Slow, Driving Rustoration 1972 Dart

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  1. BrianT

    BrianT Let's go!

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    I was going to suggest an external cooler if you want to get by with what you have. They are relatively cheap and easy to install and you'd be back on the road in no time.

    In my opinion, the car is almost fifty years old, and if it hasn't been replaced and you can afford it, I'd go with a new Spectra radiator. There is no reason for you to go with a three row Champion (which I did) for the level of driving that you're gonna be doing. Spectra makes a good product and you'll be happy with it. Get the part number from RockAuto and then search around the internet for a better price. Using a coupon from AutoZone or Advance can sometimes beat RA on big ticket items.
     
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    • dartnlo

      dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks! That's pretty much what I was hoping to hear.
       
    • dartnlo

      dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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      Got the carb rebuilt, all of the ECS hooked up, the transmission cooler installed, transmission cleared of most if not all contaminated fluid (it took 8 quarts to fill it) and took it for a 120 mile round trip. It ran perfectly, smooth idle, great acceleration, no stumble or hesitation on acceleration, and the cabin didn't smell as much like gas fumes.

      Next up on the upgrades and fixes will be the exhaust, it has leaks where the manifold pipes join together for single exhaust. Even with the floors all sealed up I'm sure I'm getting some fumes in the car. I may get a quote on it, or maybe order a dual exhaust kit.

      I'm also looking at putting a 4 barrel intake and a 500 cfm carb. I'm just looking to get better gas mileage. From what I've read here it looks like a SP2P is a good choice and a edelbrock something 500. Do I need headers for better MPG or are stock 318 manifolds good enough? Good enough being relative. That said if I found a cheap set of 340 manifolds I'd swap them in a heartbeat.
       
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      • dartnlo

        dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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        Cold start:
         
      • BrianT

        BrianT Let's go!

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        Do a little more research. I'd stay away from the SP2P and look for a LD4B intake. It's generally regarded to be the best intake period for 318's. They can be a little pricey. Here's one on eBay with a couple of days to go still.

        Mopar LD4B intake manifold Edelbrock Dodge Plymouth small block 318 340 360 | eBay

        I'd put a used 600 cfm Edelbrock on it with some dual exhaust and see how you like it? If you're trying to increase MPG you're going the wrong way. Once you put a four barrel on there, you won't be able to keep your foot out of it.

        Edit: On your cold start video, always pump the gas at least once on a cold engine to set the choke and prime the engine with a shot of gas.
         
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        • dartnlo

          dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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          Thanks, mostly looking for highway mpg. I'll be adding cruise to it for sure. Good to know on the LD4B, I'll look into it. WIth the 2 bbl carb fixed and timing all dialed in now it's hard enough to keep my foot out of it. It just sounds so restricted with the current setup, she needs to breathe :)

          I'm looking at financing this portion by selling my touring scooter, so I have time to look around for a deal.

          I was hoping it would run from a no pedal cold situation. But of course you are right, it needs that pump to set the cold idle speed too.
           
          Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
        • dartnlo

          dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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          Well it's been cold here and I got busy doing other things. My Silverado had a flat tire which was as good as excuse as any to just drive the Dart for the last couple of weeks. The new ECS correct chinese carter clone did fail me one day. I would say these carbs aren't too bad but the floats are just junk. Both of the ones I bought developed a sinking float within 3 weeks, just enough time to fill with gas I guess. So I got a ride home, took the first carter clone apart, and grabbed the good float out of it and all was well.

          Today was a very nice winter day in Kansas, 32 at 10 AM, 48 by 3 PM so I did some work on the car. I did end up changing the right side choke hardware. The manifold temp choke was extended all the way and the plate was open about 15 degrees cold. The hardware from the first carter clone worked, it may be the ECS carb is taller. With that fixed I needed to adjust the idle and fast idle settings down again. This $65 carb is a good investment even though I'm still looking for a 4-barrel carb and intake with fuel economy in mind. This 2-barrel keep me running while I look for a good deal. She's running smooth now and is fun to drive around town. I bought a power steering pressure kit, but it looks like I don't have the right pump for the easy fix. I'll just deal with the anesthesia steering for awhile.

          My girlfriend got me some 6 x 9 speakers for Christmas and I got them wired in and installed...mostly. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the package tray. I could cut a hole in them and use the included grilles, but I think they are kind of ugly in my stock interior. For now they provide some much appreciated bass compared to my two 3.5" dash speakers. I may end up making a temporary package tray until I can find a factory grilled package tray. I haven't done much car speaker installation. I was surprised to find out the the factory holes and speaker holes lined up perfectly. I had no idea that was a universal pattern.

