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'73 Challenger Rallye Restoration

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  1. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    So far this year I have put about 11,000 miles on my Dodge Challenger project that took almost 4 years to restore. I love driving it. This project is by far one of the coolest things I have ever achieved in my life. Everyone that looks at it is amazed at the condition its in. By far the most noticeable part about the car is the paint job. The paint shines like glass. The car was painted in my garage by a good friend and coworker of mine by the name of JD Loring. He coached me on the process to creating a great paint job. His energy and enthusiasm was unmatched and priceless to me. We had a lot of fun with the paint process and the project as a whole. Today is a very sad day. Yesterday JD decided to end his life by committing suicide. JD was married and has a son who recently graduated from high school. He was a great man. I have known JD for many years and always loved his enthusiasm and energy at work and play. All of my customers loved the guy and thought he was the best at what he did working the counter for the F.W. Webb company in Lebanon, NH. This is a shock to many, many people who knew JD. He will be missed very much. I will think of him every time I take my car for a ride.
    A lot of people ask me if I have “named” my car yet and my answer has always been “nope”. As a tribute to one of the greatest, heartwarming, energetic, caring (I could go on forever) guys I have ever known, I am naming my Challenger project “JD”.

    God bless you buddy.
    You will be missed.
    May you rest in peace.

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  2. 340challconvert

    340challconvert Well-Known Member

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    Sad loss of a friend. May he rest in peace.
     
  3. js29

    js29 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the loss, no words can make this better. went through this 8 years ago, and still don't know the real reason why!!! sad day for all that knew him I am sure.
     
  4. rbbruno3

    rbbruno3 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that , really makes you think how things could be so bad. Seen it before makes no sense. Enjoy JD every time you look at and drive him. May your friend RIP
     
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  5. moparleo

    moparleo Well-Known Member

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    Intentional death never makes sense. I am sure that since he was such a good person, he will be rewarded in the next life. God bless.
     
  6. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    Howdy gang. Been a while. I have always had a drive line vibration at higher speeds that is more prominent when the driveshaft is not under load. I gave Brewer Performance a call today to explain to them what my issue is and if they could shed any light on it. They were very helpful and it was very nice of them to offer a suggestion. After carefully explaining to him what the problem was and steps I have already taken to try to correct it he seems to think it is a pinion angle issue. He told me what it should be but I did not think to ask him if the angle is measured with the pinion facing "up" from the drive shaft or "down" from the drive shaft angle. My Chassis service manual does not seem to go over pinion angle. Taking a quick look at the angle it looks like there is none but I'm sure it's hard to really tell by the naked eye. Does anyone know of any articles on this subject? I am getting a vibration at high speeds (over 75 mph) that gets worse with higher speeds. It is more prominent when the drive shaft is NOT under load (coasting). The tranny is a 4 speed manual with a 8-3/4 rear with a new balanced drive shaft and new yoke and u-joints. If I find I need to put shims on the perches, where can I purchase them? Thanks
     
  7. moparlee

    moparlee Well-Known Member

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    Bill, have you done any modifications to the drive train that would make the pinion angle any different from a stock setup? Engine, transmission, rear axle, suspension, shocks, tires, etc.
     
  8. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Lee! The only thing that would be different is I used Hochkis rear springs that lowered the rear by 3/4". Moparlao emailed me a diagram that has measurements from different parts of the frame to the floor. The front of the car looks to be about right at factory spec. The rear of the car measures (and looks) about 3/4" lower than stock. Hochkis advertises the springs lowering the car 1". Other than that the transmission support is new, the motor mounts are stock, as far as i know it's the original rear diff. the perches have a pretty heavy coat of paint on them. I don't think I painted the springs, if I did it was just a light coat or two with a shaker can.
     
  9. quapman

    quapman Well-Known Member

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    If it's worse while coasting, my suspicions would be wheel and/or axle bearings.
     
  10. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that advise. Yes, it is worse when I coast. I have really done nothing to the rear end except new seals on the axles. It has about 130k miles on it. There is a pretty large shop in Burlington, VT about an hour from where I live by the name of Quintin Bros. They are a pretty good size speed shop that works on a lot of folks muscle cars in Vermont, have a dyno and are mopar heads. I think I will wind up just taking it to them to at least figure out what is causing the vibration. If I'm going to drive this car across country and back some day I will need to get this fixed for sure. On a side note, I'm thinking about buying this car. Going to go take a look at it tomorrow. 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  11. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    Okay.... Back to the vibration. I took my car to a notable Mopar shop a few weeks ago and we discovered that the pinion angle was just about perfectly straight on both u-joints when we had it up on a platform lift. "Assuming" we found the "problem", now we should know the "fix" right? I drove it home and started playing with the pinion angle. I was able to shim the transmission up about 9/16" on the transmission mount. This kind of killed two birds with one stone because the steering link was really close to the oil pan and had a very slight rub mark in it. I also put some temporary shims under the rear perch to allow the pinion to point down a little. These two things gave me a 7 deg angle at the front u-joint and the drive shaft going "down" to the rear u-joint that has another 7 deg angle going "up" into the axle. The vibration is a little better but if I get up to 75 or 80 MPH and put it into neutral there is a nasty drive line vibration (I assume that is why I have a pinion seal leak now too). Back in March quapman was thinking maybe rear axle bearings?? Are these good angles and any other things I could check? I may pull the rear axle apart anyway. I have done "nothing" except sandblast and paint the rear axle and put new axle seals in it. Other than that it is running great. I just had an alignment performed and it is handling great for a 45 year old car. Thinking about installing a Firm Feel box. Thanks for your help everyone!
     
  12. quapman

    quapman Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about front wheel bearings, too.
     
  13. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    "Ding, ding, ding, ding"!!!!! You are the winner quapman!!! I am not a mechanic but I am learning new things about my car every day. I just needed to adjust the rear bearings. Once I learned how to do that, NO MORE VIBRATION!. Perhaps you heard me screaming in joy when I took it out for a test drive on the highway up here in Vermont after getting them adjusted. Drove it down to the Chrysler Nats. in Carlisle, PA a few weeks ago ab out 400+ miles away. I think I had a "sh1t eatin grin" on my face the whole way (lol). I threw in the 276 rear diff of off of my parts car for the highway drive. I actually love that gear but it can be a challenge no to smoke the clutch when I need to start out going uphill.
    I was surprised that I did not get any better mileage with the 276 vs the 355 gear?? That being said, I think I will stick with the 355.
     
  14. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about an EFI kit? Looks like the price of them has come down to where it is affordable. Does anyone have any experience with this?
     
  15. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    Pictures from Chrysler Nats. a few weeks ago.

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  16. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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  17. quapman

    quapman Well-Known Member

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    I heard a weird scream, but I thought it was the neighbor's kid. :D
     
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  18. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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    More pics.

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  19. Bill

    Bill Well-Known Member

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  20. cdummer43

    cdummer43 Well-Known Member

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    How does one adjust the rear axle bearings? I have the same issue as you did and have 3 degrees on both ends of my drive shaft as the tremec instructions for my tko600 that I installed. I was actually looking at getting new axles with new "green" bearings for when I put wilwood discs on the rear. Anyone have any insight?