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Learning things the hard way.

Member Restorations

  1. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    When i was 16 I bought a 1970 dodge challenger rolling chassis in an auction on ebay for 2050 dollars. The person who sold it to me told me that the frame was in "ok condition". It wasnt, and neither was the floor or the firewall. I should have expected that considering how much i got the car for but i figured i just got a good deal. Lesson learned.

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  2. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    A year later i bought a 76 motorhome 440 and found out after i bought it that it didnt turn over all the way. It turned out there was water in cylinder one and it had rusted to the point of being unable to turn it over. The guy who sold it to me told me that mice must have pissed in the cylinder because that happens alot and that i was an idiot for not just hooking up the starter and letting the piston rings clear it up. I honed the cylinder because i didnt want to catch a piston ring and crack the piston. I hope to god it was only a broken head gasket and not a pinhole in the block. I put the engine back together with all new gaskets and new piston rings in cylinder 1. The water line went up to the head gasket so i assume thats what it was but im still not certain.

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  3. 340challconvert

    340challconvert Well-Known Member

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    Sorry those things happened to you as a "rookie" Mopar owner.
    There are a lot of good and knowledgeable people here at FEBO
    If you are not sure; always asks questions here before buying anything or working on your car.
    The collective information here can be very helpful!
    What are your long term plans for your Challenger?
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  4. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend whos pretty good at welding and is as into old cars as much as i am. He and i have now replaced the torsion bar crossmember, front drivers side frame rail, fire wall, and cowl as well as patching the inner rocker panels, intalling us car tool subframe connectors to make up for any strength lost in the rockers, and cleaning up and painting the front suspension. Ill get better pictures up later today.

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  5. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    Even though the car has tons of problems i don't regret buying it. It has so much history and so many hilarious quirks to it. Like the fact someone wrote hi mom on the passenger side door and hid it in the ebay listing, and the grateful dead sticker on the passenger side quarter glass.

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  6. quapman

    quapman Well-Known Member

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    Awesome. Teach yourself these skills early for a life with few regrets. I complained for years that I couldn't find people who could do metal work for me at a decent price or quality, so I finally just started doing it myself. I wish I had done it 30 years ago.

    Oh yeah... keep coming at us with progress pics. We love pics here.
     
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  7. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    The long term goal is to restore it to the original dark burnt orange paint, put an rt hood on it and stroke the 440 to 528 and hopefully buy stage v hemi conversion heads and arias hemi pistons but all of that is along ways away. Right now im focused on just getting the car running.

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  8. rbbruno3

    rbbruno3 Well-Known Member

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    I’m sure almost everyone on this forum has learned the hard way. I’m pushing 60 and still learning. I bought a 69 427 Vette 30+ years ago with the original motor apart. Guy said just needed to be assembled, you can guess the rest. Put it together fired it up water all in the oil. Had cracks that couldn’t be repaired through the lifter bores. Ask lots of questions and be a sponge. Do what you can yourself the old saying” if you want it done right do it yourself “ is dead on. Good luck and keep posting
     
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  9. Grady Cain

    Grady Cain Well-Known Member

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    Learning the hard way is usually the best way. Failures leave a more lasting memory than successes and quickly remind us not to do that again when facing a similar challenge somewhere down the road. Definitely "...ask lots of questions and be a sponge" as rb said above. There is a ton of knowledge on this site and even those of us with knowledge learn new things all the time from other members here. You are smart bullet that you are starting down this road at such a young age. I give you credit for jumping right in on your project and joining this forum as well. We will help you where we can. Us old guys aren't so bad!
     
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  10. tonysrt

    tonysrt Well-Known Member

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    The problem I see is that the seller is never going to tell the truth. He wants the car gone and will do whatever it takes. I'm not condeming all sellers but unfortunately there are some bad guys out there looking to make a buck.
     
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  11. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    I honestly dont think the guy who sold me the car is a bad guy. I tracked him down about a year after i bought it because i needed the bill of sale and he told me he had never looked under the car. I dont think he meant any harm i just think he was clueless. He left a ton of extra interior parts in that he could have sold. Some of them arent even for the car. I have a baracuda inner door, a baracuda kickboard and 4 a pillar covers, along with a heating core box from maybe a b body. The guy just had no idea what he was doing. On the other hand the guy who sold me the 440 was definetely trying to pull the wool over my eyes. He told me it had a forged crank and that it had been rebuilt 300 miles prior to being pulled because a tree fell on the rv. It turned out that it was in fact a cast crank motor and he hadnt wirebrushed the E on the id tag. Also it obviously had that head gasket problem that he tried to blame on mouse piss. He told me the cylinder wall rust that literally siezed the engine was "some if the most minor cylinder rust hed ever seen". I didnt believe that it was rebuilt when i bought but i figured it would at least run. Im definetly never buying an engine on Craigslist again.
     
  12. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    Alright here are pictures of the car in its current state.

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  13. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    Here's an example of Taiwanese stamping errors.

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  14. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    I would at least put something under the K-frame to support the front.

    Also, I know you will be tempted to start putting things back in, but when the welding is done it is the perfect time to clean, scuff, prime, and paint the engine compartment. That black primer on the firewall and cowl is EDP (electrically deposited primer) it is tough enough to paint over, but very porous and will allow rust to begin quickly. Ever see a Toyota running around with a rusty new hood or fender?

    For bunt orange I would use a gray primer surfacer, wet sand it smooth, and a single stage paint for the color coat (in the engine compartment & floor only). Practice on the floor, then do the eng compartment...

    There are lots of instructional videos on the web...
     
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  15. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    I was planing on having it painted after college so i could park it wherever i want and not worry about door dings. Also my compresor doesnt have enough cfm to do painting so id need a new compressor and id need to get a paint gun. Where would i get factory dark burnt orange paint?
     
  16. moparleo

    moparleo Well-Known Member

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    Do you have the chassis specs or are you just welding parts on the car ? Everything, especially since the car had prior damage , needs to be checked for square before you start installing structural parts. Great that you are not intimidated on trying to repair your car. Best way to learn.
     
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  17. 340challconvert

    340challconvert Well-Known Member

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    Chassis specs; if needed.
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  18. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah we leveled and squared everything before and after installing every frame part and the firewall.
     
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  19. bullet18

    bullet18 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah i asked the forum way back when i was installing both the torsion bar crossmember and the frame rail.
     
  20. AUSTA

    AUSTA Well-Known Member

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    Great Stuff i am doing a similar project (also much worse than i expected) the first Challenger i bought in similar condition placed it into storage while i done a second TA just getting back to it after 4 years ,how do the rear stiffening bars fit the new floor pan.
    Looks like the water come into your big block through an open valve
    Measure ,measure , measure.
    The digital spirit levels you have work well just as well as the floor is flat
    Ensure the metal & welds at the front frame rail firewall & front floor supports are good as it is a pivot point for the front rails as they do flex some.
     
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