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1972 Dodge Challenger

Member Restorations

  1. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Hello from Europe. First of all i will sorry for my English. It is not my native language.

    I have been restoring my 72 Challenger and reading this forum from 2016. Now i have got something done with the car and i think it is time to share it with you.

    Tha car started his life with 318. I will us 400 big block with automatic. Rear gear was open 2.76. I put LSD 3.23.
    Back of the car is rusted out. Some may say it is not worth to repair but here in Europe these cars are hard to find.
    Some pictures how car was:
    cafcfaf9d058d937060c6cc2b8e831a9.jpg
    Got new spare roof with the car:
    acf0fae3fca74bd7d00f41ff7ebff748.jpg
    I needed the new trunk:
    5c6bea48733c0aab25a9b7d60fd9c45b.jpg
    Old trunk cutted:
    e9850285ab51601e944dff8205fe54f6.jpg
    Front clip not so bad:
    bae4e3009ca4f419562ccacf32108225.jpg
     
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  2. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    I started working with the floor pans. First to be said this was time when i started learning welding. My first attempt to weld floors were like this:
    749f650ad1005d01c9f12321f758929c.jpg
    After a while i looked them and they looked bad. I started over and the final product is this:
    16dce00468d90e1e5c753b98f8580a12.jpg
    After the floors i started working with back side of the car and discovered new surprises:
    2beba199cea6ffacdc279ff41b3b4bc9.jpg

    Crossmember in back and end of one framerail was really bad and had to be replaced:
    588a165a9dbb861ab9121922484cfbb9.jpg
    db2375ed5c3a99c63a04b616c9e97705.jpg
    By the way all framerail repairs are not buttwelded but have about inch of overlap.

    Nex job was rocker panels. Front ends were fine but back sides were rusted:
    599d06b1646e07329a42fc57d32bf3c5.jpg
    5475b2425a55c442520665409ee7cf2b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  3. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Next logical step was to move to the c-pillar extension to the inner fender. This car had the vinyl roof which destroyed the roof and mostly everything underneath it :D
    60ef22d97b1b239d5dab72d2db2a4ca8.jpg

    This thing looks so bad:
    e5682accef97edef51c1d30a72365e66.jpg
    72547b1a9062977827f26903f01e242a.jpg

    Cut almoste verything out to get better access.
    e56088623a0343ac7ad9536e4cca13fc.jpg
    584a5d2230eb90e7082d0a9e563c94d8.jpg

    And then just start start copying avery cutted peace:
    43bdcdff92ce0428712ef662bb2966c6.jpg
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    405ee91354a0182beaa9c7a80830f40a.jpg
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  4. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Next step was to rebuild outer metal:
    2faffa185ab9bd9875fbc01fde1679e1.jpg
    Trung gutters where made of sheet metal but deck filler panel was new.
    a33997f1b9ccfe91e338cbc152dca395.jpg
    Inner fenders and trunk extensioners where also made from sheetmetal because importing new panels are so expensive. Better make my own. This car will never be restored to original condition.
    5e3d48f0e1b0d5a75effde09236920c9.jpg
    47f03ad0b3cc2f8588b9c4e2fdcedcb9.jpg

    When the inner structures where done and how to weld learned it was time start with outer sheetmetal. To make my life easier i ordered new quarter panels.
    458c4b034e55dec5ebf16a7e2eb2a9f7.jpg
    4f23a7012c759e704cad9b77b6fcd027.jpg
    Now it started looking like car:
    f1924fb1d7fbcd71ee4e705066fc69a9.jpg
    0d47fab2b9bc514f421ffcc4ba2c4c8d.jpg
     
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  5. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    When quarters were done it was time to cut them out of the car to access to the inner structures of the roof. Here you see how it looks inside when you buy a car with bad roof.
    f3402a3d73c5a40498031f9bcb7415df.jpg
    Inners rebuilt:
    63e90a31ed39064704ae298172ab3a05.jpg
    And also made myself new rain utters:
    de5047baf87087adeeb88c298316e464.jpg

