say it’s a blessing in disguise is, 1. I never was real happy with how my tunnel turned out last time. And 2. As can be seen in this pic, the shifter tower on my trans is DANG close to the crossmember, by that bottom, left bolt. I can get a piece of card stock between them and that’s it.
        7B4FCA84-6A15-44D9-BAFA-26252A785AB2.jpeg
        I did have a vibration in the trans at cruising rpms and I’m wondering if the trans wasn’t touching the crossmember there and causing that, too.
        So I guess tomorrow night, I’ll be breaking out the cutoff wheel, and hacking out the tunnel again! I think I’ll make a tunnel template out of 1/8” steel rods, then maybe take that to a local welding shop and see what they’d charge me to roll a tunnel out for me. If it’s too much, well, I guess I’ll be giving it try number two! :D
         
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        • 75slant6

          75slant6 Well-Known Member

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          Like an **IDIOT** I didn’t follow my own plan!! :BangHead::BangHead::BangHead::BangHead: I wouldn’t be in this situation if I’d done it right the first time!! :mad::mad::mad::mad:

          CCA5F1A1-E8F2-49F4-BD6C-21BACA6FAD01.jpeg
           
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          • RustyRatRod

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

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            It's only work, right? lol
             
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            • 75slant6

              75slant6 Well-Known Member

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              Right! Only a little money and a lot of time! Lol. But really, I am fine with redoing the tunnel. As I said, I really wasn’t happy with the “finished product doesn’t match the vision” issue that the current tunnel has. It just looks really hackjob, buggered together.
              B623DFB6-AB66-4A37-8F40-92A590AED342.jpeg

              Same with my current transmission mount. Crazy thing weighs half a metric ton but when I jack the trans up into place, install the 4 bolts, then let the jack down, you can clearly see the center of the trans mount flex down. Think I’ll see if I can’t modify my original mount to bolt to the transmission.
              D0EF4FD4-FF78-4B28-9913-7DE2A7F7D5A6.jpeg 88461F0D-B7AE-4C88-946C-CA92DFAE26E3.jpeg
               
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              • RustyRatRod

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

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                Well, no doubt your welding skills are pickin up too, so there's "THAT". I'd be willing to bet you could mod a factory transmission cross member with some more like material and make it more substantial. What is it like 1/8 sheet metal? That stuff can be very strong when the proper angles are used. The stock ones are very strong.....ONCE they are bolted in place. That's the beauty of it. Each individual piece is rather weak by itself but once assembled, it's all a very strong unibody. If I were you, Iwould start with a stock cross member and see what you could do to modify the center to accept the new transmission without compromising integrity. Just remember that what you have "on the table" may not look strong, but engineer it to be strong like the stocker when assembled.......if any of that makes sense. It'll also be a lot lighter too, with the same type metal as the stocker. ....at least that's how "I" would try to approach it. It will ultimately be less work too, I believe, than re-engineering a whole nuther cross member. JMO.
                 
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                • 75slant6

                  75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                  Yeah that’s definitely the route that I’m going to attempt to use this time around. Succeed or fail, you’ll see it here in the next couple of days! Lol
                   
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                  • RustyRatRod

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

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                    Hell yeah. You can use your present one as a template for the new attaching points. What I'm wondering is, if you could make one out of two stock ones? I think there's enough material there. Do you have an extra?
                     
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                    • 75slant6

                      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                      Yea I think I have my original from my Duster kicking around somewhere, then I have one in that 72 valiant parts car.
                       
                    • 75slant6

                      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                      I’m gonna use the original and pics of this one as templates. Should work out pretty good.
                      USCTAM2027-67-75 A-Body 518 Crossmember Kit
                       
                    • 75slant6

                      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                      My welding skills are getting downright adequate!!
                      :lol:
                      I've actually always been better at welding a little thicker stuff. It’s the floor pan thickness stuff that can get me.
                      55221ECA-0259-4AEF-8995-FD7CDAEEB9B4.jpeg 6F30DBC1-B90F-4DE0-9B13-730AF3712B6A.jpeg

