Author Topic: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)  (Read 748 times)

Offline SlyGuy

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72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« on: May 02, 2018 - 01:32:14 pm »
Hey everyone,
I haven't posted in quite a while, and I am having major difficulty trying to do so today. I don't know what's up, but can't seem to get any posts to go through. So here we go for the third attempt. Anyway, the progress on my Challenger is painfully slow. When I last posted, I was asking for advise on metal protection. Thanks to all who responded at that time. I do have a much better understanding of epoxy primer, and the steps associated with all that. And I did find a local supplier who will help guide me if I ever get to that point. Most recently, my boys came over and helped clamp panels together on the rear of the car to see how things are lining up. We went ahead and tack welded the new frame rail sections. Hopefully that wasn't a mistake. I am also trying to decide if I want to use the old deck lid. The top looks pretty good, but the bottom not so much. I will try to attach a few pictures, but like I said, having major issues with this today. Oh well!




Offline 70chall440

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018 - 02:07:59 pm »
Welcome, glad you finally got through. First off, this isnt rocket science and thus not super difficult. The hardest part is the uncertainty of what to do and when to do it. I fully get that and all of us has gone through this at one point or another.

More to the point; you are on the right track, get everything put into place using clamps, clecos, tape, whatever so that you can see what goes where and fits however. Then you make small adjustments to get everything to fit as best as possible. Once you have that, then its time to weld everything in place. There are several ways to do this, some easier than others and one thing is certain, no matter how you do it you will end up believing you should have done it a different way. Point in case, some fit and weld the trunk floor in place (ensuring that the quarters are fitted to make sure it all fits), then move on to wheel houses, then the quarters (ensuing that the rear valance is fitted before welding the quarters).

As to your trunk lid, it might be able to be fixed however I would just buy a new repop one myself.
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 SlyGuy

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018 - 08:59:04 am »
Thanks for the input "70chall440". You absolutely nailed it when you said "the hardest part is the uncertainty of what to do and when to do it"! I have never done any of this before. I will have plenty of questions as I slowly move forward.

I agree with you about the trunk lid. I am leaning toward buying a new one, but not willing to pay the crazy shipping cost to my house. I do have a Jegs High Performance close to where I live. Think I will let them source one for me. 

Offline 'Cuda Hunter

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018 - 09:31:16 am »
Where are you located?   
Have you checked your local Craigs list or your local facebook selling group?

Great to see you working on the car.  Let's see some more!

 Pictures are always a bit of a pain here.  That's why your having issues.
posts without pictures are very easy here.  You might have to post a single picture for each post if it's too big and you don't want to resize it.

"All riches begin as a state of mind and you have complete control of your mind"  -- B. Lee

Offline 70chall440

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018 - 12:48:36 pm »
Even the most experienced member here was at the some point you are at one time. When I did my Cuda (still working on it), I had to do exactly what you are doing. I grew up building these cars and have been a die hard Mopar guy my entire life, but I never installed quarter panels, trunk floors, etc. Back in the day, I built drive trains and took my cars to a body guy when needed. So, I had to learn how to do exactly what you are doing and it took me a very long time to get confident to actually weld it up. Finally, what I did was (as I outlined), I got a pile of Clecos and clamps, I positioned everything and checked, rechecked, and checked again, then I began to slowly spot weld (only a few small spot welds in places where I could drill them out or cut them if need be), rechecked fitment, adjusted as necessary and continued on. Before long, everything was permanently attached and the car looked like a car again; huge feeling of satisfaction.

Here are some tips, you can definitely do this.

- get the trunk floor laid in (Clecos are invaluable here)
- install the trunk extensions (as in clamp/cleco them)
- hand the quarters and clamp them on
- clamp/cleco the quarters in the jambs, fenderwells, ducthman panel, taillight panel
- install (bolt or clamp) the rear valance
- install the trunk lid (you can use the one you have, you just need to confirm overall fitment between the quarters)

Start by looking for problem areas and see if you can determine why it is the way it is. Adjust if necessary. Understand that "adjust" may require cutting and welding. On my car, one quarter basically fell int place whereas the other I had to fight.

Dont be afraid to cut, bend, push, etc. Its just metal and it can be moved and repaired. These cars were not made to a high degree in the first place so don't expect miracles and you will have to accept some level of compromise.

Stand back frequently and see how the body lines look. slow and methodical is the key. Again on my car, I was having a problem getting the taillight panel to line up and I could not quite figure it out until I stood to one side and looked at the taillight panel and realized it wasn't straight, so I used my HF porta power to push it out and then it fit as it good as it could (notice I didn't say perfect or anything like that).

I have installed 2 truck floors (one in my Challenger and one in my Cuda); in both cases I had to trim off the bottom of the trunk extensions.

The real key here is to take your time and don't accept compromise until its as good as you are willing to accept. Also, understand that while body work (aka filler) can hide some sin, it is not the default and your car will only look as good as you make it. That said, there is a limit to how much time/effort you will be willing to put into it and there will come a time when its "as good as it going to get".

Not sure what your welding skill level is, but if you are not experienced at welding sheet metal, you should practice some in order to get the technique and settings right.

