Start of a Dart

DentalDart

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The rears are 15x7 with 4.25 BS. Tires are 255/60-15. I have virtually no clearance to the fender, but an inch to the spring. If I can get a 4.75" BS wheel that will solve the problem. I will check into the Diplomat wheels, even another 1/4" would be a huge help.

I paid like 125 for my 5 wheels at the junkyard. I would have loved 255s but all I read was the largest you could fit in a stock dart w/ out spring relocation was 245.
 

halfafish

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I paid like 125 for my 5 wheels at the junkyard.

I have a junkyard local that has a mountain of wheels. You can pick through them all you want on your treasure hunt. I will give this a whirl later this week.

In other frustrating news, I got into the In-Line Tube brake lines, only to find out they are not even close to being the right ones. I don't know what they go to, but clearly it's not a 69 Dart. I'm working with them for an exchange but they're dragging their feet at the moment. Sigh. One step forward, two steps back. I will start on the front end disassembly while sorting out the brake lines.
 

DentalDart

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I have a junkyard local that has a mountain of wheels. You can pick through them all you want on your treasure hunt. I will give this a whirl later this week.

In other frustrating news, I got into the In-Line Tube brake lines, only to find out they are not even close to being the right ones. I don't know what they go to, but clearly it's not a 69 Dart. I'm working with them for an exchange but they're dragging their feet at the moment. Sigh. One step forward, two steps back. I will start on the front end disassembly while sorting out the brake lines.

Oh thats a bummer! You could always.... bend your own?
 

billsdartgt

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damn Zach, were gonna have to have a meeting for us 69ers - next topic - How Not To Get Pissed Off and Set Your Car On Fire
 

halfafish

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Oh thats a bummer! You could always.... bend your own?

I've been considering this. I can use my old lines as a template, but really I would prefer to buy them and install them, and move on to bigger fish to fry. However, I have a good friend who's a serious mechanic with a killer flaring tool so I may go this route.

were gonna have to have a meeting for us 69ers

Hell Yeah! No cooler car on the planet, IMHO. At some point in time one of us will have a driving vehicle. At that point we need to consider a ron-day-voo.
 

halfafish

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Some good news, a long conversation with the sales manager at In Line Tube resulted in correct brake lines heading my way. Part of the problem is they sent me 69 Barracuda lines, not 69 Dart lines. There is a 3" difference in wheelbase so the long line from front to back was a no-go. Also, it appears my rear end is funny (hell it's hysterical - you should hear what it has to say after a feast of my famous bean burritos, but I digress...). Anyway, my odd rear end (I can't type this without snorting) has different spacing for the brass T-fitting but theoretically that situation is solved also with some different rear axle lines, also on the way.

Having no brake lines, I figured my next project was to start on the front end to disassemble, clean, paint and make way for the new front discs and complete rebuild of everything. 73+ front disc setup, QA1 adjustable shocks, new 1.03 t-bars, adjustable strut rods, power to manual brake swap with a new disc/drum master cylinder, power steering to manual steering swap with a Firm Feel 20:1 steering box, and probably some more stuff I'm forgetting. There's a sizable heap-o-parts on the shop floor that will find a new home shortly.

However, reality reared its ugly head and I thought I'd just do a quick service on the 727 so it was ready to go. Haha, a normal half hour job took all day and I'm still not done. It started with the simple task of pulling the pan. Loosen the bolts, drain what you can, drop the pan and done, right? Not so fast bucko, says the pan. The PO for my car was a reasonably good mechanic I think. I've found only a few what-the-hell things where something got monkeyed up instead of done right. Well the pan took over an hour to get off because it was installed with some kind of blue death glue. I literally had to hammer a putty knife in the crack one inch at a time to get it to come free. I broke the putty knife but I did get the pan off.

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Then of course comes two hours of scraping this junk off the pan and the bottom of the tranny (yes, I was uncomfortable scraping a tranny's bottom but again I digress). One does what one must. I discover why the pan and gasket were all glopped up. It's been hit a couple of times, with ridges and dents in the sealing surface. Rather than tap everything out flat for a good seal the PO put a gallon of blue glue on it and slapped it together. It was not an effective effort, as it was still leaking all over. I'm going to do a quick straighten job on the pan and see if it seals. If not I will get a new one. I will probably get a new pan anyway, I want a drain plug.

After cleaning up all the pan bolts, I see we have five different kinds. I never saw a tranny pan with anything but identical bolts, so I think these were cobbled together somehow. Anyone have direct knowledge on this tidbit? In the photo, the first two bolts on the left are a thread or two shorter than the seven bolts to the rear. On the right all the bolts are about 1/4" longer than the seven bolts, but the three bolts in the back have an unthreaded nose on them and the two in the front are fully threaded. I think I need new bolts to fix this nonsense.

