Start of a Dart

Members Restorations

  1. halfafish

    halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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    That's OK, delusions are part of what makes our lives go smoother. However, I'd be the first to admit your truck will be a LOT nicer than mine when they are both done. Mine will get an Earl Sheib paint job as what's on there is whisker thin, and that's about it.
     
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    • j par

      j par Well-hung Member

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      You're going to get hit with the Stark reality that Earl Sheib no longer exist...
      A dirt cheap paint job when you can find someone who will do an entire vehicle is going to be 6K bare minimum for the cheap job... And yeah that's all I'm going to be able to afford if that...
       
    • halfafish

      halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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      Ugh. Work continues to intrude on my wrenching time. I figured when the COVID crap eased up the backlog of work would be a flood. Score one for me, I was exactly right - I'm working 5-6 days a week and hating it. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I make small progress anyway. The longblock is all wrapped up.

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      Who doesn't love clean freshly painted parts?

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      The trans is resealed with the exception of what needs a full tear-down to replace. I will take my chances with it not leaking from the few seals not replaced so far.

      I'm lucky enough to know a local slant guy with a run stand. Barring something requiring a reschedule, I will be taking this thing up there next week for an initial fire-up and break-in. I continue to cross my fingers that I didn't screw the pooch somehow on this build. It's the first one I've attempted.
       
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      • mygasser

        mygasser FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        doesn't the motor look odd sat up straight like that :D
         
      • halfafish

        halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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        It's update time, and it was a Big Day in the halfafish world. I loaded the engine last night and took the drive to my buddy's house early this morning, about 40 miles away. Sometimes it pays to be lucky instead of good, and this was such a time. He has a full run stand for slants so it was off for today's big adventure.

        loaded.jpg

        It took a little over an hour to get the engine unloaded and hooked up to all the stuff needed for the stand.

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        stand2.jpg

        Once everything was hooked up, we did a double check to make sure nothing was out of order, dumped a little gas down the carb and hit the starter. Bam! Two spins and the motor caught. We stopped for a quick verification on timing and hit the starter again, it was running before we could let go of the switch. 20 minutes later of cam break-in time and it was time to break it all down to take it back home.

        Next up, fix all the intake/exhaust studs to seal them against the water jacket since I forgot to do that initially. :eek: Then I need to install a new oil pump o-ring and thermostat gasket and it will be time to bolt on the flywheel, clutch, and trans for a trip back into the truck. Saints be with us, this big white turd that's taken over the shop appears to be on the way outside as a running vehicle.

        Soon it will be time for Re-Start of a Dart!
         
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        • RustyRatRod

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

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          That's badass! Glad to see the progress.
           
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          • j par

            j par Well-hung Member

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            IMG_20210419_105105.jpg
            Good job !!.. but I still feel I'm in the lead.. LOL..:poke:...:lol:...
             
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            • halfafish

              halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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              It's time for the next installment of "I'm almost there". The throw-out bushing was a major PITA to get out. I tried the "pack it with grease and hit a tightly fit dowel with a hammer" thing to force it out hydraulically but it didn't budge. I had to make a sharp awl out of an old punch and score it till I could chip it out a piece at a time. Very carefully, so I didn't booger up the crank. Then more hassle getting the new one in. However, perseverance pays off, as I got it in with the new flywheel, pressure plate, and bellhousing all ready to go.

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              I'm sure glad I decided to do a test fit with the shorty headers before dropping this in the truck. It turns out there was a blop of welding bead at the collector for the rear half that made contact with the bolt holding on the brace from the trans to the block. Measure-fit-grind, measure-fit-grind, measure-fit-grind, it finally clears. I had to thin down the head of the bolt to get some air between the two but it's good now. Today is the final install for the intake and headers, here it is in mock-up. Do I hear ZZ Top in background, singing about a sharp-dressed man?

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              There are two last things to do before the install. Haha, or so I think. Nothing brings on problems like thinking you are past them. Anyway, I need to clean up all the excess wiring under the hood. This was a lean burn truck, and that stuff is long gone but the wiring is still there. Out it comes. Also, I found this beauty at the pick-n-pull last week.

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              It's a cold air intake that sits on top of the driver's side inner fender well and routes below the battery to the radiator support frame, coming out behind the bumper. It will be perfect but getting access to make the hole for it will be a little challenging. I think the battery and tray will have to come out for some elbow room.

              Wake up, Mr. Dart! It's been a long cold winter but it's almost time to get back in the shop for your front end work-over.

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              • halfafish

                halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                The intake and headers are installed and torqued down. Two minor oil leaks at the sending unit and drain plug were fixed, they just weren't tight enough. Thar she be folks, ready to go back in the truck.

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                Here is some work that's above my pay grade when it comes to fab skills. The cold air intake had to be measured, double checked, and then the hole cut in the area below the turn signal.

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                Then the piping installed.

