Start of a Dart

Members Restorations

  1. halfafish

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

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    I went back to work this week with a fair size backlog from being off the last three weeks, so updates have been scarce. Let's start the data dump, with "Why am I such an idiot"?

    I was going to check the rear windows to see if they worked OK. I knew the rear window cranks were gone, so I tried the front ones but they didn't fit. Then I tried the ones off the Volare. They didn't fit. I borrowed a crank off the D-150, it didn't fit either. I bought a different set at the PNP, guess what? They didn't fit. All the cranks just spun around like crazy, like the crank splines were way bigger than the shaft in the car. Then I actually climbed in the back seat to measure the shaft and, surprise! The reason they don't fit is because the allen head bolt that holds the crank on was on the shaft. Take out the bolt, the cranks fit just fine. Duh.

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    I'm an idiot part two. Who else buys stuff, only to forget about it and buy it again later? I really liked the 12V power station posted by @moparmat2000. My shop is a pigsty, with no good place to mount something similar but I had a spare tool box and made one that can be portable. Ordered all the parts from Amazon, installed it and was pleased with the results. It's portable so I can use it anywhere. Lots of room inside for all the cables I made.

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    I then put my new pride and joy away, only to find the bag full of identical parts I bought a few months ago for this project, sitting on the bench underneath. Sigh...

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    And one close call. I very nearly bought new front fender side reflectors, as the car didn't have any. I missed the purchase by a whisker, another member bought them first. I decide I really, really need to clean up some stuff, and under the bag full of duplicate parts I find one reflector. No clue if there is another one somewhere but at least I didn't buy a new set and wind up with an extra.

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  2. billsdartgt

    billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I too have the idiot spells, put things away so I can find them only to find them after I buy another one.
     
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    • halfafish

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

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      I lied about the back bumper, it wasn't done as expected. No matter what I did, it wouldn't bolt up. Off it came another 6-7 times, as I continued to adjust the outside brackets down to get clearance to the tail light sheet metal. Two hours later, the damn thing actually fits, so the rear is all done including new tags! If I can get a few more things right, like brakes and lights, I might be able to drive this thing.

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      More wasted time! I had the car in the air to look at something, and saw some baling wire wrapped around the frame. It wasn't holding anything in place nor did it serve any function so I took it off. Then I look up and see a bolt sticking halfway out of its hole.

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      Hmmm, says I, whatever that goes to, it should be tight. And it isn't, because there's no nut on the backside. Then I realize this is the right motor mount. Like a Ginzu Knife commercial - But Wait! There's More! The hole above the bolt is also the motor mount and there's nothing there at all. Now I'm curious so I look at the other motor mount and the two front bolts are missing. The engine has been held in place for who knows how long by only the two rear bolts on the mounts. I'm sure glad I saw this BEFORE the car went for a shakedown cruise and I decided to stomp on it to see how it performs. :steering:


      The brakes don't work all that well, off came the rear drums for a look-see. Behold a pleasant surprise, there was a brand new brake job inside. The PO did not turn the drums before re-installing, so I popped on a set I had ready for the Valiant to get the rear brakes back together.

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      Next up, I'm going to cut off the exhaust. It has no leaks and works OK, but the wonky angles makes me a little crazy. Plus, it's blowing exhaust all over the brakes, shocks, and back tires which can't be good for any of them. A set of new collectors is on the way (Thanks, @diymirage!) I will reinstall the exhaust so it's flat to the floor, tucked up tight, and pointed at the ground.

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      • 3rdLM23P9

        3rdLM23P9 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Nice progress, glad to see another '69 Dart being saved! That will be a long-ass drive to The Nats!
         
      • halfafish

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

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        Well, the Nats out here are in Woodburn, an hour away from home.

        Not much progress this weekend. I had a friend over who noticed the alternator and PS belts were odd. One was too short, the other too long. Another trip to the parts store. Tried the new alternator belt, now it's TOO SHORT instead of too long. The alternator is hitting the fuel pump before I can get enough adjustment so something's not right here. A bit more staring and thinking, and I figure out the alternator adjustment arm is mounted to the wrong engine stud. A quick relocation and all is well. New belts are installed, along with a new 18" clutch fan.

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      • halfafish

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

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        Grey-Hair Disease rears its ugly little head again. I knew I bought a full set of 73+ front disc brakes, but for the life of me I couldn't find them. I went through the shop three times, opening every door, box, and container, and looking in, around, under, and over everything. No brakes to be found. Then I did it all over again, now having invested a total of 5-6 hours in the search. Still no brakes. Finally my smart-ass buddy says why don't you look in the trunk of the Valiant, since that's what you drove to the swap meet at the local Mopar Nationals. They can't be there says I, while I go through the shop again. Total wasted time is now approaching 7 hours. I give up and look in the Valiant, and surprise surprise, guess what I find? Of course, the brakes, along with the new 3.73 gears, a free radio, and some brake lines. Sigh...

        The good news is when I opened the box, I see the brakes are all refurbished and rebuilt! New calipers and pads, cleaned and painted UCA's and spindles. And I got these for $100, what a score!