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Anyway, I got the bottom cleaned up and new filter in place.

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Now for the bad news, once I drained the pan I see a fair bit of sparkles in the bottom. If I was @DentalDart I'd think my little princess had gotten in there when I wasn't looking and gave it a dose of glitter to make it all pretty. But no, it's just the dog and me anymore so it was metal shavings.

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And if that's not enough fun, there was also a full layer of brown sludge in the bottom. It sure showed when I wiped out the pan. Brown = sludge, shiny = wiped off. Not a good look.

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So I'll give this a shot to see if it works OK or not. I need to replace the cooler lines too, they are leaking and one has a compression union because it's two pieces not one (?). I will button it up and fill it to see what happens. If it's no good, I have been listening to my 4-speed setup jumping up and down in the corner saying Pick Me! Pick Me! Which opens up another can of worms, this is a bucket/console car and I don't like consoles so it may be coming out for a 4-speed swap. I have everything I need, bellhousing, flywheel, clutch, trans, shifter and rods, driveshaft, hump, and so forth. But I'd prefer to not go down that rabbit hole if I can avoid it. Time will tell, first is to get it street worthy then deal with whatever comes next. As usual, one step forward, two steps back. :(
 

billsdartgt

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fun days - I got a new TCI pan for my 727 for aound 60 bucks, its actually pretty nice and has the plug,
 

j par

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Well for $120 in parts and while you're at it a $60 shift kit you can probably rebuild that blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back...
And I will continue to stay baffled to why that motor is not out on your engine stand....
Ernie Facepalm.png
 

halfafish

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Well for $120 in parts and while you're at it a $60 shift kit you can probably rebuild that blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back...
And I will continue to stay baffled to why that motor is not out on your engine stand....

Hmmm. Let me run this through my Secret Squirrel Decoder Ring. Is this j par offering to come help me pull the engine, give it an inspection, and rebuild my tranny out of the goodness of his heart?
 

j par

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Hmmm. Let me run this through my Secret Squirrel Decoder Ring. Is this j par offering to come help me pull the engine, give it an inspection, and rebuild my tranny out of the goodness of his heart?
I wouldn't suggest doing anything to your car I haven't done myself. All by myself LOL... the only person who's ever helped me with my car is my wife...
WITHOUT A LIFT...
 

kursplat

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Hmmm. Let me run this through my Secret Squirrel Decoder Ring. Is this j par offering to come help me pull the engine, give it an inspection, and rebuild my tranny out of the goodness of his heart?
picture of the fridge full of (insert favorite food stuff here) may sweeten the offer :D
 
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halfafish

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It's been a rough go in my part of the world for the last few weeks - the whole place is on fire. The smoke is intense to say the least. I'm nobody's idea of a sissy, but it's kept me inside until it subsides. I can't even work in the shop because it's not well sealed and the smoke seeps in.

Just before all hell broke loose (or rather, caught on fire) I did manage to get the trans buttoned up. I need to make new tranny cooler lines, the old ones are leaking and had a repair splice to boot. New line is on the way to arrive Sunday, then I will bend into place. As mentioned earlier, I will run this 727 to see what happens. If it needs help I'll reevaluate at that point.

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I got the rest of the trunk assembled, it looks really nice. When I settle on a paint color I'll come back and give a final coat over the primer. At least I have the worst of the rust under control.

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Who doesn't love new parts? Only the mentally unbalanced in the world. My new quarter skins from AMD came in. I had ordered quarter patches but they are generic - that means no provision for the square reflector in the back. I figured by the time I cut out the rot, cut out and welded in the reflector patches, then welded in the whole thing I would be time and money ahead by getting full skins. I was able to exchange the patches for full skins and now that they are here, I am glad I did. Kudos to AMD for a solid product and great packaging to get them here in perfect shape.

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I got the tires swapped out so the new fronts are on the rear, meaning I can now get the rear end down and get the front end up in the air for a go at its project list. Lots to do here, I really hope the predicted rain shows up to (A) put the fires out and (B) knock the smoke down.
 

billsdartgt

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this smoke is crazy, no fires to close to me but somehow we got a mix of everybody's smoke - sort of slowed me down a bit here too - trunk turned out good, once I got to the front end everything was a bit quicker, maybe yours will be too.
 

geminimotors

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this smoke is crazy, no fires to close to me but somehow we got a mix of everybody's smoke - sort of slowed me down a bit here too - trunk turned out good, once I got to the front end everything was a bit quicker, maybe yours will be too.
Lookin good! I drove back up from SF on Tues. The air was awful all the way. The smoke and rain combo made driving in the dark extra sketchy!
 

halfafish

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I had some issues with the pre-bent lines for the brakes, partly because I got a wrong line, and partly because there's something screwy with my rear end. However, a shout-out to In Line Tube, they figured it out and sent the correct parts. I got them installed easy-peasy.

