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Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... #304639
05/01/09 05:36 PM
05/01/09 05:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Gavin Offline OP
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Gavin  Offline OP
top fuel

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
OK guys, I thought I’d post about my Challenger rebuild.

The first part is something I posted some time ago on the General board, but it ‘expired’ as those posts have a limited life.
So first I am gonna repost the original, then soon I will post more recent updates…..I hope you enjoy!


Well the car is a 1971 Challenger Convertible, I've owned (and driven!) it since 1985!
Me and my friend toured the US in summer 1985, doing drag races etc, and I went with a few grand (a loan right after I graduated!!) to buy a big block Challenger. We went to the Mopar Nationals (which was in Ann Arbor then!) but I couldn't find one at my price (even then!) so I returned to the UK to keep my eyes open!! Just a couple of months later a convertible appeared for sale, I could hardly believe my luck since a convertible Challenger was my ultimate car, but since they made so few I was expecting to get a hardtop. The price was right (it had a lot of rust) so it was mine!!
Here’s a pic around 1987 or so!

It was an original Slant 6 car, which at some stage had been tarted up somewhere in the UK. They had recovered the interior in cloth (good job), resprayed from original Hemi Orange to a BMW burgundy (yuk, plus loadsa bondo), and dropped in a 2bbl 360 from an Aussie CH Chrysler!
I figured it would be pretty easy to drop in a big block, though over the years later came to decide that a hot smallblock would be a nicer all round package, and a path less travelled.
I was still living with my parents so it sat outside in the road in all weathers - I recall brushing 3 inches of snow off it, and also getting snowed on as I lay underneath making a dual exhaust!

Anyway, from Day 1 it was always the plan to fit a decent engine and tear up the strip, but with all the other stuff that needed doing, plus the rest of life to live, it always seemed to be at the bottom of the list. Not to mention the money factor too, I got married in the meantime and consider myself VERY fortunate to not have sold the car at the time! So I spent many years enjoying the car, with some interim 'off the road' periods while I gradually improved it. Things like putting on a new convertible top, and welding in a fair bit of new metal here and there, just to name a couple………



I went to many shows as a spectator (in the car whenever possible), but never ‘showed’ the car (i.e. parked in public car parks etc) since it was so tatty. However, I eventually realised that, just like me with other peoples cars, most Mofans like to see Mopars whatever the condition!!
Here’s a pic at the 2000 Mopar Euronats


Finally a few years ago we were in the position to do a proper job on the rust. I'd been collecting panels for years and years, and fully intended to do all the body and paint work myself. However, much against the grain, I realised that although I had the tools, I would NEVER have the time to do the huge amount of bodywork required, so I farmed it out.
It eventually became obvious that for a proper job I'd pretty much need to strip the entire car, so over Christmas I disassembled it completely (I do mean completely - not a single nut or bolt remained), recording the details on hundreds of digital photos so I knew how to put it back together!!
A few pics of the disassembly and general rusty nature!!





No, NOT my handiwork




OK, not long after that the bodywork started in earnest. Despite a few intense ups and downs, it was definitely the right move to outsource the bodywork, it took the guy 3 months full time, working long hours to do it. The whole car was sandblasted, underneath and all. That wasn’t the plan but once we’d agreed to blast it, it was almost as easy to have the underside done. So I ended up with a painted bottom







I was busy in the meantime, amongst other things putting a fibreglass hood on my old original hood bracing, and the doors – I decided to weld in my old door inners to my replacement doors since they had some mounting points cut out and my inners had more factory reinforcing on them



New (or rustfree used) sheetmetal included...... trunk lid, 2 doors, 2 front wings, rear floorpans, rear quarters, cowl, trunk floor, trunk extensions, rear wheelhouses….are you getting the picture!?? It took me a lot of time and a fair bit of money to collect all of those over 15 years, all brought back from the US!

