Start of a Dart

Members Restorations

  1. halfafish

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

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    Ha-Ha, you are the winner. While mine runs, I still need to fix the tire well, and install the gas tank, brake and fuel lines, rear end and springs. And then rebuild the front end and brakes. And then figure out why I have no electrical anything.

    Me too. Tacos are my all-time favorite food. :D

    Yeah, well sort of. I wanted to be driving it by the 4th of July, but that's not happening. Maybe Labor Day...
     
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    • dartfreak75

      dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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      Dont feel bad buddy my goal was to have mine running by fall.... back in 2018! Haha this year is the year I hope.
       
    • kursplat

      kursplat Well-Known Member

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      you guys will get it done, i've hammered on getting mine back on the road this year by trying to do nothing else with my free time. any progress is good progress
       
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      • halfafish

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

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        The under-car cleaning has been a nightmare. Needle scaling, scraping, Easy-Off, pressure wash, Simple Green, pressure wash, more needle scaling, more scraping, more pressure washing, and then very coarse steel wool all over to give a paintable surface, wipe the whole thing down with alcohol to get it grease free, and FINALLY that part is done. I asked several undercoating questions in other threads and every single person said the process sucks. Add me to that list, the process sucks. Both the fuel line and front-to-back brake line are out. At long last after weeks of screwing around with this thing I'm 70% done with the primer and will head out there today to hopefully finish that up. After that I will be cutting out the bottom of the spare tire well to weld in the new one along with another patch piece to fix all the holes where some PO installed a battery cutoff switch.

        For the first time since I got this car, I am installing things instead of taking things apart, cleaning, and painting. Once the welding is done the rear running gear can all go back in. The project is about to get a whole bunch more fun. :D


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        And while we're at it, when I took off the fuel line, there was this wire and clip but I have no idea where it went - some kind of grounding thing maybe?

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        • DARTGAME

          DARTGAME SuPeRcHaRgEd

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          That clip attaches to the sending unit. Uses it for a ground.
           
        • halfafish

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

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          More progress, the entire underside is now in primer. This may not look like much but it is a HUGE milestone. It was hand-brushed on one little piece at a time. I will go over it looking for any spots I missed, then start drilling holes for the fuel return line and the subframe connectors. Once that's done, I plan to take out all the body plugs, touch up the primer where they are sitting, and do the undercoating.

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          • halfafish

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

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            I'm happy to report rumors of my disappearance from the planet were, as Mark Twain said, exaggerated. Life has been a bit of a slog recently but I got back into the Dart this week. I got the parking brake cable repositioned so it will not interfere with the subframe connectors. I got the holes drilled for the fuel system return line to the tank. I got started - and stalled out on - finding the pinholes in the floor pans and trunk. I will be putting the mega-blaster LED lights inside both areas and check from underneath in the dark for holes. I know I have a few pinholes, but thankfully just a few.

            While under the car, I noticed the kickdown mechanism (green arrows) was flopping around loose. It took some head scratching and a trip to the FSM to figure out how it needed to be attached but I found the right bolt to do the job and got it set back up. The photos are a bit dark, but the green arrows are for the lever and where it's supposed to be attached. Duh.

            I also noticed (red arrow) there is a bolt on a weird angle on the starter. I think this hole was stripped out (It is supposed to get a bolt from the front) but a PO drilled it through and nut-and-bolted it. I will need to fab up something so this fastener works right, it's all off kilter at the moment. Doncha just love buying someone else's half-finished project?

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            I'm nobodies idea of a squeamish guy in general, but I kept delaying getting into the spare tire well. The bottom inch or two needs to be replaced and the area in front of the latch was a mess. While I'm reasonably competent at most things, I'm a big believer in Clint Eastwood's observation that a man needs to know his limitations. Mine is welding. I've tried it multiple times with dismal results at best. The idea of cutting out metal and having to weld in metal leaves me cold. So I put it off. However, I kept hearing my Uncle Art reminding me often that God hates a coward. Which is what I was doing. So today I got out the grinder, cutting wheel, and wire wheel to get started.

