What Does This Mean?

As a result of a stray meteorite dropping from a construction overpass at Willow and 101

It means I’ve got to drive my 1970 Challenger to work.

After being spoiled by these new cars like my Outback with all their new technology, it’s back to getting workout driving the Challenger until I can get my windshield replaced. Without power steering and a heavy clutch and manual transmission, so sophisticated safe devices and a keyed entry.

It’ll be fun, but just not as mindless as commuting in a late-model driver.

See yah!

 

 

If you enjoyed this page, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2016-2019 ChallenYee.com TheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  TeamBetterLiving.com ChallenYee.net PaloAltoBNB.net All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Serendipitous Rendevous – How I met the 2008 Prototype

Blog Note: I was looking at old drafts I hadn’t published and found this one needing a bunch of old photos lost in archive. I found them…

 

Since you all haven’t noticed the link on the side that takes you to the 2008 Challenger prototype article, I decide to blog about my experience and stick the link to VALID CONCEPT in the article (se below at the end of the text).

prototype

It was April of 2006 I got connected via Trans Am Challenger Owners Registry with an auto writer named Richard Truesdell who had a spot with the 2008 Dodge Challenger prototype. He wanted to gather a group of the original Challenger owners in the San Francisco area to meet him and the prototype at Laguna Seca Raceway for the two-day photo shoot in May 2006. He was particularly interested to hookup with vintage T/A owners to key on the Trans Am connection with Laguna Seca. Two of us T/A owners would respond, Reno Debon and myself.

At the time, I was attending Chinese Medicine School getting ready for finals and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to indulge in my hobby was put to some test. I was offered to stay with the rolling publicity shoot for two days but opted only to stay aboard only for the 1st day shoot at the Laguna Seca in effort to go back home to Menlo Park, CA and then to Santa Cruz, CA to catch my late afternoon acupuncture classes.

The afternoon before, I drove my garage queen T/A the 90 miles drive down to Monterey, with my friend Rock Woo driving my Ford Explorer with repair tools just in case. It was the longest drive I would take with the T/A in restored condition and it ran very well.

We needed to be ready to begin in the early morning the next day so I sprang for a nice room at Carmel Valley Ranch to catch some zz’s beforehand. Actually, the night we arrived, Rich Truesdell hosted all the Challenger owners to a dinner at one of the seafood restaurants on Cannery Row where we had some spirited talks about the motor world.

The next day started early with photo shoots beginning in the parking areas of  Carmel Valley Ranch trying a variety of ideas.

Eventually we made the winding drive to Laguna Seca to find areas to shoot. Rich was hoping we could get on the track, but for some unfortunate reason, we were not allowed not take our Mopars, even the prototype under the finish line straight away under the large banner there. I’m sure they were afraid of a bunch of donut patches showing up as if by magic on their pretty racetrack (one that I had driven on with my Mustang for my first open track with the NorCal Shelby Club).

Instead we found a couple of parking areas, one in the infield. We tried multiple configurations of staging our Challengers, included is the group shot with all participants including the secret agent Chrysler guys who were traveling  with the new experimental production vehicle. I can’t remember exactly, I think the prototype cost $4 Million?

group_pic

After a very busy morning of shooting, I had to leave, rededicating myself to the study of Chinese Medicine of where I had a perfect attendance record (believe me, it was torture that I  made myself to leave).  I  sacrificed going on a group cruise to Cannery Row and later to take my T/A with the two other vintage Challengers (a Hemi and and the other T/A) asked to continue on later to beautiful Big Sur for “on the road” shots the you can see in the linked article “Valid Concept.”

Now it’s 2016, I no longer have my Red T/A, and now all that is left are the memories, a few photos, this little article and my Acupuncture License. I can spend a life time needling myself out of this self-induced musclecar-deficient depression.

You can check out several photos below.