Anyway after a long haul we got to paint……




So I've been reassembling and rebuilding the rest of the car ever since, I've still got a long way to go. I've been working on cars since I was 16, and yet it STILL amazes me how long things can take. Even with all that experience I still hopelessly underestimate the time and energy it takes, especially when you are fussy like me - I have to get it exactly how I want it!!

Anyway, the new engine is a 340 stroker! At the time I spec’d it and bought the engine parts there were no other SB strokers over here in the UK (in fact, I'm amazed there are still so few). I bought all the parts remotely in the US, and found a used block and had it machined there too to save money (but not time). This is a recurring theme with this car by the way. I've got great value for money, mainly because a project of this size is expensive whatever way you look at it, and the only way I could undertake it is to get the absolute best bang for the buck - very little splashing out. I bought a set of used W2 heads from Ryan which will go great with this engine. They've been ported and I have the flowbench data to show they flow over 300cfm, which is more than enough for my needs!! I've got H-beam rods and custom CP forged pistons which are really nice pieces.




As far as the body was concerned, I unfortunately had to spend a huge amount of time touching up the paint underneath the car. Although the paint job was very nice, the sandblasting underneath should really have been done better, and a lot of the nooks and crannies underneath had really been painted over dirt and grease, or even not painted at all. Here are just a couple of examples

Most of it was fine, but due to my paranoia about rust returning, I've went over every square inch of the underside and either painted it where it was missing or thin, or stripped it off and repainted where it wasn't done right. Lesson for all - if you are getting car blasted, make sure every bit is properly stripped, I would gladly have paid for another day if it meant missing all this work!

It's all for protection rather than cosmetics - no-one will ever see most of it!

Anyway, here's one example, the radiator yoke. While I was at it I noticed that the whole rad crossmember had been knocked back, and was all a bit skewed, so I fixed that with a length of angle iron, steel blocks, and lots of leverage - took courage I can tell you - I had to do it carefully due to my lovely fresh paint surrounding it all. Also, here's my low buck device which worked flawlessly to straighten it out some of the creases and dents!

Some in-progress and finished shots
.

Here you can see the finished yoke - the blue tape are all bits that still needed touching up!! (though now all done)


Also did front Chassis rails at the same time. Here's an in- progress and finished pic

Next was the heater plenum (i.e the inside of the cowl), I've sealed the whole seam (tough to get to) and painted the floor of it, again all to keep the rot at bay, mine rusted out here before bigtime, as the previous pictures show.

It took me over a year of work to finish off the paint, for the reasons above!!

Other stuff I did was finishing the K frame and LCA's. I already reinforced the K-frame in all the right places, and seam welded it all the way round. Here are the plates I made and welded in.


And here are a few pics of the finished bit.


Next was making some sway bar tabs. I can tell you it took a long time getting all the measurements from photos, and making up templates. I'm pleased with the results though, finally finished them and welded on to LCA's. Here are the tabs, and my mocked up sway bar assembly.

I also welded on the LCA reinforcements underneath as you can see.


Next I made a deep oil pan! Yes, I know buying one would be quicker, but like everything I either can't get one, or what I can get doesn't fit my needs! Most of the deep pans hang too low, I want one that is not really below the K member - ground clearance is a priority on this car in case I lower it a bit, especially with all the speed bumps in this country GRRR, hence the TTi's etc.

Here's my new stock pan mocked up. I assembled the K member then got out my headers and PS box to make sure where I had clearance.


Here's the finished oilpan, holds over 2 quarts extra without hanging below the K-member




Next made up all new brake lines, following the originals pretty closely. I also took the opportunity to fit my new disc brake calipers (was drums originally) and master cylinder, plus plumbed in my line lock and proportioning valve





Other jobs were refurbing the rear lights……..



……and wiring harness, and also working on the fuel system. I converted my sender to half inch line, and made up a whole new set of lines in aluminum, I'm pretty pleased with the result. Also refurbed the tank, made a real mess of the garage getting all that external rust off (inside is as good as new!). Because of the mess I made derusting it, and since I needed to contain any painting I did, I decided to make up a mini collapsible booth in the garage. I put an extract on it for a vacuum cleaner, and an intake filter to get fresh air through. Worked very well for both sanding stuff and painting, and it collapses away to take up very little room. Result.