            There are two areas that need to be replaced. I started with the smaller of the two, just in front of the trunk latch. Some PO had buggered this area up to (I think) install a battery cutoff switch. It looked like crap, had many jagged edges, and LOTS of holes where a cover plate was just screwed into the tire well. I had a patch piece obtained from @Pnypwr, thanks! He did a nice job cutting it out from the donor car, and I got the spot welds drilled out and started trimming to fit what I needed to replace. Then came many, many instances of measure, trim, test fit, rinse lather and repeat. It took all afternoon but I got the old crud cut out, and the new stuff is pretty close but still needs a final adjustment or two before it's ready to get welded in. The second photo shows the patch sitting off to the right. It's mostly fitted, it just needs to be shortened to fit the bottom of the hole.

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            My buddy has a pretty nice Lincoln stick/mig/tig welder he's letting me borrow. I tried getting some practice but the results were horrid. I think at this point I will have to either take some classes to learn how to weld, or just pony up the dough to pay a welder to get this done. I'm leaning towards hiring a welder and giving myself some time to learn to weld. It doesn't look insurmountable but I just can't seem to make it work. Splatters, pops, burn holes, chunks, stuck sticks when stick welding, cold joints, and more. Sigh...

            But with the first chunk cut out of the tire well there's no going back so one way or another I will get this done. The next day or two will see the bottom of the spare tire pan cut out and the start of setting up the replacement. Last pic is of the offending tire well pan, including the holes. The photo of the cross member and subframe connector showed up here unbidden and I don't know how to delete it, so please ignore it.

            Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I do not like welding!

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            Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
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            • billsdartgt

              billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Do you have a good angle grinder? If the answer is yes - you can weld - I will say the difference between the flux and mix is worth the money - I tried like hell with my Lincoln flux, with all the splatter I never could get anything even half way decent, I have watched people use them and make better welds than my mig - but as I noted, when you have a grinder you can always end up with a weld to at least suit yourself
               
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              • halfafish

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

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                Yes I do, and it's been used on my back alley abortion welding before. Kind of like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how hard you try to dress it up, it's still a pig.
                 
              • billsdartgt

                billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                I agree, but its your pig and you don't have to wait on anybody else LOL
                since I don't weld very often I haven't been able to be consistent with quality looking welds, I have graduated to the point where I don't have to redo most of them or grind all of them, most I do are hidden, like my exhaust - unless I run over you, theres no way you will know what they look like
                 
              • j par

                j par Well-hung Member

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                I know a guy who knows how to weld who's going to be out in your area Friday..
                Maybe he could teach you a thing or two LOL about welding...
                 
              • halfafish

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

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                Hmmm. This could work out...
                 
              • halfafish

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

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                After a ton of thinking, reading, asking questions, and so forth I finally tried something new - doing something. Yesterday I went after the patch piece in the tire well. I'd already cut out the bad part and roughed out the patch. I did the fine-tuning on the patch, doing the test-fit, grind, test-fit, grind, lather-rinse-repeat business about 50 times. Some other sheet metal on the trunk had to be "massaged" with a BFH but in the end it all went together.

                The day before I'd helped a buddy whose welder I am borrowing work on a storage box for his work truck. For the first time ever, I got some nice welds, as in roll-of-dimes stuff. I about passed out. But pride goeth before a fall. Keep following along, dear readers.

                A little good news, at least I got everything lined up well before starting.

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                Soon enough, trouble arrived. The first tack welds were rough, all sploppy and jagged. Oh Duh, mister genius, maybe you should turn the gas on before welding.

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                After puling the clamps I cut the bottom line for both the patch and the wall and started welding. It was rough to say the least. The spool of wire I have has a semi-loose pack, so sometimes it gets jammed and won't feed. Which means take the thing apart and feed good wire to the gun. Oh, and when feeding the new line I turned off the gas so I wasn't wasting it, but then forgot to turn it back on so more spattering, popping, and spitting for the tack welds. When I figured that part out now the new welds with the gas on aren't any better. Once again, we call on mister genius who reminds us wire welding without the gas on means slag, so once I cleaned all that crap off I got good enough welds to continue.

                I also forgot that with welding like many other things in life, less is more. Like building up a 1/4" of bead isn't necessary on sheet metal.

                Do you know what crappy welding sounds like? Why, yes I do! It sounds just like the grinder going at it for two hours to take off all the excess bead which is harder than the hinges of hell.

                It was hard-fought, but I will claim victory on this one. I need to do a little touch up work but it's good enough to smooth over and move on to the bottom of the tire well.

