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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:14 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
Hello Everyone:

My name is Shawn and I now hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (Originally from Sudbury, Ontario...and yes, I've experienced many a Sudbury Saturday Night!). I'm a retired member of the Royal Canadian Navy and have served on ships, submarines and in shore units. I'm pretty excited to get rolling (pun intended) on a rebuild of this '73 Dodge Dart that I purchased off of my neighbour, the original owner. He noticed this car in a showroom window as he drove past in 1973, and turned around to make the purchase! I promised him that I'd take good care of her and I plan to document the progression of the project here, in this forum. I'll try to keep it succinct and interesting. As this is my first foray in to the world of classic car ownership, restoration and upkeep, I'm looking forward to learning a lot - and to having a lot of fun along the way. I have to say that the guys here on SSF have been an invaluable source of information and advice. I continue to appreciate the thoughtful, informative and always-welcomed guidance everyone has shown me.

So then...Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...

Cheers,
Shawn

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Last edited by GreybeardGunner on Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:37 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:25 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
This is a series of pictures showing the car on the purchase date, which was three weeks ago. I had to wait a bit to get started on the rebuild, as the mechanic I found to work on her had broken a couple of ribs and was recuperating. This guy is a gem. A retired 50-year MOPAR mechanic who lives within 3 miles of my home and knows every bolt, every washer and most of the idiosynchrisies of the A-Body line. Anyway, this is the car as I purchased her.



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I pretty well wanted this car as soon as I saw it. He has had the car assessed a few years ago, so I paid him that amount. Under $2K. The engine is not the original, it is a replacement 225 Slant Six that the old guy swapped in, because the original 225 Slant Six was 'making some noise'. My mechanic has looked this mover over and apparently, it's in great shape. I'll be tweaking it a bit later. The previous owner included the original engine in the sale. It is now under wraps (literally) awaiting a chance for me to rebuild it. I was told by the old owner that he purchased this out of the showroom on his way home from work one day in '73, and that he traded in his '68 Dart for it.


Last edited by GreybeardGunner on Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:38 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:43 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
Hi Again:

I know I'm playing 'catch-up' with these posts, but I just decided to document the build. As of this post, I'm all caught up.

A few days ago, I brought the car to the mechanic's. He has had a chance to look it over and aside from what you would expect, there aren't really any surprises. It does require brake work (drums, cylinders, lines, pads, etc), shocks, muffler and pretty well all the rubber bushings, spacers and related pieces that have deteriorated over almost 44 years of service. Replacement parts are on the way!

I have found a great welder/bodyman who removed the vinyl top this morning. The damage isn't as bad as I expected, however the car will need some welding and lead work. Though I wasn't going to replace the vinyl roof, my wife really likes it so I think I will have a new one installed. I was really worried about this area and I'm glad to see that my not-so-bottomless budget isn't taking a beating on this....(yet) lol.

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Last edited by GreybeardGunner on Thu May 04, 2017 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Board Sponsor & SL6 Racer
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:48 pm
Posts: 5830
Location: Burton BC canada
Car Model:
Congrats on starting with a nice car !


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 4:20 am 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
Thanks Sandy!
Shawn


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 8:14 am 
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EFI Slant 6
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Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:52 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Car Model: 1974 Dart Swinger 225
This is a great project. It sounds like you hit the jackpot with your mechanic. You can learn a lot on the internet but there's no substitute for having an expert who can see your exact situation.


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 3:12 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
Hi Rich:

You certainly have that right. I'm really happy about how things are going. I am getting some flack about not doing the work myself, but at this stage of the project, I need the pros to get her up to snuff. I can swap out simple parts, oil, lube, rad, alternator, things like that, but I want this initial job done right and I am letting the guys that know what they're doing, get me there. The way I figure it (and I know Dan agrees), it's my build and my wallet. I will maintain her once she's up and got her legs, but until then, I help out where I can, learn as much as possible and mostly just stay the hell out of the way. lol. Thanks for you interest, it is appreciated.

Shawn


Last edited by GreybeardGunner on Thu May 04, 2017 3:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 3:30 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
04 May, 2017: Roof work, water races, roof seams and front dash/windshield area repair all continuing. Necessary mechanical parts arriving from the U.S. next week. Custom interior refurbisher has looked at the liner, vinyl roof, seats and other related items and is preparing a quote. Did I mention that I HATE the car's pinstripe work, the side trim and the granny whitewalls?? Just thought I'd put that out there again. lol.

And the beat goes on...


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I hope that this thread is of interest to someone other than me, lol.


