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Author Topic: Bull's 68 Charger restoration thread  (Read 113155 times)
bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« on: March 15, 2010, 01:39:19 AM »

I've decided to put together a catch-all thread to update those interested in where I'm at on my project rather than start a new thread for every facet of the restoration. I bought the car, a 1 of 74 383/2bbl/4 speed 68 Charger, in January of 2004 and let it sit for about a year while pondering the direction I should go with it (while saving cash). I finally decided to do a complete restoration and in February of 2005 I took it to the body shop for rust repair, frame repair and general prep for paint.

Here's a few pics of how it sat when I first bought it in February 2004.


* rsz_000_0012.jpg (83.39 KB, 576x432 - viewed 10863 times.)

* drivers side brt.jpg (116 KB, 800x600 - viewed 6917 times.)

* front brt.jpg (136.7 KB, 800x600 - viewed 6907 times.)
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Belgium R/T -68
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 01:54:00 AM »

Hi Curtis, will be a nice thread. 2thumbs Do you mind telling me a little bit what kind of cars you had between the -70 charger you had back in the days and this one or was familylife in between? scratchchin

Per
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Charger -68 R/T 500 cui Stroker
bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 02:07:46 AM »

Hi Curtis, will be a nice thread. 2thumbs Do you mind telling me a little bit what kind of cars you had between the -70 charger you had back in the days and this one or was familylife in between? scratchchin

Per

Sure. I bought the red 70 in 1980 IIRC and owned it until about 1991. During that time I also owned a 68 Charger R/T briefly but sold it back to the guy I bought it from after a few months, so I endured a 13-year hiatus from owning a Charger. During that time I got on an IH/Dodge 4X4 kick and bought and sold a 71 International stepside pickup, a 79 Scout Traveler and a 73 Scout II. I also owned an 85 Dodge Ram, and an 89 Dodge Dakota. After I got married in 94 I'm sorry to say I also bought and sold an 88 Accord and a 94 Chrysler T&C minivan. Even worse we also owned for short periods a 71 Volvo sedan, a Toyota Starlet and a Nissan 240 SX. I really love my current vehicles. In 1999 I bought a 94 2wd Dakota that I still have and then in 2007 (I think) I bought a 2003 Durango SLT. Crappy mpg but I love them and they both use the same oil filter as my Charger's 383.

Here's a few more pics of the 68 when I first got it:


* grill brt.jpg (101.67 KB, 800x600 - viewed 6808 times.)

* interior brt.jpg (153.79 KB, 800x600 - viewed 7606 times.)

* right door brt.jpg (111.84 KB, 800x600 - viewed 6773 times.)

* trunk brt.jpg (186.73 KB, 800x600 - viewed 6862 times.)
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8WHEELER
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 02:11:13 AM »

Funny that doesn't look green   popcrn   smilielol smilielol

I think you should start 200 more threads, what the heck   icon_smile_big

Dan
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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 02:21:55 AM »

So like I said it took about a year for me to get moving on the restoration. We found rust and fairly major crash damage once we started digging in and ended up replacing the driver's quarter panel, the Dutchman panel, the speaker tray, the rear valance and corners, the lower passenger's quarter and the driver's outer wheel house. It also took a few trips to the frame rack to get it straight. Apparently a previous owner had slid the car sideways into a tree, fence post, fire hydrant or telephone pole (who knows what exactly) as there was some major damage to the area behind the driver's door and at the front of the rear wheel. The inner rocker had been smashed almost flat.

Here's a few pics from early 2005 in the body shop:









http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,9867.0.html
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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 02:24:43 AM »

Funny that doesn't look green   popcrn   smilielol smilielol

I think you should start 200 more threads, what the heck   icon_smile_big

Dan

Oh believe me, there's still some green. I'm finding it here and there all the time.
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Bob T
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2010, 02:30:37 AM »

looking forward to this thread . keep up the pics  2thumbs might have some influence over where I go with my 68

Cheers Bob
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The Dodge, which was practically stock, just left the Mustang like you wouldn’t believe.” Ron Riner has similar recollections. “The Charger ran rings around the Mustang. We trimmed the tires down (on the Charger), we practically made them down to bicycle tires to try and handicap Hickman, and Bill just run them.”
bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 02:35:21 AM »

Here's a few pics of it ready to leave the first stint at the body shop. I had run out of money and had to take her home...


* homecoming brt.jpg (116.42 KB, 700x525 - viewed 6545 times.)

* ready for paint brt.jpg (115.23 KB, 700x525 - viewed 6466 times.)

