Red Headed Stepchild-75 Swinger LSX Swap

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YoungDart75

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Well everyone I wouldn't necessarily consider this a restoration to the extent some of you are going through, But I'm still restoring what needs attention on my 75 Dart Swinger. It has a few rust spots underneath that I will be addressing on top of just maintaining it and jut driving it. To begin my story I've always been a die hard Mitsubishi 4G63 turbo all wheel drive guy and I've recently made transition into the Classic side of the house as I've always had a love for classics, and the level of stupidity in the import side has grown exponentially as of late.

So far starter's I Have my 1975 Dodge Dart Swinger with 75,601 miles on it. Here are a couple pictures from the day I went to go see her. I had seen the ad online and thought it looked pretty well taken care of and the owner had an entire book of paperwork to go all the way back to when it was bought in December of 1975. So this intrigued me even more. As soon as I saw how clean it and well kept it was I knew even with the slant 6 I had to have it.

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Then about a week later I got to the day where he hauled it down for me and dropped it off. This was right after I had an appraisal done on the car which they said valued it between 9000-9500.
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I took this photo primarily for a beginning reference because I knew id be making some changes in the engine bay to make it as clean as the rest of the car.
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The old Ford wheels were in decent shape with brand new tires and they look great on the car so no real need to switch them right now.

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First thing to get started on was the engine bay. After initially wanted to go with a black/silver/red/chrome scheme under the hood I changed my mind to keep the car looking as original as possible so I decided to go with the original Mopar Turquoise color of the time. Since I was going to be tearing some things apart I decided to start with all the basic maintenance for the car while I was in there anyway. The chrome valve cover was returned when I decided to stay with the original theme. Maintenance consisted of plugs, wires, distributor cap, rotor, oil change, valve cover gasket, intake/exhaust gasket, oil cap, radiator cap, pcv valve, new air breather, thermostat/coolant, trans filter/fluid, oil pan gasket(waiting to install), rear diff fluid, coolant temp sensor, fuel filter, belts(waiting to be installed) and a new air filter and reinstall of the factory air cleaner. Also ended up replacing the fuel pump when I found it leaking.

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And so the tear down begins.
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Right after completing the teardown I began to separate the two manifolds and broke the two studs off in the exhaust manifold. Most likely due to it never being apart before. However a trip to the local Napa with a machine shop on site rectified that situation and they had them removed pretty easily. I also had them sand blast the hideous blue off the valve cover so it would be ready for some fresh coats of Turquoise.
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First the block.
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Then the valve cover.
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Intake manifold.
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Reassembly began shortly after.
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Upon seeing this picture and all this nice clean stuff in the engine I made the decision to clean up the rest of the engine bay to make it match and be equally as clean and shiny.
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I think started with the back firewall, then moved to both fender areas for another coat of red instead of the very faded red that was almost orange.
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After doing all that I decided to break our the buffer, my polish ball and hit the car up with some mother's ultimate compound and then hit the wheels and bumpers with some mother's mag and aluminum polish. This worked outstanding and really brought the bumpers and chrome on the wheels to life.
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Next step is to finish up the maintenance, remove the blue paint from the coolant overflow tank and just do some small touch ups here and there that need the love. Eventually I will most likely install some drop spindles up front to get the stance a little bit better than how it sits right now. During that I plan on renewing a lot of the old suspension pieces and replacing all the brake lines and master cylinder and adding new brakes/pads/rotors/drums.
 
Now that is a nice find, and in awesome shape. Looks like the previous owner looked after it real well.
It's cool you go all the paper work with it as well.
 
Very nice looking Dart. How long before you swap the slanty for a 360?:)
 
Thanks alot. Im only the 3rd owner of the card according to all the paperwork. I have all the copies of all the titles and bills of sale each time it changed hands. Its been in Chicago area its whole life. Receipts for most of the maintenance ever done on the care as well. No plans to swap out the 6 unless it grenades itself. If so then ill do a supercharged 6.1L or 6.4L hemi swap in it.
 
Here are some better pictures from today after I pulled it out of the garage into the actual sunlight.
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My driveway is on a little bit of a slant but I need to figure out how to get that front end down a little bit.
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Loosening the Torsion Bar adjustment bolts a little will lower the car's ride height in the front, jack up the front end and back off the bolts (No more than 1 turn at a time), set the car back down and bounce the front end a few times then look at the stance, it shouldn't take much adjustment to lower the front an inch or two. Just don't go to overboard as the lesser the tension on the bars the easier it will be to bottom out the front suspension on rough roads.
 
I went down there and measured it and one side as 11 3/4 and the other was 12 1/4. I have them both sitting at 11 5/8 right now but the middle of the fender on the driver side front Is still 1/2 higher then the passenger side. I don't know how far you can back them down but they are sitting even now which is better then before.
 
Beautiful Dart! I dropped mine a full 1-1/2", she was way up there. I did have it aligned afterward. Handled and rode much better.
 
Beautiful Dart! I dropped mine a full 1-1/2", she was way up there. I did have it aligned afterward. Handled and rode much better.

How many turns did you have to do on each side to do that? Now that its even on each side I may mess with it again tomorrow now that I have a benchmark to go off of.
 
It splits just after the cat(previous owners preference I believe)There are some things ill be changing on the car. Found some more things to work on suspension wise today while I was underneath it.
 
It splits just after the cat(previous owners preference I believe)There are some things ill be changing on the car. Found some more things to work on suspension wise today while I was underneath it.

Yea once you get started it just never ends, but if you love it let the work begin!

Once you get the front end down post some pics, love the car.
 
How many turns did you have to do on each side to do that? Now that its even on each side I may mess with it again tomorrow now that I have a benchmark to go off of.
It was 6 or 7 full turns/side + a little tweaking. Worked out to about 1/4" movement/turn. Mine has 215/70-14 tires and original torsion bars (.87?). I was really nervous to start with, this being my first Dodge, but they turned easily and I was rewarded with immediate lowering on the first turn so I got braver. Bounce on it when you're done and you may have to tweak it a little after you drive it around.
 
I'm getting ready to go mess with it a little more, may try 3-4 turns each side and measure again. Then ill see how it pans out. Ill post up some pictures when I'm done. The issue I noticed yesterday was front left floor pan area. Something I didn't notice before.
 
Before adjustment.
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After adjustment.
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Gonna bring the passenger side back up a bit though. Its a smidge lower then the drivers side now.
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Yea that looks good. You've got the front down just a bit more than the back.
Perfect stance now.
 
I misjudged the height on it the other day thinking I needed to bring up the passenger side. Both sides sit exactly the same height. There was a dip in my driveway where I parked and measured yesterday. Today I measured it in my garage where I know it's flat and it measure exactly the same on both sides, right at 26 3/4" at the middle of the front fender well on both sides. So shes good to go.
 
I misjudged the height on it the other day thinking I needed to bring up the passenger side. Both sides sit exactly the same height. There was a dip in my driveway where I parked and measured yesterday. Today I measured it in my garage where I know it's flat and it measure exactly the same on both sides, right at 26 3/4" at the middle of the front fender well on both sides. So shes good to go.
Looking good!
 
I still think of these cute little cars as "Late Model" vehicles. Guess some stuff doesn't need to change.......
 
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