Author Topic: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions  (Read 6217 times)

Offline Prime72

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New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« on: September 29, 2012 - 02:25:50 pm »
Hello All,

I want to first say that this site has already been awesome in helping me decide what I want to do to my new challenger and its amazing how much effort people put into making such a good community. Thank you in advance for reading and/or answering my questions!

Some background: I'm a 20 year old college student currently working full time and going to school full time, it's been tough but worth it, but that means that I don't have as much time as I'd like to work on the car.  I bought it primarily because I love/grew up around muscle cars (never thought I could own a dream car so soon!) and secondly to have something positive to put my money towards instead of the usual partying and whatnot that goes on. I'm hoping for it to become my DD though maybe by this summer or sooner :woohoo: but I know how that goes...

I bought the challenger a few days ago for 4k. Very little rust, has a good body for the most part, but she needs an engine, exhaust, driveshaft, probably brake work, and the interior is pretty rough.  The car has a rebuilt, what I'm assuming is 904 or SB 727 (those exist right?), and I'm also going to be getting a 440 and BB 727 (both need a rebuild) and other parts like bumpers that are included in the purchase price in a couple days.

I'll post the VIN up or search it myself and post the results when I get home :naughty:

I plan on selling/trading the BB stuff for a rebuilt 360 (or most likely just the bottom end of one). Couple questions:

1. A 360 long block will fit fine with 318 motor mounts and all of that right?

2. I found a 97-01 360, that should be ok as far as not needing a computer and stuff if I carb it?

3. Would you guys recommend just getting a painless wiring harness?

4. There's a switch on the outside of my trunk that I can tell was for a battery, I think it's for racing regulations but what is it exactly? Should I also mount my battery back there?

5. There's another foot switch under the E brake, is that just to realease it or is it something else for racing?

6. Any recommendations for a good replacement radiator?

7. I'll be doing the exhaust myself, probably side exit true dual off the headers (no muffler for a while, maybe glasspacks), pros/cons of that idea?

8. Would like to add power steering and power brakes, is this difficult?

My first car was an 87 Iroc, I replaced the 305 with a 350 in that among many other things so I have some decent mechanical ability, but I'm definitley still a newbie and even more so with Dodges. Driving a lifted navajo turqoise (blue/green) 94 Cherokee around Salt Lake City right now in case you see me! Not that they're rare or anything haha. I'm also far away from home so my tool selection is pretty limited, but I'll be slowly gathering tools from pawnshops/classifieds.

The vision: Primer gray and blacked out grille will be the theme for a while, paint is my last concern. Some sweet polished or black C6-like rims (definitely not final decision though). A reliable well handling daily driver, but as cheap as possible (reliable > cheap > fast). Paying for eveything on the car myself, I'm lucky enough to have school/rent partially covered.

All opinions/comments are welcome! Thanks for reading  :2thumbs:

Mods, let me know if this is an appropriate way to post pictures.























« Last Edit: September 30, 2012 - 03:41:39 am by Prime72 »




Offline Moparal

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012 - 05:14:54 pm »
Hey Youngster  :wave:   The head light dimmer switch is on the floor pan

You will have issues with installing the newer model small block

Auto zone sells a radiator

Battery disconnect switch in the trunk for track rules maybe.

Wonder how your wiring is up under the dash   (race car)
Car has power steering on it in the picture

If funds are slow for school and work, find an old running car from the 70's that's all rusted and beat up and consider the drive train out of it.

You can get a 318 drive train almost given to you to get all the bugs worked out for under 5 or 600. Then as you get things dialed in, you can be the master mechanic and start building up your combo.

No RT in 72   JS or jh vin code will show on the dash  does it have a fender tag or a build sheet under the back seat? 

Offline Prime72

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012 - 05:38:49 pm »
Thanks for the response! I thought I mighta been too long winded haha  :blah:

And thanks again for all of the answers to the little things, kinda ebarrassed to not know some of what you said, but I haven't spent that much time around a first gen challenger besides seeing them at car shows so everything's pretty new to me  :dunno:

As far as the radiator: 2 core, single core? I don't know what OEM was or if an upgrade is worth it.

The harness is already ripped out, but I'll have to get a better look under the dash. The radio's gone but AC controls are still there. Would be sweet to have working guages but idk how ralistic that is.

Thanks a lot for the heads up on the new block, that would have been extremely dissappointing haha  :worshippy

That trans in the picture was supposedly rebuilt so I should just have to find a running 318/340/360 and I'll be set.

I'm still not home yet, but I'll get the VIN posted in a couple hours. I will have the back seats from it this Tuesday and I'll have to look for the fender tag tonight too.

Offline Moparal

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012 - 05:51:00 pm »
26 in radiator came in it. 2 row.  If the trans is good, you will need to know if 904 or 727 for a converter, then cast crank or steels for balance on the converter.  I see no fender tag in the pics..  I see a yellow passenger door and red grill.  You may want to see what rear end and gears are in it. You have a lot of work going on there. But a good place to start.