                      Also, the abomination of a tunnel is cut out! I decided to leave the upper crossmember and tunnel behind that in place, for now, to see if I can get the transmission raised without completely remaking that.
                      6168EAD4-E863-479B-956C-0A14F135522E.jpeg

                      Another reason that this was all a blessing in disguise. I’d cut my new passenger front floor pan a little too narrow, causing a bigger than ideal gap on the far passenger side (mentioned on page 11, post #256). So what I decided to do is cut the tunnel out all the way to the floor pan hole, move the new pan all the way to the right, and fill in as needed on the left when I build the tunnel!
                      image.jpg
                       
                      Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
                    • 75slant6

                      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                      Decided to screw with the crossmember later. Installed the lower control arms but unfortunately when I went to install the rear brace/bar, one of the tubes from my cheap headers is in the way. I tried “clearancing” it but wasn’t able to do much. Might have to buy a handheld torch tomorrow and heat that tube to get it to dent.

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                    • RustyRatRod

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

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                      I like that cross member idea. I "guess" they leave that middle piece unconnected so that you can weld it according to the height you need. That said, the dipshit is holding it upside down. It would need to flip flat side up to take advantage of the gussets and also to provide a flat surface for transmission mount to bolt onto. At least that's how "I" would do it.
                       
                    • HemiDenny

                      HemiDenny HDK Suspension FABO Gold Member

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                      if you were near me...we would simply cut out the offending tube section and replace with a re-directed piece.
                       
                    • 75slant6

                      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                      Yeah that would be the ideal thing to do. Maybe I’ll see if I can pull that header out and put a whoopty-do in it and fix a smashed spot on the bottom. We’ll see.
                       
                    • HemiDenny

                      HemiDenny HDK Suspension FABO Gold Member

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                    • 75slant6

                      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                      Yeah I saw those as well. I’m gonna give the tunnel building thing one more shot. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll probably be ordering one of those. Thankfully, with the design I have in mind this time, it’ll be one straight angle from the firewall to the driveshaft tunnel, unlike the 3 different shape tunnel that I did the first time.
                       
                    • 75slant6

                      75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                      Well, didn’t get just a whole lot “done” today, considering the amount of time I spent in the garage. First thing I did do was pull out the drivers side header and “massage” the problem tube with a hammer. While it was out of the car, I decided to fix a tub that was smashed pretty good from dragging on speed bumps, gravel drives, etc.
                      Hard to really tell in the pic just how deep that dent was probably every bit of 1/4” C15E5D6C-47DD-4363-834F-A0D76BB21650.jpeg 1B414E55-E13E-4D6A-BC8F-8C5483658F38.jpeg

                      Cut the spot out and used the cutout as a template on a curved piece of floor pan I had left E536EAA3-9CCA-41FB-817B-14FD5FDF98E0.jpeg

                      Welded it back in
                      EF0669CD-9EF4-42EE-8826-C64FA6F08BFF.jpeg

                      Made it all pretty with a flap disc!
                      CF095501-AE07-4603-B70E-236DBBCBE55F.jpeg 67C08B9F-B63F-4ED4-A026-D71491921340.jpeg

                      Then I put the header back in and discovered that one tube was still too close to the brace. So out it came again, this time for surgery!

                      24A99E2E-AC63-4566-ACB6-F0FC5EC5AF1D.jpeg

                      I didn’t think it turned out too shabby, considering. I know I’m gonna have a few exhaust leaks which is gonna suck but it’ll just have to do until I get a set of Doug’s or something. I now have probably 3/8” clearance. At this point, if I end up needing more room, I’m going to pull the header and concave it good and proper! Screw it! Lol 9975C543-B044-4420-9524-8733D2EEFD73.jpeg

                      I then did some more work, getting the control arms and spindles mocked up and I also started mocking up the cobra brakes. Hopefully get some more done on the brakes tomorrow.
                       
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                      • RustyRatRod

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

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                        I love it. The "offending" tube. LOL Man, if you can fix that header, you can do it all. Good job Caleb!
                         
