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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:30 pm 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:20 pm
Posts: 15
Location: bay area, cali
Car Model*:
Hello there, My name is Mark, im a union electrician from the SF Bay area. I'm usually a Ford guy myself, but being that my wife comes from a big family of mopar enthusiasts, I knew this day was inevitable.

My wife and I found ourselves in a position where we needed a more rounded family car. So we went out looking at dealerships and realized fast that we didn't want to make payments. Just the thought of full coverage and a $400 car payment makes us cringe. So we came home to check out Craigslist, and low and behold my wife finds this:

1966 Dart 270 Wagon

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Within a week, we had the car in our possession. I must say that I am a changed man, and fell in love with the slant six the first week we owned it. I wont say I will no longer buy anything Ford, but classic Dodge's are easily a top contender in my book. Especially if it has a slant six underneath.

One major flaw of the vehicle when we purchased it, was a bad exhaust leak. Having spotted the exhaust coming out of the manifold, i knew it would be a task to fix, and was dreading having to do the replacement of the gasket. To my surprise, it only took 2 hours and $12 in gaskets and silicone to fix. I fell in love instantly. Having replaced many manifolds in my Ford loving life, NONE were as easy as the /6. I actually talked the guy down $2000 because of the way the car sounded while driving (granted the noises were mostly the exhaust leak, but not completely)(see other posts coming soon about my mysterious rear end howl).

So the guy wanted $6500, but I ended up with it for $4500. I think this Dart was an amazing find. It also came with over $20,000 in receipts from over the last 30 years of its life. The other years are documented in the original owners manual.

Here are a few items the previous owners paid for within the last 10 years:

*rebuilt motor (50k ago)
*new factory paint job (7 years ago)
*new headliner
*stereo installed in glove box
*new tires
*new upholstery throughout
*new seatbelts
*new muffler (want something better sounding, flowmaster? magnaflow?)
*dash and steering column worked on and fixed all blown bulbs and switches
*oil change/ transmission flushed


What do you think? Paid too much? Awesome deal?

Looking forward to reading responses, and also excited to be on this forums. Ive read lots of great advice so far. Thanks!

_________________
1966 Dart Wagon /6 225 AT


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 7:57 pm
Posts: 6378
Location: Waynesboro, Pa.
Car Model*: 65 Valiant 2Dr Post
Can't see the pics?

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2 Mopars come with Spark plug tubes. One is a highly refined, world class, racing machine. The other is a 426 CI. boat anchor!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:39 pm
Posts: 23529
Location: North America
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Welcome here! From the pics and your description, it doesn't sound as if you overpaid. Nice wagons are hard to find. Looks like you've got an excellent base to start with. Tune-up parts and technique suggestions are in this thread. You may want to do the Fuel line mod, too, and if the car still has breaker points put an HEI upgrade on your to-do list.

The engine needs periodic careful valve adjustment. Carburetor operation and repair manuals and links to training movies and carb repair/modification threads are posted here for free download. Get the factory service manual described here as soon as you can and start reading.

Use a reputable brand of oil -- 10w30 is fine if the engine is in sound condition -- and a good filter (Wix, NAPA Gold, Purolator...not Fram).

I like Magnecor spark plug wires.

Take a careful look at the engine mounts. The rubber blocks should be square like bricks. If they are bulged, sagged, and/or cracked, replace them. Get the left and right ones here, and the rear one here (last item on the page); these are premium items you will never again have to replace.

Once you've got the car in good running condition, Safety is next up, and better seatbelts should be near the top of the list—even if you're starting with a '70s car that already has shoulder belts. Lap belts make sure the bottom half of you stays put while you're biting the steering column when the car stops suddenly, but that's all they do. The '68-'73 separate shoulder belts are an uncomfortable nuisance to use and can be injurious. The '74-up "unibelts" are easier to use, but still not very good compared to newer belt designs, so it's a very good idea to put in proper seat belts; spend money on seatbelts that are both new and good, then hope you never have to get your money's worth out of them.

I used to think it was a good idea to put in 4-point harnesses, like the Wesco setup, but not any more (the article is correct in its facts and physics, and everything said about 5-point harnesses is equally true of the 4-point variety, except the additional injuries that a 5-point can do to your 'nads).

I recommend these up-to-date, reputable-brand ECE-approved 3-point seat belts (linked vendor is reliable; I've been buying there for a decade; their eBay store is here). More info on belt selection and mounting is at the maker's website. If I needed mounting hardware, I'd buy it again from Wesco (and their page has good illustrated write-ups on how to install belts in pillarless cars here ), but the Securon belts are a much better-designed product than anything Wesco carries.