CKY

 

Group_challengers_edited-1

 

 

CLICK ON THE VALID CONCEPT IMAGE below TO GO TO RICH TRUESDALE’s ARTICLE FEATURING OUR THE CARS IN THIS BLOGPOST

valid

+

+

+

PHOTO BLITZ with Captions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Early morning at the resort, helping a fellow Challenger owner jump start his semi with my unscathed vintage battery.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photographer Truesdale loved this shot, two dudes screwing with their classic muscle cars. Me with my previously unscathed show battery terminals. Buzz Graves with his orange Hemi-Powered machine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dig it! The Prototype teams up with some real T/A Challengers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rear end shot in one of the parking lots of Carmel Valley Ranch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Chrysler guys were joking about how we had to pack our cherished cars together, remembering the many times they’ve had to cram cars together at the factory. My friend Rock is in the background. Yes, we had to hide in our cars while the shots were made.

laguna4

What do you do with a bunch of vintage Challengers? Make a sales ad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Secret Agent from the Chrysler Plant

laguna1

The Three Amigos, Reno Debon, Challen Yee, and Buzz Graves with the HEMI Shaker.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Get back to your cars, Let’s try it this way

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No, let’s try it this way… no that way…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So this is how you get some of those weird shots. Don’t forget your athletic cup.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s fuel up and head to the race track. Nice way to attract attention.

laguna9

Reno Debon’s T/A

laguna6

We’re on the roll

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overlooking Laguna Seca

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Laguna Seca parking area

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My old pride and joy. The unintended garage queen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Reno Debon T/A and Company

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you seen this style name plate?

laguna10

On an infield area at Laguna Seca, the photo group starts small with the prototype and the two vintage T/A’s in attendance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Move them doggies around

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yeah, Baby. That’s some real Mopar

laguna12

Drivers! To your Cars!

laguna13

Let’s try it this way!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Action Shot! Challenger T/A door opening, write it up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Post it. A rare picture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another Rare picture, a vintage blue on blue 1970 HEMI car owned by Jeff Lederman.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got to highlight each of our cars, I went first because they knew I had to leave early.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nice pic, but yes, that ladder is very close to my car.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yes, very close.

group_pic

It was fun while it lasted. Once in a life time photo shoot. Hope you enjoyed my little walk back in time.

 

 

 

*****

.   If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2016 ChallenYee.com TheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  TeamBetterLiving.com All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Torsion Bar Adjustment

Getting a more personalized or stock look with a Torsion Bar Adjustment

One of the unique features of a classic Mopar is the front torsion bar used in place of the commonly used coil spring front suspension. The torsion bars have an adjuster which allows control of the front end ride height without replacing any parts.

In the past, on my first Challenger (1971), I needed to increase  my tire clearance when I changed from the stock 70 series tires on skinny 14 inch wheels to F-60’s on 15×10 inch mags.

Check out the size of those mags and tires on my first car. No doubt needed to crank up that fender clearance! Taken in 1981 by my friend Mike Avery in San Diego, while we were in the Navy,

Check out the size of those mags and tires on my first car. No doubt needed to crank up that fender clearance! Taken in 1981 by my friend Mike Avery in San Diego, while we were in the Navy,

Today, I want to increase the front end height, not for tire clearance problems, but to change the appearance of 1970 Challenger to appear more stock.

Before I changed my suspension, the car rode about two lower, due to worn leaf springs. After I changed to “stock height” HD rear leaves from Firm Feel, the rear end rode higher than I expected. Replacing the front torsion bars increased the front end height (about 3 1/2 inches) but that was easily adjustable.

My initial desire was to keep the same front end height as before the suspension work, but the previous ride height was way too low for the new rear springs and the car looked “jacked up”.  At the suspension shop, we raised the height and kept a slight rake on the car although the guys at the shop thought it looked better leveled out…

Alternately, in the 1970’s a lot of guys raised the front ends high to give their Mopars a bit of that “Super Stock” look.

After driving the car for almost a year, I think giving the car a more decided “level-look” rather than a “slightly raked” look matches what I want out of the appearance, so I wanted to raise the front end to emphasize more of a showroom look than modified look.

 

Making the Adjustment

In order to do this, I decided to do it manually, meaning no power assisted tools. I first used my non-ratcheting breaker bar, but figured out it would take too long when I could only get about an 1/8 of a turn per pull with the car on the ground. I ordered a long handled ratchet to get the job job.

I looked on-line and found a nice black-parkerized Proto 16-inch ratchet, the same length of my breaker bar, and it gives me adequate leverage to pull on the adjuster screw while laying on the ground. If using a standard depth 3/4 inch socket, it’s helpful to use a short extension to both clear any undercarriage obstruction and allow ground clearance for the swing of the ratchet handle.