Lastly, post pictures of your work and progress here or better yet post what you are planning to do and the members here will chime in and give you some tips/tricks and techniques.

Again, this isn't really that hard it just takes some patience. Believe me when I say that when you are done you will be very impressed and happy with it as it is a major milestone to getting the car back on the road.
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 SlyGuy

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018 - 07:57:59 pm »
Hey Guy's, I'm located in Central Ohio. I did check Craigs List and ebay for the trunk lid, but didn't see any deals. I can live with the price from Jeg's or maybe Summit Racing as long as I can pick it up there, instead of paying an additional $170.00 for truck freight  :stomp:

You ('Cuda Hunter) were correct about the picture attachments being the root of my problem trying to post. Lesson learned :) I like the idea of posting pictures. I guess it will be pictures of problem areas for quite a while.

Thanks "70chall440" for the list of tips. They WILL be referenced as I move forward.

Two things that I do have going for me are my boys. My oldest is a welder by trade, and the younger one is a civil engineer. None of us have much experience working on cars, but they love trying, and are not afraid to try. They actually put their "skills" on display by starting a youtube channel. If you want a little comic relief, check out their channel. It's called "sly customs". They even did one short video the night we tack welded the rear frame rails on my Challenger. Disclaimer: If you do check it out, REMEMBER that I am just trying to put my Challenger back on the road. It is NOT a true restoration by any means.   

Offline 70chall440

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018 - 12:18:02 am »
One more tip for what its worth; When I began my Cuda I came up with a saying that at one point I have posted in my shop (got destroyed when a tornado hit a corner and removed part of the roof and then rained inside the shop), the say is this DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF THE PROJECT.... As most on this sight will tell you, it is very easy to sucked down a rabbit hole and then years later you are wondering why it isn't done (ask me how I know...  :bigsmile:). I developed a "build book" for my car which was designed to help plan the project, provide a list of needed/anticipated parts, allow you to comparison shop for the parts, and keep track of expenditures. I know many people don't want to know what they have in their cars, however I do but more importantly I want to know where I got the parts and what they cost then. I can tell you within several hundred dollars of how much I have in my Cuda (believe me it isn't inexpensive). The other aspect at least for me is I want to know what I have in it should I ever go to sell it or my kids want to sell it. You hear all the time "I have XXXX into this car" but in reality they don't really know; not that you will get it back but if I tell someone I have $50K into my car I can prove it. I have binders for every aspect of the car; one for engine/trans, one for electrical system, one for brakes and suspension, on for paint, body and interior, etc. Each of these binders contains information about the various aspects of the binder subject as well as the myriad of instruction sheets you get when building a car. I have found these binders invaluable along the way and use them virtually every time I work on the car. I have copied things off the web (to include this forum) and dropped it onto a Word document and printed it out and put it into the binder. Perhaps I am OCD or something but it has saved me a lot of time and energy looking for something.

If you are interested in the excel file, PM me with an email address and I will send you a copy.
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 73440

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018 - 10:18:32 am »
Nothing wrong with being organized.
I even forget that I forget so I take photos and write things down constantly whether at work or at home.

I also have a few of these project planning books from Stacy David that I use. https://staceydavid.com/store/books/
67 440
72 413 / 727
73 Barracuda w/ 68 440
65 Plymouth Fury III , I sold ,was my Nana's car till 92 yo.
51 Ford F1 239 Flathead, flipped , new cab , stolen
59 BelAir 283 4 door original patina
01 Chevy van 400,225 miles
06 Crown Vic Police Interceptor
75 HD Ironhead converted to RH shift
73 HD Ironhead
82 HD Ironhead
74 Norton 850
80 HD Shovelhead
80 Husqvarna WR 390

Offline SlyGuy

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018 - 08:29:26 am »
Hey "70chall440",
I "think" that I PM'd you my email address. I'm still learning to navigate the site, so not sure if I did it correctly? By the way, I found the thread showing the extent of your restoration, and wanted to say WOW! Very impressive. But also concerning as it looks like I need to find a way to start saving WAY MORE money  :22yikes:

Thanks to "73440" as well. I will also check out the Stacey David web site.

Offline 70chall440

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2018 - 01:49:19 pm »
Hey "70chall440",
I "think" that I PM'd you my email address. I'm still learning to navigate the site, so not sure if I did it correctly? By the way, I found the thread showing the extent of your restoration, and wanted to say WOW! Very impressive. But also concerning as it looks like I need to find a way to start saving WAY MORE money  :22yikes:

Thanks to "73440" as well. I will also check out the Stacey David web site.

I will look again but I am not sure I got you pm, try it again please. The money is directly relative to the results; you can certainly build a car for less money however it depends on what you expect the result to be. this is one of the biggest reasons "projects" are always for sale. People think they can throw a car together on the cheap and have a driver or sell it for more than they have in it. Rarely do you make a lot of money (or any) on old cars unless you fall into something that is really desirable. One thing is certain, if a shop is building a car they are going to make money that normally is far more than the car is worth. Bottom line is that you don't get into old cars to make money as a hobbyist, you do it for the passion.

