Author Topic: Saving a 4 speed JH car  (Read 12005 times)

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2016 - 11:59:03 pm »
So here are the transmission crossmember repairs I finished more than a week ago. Turns out there was no rust where it was spot welded to the rocker panel but it had huge holes around the area where the frame rail attached. Another surprise was that the frame rail was in great shape right down to the tabs that fold over and weld to the crossmember.

Started by cutting all the bad out, then welded in a bottom plate. Though it wasn't needed, I added another plate inside over the top of my weld seam for added rigidity and sealed it in good. Once the bottom was good and the front frame rail solidly attached, I then worked on the front side where it meets the frame rail. used cardboard for a pattern, then cut out my new piece with the plasma cutter. Once that was good, finished up with the back. the inside welds were left a little rough since they are not seen but the outside areas are nice and smooth so no one should ever see the repair.

I even painted in a little rust sealer paint on the inside of the crossmember and front rail where I could reach. Figured it doesn't hurt to add a little extra rust protection and no one will ever see it once the floor pan is welded in.








Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2016 - 12:11:38 am »
By the way, if anyone has ratty right hand front bumper brackets for sale, please PM me. I don't care if they are rusty, just not bent or twisted. I can fix the rust. I already repaired the left hand side brackets and they look great but the right side was twisted pretty good. All I find on eBay are full sets. I'll buy new repos if needed but trying to keep the project well within budget. I'll post something in "parts wanted" soon but thought I'd just toss it out here first.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2016 - 06:57:23 pm »
Finally received the bond/sealer I was waiting for. Right hand front floor patch is bonded in. Just need to butt weld all edges and smooth out.

Also finished disassembling the original 383 engine. I was able to verify it had never been apart but it's tired and needs a rebuild. Dropped everything off at the machine shop to get hot tanked and measured up for new parts. Time to start considering which cam I want to go with! Figuring I might go with something a bit hotter to make the 4 speed more fun.



Offline usraptr

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2016 - 11:56:04 pm »
Nice job on all that rust repair.  You definitely have more guts/ambition than me.  As far as cam choices go I'd give the Lunati Vodoo cams a hard look.  Just installed one in my 512 stroker and it sounds wicked.
1970 Plymouth 'Cuda.  Matching numbers 440 U Code, 4 speed pistol grip, Rallye dash, AM 8 Track, Shaker hood, 15 inch rallye wheels, Dana 60 4.10, Super Track Pak.  One of 134 - 440 "U" coupes codes built in 1970 and one of 100 - 440 Super Track Paks built in 1970.

Restoration pictures at:  http://spanks4thememory.smugmug.com/Cars/70-Cuda/7240639_M24oi#465274575_2MBqW
(Edited 8-1-17)

"usraptr" = United States raptor - bird of prey = United States Bald Eagle.  FYI, somebody else thought of it first so I had to drop the "O" in raptor.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2016 - 11:17:37 am »
Nice job on all that rust repair.  You definitely have more guts/ambition than me.  As far as cam choices go I'd give the Lunati Vodoo cams a hard look.  Just installed one in my 512 stroker and it sounds wicked.

Thanks. I started looking at them last night and liked what I saw. Once I narrow it down, I'll have to get my friend at the machine shop to help me make the final decision. I'm terrible at it. Always seem to pick one too mild or too hot.

As far as the guts and ambition part, you are being to modest! I have been looking over your Cuda pics and the work is amazing. At some point, I'll be fixing the back end of this car like you did on yours and I'm a little nervous about it. I'll be going to your photos at that point for reference and reassurance.

Offline Challenger in NC

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2016 - 11:47:36 am »
That's some serious metalwork, great job.

Offline jimynick

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2016 - 10:40:59 pm »
Regarding your question about if the a/m frt inr apron supports would affect the value- yes, they will, because the guys who paint daub/chalk mark restore and buy/invest in these cars live and die by them. Having said that and seeing as how mine is only a lowly 74, I used the US Carparts reinforcement kit and also installed their torque box plates, as well as subframe connectors and I'm happy as a clam with the way they stiffened up the old crate. If you're going to actually drive your car and aren't in it just to flip it, I'd seriously consider it, but then, that's just my  :2cents:   :cheers:

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2016 - 12:13:47 am »
Regarding your question about if the a/m frt inr apron supports would affect the value- yes, they will, because the guys who paint daub/chalk mark restore and buy/invest in these cars live and die by them. Having said that and seeing as how mine is only a lowly 74, I used the US Carparts reinforcement kit and also installed their torque box plates, as well as subframe connectors and I'm happy as a clam with the way they stiffened up the old crate. If you're going to actually drive your car and aren't in it just to flip it, I'd seriously consider it, but then, that's just my  :2cents:   :cheers:

I appreciate the opinion. The more I work on this car, the more I consider keeping it and flipping the RT. I have been really putting the extra care and attention in the details of this car with the thought that I might keep it. If I do keep it, I want to try the subframe connectors. It's a cool car. I kinda like non RT sleeper look. When I go to the Mopar shows, I see lots of RTs and TAs but not too many flat hood cars. Those that you do see are not big block four speed cars. And then there's the color combo...Lots of Challengers in high impact colors with black or white interiors but not so many burnt orange in and out. Not saying it's the hot combo everyone wants but I like it a lot and that matters most.