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        The rotors were pretty crusty, but some love in the sand blaster cabinet and a trip to NAPA to get turned, and they are ready to go.

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        Who says a manly man can't paint his nails? All you have to do is be a cheap ass and refuse to throw out the rattle can of black spray paint when the squirter nozzle breaks off. A new can is a whopping three dollars, but I keep using it while it blows paint all over, including on me. :wtf:
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        Tires and wheels! Tires and wheels! If you give the nice man at the tire store your delivery from Summit and a crisp hundie, he will give you back mounted and balanced tires and wheels! There's just something perfect about steelies and Cobras!

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        On a more productive note, I finally got the exhaust straightened out. Of all the things I've completed on the car, this is the one that makes me smile the most. I don't know why the goofy setup bothered me so bad, but it drove me nuts every time I looked at it. Now it's all straightened up and looks right.

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        Since there is no work to be had and I've been spending money on parts like a drunken sailor, it's time to focus on the labor side of things for a bit. Today we're taking the 8-3/4 apart to swap out the pumpkin, get the brakes ready to install, and order the axles from Dr. Diff. Hopefully that will hold me in the parts purchasing department for a bit. The new front end rebuild kit is on the way from PST, it may arrive on Saturday with a little luck.

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        Who says a manly man can't paint his nails? All you have to do is be a cheap ass and refuse to toss out the rattle can of black paint when the squirter nozzle breaks off. If you keep using it, you can blow black paint all over everything, and maybe even get some on what you want to paint.
         
        Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
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        • billsdartgt

          billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I spend about a fourth of my time looking for the things I put away so I can find them, seems my mind likes to play hide and seek with itself - by time I find stuff I then have to figure out what my plans are all over again

          I need to have my internet shut down for a month or so, might help with buying more parts
           
        • halfafish

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

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          Despite having about zip for work the last month, and nothing likely for the next few months, I ordered more parts. A couple of ridiculously expensive gaskets to install the new gas tank, and the rest of the guts to rebuild the rear drum brakes. I think I can lay off the parts stuff for a while and focus on my free labor for a while.

          Lots of idiot work done yesterday. Got the front rotors cleaned up and painted, now they get a good wipe-down internally to get ready for the new bearings. The rear drums are cleaned, turned, and painted for both the Dart and the Valiant.

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          I sourced a proper-era jack that was a little crusty but it cleaned up and painted nice!

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          Today is the rest of the tear-down on the 11" rear brakes to harvest the parts I need for the new rear end. They, are again, crusty and will need a cleaning, blasting, and paint.

          Lots of "crusty" stuff going on in my world, including the owner of this mess. :D
           
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          • billsdartgt

            billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Dang, I need to pick up the pace or your gonna catch me - LOL - looking good - I am not sure what would be the best way to clean rusty parts - but if for some reason I even have to deal with the amount of rust again, I will sell a kidney to pay someone to do it for me - it just plain sucks.
             
          • halfafish

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

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            Shit howdy, brother. I couldn't catch you if I chained you to a post. Can't drive a car with no brakes...
             
          • billsdartgt

            billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I've got new shiney brakes - without a master cylinder or any lines hooked to them haven't been able to make them work though.
             
          • halfafish

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

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            You will get another head start on me, as I'm currently going backwards. Not only do I have no brakes, now I have no gas tank either. My buddy came over yesterday to help get the tank out. It didn't look bad on the outside, but Oh My, the inside was another story. The entire top half is crusted with rust. When we dumped out the old fuel it looked like the broth from a can of chicken noodle soup, and that was after I added several gallons of fresh stuff to drive it out of the PO's back yard for the tow truck, and then into the shop. Oh wait, there's more, what's that rattling sound inside the tank? Why it's the float off the sending unit, long departed from its mooring on the end of the arm. It's completely rotted across the face and rear of what you can see, in a straight line. It must have sat in that 1/4 full tank for most of the 25 years since it last ran on the street. Perhaps this could be part of why the fuel gauge doesn't work?

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            I'm starting a pile of junk metal to go to the scrapper, the first residents are the tank and the 70's era Gabriel air shocks which were just about welded into position. I bet they have been on there for 40+ years.

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            The trunk looks to be in pretty good shape, but I knew the spare tire pan had something odd going on. From below, it looked like it was delaminating. The inside didn't look great, but a little digging revealed two holes (in orange) about the size of my thumbnail that had been goobered up in some kind of putty to plug the holes. I just received a replacement tire pan so it appears replacing this will move to the top of the to-do list. There is no sense replacing the gas tank if I have to take it back out to do the tire well. I have feelers out for a local welder who can do sheet metal (which is way above my pay grade).

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            Today will see the removal of the 7-1/4 rear end and a cleaning-fest on the 8-3/4 to get the surface rust off, and get it painted and assembled for installation. New springs, spring mounts, shocks, and hangars are here and ready to go in. Forward progress is a nice feeling!
             
          • billsdartgt

            billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I like forward progress, came up with my plan for this weekend only to have hopes dashed due to corona delivery delays - it finally got me, still have another day but working on what the new plan will be now.
             
