Start of a Dart

Members Restorations

  1. mygasser

    mygasser FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    yeah, dad used to do that with freeze plugs. it'd hold the coolant (rad cap off) while you epoxied a coin into it for a permanent repair :thumbsup:
    neil.
     
  2. halfafish

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

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    Having tried something different, namely starting a project and actually finishing it, I decided to go back to that well. The Dart gave up its spot in the shop so I could get this thing running. The tranny in my 94 TCD 2500 blew up and I don't have the $4K to fix it so this one is getting a quick once-over so I can have a truck again. I found this one about 150 miles away and picked it up for $200. It didn't run but it's in very good shape. No rust whatsoever other than the usual underside stuff. Body is pretty straight and the interior is quite good. It shows about 59K on the clock and I think that's the first time around.

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    All unhooked and ready to come out. Exhaust removal got an assist from Mr. Sawzall. Score: Sawzall 1, Exhaust 0. Why a slant had dual pipes AFTER the muffler escapes me. Turns out the timing chain was the culprit for why it doesn't run, it had over 3/4" of slop in it. NAPA to the rescue!

    My buddy brought his forklift for the extraction which was a huge help.

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    The nice thing about working on a truck is it has this nifty spot to put all yer crap and keep it out of the way, and it has the bonus workbench right on the back end. What's not to like?

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    It's all stripped down. I am mostly done doing the block mods in Doug Dutra's book. Good ideas there, I took a ton of crap and flash out of the water pump area.

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    I'm off to the junkyard this morning for a few parts (door sills, rear window, mini-starter, maybe wing windows too). Then it's back inside to finish up the block and take the head apart for a little look-see.
     
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    • geminimotors

      geminimotors Well-Known Member

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      A momentary unapologetic hijack for the readers- Last spring my Lean Burn went up in smoke on a road trip. Halfafish loaned me the carb from this truck to get me to Seattle and back to Oakland. Saved my bacon. Thanks again!
       
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      • DentalDart

        DentalDart Well-Known Member

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        Couple of questions- What is this engine stand thing you speak of? Should you pull the engine when rebuilding the transmission? :poke::D

        Rebuiding the transmission was a good fun experience as well as everything else.

        I will say I somewhat agree with this statement Jpar makes though. For me pulling the engine wasn't in the cards because of my limited space, knowledge, and money... for you having all that space, knowledge and monies I'd say pull it and do it all at once... let's not act like I won't be pulling mine at some point in the near future... lol.

        Also I can't wait to see how the "new" truck turns out.
         
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        • j par

          j par Well-hung Member

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          Because he's not Jpar... He's already informed me that...
          Squirrel!!... On to the truck... LOL...
           
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          • halfafish

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

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            j par is close enough to be a neighbor. A bit of backstory, we have a hugely different approach to things. He will take a new-to-him vehicle down to whatever level to do everything all at once. However, his skill level and experience far exceed mine. He knows what he's doing and I'm the blind pig in search of an acorn, learning and figuring it out as I go. I seriously never thought I'd find a 69 Dart with a 340 in it at a price I could afford. I figured it would be a slant or 318 car. So before I ever found the car I already had a complete 383, A833, 8-3/4 drivetrain to swap in. I have never owned a fast car or muscle car so I don't know what to expect from a 340, 383, or anything else but a slant which I know fairly well :rolleyes:.

            Fast forward to the 340 Dart. It ran and sounded healthy and moved, but hadn't seen the street for 25 years. The PO passed away so I have no one to answer questions. I am the proud new owner of someone else's half-finished project with all the surprises that entails. I am stuck taking EVERYTHING apart and see what's going on. I seriously don't know what direction I'm going here. The 340 may be all the engine I could want for my purposes. Maybe I will want a BB. I'm a three-pedal guy, but maybe I'll be OK with an auto. I like bench seats and this is a GT bucket/console car. I just don't know.......so for me, I will get this road worthy and drive it a bit to see what I think. Enter j par stage left, who is if nothing else, quite clear in his thoughts to take it down to the last nut and bolt all at once.

            OK, back to today. I have an empty heavy duty engine stand that could easy take a SB or BB. The rebuild the trans thing was a response to me finding some crud in the tranny pan. My action plan for the 727 says clean it (I did) service it (I did) fill it back up and drive it to see what it needs. Or doesn't need. I'm not going to dump money into the 727 if I decide to swap it out for the 833.

            And to answer your question, no you don't have to pull the engine to work on the trans, but I'm not going to do either one till I drive this thing some and see what I want to do with it.

            Haha, you flatter me. I do more or less have room, but my knowledge is spotty at best (but getting better thank God) and I'm hardly made of money. My work is down a heart-stopping 90% since we started all this COVID crap so I need to not be a financial idiot. The engine runs, the tranny moved it well enough to get it out of the PO's back yard, on and off the tow truck, and up/down the street a time or two before I started taking it apart. I will do what I need to getting it safe to operate, drive it for a while, then finalize my plans.

