Should I leave it Stock?

Early A-Body Discussions

  1. jau126

    jau126 '65 Dart GT 273 904

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    I have a ‘65 Dart GT with a 273 2 barrel. (It was built the last week of production for that year which I am not sure actually matters.) It is a nice fairly clean example and am in the debate in my head of if I should make some changes come winter. I don’t want to ruin the car for whoever the next owner is but would like to have a little better performance then what the factory 2 barrel had to offer. I already picked up a D4B as I am not sure what I am going to do but they seem hard to find so when one was listed on eBay I scooped it up.
    Is it a waste of money to put an intake, 4 barrel, and headers on a stock 273? Am I going to ruin the appeal of the car by taking away from its originality? If not should put in a mild cam as well?
    It is mostly a street cruiser but I do want to have a little excitement getting on the freeway. Thoughts?
     
  2. dano

    dano Evil Handy Man

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    Well it's your car, do as you please. If it were me I'd do what I wanted and keep the stock parts to put it back or give to the next owner. What your wanting to do isn't all that radical. If your planning to sell the car at some point then just enjoy as is or sell it and buy what you really want.

    Another option is find a 5.2 Magnum or 318 and build a decent motor and keep the stock 273 in moth balls. It really depends on what you want out of the car and your budget to get it there.
     
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    • Demonracer

      Demonracer 71 Demon 00 Ram 16 Chrysler 300S 05 Caravan FABO Gold Member

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      It's your car, build it to suit whatever you wish to do with it. If it's very original, keep all of the parts you remove so if you decide to sell it you cam include them in the sale.
       
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      • Lord Sparky

        Lord Sparky Well-Known Member

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        I try to keep my car original, but if there is something modern that will make the car safer (Disk brakes or modern steering box) or more reliable (electronic ignition or modern carb) I will do it.
         
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        • Alaskan_TA

          Alaskan_TA Well-Known Member

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          I enjoy preserving history, so I look for cars as factory original as possible to keep that way. (3 so far)

          I do have another one that is a custom with not much original anything to satisfy that part of my personality.
           
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          • Projectile Dart

            Projectile Dart Well-Known Member

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            if you are strictly trying to sell it eventually, the argument can be made that you will make the most money back by keeping it as stock as possible. If you plan on keeping it forever then tear it up until it makes you smile. Either way sounds like what you want are all bolt on parts so if you keep the original parts and store them correctly, you can always "go back to stock" in the future
            273's are fun, but there is no replacement for displacement, it all depends on how much you are willing to spend
             
          • 66fyssh

            66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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            Do what makes you happy now. We don't know what the future holds. I certainly save for a rainy day, but when it comes to the things that make me happy now, I go for it.

            For example, it's much easier to sell a house with neutral interior paint colors, but since I don't know when, or if, I'll ever sell, I go with what I like.

            I kept my 66 Barracuda stock, but for wheels (70 Rallye), a Pertronix Igniter, and a dual pot master cylinder, for a long time. Then two years ago I said, screw it and upgraded the suspension and swapped in a 5.9. I'm enjoying it, and I really enjoyed actually doing the work.
             
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            • 512Stroker

              512Stroker We are all here because we are not all there.

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              It's only stock once.
               
            • Joey4speed

              Joey4speed FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Keep it stock.
              Fast forward, 20 or so years from now, it may be difficult to find a clean, original Early A body.
              Its easier to find another not so original car to modify.
               
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              • Oldmanmopar

                Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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                Nope. Build it to have fun with it. Unless you are just going to let it sit and look at it like most of the numbers guys on this site do.. Make it a looker, make it rumble and put a good stereo in it. Have fun now life is short. There are enough out there built by the factory. like I said life is short personalize it .Make it so your remembered as the builder.

                There is a guy that comes here from the site . He got his dads car back. There are things he is leaving as they were when raced for memories of his father. I thought that was really cool thing to do. Maybe one day when I see it done I'll throw him a bone and give him something he wants for it. Remember you can't take it with you. The next guy may cut the quarters and put slicks on it.LOL
                 
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                • jau126

                  jau126 '65 Dart GT 273 904

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                  All good points. It is only stock once which might technically already be to late. The previous owner put 15” Cragars on it already which look nice and I still have the factory original wheels and hub caps. It has also been repainted but I believe the factory color. Lastly they also put a new exhaust on it with a dual exit (not true duels). So it is not a true surviver car and not 100% stock.
                  For those guys that are saying to leave it stock and you were looking at car that had been lightly modified with the bolt-ons that I previously mentioned would it completely turn you away from buying that car? (I would obviously be keeping anything that comes off for the next owner.) I am not trying to think this is an investment but if I were to go to sell it I would like to appeal to as many buyers as possible but most importantly I do not want to mess up a vehicle if it actually special.
                   
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                  • cudamark

                    cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Not in my dictionary. It's only original once, but, it can be stock any number of times if you return it to that state. I wouldn't hesitate to customize the car as long as it's bolt-on stuff. You can always pull the aftermarket parts off and put the stock parts back on if you plan to show or sell it. Even cutting and welding can be undone if proper methods are used. It's just expensive to do.
                     
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                    • 273

                      273 Well-Known Member

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                      https://www.hotrod.com/articles/testing-mopar-273-power-pak-dyno/
                       
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                      • jau126

                        jau126 '65 Dart GT 273 904

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                        Thank you for the article. I have come across it before. I am not sure how close I would be able to get to the 235 HP HIPO factory number with only 9:1 compression and stock cam. Not sure if any other 273 guys have bothered with this or if they have all just built a HIPO motor.
                         
                      • cudamark

                        cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        I did almost the same thing. I put a 1969 273 2bbl. engine in my '66 Barracuda and bolted on all the HP stuff and added a solid lifter Isky cam with similar specs to the 273HP. Runs just fine and I can use pump gas without it pinging.
                         
                      • toolmanmike

                        toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                        What ever you wish. Put the 4 barrel on and have fun.
                         
                        Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
                      • 273

                        273 Well-Known Member

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                        the cr difference is worth around 5% power difference so 10-15 hp
                         
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                        • Oldmanmopar

                          Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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                          Your worried about putting it back the way it came? Wonder if the Tin Man kept all his original parts. Just think of the fun you could have entering the freeway with this car. If I had a 65 GT I would be changing more then the intake. Bring it to me, The next time you enter the freeway you will be smiling from ear to ear so hard your cheeks will rip.

                           
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                          • RustyRatRod

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

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                            I agree with this ^^^^^^. I WAS going to leave my 64 Valiant stock. But I got to thinking.....and my wife Kitty actually changed my mind. She subtlety said one night that she felt like I wanted more from the little car and that if I wanted to put more motor in it that I should do it, because it could end up being my last hot rod......and she's right. So I'm puttin a big block in this bad girl. Besides, the 170 is worn pretty good in the bottom end. Oil light stays on for like 20 solid seconds cold and the mains rattle. So it needs an engine either way. It's gonna get one. lol
                             
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                            • 273

                              273 Well-Known Member

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                              The only car I would think of keeping original are Hemi and 6 pack cars, and maybe 383/440 A bodies Just mainly cause there worth, other than that do what you want to it.
                               
                            • RustyRatRod

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

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                              IKR? That thing's badass.
                               
                            • toolmanmike

                              toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                              Bad ass but stupid. A alcohol burner that takes a funny car crew to fire it and keep it going. I have seen it. It is a cool build if you want a alcohol funny car motor in a street car.
                               
                            • RustyRatRod

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

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                              I've always wanted to get a funny car or top fuel engine, detune it for pump gas and throw it in a street car, just for "the look"......equally stupid, I know. lol
                               
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                              • thesiren74

                                thesiren74 Well-Known Member

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                                Put the 4 barrel on it, you can always remove it.
                                 
