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Smitty's C Performance 1968-1971 Chrysler

68 to 71 Chrysler Ignition Systems

Is the OEM ignition system from Chrysler has good as MSD and other ignition system sold today?

Larry-

Will conversion to electronic ignition buy you anything? If you are talking pure performance, nothing whatsoever. The rule of thumb: if there is no misfiring now, you can swap to an ‘arc welder’ ignition system and gain nothing.

The gains from breakerless systems are mostly related to maintenance reduction (down to near zero) and timing accuracy and consistency. Breaker point systems start deteriorating from day one.

The ’72-up Chrysler EM electronic systems were good, although the mag trigger design was not quite as consistent, or as good in low temperatures, as later Hall-effect triggers.

Rick

about 10 hours ago
Rooker Racing Performance 1957-1974 Chrysler

8 3/4 hog head

Rick,
I have an 8 3/4 rear end with the 742 casting. I am wondering what is involved in changing to the bigger one. I think it’s a 784? Do I need to change the axles, u-joint, gear carrier? I want to run a LSD differential but don’t know what kind of modifications if any that I would need to make. If it’s just swap out the hog head and everything is interchangeable that would be great. What am I looking at with this swap?

Michael-

The “742” IS the big one!

You can just change the diff in your current pig to any style LSD you wish: Clutch-type (drag racer’s favorite), Cone-type (constant bias, great for snow/ice), or a TrueTrac TorSen (all gears, no friction materials, smooth as silk).

Or change the entire pig to one that already has LSD. All that’s required is re-setting the wheel bearing endplay.

There are two sized of companion flanges (yokes): Small (7260) and larger (7290). Swapping yoke is easy, there are also “crossover” (conversion) U-joints.

Rick

7 days ago
All My Children General 1968-1968 Dodge

1968 Charger Paint

What was the 1968 Dodge Charger color 66-1 G? My understanding is that it was called something like Poly Green Metallic and it is somewhat rare? Thanks!

Rick-

I wouldn’t say 66-1 was rare, it was simply a mid-year (spring) intro’d color – Dark Green metallic, which most people called “British Racing Green” (a similar hue was common on British sports cars).. It was quite popular.

Rick

10 days ago
Loco auto General 1970-1970 Dodge - Challenger

Hemi convertible challenger

Hello, I’m trying to get some history on a car that a co worker owned in the early 70’s

Cliff-

All that hemp has probably been smoked by now, just ashes left… ;→

Other than online registries, the only way is legwork, especially since state’s DMV privacy laws have all been tightened up.

I’d start by a simple Google search of the VIN or description. Failing those avenues, he’ll have to contact the guy he sold it to, and keep following the leads provided.

No magic, sorry.

Rick

10 days ago
Bonitas Best General 1955-1955 Chrysler

1955 Chrysler Windsor Nassau

I just purchased a 1955 Chrysler Windsor Nassau and according to the second whom I purchased it from he indicated that the “gold” interior trim package was an option from the factory. I haven’t been able to find any other cars like it. Was this an option or was it done after market?

Ryan-

My interior documentation / paperwork don’t go back quite this far. Suggest buying a sales brochure.

From a (very clouded) memory — I think it is legit.

Rick

12 days ago
Four Daughters Restoration 1967-1969 Plymouth - Barracuda

69 Barracuda

just bought a numbers matching 69 cuda convertible with a 340 automatic on the column no console. trying to identify if it is a formula S. do you know how I would find a build sheet to determine the proper options? I am considering adding factory a/c but didn’t know if it would hurt the value or correctness for the vehicle or how to find a factory system.
Appreciate any help you could provide.

Scott-

Broadcast sheets are where you find them: Under a seat, under carpet, taped to the top of the glove box, etc. Not there? You’re dead.

Data plate (fender tag) shows many options also. You’re looking for code A53.

A/C installation (OEM parts from a car being parted out) requires a firewall swap. Yes, if the car is not already resto-modded, any change reduces value. Source for this swap is used only.

