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CC Central => Classic Cudas & Challengers Galore sponsored by CLASSIC INDUSTRIES => Topic started by: DrEamer on September 06, 2017 - 09:21:48 pm

Title: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 06, 2017 - 09:21:48 pm
I may have a chance to pick up a 1973 Challenger at decent price, I much prefer the 70-71 front grills, and 70 tail lights. That said, I know that the front fenders are different, maker lights, and of course, grill and tail light. What is going to be involved to change things over? The car is a H code that had 318, that I plan to resto-mod.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Beekeeper on September 06, 2017 - 10:09:20 pm
The tail panel may be the most involved part of the job. Not sure if it's possible to modify the current tail panel into what you need. My guess is you will need to change it out. They are a bit pricey too. I guess if you're redoing the entire body and paint, it shouldn't be that bad to switch it.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: jimynick on September 06, 2017 - 11:12:53 pm
Since you already know that you'll need fenders, markers and a new rear lower body panel, it's simply installing all the above (and paying for them) like the existing parts. The cost of the grille and tailights is a hit for sure, but if that's what you want to end up with, then that's the burden you'll have to bear.  :cheers:
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 07, 2017 - 10:26:38 am
Since you already know that you'll need fenders, markers and a new rear lower body panel, it's simply installing all the above (and paying for them) like the existing parts. The cost of the grille and tailights is a hit for sure, but if that's what you want to end up with, then that's the burden you'll have to bear.  :cheers:


What new lower body panel are you talking about?

On another note, I'm finding 1970 parts more available then 1971 in reproduction, and nothing available for 1971 tail light panels,or  grills for that matter.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: 70chall440 on September 07, 2017 - 12:18:20 pm
Its been done many times, conversion to a 70 is the easiest. what has to change is

 - front fenders
- grille assembly
- lower valance
- tail light panel (you need to replace the whole thing, not as hard as it seems but requires a fair amount of spot welding)
- tail light assemblies
- marker light support (they sell the sheet metal piece that can be welded into your existing quarters)
- 70 marker lights
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: garity on September 07, 2017 - 03:42:42 pm
Add in 70 front bumper brackets and bumper guards, hood latch, and turn signal flasher. My 74 went through the whole process. I think you may need a 70 chrome trim piece for the front of the hood also.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 08, 2017 - 11:51:06 pm
Its been done many times, conversion to a 70 is the easiest. what has to change is

 - front fenders
- grille assembly
- lower valance
- tail light panel (you need to replace the whole thing, not as hard as it seems but requires a fair amount of spot welding)
- tail light assemblies
- marker light support (they sell the sheet metal piece that can be welded into your existing quarters)
- 70 marker lights

Thanks, do you have a link or manufacture name for the marker light support? I looked but am not sure what I'm looking for.  :dunno:

In other news, I did end up getting the 73, but that is another thread.

 
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: garity on September 09, 2017 - 12:57:24 am
Patch panels for a 70. http://www.beaparts.com/list_items.aspx?body=E&cat=E&subcat=37 (http://www.beaparts.com/list_items.aspx?body=E&cat=E&subcat=37)
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 09, 2017 - 01:20:53 am
Patch panels for a 70. [url]http://www.beaparts.com/list_items.aspx?body=E&cat=E&subcat=37[/url] ([url]http://www.beaparts.com/list_items.aspx?body=E&cat=E&subcat=37[/url])


Perfect, THANK YOU!!! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: crazyhawk on September 09, 2017 - 09:18:42 pm
Just my 2 cents.  '73's are beautiful cars.  I don't go along with the 40+ year negative stigma people automatically toss at these cars.   Trying to make a '73 into a 70'?  Go ahead but, ugh....
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 09, 2017 - 09:58:31 pm
Just my 2 cents.  '73's are beautiful cars.  I don't go along with the 40+ year negative stigma people automatically toss at these cars.   Trying to make a '73 into a 70'?  Go ahead but, ugh....

first of all welcome to the forum!!! Don't get me wrong, I like the 72-74's as well. I have owned both a 1970 and 1972, and just like the 70 better. I also like the 1971 stripe kit and side scoops, that might find their way on the car. That's the nice thing about having a non numbers matching car, I can do whatever I want to without really hurting the value of the car.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Beekeeper on September 09, 2017 - 10:15:52 pm
I might have scoffed at the idea years back but the 70s have become so expensive compared to the 73-74 that it's understandable folks would consider it. I actually like the design of the later years but those tail lights are just awful. 70 tail lights are fantastic!
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: jimynick on September 09, 2017 - 11:21:35 pm
A lower body panel is the name for what some folks call a tailamp panel. Capice?  :cheers:
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 10, 2017 - 01:29:50 am
A lower body panel is the name for what some folks call a tailamp panel. Capice?  :cheers:

Got it!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: 1970 RT Challenger 1970 on September 10, 2017 - 02:07:37 pm
Keep the 1973 the way it is.

If you want a 1970, buy a 1970, not a 1973.

Why Bastardize it? It will never be a 1970.

Like putting Lipstick on a Pig.