* on trailer brt.jpg (119.41 KB, 700x525 - viewed 6489 times.)
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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 03:17:15 AM »

The car came home in late April 2005 and I began working to save money again for the paint. Realizing I was out of my league with the top notch restoration shop where the body work was done I began shopping around for a different place to have it painted. I found a guy to paint it within my price range but today I wish I had never seen or heard of him. Things turned out ok, especially after hearing some of the horror stories I've read here, but things could have gone much better. Anyway, I took the car to be painted in January of 2008 so it took me roughly 2 1/2 years of saving money to have enough for paint. They did a good job on the body overall but somehow botched the engine compartment. We'll get into that a little later...








http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,38520.60.html

Somehow I had enough money lying around to have the original 22" bucket header radiator rebuilt in May of 08. It turned out nice but it's sitting it the attic right now collecting dust. http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,44171.0.html



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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 04:11:45 AM »

After getting the car back from paint I started planning to do other things, mainly focusing on getting the drivetrain items rebuilt. My plan was to install the engine/trans from below which necessitates the removal of the front suspension. No big deal, it's worn out anyway, so I made arrangements with Portland Engine Rebuilders to take on the task of rebuilding the original 383 and started planning to get a suspension rebuilt kit. I incorrectly assumed the drivetrain items would be a quick turnaround and could have the engine and trans installed in Summer of 09. Hah! Very funny, Bull. So I hauled the engine down to the machine shop thinking I'd get the suspension going and rebuild the transmission while it's gone. Well, you know what they say about best laid plans. While gearing up to take the suspension apart I quickly realized the engine compartment was not up to snuff paint-wise and would need attention before I could install the engine. At this point I had the engine at one place, the transmission at another and had made arrangements for the car to go back to the body shop to have the engine comp paint redone. Basically the three major components of the car were at three different shops. That's what prompted this thread from last summer: http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,59486.0.html

While all that stuff was out the door I had some room and decided to restore my heater box: http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,59526.0.html

Before:



After:

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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 04:37:42 AM »

Mid April of 09 the car went back to the body shop and so I had to manage that process and the process of the engine build too. The trans and engine were both rebuilt by very reputible shops but of course that doesn't stop a guy from worrying. The two main issues with the engine were finding new pistons and cam. The machine shop and I spent several weeks trying to locate forged .040 over pistons until we finally discovered that .030 over would work so once that was cleared up things went a lot faster. Basically the job was stopped from July to October while we searched for these pistons I never actually needed. rotz And of course I had trouble finding a cam because of a core supply problem at Engle which led to me getting a Crower cam as Plan B.

http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,62532.0.html
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,63103.0.html
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,62241.0.html




I had also gotten the transmission rebuilt and back home just prior to the engine coming home: http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,57402.0.html




And here's a few of the engine after paint...


* rsz_100_4834.jpg (81.71 KB, 576x432 - viewed 6112 times.)

* rsz_100_4839.jpg (76.89 KB, 576x432 - viewed 6084 times.)
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chargergirl
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 05:22:10 AM »

She looks good! Soon it will cruise again!
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2010, 05:27:57 AM »

good idea  , all in one thread , makes for good reading & looking  scope love looking at this kind of stuff  yesnod coolgleamA
 2thumbs
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Belgium R/T -68
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2010, 07:56:09 AM »

I love that you actually have owned a Volvo from 1971, the 140 or 160 series? I had a 142 sport from -71 back in highschool in Sweden.
Double Weber carburators, trush mufflers and all the rest, that 4 cylinderpiece surely made 90 HP. smilielol

Per
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Charger -68 R/T 500 cui Stroker
bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 12:42:14 PM »

I love that you actually have owned a Volvo from 1971, the 140 or 160 series? I had a 142 sport from -71 back in highschool in Sweden.
Double Weber carburators, trush mufflers and all the rest, that 4 cylinderpiece surely made 90 HP. smilielol

Per

I don't remember what series it was but it had a straight six and dual Webers like you said. That thing was a friggin' vapor-locking nightmare. Any time it got over 70-degrees outside you stood a good chance at getting stranded.
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moparstuart
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2010, 01:02:44 PM »

 popcrn popcrn popcrn popcrn
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chargd72
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 01:20:28 PM »

Great inspiration!     drool5
Mine is in the stage between your second and third posts  yesnod
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          '72 Charger SE 4bbl 318                          '76 Power Wagon 400 W200                                 2011 (attempt at a) Charger
bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 01:52:27 PM »

Thanks for the kind input, guys.