There are also bench- and bucket-seat 3-point belt setups available from XV Motorsports, but I am hesitant to recommend or use them until I have more than a one-line say-so from the company that their belts actually meet the relevant safety standards; discussion on that matter is here.

Another option if you're feeling ambitious: Chrysler Sebring (or other) bucket seats with built-in 3-point belts—info and links here.

Unless the brakes are newly (or almost newly) redone, I'd put them near the top of the list for upgrade. Three systems were available in '66, and basic equipment was 9" drums at all four corners -- a system only marginally adequate in its day and really inadequate today (especially with those hills in SF!). And regardless of whether your car got the 9" drums, the 10" drums, or the discs, in '66 all the systems had a single-pot master cylinder, really not adequately safe. Ask for advice as a separate thread.

Good shocks (Bilstein or Koni -- buy nice or buy twice!) and good tires (not from China) go without saying.

Of course, being me (the car lighting guy), I would put in better lights -- there is a mountain of fraudulent/dangerous/illegal junk on the market, but even if you disregard all the junk, there's still a wide range of good, effective, safe, legal options including good halogens, good LEDs, and good BiXenons for the headlamps along with relays, good upgrades for the tail/stop and backup light bulbs, and a 3rd stop light, etc.

After making the car more adequately safe to drive in today's traffic, I'd then think about turning my attention to more extensive performance upgrades. A high energy ignition upgrade, perhaps a 2bbl intake and carb (not entirely trivial on a '66 due to throttle linkage configuration, but certainly not impossible, see the parallel 2bbl setup article -- photo documentation of a very well done such conversion is here. And a nicer exhaust system with 2¼" headpipe as described here. Stock manifold is fine if it's not cracked, but Dutra Duals are better. My opinion and recommendation is to leave the muffler quiet. Loud ones are fun for a week, then they get old in a hurry.

There's an endless amount of money, time, and effort you can put into the car. Do it thoughtfully and one bite at a time, and you'll have lots of fun with a steadily-improving car.

_________________
一期一会
Too many people who were born on third base actually believe they've hit a triple.

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Last edited by SlantSixDan on Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2002 2:42 pm
Posts: 682
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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"'66 all the systems had a single-pot master cylinder, really not adequately safe."

+100!

Get RID of that single pot MC! Wanna try to stop that nice wagon with nothing but the E-brake? That will be about your only option if that single pot MC fails. Those 9" drum brakes are marginal at best, but trying to stop with only half of them, applied manually, is not a position in which you want to find yourself.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:09 pm 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:20 pm
Posts: 15
Location: bay area, cali
Car Model*:
Thanks for all the great suggestions. Brakes are definetely my number 1 priority. What would you recommend?


Updated: i should have made a new thread out of this reply. I will soon.

_________________
1966 Dart Wagon /6 225 AT


Last edited by Stubborncuss on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:39 pm
Posts: 23529
Location: North America
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Forget that Willwood race-brake stuff. You don't need to spend for it, and it's not better, in street-driven service, than what you can get for a lot less money elsewise. You want a system that can be serviced easily with parts from ordinary parts stores. You will have some decisions to make; the first one is whether you will be keeping the original 4" wheel bolt circle or going to the later and much more common 4½" bolt circle. Also, check what size wheels are on the car (easiest to look at the tire size). If you have the 13" wheels that were basic equipment, you won't be upgrading to disc brakes without first upgrading to 14" or 15" wheels, which means new tires, too.

_________________
一期一会
Too many people who were born on third base actually believe they've hit a triple.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:18 pm
Posts: 3062
Location: Indy
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Mark, with the price used cars go for these days, don't worry. You have something you can be proud of and work on. Good for you and welcome!

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66 Lil' Red Piggie Valiant (Mater Crusher) - Thanks Zilla!!!!! 72 Demon (Number 1 Son's)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:43 am 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:26 am
Posts: 13
Location: waverly alabama
Car Model*:
You are a lucky guy to have such a wife!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:08 am
Posts: 14214
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Sweet. Looks like a great deal. Get disc brakes and bigger wheels/tires on there.

Lou

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"You mean you still have a Slant 6 in that thing?"


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:33 pm 
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3 Deuce Webber
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 74
Location: cincinnati
Car Model*:
the body looks great. i like that pale blue also.....

i'm starting to dig these old wagons i've been seeing (noticing) more....

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-proud new owner of a '61 lancer 170
-previous owner of a '74 dart swinger (R.I.P.)
-coming here for some schoolin'
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Supercharged

Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:48 pm
Posts: 3013
Location: Indianapolis
Car Model*:
Mark

that is a great looking car,, you did good,,
that will be a fun one to drive!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 2:37 pm
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Location: CA
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Stubborncuss wrote:
*new factory paint job (7 years ago)


You sure about that? Looks like a color change. The exterior should be same color as under the hood.


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