When you go to sell it will be a Humped 1973 with issues of originality.

Think of it as a mismatched rifle or pistol, nowhere near as collectable or desirable.

But that's just me and my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: crazyhawk on September 10, 2017 - 05:35:08 pm
Hey DrEamer, I totally get what you are saying. It's YOUR car and I would love to see a pic of it when it's finished.  The bottom line is that it's all about the fun factor of these e-bodies.  I love 'em all!  Sometimes I just feel like I have to stick up for the 72-74 Challengers(I have a '73 Rallye 340 in JA5) and Barracudas because I see a lot of "experts" bash them relentlessly online when all they own is a Prius.  Good Luck with that car!! 
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Katfish on September 10, 2017 - 07:16:16 pm
Just something about the 70 grill and tail lights, I say go for it.
It will look awesome.
I don't think I'd cut up the fenders or rear quarters to change the side markers.
Not much of a difference for the amount of work involved.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Beekeeper on September 10, 2017 - 07:46:28 pm
Just something about the 70 grill and tail lights, I say go for it.
It will look awesome.
I don't think I'd cut up the fenders or rear quarters to change the side markers.
Not much of a difference for the amount of work involved.

I agree completely. You're not trying to pass it off as a 70, only trying to get the great look of the grille and tail lights.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: garity on September 11, 2017 - 06:48:57 pm
My car was only 7 years old when the original owner decided he wanted it to look like a 70 and cut one of the quarters to jam a 70 side marker in the hole. I got it with the 70 tail and front end already there. Even back then, the 70 was more desirable.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Mopar Mitch on September 12, 2017 - 01:48:22 pm
My 70 T/A is a detailed clone... originally a 72 318 Rally (no A/C).   Bought a new front 70 grille, bought a new rear tail light panel, etc;,  side marker lights (sectioned out from junk yard car and welded in... had a 70 next to it in the shop).    i did this back in 1977-78... only for SCCA racing rules... today's rules are more lax.   I've progressively modified the car for more highly competitive SCCA AX/HSAX racing classes.   It's been worth it to me...  tons of compliments and extreme pride to actually appreciate and drive/race the car... have over 300 awards (mostly racing, some shows).    Despite its cleanliness, etc, its not a "show car"... its a very good looking race car (streetable  and raceable!).

Go for the swap... you won't regret it!
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: 70chall440 on September 12, 2017 - 01:55:28 pm
My 70 T/A is a detailed clone... originally a 72 318 Rally (no A/C).   Bought a new front 70 grille, bought a new rear tail light panel, etc;,  side marker lights (sectioned out from junk yard car and welded in... had a 70 next to it in the shop).    i did this back in 1977-78... only for SCCA racing rules... today's rules are more lax.   I've progressively modified the car for more highly competitive SCCA AX/HSAX racing classes.   It's been worth it to me...  tons of compliments and extreme pride to actually appreciate and drive/race the car... have over 300 awards (mostly racing, some shows).    Despite its cleanliness, etc, its not a "show car"... its a very good looking race car (streetable  and raceable!).

Go for the swap... you won't regret it!

Awesome car
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: AARuFAST on September 12, 2017 - 06:24:51 pm
Google 1973 Challengers and view all of the pics.
Lot of nice rides,
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Mpdlawdog on September 13, 2017 - 11:02:50 am
I did exactly this....I have a 72 340 4 speed rally car....I looked long and hard for a 4 speed car and as you know finding a 70 4 speed car for decent money is impossible....my car was a non matching number, no fender tag, no build sheet so I didnt feel bad changing mine over to a 70 ta clone...luckily my 72 was solid so I basically sold my 72 stuff (hood, fenders, grill, seats) and got the 70 stuff....I had the rear tail light panel put in as well as the side marker lights....After 4 years of never driving the car and working on it...if I had it to do all over again, I would have just rebuilt the engine and driven the car.....the 72's grew on me after I had already gone past the point of no return...or I would have found a "finished" 70 and swapped the 4 speed...would have been much more ahead that where I am now... :2cents:
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: crazyhawk on September 13, 2017 - 10:15:26 pm
Well, I think it's time to unload the most unloved, verbally lambasted car I've ever owned and move on to something that I can take to a car show without hearing constant negative comments.  Oh well, live and learn.  Bye bye 73 Challenger....
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: 340-FOUR- BARRELL on September 13, 2017 - 10:21:49 pm
It is kinda like taking sand to the beach.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 13, 2017 - 11:38:43 pm
Well, I think it's time to unload the most unloved, verbally lambasted car I've ever owned and move on to something that I can take to a car show without hearing constant negative comments.  Oh well, live and learn.  Bye bye 73 Challenger....