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                Ands what it looks like when the battery tray is back in.

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                I'm pretty happy with how it came out. It's discrete and fits like a glove. There is about a 3" space between the engine side of the front support, and the grill side of the support. From either side it looks like it's only one sheet of steel but it's hollow - this is where the inlet goes. The next update should be this puppy back in the truck and running down the road.
                 
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                • Dartsun

                  Dartsun Mopar Dude

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                  Looks great
                   
                • halfafish

                  halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                  Hello gentle readers,
                  I've come to the conclusion I should have started a separate thread for the truck build, but honestly I thought it would be a two weekend $100 project. Hah. That was wildly off course. So I have decided since I've done a stellar job hijacking my own thread, I'm just going to wrap up the project here, and get back to the Dart. So, you ask, what's new?

                  The first good news, the engine is back inside the truck. I still need to do all hook-up stuff, but it's in the frame.

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                  After that victory, there's lots of stupid stuff. Everything I touch takes five times as long to complete as I would have thought, and involves many delays for parts and fasteners. For tonight I got the starter wired up which meant cutting the factory wiring job and splicing in the different wiring for the solenoid as I went to a mini-starter. I got the carb throttle bracket and choke cable junk sorted out. That involved robbing a throttle cable bracket off a junkyard truck, cutting it down to fit, and grafting it onto the bracket I got on Amazon. It will work, but it's a bunch of hillbilly engineering. However, being an honorary hillbilly this doesn't concern me.

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                  More info as I get it. This process is mind-numbingly slow, but I am indeed making progress. This would go much faster if I knew what I was doing as opposed to having to figure everything out as I go. Multiple times.
                   
                  Last edited: May 26, 2021
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                  • Demonx2

                    Demonx2 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    I thoroughly enjoy your musings and chuckle and shake my head in agreement constantly while reading! You capture the essence of what we all do and go through so well. Keep it up!!
                     
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                    • halfafish

                      halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                      Some days I think I must be channeling Bill Burr - I keep losing my shit. I absolutely, positively know I pulled a throttle cable from the junkyard. I have the pedal, but where did the cable go? I think it evaporated. And it took my shorty 7/16" socket with it, I can't find that either. Over an hour was lost scouring the shop for the two of them. Perhaps they eloped and are off on a Mexican Honeymoon. I hope they enjoy Cancun and come home soon.

                      It was wiring day today. I started with trying to figure out what of this mess I need, and what I don't. This was a lean burn truck but it was all removed by the PO except for the wires. After unwrapping all the looms, I picked out the stuff that went to nowhere. That resulted in this double handful of spaghetti wires.

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                      And here's the engine bay after the wire-ectomy.

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                      Then I started cleaning up and re-routing wires. I moved the HEI module, moved the coil, and ran new wires to both. It looks pretty decent at the moment. I'm not going to wrap this stuff till I make sure everything is working. The truck was a daily driver before the timing chain took a dump so I'm hopeful all is well. I have a couple of wires I can't figure out, it will be time to get out the FSM and peruse it over a cocktail for clues.

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                      Oh, and one project not mentioned earlier, I also pulled a receiver hitch from the junkyard off an 86 D250. It was filthy and rusty so it got all purdied up, then with an entire day of finagling with the hitch, bumper, and mounting holes it is in place. Lots of labor but it was only $35.

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                      I need to level the engine in the bay. My slant is overly slanted so I'm going to see how to rotate it to get it flat. With any luck tomorrow will be transmission day if I can get my buddy to help me manhandle it into place. It's a snail's pace at the House of Halfafish, but I keep chipping away at it.
                       
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                      • halfafish

                        halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                        Tonight's progress, such that it is. I swear, every day I work on this POS I spend hours on the job but have, basically, jack shit to show for it. Tonight is a prime example of that. I was in the shop for about 5 hours, and only got the carb plumbed, and the alternator and PS pump installed. Part of the problem is I have to climb into the engine bay to do anything, which means if you need a different wrench, fitting, zip tie, or whatever you have to climb back out, get the whatever, climb back in, lather, rinse, repeat...

                        However, progress made.

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                        I couldn't even make a subsistence income as a mechanic. I'd have to join all the lifer welfare slugs and give up as a contributing member of society.
                         
                      • geminimotors

                        geminimotors Well-Known Member

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                        Last edited: May 30, 2021
                      • barbee6043

                        barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                        I climbd into the engine compartment, wife found me 6 hrs later, and called the crane! I ain't that heavy, just old!
                         
                      • halfafish

                        halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                        Yeah, I'm really really close. Currently fighting the trans to get it back in place but today is another shot at it.

                        I saw that ad but I need another vehicle like a hole in the head. :eek:
                         
                      • halfafish

                        halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                        After three previous attempts I'm very happy to post today's update, I finally - FINALLY!!! - got the transmission back in. It took three of us and a stand-up trans jack to get it done, but this cantankerous thing is bolted up.