BE SURE TO ASK QUESTIONS ON EVERYTHING YOU INTEND TO DO.  May save you a headache and dollars in the long run. If you were local, I could give you an 87 dodge 318 truck engine that just needed new gasket sealing. It ran good. And a 4bbl aluminum intake.

Offline Prime72

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012 - 06:07:01 pm »
I can't thank you enough, I know some of the info could be found through search but having it all in one place is really helpful.

What will tell me if it is a 904 or 727 trans?

It did also come with a converter, so I'm assuming that's good because it was left in the car rather than thrown out, any way to tell if it is for sure though?

Where would a fender tag typically be? I'm pretty sure the red grill was done by the PO, but it does have a red/black interior and console.

And finally, do I have to take off the cover on the rear end and count the teeth to see what gears are in it?

I am very appreciative of the consideration, Salt Lake has a decent car scene so I should be able to find a running engine fairly quickly  :woo:

Offline Chryco Psycho

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012 - 01:00:18 pm »
 Welcome  :wave:
The trans will have a square pan if it is a 904 & it will have a lump outward  in the front corner if it is a 727 . the 360 is a basic bolt in but so is the 440 , the trans in the car will bolt to a 360 But you need a balanced converter for the 360 engine . The 360 does require a different left mount from the 318 if you have mounts at all with the car , you can get mounts fro Schumaker if needed . You will need a of the serpentine front end pullies etc  with the 97 up engine & you need a special intake for the Magnum heads for use with a carb , the regular LA intakes will not bolt on  . You may want to consider the 440 !!
 If the under dash wire harness is still there , just order under hood harnesses & plug them in , it looks like the underdash harness is still in the car as the bolts for the bulkhead plug are visible . keep in mind Painless is a name not the way it works , expect 4 days of just wiring to install a painless system , all of the plugs , light sockets etc have to soldered on & have to be the correct length , not as easy as it sounds !!
 The battery can be mounted back int he trunk or under hood , the switch is a battery kill , required for racing .
 You may want to buy an alum rad , 1 member on the site sells I think Champion brand that bolt in either way too much cooling is better than too little so 2 row minimum & 3 row is better .
 For power brakes I really like the hydro boost system , it runs off the power steering pump it doesn't require vacuum & has far better feel that I really like .
 The fender tag should be on the top of the left inner fender under the hood .
 You can buy repro AAR or T/A side exhaust parts so you may want to look at that , the muffler sound has to make you happy .
 There is no way to tell if a converter is good , if you try it it can have a bunch of debris from the trans in it & distroy a new trans I generally recommend new with the stall speed you need to match the engine .

Challenger - You`ll wish You Hadn`t

Offline Super Blue 72

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012 - 01:53:50 pm »
Hi Prime72, welcome!  :wave:

Alan and Neil have given you some great advice.

I agree, since funds are tight, maybe yank an engine/tranny from a running car.  Thank way at least you can drive it and move it around the yard, etc.  Also, you'll be able to see what condition the engine is like before pulling it.

Any idea if what was previously in the car a big block or small block?  Since you don't have a radiator in and the wiring needs to be redone it doesn't make a difference I guess.

The switch under the E-brake might be the highbeam switch.

Alan is correct to say there were no R/Ts for '72 but if your VIN starts with a JS, you have a Challenger Rallye, JH is base model.  5th digit if it was a G=318, H=340.  Small possibility there could have been a 6 cylinder for '72.  Most likely you had the base Challenger as you have the base model gauges as the Rallye cars came with the rallye gauges, if the dash is still factory.

Feel free to ask lots of questions!  :thumbsup:
1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye 340, AT, Code TB3=Super Blue, SBD=8/17/1971.  Yes, a Rallye without the fender louvers from the factory because of the body side molding option.

Pic #2 and 3 of my ARII 1/24 scale model car 

Phil in New England-Massachusetts  Always thank God for what you have!

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/456046/1972-dodge-challenger

Offline Chlngrcrzy

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2012 - 10:46:23 pm »
Welcome to the site. Looks like you have a nice project there. I get to the SLC area once in awhile. you should be able to find just about everything you need there or some of the more popular internet sites for parts. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress or if you have any more questions.    :2thumbs:

Offline Prime72

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013 - 01:01:38 pm »
Hi all,

I'm sorry it has been so long since I've last posted. Work and school have been keeping me quite busy. I have been making progress on the chally though. I hoping to drop the engine in next weekend, I just have a few questions.

The motor mounts I bought seem cheaply made but it was all that they had, the nuts are barely welded on there, is that ok? Besides that, the bolt that threads into the mount is not nearly wide enough so there is quite a bit of play on the K member bracket. I have the old mounts and they are a different style with just a nut from the bottom to hold them although it does seem hard, but not impossible to get a nut on the underside of the bracket. Which is best?