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 6:57 am 
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EFI Slant 6
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Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:52 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Car Model: 1974 Dart Swinger 225
I find the thread interesting. :-)

The reason I showed my car in your rebuild thread is to show the effect of rims, tires and stance on a late Dart. I also am not a huge fan of the side trim (mine has a peeling plastic film that looks bad up close), but I didn't want to mess with getting rid of it. Instead, I tried to choose wheels that would work with it. I also hated the "deluxe" hubcaps and briefly considered going with steel wheels and "poverty" or "dog dish" caps. In the end I decided the rallye wheels would complement the side trim, and I think that was the right decision. If I were building a Dart from the ground up, I'd have no trim, no vinyl roof, steel wheels, dog dish caps (or maybe rallye wheels), and black or possibly white-letter tires. But I'm working with the car I have.

As for doing the work yourself, that has been my approach for the most part. I've learned a lot, but I've made a lot of mistakes too, and it's taken way longer than I'd like...and I've annoyed my wife by spending so much time and mental energy on it. If I had a local shop that could do the work and would allow me to "help" and learn I would seize that opportunity. You are in a great situation.


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 7:40 am 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
Good Day, Rich:

Glad you're enjoying it! Your Dart looks great, by the way. I'm definitely getting rid of the side trim and whitewalls. I hate the look it gives my car. I've been seriously considering the dog-dish caps and think that I may end up going that route. Just deciding on tire size and white or black lettering (probably black). I'm definitely going to replace the vinyl roof though, my wife really likes the look and to be honest, it'll save some roof prep time (and money).

The shop is really good about letting me poke around and I have definitely benefited from their knowledge base. I try not to make a nuisance of myself though, and only really hang around when the straightforward stuff is happening. I stay away when they are going full-bore on the restoration. Saves them time, which saves me money.

Shawn


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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:49 am 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
06 May, 2017: My wife Jo-Anne and I drove out this morning to a local upholsterer that was recommended to me. We've selected the material for the vinyl roof replacement. It's a bit more textured (pebbled) than the stock material was, but of better quality (and a bit shinier). We also selected the new headliner (perforated black) and the coverings for the seat rebuild (dark green for the edging and a lighter green for the seat areas, themselves). I know that it's a lot of green, but we want to keep true to as many original elements as possible. I'd like to get one of those solid fibreboard liner panels, but the budget won't allow it at this particular time. So we're going with the bows and fabric system for now. The back deck will be covered with the vinyl roof material. I'm now sourcing the carpet and may go with one of those preformed carpet modules that are available, in either black or charcoal.

Shawn


Last edited by GreybeardGunner on Thu May 11, 2017 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 4:55 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
11 May, 2017: Things are progressing. Bodywork is almost done (ya, sure, lol). Lead-work beginning and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel for primer and paint.

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Last edited by GreybeardGunner on Thu May 11, 2017 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 4:56 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
Thank God for Moog and Napa, lol. As well as a plethora of suppliers in S.C. and Oklahoma City!


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:06 pm 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
20 May, 2017: After a few days hiatus from working on the car, the team and I are back at it. Leadwork is complete, putty is done. She's now taped off, primed and ready for paint tomorrow morning. Starting to get warm, fuzzy feeling around the possibility of having this ride on the road soon. The budget has taken a bit of a beating (lol..budget...right...), so the full paint job may have to wait until next year. That's ok....one bite at a time. ..

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 8:37 am 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Posts: 159
Location: Timberlea, Nova Scotia
Car Model: 1973 Dodge Dart 4-Door Custom Sedan
29 May, 2017:

Reassembly of the vehicle is now well underway. All the undercarriage components (suspension, steering and brakes) have been installed. The roof area has been repaired, epoxy-primed and painted. All the window races are good to go. I'm now waiting for the upholstery guy to locate the proper glue for the vinyl roof installation. Apparently, it's a bit of a bear to find. However, hopes are high that this week the headliner and vinyl work will be completed. Once the roof/headliner are both installed, the glass can be re-installed. Glass installation team is ready to go for next week. The rubber seal kits are on their way and should arrive this week. Clips are here.

We were able to match the 1973 colour perfectly. As you can see from the pictures, someone went ahead and painted the car dark forest green at some point. I think the paintjob may have to wait until next year, same for the seat re-upholstery.

The engine has been babied back to purring perfection! New wires, plugs, electronic ignition, etc. The old plugs were the cheapest on earth, purchased at Canadian Tire. Blacker than the hinges of hell. It seems like cylinders 1 and 6 were misfiring, but it was to be expected, given the condition of the ignition components.


Last edited by GreybeardGunner on Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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