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The red on red 70 Cuda project!

wayne

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A few weeks ago I picked up my dream car. Its an 1970 Cuda, 383 4 spd car. The car has a near perfect build sheet. Engine and transmission match. The car was in FL and last plated in 1976. The car has 49k original miles. Its needs work, but I love it and l can't believe the shape the body is. Figured I would start a thread showing the projects I am going to do on the car.

I also just started a FB page for the car, Youtube and Instagram. If anyone wants to follow I am Backyard Hotrods.

Here are a few pictures the day I brought it home.

Wayne (@backyard_hotrods) • Instagram photos and videos

Backyard Hot Rods

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Adam

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Nice car. I like the matching red steering column.

I had a B5 blue 70, set up the same. Blue dash, blue steering column, blue console (automatic), blue seats, and blue seatbelts iirc... enough to give me a headache after awhile.... jk
 
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wayne

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The past week I have been doing what I can to bring the paint back to life. Pretty happy considering what I started with.

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340challconvert

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Wayne
Nice pick up on the Cuda :thumbsup:
Great look with the red on red.
Looks like the paint came back pretty well!
What are some of the "projects' you are looking to do on the car?
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wayne

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Wayne
Nice pick up on the Cuda :thumbsup:
Great look with the red on red.
Looks like the paint came back pretty well!
What are some of the "projects' you are looking to do on the car?
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Thanks!

First thing now is to get it mechanically sound. I want to drive it, but the trans needs work so that is coming out. The car has manual steering. Pretty sure I am going to swap that out for power. The motor has some issues, hoping they are just little things but I am going to dive into that this week and I will know for sure. Gas gauge doesn't work. Heater core leaks and was bypassed. Just picked up a new one.
 

ldr

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suggestion , do not swap out the manual steering for power steering.gas guage is more the likely a sending unit issue usually a grounding problem. what type of tranny problem?
 

wayne

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suggestion , do not swap out the manual steering for power steering.gas guage is more the likely a sending unit issue usually a grounding problem. what type of tranny problem?
Thanks for the suggestions.

3rd gear wines. It did this when I test drove it so it wasn't a surprise. The TOB is very loud and sounds shot. Almost have the trans out. Going to put a new clutch/flywheel in as well. Who knows what shape everything is in since it sat for so long.
 

wayne

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Addressing the major mechanical issues that I'm aware off. The first is the trans which would make noise in 3rd gear & the TOB was also very noisy. So I jumped right in this past week I have been working on pulling the trans. It came out with no issues. This is actually my first four speed car. The clutch adjusting rod/linkage does not look right to me. I dropped the trans off locally to have it rebuilt. They should be calling me anytime with an update once they crack it open.

Next is the motor. The engine had a ticking noise which I didn't think was exhaust related. I pulled the valve covers...hoping it was a collapsed lifter or a bent pushrod. Unfortunately it was neither of those and more serious. I can't believe this held together actually. The engine has 6 cracked valve spring retainers...from what I can see. And some of them are hitting the rockers!! After I dropped the trans off I went to a local engine builder and they thought these were aluminum retainers from back in the day. Makes perfect sense to me. Has anybody seen anything like this before?

So we talked engine options. Pretty sure I am going to pull the matching # 383 and put in the corner for now. I think I will build a low deck stroker. We are discussing options. They have a 400 block ready to go....quite tempting. I want a really strong pump gas motor and don't want risking the matching #'s motor. Two of my close friends have blown up there matching #'s motor...which would really suck.

Below are some photos and I made another video. You can hear the TOB and see the valve spring retainer issues. Next plan of action is to get the motor out and clean up the engine bay. Waiting on my friend to drop off his hoist so I can get it out. But its giving me time to get everything organized and strip out the engine bay of everything.

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moparlee

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Great information Wayne. That's the way it usually goes with our old iron, the deeper you dig, the more surprises you find. And you just showed why an engine with any kind of internal noises should not be highly rev'd. BTW, that pulley on the alternator looks waaay over sized.
 

wayne

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Great information Wayne. That's the way it usually goes with our old iron, the deeper you dig, the more surprises you find. And you just showed why an engine with any kind of internal noises should not be highly rev'd. BTW, that pulley on the alternator looks waaay over sized.

Thanks! Good eye, me and my buddies were amused by it. That and the alternator won't be going back on. The original owner had plans to race the car and I guess that was part of the power savings. The car had a 9", rolled the quarter panel lips, and crude frame connectors that partially went through the floor and mini tubs. The guy I bought it from put it back to stock. So it has been worked on unfortunately.
 

aussiemark

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I found the same issue cracked retainers in a used 340, when I turned the engine over by hand I found the retainers were contacting the top of the valve guides on full lift. I also found pieces of broken valve locks (the multi groove ones) throughout the engine. The easy fix would be to disassemble the heads and machine the valve guides down to create clearance. Another thing I noticed was the rocker arms were contacting the retainers as well I have since found out this was a common issue on the 340's because of the larger retainers and springs used in these engines and probably made worst if the valves are tipped during reconditioning.
 

wayne

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I found the same issue cracked retainers in a used 340, when I turned the engine over by hand I found the retainers were contacting the top of the valve guides on full lift. I also found pieces of broken valve locks (the multi groove ones) throughout the engine. The easy fix would be to disassemble the heads and machine the valve guides down to create clearance. Another thing I noticed was the rocker arms were contacting the retainers as well I have since found out this was a common issue on the 340's because of the larger retainers and springs used in these engines and probably made worst if the valves are tipped during reconditioning.
So glad we caught before anything worse happened! any idea what material those retainers were?
 

wayne

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Finally had a little time to work on the car today. Decided to tackle the heater core...it was leaking when I picked it up so we bypassed it. First time I have been inside a heater box. I got the heater box out without much issue. I already picked up a heater core from Roseville Moparts. They have been great to deal with. The box itself isn't too bad. It was obviously out before as one of the top bolt holes was cracked. Two of the clips were pretty rusty and chewed up the box a little. Will have to try and repair that. The doors inside had a strangle film on this not sure if its replaceable or what the best option there is. Any thoughts?

The blower motor plate had a broken stud. So I wanted to get that out and either rebuild or replace the blower motor while its out.

Unfortunately the wheel/cage on the blower motor cracked when I was working it off. Couldn't believe how seized up it was on the shaft. So I will have to try and find a replacement.

I just did some quick searches and seems like classic and year one don't have the parts I need. Does anyone have any leads on the following:

1. Blower motor plate
2. Blower motor cage
3. Rebuild service or replacement for the blower.

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