The trans is hanging by a strap and one support near the back side of it.  Is this the only support for the trans or is there a forward one too that I'm missing? Also, is it recommended to install the trans and motor as one piece?

Thank you, your help is greatly appreciated. I can't wait to hear this thing run!  :burnout:

Progress/reference pics:






73 Charger donor car, pulled the power steering pump, throttle linkage, rad, shroud, and a few other things. It's got true dual I was thinkin about grabbing too.












A quick mock up

Offline Moparal

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013 - 07:59:22 pm »
The rear of the trans is a trans crossmemmber with a transmission mount installed on the tranny.  This is the only mount, the bellhousing hooked to the engine is your front support. The hole in the K member is bigger, you will be glad it is to. The nuts on your mount itself looks to be poorly welded, but are known to be that way, usually 2 weld spots. The passenger mount on your engine, on the stand, looks like a truck mount.

Offline Prime72

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013 - 08:11:05 pm »
Thank you for the reply, I don't know what I'd do without your guys' help. I'm glad I'm not missing a crossmember and that the play in the engine mount will be ok. But wow great catch, the engine did come from a 72 truck. Will those brackets not line up properly with the k member?

Also, I picked up my flexplate today but I haven't been able to figure out exactly how it all goes together between the block and the trans. Do I bolt the plate to the crank, then line up the TC in the trans, then push them together and bolt the plate to the TC, then the trans to the block?

Thank you

Offline Moparal

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013 - 09:39:24 pm »
Thank you for the reply, I don't know what I'd do without your guys' help. I'm glad I'm not missing a crossmember and that the play in the engine mount will be ok. But wow great catch, the engine did come from a 72 truck. Will those brackets not line up properly with the k member?

Also, I picked up my flexplate today but I haven't been able to figure out exactly how it all goes together between the block and the trans. Do I bolt the plate to the crank, then line up the TC in the trans, then push them together and bolt the plate to the TC, then the trans to the block?

Thank you

Those brackets will not work in an e body. you need the correct engine mounts. 67-72 b body or 70-74 e body also a few others, but truck,...no   The flex plate bolts are tq'd to the crankshaft at 90 ft lbs. It will seem you are putting it on backwards, but the buldge will be out and the outer bolt holes will be close to the block. If you put it on backwards, you will break something . once the trans is bolted to the block, the tq converter will pull up to the 4 bolt holes. It only bolts on 1 way and 1 way only. Or all 4 bolts will not install. you may want to test fit it first, then paint a mark on 1 bolt hole and vert to know where it,s at.  Also, since it is your first time, you should consider a manual. When parts break or installed wrong, it can get costly.  You need to know and understand what internal and external balancing is. The tq verter and balancer has to be right, or you will be posting about a vibration next. The little issues you don't  know, will kick your butt.

Offline jimynick

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2013 - 01:03:06 am »
Welcome to the site. Good luck with your Challenger! Not sure about the red fan though... ;)   :wave:

Offline Prime72

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013 - 10:40:41 am »
Those brackets will not work in an e body. you need the correct engine mounts. 67-72 b body or 70-74 e body also a few others, but truck,...no   The flex plate bolts are tq'd to the crankshaft at 90 ft lbs. It will seem you are putting it on backwards, but the buldge will be out and the outer bolt holes will be close to the block. If you put it on backwards, you will break something . once the trans is bolted to the block, the tq converter will pull up to the 4 bolt holes. It only bolts on 1 way and 1 way only. Or all 4 bolts will not install. you may want to test fit it first, then paint a mark on 1 bolt hole and vert to know where it,s at.  Also, since it is your first time, you should consider a manual. When parts break or installed wrong, it can get costly.  You need to know and understand what internal and external balancing is. The tq verter and balancer has to be right, or you will be posting about a vibration next. The little issues you don't  know, will kick your butt.

Ok thanks, that just saved me a lot of trouble. I'll get to looking for some different mount brackets. And good explanation of the plate and TC, makes sense to me. I thought that the 4 bolt holes all looked square with each other but you're right, I even thought for a second that it wasn't gonna line up at all, but it did end up lining up perfectly.

Now that you've mentioned balancing, does the harmonic balancer need to be in any particular position when I put the trans and motor together? And the truck that the engine came from was a manual, are the balancers different for an auto?

Any particular book manual especially recommended?

Welcome to the site. Good luck with your Challenger! Not sure about the red fan though... ;)   :wave:

Yeah haha, the PO gave me like 5 cans of red paint so I figured I'd use it and the fan won't show too much anyways.  The grille is gonna be flat black, not red like it is in the pic from the PO so I thought a little red poking through, if any, could be cool.

Offline Prime72

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Re: New 72 Challenger Owner - Prime72 - Few Questions
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2013 - 11:02:01 am »
And here's my VIN number that I had talked about posting: JH23G2B264833

Turns out its nothing too special but that doesn't bother me at all. Probably better that way as I don't have to worry about keeping things stock  :ylsuper: