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 Post subject: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:32 am 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:45 am
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, OK
Car Model: 74 Plymouth Valiant
My daughter is 2 years away from getting her license and wanted to get a project car that we could work on for the next 2 years. Enter the '74 Plymouth Valiant.
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After we had it towed to our house, she couldn't wait to get into the driver's seat:
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It didn't have a battery, so we bought one to see what problems we had just inherited. The engine bay was pretty dirty overall.
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The radiator looked a bit corroded, so a flush was added to the to-do list:
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We also saw this metal box with some sort of heavy resin leaking out of it. I later found out that it is a voltage regulator. We would need to order a new one (assuming this one has given up the ghost):
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Here is Roma, pulling the spark plugs to look at them:
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Last edited by dgebhardt on Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:07 am 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:45 am
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, OK
Car Model: 74 Plymouth Valiant
So far, here's where we are at:
With the battery installed, we tried to turn over the engine. The starter would engage for a partial rev and then grind. Or it would just grind. We pulled the starter (it was the original-style big body form). The teeth on the starter were rounded and several teeth on the torque converter were chipped. We decided to replace the starter with a mini-style and see if we could use the torque converter as-is (for now, at least). The new starter was installed and the engine would turn over without issue. I should note that the previous owner knew very little about the car and was selling it for his mother in-law, whose husband had purchased it new in 1974. He did mention that he couldn't get it running and that it might have "skipped a tooth". Here is Roma installing the new starter. Note that she's a bit camera shy :mrgreen:
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We also checked the plugs. They were all very black. No signs of oil. However, when I looked up the part number (Autolite 25), these did not appear to be the correct size for this engine. We bought some Champion 7322's.
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While pulling the plugs, we saw that the plug tube gaskets were shot. New ones were ordered.

After buying a new radiator cap to replace the existing broken one, we performed a pressure test on the coolant system and ended up with sticky green shoes for the effort. We tightened several hose clamps, but it looks like the water pump weep hole is leaking and the gasket is shot. A new pump, pump gasket, thermostat, and t-stat gasket were ordered. Eventually, when the engine is running and up to temperature, we will run a few cycles of coolant flush to de-corrode the system. We loosened the fan shroud and removed the fan yesterday. The thermostat was pulled and the water pump was pulled. A lot of pitting in the t-stat housing, engine block, and head was observed. We wire-brushed all surfaces to remove the gobs of red RTV and the old paper gaskets. Hopefully, we will get the new pump and t-stat installed today (although we may wait on the t-stat until after the flush is done). I'm doubting that the gasket will be enough to seal the pitting, so I may have to go back with gasket+RTV, which I hate doing. What RTV do people like?

When we removed the old voltage regulator, we saw that one end of the wire ended in a loose connector and the other wire went into a taped loom. Does anyone know where the connector end goes to?

Several vacuum lines were plugged or left disconnected, so I will have to see where they go back to. While investigating the carb fittings, I found that the choke linkage and vacuum kickdown were off or loose. I also found that the top butterfly was outright missing. The shaft was present but the plate and screws were gone. I believe that this is the choke butterfly, right? Anyone know where I can get a new one?

We also found that the engine mounts were completely disintegrated. New ones were ordered.

We sampled the trans fluid through the dipstick and sent it off to Blackstone Labs for analysis. I normally send all of my fluids off to them. The ATF looked reddish, and not burnt, so that's a good sign, but I'll let the Lab say for sure.

We did an oil change yesterday. As with the ATF, I took a sample for analysis. The oil looked dark. No off-smell nor any chocolate milk color, so that looks promising.

Today we plan to install the new water pump. While we are there, we will pull the timing cover and see what that looks like. And since we already have half of the accessories out of the way, we'll change the engine mounts, too. If we have time, and I go get a compression test kit, we will do a cylinder compression test, too.

Still to-do:
Replace water pump
Pull timing cover & check timing chain/gears
Compression test
Change plugs, wires, cap, rotor, coil. New gaskets for plug tubes, too
Motor (& trans) mounts
Coolant flush (remove corrosion)
ATF change
Check brakes, flush brake fluid
Fix carb
Fix lights & wiring
Lube chassis
Check suspension
Check u-joints & diff
Test alternator
Fix HVAC
Test (fix leak? power steering
Check valve lash
Check ignition timing


Last edited by dgebhardt on Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:55 pm 
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Supercharged

Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 11:50 pm
Posts: 6189
Location: So California
Car Model: 64 Plymouth Valiant
None of your images are working.

_________________
Ed
64 Valiant 225 / 904 / 42:1 manual steering / 9" drum brakes

8)


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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:39 am 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:45 am
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, OK
Car Model: 74 Plymouth Valiant
emsvitil wrote:
None of your images are working.

Well, crap. They worked in the preview, but the links that I inserted must be temporary.


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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:49 am 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:45 am
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, OK
Car Model: 74 Plymouth Valiant
Sunday was a busy day in the household, but Roma and I ended up getting a few things done.We decided to install all of the new ignition-related parts.

