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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 1:22 pm 
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Location: Marietta, GA
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Hello all! I'd like to run a quick reality check by the group....

I've had my '73 Dart for almost 20 years now, and have a pretty hot 225 in it with a T-5 conversion (you can find the details on that in other threads). Suspension is pretty much stock, with upgraded springs, shocks, etc - it's got the '73+ discs on it.

Unfortunately, it has body issues - rear quarter is damaged, rear door is damaged, vinyl top has rust under it, interior has seen better days. I've gotten a quote on the body/paint work, and it's not cheap....

That sent me looking, and I've potentially got a line on a 2 door '63 Valiant that has great body/paint and interior, but is mechanically a bit worn... for significantly less that than just the body work my '73 needs. So, I'm pondering if a better course of action is to abandon my '73 ( :( ), and swap all the running gear into the Valiant.

Naturally, I have to re-do my work on the T-5 conversion, but that's no problem. I think I can swap over everything (A-Body width 8 1/4 sure grip, XHD leafs, cop car rims, front discs, UCA's, LCA's, torsion bars, etc). Add in some frame connectors, and I have a prettier, lighter version of the same car.

Only things that I think don't interchange will be K-Frame, idler, pitman arm, center link, sway bar... is that a correct understanding?

One thing I'm concerned about is the early idler arm design - vision has always been a sort of 'modern sport sedan' vibe - so stiffened springs, more modern rubber (I may eventually look at 17's or 18's for wheels since tires selection is becoming so poor for 15's). Is that a recipe for disaster, and is there anything I can do about it?

What do you guys think about the viability of that plan?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 7:53 pm 
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72polara wrote:
Only things that I think don't interchange will be K-Frame, idler, pitman arm, center link, sway bar... is that a correct understanding?
Yes.

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One thing I'm concerned about is the early idler arm design - vision has always been a sort of 'modern sport sedan' vibe - so stiffened springs, more modern rubber (I may eventually look at 17's or 18's for wheels since tires selection is becoming so poor for 15's). Is that a recipe for disaster, and is there anything I can do about it?
It's definitely going to throw a whole hell of a lot more load on the idler arm than it was designed or specified for. I'll let others put up ideas on how to deal with this.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 3:30 am 
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You will also need the early oil pan on your engine or notch the K-Frame. It will kit in the RF corner.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:40 am 
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I would do it. The 63 is a lot lighter and will be way more fun to drive. Dan and Rick are right about those things. I have run stock idlers (very well tightened) on 63-66 cars on tracks and they are fine. Not as rigid as the later stuff, but just watch it for wear. I have 16s-17s on all my 62-66 cars (3), and all go around corners very fast.

If you use the stock 63 drag link, you will need to heavily modify the oilpan to clear it. One option is buy an aftermarket or used 64-66 V8 drag link. T5 swap will take more cutting (remove entire upper X-member, for example) and bash out or weld in new sheetmetal on parts of the trans tunnel ahead of the X-member.

YMMV... My 2 cents...
Lou

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 6:47 am 
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Excellent info, thanks for the quick replies, that pretty much confirms that the idea is compelling to me! I'm not worried about the mechanical work; i tend to enjoy that part.

Thanks for the tip on the oil pan, that makes sense. The car I'm looking at still has its slant six in it, so I could take the oil pan/pickup off that engine and put it on mine. Is there a downside I should be aware of to the old oil pan design vs the later model one I have currently?

Lou - I was hoping to hear from you, since i knew you've done some track time. I'm probably not going to track mine, just fun street, maybe an autox or two for fun. For the idler, are you just using them stock, or have you done the roller bearing kits? I'll have the whole k frame accessible, while doing all the mechanical swapping, so I can weld in support there if it's wise to do so. I may want to bug you about the 17 inch rims you're using at some point down the line. Radial TA's for 15's cost as much as R-Comp tires now, it seems...

For the T-5 part, I'm quite confident I can replicate that nicely; even on my '73, I had to cut the cross member and rebuild it taller, and weld in some sheet metal to make things fit.

Thanks everyone!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 9:16 am 
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Car Model: 65 Valiant 2Dr Post
Quote:
Is there a downside I should be aware of to the old oil pan design vs the later model one I have currently?


No just the shape of the frame it fits in.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 1:38 pm 
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Occurs to me you might dig up one of the old idler arm ball bearing conversion kits to beef things up a little. They go by from time to time; I had one and sold it three years ago (see here; looks like I underpriced it).

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 6:01 pm 
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I think maybe Greg Ondayko put one on his Dart? Yes they are pretty salty

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2022 6:12 pm 
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https://www.firmfeel.com/a_body_mopar_i ... kit_1.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2022 7:11 am 
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I have not used the roller bearing idler kit, but I have one in stock (from Dan, IIRC!). You do not need it, but it won't hurt I'm sure. I always make my cars as light as possible, so likely that helps with durability.

Use the 63 pan and pickup but I would advise deepening the sump by 3/4" and adding some baffles and maybe a kickout. Actually, I usually use the 67-up pickup because it ends up further forward, IIRC. You have more problems with oil slosh on braking and left turns than right turns or accel.

I have used this on 3 pans so far:
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Oil-Pan- ... ,1763.html
Saves some fab work.

Here are oilpan fab work pics:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/16910097@ ... 6194152763

Make sure to have the baffles pointing downward toward the bottom of the sump so oil can flow back down quickly. Greg probably has some nice pics too.

Lou

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2022 12:44 pm 
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Thanks everyone for all the great info! I'm going to check out the car tomorrow, so hopefully it looks as good in person as in pictures!

Lou - I think I found another thread where you're using Mustang wheels? Is that still the case? I think 17's will be in my future, I'd like better tire options than is available with my cop car rims. For the rims, did you have to machine the center bore or use an adapter ring?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2022 2:15 pm 
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Yes, many Mustang wheels will fit (around 2000 era work with minor spacers), but centerbore needs to be opened up about 0.050" or so. I use a drum sander on a drill and rotate my body over the wheel frequently to keep the hole concentric.

Lou

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2022 2:51 pm 
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Just finished unloading the '63 Valiant I was looking at into the shop! Thanks again for the help! It came with a brother, a 4 door '63 Valiant, but it's pretty much a parts car. I may post some of the good parts for sale here over the next few weeks once I get going on the project...


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