                Many thanks to @moparmat2000 for his excellent guidance on how to do this repair work. It's not his fault he's working with an idiot... :eek:

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                The final product!
                 
                Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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                • halfafish

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

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                  Lots of progress today. I started with getting the trunk floor cleaned up. Not good enough for paint, but good enough to get most of the crap off, find the pinholes I need to fix, and move on to the tire well. Except oops, I turn a wrong turn and went down the rabbit hole. (Where are my two traveling companions, @DentalDart, and @billsdartgt?) I was way down the hole but didn't see either of them. While down there I got caught up taking off the messed up trunk seal, then cleaning up the extraordinary amount of glue on the trunk lip, the scraping all the seal sealer out of the trunk. Luckily, as I was eyeing the wads of undercoat on the inside of the back fenders I saw a sliver of light and swam back to the surface. The project for today was to was fix the tire well, dummy. Get back to work.

                  So, once back in the sunlight I cut down the donor piece and got it ready for the welder. Then I took a deep breath and cut out the floor of the well. Yikes. That's a big hole! I may take tomorrow off and do something fun with my sweetie, but if not, Mr. Lincoln and I will get down and dirty with the pan.

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                  Here's a test fit. Things are about to get fun.

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                • billsdartgt

                  billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  Doc got ran out of his rabbit hole because of the heat, its still there waiting on him, Im still in mine, finished everything on the rear of the car today, moving forward to start buttoning things up tomorrow, new grief will be the steering linkage hitting the headers, that will be more fun

                  the welding and fitment is looking good, my typical ratio is sometimes 10 to 30 - every 10 minutes of welding requires 30 minutes of grinding LOL
                  but progress is progress
                   
                • DentalDart

                  DentalDart Well-Known Member

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                  Hi friends! Its hot as Satan's balls here! I was out of the rabbit hole, now my car is sitting with a gas problem and another rabbit hole staring me in the face!
                   
                • geminimotors

                  geminimotors Well-Known Member

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                  • halfafish

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

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                    Success! The tire pan is all welded in, ground off (like most folks, the grinder is my best welding tool...:eek:) and seam sealed. I will smooth out the profile on the bottom side, prime it, and undercoat it today. My buddy is coming over after dinner to help get the springs, rear end, fuel tank, brake and fuel lines, and driveshaft back in this thing. This is a H-U-G-E accomplishment in my little world.

                    Tack welded, about 2/3 done.

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                    Fully welded and ground down.

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                    Hey, do you want to look at my bottom?

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                    • DentalDart

                      DentalDart Well-Known Member

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                      Wow that looks awesome. You're going to be zipping that thing on the streets in no time.
                       
                    • halfafish

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

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                      It's been a busy couple of days. I got the trunk pretty well cleaned up and will give it some primer just to keep it from flash rusting. The undercoating is all done from the t-bar crossmember to the back bumper.

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                      My buddy came over last night and we got the springs, gas tank, and rear end in place. I still need to give it a double check and make sure everything got tightened to torque specs.

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                      Now it's time for some of the smaller stuff. Fuel and brake lines, install the brakes, figure out the driveshaft, install the exhaust, and so forth. After that we will set the little bugger on its hind legs and start of the front end rebuild and the rest of the brakes.
                       
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                      • billsdartgt

                        billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        good progress - welds look like they turned out just fine!
                         
                      • DentalDart

                        DentalDart Well-Known Member

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                        That is a nice gas tank right there! Also those springs, did you get new ones or are those the ones that were on the car?
                         
                      • halfafish

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

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                        They turned out way better than I expected. It took a while, but once about half way done, it started to click and I banged out the second half. The right tool is the key (MIG with gas). Once the settings were adjusted right it went on like cake frosting.

                        Those are new ones from Firm Feel, their standard A-body springs. The rear end is new too, 8-3/4, Dr. Diff BBP axles, 3.23 gears and a sure-grip. Things are getting fun now, I expect to finish off the rear half of this project maybe today or so, then go after the front end rebuild.
                         
                      • Demonx2

                        Demonx2 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        I am also one of those also-rans in the rabbit hole. Bill knows me and my car - we've exchanged info on the various aspects of the rabbit hole! Enjoying your post - keep it coming. This is gonna be a great car!!
                         
                      • Dartvader440gt

                        Dartvader440gt Well-Known Member

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                        It's coming along great.
                         
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