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                        • 75slant6

                          75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                          Well... you would THINK I’d learned my lesson last time I got sick from lack of ventilation but NOPE!! Saturday, when I worked on that header all evening, cutting and welding, I didn’t have any type of forced air movement. Well, Saturday night I didn’t feel real great and when I woke up Sunday morning at 7:30 I felt like absolute crap! Crazy sinus pressure, sore throat and coughing. I slept off and on until 11:30 and felt like crap the rest of the day. Yesterday morning, same story, just not as bad. Now today it basically just feels like I have a head cold. But dammit, I learned my lesson!! Had my wife pick up a box fan for me at Walmart Sunday afternoon.

                          Last evening I got new bearing races and longer wheel studs put in my 66-70 mustang drum hubs (required to run the 03-04 Cobra brake kit on the mustang ii spindle) I got the one side brakes mocked up and put the wheel on to checkout the look and check the different simulated ride heights. I might have to run the car on the highest setting to start with, which should be 3/4-1” lower than I had it with the torsion bars. If I can run it in the middle setting, I will. That would probably be about 1-1.5” lower than it was and it looks SWEET! Eventually, if possible, I’ll roll the fender lip and do pretty well whatever it takes to run it on the lowest setting. I forgot to take pics of what the different settings look like, so y’all will just have to stay in suspense at least until tomorrow night. Lol sorry.

                          Now for tonight’s progress. I intended on cutting out the transmission crossmember but I broke my only sawzall blade before I got the second side cut through. So I moved on to other things. First, I cut out the passenger rear floor finally.
                          57C9E9BB-D4FD-4932-9C81-A65C62DB0E1E.jpeg

                          I cleaned up that lip in the right side of the pic and painted it with some of that appliance epoxy paint but forgot to take a pic.
                          Next, I decided to FINALLY build the subframe connectors that I’ve had materials for for at least 3-4 years! I used @TrailBeast design but ended up making them 45” long and bending a 3” flap down at an angle at 35.5” vs a 2” at 34 3/4”.
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                          Another thing I did differently, is I did some shaping of the rear section, at cut the rear floor pan in order to get the subframe connectors pushed hard up against the rear frame rails.
                          2E829AA5-86EB-49E9-ACFD-92128412C5F1.jpeg 380CCB33-C24A-4EA2-BC73-2935666C042F.jpeg

                          Here’s a few close ups of the welds just for the heck of it, or for y’all to bust my balls over.
                          :lol:

                          872AAEBC-B459-4E51-83E0-FF1605DB4318.jpeg
                          This one was my best looking weld.
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                          And these, down in the channel we’re my ugliest.
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                          I going a hole in the ends (I started to, battery died) and dump a bunch of rustoleum paint in it, plug the hole, slosh it around, then dump it out. I’ll spray the outside with the appliance paint. I’m really starting to like that stuff!
                          2F7CF141-B026-405E-8A0F-6CB9620D073E.jpeg

                          Oh yeah, tonight, I had the box fan set in the window and turned on high! Much better! Garage wasn’t as smoke show at any time like it was other days.
                           
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                          • 75slant6

                            75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                            Well, I’ve given it hell but unfortunately, I’m not gonna be driving the car to Colorado. For one, I’d be SHOCKED if I got it finished by Thursday morning as I’m waiting on a few key parts to show up but I was still going to do everything I possibly could to make that happen. The bigger problem is, we’re suppose to have a big winter storm hit us tonight and tomorrow, dumping between 6-12” of snow, then another storm coming through Wednesday and Thursday. So I don’t think it’d be very smart to try driving the Duster to Colorado this week.

                            So with that said, I did get the new crossmember welded up, welded in front the passenger front floor pan and got the tunnel installed. I am just about sick of welding stupid sheet metal!!! I thought the crossmember turned out pretty good.