Rick

18 days ago
Sixpak Garage General 1972-1980 Plymouth

1972 to 1978 mopar side marker lights

When did Mopar stop using the argent silver backing on the back of the 1972 and up Plymouth and Dodge side marker lights ? I know the rear marker lights also had a foam gasket in addition to the argent plastic. I’ve never seen a part number for the silver backing. I have an original 1972 Plymouth Duster 340 that I had since new. I’ve just got done retorting it and wonder if there are new ones available.

Glen-

Your lotto number was just picked! See:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/221997229847

Rick

20 days ago
Rooker Racing Mechanical 1973-1978 Plymouth

Small block to Big block

Hi, I am wanting to replace the 360 in my 74 Roadrunner with a 440. I thought I needed the big block K-member or an adapter kit but have read on some forums that people just dropped the 440 in with no problems. I also read that some people did have problems with the engine not being properly aligned in the engine bay. What are my options? I am also replacing the 4 speed with a 727.

Thanks,
Michael

Michael-

This reply also applies to ANY ’73-81 B or R-body, LA to B or RB swap.

If you don’t replace the K, the engine will definitely be improperly located leading to a laundry-list of headaches.

Schumacher does offer conversion mounts that will correct this without replacing the K-member (see pix and www.engine-swaps.com).

Although you didn’t ask, a 4" crank in a 360 gives you a nice, compact 408" engine that bolts in and adds no mass! Otherwise, I’d sure upgrade the suspension and swap to 11.75" front rotors.

Again, free advice: Now’s the time to replace the rubber K isolators with solid aluminum from firmfeel.com (see second pix). HUGE handling and body rigidity improvement!

Rick

26 days ago
MCG Garage 828d00 General 1970-1972 Plymouth - Satellite

Pistol Grip wagon

About 25 years ago, you mentioned in Mopar Action that you had run across a strange Mopar in a junkyard and took the fender tag as a souvenir. It was a ’72 Satellite wagon with a 400 4-bbl and a factory Pistol Grip 4-speed. Any idea what became of the car?

TJ-

Yes, I remember that well! Pistol grip, 400, manual steering! It was rusted to the roof, and, while I don’t know for sure, I’d give you 50:1 odds that it is still driving around…as 3 or 4 Hyundais!

Rick

28 days ago
cuda 1970 General 1970-1974 Plymouth - Barracuda

1970 Barracuda 318 4 speed pistol grip

Hi Richard ,
I am planning to buy a 1970 Barracuda 318 4 speed and Sure Grip Axle from factory .
I know that it was only 945 318 4 speed built in 1970.

My question is : what kind of value you can see in a car like that ?
Is this car can be more valable than a 1970 Cuda 383 or 440 automatique ?

Thank you for your help.

Cyril

Classic-

In general, a ’Cuda is more highly prized than a base-model Barracuda. I can see few circumstances that would be an exception to this rule.

Possibly if the Barracuda were very highly optioned, hi-impact color, etc., it could approach a ’Cuda’s value.

As always, condition is key! Sure, if this car is an unrusted, low-mileage survivor, and the ’Cuda you are comparing it against is a rusted hulk, then, naturally, the base model wins. But apples to apples? No way.

Rick

29 days ago
Smitty's C General 1972-1978 Chrysler

400 engine machine work

This maybe a crazy question, but here’ goes: Will a rotating assembly kit for a 440 cu engine fit into a 400 and if so with what modification. I have all components from a 440 that was bored 0.030. Now, if this does not work then I may have to find a 440 block.

Larry-

There’s two facets to this:

> The 440 (RB, also 413 and 426 CID) has larger main bearings, and, therefore, larger main bearing bores in the block than B engines (350/361/383/400). To use a 440 crank in a 400 the block must be align bored to the 440 side. Some folks cut the crankshaft journals to 400 size, but that weakens it significantly.

> The RB has a taller deck height than a B. Therefor, you need some combination of shorter con rods and/or “hockey puck” pistons.

The 440 was in a bazillion cars from 1966 thru 1978; the 400 was 1972 thru 1978.