          20190126_125021.jpg 20190126_125041.jpg

          I also finally have all my instrument cluster lights! I bought some twist in sockets to replace all my broken ones but when they arrived in December they were the wrong size. I finally got around to returning them to exchange them for the correct size. I also discovered that my headlight switch had a bad rheostat for the dash dimmer. I just pulled out the spring which was getting tangled up in the contacts and causing issues. So right now I have full on dash lights only but it is great being able to see the gauges at night! While I had the cluster out I cleaned everything up and polished the plastic lenses. Not sure why the temp gauge is less bright than the rest.

          20190126_220002.jpg

          So anyway, progress is progress! I can't wait til warmer weather so I can get started on the quarter panel rust.
           
        • moparmat2000

          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I used 5630 uncoated peel n stick LED strip lighting for my 67 cuda cluster. Super efficient, and lights it all the way up. I also have a spare headlight switch with good rheostat pm me if interested in either.
           
        • dartnlo

          dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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          Thanks for the offer MM2K! It's plenty bright for now, I was mostly just surprised at how dim it looked in the picture. I may just be so used to having no dash lights that it looks really bright to me while driving.
           
        • moparmat2000

          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Heres pix to give you a better idea. Pic is worth 1,000 words right? Heres what my rallye cluster looks like lit up. I owned a 68 cuda years ago in the 1980s and the 4 backlighting bulbs were super dim. I always felt it sucked. Now that technology has caught up, theres waaay better options for cheap. I used the 5630 dimmable peel n stick light strip on my current 67 and theres no dim spots at all. Pic is lit w 9v batt on the work bench. Contacts soldered to a bulb socket.

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          downloadfile-9.jpg
           
        • dartnlo

          dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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          That's pretty cool! I do repairs to GM truck clusters for the faulty step motor gauges. I also offer color options for the LED bulbs I went with blue in my Silverado but I may do this with green in my Dart eventually.
           
        • moparmat2000

          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Thanks for the kudos. I have some green peel n stick 5630 if interested. Measure your gage bucket with a cloth tape measure to get an accurate length, and i can sell you some. It took about 3.5' to do my barracuda bucket. I also have some good spare oem headlight switches with decent rheostats. The aftermarket ones are junk.
          LMK
           
        • dartnlo

          dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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          Ok, so far I'm ok with no rheostat, but when I do the LED upgrade I will definitely want a dimmer.
           
        • dartnlo

          dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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          I wanted some idea of what state of tune I have, so I downloaded this app that does automatic GPS timing, the 19 second time is from a dead stop from idle and just stomping on the pedal from Drive. The second is manually going through the gears from a revved brake situation. My 0-60 time seems slow but I may have missed the 1st to 2nd shift as it's pretty quiet and I have no tach.

          Oh you can ignore the top speed as it takes me a second to stop the app when I'm done.

          Screenshot_2019-01-27-10-15-47.png

          Screenshot_2019-01-27-10-32-19.png
           
        • dartnlo

          dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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          I'm just enjoying the Dart right now, it's my daily driver while it stays dry here. The more I drive it, the more I realize that the steering needs some parts. I've got some definite play in the steering wheel. Making my list of front-end parts: tie-rod ends, ball-joints, and camber bushings. The rear end has been making some noise since I picked it up and it is not getting any less noisy. I jacked up the rear and set the axle down on stands. It didn't make the noise so I'm headed toward bearings for that. It also needs both u-joints.

          While I'm waiting for it to warm up here I've been getting garage fever. Just excited to get some rust removed, patched up and spot painted. I decided to make a video of what it might look like by the end of the summer. Cheers.

           
        • uber cool

          uber cool Well-Known Member

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          Loving your rolling road project. Best way my IMO you can use the car and see the improvements. You are a little ahead of me, I need to get mine running sweet and then sort out UK registration.
           
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          • uber cool

            uber cool Well-Known Member

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            I have only driven mine at the shipping container port from the compound to the trailer and from the trailer to my garage and it didn't feel like the steering wheel is connected to the wheels, so I too suspect the tie rods and steering linkages need a good looking at.
             
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            • BrianT

              BrianT Let's go!

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              Just my opinion, but at this point in your build, just replace what is worn out? It may not need tie rods or balljoints. It may just need an idler arm (very common). This leaves more money for U joints and axle bearings (may just need adjustment and gear oil). Later, when time allows if you want to rebuild your complete front end, go for it.
               