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I had to fiddle with the new gas tank, it was touching the shock on the driver's side so loosen it all up, wrestle with it, and tighten it back down. The offending lip on the tank has a date with Mr. Sawzall later today to trim off about 1/4" for better clearance.

The rear end is on the ramps, the front end is in the air. It's time to start on the front suspension, brakes, and conversion from power to manual brakes and steering.

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halfafish

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I hit a little burnout on the Dart, so I pulled in the Valiant for some TLC. Since I bought it five years ago I've done nothing but stop all the leaks and drive it. I gave it a full tune-up with points, plugs, condenser, cap, and rotor. I adjusted the valves, timing, points, and carb. Methinks, perhaps this would have been a good idea to do a long time ago. The plugs were majorly crapped up and running pig rich, with gaps all over the place and the aluminum rings still on even though I have a drool tube head. No wonder it was leaking oil.

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The timing was WAY off, about 10 degrees ATDC, the carb was running super rich, and the valves were way too tight. All is right in the land of Mopar at the moment however. The above likely contributed to the putrid gas mileage I got - like maybe double digits if I was lucky. We shall see what the changes bring. Some good news, the top of the head and the rockers were all looking good.

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I needed to work on the suspension some, it has been sagging in the rear and resting on the stops in the front. Hey, wait a minute, this also describes the owner, yikes! Anyway, I added helper springs that came off the Dart. This was a nightmare chore, as the u-bolts were the most stubborn thing I've ever worked on. It took days of soaking, loosening, lather-rinse-repeat to get them off and this was using a 30" cheater on the ratchet. My 1/2" impact wouldn't budge them.

Impact: Ratatatatatatatatatat.

U-bolt: Haha sissy boy, is that all ya got? I ain't goin' nowhere with you.

However as with many things in life a bit of stubbornness goes a long way toward crossing the finish line. I almost tore up my shoulder in the process but the springs are in and raised the back end almost 2". I adjusted the t-bars up quite a bit but still need to go another 1/2-3/4 inch which will happen tonight.

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What car project would be complete without a debacle? I am the crown prince of screwups I'm sorry to say. I'm under the car sweating bullets and all but dropping a nut trying to get the u-bolts loose when I look at the bottom of the gas tank and think well what idiot put a floor jack UNDER THE GAS TANK to lift the car? It's all bent up. Then I look closer, and see the marks on the tank are pretty fresh. OK, that's putting a kindhearted spin on it - the marks are real fresh. I guess I don't have to go far to find my idiot, he's right here. :eek:

Like the Ginzu Knife commercial..... But Wait! There's More! I see what looks like a greasy spot in the middle of the bent-up damage and wipe if off. Oops! Under the grease is a pinhole, which is now showering everything in gas. I'm screwed, because it's late at night, the parts stores are all closed, and this thing is going to piss gas all over the shop in short order. So, I grabbed some wheel bearing grease and smeared it all over which didn't solve the problem but at least it showed it way down. I put a huge catch pan under it and only lost about five gallons overnight.

Yesterday morning I'm up bright and early (well, it's tough to claim the bright part the way things have been going, but at least it was early) and hotfoot it to the parts store for gas tank fixit stuff. I have to educate the clerk who should have been mowing lawns instead of selling car parts, as to what I need. He is clueless that you can fix a gas tank leak. He asks his buddy who tells me where to look and bingo, I have a repair kit. Back home, prep the tank and slap the epoxy on and the leak is sealed up. Carnac the Magnificent says I will be replacing the gas tank this winter. Smart guy, that Carnac. It almost looks like blood, eh?

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Lastly, we part with some good news. The car is back together, it runs like a sewing machine, I filled the gas tank which does not leak, the car rides a ton better, and tomorrow is a bright new day! Here are before and after pics showing what the spring work accomplished. Previously it was a bit on the low-rider side of things which isn't necessarily bad, but not where I wanted to go. Much improved stance currently.

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kursplat

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glad the leak was fixable, that's a real "ah crap!" moment when they start pissing gas all over the place :eek:
 

halfafish

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Yeah no ****. Nothing like having the possibility of your shop, both cars, and a crap-ton of stuff go up in flames to motivate you to quick action?
 

Greasyfingers

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I've had a gas leak before. It scary to even think with one spark everything could be gone.
The best emergency stop leak for pin hole in a gas tank is a bar of soap. Just rub it over the hole to fill. The soap won't dissolve in gas. I always have a bar in my tool box.
 

kursplat

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unfortunately for me i just had to let it finish draining below the leak...
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me: "crap, looks like there's a drip from the sending unit and the ring isn't seated...mmm, guess i'll just tap it to seat it"
my luck: "ya, good luck with that"...
 

halfafish

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Good idea on the soap bar, I didn't know that would plug the leak. I will keep one handy.
 
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