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                                • AJ/FormS

                                  AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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                                  Yes and no.
                                  It's not exactly a waste; it's just that;
                                  the stock cam/carb/intake is good to say 3000rpm, so the 4bbl is not gonna do much until the 2bbl gives up..
                                  and because of the small factory cam, headers are not a big help either. Taken together, you will get a power increase, but not until later in the rpm band.
                                  I'm assuming you have an automatic, so with a stall of say,1700 rpm, neither of those is gonna make a difference at zero mph when you hammer the throttle.
                                  I'm assuming you have 2.76 rear gears and with those 15s, you might be looking at final drive gearing of 65=2200. If that is true then 2500 in first gear, where the power is just starting, will be over 20 mph. So from zero to 20ish mph, that 4bbl and headers is not gonna help you one tiny bit.
                                  That 273 cam might power peak at 4000ish rpm, and the 1-2 shift might be 4400 so your power band is gonna be from no lower than 2500, to perhaps as high as 4400. So if you want rapid-transit to happen, you need to be in that band. The 4bbl, might not be fullopen until closer to 3000, and if you open it too soon or too fast, you will likely just bog down. Lets say you somehow make it happen at 2800. So then your 4bbl power begins at ~2800, peaks around 4000, and is rapidly falling off at 4400tops.
                                  In first gear this is beginning at~24mph, peaks at 34mph and is falling away at 41 mph, The question is; does that help you?
                                  In second gear, the power plateau might be at ~ 3600 to 4200. With 2.76s this is about 52 to 72 mph. Hey nice passing gear. But check out the hole from somewhere around 36 mph to 52 mph, where your engine is gonna be struggling.Even with the 4bbl, cuz she is off the cam.
                                  But think about this;
                                  How much power can you truley expect with the 4bbl and headers? and where is it gonna come in at?
                                  I'll guess no more than 20hp at 4000rpm, more likely is 12 to 15
                                  I'll guess zero hp at zero mph with a 1700 stall
                                  I'll guess the power is linear from 2800 to 4000, so 1.67hp per 100rpm. It won't be linear tho, with less real power generated at 2800 than at 4000, but I just want you to see the point.
                                  So;
                                  if you are looking for more power to take off with from a dead-stop, then the 4bbl/header combo is a bust.
                                  But if you want passing power from 52 to 72, it's hard to say no, to ~18hp
                                  So
                                  Yes and no.

                                  IMO, you would do way better with;
                                  a higher stall TC to get the engine to where the torque is,at zero mph,and
                                  a bigger rear gear to hurry your engine up onto the cam sooner, and to keep it there longer, and,
                                  no matter what;the engine is gonna want a free-flowing exhaust. Whether you chose headers or free flow HP logs is not gonna be a big deal, but you gotta provide a path for the faster reving engine to get rid of it's greater volume of exhaust per measurement of time.
                                  I came to love the 2800TC behind my 318-4bbl/stock cam smogger engine, that I used to have in my 68Barracuda, for a winter engine. I ran it with just about every gear from 2.76s to 4.30s. I think the 3.91s were my favorite, but most of the time, she ran with 3.55s or 3.23s . I didn't have 3.73s and I think those would have been a good compromise.
                                  One winter, she ran with a 2.74 low-gear A998 and 3.23s; That was a real nice first gear combo. Sometimes I revved it to the moon tho before grabbing second, cuz second was a lil further away than it had been with the A904. The 3.23s gave me an extra 5 mph cruising speed for the same rpm. All-in-all tho,I think I liked the A904/3.55s better, with the slower cruising speed.

                                  Now; should it be that you have a 4-speed, I would have given a slightly different answer. Small engines really benefit from more and closer spaced gears. But the basics above still apply.
                                  As for me; I would not spend the money on a 4bbl and headers, until after the increased Stall, and after the gears, and after the free-flowing exhaust. THEN, I would do the 4bbl together with a slightly bigger solid-lifter cam, and, I would feed that 4bbl, fresh cold air; you can't make extra power with hot rarefied air..
                                   
                                  Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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