Hold on, do YOU like the car? Do YOU enjoy driving it? Do YOU really care what other people think, who most likely don't even own a classic car, say at a car show? It's YOUR car, enjoy it because YOU like it. I started this tread because I wanted to know what was needed to convert a '73 into a '70, not a popularity vote whether I should do it or not. At the end of the day, it's my car, my money, and I'll do what makes me happy. I politely suggest you consider doing the same. Life is too short to worry about what other people think about something you love.  :)
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Beekeeper on September 13, 2017 - 11:46:01 pm
Hold on, do YOU like the car? Do YOU enjoy driving it? Do YOU really care what other people think, who most likely don't even own a classic car, say at a car show? It's YOUR car, enjoy it because YOU like it. I started this tread because I wanted to know what was needed to convert a '73 into a '70, not a popularity vote whether I should do it or not. At the end of the day, it's my car, my money, and I'll do what makes me happy. I politely suggest you consider doing the same. Life is too short to worry about what other people think about something you love.  :)

In a way, I kind of envy you on this. Almost every car I've owned has been numbers matching cars with more potential collector value if kept in its original configuration. What happens is I find myself agonizing over wanting to do one thing but in the end unable to deviate from stock. You are free of those issues so you can build it exactly how you envision it without losing sleep because you cut up a priceless car. Run with it and have fun.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: 70chall440 on September 14, 2017 - 02:55:18 pm
Absolutely agree with the latest comment; these cars are just that "cars" and are meant to be enjoyed. I can't say I have never owned any "numbers matching" cars but that never stopped me from making them into what I wanted them to be and never will. Sure it is much easier with a non matching low option base car, but as stated, YOUR car, YOUR money, etc. Supposed "collectors" are what ruined this hobby on the one hand in that they drove the prices through the roof and made every E body supposedly worth big money. I would be remiss however if I did not acknowledge the fact that because of just this, the after market rose up and now makes many parts that were very hard to get if not impossible.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, look forward to seeing the work.
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Flatdad on September 15, 2017 - 02:27:18 pm
I pursued converting a '73 to a '71 and while gathering the parts together, two things happened: I started liking the 72-74 styling, and I came to realize even if the swap was done, I'd always want the "real" thing.

Long story short, the '73 got sold (still regret it), and I bought a '71 project.

If you are ever in the northeast Indiana area, I still have all my conversion parts if you still want to convert yours.

'71 steel tail panel
'71 tail panel bezels+challenger emblem (broke in middle)
'71 taillight housings
'71 taillights
70-71 quarter skins (I need full quarters for my project)
70-71 rear bumper brackets
'71 parts grill (isn't very nice)
'71 steel panel that goes above the grill and ties the fenders together

You would still need:
'71 headlight bezels
70-71 front fenders
70-71 side marker housings+lenses
70-71 front bumper brackets
+any of the other junk I don't know about

If I were in your shoes, start with changing all the bumper brackets to tuck them in like a '72 car, the styling might start growing on ya, good luck with the project!
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: DrEamer on September 18, 2017 - 01:23:27 am
I pursued converting a '73 to a '71 and while gathering the parts together, two things happened: I started liking the 72-74 styling, and I came to realize even if the swap was done, I'd always want the "real" thing.

Long story short, the '73 got sold (still regret it), and I bought a '71 project.

If you are ever in the northeast Indiana area, I still have all my conversion parts if you still want to convert yours.

'71 steel tail panel
'71 tail panel bezels+challenger emblem (broke in middle)
'71 taillight housings
'71 taillights
70-71 quarter skins (I need full quarters for my project)
70-71 rear bumper brackets
'71 parts grill (isn't very nice)
'71 steel panel that goes above the grill and ties the fenders together

You would still need:
'71 headlight bezels
70-71 front fenders
70-71 side marker housings+lenses
70-71 front bumper brackets
+any of the other junk I don't know about

If I were in your shoes, start with changing all the bumper brackets to tuck them in like a '72 car, the styling might start growing on ya, good luck with the project!

Thank you for the kind offer, but from Oregon, I don't think I am going to make it your way anytime soon.  :grinno:

Anyway, I went up today to pick up the rest of the parts for the '73. After a short inventory, it looks like the the main front part that holds the grill and headlights is missing. Also, the front lower valance is fairly rough. After looking at a few major suppliers, there does not seem to be anyone that carries the 72-74 front end piece. I did get a new 70-71 repop  fender as part of the deal. With that, I guess I have the first part of the conversion. Whether I like it or not, it appears the aftermarket seems to cater to the 1970. In my case it is okay, but it surprises me that the other years are not covered better. One last thing, once again, I have had a 1972 and loved that car, but I still just like the 70 better.   
Title: Re: Converting 1973 Challenger to 70-71?
Post by: Beekeeper on September 18, 2017 - 10:25:38 am
So this is a bit of a trip for you but might be worth considering...in Southern California, there is a huge Mopar show every April (Soring Fling) and every October (Fall Fling). They have a huge swap meet at both events. You can probably find a lot of the items you need at bargain prices. I always see big sheet metal items for our cars. Every show, I come home with tons of cool finds. It's like Christmas. People are really cool there too.

Another advantage is the car show itself. You could examine dozens of Challengers and take reference photos of the things you need to aid you in your build. Seeing how things fit together up close can sometimes be way more helpful than a few photos. You might even find one that was converted to a 70, then you get the benefit of talking with the owner to learn more about the small details.