Before the adjustment, the distance from the ground to the apex of the froth wheel well (using the center of the wheel cap for a reference) was 24 inches (BTW, I am running 235/60/15 BFG’s, the equivalent to the old F-60’s which was the largest option sized tire for the E-bodies, only the T/A model had the larger G-60 on the rear).

After approximately 5 complete turns of the adjuster in a clock-wise, or tightening direction,  increased the height by approximately 3/4 inch. I did this pulling on the ratchet about an 1/8 of a turn at a time x 40 pulls.

tb3

A standard 3/4 inch half inch drive socket with a short  extension (not shown) would work well to help clear the lower control arm, under-carriage, and allow ground clearance when adjusting the torsion bar. Photo taken on my non-ratcheting 16 inch breaker bar.

 

tb1

If you don’t have an air driven power tool and your Mopar on a rack, you’ll need at least a 16 inch breaker bar/ratchet like this one to have enough leverage to make it reasonably easy to turn the torsion bar adjuster. A 10 inch long ratchet could work if you are Arnold Schwarzeneggar in his prime.

The one I used I bought myself for a Christmas gift, a Proto 5350BL. All the reviews suggest this is a quality tool that will not strip out on you when you on a high torque situation, like when you need a breaker bar. A torsion bar adjuster is not extremely hard to turn but I hate cheap tools.

The one I used I bought myself for a Christmas gift, a Made in the USA Proto 5450BL. All the reviews suggest this is a quality tool that will not strip out on you when you on a high torque situation, like when you need a breaker bar. A torsion bar adjuster is not extremely hard to turn but I hate cheap tools.

Here's the general area under the passenger side lower control arm. Notice the lower control arm is braced with a piece of sheet metal from FirmFeel. This stiffener plate is recommended for heavy duty front sway bars to reduce the stock lower control arms from twisting into mush with hot cornering.

Here’s the general area under the passenger side lower control arm. Notice the lower control arm is braced with a piece of sheet metal from FirmFeel. This stiffener plate is recommended for heavy duty front sway bars to reduce the stock lower control arms from twisting into mush with hot cornering.

Here's a closer look at the adjuster for the torsion bar. Tighten (clock-wise) to raise the front end. I turned mine about 40 1/8 turns to raise the car 3/4 inch, or approximately 5 complete turns to raise 3/4 inch.

Here’s a closer look at the adjuster for the torsion bar. Tighten (clock-wise) to raise the front end.
I turned mine about 40 1/8 turns to raise the car 3/4 inch, or approximately 5 complete turns to raise 3/4 inch.

Here's a look at the driver's side in the daylight. You get a good look at the lower arm stiffener that is welded to the lower arm to strengthen it.

Here’s a look at the driver’s side in the daylight. You get a good look at the lower arm stiffener that is welded to the lower arm to strengthen it, plus you can see the torsion bar adjustment screw head protruding from the plate.

tb8

Here’s how I measure the height of the car, from the ground to the lower lip of the fender well moulding.

Be consistent and specific on your adjustment. It started at 24 inches, I raised it to 24 3/4.

Be consistent and specific on your adjustment. It started at 24 inches, I raised it to 24 3/4. The photo is a bit of an angle looking downward, you’ll need to look directly perpendicular to sight your measurement.

 

 

BEFORE and AFTER SHOTS

In the back parking lot of Palo Alto High School, the boys' gym in the background. Same building as in 1980 and many years before, but we didn't have the cool looking Viking Ship paint job back in then.

BEFORE ANGLE: In the back parking lot of Palo Alto High School, the boys’ gym in the background.

BEFORE ANGLE- side view

BEFORE ANGLE- side view at work last Summer

tb10

UPdated driver’s side

tb11

UPdated passenger side

tb12a

UPdated side view,

So what do you think? Car’s have this great capacity for personalization and the torsion bar setup on your Mopar makes tweaking your ride height a snap.

 

.   If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.com TheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  TeamBetterLiving.com All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Poop on Pertronix Distributor for 440

I had hoped to tell you how I put in my new Pertronix Flame Thrower III distributor on my 440 but instead I have another point to make that some of you who are considering the swap will want to know.