                        trans.jpg

                        I'm still fighting a number of stupid small things. The belts and pulleys don't line up right, I'm working through that in another thread. I can't seem to find the right u-joints for the driveshaft. I'm on my third set and none fit - that will get more attention today. I have to change the heater hose routing as it will interfere with the alternator belt once I get that crap sorted out. I got the stereo wired up so all I need to do is a test run to make sure it's working right and I can get the dash back together. Lots of time and effort for little results, but I'm plodding my way to the finish line. This afternoon I'll get the shifter re-installed and hopefully the driveshaft if I can get the right u-joints. Who knows, I just might be able to drive this truck in the not-too-distant future. What a concept...
                         
                      • halfafish

                        halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                        Today's update. The shifter and linkages are all in and work nicely. However, I can't seem to recall what the hell I did with the clutch pedal return spring. (Sigh...) I shall have to go excavating to see if I can find it. If not it should be simple to rig up another one.

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                        I finally got the right u-joints. Four hours to get the old ones off, another hour to clean up the holes in the driveshaft, and another two hours to get the new joints back in. This seized up mess was almost more than could be solved even with a 20 ton press. I thought I was going to bend or break something but I finally got it.

                        The fan belt for the alternator is done. I had to press the pulley mount over a half inch toward the pump to get it to line up. That was an all-night project as I'd push it on a little, do a test fit, push, test, push, test, till I was dizzy. Again, perseverance pays off. It lines up just right. Somehow the fan belt is now too short so it's off to NAPA for a longer one. Go figure.

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                        The pulley for the PS pump is next up. It's backset about a half inch from the crank pulley. While fiddling with it I discover a ton of slop in the shaft so I got a new pump which will go on today. Maybe I should splurge for new pressure and return lines instead of these crusty 40 year old ones? Not so fast, Bucko! Napa discontinued the pressure line, AZ and O'Reilly say many weeks out as a custom order. I found one on Rock but it will be almost a week till it gets here. Boohiss. Ah well, there are plenty of other things to keep me busy till then.

                        Another trip to P-N-P and I cobbled together enough parts to finish the cold air intake. It came out nicely if I do say so myself. Or maybe, this is just a case of setting your goals low enough that you are likely to hit them. :rolleyes:

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                        I'm off to NAPA for the belt, then back to the shop. If I don't get busy @j par is going to lap me, and he's doing a spit shine resto down to the last nut and bolt with more holes than metal at the moment.
                         
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                        • halfafish

                          halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                          I swear, if I wasn't going backwards on this project I'd be going in no direction at all. The new (and long-enough) alternator belt was installed but now for reasons I can't fathom, it is virtually in contact with the head. Clearance is maybe a 32nd of an inch. No Bueno.

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                          Out comes the grinder, we whack off a bit of excess meat, and now it clears by about 3/16", good enough for me.

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                          Next up is to change the rear end fluid. I've been all over this thing and for the life of me, can't find a drain plug or fill plug. I mean nowhere. It's an 8-1/4, first one I've had, and I can't figure out how to drain or add fluid.

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                          After many, many trips above, beside, in front, below, you name it - no plugs. I'm thinking this is impossible. How could there be no way to do this other than to remove the axle, take off the cover, drain, refill, install the cover, and back in the truck. Then I see this little blip in the orange circle. Yep, sure enough, under all that scrunge is a plastic fill hole cover. So today I'm off to get a gasket so I can pull the cover, drain, fill, and put this deal to bed.

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                          The one bit of good news is I got the stereo all wrapped up. The truck came with a pretty decent head unit from Sony and a pair of 6x9 Kenwoods. I added a dual voice-coil speaker for the dash and a subwoofer, it sounds very good. Progress!

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                          • j par

                            j par Well-hung Member

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                            LOL.. I'm looking at the first picture and going the plug is right there???... I never have used a gasket just the right stuff...
                            with my luck the first thing someone would steal would be that stereo when I'm at the store getting soda pop...
                            LOL... Seriously.. you ground the head to make the belt fit..?..
                             
                          • halfafish

                            halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                            Yup. I think the issue came about because the former water pump was badly out of alignment for the crank pulley, which gave it more clearance from the belt to the head. And who knows what all went on with the 40 years of PO's and what they did with this thing. It fits now though! :D
                             
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                            • j par

                              j par Well-hung Member

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                              I can't help but think there's something obvious going wrong here.. out of the 15 million slant sixes they made you got the one that you have to grind the head to make the belt work...
                               
                            • halfafish

                              halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                              Strange but true. I'll be happy to have you educate me when I drive this little pride-and-joy on its inaugural tour.
                               
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                              • j par

                                j par Well-hung Member

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                                As it is you'll get a free cheeseburger if you drive it over but if I have to educate you I'll be the one getting the cheeseburger LOL...
                                 
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