The booth!!


Next was the heater box. The original was in a real mess, rusty and all the foam was dust, so I disassembled the whole thing, blasted and painted all the air doors, painted the motor, and reassembled with new foam, gaskets, caulking, and heater core. Should function a whole let better




Also required was a wiper motor overhaul - this one came apart completely, deriveted, stripped all the parts cleaned, primed, painted, regreased, and reassembled, then tested, all works well.



Next step was rear mounted battery. Wanted it to look almost ‘factory’, so all the wires are concealed or wrapped as factory wiring. Made up a bracket to house fuses, starter relay, disconnect switch, and battery vent through floor (using my old fuel sender outlet!), all using the original mounting holes and position of the fuel vapour separator, which I decided not to reuse. Very pleased with this all-in-one!


Made battery tray to fit in place, neatly clamped from bottom.



The starter cable will only ever be live during cranking. You could accidentally slice it in two and nothing would short out or burn. Mind you, I’ve armoured it anywhere it is vulnerable anyway. Put a lot of thought into the routing and it should work great – again, no extra holes made!! Uses the redundant firewall hole for 4-speeds, and the wires come out in just the right place.

Next I installed new firewall insulation, the recon’d heater box, pedals, fresh air vent, washer pump etc etc, all rebuilt.



Looks a bit different now to when I took it apart!


Next on the list were refurbing the horns and the voltage regulator. Not too difficult, though still takes time. My sandblast cabinet is great though. $130 off Ebay and works a charm. ….




Next I turned to the door handles. I needed to smarten ‘em up a bit cos they were a bit tatty.
Also, when I bought the car it had a ‘repaired’ drivers handle (steel handle and not the right size) and a broken passenger’s (no handle). E-Body handles are prone to this. Many years ago I got a used pass handle, so I’m left with an incorrect drivers side, a working passengers handle, and a ‘spare’ broken pass side handle that was in the glovebox when I bought it.
Hmmm, I thought, I wonder if I can combine the broken pass handle with the incorrectly repaired drivers handle to get a working ‘correct’ one…….so that’s what I did, pretty happy with the result!!




Also got loads of stuff powder coated, looks great (with a couple of exceptions that they hadn’t properly done)

As well I had a bunch of stuff plated, fasteners and all kinds, which was fantastic bang for the buck and really made a difference. Not all 'concours' correct plating, but it's not a concours car!



OK, that is it for now……..more to follow

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Gavin] #304640
05/04/09 08:38 AM
05/04/09 08:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 28,312
Cincinnati, Ohio
Challenger 1 Offline
Too Many Posts
Challenger 1  Offline
Too Many Posts

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 28,312
Cincinnati, Ohio
Great attention to detail. Great progress, I'm sure that car will be very nice, heck it very nice as it sits!!

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Challenger 1] #304641
05/04/09 09:31 AM
05/04/09 09:31 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,894
Mira Loma, CA
69B3GT Offline
top fuel
69B3GT  Offline
top fuel

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,894
Mira Loma, CA
Simply beautiful. Nice challenger

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Gavin] #304642
05/04/09 03:54 PM
05/04/09 03:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 549
ohio
70shaker6pk Offline
super gas
70shaker6pk  Offline
super gas

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 549
ohio
Great work, Very nice car!!

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: 70shaker6pk] #304643
05/04/09 04:25 PM
05/04/09 04:25 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,107
Third Stone from the Sun
Scotts72Rallye Offline
top fuel
Scotts72Rallye  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,107
Third Stone from the Sun
Quote:

Great work, Very nice car!!



Scott


1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Scotts72Rallye] #304644
05/10/09 08:12 PM
05/10/09 08:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,274
MARYLAND
69Cuda340S Offline
master
69Cuda340S  Offline
master

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,274
MARYLAND
That car looks outstanding!! You are going to love the power that SB stroker makes.