    Next step was firewall cowl area. It looked like this:
    29ca1c87b2b5b9e3df9bf0da5df3213b.jpg
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  6. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    A little DIY how to repair cowl.
    Start with plank sheet of metal:
    89aa0913f094c0c52fe840b68011e7dc.jpg
    Mark where there will be blends:
    b089855b376c0810ea704e3f60f13001.jpg
    And then bend it and make tube out of sheet metal:
    0ba3ec26f83cd30c33280b7e751e80bf.jpg
    Add some weld through primer:
    fb20c5698d0275cc8429bdf41d962092.jpg
    And weld together:
    5c836422652297c62618641ecb213f4c.jpg
    Same with other side:
    a79e97289a21f6940f501be87b41846d.jpg a3897c9935c551cd4dacc4747e0a7794.jpg 87bdbe216fe14caca1e58f64e9b62111.jpg b546973789240687741c559a61a30dde.jpg
    Made some patches and done:
    1f28ddb3add1e38e4ecb9ad5a07b3403.jpg
     
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  7. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Next big thing is to remove every peace of outer sheetmetal and go to the sandblaster:
    84d35ad88c8b3f9c7783875358d29df4.jpg
    After blasting:
    50bd882535b9e4a8add24909fb1f6352.jpg

    Next move was to prep the surface and remove any sand residues with wirewheel:
    1a0d831c7cfe1a6d11ecfb5df66d519c.jpg
    e0df2d3cc636d6f6edf840f5bdc499e4.jpg
    5a5912d728f919b96663baa93e9fd9a5.jpg
    201a4f0a459c6332df21b7287e9e9229.jpg

    Had to be quick with preping and priming because bare matel tends to rust fast. Here in Europe we often use wash primer plus surfacer primer combination together. Always look what material manufacturer instruct.
    Primed:
    196d0737be2f7b151cf852ebcda7311b.jpg
    685b3ef5601da55e391b0f3cb5d71c14.jpg
    Underneath the car:
    f47d47568c44b580aac4d3ddf510604c.jpg
    6ff6d184ce552f911d73bc3b4c1ee8d6.jpg
     
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  8. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Now it is time to put car back together.
    Starting with new roof. Painted inner structure:
    df40c28915d045d2e00ca5ea5bc40250.jpg
    New roof welded:
    c9d7de6edb922747d0424f5be4d25d90.jpg
    This is example how wash primer looks like. It is basically a acid which kills any corrosion underneath it:
    16c099b76c9397382c55102de0c0869b.jpg
    Now the surfacer to protect it:
    7e69a90a9b6b223dccb317e7c650975a.jpg
    And finally the paint:
    615cd537e2505bd682d332d57070a4e2.jpg
    Paint the cowl:
    42a4857f55f30f3a78e5e8bf5dcf7d06.jpg
    Weld it on:
    7f936ea1e65ed25a85b91c3a73acf54e.jpg
    Now grind the welds and apply wash primer
    b64dec08fc7b9bed6a3f8bab834ce8ba.jpg
    And finally surface primer. Here you can see inner frond fenders were also done:
    7bd5f31c7fa9cfdd06fc7b96077dcb62.jpg
     
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  9. DetMatt1

    DetMatt1 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, nice work! I took the same steps as you when I did the metal work on my ‘68 Road Runner.
     
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  10. Danny Boy

    Danny Boy Well-Known Member

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    You fabrication is outstanding!!! I wish I knew more than one language. Keep up the good work
     
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  11. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Thanks. After doing this i am really sure that it is better to buy a better car to start with. Outer rust means always there will be more inside. Repairing trunk extensions and cowl correctly requires disassemble car completely. If you do it yourself it is much cheaper but require huge amount of time. Forming sheetmetal - more cheaper but more time. I have more pictures in my folders and i have more jobs done but i have spent about three years doing it next to my main job and family.
     
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  12. budascuda

    budascuda Well-Known Member

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    Man... You must be someone who absolutely doesn't take NO for an answer. Nice work, great effort!
    Glad you could save another challenger.
     