          • moparmat2000

            moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I love painted steelies. Are you keeping yours black with chrome lug nuts for that street fighter look, or are you gonna dog dish it for the poverty pack look?
             
          • moparmat2000

            moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            You can follow it any time you wish. Take a rope with you so you can find your way back out though. Unless the rabbit chews through the rope. In that case your fucked.
             
          • halfafish

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

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            For now, the steelies will stay black. When paint enters the picture I may do them body color but that's a looooooong way down the road. I got new (shiny but not chrome) lugnuts for them but haven't decided on the dog dish caps or not. I have a set of beaters that would look OK and fit in with the junkyard dog theme.

            Yeah, I tried that, sort of. I used bread crumbs but the little bastards ate them and there I was, lost down the rabbit hole and can't find my way out....


            Otherwise, yesterday was not much to report. All I did was clean parts and paint parts. I suppose I could post a video of me scraping crap off the rear end housing for an hour, how interesting that would be! :rolleyes:
             
          • billsdartgt

            billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Otherwise, yesterday was not much to report. All I did was clean parts and paint parts. I suppose I could post a video of me scraping crap off the rear end housing for an hour, how interesting that would be!


            looking at where Im at, I spent the most of my work time through 4 months of scaping and cleaning, of course really only work weekends though and have to fit in other household chores
             
          • RustyRatRod

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

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            I like your lift. What kind is it? Any better pictures?
             
          • halfafish

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

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            The lift is an Atlas 8000 EXT. I got it from Greg Smith Equipment, who I would recommend. The EXT business means it goes about a foot higher than their base model. I wasn't going to get the extra height, but they had one in stock and did not have the base model in stock. They gave me a break on the price difference so I went with it. Having used it for a while I would recommend the taller lift if you have room. I'm pretty short, but at the next to the highest stop I can walk clean under this thing easily. Taller folks might have to duck a bit.

            The only thing I would strongly caution anyone who buys this thing, is get with me before you assemble it. The instructions are criminally and dangerously incomprehensible and incomplete. You could get seriously hurt or killed following them. That said, once I got it all figured out the lift itself is an excellent thing. This is all the pics I have handy, but I can get some better ones tomorrow.

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            • halfafish

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

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              Here you go @RustyRatRod, more photos.

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              As far as other work done today, more brake parts cleaned and painted. I got the rear end housing cleaned up, old seals out and ready for the new ones, and all the threads chased clean. It's ready for a wash, dry, and paint.

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              • halfafish

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

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                I got tired of making forward progress, so I decided to go backwards for a while. :wtf:

                Since the gas tank is out and the spare tire well needs to be replaced, I took out the rest of the rear of the car - axle, brakes, driveshaft, exhaust, and springs. They are all getting replaced anyway so now is the time! I can rest easy about my security measures for a while, I don't think anyone is likely to steal it at the moment. Undercoating, you are about to be evicted!

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                On a positive note, I got the gas filler tube cleaned up nicely, got the brakes all assembled, and finally got the last little piece of trim on the hood.

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                Here be something wonky I will have to figure out later. The e-brake cables from the axle did not have any keeper clips (easy fix) but the right one is about 3" longer than the left one. I don't see a reason why but will address this when it gets reassembled.

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                Death by screwdriver! I did some poking around on the rust situation, clearly I have a little cutting and welding in my future...

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                • billsdartgt

                  billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  good to see the progress, my ebrake cables are also wonky, passenger side longer - wtf but gonna make it work, I made a cable bracket since mine was gone, may make an offset to account for the longer cable since I have to redo it anyway.

                  on another note, any way you could send me your lift, would only need it a few weeks, I think I could actually get done sooner. - Like Danny Glover said - Im getting to old for this shit - crawling on the floor aint fun anymore.
                   
                • j par

                  j par Well-hung Member

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                  If you have cutting and welding in your future as you say I wouldn't be sourcing out the easy part the wheel well... after some practice pieces that would be a good first spot to start as nobody sees it and then move on to exterior body panels.
                   
                • halfafish

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

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                  I gave that some consideration and decided to go the outsourcing route so I can learn something. I know a guy in the car repair business who gave me contact info on a top-notch welder. He's going to come by and fix this, and I can watch and learn. However, I did get some scrap metal to start practicing with. At the moment, for sure I will need to replace both lower quarters, one trunk dropoff, and one lower rear front fender.
                   
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                  • halfafish

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

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                    Exactly my thoughts. It's so far off there's no way the factory arrangement will work.

                    Well, we are close enough to being neighbors that if there wasn't about 2800 lbs of immobile crap on it at the moment, I'd say swing on by and help yourself. It was about $2500 and it's the some of the best money I've spent in a very long while. I'm with you and Danny Glover, the too old for this shit stuff is where the lift came from. I was working on the brakes for the Valiant and was updownupdownupdownupdown all day long, finally got pissed, and went the next morning to get the lift. And by the way, it's WAY better and faster working on stuff now. Everything can be at eye level or wherever you want it to be.

                    Have I incited lift-envy yet?
                     
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