Rick

29 days ago
Smitty's C General 1968-1971 Dodge - Charger

383 Engine Upgrades

Stock 383 baseline, would you bore/stroke the engine, port new aluminum heads, dual plane intake manifold and Holley Carb. running pump gas and is reliable. Thanks in advance of your response.

Larry-

Since you told me via e-mail that the virgin 383 (presumably matching numbers) is still in the car, I’d sure remove it and park it, sealed up, in a corner of the garage. Then, if want some real HP out of a B-engine, find a clean used 400, add a stroker crank, and have at it.

Depending on heads, cam, manifolding, etc., 700 HP isn’t difficult. A nice mild 500HP 496" B-engine would be a pleasure, even the least expensive aluminum heads would get you there (440source.com).

Much above that power level you need a single plane manifold.

The carb: If Holley, be sure it is vacuum secondaries. My choice: 800 CFM Ed AVS.

There’s no shortage of Mopar-specific machine shops to help you with anything you need, from a rotating assembly to a drop-in complete engine.

Rick

30 days ago
Lyle W Restoration 1965-1967 Dodge - Coronet

Reference numbers

What does the numbers on the radiator support 1008088 & trunk lip 1008000 mean on a 1966 Dodge Coronet 500?

Lyle-

That’s the Sales Order number, sometimes referred to as the SO or VON.

Obviously one of your contains a typo!

There are several ways to “tie” to SO number to the VIN:

> The broadcast sheet
> The date plate (L fender apron)
> The IBM card (from Chrysler Historical for $35)

Rick

about 1 month ago
Smitty's C Restoration 1962-1971 Plymouth

727 Tranny

383 engine with 4B/Carb with 323 gearing in the rear would you keep the 727 or would you select after market auto tranny with over-drive for high-way cruising.

Larry-

The only bolt-in aftermarket OD automatic has a very low first gear, which means the car will kind of “fall on its face” on the 1-2 shift, but the OD is sweet, as is the lockup converter. (shiftsst.com )

3.23:1 cogs aren’t at all bad for cruising, 2.94 is even better.

It comes down to this: You pays your money and you takes your choice!

Rick

about 1 month ago
Smitty's C Restoration 1970-1974 Dodge - Challenger

71 Challenger Convertible

Restoring a 71 Challenger Convertible with factory A/C. Production numbers suggest 126 car were manufactured with 383 4B/Carb.

Larry-

Yes, the K-H (pin type) brakes were quite good. Modern aluminum staggered-bore calipers (EG: Brembo) are better, but the K-H’s still hold up well when you consider that they were inexpensive mass-produced items.

I’d not touch an aftermarket K-member setup if you paid me, unless the car is to be drag-only.

Rick

about 1 month ago
Lyle W Restoration 1965-1967 Dodge - Coronet

Numbers on VIN tag

Restoring a 1966 Dodge 500 Coronet Convertible 383 4 brl VIN # WP27-G61-111617. Numbers in the trunk is 1008000 (I think, number is hard to read). Can you tell me how to read the meaning of these numbers for paint etc. Is there a book available to explain the numbers?

Lyle-

Yes, I can decode the data plate, but even better is giving Chrysler Historical their $35 for a photocopy of the build card. (make it $55 and they will decode it)

Rick

about 1 month ago
Mopar Jack's My Car 1967-1976 Dodge - Dart

A body buckets

Hi Richard, happy new year. I have a ‘71 Dodge/Swinger 360 4 spd slightly modified but have a factory stock exterior & interior w,bench seat. What bucket seat from a bit more modern vehicle that can easily fit. Don’t want a high bucket, but would like the seats in MA’s April edition ‘71 black Cuda. I am looking for a junk yard special. If they need work that’s OK, just want the bucket seat look & feel.
Thanks,
Jack

Jack-

Do what everybody else does: Go to the junkyard with a tape measure, there’s a wide array. The fabricate brackets and floor pan reinforcements.

The alternative: Buy aftermarket seats with bolt-in bracket kits. (You’d then still need the factory-clone bucket-seat floor pan reinforcements.)

Rick

about 1 month ago
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