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: 69Cuda340S] #304645
05/11/09 05:22 PM
05/11/09 05:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Gavin Offline OP
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Gavin  Offline OP
top fuel

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the comments, tomorrow I'll try and post the next installment.....it's about the same length as the above, hope this is not crashing anyone's PC

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Gavin] #304646
05/17/09 07:01 PM
05/17/09 07:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,558
Montana
F
FuryUs Offline
master
FuryUs  Offline
master
F

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,558
Montana
Well, it's tomorrow... and then some!

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: FuryUs] #304647
05/17/09 11:06 PM
05/17/09 11:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 623
Smack dab in the middle of Ill...
JamaicaBlue Offline
mopar
JamaicaBlue  Offline
mopar

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 623
Smack dab in the middle of Ill...
Looks excellent...I wish my Challenger was that far along.

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: FuryUs] #304648
05/18/09 04:01 PM
05/18/09 04:01 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,107
Third Stone from the Sun
Scotts72Rallye Offline
top fuel
Scotts72Rallye  Offline
top fuel

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,107
Third Stone from the Sun
Quote:

Well, it's tomorrow... and then some!


The suspense is killing me Gavin!
Scott


1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Scotts72Rallye] #304649
05/23/09 02:49 PM
05/23/09 02:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Gavin Offline OP
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Gavin  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
OK, sorry about that, didn’t get to it and went on vacation for a week!

Anyway, much has happened since the last time I actually posted all those pictures originally. One of the most significant is that I am now the father of twin 15 month old toddlers!!! Needless to say that has had a pretty major impact on the time I can spend on the car. But I have to take the time where I can get it, this has already taken much longer than planned and I don’t want to be too old to enjoy the car when it is done!!!
Alright….picking up from where I left off……..

I reassembled a lot of the stuff I’d had plated, including the shifter linkage, hood latches, etc

Then I got on with installing the radiator, more front end sheet metal installation, and doing the radiator yoke blackout.
I got a 4 core 26" rad (man it's heavy) to fit in my 22" core. Since the car was already painted I was not gonna fit the now-available replacement panel to convert the yoke, and after a lot of consideration I decided to drill a couple of extra holes as the best method. Sounds simple.....but it is a TIGHT fit, I since found out that the drivers side is also slightly different on a 26" car. I wanted to get the rad centred in the factory position, and also be at the correct height, level etc, However, I also needed to space it back just a fraction more on the passenger side to allow some air to pass through the shrouded section, but without it looking obvious. I'm happy with the result, it's perfectly level, correctly centred, and close enough in height and spacing to look correct. Another 'simple' job that was anything but!





I then did the yoke blackout, after referring to the factory diagrams and a few photos I've collected over the years from previous posts. . Rather than mask off the whole car/garage, I taped off the front end and enclosed it using tarpaulins and the garage door to create a mini-booth!! Using the vac as an extractor, I went ‘inside’ and sprayed it up - it turned out pretty well!!





Another mod was to the kickdown linkage and associated brackets. With my taller intake the standard linkage won’t work. There are aftermarket options but I kinda like the cleaner factory type look, and of course it didn’t cost me anything (except time!). I extended two linkage rods using some spare bolts) and the bracket. One of the rods wouldn’t normally need extending but mine was originally from a 2 bbl These are before and after shots. Later on I did another round of plating, so got them plated too





I put the new washer bottle in, cleaned and reused the original hose, and refurbed the rest – the foot pump was disassembled and put back together, new firewall grommet used, and the washer jets replated and reused. Also had to drill out a couple of holes in the hood to let the jets through - I’m using a fibreglass hood top as I couldn’t locate a metal hood over here in the UK. It looks pretty good but the blower intake vents in the hood were moulded in. I painted them all matt black to help the illusion and made the required two holes (actually I put one in the wrong slot first – so three holes !!)



Next up was the whole dash. This has turned out to be an entire ‘mini-project’!

First I needed to repair the switch panel. I’m guessing that at some time it had been replaced, the bezel around the convertible top switch was broken, plus there was no switch label for that switch. I stripped down the whole panel, switches and all, cleaned up all the electrics, fitted a replacement dimmer switch that I have had for years, and built up the broken section with epoxy, then covered with a silver disc to match the other switches – I made this from an old credit card!!! I love it when an off-the-wall solution works!



I re-inked all the markings on the switches, then I had a go at making a new switch decal.....pic of original next to my new one!! (the one on the car was not correct, didn't have the 'Top Lift' writing, plus it was worn and nasty!). I found a few fuzzy pictures of originals, scanned in my one, recreated it, and added the missing writing. You wouldn’t know it’s not original!



Next was refitting the glovebox – I had a new cardboard one but I’d been looking for a place to put a load of electrical stuff and this seemed like a good one. I mocked up a completely modified glovebox which would accommodate my MSD ignition, rev limiter, electronics boxes for all the new gauges and my tach adaptor. I decided the best electrical approach was to fit an auxiliary fusebox here too, and after a LOT of searching found a marine one which was exactly what I needed. After some internal mods to the busbar, and the addition of a relay triggered by the ignition feed, I now have 12 extra fused electrical feeds – some permanent 12V feeds, and some ignition-switched. These power all the stuff in the glovebox, plus the line lock, and I have some spares for future additions. Finally, this panel also served as a junction box for the main battery feed (now that it is rear mounted).

I’d decided that I could sacrifice the glovebox function if necessary, but thought I’d give it a go to see if I could still retain a little storage there too. Fitting all that stuff was a TIGHT fit and took numerous trial fittings, but I did succeed in keeping a tray in there which I could keep a few small things in. Another result I’m very happy with, and that took some time to do!



Next I refurbed some more of the dash panels. The heater switch panel actually has a painted finish (meaning it had deteriorated so needed a repaint). I used a bumper paint to adhere to the plastic. It’s not textured like the original but it looks good enough. I also disassembled all the switch and heater control gear, and repainted all the lettering and the surround (white letters, silver surround). What a transformation. Lastly I added my line lock switch, enlarging a hole that was already there on my panel.





At the same time I disassembled all the dash wiring connectors and cleaned up all the terminals – soaking them in phosphoric acid is a good way to get to the female connectors, so I did this on all of them. I also cleaned up the wires and the insulation tape – mostly I’ve been replacing this but on the dash it wasn’t too bad so mostly I just cleaned it up. I added any new wiring at the same time.
Another thing I did here was to modify the mechanical 5V voltage regulator for the dash with solid state components – much more stable and less heat too.

Also needed to rebuild the lighting panel for the dash lights. Aside from the usual dim lighting, the coloured filters used had dulled over time but mainly one was burnt and needed replacing. So I decided to do them all. Got hold of some lighting gel of EXACTLY the right colour thanks to a friend and stamped out the right bits. The panel needed stripping and repainting anyway, so did that at the same time.



I also needed to clean and tart up the bezels etc, this proved difficult since some of them were quite ‘chalky’ in appearance. I don’t really like the shiny finish you get with Armorall or other silicone based protectants (plus it’s not good for the plastic) so after mucho research I got hold of some 303 and I like it. I also painted on the silver bezel highlights – not chrome like the original but looks 90% as good for 1% of the price!
The plastic lenses got polished and I repainted the needles in the original colour. I didn’t really need to reface the gauges to be honest (so I didn’t!). However the high beam idiot light was always rubbish, the filter was too small and not very obvious, so I made a new one in traditional blue and the same size as the other dash lights.



The dash pad also needed fixing up. On the underside I cut away the plastic ‘flash’, got rid of the surface rust, and then attacked some of the metal frame rust – not severe but needed a go. On the top side there were some minor bubbles in the vinyl where it had lifted slightly. I’ve heard of injecting some glue in there, but when I got some needles that could do it they were pretty big! I thought it might leave some visible holes. After having a think and cleaning up the vinyl I drilled some holes from the underside of the pad, injected them with glue and clamped them to the right profile until they dried (a bit of brake line was the key ingredient!). I reckon I could do it even better if I did it again but it looks in pretty decent shape I would say.

