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My Duster Adventures

  1. For post number 1000 I thought I'd share a pic of my 72 Duster. I bought it January 25th and got a long ways to go but I'm getting things done very little by very little lol! any questions or comments welcome! :D enjoy!!

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  2. My 1st car was a '72 Duster so I have a weakness for them. The 70-72 Dusters are among my favorite mopars. I had another 72 and a 70 some years later and now I regret selling them. Maybe someday I will get another one...... Good luck with your project! :)
  3. My first car was a 75 Scamp. Sold it little over a year ago. Had it for 3 years but never really got it to driver status. Planning to change that with the Duster!!
  4. Congrats on post 1000 Caleb! Can't wait to see your progress with the Duster. Take whatever time you need to get her right and she'll turn out sweet.....:thumleft:.
  5. I agree take your time and things will turn out great. I got mine about 4 years ago and I am still finding parts to make it look better. I look and look through different forums and other reading matterial to find out what others are doing then I find parts. It's the little things that make it all worth it, keeps us posted with lots of pictures.



  6. As the tortoise one said..."slow and steady wins the race"!!! If you take it a little at a time, you'll be able to conquer much more ground than if you completely dive in IMO! Too many people rip apart their entire cars the get lost in the sea of different projects that lie before them! By taking it one assembly at a time, those smaller milestones are more easily accomplished and put behind you as you work towards your goal of Duster enjoyment!

    Always remember that your Duster is a hobby, and hobbies are meant to be enjoyed!! Good luck as always on your progress, make so you enjoy the ride!! Geof
  7. A little at a time and enjoy the build and every minute you get to working on it
    Yes cosgig nailed it here :cheers: and I must say that is a great ride (MoPar) you have there :thumleft::thumleft:
  8. Richard, your Duster is real close to what mine will look like!! 2 differences I see right now is I'll put on black stipes and different wheels! When I was looking for a Duster I was debating whether I wanted to go triple black or b5, black stripes n white interior... But when I found my Duster and the guy told me it was originally b5 the car made up my mind!! I believe the car was a Twister do to it being a 318 car with the scoops and sharktooth grill but I can't be sure as there's no fender tag and I have yet to find a build sheet...
  9. Geof (cosgig) has been a HUGE help and a great friend through all this!! I never met him or talked to him but through one of my WIW threads he Pm'd some really good advice which led me to pass on the car I'd been looking at and altimately lead me to my Duster!! He's helped me out with parts and TONS of GREAT advice and guidance!!! Truly a great friend!!! Thanks Geof!! Home to meet you at the NATS!!
  10. Well Geof, you sorta nailed it! It's been SLOOOWWWW and not so steady..... I hooked up a vacuum gauge tonight and finally got the timing and idle screws dialed in better. I ordered a tach today so when that comes I'll be able to tune it even more.

    Oh, and talk about a budget build!! Since I don't have much extra scratch right now I went to the pull a part and got a coil, plugs and wires for it!! Lol. I know new plugs and wires would be ideal but since the valiant I got everything from was last register last year I figured the ignition stuff HAD to be better than the 20+ year old stuff in my Duster!
  11. Slight set back the other day, I read up on tuning up an engine and went out, hooked up a vacuum gauge and finally got the thing tuned enough to idle on its own. I had the engine running for probably 20 minutes or so which is longer than I've ever had it running!! :cheers: temp was under 180, oil pressure was around 35-40. I was just messin around with it some, tryin to get more vacuum at idle n such then I sat in the car and the oil pressure was about 25 I happened to look through the shifter hole and saw a fair sized puddle of oil under the car!! I jumped out n looked underneath and oil was dripping pretty fast! I quick turned the car off and investigated... Turns out because of the engine tilting back due to not having a transmission in it the oil filter was rubbing the frame rail and rubbed a hole in it... I believe I caught in plenty of time but getting the trans installed has definitely moved up the priorities list!! Lol
  12. Btw, the highest I got my vacuum was about 7" at idle, any suggestions on how to get that up? I realize y'all can only help me to a certain extent without cam specs and such but the only thing I KNOW about this engine is it has a torker II intake and a 650 edelbrock carb. It definitely doesn't have the factory cam but I ain't got a clue what the specs are, if its stock bore or not or any of that.
  13. Ok so my plans for the drivetrain may change thanks to 2 super generous friends!!

    I was talking to Geof about what I gotta do to get the 5 speed in and he offered me a 904 and converter to get it goin/rolling for now, so I'll be pickin those up at the nats. That got me thinkin about maybe if I like it well enough I might run an auto (still really like the idea of 5 gears and OD tho...)

    And just today a new found friend (sold some explorer wheels to him monday, first time i ever met him or know of him) by the name of Grant stopped by and GAVE me a 5.9 magnum complete with an uncut harness, ECM and all the accessories!!! Also gave me a metal cutting chop saw since he bought a new one last night! Said the brushes are goin out but that's a cheap enough fix!

    He also said he'll mini tub my car, build me subframe connectors and help with body work!! He's a certified mechanic, certified welder and does tire work! He has a shop at his house complete with lifts, welders, metal working tools, etc. and said once I'm ready for metal replacement we can take it over there and do everything there!!

    Heck, he even saw my 2 heifers and said he'll bring his BULL over for me to use! super nice guy!
  14. :scratch:
  15. Fixed it for you Bruce! (And any other head scratchers out there.... LOL)
  16. That was too funny.
  17. Clear
  18. I piddled on the Duster a little today, dropped the tank and found.........no build sheet there either... :angry2:

    Did have rust in the tank tho...

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  19. Also picked up a trunk pan today for $150. It's definitely no AMD piece but I might can make it work for that price!

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  20. Nice car! What a beautiful color.
  21. looks like a good project! check this bad boy I found in a yard that has been close for over 20 years! Still good right?! lol


  22. Sure Sal!! With enough time and a fat enough wallet any things still good:) lol
  23. I think you should swoop that up, Would make a great 'winter' project for you ,.... lol After seeing your scamp I think you can fix anything! great job. And great progress on your duster 75slantsix
  24. If I bring home anymore projects home my wife is going to string me up! :violent1: thanks hoping to have the car be a roller before winter comes!
  25. Lol!! I'm "sorta" in the same boat as you sal! There's a clean 73 Duster bout 30 minutes away that I've been workin on the bride about... She wants a 73-76 Duster but says she doesn't need one for a few more years, I'm trying to convince her that she needs one sooner than she thinks!! lol! It was a running driving slant car till the oil pump went, they want $2500 for it.

  26. that looks like a good candidate for some modernization:cheers:

  27. looks like you got a good plan..318 car? without a fender tag? better off imo to have some fun with it..cost to restore stock is prolly higher than to retromod it..the magnum is good choice..

  28. Yea David, I believe the car was originally a 318 Twister but with ought the fender tag or build sheet I can't prove it was a twister... Has all the parts to be one tho!
  29. Well, got me a 904 from Geof (cosgig) at the Nats so now I need to scrounge up a flex plate, flex plate to crank bolts, bell housing bolts and a trans crossmember and bolts and I can put the trans in!
  30. Deleted
  31. Got the rearend buttoned up tonight and fill with fluid! It's finally sittin on its own suspension for the first time in a few months! Just need to change the freeze plugs in the back of the block and install the trans and I can fire it up again!! Gonna be awesome hearing it rumble again! Needa get me an auto column (or manually shift it by reaching through the hole in the floor... Lol)

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  32. I ended up buying a floor shifter to put in the car, its a Mr. Gasket Daytona part #7668. Looks ALOT like a 4 speed!

    Anywho, I rolled the Duster outside today and rinsed out the rear freeze plug holes and pushed it back in the shop. Tmrw night I'm hopin to get the holes all cleaned up and get the plugs put in and who knows, if I'm feeling ambitious I might just start puttin the trans in!

    Here's a pic I took of the car outside. I just realized tonight that this is the first time the Duster has been on Kentucky soil!!

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  33. Great progress I think a media blaster is in your future.
    Good luck
  34. Yea I'm gonna have to do something. Ideally I'd acid dip it then epoxy primer dip it. Maybe someday. For now I'm gonna get it running and driving then just get it as rust free as I can and get a driver quality paint job on it and just enjoy this one then when I do my 71 I'll make that one all pretty and then someday I'll redo the 72 once it has too many paint chips, dents, etc.
  35. Really proud of you Caleb, you're certainly making good decisions and great progress!! It does look at home on that Kentucky bluegrass don't it!!! Geof
  36. Thanks a lot Geof! Yea it looks pretty good settin outside!! Hopefully by next week I'll be able to back it out n drive it in on its own power!! We'll see! :D
  37. And tonight I got the trans in!!! :thumbsup: first time there's been a transmission in this car in years!! I still need to fill the trans, install the driveshaft, change the engine oil and filter, refill the cooling system, drop in a battery and it should fire up!! Then I need to install the shifter and kickdown, finish the brakes and fuel system and I should be able to drive it! Only short distances due to the terrible tires but still!!
  38. Where did you get those rims?!!!
  39. Got the starter installed, change the engine oil and put the driveshaft in last night. Drive shaft is about 2-3" short so I'm gonna have to see about gettin another one. Still need to do something about the transmission cooler lines (don't have any) then put fluid in the trans and I think I should be able to start it again!! Then a few more things b4 I can see if it'll move herself.

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  40. Looks good so far
  41. That's just sediment , this is what my duster tank looked like.

    Now that's rust
  42. Yea the tank doesn't have any obvious rust through but I have vinegar in it and had it set up on end and it leaked so something's goin on there. The inside of the tank is just pretty nasty.
  43. The last few month have been VERY unproductive... A few days after I got the trans put in I went out to the shop only to find that I had a trans fluid leak that puked quite a bit of the fluid on the floor. I suspected the gear selector shaft seal so I pulled the valve body and replaced the seal and decided to get my buddy to weld a drain plug in my pan while it was off. Well the car sat for a few weeks without a pan till Tuesday night. I put the pan on and put in the fluid that I had on hand (will need more then) and put some antifreeze in the radiator and started the car a few times and was trying to get the timing dialed in.

    Well tonight I went out and there was no trans fluid on the floor!!! :cheers: but then I found something a really didn't like... Apparently I didn't put near enough antifreeze in cause the engine was frozen!! Not frozen solid but still slushy enough that I had to run the space heater awhile to get it to drain!! I doubt it hurt the block but it did put a hole (or several) in the radiator and popped out a freeze plug on the passenger side behind the header!!:banghead:

    So now the engine is coming out!! I'm planning on doing a MPFI 5.9 magnum eventually but I want to wait till I get a truck to use as a donor so I have everything I'll need. I do have a 5.9 with all the accessories main harness and pcm but for now I think I'm either gonna pull the 318 and go through it and put in new bearings, gaskets, freeze plugs and degree the cam and try to figure out the specs or im thinkin bout just getting the crosswind intake and putting in my 5.9 with a carb and running that till I get a donor truck. I'm open to opinions on which way to go but I'm sorta leaning toward the 5.9.

    Anyway, that's where I'm at currently...
  44. Dang dude that sucks hang in there... 5.9 Magnum swap is well worth it but your other (318?) block might still be good hang on to that. Usually even higher mileage Magnums have good ring seal because of the EFI. Factory cams aren't bad but you can't run an old mechanical fuel pump with them.

    Lots more I could say but you can read about it here:

  45. Hey thanks Khalid, yea I plan on keeping the 318 and goin through it eventually and may use it in my 71 Duster then. Check out the link in my signature for my "Mopar Nationals or Bust" endeavor! I'll be updating my engine progress in more detail in that thread. Tuesday night I got the 5.9 on the engine stand and got the pan off and the bores look GREAT!! Can still easily see crosshatching!! The out side of the engine is terrible tho! Nearly every seal and gasket must've leaked oil at sometime!! Lol

    Thanks for the link as well, Ive read through magnumswap.com a few times now. As far as the fuel pump I'm debating if I wanna buy the cam about adapter from Mancini to be able to run the mechanical pump or else spend a little more time and money and put in an intank pump. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there...
  46. I think I'm just gonna buy the cam snout since I'm using the LA timing cover and have a new mechanical fuel pump. Eventually I'll probably modify my tank for an intank pump that can be readily bought at any parts store.
  47. Well ladies and gents, it's been quit awhile since I've updated my build. For those of you that were following my thread "Mopar nationals or bust" well, I busted.... Since then we've temporarily moved into dads basement and are helping them with their chicken house till our chicken houses are up and going.

    Anyway, a few days ago I got the engine finished painted other than the fan and the carb/air cleaner are just sitting on the engine for now. Here's pics of that.

    Oh, just reading through the comments here and saw I never updated on my gas tank, I found a used tank and new 3/8 sending unit and a good filler tube grommet in CO for $25. Had my bro ship it to me for $40 and now I have a good tank. Also bought new 3/8s fuel lines a few weeks back.

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  48. .
  49. Tonight I scuffed and shot some paint on the fan, LCA's and one UCA (gotta get a balljoint socket to get the other balljoint out)



  50. Got the k-member and strut rods painted today.
    Also boogered up the paint on the one LCA trying to get the outter shell of the bushing out. Said "screw it" and bought a 1 3/8" tap on eBay for $18 shipped so soon as that comes I'll press out the other LCA outter bushing. Also bought a used snap-on ball joint socket on eBay for $18 shipped so when that gets here I'll get the UCAs rebuilt!!

    Anyway, here's pics of today's progress!


  51. Well, she's gettin closer. Got the k-member, lower control arms, center link, steering box and headers put on and put oil in it. Gotta get the spindles, caliper brackets and upper control arms blasted, painted, rebuilt and installed yet then I can finish the steering/suspension part of it.
    I ordered a oil pump priming tool (probably wouldn't NEED to prime the pump since the engine wasn't rebuilt but figured it as a precaution), piston stop and a bunch of parts the last few days so as soon as I get some of those and get the engine primed and get the balancer checked and the distributor set I'll put everything on a cart, install the flywheel, bellhousing and trans then it'll be ready to put in!! Then I gotta get a custom upper and lower transmission crossmembers made to fit the 5 speed.