I'll backtrack a little bit now going back to last June (09). As I said above I had some trouble with the second body shop and the car was returned to have the engine bay redone. At this point I no longer trusted the guy and although he had a pretty good reputation I think I found him pretty much at the tail end of his run. He's getting older and had physical problems and was unable to manage his affairs with the sort of attention it required. That's the only reasonable excuse I'm going to give him. The original arrangement was that he would paint the car but not cut and buff it because I still had lots of work to do to it and didn't want to scuff a finished paint job but since it was going back a second time due to their engine bay screw up I told him just to finish it out because I didn't want it going back to him again. At this point things were getting very sketchy at the shop; lots of turnover, very shady characters there, scatter-brained decision-making, etc. Apparently the people he told to cut and buff the car had no idea what they were doing and cut through the paint in several spots so he had to repaint it on his dime. Of course I heard this later from a former employee but the owner spun the story trying to make it sound like he just didn't like some things and wanted it redone. After all was said and done I had a second new paint job but no one bothered to redo the engine bay, which was the whole reason it went back. That prompted a big confrontation and an agreement for him to refiund $1,500 last June. To date I've seen $900 of that $1,500 and I suspect that's all I'm ever going to see of it. Better than nothing I guess. Once I had part of that refund I took the car to yet another body shop to finally have the engine bay done right. The thing that sort of pisses me off (although it's mostly my own fault) is that during all the body shop work not one person mentioned to me that the inside of the fenders had surface rust on them. I didn't expect anyone to "accidentally" fix those areas but a word of advice to get it dealt with would have been nice since the fenders have been on and off the car probably 10 times in the past few years.  

EDIT** I managed to get a total of $1,200 out of the guy before he closed up shop and disappeared, He sold/gave his business to a relative who pretty much continued the downward spiral. The place is defunct now.

So this pretty much brings you up to speed on what happened in 09. The beginning of 2010 is when I really started digging into the front wheel wells, inner front fenders and suspension. I completely tore the front suspension down, bought a PST suspension rebuild kit and had my K-frame restored and reinforced by Firm Feel. Meanwhile I tinker on the engine to get it put together.

K-frame before and after http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=64797.0;attach=116621



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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2010, 02:23:11 PM »

Below is a couple of pics of the driver's fender after I'd spent about 1 1/2 to two hours scraping off the undercoating. The driver's wheel well is all scraped too but that obviously took longer. I'm currently working on the passenger's side wheel well among a bunch of other tasks concurrent. But first, above the fender pic is a couple of the LCAs after I media blasted them, welded the reinforcement plates on, pressed in new bushings and installed the mounting pins and painted them. A little touch up work and they'll be ready to go. http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,66278.0.html


* LCA brt.jpg (54.5 KB, 432x576 - viewed 5914 times.)

* LCA 2 brt.jpg (45.83 KB, 432x576 - viewed 5934 times.)

* fender brt.jpg (74.41 KB, 576x432 - viewed 5852 times.)

* fender 2 brt.jpg (96.91 KB, 432x576 - viewed 5905 times.)
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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2010, 02:34:10 PM »

Last but not least (for now) is a bit on a bunch of fasteners I had zinc plated the other day. http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,67849.0.html

There is a ton of other stuff that happened here and there but this is a good overview to date. From now on I'll probably be putting all my progress updates in this thread and my questions elsewhere. Maybe once in a while I will answer a question too. Tongue




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BB1
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2010, 02:49:32 PM »

Alright, it's about flipp'en time.  icon_smile_big
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2010, 02:58:32 PM »

Geez Bull you are sooo slowwwww.....   icon_smile_big
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bull
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'68 383/2bbl/4spd 1 of 74


« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2010, 03:07:47 PM »

Alright, it's about flipp'en time.  icon_smile_big

Screw that notion. I'm in too deep. There's no way I'm going to do all I did and not drive the piss out of this car. My goal now is to give this car at least half the abuse it has given me over the years. Payback is a bitch!

Geez Bull you are sooo slowwwww.....   icon_smile_big

Tell me about it. Had it not been for the 2 1/2-year "burnout" phase I'd probably be close to done. I'll tell you what though, I worked by butt to the nub for roughly 18 months doing overtime and working a second job to save up the cash for the body work and paint. After that I got very, very lazy for a long time. I'm over it now so things are progressing quickly but for a while there I had just about had it with the whole notion of restoring a 68 Charger. Looking back I'm surprised I held on.
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69*F5*SE
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« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2010, 03:15:34 PM »

I'd be dancin' a jig if I was where you are at with my Charger. Congrats.    2thumbs
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Silver R/T
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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2010, 03:33:30 PM »

Getting pretty close there on Charger
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My Charger is hybrid, it runs on gas and on tears of ricers
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