Before


During


After




After all that work on the dash I was finally ready to reassemble and finish it. Everything went back in, along with the new ‘glovebox’ and all the wiring associated with the modifications – man there was a lot of it!!






I fitted the dash pad in place



And finally with help of my visiting Dad lifted it into place on the car!!! One of those moments of reward for all the hard work. I connected up various wires and cables




Another thing I’ve done is remake the headlight harness. I wanted to use relays to power the headlights just to make sure I got full voltage to them – Mopars are notorious for low voltage even when new and if you look at the maths the amount of light output you get falls off dramatically with even a small voltage drop. So this is worth doing even with the standard lights. However, it made sense to upgrade to halogen anyway. I decided to modify the original wiring – I like the idea of having four headlights on instead of two during normal operation (standard you get all four lights on full beam only), so I sourced up four units and designed up and made a harness to accommodate these. I used good existing parts of the original harness in places (although the original had been completely butchered by a previous owner, so I did not have much to work with!), and added wire and upgraded the gauge where necessary, and also took a power feed from the starter relay. The good thing is that the original harness carries the alternator feed to that relay, so since I don’t need that anymore with my rear battery, I deliberately made the new harness resemble the old – a fat red wire exits the loom and connects in the same place as the original, even though it has a different function. I also made an aluminium bracket to accommodate the relays, soldered and crimped all the connections, then wrapped it all up in tape and it does very nicely, while again resembling the original setup.

The original harness stripped down with a few wires removed…..


The ally bracket I made for the relays (mounts using an existing hole in body)


The finished new harness!!!



About this time I got a load more parts plated – great bang for the buck. The photo was the easiest way to figure out if I got back everything I sent out!!!



Anyway here are two good examples of jobs that should 5 minutes but end up taking five hours – or more!!
First the bulkhead connector – place seal in, offer up to hole, install nuts, sorted, right?
Nope, no matter what I did it would not seal at the top. I had the hammer and dolly out on the bulkhead (which meant I then had to touch up the paint later), I had to grind off some welds inside the car, and although that all improved things, eventually had to make a tapered spacer to push the seal further out at the top. I think this was all because the cowl was replaced and there was a patch panel from the donor right above the connector hole. It must have distorted the opening slightly. You wouldn’t know to look, but it wasn’t right and it did not seal – I had visions of it leaking like a sieve. So finally I got it done, but it took so much time.



Second example – the glovebox catch. Two screws, 2 minutes, right? Again – no! No matter how I adjusted it, the glovebox would not latch shut properly. I couldn’t figure out why. Then I figured out that the aluminium glovebox I made was thicker than the cardboard original, so had spaced the door up a little. So I decided to modify the catch. All was going well until I went too far and it broke off!! Now I had no catch…grrr. So I had to make an adjustable jig to fit and try and get the right dimensions for a modified catch, then when that was done had to make a new catch! This required heating a spare metal rod at its ends and hammering them flat etc etc. Eventually it was done and fitted – much better than before, still not perfect but it shuts and latches and the lid is suitably aligned – that was good enough for now.
So two jobs that should have taken a tea break and it took a full days work at least. No wonder it takes so long


I also reassembled the steering column, which ironically was an example of one of those rare jobs which went very smoothly!! Everything went back where it should, the new lock went in fine, and I removed (finally!) the annoying key buzzer for good!
Once I got a grommet (thanks to another friend) I was able to refit the column, an actual 5 minute job (that took 5 minutes), and then I could sit on a footstool behind the wheel and make V8 noises while ‘driving’ the car ops: ops:…no of course I did not do that.

