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 Post subject: Back in black II!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:19 pm 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12789
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model: 76 D100
You may have seen my other thread asking about that black 76 D100 in Oregon. Well, I bought it! I think it was a good deal for $1600.

The drive down from Tacoma to Salem was pleasant and easy. The weather got warmer the farther south I went. It was 58 in Tacoma but was 75 in Salem by the time I got there.

The lady selling the truck met me at an independent burger joint. My sister went in and got a burger while I spoke with the seller. Dusteridiot was also nice enough to swing by and say hello while I finished the deal.

I looked the truck over and liked what I saw. Paint and body were presentable. not perfect, but good enough. No rusted out cab corners, rockers, or sills, no leaks, just a solid little work truck. I am pretty sure the truck was originally ordered to be a hauler or tow rig since it had the 9 1/4 rear axle with 3.91 gears. The only auto trans available in trucks in 76 was the 727, so the little 225 is backed by a 727 and a 9 1/4! An interesting bonus was the five(!) chromes steel slotted rims. I don't know if they are the factory Little Red Express/Street Van rims or aftermarket look-alikes.

I took the truck for a little test drive around the parking lot and it was immediately apparent that it needed some help. The incorrect open element air cleaner and underhood exhaust leak made the truck VERY loud, but the most troubling was the poor acceleration. it would barely move when I floored it. I suspect there are timing and tuning issues as well as kickdown and trans issues that need to be sorted.

Undaunted, I haggled with the seller, and we agreed on a price. Then came time to sign the title. The seller did not have the title in her name because a friend of hers had bought the truck and never changed the title into his name and then sold the truck to her. Oy, vey. Fortunately, the Oregon DMV was still open and i was able to make a quick call and find out what I needed to do to make the title transfer go through.

Title problems dealt with, money changed hands and the seller walked home. I chatted with DI for a bit but then it was time to get on the road for the 3+ hour drive home.

I stopped to get gas in Oregon and found out that I am going to have to deal will slow fills where the nozzle clicks off. The old full pipe on the truck doesn't play well with modern fuel nozzles and the nozzle has to be held juuuuust right for the fuel to flow and it will only pump out slowly. No worries, I can live with that. The pump jockey managed to get the tank 3/4 of a tank full before we gave up and I hit the road.

That was when I discovered just how loud an unsilenced air cleaner and underhood exhaust leak is in one of the old trucks. No sound deadening, non-existent belt weatherstrip on both windows, just a thin piece of sheetmetal firewall between me and the 225 cubic inches of fury under the hood. Between the noise, the non-working dash lights, and the setting sun, I knew it was going to be a long drive home.

The truck did OK on the highway. My sister was in the chase vehicle and saw puffs of black smoke when I stepped on the gas. More signs the carb needs help. The truck tooled right along at 75-80 no problem, but I could almost watch the gas needle drop. There is currently no tach in the truck, but with those 3.9 rear axle gears I am sure the little slant was screaming. The headlights worked, and by checking my speed with a flashlight and carefully listening to the note of the engine drone I figured out what 75-80 MPH sounded like. I figured out that 70 MPH on my 27.1 inch tires worked out to about 3500 RPM. This poor slant would get a workout.

Figuring that the truck has sat and crap had built up in the vents, I started the drive with both vents open. After driving at 60+ for about ten minutes, I was rewarded with a blast of cruddy old leave, pine needle, and debris to my face from the footwell vent on the driver's side. The passenger vent had also been spitting out the detritus of decades onto the floor.

I spat out the crap from my mouth and looked for a place to plug in my cell phone so I could keep track of my progress and get directions. That is when I discovered that someone had removed the ashtray and had hardwired the aftermarket stereo to the wire that formerly powered the cigarette lighter. I crossed my fingers and hoped the 90% charge on my phone would last until I got home.

The drive was pleasant enough. The country around I-5 between Salem and Portland reminds me very much of the land outside of Spokane on I-90. Lots of flat farmland with light industrial. It was a very pretty evening and sunset. But then it began to get dark and I discovered that my headlights had been aimed by Helen Keller. By herself. The right side of my lane about 30 feet in front of the truck was very well illuminated but only a dim wash made it over to the left side of the lane. Hmm. Relays and GE Nighthawks in the future.

Once we got through the parking lot that is I-5 in Portland, Oregon, it was smooth sailing. It was a bit of a white knuckle drive with non-visible instruments and a half illuminated road plus the aural torture of the engine noise, but I was game to finish the drive.

We made it from Salem, OR to just north of Olympia, WA before I had to fill up with gas again. By this time my ears were ringing from the noise and the stereo that only worked out of the right speaker and was barely audible over the truck noise. My mental list of things to do to quiet this truck down was growing by the mile.

After the three hour highway run at 60-85 MPH (I even hit 88.8 mph a few times, but nothing happened) I discovered that the carb idles way too low and the engine runs rough at idle. Again, more signs this truck needs a serious tuneup. But I filled up with gas and hit the road again.

It was pitch black by this point and I was down to about 8% charge on my cell phone. The last 30-odd miles home went smoothly and I park the truck in my driveway with 2% charge on my phone and about 3/5 of a tank of gas.

So, without further ado, here are the pictures!

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Only real body damage. Bondo can fix it!

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No ash tray. :X

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I finally got the 68 Dart I was parting out hauled off and was able to pull the truck in front of my garage and give a bit of a closer look.

Someone has been here before me. The EGR system is gone, the charcoal canister is gone, the automatic choke is gone (replace by a non-working manual choke), and the head has been replaced with a red-painted peanut plug head. Grr.