I had put in a Pertronix distributor on my 340 six pack Challenger T/A and that wasn’t a problem, but the 340, although it is situation on the rear of the block, has more clearance standing straight up and down and away from the cylinder heads (unlike a 440).

Visually the new distributor is significantly larger, but I did not expect to run into clearance problems.

pert1

The first indication my one-day installation wasn’t going to happen was when I tried to seat the distributor into the block.

pert3

Without the hold-down bracket, it is easy to see the area where a small gap can be seen. The distributor cannot fully seat without some metal relief on the head.

Being an experienced mechanic, I did not force the distributor down into the seat. I noticed a small gap in the hold down area.

Upon closer inspection, I could see the larger distributor housing was touching the cylinder head at the point of a casting ridge.

pert2

This photo was taken before I tried installing the new distributor, so there are no scrape marks to be seen in the area that is circled.

I thought about this for a few minutes, thinking, I bet the guys on RoadKill (that amazingly entertaining show) would probably take a grinder to cylinder head and get the needed clearance but I realized I’m not set up to grind, nor can I take a risk on my driver just to put in this distributor.

Disappointed, to say the least, but saving the part of the future.

 

PART II

Chevy at Work

This is not a Mopar, but I just wanted to post these photos for  Roger (left) at work who is a proud new owner of a 67 396 SS Chevelle. Jim (right) owns an old restored 340 Dart. I’m waiting for him to drive that to work.

Congratulations Roger, nice ride.

roger1 roger2 roger3

..   If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.com TheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  TeamBetterLiving.com All Rights Reserved.

 

Driving Impressions 440 Six Pack 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

CLICK ON PHOTO TO GO TO VIDEO OF MOMENTS IN THE DAILY COMMUTE USING A 440 SIX PACK 1970 DODGE CHALLENGER. Make sure you have a good ear bud or a decent sound on your computer and listen you the MoPar V-8 Big block music. There’s no radio playing since I discovered You-Tube automatically screens music playing for some kind of licensing infringements… so I turn the radio off while I’m shooting videos and do what I can to stay within the limits of the law…  sort of like the Duke Brothers on the way to to entering the Gumball Rally. 😉

 

commutingphoto

I am still short a non-classic-muscle car daily driver, but driving the Challenger almost every day for the last few weeks has worked some bugs out of the car and out of my driving technique.

It actually takes some practice to drive this machine well, so having been forced to drive it daily has helped. There’s a saying that “cars like this like to be driven.” Well, it’s true, cars in general like to be driven. Old fuel, stagnant liquids, and dried up seals never did any good for any car and the Challenger is no exception.

Aside from  the fact it’s drinking fuel like an elephant drinks water (no one has told it that gas is no longer 50 cents per gallon) and the clutch pedal return spring squeaks a bit, it’s very much a blast.

The more I drive it, the more rubber gets left on the roads around here. However, the main thing is, compared to 40 years ago when I was a teenager, is I’m a lot more aware of how not to put other people at risk and, moreover, despite the increasing number of burnouts, I really do have a mindset of not to thrash the car… it is my daily driver (for now) nevertheless!

 

 

Left my lights on and killed my battery yesterday and had to call for a jump…

commuterjump

In case you’re wondering, “yes” it is a real R/T but  “no” it is not a V-code Challenger. I figure, I might be just a little too crazy to drive a real V-Code to work in traffic jams every day, but… I think if I actually had one and it wasn’t a garage queen… I think I would. Like Junior Brown sings, it is a “Freedom Machine.”

For those of you who are not versed in Mopar-linguistics, a “V-code” is a manufacturer’s code based on the VIN (Vehicle) number. “V” denotes an originally equipped 440 six pack Challenger or Cuda and those still with the originally “matching” serial number engine and transmission in great condition are fetching $75-100K. Maybe more in conjunction with other very rare option combinations. Not bad for an old muscle car.

And, I got a new ignition in the mail! (more to come).

..   If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.com TheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com  TeamBetterLiving.com All Rights Reserved.

.

Minor 727 Torqueflight Issues

I was doing some work on my other 1970 Challenger R/T, replacing the transmission filter and pan gasket plus fixing a bad connector for the reverse light. These things are normally something that could be done in an afternoon but when you’re working on a car that’s 45 years old and has had some engine and tranny swaps, the job may not be straightforward.

  1. Wire color code may not match replacement part.
  2. Transmission filter size varies between mid 60’s and 70’s

These are the kinds of issues that can occur when the car no longer has the original equipment and when previous owners or mechanics don’t care about maintaining vintage consistency. Problem may occur with the lack of correct matching parts availability, for example, a wiring harness or transmission.

I have not run into these specific problem before so without taking anything for granted, I was able to trial connect the 3 wires leading to the new electrical connector, but I am not willing to replace the filter without someone else confirming the interchangeability of the filter.

So  here are some notes and photos about my work in progress.

tranny1

That’s enough clearance to access the tranny pan and reverse-neutral-safety switch which has a broken connector. The tranny pan leaks, so the gasket and filter will be replaced.

tranny2

I hate it when people work under a car without jack stands. I was run over by a car many years ago, so I am gleefully paranoid about having another, much heavier car fall on me. Here’s a point to place a stand under the lower control arm.

tranny3

Stand number two: under the frame near the tranny crossmember.

tranny11

My reverse lights don’t work, so a place to check is the connector or the safety switch located on the left side of the tranny slightly above the pan. The wires were broken at the connector.

tranny10

Peeling back a few inches of black electrical tape that was very greasy, I exposed the three wires. After taking a cloth to clean off the residue, I checked the wires to see if they were brittle. They felt okay and so I cut back a couple of inches before stripping the ends to connect to the new lead wires extending from the new connector.

tranny13

The color coding on the new connector didn’t match what was on the car, but there was enough correspondence that I could guess the first time the right connection. The new connector comes with a black, purple and brown wire with yellow stripe. The existing wires are brown, black and what looks like black with a white stripe. I temporarily connected the brown wires together, the black wires together and the purple and black striped wire together. THe reverse light works and the engine can turn over in neutral.

tranny9

YES! It’s a great feeling to fix anything with the car. There’s got to be some weird genetic switch that gets triggered when an you get something to work that was broke.

tranny6

The new filter, which is designed for the 1970 B-727 Torqueflight is bigger than the old filter which I suspect is from a 1967 type 727.  The car originally was equipped with a 4 speed and some previous owner converted it to an automatic., apparently an older than 1970 version. The filter mounting holes are the same.

By the way, to remove a transmission pan that is not equipped with a drain plug, you need to loosen the screws and while retaining loosened screws on the “uphill” side, carefully pry apart the pan from the tranny on the downhill side and let the fluid drain into a larger vessel (like a large oil drain pan). I used a broad tip flat tipped  screwdriver to pry the pan enough to break the seal. Make sure you do not chip the sealing surface, avoid bending the pan, or possibly damaging anything internal with you prying instrument. Make sure the retaining screws are adequately loosened to allow the pan to tip at an angle without bending any metal.

Once the pan is off, expect a little more fluid to drain when you remove the filter.

tranny4

The top side (tranny valve body side) of the new filter has one hole.

tranny15

The top of the old filter, has two holes. One is in the same location as the new/larger filter. There is enough differences, that I, who do not have experience or knowledge in this area, am unwilling to ASSUME, that sticking the new filter is going to work. THe last thing I need is to seal this tranny back up with a filter that doesn’t work. Your expert or knowledgeable feedback is welcome.

tranny7

Here’s the dirty pan with the old gasket. Sealant was used on the bottom, but not on the top (facing the transmission). I’ve read several recommendations that no sealer should be used to avoid sealer from getting loose into the tranny fluid.

tranny14

A wide bladed instrument like this old trowel worked well to scrape the old gasket and silicone like sealer of the pan. Avoid gouging the sealing surfaces.

Do you know for sure?

If you know if the larger filter is safely interchangeable with an older type, please comment.

About my keys…

I DID have a hard time looking for my keys which was a drag because I could not check the reverse light function without them, but I finally found them in one of those places that I thought safe and I would not forget…

..   If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.com TheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com All Rights Reserved.

.

1970 Dodge Challenger Trans Am

The following write up was what I used for my car show placard when I showed my Challenger T/A at car shows.

Article and Photos by Challen Yee

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1970 Dodge Challenger Trans Am

By Challen K. Yee with excerpts from “Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda” by David Newhardt (2000)

“Chrysler was a bit tardy in getting a factory entry into the SCCA Trans-Am racing series. Both Ford and General Motors had been slugging it out with Boss 302s and Camaro Z-28s. “The gang at Mopar wanted some racing glory to rub off onto their line of street cars, so they dove into the fray for the 1970 season. The rules required that the manufacturer build 2,500 street models of its racing car. To this end, Chrysler released All-American Racers (AAR) `Cuda and its cousin, the T/A Challenger…

“2,142 Challenger T/As were put on the road. All of these were built in a five-week period in March and April of 1970.

“Unlike the racers, which had to use a 340-ci engine destroked to 303.8 ci and topped with a single four-barrel carburator, the street versions were powered by a Six-Pak-equipped [three two-barrel Holley carbs combining for over 1300 cfm] 340-ci engine.

“The iron block was stressed relieved, and the main bearing area, while delivered with a two-bolt main, had plenty of material for the fitting of four-bolt main bearing caps. [Furthermore, the block had a higher nickel content and the heads were also a special T/A item designed to allow more radical porting by the use of an offset rocker arm system which relocated the valve pushrods].

“The engine was rated at 290 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, but redline came up at 6,500. “The Challenger T/A was modeled after the Trans-Am racer Sam Posey wheeled around the Trans-Am series. Its fiberglass hood was influenced by the belly air scoop on the P-51 Mustang fighter plane, and Dodge pulled it off beautifully.”

(The following excerpts are from David Newhardt’s “Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda”).

The standard rear axle set was 3.55:1 which according to Car & Driver magazine’s July 1970 issue helped deliver 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 14.3 seconds at 99 mph. Optional gear sets included 3.91 and 4.10 housed in the mighty Dana 60. The transmissions, both the A-833 manual and the A-727 automatic were “big-block” pieces designed to be mated to the hot performing “small-block” 340. Some of the distinctive standard equipment on the T/A models were: front disc brakes, E60x15 Goodyear tires in front and G60x15 on the back, higher rate front and rear sway bars, torsion bars and rear leaf springs, side exit exhaust, frame stiffening features, special stripe and decal treatments, fiberglass hood, and front and rear spoilers. Some of the many popular options included: fast ratio steering, rally gauges, dual painted mirrors, vinyl tops, and a myriad of awesome colors for both interior and exterior.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Annual Concours is no longer being held at Stanford University. Not sure for which political reason.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Non-matching numbers TA engine out of a AAR Cuda that got totaled in the late 1970’s. The father of the owner saved it in a garage in central California until I bought it through an Ebay auction. The restoration was meticulously performed by Restorations By Julius in Chatsworth, CA.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My friend Scott Douglas. “The Shelby Kid” and the Ford guy at school,  he’s owned several Ford products in his life including a Shelby like this one. Shelby’s are also one of my favorite non-Mopars, having been a Mustang owner in the past I had a lot of fun with the NorCal Shelby Club at open tracks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Simply one of my favorite non-Mopars, and with respect for my old departed friend Rick Elliott, who was the Chevy guy in school.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s end this article with my old garage queen MoPar. As life would have it, I no longer own this Challenger. Sure was nice.

..   If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2015 ChallenYee.com TheDodgeKid.com BestBuckBuck.com All Rights Reserved.

Simmering over 440 Overheating Problems – Part 5 -FINAL

The long-awaited final part has finally arrived for the overheating issue.

I ran the Challenger without a thermostat for drives to get the maximum clearing effect to catch crud in the copper screen trap I installed in my upper radiator hose. I had also been draining my coolant after every extended drive to flush and dilute out as much old coolant and the green stuff as possible before I pour in the Water Wetter. 

I’ve read several accounts that Water Wetter mixed with normal anti-freeze/coolant will gum up your cooling system as well as not working or not working well. As I mentioned before, I used to run Water Wetter with distilled water in my old open track car. Spilling that on the track was less of  nuisance than dropping coolant. The best cooling is effected by using pure distilled water, but you need the anti-corrosive and lubricating properties of a product like Water Wetter added.

 

The thermostat gasket managed to last a few removals of the t-stat housing before it died so I replaced the gasket.

The drained coolant, after sitting for a day has what look like a powder sitting at the bottom of the plastic jugs I’ve been storing it in. I’m guessing its the remnants of Bar’s Stop Leak or something. With each draining, the amount is decreasing and is almost negligible now.

.

top side (radiator end) of hiflow thermostat. Removing it from system to flush engine block at high RPM.

top side (radiator end) of hiflow thermostat. Removing it from system to flush engine block at high RPM.

Better cooling performance with a thermostat

I’ve heard that cars can run cooler with a thermostat rather than without one. I think it depends on the design of your cooling system and the positions of the inlet and outlets. On a typical engine with the inlet and outlet on the front, there is a certain amount of inefficiency in regards to the coolant that is in the rear of the engine.

What I noticed was that not only did the engine run cooler, based on my temperature gauge reading, but the subsequent draining yielded more fluid that smelled more like coolant and less like plain water. I take this to mean that there is better mixing of fluid coming back from the radiator in through the engine passages than without a thermostat.

The temperature gauge without the thermostat read in the low “normal”range, but after the thermostat was installed the reading in slightly below the “normal range.”

.

Effect on water pump churning and installed thermostat

So, it appears, with the thermostat installed and resisting the flow of coolant back to the radiator, the water pump has time to churn the coolant inside the engine passages, allowing more mixing before the thermostat opens at the set temperature.

 

Some extra crud sitting in the upper hose. Clean it.

Some extra crud sitting in the upper hose. Clean it.

Here's the flakey cast iron crud, including some pieces of gasket seal. Also need to brush out crud from upper hose. Copper screen is reusable but check it before reinstalling.

Here’s the flakey cast iron crud, including some pieces of gasket seal. Also need to brush out crud from upper hose. Copper screen is reusable but check it before reinstalling.

rad_crud4

These are a few of the photos I took after before cleaning out the copper filter. I typically get a little less that what you see in this picture as of late.

rad_crud3rad_crud1rad_crud5

At first I was saving the crud from the filter, here is what was in the cooling passages (except for the washer).

At first I was saving the crud from the filter, here is what was in the cooling passages (except for the washer). I stopped collecting it.

.

Catching debris before and after thermostat installed

I’ve been running the copper mesh at the top inlet of the radiator, held in place by the upper hose. Before and after the thermostat was installed, a consistent amount of small debris are being caught. They look like small pebble-like cast iron flakes from the water passages in the engine. One piece of copper mesh lasts several cleanings. High RPM runs causes a better flushing action as indicated by the amount of crud being caught.

This process would be a lot more efficient if you could pop the freeze plugs and flush out the engine that way, but if you can’t…. well it takes several rounds to clear out. I ended up adding the Water Wetter finally after I managed to drain out the coolant with just a whiff of coolant smell. The heated water comes out with a brown tint from going through the 200+ degree iron passages.

Here's my running collection of drained coolant. Notice the progression from top to bottom from the traditional 50/50 coolant water mix to virtually pure distilled water.

Here’s my running collection of drained coolant. Notice the progression from top to bottom from the traditional 50/50 coolant water mix to virtually pure distilled water. About 2.5 gallons every drain. You do the math. Yes, I’ve called it quits when it comes to draining. Before I put the thermostat back in I managed to get a non-coolant scent in the drain, but after I put the thermostat back in, I get at least a small scent from the drained coolant. Poinsettias not included.

 

Miscellaneous tips

.

 fanbelt1

Lonesome Dove Fan Belt Tightening

How about it you are alone and need to tighten your fan belt. If you have a handy wooden-handled ax  like I have pictured, you can use that for leverage to extend your alternator after you loosen your holding screws.

 

.

.

rad_seal1

rad_seal2

Just in case you were interested in reading the small print on the bottle.

rad_seal3

Pesky coolant drip from the lower radiator hose?

The lower radiator hose had a slow drip, so I sanded the outlet pipe with #80 grit paper and felt for any imperfections in the pipe. Then I used Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket Sealer #3 with the intention that I don’t want to have to think about any more leaking there. I only coated the radiator pipe and let it set for the required time before sliding the new uncoated hose on and clamping it. I did that to eliminate any possible dripping of sealant into the hose.

I used the same Permatex product on the thermostat housing. It’s a little messier than using silicon but I gave it a go and it works. Again, no intention of removing the housing unless I expect to replace the gasket. The thermostat should be sitting inside a recess in the T-stat housing and should be not interfering with the gasket. Clean the surfaces first of old gasket and sealant before applying the new sealant.

.

.

Carb Backfiring

I’m not sure exactly what was causing my 440 to pop out the carbs, but the problem appears to have gone away except on rare occasion.

However, I have a few possible candidates for culprits.

After several high RPM runs (over 5000) I could have blown the combustion chambers cleaner or it could be the number 7 plug wire touch a header tube and had a couple inches of insulation burned away, cause for some arcing. I adjusted the routing of the wire away from the header.

I plan on replacing the plug wires later.

I would imagine any multiple carb set up could use some more tuning. Have to keep that for later. Also toying with the idea of replacing the old MP electronic ignition with a multiple spark discharge type.

.

 

*

If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

Highway Entry with Kids in Car

Out for a Sunday drive with the kids and testing a new video mount that I have attached to my dome lamp ring.

Click on image below to access a SHORT 15-second You-Tube video

 

Click for video

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ACCESS A SHORT 15-second YOU-TUBE VIDEO

 

 

video link you-tube:     http://youtu.be/-dnyiuaI9Ow
*

 

An update about the cooling system

The car runs cool as a cucumber now after the radiator was hot tanked an reversed-flushed.

I’m still running the old coolant out of the engine as I have drained the coolant several times and have almost reaching the point where I’m running pure distilled water. I’ll write the last “Simmering of 440 Overheating Issues” later, but you may be interested to know the engine runs cooler with a thermostat. The reason is (based on my observations of the drained fluid) the thermostat allows the fluid to churn more effectively throughout the cooling passages in the engine. In other words, without the thermostat, coolant coming from the radiator tends to go directly back out the upper hose rather than being forced rearward into the engine to exchange more thoroughly with heated fluid. I’ll share my observation why I think this later.

Here is my collection of drained coolant from my 440. Notice the progression from left to right. I empty about 2.5 gallons per draining. I'm almost at a pure enough state I'm willing to add the Water Wetter. I have some observations about before and after installing the thermostat which I will share in a later article.

Here is my collection of drained coolant from my 440. Notice the progression from left to right. I empty about 2.5 gallons per draining. I’m almost at a pure enough state I’m willing to add the Water Wetter. I have some observations about before and after installing the thermostat which I will share in a later article.

 

**

 

If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

A Close Call with Luck

Challen’s Challenger Story – continued: A Close Call with Luck

CCS_TA

A purple Challenger T/A – Added effects to image, original sourced from http://www.kimballstock.com

 

In 1977, when I was in 9th grade, my older brothers’ friend told me about some guy who was selling a purple 1970 Challenger T/A for $2400. He said it had a 340 6-pak and a four speed. This was a very exciting proposition, but I was unsure for two reasons: one, I didn’t have half that much money and, two, I didn’t know how to drive a four speed… Wait that’s not completely true. I may have known how to drive a four speed (practicing on my Dad’ Japanese mini-pickup), but being the young kid venturing into manly things, I had no concept of how to handle real POWER.

The imminent possibilities of getting a Challenger, especially something like the T/A, was an absolutely fantastic and unreal concept, a real teenage kid’s wild dream. Being the young teenage kid, I thought that maybe a T/A was just too awesome and would somehow be a complete outrage in the hands of an inexperienced kid who hadn’t even earned his driver’s license yet. Well, after a few days, talking with my brothers and my Dad, my fear changed to consideration. With my dad’s help, my consideration evolved into realization that just maybe this was going to be THE Challenger. My hands began to sweat…

I could just about feel my anxious fingers folding around that pistol grip Hurst shifter, the throaty rumble of the exhaust, the engine sucking in low flying birds through the hood scoop, and the complete satisfaction that results from having earth pounding horsepower plaster my back against a bucket seat. A machine like a T/A seemed to have some unearthly power to launch my life into manhood like almost nothing else could! With the green light sparkling, we called to follow up on the sale. But, wouldn’t you know it, the seller decided not to sell! (#%&*, I always get slightly annoyed when I remember that experience).

 

Next: What’s Lime Green and sits under a tree looking like it left to rot in the weeds? It’s not an apple.

 

If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE SHARE COMMENT

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.