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              • dartnlo

                dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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                Yeah I've got about 2-3 inches of travel in the steering wheel plus the high pressure power steering giving little road feel. Combined, the steering is anything but nimble.


                True, basically planning for the worst, hoping for the best. When I replaced the entire brake system I checked the front end as best I could and nothing felt dangerous. At bare minimum everything needs new rubbers and greased. Planning on taking an afternoon to go through front end and see what needs replaced/refreshed. I'm pretty sure the rear end needs axle bearings to quiet it down. I'll probably tackle the front end a side at a time, cleaning up what can be saved and replacing what needs replaced. Stuff I can get done on a weekend.

                The car also came with most of an extra front end as well, minus torsion bars. So I may have salvageable parts in there.
                 
              • moparmat2000

                moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                You can make minor adjustments to the box worm and sector gear to tighten it up, also if your 72 runs a saginaw steering pump "ham can style", try lowering the pump pressure. Mopar V8 steering pumps are notoriously over pressured compared to slanty 6 pumps, peobably because of the extra weight from the V8. Typical output is 1,100 psi. This gives a floaty boaty disconnected feel. Dropping it to 800-850 psi still gives enough assist for low speed turning and parking, but keeps the pressure low enough for a decent road feel, and tightens up the box feel. This little number below is about $15 and easily installed without full dissassembly of the pump.

                If you dont have headers, and have enough exhaust clearance, add a 69 C body pitman arm and idler arm. They are slightly longer, will move the centerlink back about 1 inch and will increase the ratio speed and decrease turns from lock to lock making it feel more like rack and pinion. This only jacks up ackerman angle at full lock for parking. Was a trick used on trans am dodge challengers and plymouth cudas to get fast ratio steering back in 1970.

                Screenshot_20190203-081435.png
                 
                Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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                • dartnlo

                  dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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                  Mine seems like actual play/sloppage. On the highway I can move the wheel back and forth about 3 inches and not get any reaction out of the wheels. I need to get a spotter today and see if and where the play is coming from.

                  I like the idea of trying that c-body trick! No headers here.

                  I bought the borgeson Saginaw kit to lower my pressure but apparently I have the other pump.

                  pspressure.jpg

                  I've also had a hard to find power steering fluid leak. It looks like it may be coming out of the gear but I can't see exactly where.

                  So I guess I have the Federal pump
                  federal_pump.jpg

                  not the Saginaw Pump

                  saginaw_pump.jpg
                   
                  Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
                • moparmat2000

                  moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  I believe PST has the C body pitman and idler arms. I think that is where i got them from. Problem you will run into with a stock 67-72 A body steering box is the splines are smaller than a B, E, C body box, and the C body arms wont work with it. The A body power steering boxes went to the larger B, E, C spline in 1973. An F, M, J steering box is also larger spline and a direct bolt in as well.

                  There is also an old discontinued moog problem solver kit for the idler arm. It replaces all the guts on the pivot end that bolts in to the K frame. It has thrust washers, and ball bearing races. The bolt it comes with is drilled hollow and contains a grease zerk. I have 2 of these kits one for each of my cars. Takes all the slop out of that side of the idler arm.

                  I might be interested in that saginaw pump kit you have depending on what you want for it. PM me about it
                   
                  Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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                  • dartnlo

                    dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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                    It's been a long cold winter here in Central Kansas. Not much to report. I've taken her out a couple of times. Fixed the floppy rear-view mirror, the sticky sun visors, and not much else. I took it over to the Visual Arts center at the local college yesterday. They needed an old car to shoot a promo video for an upcoming play. So the Dart got to be a diva for a morning as they shot scenes in the car. It was fun watching the "kids" discover automotive history. They were intrigued by the hard top and vent windows, amused by the headlight dimmer, and confused by the shoulder belt. The older folks there of course wanted to talk about their experiences in old cars.

                    I'm looking forward to the warm weather so I can get busy removing and replacing rusted metal.

                    video1.jpg video2.jpg video3.jpg video4.jpg
                     
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                    • bkd

                      bkd Two Scoops To GO!!!

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                      SWEET!!!
                       
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                      • dartnlo

                        dartnlo Has Dart Fever FABO Gold Member

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                        Latest chapter:
                        Cylinder compression check numbers and spark plug reading inconsistent idle

                        Basically I discovered I have one cylinder with low compression and I need a better, ie; non-chinese carb. Probably explains my less than stellar fuel mileage. I'm glad it's running again now though, I'm hoping to take her to a car show the last Sunday in April to show her off in all her rusty glory.
                         
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