I'd never put the subframe connectors in my RT because I know collectors get really weird about doing that sort of thing to a numbers matching car. I need to stop picking up numbers matching cars so I can feel good about modifications. Haha

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2016 - 11:12:50 pm »
Finally got the first floor patch welded in. Welds smoothed out but could use a little more attention. Next up, the side cowl patch.





Offline jimynick

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2016 - 02:02:03 am »
You may need to get the inner half of that hinge pillar as well. It's a PITA to try to change one piece only and, as mentioned, don't be surprised to find more rot once you try to change that panel. Trying to get the panel inside the other half and under the A pillar at the same time isn't much fun, but give it a go and see where you are. We welded mine together before installing them, for what it's worth.  :cheers:

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2016 - 10:06:36 am »
Once, I got the dash out, I was able to crawl around and see into all the hidden areas. So there was one small hole ar the bottom edge of the windshield which was the source of water. There is rust in the hinge pillar area but not so heavy that there appears to be weakening. When I rap on it with a tool, it seems really solid compared to the other eggshell areas I cut out on the firewall. The weakened area I did find was along the front edge of the side piece where it meets the lower cowl. I was thinking of cutting the side piece back to about an inch of where it attaches to the hinge pillar piece and graft on the new metal you see in the pic.

As far as other rust areas, My plan was to buy a portable blaster and clean all the little nooks and crannies that I can't reach otherwise. I considered opening up the hinge pillar but you're right that it looks like a big challenge to get all the new pieces installed correctly after that. What do you think? Am I gonna regret this option? Always good to hear from someone who has been there.

Offline JH27N0B

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2016 - 07:52:38 pm »
I applaud you for working to save an unusual and very cool Challenger from the ravages of the tin worm!
I have a N code JH car also, my convertible.  And it is the same color too!  When I was looking for a convertible 20 years ago, I wanted a solid turn key quality 318 car I could dress up with a twin scoop hood and rally or magnum 500 wheels for a nice local driver.
I was having trouble finding a good car, but a guy with a 383 car answered a wanted ad I had placed.  It was more than I wanted to spend, and after I decided to buy the car despite it being over my budget, I still planned to get a "raisin bran" hood for it some day when my finances recovered.  But I never did that, and I'm glad I didn't as I really like having a Challenger that is different than the rest of the R/Ts and clones at local shows and cruises.
Mine is an automatic and if I could change one thing about it, I would probably have it a 4 speed instead. 4 speed JH23N and JH27N cars are rare indeed.
Good luck with the restoration!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016 - 07:54:36 pm by JH27N0B »

Offline 70chall440

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2016 - 08:00:36 pm »
I think this car is awesome. In my early Mopar days, a friend had a 74 360 4spd Rallye (yellow) which I have always loved. I had a 74 like yours (but AT) that I eventually put a 440 6 pack in and painted Hemi Orange (was green with a white vinyl top and interior).

I am about as anti resto as they come, but bringing the back to life in whatever form is awesome

Great work.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6, 73 Cuda (under const)
05 Durango, 99 Dakota, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR, 61 Jeep FC170
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2016 - 12:22:46 am »
I applaud you for working to save an unusual and very cool Challenger from the ravages of the tin worm!
I have a N code JH car also, my convertible.  And it is the same color too!  When I was looking for a convertible 20 years ago, I wanted a solid turn key quality 318 car I could dress up with a twin scoop hood and rally or magnum 500 wheels for a nice local driver.
I was having trouble finding a good car, but a guy with a 383 car answered a wanted ad I had placed.  It was more than I wanted to spend, and after I decided to buy the car despite it being over my budget, I still planned to get a "raisin bran" hood for it some day when my finances recovered.  But I never did that, and I'm glad I didn't as I really like having a Challenger that is different than the rest of the R/Ts and clones at local shows and cruises.
Mine is an automatic and if I could change one thing about it, I would probably have it a 4 speed instead. 4 speed JH23N and JH27N cars are rare indeed.
Good luck with the restoration!
Yeah, it would be a shame to turn this car into a clone. I'm keeping it like it is. They put the N code 383 engine into a lot of RTs but only a handful of flat hood cars. Love your convertible by the way!

I think this car is awesome. In my early Mopar days, a friend had a 74 360 4spd Rallye (yellow) which I have always loved. I had a 74 like yours (but AT) that I eventually put a 440 6 pack in and painted Hemi Orange (was green with a white vinyl top and interior).

I am about as anti resto as they come, but bringing the back to life in whatever form is awesome

Great work.

Thanks! Did a little metal work for a friend but this is way more than his car needed. I try not to look at the other areas and just focus only on the area I'm working on so I don't feel like I'm in over my head. Haha

Offline 70chall440

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2016 - 02:57:26 pm »
Just stay at it, one thing at a time. I have a personal motto; "Never lose sight of the project". This helps me from straying too far one way or another or going down "rabbit holes" that only delay the outcome.
Current Mopar
70 Challenger RT 440-6, 73 Cuda (under const)
05 Durango, 99 Dakota, 01 Ram 4x4, 14 2500 4X4, 10 PCP Challenger RT, 01 Viper GTS ACR, 52 B3B w/330 Desoto Hemi, 70 Hemi RR, 61 Jeep FC170
Past Mopars
9 x Challengers. AAR Cuda, 4 RR, 2 GTX, 4 Chargers, etc... (too many to list)