            So where are we today? We are in stall mode with the Dart as the Great White Ghost gets a new heart. The engine is torn down to nothing at the moment. This is one crusty turd for sure. The clock say about 59K and I think that's the first time around. It's the original engine, still standard bore in good shape showing some crosshatching, and the interior is not beat 160K or 260K worth. I think all the crud is from short trips piddling around town never getting it hot enough to burn off any carbon. What started as a 3-day $100 timing chain swap is turning into a full $1000+ refresh.

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            Mirror, mirror on the wall. What happens when somebody wants a vacuum fitting you will never use, so you pull it off for them and for the next two years the intake is now exposed the elements? Luckily, this is all surface rust and will clean up easily.

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            Then since we are swapping from the hydraulic cam to solid, we go to the Volare engine to raid it for adjustable rocker arms and cam (to get reground). Said Volare was "running till it wasn't". Hmmm, upon disassembly, where is the cam bolt washer? Well sir, I'm not sure so LET'S JUST LIFT THE FUCKING CAM GEAR OFF BY HAND WITH THE BOLT STILL IN PLACE and see what's going on.

            Surprise! We can find a piece of the washer, about 20% of it. The rest I expect to find in the oil pan. I'm no rocket scientist, but I suspect the cam gear rattling around loose inside the cover made for some challenging timing issues.

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            And it's Fun-Fun-Fun till her daddy takes the T-Bird away!

            More to come soon on the Great White Ghost. I need to do a bit of grinding on the head, then send that and the block in for a hot tub session - er, make that a hot tank session. I will be busy cleaning up all the seriously nasty parts getting them ready for a reverse trip on the new engine.
             
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            • halfafish

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

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              Sir j par. I am reminded of something my sainted mother told me once. She said she wouldn't sell me for a million bucks (I'm feeling pretty good at this point.). Then she said, but I wouldn't give ten cents for another one just like you. (Youch!) If this shoe fits sir please feel free to wear it. :poke:
               
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              • j par

                j par Well-hung Member

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                One thing you can depend on from me is the truth whether you like it or not..
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                • Dartsun

                  Dartsun Mopar Dude

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                  I think you will really like the 340 power in your 69. I had a mostly stock 340 a body manifolds and all in my 67 Belvedere 4 speed and it got it good. If you ever wanna get rid of your bucket seats I have 69 bench seat I’ll trade and cash lol. Dustin
                   
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                  • j par

                    j par Well-hung Member

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                    And since this was brought backup (and not by me) ..
                    pulling the engine and transmission out is not beyond your ability and is free. Splitting them apart and putting the engine on one of your spare motor stands is also free. A $59 gasket kit $20 for good RTV another $20 spray paint..
                    And we know it's not beyond your experience to take the tin off of a engine and put it back on - clean and paint..
                    A rebuild kit for a 727 is $120. and while you're in there a shift kit is about 69...
                    The 904 and 727 are the two easiest transmissions there are to rebuild. A couple youboob videos is all I needed..
                    That would be the Jpar way..
                    And now I'm hearing you looked out into your yard seen the truck and started $100 timing chain and turn it into $1,000 fiasco?...
                     
                  • DentalDart

                    DentalDart Well-Known Member

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                    What shift kit is 69 bucks? I like the jpar way, although I didnt do the jpar way...

                    His 1k timing chain engine build fiasco seems like all my fiascos lol
                     
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                    • j par

                      j par Well-hung Member

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                      Holy crap they're up to 77.99 now.
                      Now let's stop mucking up his Dart thread that he's rebuilding his truck engine on...
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                      I was in Colorado last week driving my son's 76 Power Wagon then I put one in and the shifts were spot on... No banging but just quick shifts right when you wanted them and down shifts exactly on command...
                       
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                      • halfafish

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

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                        Agreed.

                        Also agreed. What you're missing, is since I don't know what shape these are in I could easily put the money in and go a different direction wasting the funds. If they work fine there's no reason to rebuild them. The Dart's not going anywhere if it needs more help later it will get it.

                        The GWG needed a timing chain I knew, $100. When I get into it it's so crusty there's no way I'm going to put it back together without a machine shop check, hot tank, new bearings and rings, etc. Probably shave the head a little and get the cam reground. Oh, and new exhaust since the old one had two cats and 30+ feet of pipe. I've been without a truck for almost a year and need to get this one wrapped up so I can sell the TCD.
                         
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                        • j par

                          j par Well-hung Member

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                          I can almost one hundred percent guarantee that if that transmission has been sitting for 25 years like you said it is going to leak soon after its put into regular use along with the engine...
                          The two other automatics I've rebuilt, a Ford and a Chevy both set for a long time and both had dried up seales. Of course they worked initially to move the car but under any serious use they failed... A simple compression check should tell you the health of the piston rings and valves..
                          In the end though your time and your money..
                           