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  13. rbbruno3

    rbbruno3 Well-Known Member

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    Nice job !! Your skills are very good and came a long way since that first floorpan repair. Keep us posted on your progress :thumbsup:
     
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  14. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Thanks for the response.
    I add some more pictures.
    Assembling rear end of the car:
    4ce8c05ee2a01b27e6e16ad376545e81.jpg
    Here i am trying to get averything aligned. Because gutters were cut out it was a bit of the problem but i got it alright.
    166ea772460c35e755f9301bcb0a51d0.jpg
    Here are quarter installed. What i did here was that i sandblasted upper part of the quarters. Insides are primed. One thing to always remember is that if you butt weld quarter for example, you prime and paint the outer side of the weld but inside will be left unprotected from rust. That is why i welded upper and lower part together and after that sandblasted it.
    81e234eaf38d21ad4385a03f3175d8c0.jpg
    bf445f4fcfa34858949e108b4648ac57.jpg
    Next job was to finish undercoating. My scheme was primer>paint>black undercoating>paint. By the way color of the car will be Chrysler PR4. Falme Red, Tor Red or whatever it was back then. All paint products are Spies Hecker.
    Here you can see underneath is primed and welds are seams sealed. Look underneath the back seat how much patches were used.
    4851b2255936315ed219b7076cede6f4.jpg
    Rubber alike undercoating:
    dc9ee233db09a53113047c8252900fe0.jpg
    Final coat of one stage color:
    59f3ef880fb02cbf5afc2556d77c054e.jpg

    Next thing is i tried to lead the deep seams on C-pillar:
    24562b93b71fc18d2932389841a2466d.jpg
    5c625595f1995aeaa337484d432df0d1.jpg
     
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  15. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    I first thought i got decent doors on car but after closer inspection it wasn't true.
    55241ed01c8d2a09ad4bae16f7df0cd6.jpg
    Send the door to to sandblaster guy and after that primed it. This is the job a previews repairman:
    d9eade8f26ab0c4d749268d3769ac905.jpg
    I do not have any spare door near me anywhere so i started to repair them. Here you can see i cut the bad parts out. I welded steel strips on the door to prevent heat bending on door skin:
    31ed414c67c169fce48329e4d693ca0b.jpg
    Final product:
    2f1a1304264ab42b38a919d62a35fb09.jpg

    I really like the TA hood and import one.

    IMG_3661.JPG
     
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  16. hellrats

    hellrats Well-Known Member

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    Wow! I can't image how many hours you have in that. Nice work. It's tough to find a nice Challenger in the states too. Nice work :thumbsup:
     
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  17. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    I also made some repairs to get door gaps about right. Also bought new right frond fender and even this new one needed welding:

    IMG_5124.JPG

    IMG_5125.JPG
    I also started to rebuild drivetrain and suspension parts to get car on the wheels. Everything was sandblasted epoxy primed and painted with polyurethan single stage black paint. Read that front lower control arms need some reinforcements. Made my one from scrap metal.

    IMG_3374.JPG

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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  18. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Here in Estonia we have cold winter here and my goal was to paint the enginebay before winter to get engine done and start the car.
    With the engine i had a 400 big block witch is already 30 over. At the moment i was not sure do i need a new block or not. Bore was a little bit too worn out, same was with the crank journals. I decided to just put new bearings, gaskets and put everything together to get it just running. I knew that before it was running engine. I bought new E-street edelbrock heads and intake. When most of the car is done i seek for a new short block and swap edelbrock heads and intake.

    IMG_3513.JPG

    IMG_3644.JPG

    IMG_3731.JPG

    I also final painted the engine bay. And i had to do it twice. First time i got bad orange peel and had to sand everything down and prime, paint and clear again. And sanding engine bay isn't the easiest thing to sand.

    IMG_3676.JPG

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  19. tsaarts

    tsaarts Active Member

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    Next job was to install the engine. It was strange to me i did not need any special parts to install big block to small block K-mamber. Internet warned me that i would need some Schumacher engine mounts. Really what i need were stock big block mounts and that is all.

    I have also read that big block swap needs shorter shorter driveshaft. I tried to mount my small block one and it look like this when car is one the ground. Does anybody can say do i need shorter driveshaft or not?

    IMG_3827.JPG
     
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  20. moparlee

    moparlee Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the site from Michigan, USA. BTW, you don't need to be sorry about your English, you are doing great and even better than some people on this side of the ocean. Very nice fabrication work on your Challenger:thumbsup:.
    I am not sure about your drive shaft question, but someone on here should be able to answer it.
     
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