  52. Also got the clutch master cylinder mocked up. Gonna put it through the hole where the clutch linkage originally went through, I didn't just wanna bolt it to the firewall so I got this bracket made out of 11 gauge aluminum that will go between the inside of the firewall and the steering column bracket that bolts to the floor and the master cylinder will bolt to the aluminum plate. I'm also gonna get a wedge shaped plate made for the outside of the firewall to angle the master a little more to line the pushrod/master up a little more. I'll post pics of the master setup once it's all installed. That's about it for now.

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  53. Got some more done yesterday... Got the engine primed, put a distributor in (either gonna use the one I put in and Trailbeast's HEI kit or the "ready to run" distributor from ebay) and put a few remaining fittings/plugs in the intake. Still need to run the brake line from the distribution block to the rearend then I THINK I'll be ready to put the engine/trans/k member on a cart and I'll roll it under the car!!

    There's still gonna be odds and ends to buy but I'd made a list a few months ago of parts I need to buy to car running and the only think left on the "to buy" list is tires!! The "parts to install" list is a little longer tho... Lol

    The dash lights haven't worked since I got the car so last night I took an extra cluster I had, painted the inside of the bezel "chrome" cleaned up all the contact points on the board, installed new bulbs and sockets (shoulda gotten LEDs right away) and a few months ago I'd read where someone (I think Del) said something about adding short pieces of wire between the ground screws so I did that as well as added a wire to ground the bezel to the dash frame since the lack of ground was the reason the lights weren't coming on.

  54. Well, we've had a few up and down days the past few day with the Duster build....

    First, I got the engine and K-member taken off the engine stand and put on a cart to roll under the car and noticed I was missing a 1.25" freeze plug in the back of the block.

    Second, once I hunted down a freeze plug and put it in, I put the flywheel on that I bought last spring, it's from a ram with a 5.9 and 5 speed. Well when I went to put the clutch on it was WAY too small so I compared the flywheel with the one I got with the dakota transmission (which I thought was an AX15) and the dakota flywheel was a 130t and the ram one is 143t. So then I find out I don't have an AX15 but rather a NP2500 which came in the 87-91 Dakotas.

    So after searching and searching I finally found a 130t flywheel that would work behind a 5.9 magnum... But it was $285! I then decided it's stupid to spend $285 on a flywheel just so I can run a transmission that's weaker than an AX15 if I can buy an AX15 for less and use my ram flywheel!!

    So on Craigslist I go, looking for a transmission... I found one for $150 but it was posted 25 days ago and the seller hadn't put a phone number or email address in the ad so there was no way to contact him... But then I found a title less, 1998, 2x4, v6, 5 speed Dakota with a knock on Craigslist for $500. Went up last night and bought it, got half way home and the engine blows!! Lol! Oh well, the price was right and all I need is from the clutch to the driveshaft, the rest will be parted. Leaving soon with a truck and trailer to go pick it up!
  55. Got the truck home that night, started pulling parts but wasn't getting much interest and with moving and gettin chickens April 4-5 I really don't have time to work on the truck so I sold the whole thing to a guy for $300 (he wants the rolling frame to put under a studabaker) and as soon as he gets the cab off I'll be going to get the trans and other parts I need.

    I no longer need to buy tires either since I took the 17" Bullitts off my wife's 04 mustang b4 we traded it in on the 2016 Chrysler 200. I did buy 5x4 to 5x4.5 adapters for the rear and the front will have BBP so they'll bolt on and the tires are all good.

    Haven't made a lick of progress on the car itself since the last post other than I got my spindles, calipers and caliper brackets blasted and rebuilt the calipers, just need to paint it all. Also still need to run my hard brake lines, saving up to get a good professional grade flaring tool.
  56. Well looky here! I was laying in bed when I wrote that last "no progress" post and it motivates me to get my ass out in the shop and I got my spindles, caliper brackets and calipers painted!!


  57. *deleted*
  58. It's always nice to get one more piece of the puzzle done!
  59. So today was a HUGE day!! For me anyway... I had a notion to go get new bolts to swap out the weak, factory, intake bolts (that I had WAY over torqued) so I got those, swapped em out, got 3" grade 8 bolts and nuts to bolt my LBJ's to the spindles.

    I then decided to put a rotor and caliper on the spindle and put one of the Bullitt wheels on to see how it looked... It looked awesome so I decided to set the whole assembly "in place" in the front wheel well to see what it'll look like... WIN!!!

  60. Well that really got my juices flowing so I ran over to dads, got my 1" spacers/5x4 to 5x4.5 adapters for the rear and his floor jack and I put the rear wheels on! Let me tell you, I am STOKED about how this car looks/is gonna look!!! I'm so crazy in love with this car and I can't wait to get back and work on it more and get it on the road!!