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                          • Dartsun

                            Dartsun Mopar Dude

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                            Here’s the color green of the bench seat covers. This one here is the bottom rear cover.
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                            • DentalDart

                              DentalDart Well-Known Member

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                              @j par I dont know why but I thought I paid more than that for my tf2 kit, but my memory is probably failing me.

                              I also agree with the statement on the rebuilt. @halfafish you saw my problem; car drove no problems, changed the cam then first drive out and the transmission went. That was definitely not fun. It was like the wife coming down in a sexy lingerie outfit, but saying you can't touch... I understand not having a 100% direction with which transmission transmission you want though.
                               
                            • halfafish

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

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                              The Great White Ghost is moving forward nicely. The block and head were dropped off at the machine shop last week and I think (hahaha) I have all the parts I need to get it going again. I was hoping to get by with new rings and bearings but it needs bored .030 and a touch-up on the valves.

                              This was one grubby little pig so EVERYTHING has had a date with the pressure washer trying to get the 40 years of untouched grime off. The trans is ready for a reseal session, and the rest of the goodies are getting painted today while it's still sunny. Slow progress but it will make for faster assembly when I get the block and head back. Next up, washing all the smaller parts, wirewheeling all the fasteners, and rebuilding the carb. The head and both manifolds will get a little porting love this week.

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                              • j par

                                j par Well-hung Member

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                                And yet the car "your a-body dream car" gets none of this treatment...:poke::D..
                                 
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                                • halfafish

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

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                                  Soon enough, and don't forget it's over half way street worthy. The Great White Ghost shall be leaving the stable soon enough with Mr. Dart sliding back in the shop. Unless you're volunteering to donate a working truck to my stable for a while, I have to get this done. Living without a truck is for the birds.
                                   
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                                  • halfafish

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

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                                    News Flash! Things take way longer than you think they will when you start working on your vehicles!

                                    I dropped off the block for the Great White Ghost, it checks out very nicely. The mechanical head I had was no good though so I had to get the hydraulic head to the machine shop. It checks out OK but two of the rods are no good. I'm back to gutting the Volare block for a couple of pistons and rods to drop off at the machine shop this morning.

                                    A local slant buddy came by to show me how to clean up the head. He brought his foot-control Dremel and some burrs. He did one cylinder and I took over till almost midnight last night. I got the first three sets of runners cleaned up but decided to bag it for the night. Here's a before and after.

                                    Before, ridges inside the valve seat area and rough corners throughout.

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                                    Before, a choke point on the backside of the valve seats that got trimmed out and radiused.

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                                    After, excess crap cut out, smoothed out all the peaks and valleys, and all the edges and corners radiused.

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                                    This is the first time I've tried porting anything but I have been carving wood with a pocket knife since grade school so it is a process I think I can figure out. Going back to carving wood, remember some of your early lessons Mr. Halfafish.

                                    1. Go slow. There is no contest to see who can complete this job the fastest.
                                    2. Work in tiny increments. Once you cut it out, if you go too far you can't glue it back together.
                                    3. Most importantly, don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. This is a low-revving motor going into a big clunky truck. The porting doesn't have to be perfect in an engine that will never see 4500 RPM. Get it cleaned up and move on before you ruin something.

                                    The MS says they can have the block done fairly soon with the head done in a week or two. I can get the bottom end put back together and back in the truck with the trans, then put the head on as it sits in the truck. We are making progress! :D
                                     
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                                    • j par

                                      j par Well-hung Member

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                                      Start of a dart...
                                      SQUIRREL!!!... :rolleyes:...
                                       
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                                      • billsdartgt

                                        billsdartgt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                        you gotta at least throw in a picture of the dart showing no progress LOL

                                        Like jpar said, it is your Dart thread

                                        I realized it takes 3 to 5 times longer to do something than what it should, that is after you find the damn parts that you put somehwere specific so you would know where they are, Im starting to think that I am going to find several isles worth of car parts that I bought 2, 3, or even 4 times if I move
                                         
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                                        • Demonx2

                                          Demonx2 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                          Amen!!
                                           
                                        • DentalDart

                                          DentalDart Well-Known Member

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                                          Ooh looks awesome!
                                           
                                        • halfafish

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

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                                          OK, here's hoisting a beer to No Progress! The poor thing sits there like a redheaded stepchild. However, the block for the truck is back and getting assembled in a day or two, the shop got a pretty decent de-crapping, and I am charting forward progress. It's possible I will get the truck re-assembled before the head gets back from the shop and if so, I will seal up the motor and push the truck out to get the Dart back in. I can put the head on in the driveway if needed.
                                           
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