  1. Roma drew up a diagram of the distributor cap and which plug goes where.
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  2. We pulled the old wires and trashed them. They were Mopar brand, and seemed to be in fair shape.
  3. We pulled the old distributor cap and rotor off. A bit of build-up was observed on the cap contact points. We kept the old cap and rotor, to be placed on the shelf "for emergencies". A new cap and rotor were installed.
  4. The old coil was pulled and shelved. Boy was this more of a chore than I thought that it would be. Roma's hands are smaller than mine and still struggled to get the mounting strap bolts loosened so that the coil would slide out after loosening the strap-tightening bolt. A new coil was installed, but we still need to tighten the bolts when we get more daylight (and when it isn't 32'F outside). It took us about 30 minutes to find a bolt that I dropped from my cold-stiffened fingers, and the bolt had somehow found its way between the oil pan and the crossmember.
  5. Roma pulled out the old plugs. I meant to take a picture of them, but I forgot.
  6. We did a compression test. From cyl#1 to cyl #6, we got 165, 165, 170, 170, 160, 145. I'm a bit concerned over cyl#6, but we'll let it go until we can adjust the valves. That new starter and battery seem to be going strong.
  7. The plug tubes were removed and the old tube gaskets were pulled and trashed. New gaskets were installed.
  8. New Champion double platinum #7322 plugs were installed, with a dab of anti-seize on the threads. I read in Doug Dutra's Chrysler Slant Six Engines Workbench book to remove the metal ring gasket on the plugs, but I left them on. This was the first time that I've heard of taking the rings off. Any other thoughts on the matter?
  9. New wires were installed with dielectric grease.

Next on our list:
  1. Pull the timing cover and check the timing gears and chain.
  2. Replace engine mounts.
  3. Clean the power steering pump and try to find what appears to be a significant leak.
  4. Roma wants to get a hammer and dolly to "fix" a few dents.
  5. The battery tray is swiss cheese. I bought some fiberglass-reinforced Bondo to see if we can salvage the tray by coating it with the Bondo.

What else should we be looking at in the early stages of this rebuild?


Last edited by dgebhardt on Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:15 pm 
Online
SL6 Racer & Moderator
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:42 am
Posts: 7679
Location: Vine Grove, KY
Car Model: More than I should have...
Welcome to the Forum and props to you for giving an old Slant a new life along with teaching Roma along the way!! :D :D

Pics work fine for me.

I remove the gaskets from plugs in the drool tube heads.

_________________
Rob

Drag Racing
Commentator/
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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:25 pm 
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Turbo Slant 6
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:29 pm
Posts: 612
Location: Seattle, WA
Car Model: 75 Dart SE (2),75 Swinger, 74 Dart Sport,91 Ram RV
Congrats, Roma! Same color as our first Valient Custom.
(Don't forget to gently back-flush the heater core while you are working the coolant system. )

_________________
"Louise", a 1976 Dart Custom project, (now sadly reverted to being just an "organ donor" to our other project Darts.)


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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:44 am 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:45 am
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, OK
Car Model: 74 Plymouth Valiant
I want to give a HUGE thank you to @matv91 for helping me with the Holley 1945 carb. It appears that I was missing more parts than I expected and he helped me ID many of them, and even sent some to me.

Here are some pics of the carb, for those that are interested:
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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:27 am 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:45 am
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, OK
Car Model: 74 Plymouth Valiant
Getting back on track . . .

When the seller said that he thought that the timing had skipped a tooth, I was worried. But, for those of you that like to read the last chapter of a book first, we ended up finding out that the timing (at least the crank & cam) looked great.

In anticipation for using a puller to remove the pulleys and harmonic balancer, the radiator needed to come out. Roma was a champ and did that all herself while I complained about the cold, the wind, and the darkness.

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And she was rewarded with this:

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We called it quits for the night. The next day, I removed the balancer and Roma removed the timing cover.

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The chain appeared to be in good shape. I didn't see any broken teeth or abnormal wear on the gears. The slack on the chain was just under 1/4" going perpendicular to the direction of travel, and when I turned the cam gear while holding the crank gear, the chain would only move around 3/32" as the slack was shifted from one side to the other.

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A new timing cover gasket was ordered. I also ordered a valve cover gasket, since we will be checking the valvetrain next. I don't think that my timing gears are adjustable, and I'm not sure how to degree in the cam with the head still attached, so I think we'll skip this step (unless anyone thinks otherwise?). We also ordered a new harmonic balancer, since this one was showing a good amount of rot. Finally, we also purchased a carb repair kit, knowing that the carb will be coming off soon, for inspection if nothing else.

While she was pulling the cover off, I wanted to investigate the A/C system. I purchased some retrofit adapters and was planning to pull a vacuum to see if we had any leaks. I had already measured the old connectors, which were 7/16. However, the adapters that I got were mislabeled:

The low-side connectors are the right size, (ignore my sloppy technique), with a female diameter of roughly 0.41":
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The high-side connectors were a bit of a different story:
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0.35", which is 3/8, and too small to fit onto a 7/16 connector, obviously. The 3/8 connector part number should be 5811352, but the bag of parts was labeled as 5811351.


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 Post subject: Re: Roma's 74 Valiant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:18 am 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:03 pm
Posts: 6503
Location: IRWIN PA
Car Model:
Looks like a fun time so far.

I bet you'll get everything sorted and running soon in time for the nice weather to come around.


Yes the stock type timing set you've got there is not adjustable without modifications.

the Cam center line can bet determined with the head on the car.. You just need a Degree wheel / pointer for the crank, a TDC Indicator or spark plug hole piston stop, and then a Dial indicator.
You will need to take the Valve cover off to expose the #1 Intake valve spring retainer or rocker arm.


Best of Luck!

Greg

_________________
Greg Ondayko
http://www.youtube.com/hyperpack
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