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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?


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!


almost 2 years 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.



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.


almost 2 years 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.


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.


almost 2 years 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.


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 (

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.


almost 2 years 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?


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)


almost 2 years 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.


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. ( )

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!


almost 2 years 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.


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.


almost 2 years 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?


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)


almost 2 years 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.


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.)


almost 2 years ago
Tater's Mechanical 1970-1974 Plymouth - Barracuda

Carb and Manifold

Just started work on a 74 Cuda with a 318 and looking to replace the factory Carb and Manifold. What combo would you recommend?


All OEM manifolds, and, to the best of my knowledge, all currently-available aftermarket aluminum manifolds, are 340/360 intake-port size. Using any of these will result in a port mismatch, giving up some of the gains you’d normally glean from the improved manifolding.

Consider this your golden opportunity to swap on a pair of #308 heads (‘89-’92 360). These are cheap, easy to find, and best production LA heads ever made. And they’re unleaded-ready.


almost 2 years ago
A body fanatic General 1962-1989 Plymouth

Retro ABS on Mopar

I swore you did an article a long time ago about putting an ABS system on an old Mopar. I’d love to take on that project. Keep up the good work.


Yes, I did a RWAL swap using junkyard parts for Mopar Action. It worked out extremely well and generated a lot of positive feedback. includes a back-issue index and ordering instructions.


almost 2 years ago
demort71 Mechanical 1971-1993 Dodge - 1/2-Ton Pickup

recommended cam specs mild street 360LA

Dear Richard…next year I want to build a new 360LA motor for my 78 Lil Red Express. I would be happy with 350 to 400 HP without stroking it. Any thoughts on the specs of the cams I should be considering to make this a reliable motor with some growl? Thanks!


I’d sure re-think the entire build….a 390 HP crate motor clone (Magnum), with EQ heads, makes and easy 400+. The hydraulic roller is the way to go!

But, if you must, to make 400HP with LA heads, you’ll need something in the vicinity of 280-290 deg. advt duration and 0.500"l lift.


about 2 years ago

Purple trans am

Preparing to sell my mothers 1998 trans am it’s in unbelievable condition with only 28,000 original miles. A friend of the family informed us that it is a rare color and we should get it appraised before selling it… Is this true?

1998 is pretty easy to research value on your own , thanks , Rick McLaughlin

about 2 years ago
Daddy J's Mopars General 1966-1966 Plymouth - Fury III

Reasonable price for a 1966 Plymouth Fury III

Found a 1966 Plymouth Fury III with a 383 for sale. Meets Hagerty’s Condition 4 criteria.


It would mostly depend on the body style, with a secondary consideration being originality.

$14K for a clean driver convertible is in the ballpark, even with the poor body work.

A 4-door sedan might be worth well under $5K, while a 4-door hardtop would ramp that up maybe $1K.

Wagons are a unique, small market. The guys who want the, REALLY want them, so maybe $8-10K. A 2-door hardtop would be in that same range, assuming it is all still there with mostly original components.

I am assuming an original 383 4-BBl. (code 62), a 2-BBl (61) would cut nearly a thou off the value. Note that both were VIN’d G, so be careful.


about 2 years ago
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