    I sent Kegan a few pics of it and he said "Can we just clear the car?!" and I also sent pics to my brothers and my oldest Bro John said "What is the body like on the other side? If it looks like that, and you have a hood to match, you're crazy to paint it. Clear it and be done. I would rechrome the bumpers, polish out the hardware and ad some custom, hand painted pinstripes and clear it."

    So, my goal now is to get the car running/driving good, repair any rust that can't be seen from outside the car (trunk pan, trunk extensions, etc.) and leave the rest and possibly shoot some satin clear on it.

    The car officially has a name now... The Ruster!!

    I also got a few small brackets painted and got the rear soft brake line installed and hooked up to the rear axle hardlines so now I just gotta run a new brake line from the distribution block to the rear soft line and install the MC.

    Hoping to have the back half of the car (shocks, gas tank) done within the next week and if I can find someone with a good double flare tool that I can use, hopefully I can have the brakes done in a few weeks... If I can't find one I'll have to shell out the $215 for one, but then I'll have it. I also need to take my rotors to a machine shop and have them turn the hub down to fit in the mustang wheels.

    Hopefully more progress to come sooner than last time!!
  61. Before (passenger side)

  62. After

  63. Rear shot

    I did install the drivers side, rear exhaust hanger today as well but since the exhaust isn't bolted to anything up front, it's hanging all crooked... The passenger side exhaust hanger is another thing I need to do next time I'm at the shop.

  64. One of my favorite shots

  65. Love it!
  66. Fixed all my pics in this thread finally
  67. Looking good Caleb!
  68. Car is looking sweet! Can't wait to see this one on the road!
  69. You and me both!!! I did get the UCA bushings pressed out and offset bushings pressed back in yesterday. Hopefully next week sometime I'll be able to get the arms scuffed and painted then put them on the car and install the upper balljoints.

    The guy I sold my Dakota to text me saturday and said he's got the engine and trans out and ready to pick up so I plan to go get that Tuesday. Before I install the engine and trans I plan on getting the front suspension and brake system put together well enough to roll the car out of the shop and wash it out real good and clean/organize my shop while the cars out. Then I'll roll the car back in, drop the k-member, bolt up the engine and trans and put the mess all back in.
  70. So I've been getting something's done this week on the car.

    I got the brake system complete, filled and bled and got the car sitting on its own for the first time since April 7, 2015!!

    Hopefully Monday I'll roll the car outside and power wash it, inside and out and clean up the shop. Then roll the car back in for the engine trans install. Sure would be nice if I had a buddy within 4 hrs to come help me drop the K and install the engine and trans Tuesday. :poke:

    Oops... Guess I should've added pics.

    Theres only a bench seat and a 92 firebird rear seat and dash and column in the interior, and the gas tank is sitting in the trunk but there's no gas in it so once I get more interior stuff (sound deadening, carpet, etc) and a full tank of gas in it the back should drop down a little more.



  71. Well, I got her rolled out today and got it down on a concrete pad I have beside a hydrant so hopefully tmrw or Friday I'll get back down there and wash it out real good and get my shop clean out and organized finally! I had it all cleaned up at one point but it's a royal mess now!!

    The farther along this car comes the more I love how it's turning out! Every time I walked out of sight of it today and then walked back within sight of it I’d get a big smile on my face!! I think it looks badass and I'm PSYCHED!!!



  72. On another note. I sold my 71 Duster shell last Friday so I took some of that money and ordered a 3 core 26" champion radiator that was on sale on eBay for $163 shipped. I also ordered a clutch kit for the ax15 last night so those should both be here in the next couple days.
  73. Well, I set a goal for myself. The next local cruise in is August 13 and since we'll be at the nats that weekend, I won't be able to go. The next and final cruise in of the year is September 17. So the goal is to have the car running/driving in time to make it to the final cruise in of the year!!

    It'd have a really good chance of being done by then if I'd quit buying the wrong damn parts!! Bout a clutch kit for a 98 Dakota that included the throw out bearing and small inner part of the pilot bearing. Well I couldn't get the pilot bearing to go in so I ordered another one just like it then realized I needed one with the bigger metal sleeve/bushing around it so I ordered one of those. When the right bearing finally came I popped it in and went to bolt on the clutch and it's the wrong damn clutch!!! Turns out the 98 still uses 10.5" clutch and the flywheel I have used the 11" clutch. So now I ordered the proper clutch.

    I got a bunch of trash out of the shop and organized a little bit, not like it should be but it's definitely better. I haven't rolled the car back in yet so I might clean up the shop some more b4 I roll the car back in and start the engine/trans install.
  74. Watching this one.
  75. Well, she's gettin closer!! I dropped the front suspension back out today and get the engine and trans bolted up to the K-member!

    The 143t flywheel and bellhousing moved the starter out a little causing me to need to dent/bend the one header tube but I got it done and got about 1/8" clearance.

    Was gonna roll it back under the car but the little wheels on the cheap harbor freight moving dolly aren't wanting to roll on the rough concrete. It's sorta strange tho seeing how this is how I pull the 318/904.....




  76. So this morning I got to the shop early, around 6-6:30 and I made a fair amount of progress! I got the engine, trans, suspension all back in!!! Next I need to come up with/make a transmission mount and then hopefully get it running next week sometime!


  77. Very Cool!!! Congrats!
  78. So Wednesday I went and worked on the car some, got a whole lot of nothing done....

    I put the distributor in and plugged all the wires into the spark plugs it the other end will need to be cut to length and have ends crimped on... I never did custom length plug wires before and don't have the tool so that burned me out a little....

    THEN I went to hook the steering column back up to the gear box and the tube around the steering shaft hit the header tube and that ticked me off and burned me out so I walked out and went home, aggravated that it seems like I've boughten nearly every part twice for this car cause the first one was the wrong one. And there's always a little part or tool that I need and don't have and I just got kinda overwhelmed and only slightly seriously threatened to sell all my car stuff and "grow up and find a different hobby". My wife, who 5 years ago would tell you that any car older than 2000 (at the time) was junk, quickly advised against that; she's come a long way. Lol

    So after a few days to mull over what I'm gonna do about the issues, today I was excited to go work on the old girl again.

    I didn't get a whole lot done and didn't mess with the plug wires (don't have a crimper yet) and didn't mess with the header/steering shaft issue; I did buy some washers though to cut notches out and shim the motor. I did discover right before I left the shop tonight that there's one bolt on the transmission that is hitting what's left of the upper crossmember and holding the rear of the transmission and inch or 2 farther toward the drivers side than it should be, so if I make it down there tomorrow, I'll take the sawzall along and cut the crossmember a little more. That MIGHT solve my header issue but if not I'll shim the motor mount a little or rebuild the column and cut the outer tube back a few inches.

    As far as progress, I did put the new shocks on the back, installed the gas tank, filler tube and hooked the fuel line up from the tank up to the pump. I also put the carb on. If I had the plug wire crimper I think I'd be about a long afternoon away from start up!! I didn't get any pics tonight but there wasn't really anything worth taking pics of... Maybe next time.
  79. Success!!! I got the 73+ strut rod bushing swapped out for the proper 67-72 ones... That nearly kicked my ass!! Ran down to the truck stop down the road to grab some jerky and a drink and cool off a bit. Fixin to head back, maybe piddle a little more then head to the house and take a shower!!
  80. This sounds like very good progress to me!! Sounds like you are close, real close to start up!! Don't give up yet Caleb, you have many pleasant nights ahead of you with the Duster!!!keep up the good work!! See Ya in a couple days!
  81. Yup it's getting closer!! And I'm definitely not giving up! Just had an off night that night I guess.

    As for tonight, after I cooled down a bit I went back and decided to put the front shocks on but didn't like how gaudy the yellow shocks looked so I painted em black Humidity was high so the paint turned out kinda flat andsince I didn't sand em first some of the paint scraped off when I installed em.

    After the shocks I laid under the car for an hour or so, measuring and brainfarting about how I'm gonna make the transmission mount... I came up with an idea that I think will work good, crawled out from under the car and scribbled some drawings on the white box my distributor came in.

    FYI, I haven't lost my mind... The drawings make sense to me it's just kinda hard for me to get all the details on "paper" Lol.

    As you can see in this pic I literally scribbled ideas into the grime on the bottom of the floor pan until I came up with something I liked.


    The "end view" would be looking at the mount from the passenger side. The end view probably makes the least sense to you guys... Lol


    Even tried my hand at drawing it in 3D, turned out much better than I figured!! Still didn't catch all the details but it'll all make sense once it's done. Hopefully the final product doesn't look like crap! Lol
  82. I also cut the torsion bar crossmember back a little where the bolt on the transmission was hitting and it definitely helped the header clearance issue. I was able to get the column hooked up to the steering box but the outer tube is still touching the header. I've got a section of collapsible DD steering shaft, a vibration dampening u-joint and ball bearing to do all the steering column upgrades that @72bluNblu (thanks for the help and ideas Brian) did in the threads below so I may just pull the column back out and do all that and cut the outer tube back some.

    Replace your lower column bearing: Better and Cheaper!!!

    Steering shaft upgrade
  83. Well, my plug wire crimpers came today so I went to the shop, cut my wires to length, crimped the ends on and got all the wires in place!! First time I did it and it wasn't half bad!!

    I then messed around trying to figure out where I want to mount the e-coil. I thought about putting it on the firewall between the wiper motor and the heater hoses but with the heat sink/mounting bracket around it its just too big to mount there. Then I figured I'd put it on the passenger inner fender where people normally mount a fuel regulator but the supplied wiring harness might not be long enough to reach that far. So here in the pic I just set it on the drivers inner fender where I might mount it. What do y'all think?

    Lastly, I brought dads little 110 welder over to my shop and practiced some welding. Here was a practice bead on 3/16 or 1/4 stuff.

    After being content with the penetration I was getting on the practice pieces I decided to try my luck at redoing the AX15 gear shift. With the original full length shifter, the knob was way too high and was like shifting a semi so I cut 6-8" out of the shifter to shorten it up. Here's a pic I got online to show what the shifter looked like. I cut it at the red arrows and took the center section out.


    Here's it is, shortened and welded


    Not too bad for the first time I've successfully welded something together.


    After grinding the welds


    Here's the shifter in the car. I bought the shift knob off eBay. When I fold down the center arm rest, the shifter is in the perfect location!! Easy to reach in all gears!!


    Next on the list is the transmission mount. I'll either need to buy me an abrasive saw next week or see if I can borrow my landlords for a day or 2
  84. Well, landlord isn't back from Florida yet and I don't have the money to go buy a cutoff saw so I've been working on other stuff.

    Last night I got the seat bolted in, tightened the shifter ball and got the steering column bolted in place. Doesn't sound like much but now I can sit in the car, row gears, and turn the wheel without everything flopping around! Lol

    I also got the engine shimmed up and all the way to the passenger side and now the header JUST clears the steering column but now the steering center link rubs the header near full lock when turning right, may have to dent a tube.

    Last night I also started fiddling with the hei swap and had some questions so I didn't start cutting any wires, good thing I didn't too cause I woulda cut the wrong stuff off!! Thanks to TrailBeast and Bill Grissom I got everything figured out and I worked on wiring all night tonight. First time I ever really messed with wiring but it wasn't too bad. I did learn a few things though... 1. Crimping is easier than soldering and 2. A soldering iron will burn the piss outta your finger if you touch it!!! I did solder 2 joints then crimped the rest, I pulled pretty hard on all the connections and non of them budged so I feel pretty good about em.

    At some point in this cars life the main big wires that go through the bulkhead got hot and the red one melted the connector so a previous owner cut the wire and punch a hole in the firewall and reconnected the red wire using 14 or 16 gauge wire and just twisted them together... No wire nuts, not electrical tape, nothing. So I figured will I was doing wiring I'll drill holes in the bulkhead connectors and run 10 gauge through and do it right. You can see the Orange splice wire going through the big hole to the left of the mc.


    I have a few wires over at the alternator to replace/clean up, looks like they might've gotten hot at one point.



    I did patch a few wires here and there where the insulation was cracked, broken or completely gone. Once I was done splicing everything I rewrapped most of the harness with electrical tape.

    Small crap like this is hardly picture worthy but we all know threads without pics are worthless so I try my best. Lol. Here's just sorta showing the finished product. The coil isn't bolted down yet and the harness isn't all in place but heres where I'm at. Hopefully fire her up this week! We'll see!

  85. Well, tonight was pretty productive! I got the crossmember all cut and welded together!!! I went WAY overkill on metal thickness!! I could've probably done it with 1/8" channel but I used all 1/4" channel. The new crossmember only weighs about 13 pounds more than the original!! LOL!! But I shouldn't have to worry about any lack of strength even with the upper loop of the torsion bar crossmember being gone. Beings I was using 1/4" stuff I turned the power way up on the welder and turned the wire speed down but for the first I had it too slow and the welds didn't turn out the nicest but a few passes with the welder and grinder and it all turned out pretty decent for a noob!!

    I'm gonna cut the 2x5" channel down some yet, drill a few holes and clean up the slots where the bolts for the trans mount go. I used a common GM :wtf: 700r4 transmission mount. I saw an energy suspension one at autozone that looked like it'd work so I went on eBay and bought a rubber one for like $12 shipped, had to elongate the one hole in the transmission a little and it bolted right up. Should have it all bolted in Monday night and have the car off the ramps and jack stands and back on her wheels!!!




  86. And that my friends....is hot roddin'.

    Mopar to ya'
  87. Remember when you were a kid and you were gonna go on vacation the next day and you just. couldn't. wait!!!?? Well, that's how I felt last night and today!! Except my car is my vacation!! Lol

    Well tonight I got the rest of the holes drilled, took longer than it should've because all three of my cheap harbor freight step bits (bought yesterday) would drill great until the 3/8" step then they wouldn't drill, reem the holes with the 5/16 step till the 3/8 slipped through and it drilled great again!! Anyway.... I got the holes all drilled and got the crossmember put in, the 5.9 and 5 speed are officially in place!! image.jpg

    I haven't painted the crossmember yet so it'll be coming back out for some clean up and paint. When I take it out I'll replace the stacks of washers with some something else like 2 1/4" plates or something. Also, when I lowered the transmission in place the mount sagged just a bit, I'm thinking about welding a piece of 3/4x1" channel to the bottom of the crossmember to take the flex out of it. What do y'all think? Sorta like a back brace on a rearend.

    I also got my hood pins put in and got the e-coil bolted down and put my alternator on. Got a few wiring splices to make under the dash, a few wires to clean up by the alternator and the plug wires and battery to put back in. Could all probably be done in an afternoon. Might fire it up this year yet!! Lol
  88. Tonight when I got home my wife suggested I call the car "Take 2" since nearly everything I buy for this car I buy the wrong one the first time and have to buy it again. Here's a list of things I can think of.

    Second engine.

    Geof (cosgig) gave me a 904 that I had behind the 318 but when I popped a freeze plug I decided to swap in the 5.9 magnum and "ax-15" 5 speed I had. Bought a new 143t flywheel for the 5.9, went to bolt up the "ax-15" and discovered it wasn't an ax-15 but an older 5 speed that used the 130t flywheel so I bought a Dakota parts truck with an ax-15 and put that in.

    Bought multiple frontend parts twice.

    Rebuilt the drums and small bj control arms then decided to go BBP disc so bought all new again.

    Bought the wrong year Dakota clutch, older one for a 130t flywheel instead of my 143t, so I bought the right one.

    Just the other day I bought a 3 gauge setup to use in the factory cluster but bought the 2" instead of 1.5" so those came today and the 1.5s are on their way.

    That's all I can think of but I'm sure there's more. Lol
  89. One area of concern I have is your cross member clearance for your exhaust. This was an oversight when I built my car and didn't know if you had a plan yet cause it's really going to hang low......

  90. The exhaust pipe on the right side of the pic there is bolted to the header and I did have the drivers side bolted up as well, all clears with plenty of room.

    Eventually tho I think I'm gonna run TTI shorties, oval tubing exhaust and either an AAR-T/A style dynomax muffler or a spin tech muffler and side exhaust, all tucked up tight so I can slam the car and the exhaust/headers won't be the first thing to hit
  91. Sounds good...just making sure you thought it all out...I really think I would spray a matte clear over the body and call it a day, I like the patina.
  92. I probably would've forgotten about the exhaust but I knew I wanted to keep the crossmember as high as possible and the exhaust was all bolted up when I was taking measurements and doing mock up so I knew it'd fit.

    As for the body, I'm not gonna be doing any exterior body/paint work till I have another classic running/driving so it'll stay as is for a few years at least
  93. Well... Much to my disdain, I had to leave the shop at 11:50 tonight... Could've stayed and kept working till 2am at least but life and chores will carry on same time in the morning...

    Tonight I dropped the crossmember back out to clean it up and paint it. I then bolted my scoops down and worked on wiring the rest of the night! I got the bulkhead connector bypass done, gonna do the ammeter bypass when I swap out clusters. I also did a wiring mod that slantsixdan recommended, ran 2 10 gauge wires with 50 amp fuses at each end from the alternator to the + post on the starter relay. Don't worry, the yellow yip ties are temporary. Lol
    image.jpg image.jpg
    I'm also gonna clean up some of that too small and broken wiring around the starter relay.

    I set the radiator down on the lower radiator support and put a clump of playdo on the cap and shut the hood, I have about 3/4-1" clearance to play with but my lower radiator support is bent up in the middle some so I should be able to beat it down and get a little more clearance. First time I put the radiator in I thought it was gonna hit the battery tray so I cut the corner out of the tray, put everything in and it wouldve cleared after all. Oh well, the tray was rusted through in 2 spots anyway. It'll work until I move the battery to the trunk.


    I then finished out the night by repairing all the wiring that hooks to the alternator.

    Got a busy day at the farm tomorrow but hopefully I'll be able to get the crossmember cleaned, painted and put back in. A few more small electrical stuff and then install the radiator and put in coolant and I should be ready for fire up.
  94. I'm not familiar with the advantage of doing this Modification.
  95. You can run a bigger alternator and it bypasses all the smaller factory wiring. Also goes straight to the battery instead of going through the bulkhead connector, ammeter and other splices/connections under the dash.

    Here's a screenshot of what he said

  96. @slantsixdan the only thing I'm not 100% sure on, and I know either I or someone else in that thread had asked you (can't find the thread) do you hook the factory black wire back up to the alternator as well or just the 2 10 gauge wires? Also, will it hurt to just run the wires to the starter relay like I did or should it hook them directly to the battery + terminal?
  97. It's best to run 'em to the battery + terminal. You can put the factory wire back on or not; it won't make any practical difference.
  98. Thanks Dan. I'll probably hook it back up since it's there and I'll move the 2 wires to the + terminal if they reach