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An interesting discovery I made is that the 1945 carb on the engine has what I can only imagine is a rudimentary idle dashpot type device:

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The device that looks like a choke pulloff is connected by a linkage (that fell off somewhere on the highway) to an arm that wraps around the throttle linkage. When the puilloff gets vacuum, it might hold the throttle open- such as if the throttle snapped closed during deceleration in a high vacuum operating condition, like closing the throttle at high speed quickly. Once my factory service manual arrives I will investigate more. I will need to fabricate a new linkage or find one (fat chance of that).

I made a nasty discovery when I popped the radiator cap:

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It didn't overheat on the highway or idling in town, but a cooling system flush is near the top of my list of things to do.

The other nasty surprise is that the tires on the truck were apparently manufactured in 2004. I might not be reading the date code correctly, but I think this means the tires were made in the 25th week of 2004. One says 03 for the last two digits. Yikes!

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Another problem is the rather lame and light-duty welded-on trailer hitch.

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That is just not acceptable. I know cops in WA pull people over if their trailer hitch obstructs the plate, so I need to get this address.

So there it is. My new toy. A running driving truck I can use while I tinker on it and address the long long list of things it needs. The title is in my name and it is insured. All-in-all I am happy with the purchase and have lots of plans for this little guy. Fuel injection, a hydraulic dumping stepside bed, exhaust stacks like a little red express, a supercharger for improved fuel economy, a Laycock de Normanville overdrive from a Volvo, and maybe even trips to the dragstrip with my 3.9 rear gears. Only time and cash flow will tell! Stay tuned.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:16 pm 
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Supercharged

Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:48 pm
Posts: 3186
Location: Indianapolis
Car Model:
Nice,I think you did well,,😀


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:26 am 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12789
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model: 76 D100
Thanks! Today I discovered that while I only got the ignition key and not the door key, the original key number code tag was on the key ring with the ignition keys. I am going to try and find a locksmith who still knows how to cut keys form the old key codes and get some door keys made. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:35 am 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 5486
Location: Downeast Maine
Car Model:
I remember how to do it, but no longer have blanks to work with. That project will be easy, just call around for an auto friendly shop. Better still, remove both door cylinders, and have them repined to match your ignition key.

_________________
67' Dart GT Convertible; the old Chrysler Corp.
82' LeBaron Convertible; the new Chrysler Corp
07' 300 C AWD; Now by Fiat, the old new Chrysler LLC

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:42 am 
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Turbo Slant 6
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:29 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Seattle, WA
Car Model: 75 Dart SE (2),75 Swinger, 74 Dart Sport,91 Ram RV
Looks really good. should be well worth the effort you'll put into it. P

_________________
"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:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:52 pm 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12789
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model: 76 D100
Thanks. Lots of effort on little things is needed, but it is a very solid base to build from.

WJAJR- I think I will just get the door cylinders re-keyed. One key for everything is convenient.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:04 am 
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3 Deuce Webber

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:49 am
Posts: 65
Car Model:
Great find! Love old trucks- especially short beds. Can't wait to watch the progression :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:25 am 
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Turbo Slant 6
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:25 am
Posts: 564
Location: Springtucky OR
Car Model:
Reed wrote:
...One key for everything is convenient...

+1
I have never understood why anyone would want 2 different keys.

_________________
--> Check out my FI Turbo build <--
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:08 am 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12789
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model: 76 D100
I pulled the trim rings off the chrome slotted rims. One said "made in China" so that is going away, the other three are not correct for the chromed rims or the cop rims I have in my garage, but they are very well made. I believe that the three non-Made in China ones are either original or reproduction Mopar Rallye wheel trim rings. But I don't like how they look on either the cop rims or the chromed rims. Away they go.

I will post pictures in a bit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Turbo Slant 6
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:29 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Seattle, WA
Car Model: 75 Dart SE (2),75 Swinger, 74 Dart Sport,91 Ram RV
Reed I could use trim rings if you are not keeping them. I'll PM you with dimensions to match what I have.

_________________
"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:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:27 pm 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12789
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model: 76 D100
From deep in the "I can't believe you saved that" parts stash came a factory one barrel throttle return spring bracket to mount in the choke thermostat cup. I know I have three single barrel choke thermostats stashed in a bag somewhere, I just need to find it. I also think I have a silenced air cleaner tucked away, but I need to dig it out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:20 pm 
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Turbo EFI
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:56 pm
Posts: 1310
Location: TEXAS
Car Model:
GREAT SCORE Reed! Congrats on the New Project! :D

_________________
1964 Dart GT


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:16 pm 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12789
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model: 76 D100
Thanks!

Rough fuel economy guess - 3/4 of a 20 gallon tank to fo from Salem to Olympia = 15 gallons to go 160 miles, or roughly 10.75 mpg. Not too bad considering the 3.9 rear gears. However, a major tune up is in order as is serious inquiry into a Lacock/Volvo overdrive. I would like to get closer to at least 18 mpg highway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:15 pm 
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Turbo EFI
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 4:33 pm
Posts: 1004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Car Model:
Nice haul Reed. I figured it would be a good one. Tough to find them in that condition these days. I'm envious of your bucket/buddy seat. I saw one in the pick n pull around here a couple years ago but I didn't have a truck to put it in yet! Maybe another one will pop up someday.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:48 pm 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12789
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model: 76 D100
Those seats are out there. I was looking at a rolling shell in Spokane, WA that had the same buddy seat, but it also had the original buckets. Those brown seats are actually pretty comfy. I plan on getting cheap fake sheepskin seat covers for now until I can get them reupholstered in black with fabric inserts.

In other news, I think these might be real 15x8 Mopar rims. Fingers crossed!


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