There was a time when I thought that $30K to rebuild a car was outrageous, now I realize that is on the low end if you want it done correctly. I am not saying that building a car has to be super expensive but there is a "cause and effect" for everything; as an example, if you have a fender that the bottom is rusty, sure you can buy a patch panel and fix it costing you maybe $100 for the part and 4-8 hours of time or you can buy a new fender for $600. It is up to you to determine which is the best path based on your resources and skills. I have gotten to the point where in many instances more effective to purchase new parts than spend hours trying to fix something. Sure its more expensive the end result is usually far better. That said, it all depends on the person, the part and the cost of replacement.
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 SlyGuy

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2018 - 10:52:42 pm »
That's kind of why I was a little nervous sharing my project with the world. There will be a lot of things that are not done "correctly", but I've known from the beginning that this is not going to be a true restoration. I've had this car for 28 years, and it was a sagging, worn out rust bucket when I bought it. The end result I am going for is simply to make it look as good as I can, and be able to drive it. Don't plan on ever selling it. It will eventually be my son's problem  :roflsmiley:

We did make some progress recently, and I have a couple of questions for anyone who wants to chime in. First, the panel that attaches to the rear of the frame rails (behind the bumper). Why does it NOT have any holes in the middle to attach the rear valence panel bracket? Also, it DOES have four small threaded holes in a rectangular pattern close to the middle. What are those for?

Also, on a different issue. I purchased a pneumatic crimping tool that I thought was what I needed to prep the old metal for the new quarter skins. I ran it across the top, but it seems like it barely crimps the original metal. And the crimp is only a half inch wide. I'm afraid that such a small crimp will make it too difficult to fit and weld the new panel. How do you guys do this?

I'll try to attach a couple pictures of both the tail panel holes, and the wimpy crimping tool. One positive: We test fitted the deck lid, and it fit great! Happy day. 

Offline 70chall440

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018 - 11:50:27 am »
Slyguy - you have a few questions here, I will try and break them apart and provide my input. Prior to that, let me say that we are all humans and we all have different views and skills, however unless you are doing something that is dramatically wrong or dangerous, it doesn't matter and I think you will find some good feedback here. Should someone criticize you; well unless their name is on the title, they can pound sand...  :bigsmile:

1. there are differences between the various years of Challengers, some (70 and perhaps 71) did have 1 screw on each side that went into the panel you are talking about, however all of them used a bracket that held the rear valance outward to meet the lower quarter panel

2. the threaded holes should be for the rear valance brackets

3. the flange tool you bought can be used, you only need the thickness of the metal to be flanged (bent) so that when slide behind the host panel they line up.

4. there are many ways to connect panels/metal; flanging one of them is one method.
, another is butt welding the metal where you simply put one piece close to the other and weld them together (usually you leave a small gas to allow the weld to fill).
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 Mpdlawdog

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018 - 10:02:10 am »
I just saw this post!  Im from central ohio as well....listen to 70chall440:)  Im no expert but have always been around cars.  Ive never taken one apart like I did my challenger....its been a 5 year adventure but Im close to getting it back on the road...dont be afraid to ask questions or try things yourself!  Everyone on here is very helpful! mine was a 72 340 4 speed rally car but making a 70 ta clone out of it...If I can help let me know...

Offline jimynick

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018 - 10:46:17 pm »
Your little lower crossmember that goes between the rails also has 2 small (3" or so) end brackets that tie the X-member to the trunk extensions and you can put them in once you've finalized the trunk work to ensure a good fit. The flanger you've got will do the job, but it takes patience and a prolonged application and keep it moving so that it doesn't stretch one particular spot. The flange is supposed to be only 1/2" wide and the usual method is to figure where you want to make the seam, cut (if req'd) the new panel where you want to splice it and then scribe the old panel and cut it the 1/2" below your scribe line; see where this is going? Being careful not to over heat and stretch the old or new panels, grind the contact edges clean, position the new panel and check your gaps- twice! With the advent of new technology, you could also bond the new panel on and just tack weld the corners. OEM's do this all the time these days and they don't fall apart. Use a good, name brand bonding agent and follow it's instructions carefully and you may be surprised at the nice outcome. You can do this and having your boys to help only aids the solution. Good luck!  :cheers:

Offline SlyGuy

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Re: 72 Challenger (Bucket List Project)
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2018 - 07:55:31 am »
I have to admit that I bought the "least expensive" pneumatic flanging tool available. I had never used one before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It just didn't seem like it was bending the metal enough. I tried to adjust it, but made it worse. I won't name the company I bought it from, because I should have just exchanged it. I think it was just bad luck that I got one that was defective. Anyway, I went ahead and bought the "second least expensive" one I could find, and it worked great. Got it from Eastwood. We got both quarters cut and fitted this past Saturday. Great Day!

I have heard about the panel bond idea before, but haven't discussed it yet with my boys. Will have to decide soon. I do have the little extensions that go on the ends of the rear X member to trunk extensions. We're good there thanks.

We are starting to think about engine and transmission options, which is pretty exciting to think about after all these years. I'll probably have a lot of questions about that, as well as suspension and brakes.

Hey Mpdlawdog, I am close to Lancaster OH. Is that anywhere near you?