                            I forgot to take pics of the crossmember after I completed it, but essentially, I cut two hoops like this out of 1/8” steel, spaced them about 1.5” and welded a metal strip across the top.
                            3920DB07-5AC4-4D33-9438-0DE9ECCBB26A.jpeg
                            E5EA423C-A5BF-4A07-A35B-4961CAB9162C.jpeg

                            I’m SUPER thankful that @Dragger40 mentioned in his build thread, about the heater box clearing the tunnel. I’d planned to have the tunnel go straight from the firewall to the crossmember, but then my heater box wouldn’t have fit! So I put the heater box in place, the shaped up this section of tunnel.
                            908DF0CC-2C91-4D34-B7A1-0C83BBAA5AD9.jpeg

                            I got 18 gauge metal for the rest of the tunnel but probably should’ve gotten 20. That stuff was a BEAR to work! Thankfully my templet was dang close because there’s was no “bend to shape, treat fit, pull out, tweak, test fit and weld in place”. It was just tack the one side, beat the piss out of it, and weld every 2-3” as I bent it around. Came out half decent. I’m not gonna show a close up of some of the welds as they look pretty crappy! There holding though, plan was to to slather the crap out of the seams with seam sealer, to seal up any gaps and holes, but since I’m no longer on a time constraint, I think I’ll grind the welds some, then lay some 1/8” rod in the joints/gaps and weld it up. This tunnel is an absolute behemoth! I’m going to end up needing to do some trimming on my console to make it fit. Is Dave Kindig or Richard Rawlings going to hire me to install tunnels? Heck no! (Well, Rawlings might) :lol: Is it better than what was there? Yup! Is it good enough for who it’s for? Also yup!
                            B9C6A834-3AEB-4E19-84F8-FB213B20E6E4.jpeg
                            The tunnel should be big enough this time that if I swap to a T-56 or 8 speed in the future, all I’ll have to do is build a transmission mount.
                            Speaking of transmission mount, for some reason I can’t find the original one out of my Duster. I know exactly where I had it in my other shop and it’s not there, which makes me seem to recall that I may have brought it home, but I can’t find it here either.... guess I’ll pull the one out of the 72 Valiant parts car I have.
                            More to come at a later date.
                             
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                            • 75slant6

                              75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                              Well, I worked on my car tonight for the first time in nearly two weeks. I got the transmission mount pulled out of my valiant parts car but it’s not gonna do me any good. The mount and transmission want to occupy the same space in a bad kinda way. So I broke out the sharpie, poster board and scissors and brainstormed most of the night to see what I wanna do for the new mount. I came up with a design but I’m not sure yet if I’ll go with it or do something different.

                              I had to order a set of spindle washers/nuts for my spindles. I installed the drivers side hub, stuck the disc and wheel on for a sneak peek of the ride height.
                              819F705E-640C-41EC-8356-D78A5C66C5ED.jpeg

                              That’s a whole lot of brake!
                              27C2CC7E-D098-4922-996E-78B253D19D0A.jpeg

                              With not weight in the tire, it’s right at 25” to the wheel opening, so when the tire squats a little, it should be a little under 25”. The rears definitely gonna have to come down some as well, it’s currently right at 28” in the back.
                              F25953C2-7AE6-42DE-BE67-F5CA8EC4760F.jpeg
                               
                            • 75slant6

                              75slant6 Well-Known Member

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                              Spent several hours working on the transmission mount tonight. I debated about having a local fan shop bend me one out of round tubing and while it would’ve been sleeker and lighter, I figured it’s gonna be a pain to get an accurate template for them to bend to, so I decided to work my magic with the poster board and fab up my own. I don’t even want to count how many times I slid in and out from under the car tonight! And to make it worse, the rear tires are still on the ground, and the front end is only up on the lowest setting of my jack stands! I thought setting the rear tires on ramps, but my only jack is currently holding my transmission up! :BangHead:
                              :rofl:
                              I told Marge that I’m won’t be doing a Hellcat swap until my Duster until I have a freaking lift! Lol

                              Anywho, here’s how far I got on the trans mount. I’m going to try to make the rear “vertical” section all one piece for less welding, a cleaner look and more strength. Need to get another sheet of steel for that, and it was 12:15 when I got this far, so I decided to call it a night.
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                              I also found out that a wire wheel in a drill doesn’t feel very good on your wrist. At least it wasn’t the death wheel!
                              85DDC851-6561-4236-AD81-4AC3C346B4D9.jpeg

                              I also can’t wait til I can roll the car outside and sweep the floor! When I washed my hair, there was a layer of metal particles all over the shower floor!
                              :rofl:
                               
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