Here is the column after 30 years of use


Disassembled


Parts refurbed – e.g. the column bracket


Reassembled




And finally…..reinstalled


Anyway, then all I had to do was connect up the column electrical plugs to have a mostly-functioning electrical system! Because I relocated the battery and isolated the starter cable, plus am not using the bulkhead connector to feed the main power through anymore as it is a weak point, the whole system is a bit different to before. It meant power cables from the rear which I had to connect into the main power splice in the car. Easiest/best place to do this with my setup (complete with added fusebox as described) was at the ammeter. The ammeter won’t work anymore anyway due to my rear battery layout (and is another weak point anyway) so I just connected the ammeter leads to my new powerfeeds with a small busbar I made.


So after all that you can imagine I connected the steering column wiring and connected the battery with a little trepidation. Would there be sparks, smoking wires or blown fuses?? Anyway, I opened the door and the underdash light came on!! Flicked the headlight switch and the lights worked….yeeeeh, seemed like another important milestone, finally the car had its lifeblood restored. I grounded the starter relay and turned the ignition switch – the test light worked – we have ignition!!

I’ve also refitted many small parts like the latches, door locks, etc, plus some of the window mechanism, I have to say that every time I refit a latch (door, boot, bonnet) I have some kind of baffling alignment problem…I’ve had to move on on one or two of those to come back another time.

Did some more wiring, this time the final!! harness which is the engine harness.
Here it is to start with


Following my established path I wanted something that resembled stock but is actually quite customised. I wanted to try and run the MSD wires through the factory bulkhead connector, and also incorporate into the harness my Unilite distributor wiring/plug. So after much thought I freed up three slots in the original connector and set about it (I no longer use the original alternator feed, don’t need the electric washer wire, and one slot was spare anyway).
Here you can see the before and after on the bulkhead connector


And here you can see the Unilite plug in the harness and also the MSD wires to the coil exiting


and the other side of the bulkhead with the new wires


Also the other end of the harness where the alternator field wires and the temp sender exit


Under the dash where the MSD wires plug to the new harness (along with my tacho feed)


I mocked up the coil on the engine to check the wire lengths I needed, then decided that since the MSD coil is supposed to be mounted upright, I might as well make a bracket to do that


Then finished off my ‘new’ harness and wrapped it. Here it is….doesn’t look anything special really……exactly!!


I also wanted to be able to bypass the MSD in case it ever failed, and eventually figured out a good way to do that via a jumper loom in the Unilite connector – that’s one bit that can wait , the main thing is I’ve built the harness as it needs to work with that.

Anyway, that will do for now, that is almost up to date – trouble is if I try to get it 100% current it keeps changing, better to post something!!

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Gavin] #304650
10/26/09 12:24 AM
10/26/09 12:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,586
missouri, USA
moparmojo Offline
master
moparmojo  Offline
master

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,586
missouri, USA
nice

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: moparmojo] #304651
10/26/09 09:16 AM
10/26/09 09:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,526
Tenn.
jrwoodjoe Offline
master
jrwoodjoe  Offline
master

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,526
Tenn.
You have really done a lot of work to your car Gavin. Looks fantastic!

Joe



65 Barracuda
70 Challenger
Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: jrwoodjoe] #304652
10/26/09 05:42 PM
10/26/09 05:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Gavin Offline OP
top fuel
Gavin  Offline OP
top fuel

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Thanks guys, done quite a bit more work since as well, though progress doesn't seem that quick - no change there!
In due course I'll post another update!

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Gavin] #304653
10/29/09 12:28 PM
10/29/09 12:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,401
Chicago, Illinois
Devil Offline
I Live Here
Devil  Offline
I Live Here

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,401
Chicago, Illinois
Are you looking to adopt? I come with Mopars?

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Devil] #304654
10/29/09 07:17 PM
10/29/09 07:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Gavin Offline OP
top fuel
Gavin  Offline OP
top fuel

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Quote:

Are you looking to adopt? I come with Mopars?


Sure! Why not! I need a new challenge for all my spare time

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Gavin] #304655
11/02/09 12:40 AM
11/02/09 12:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,401
Chicago, Illinois
Devil Offline
I Live Here
Devil  Offline
I Live Here

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,401
Chicago, Illinois
And a Challenge (or Challengers) there will be!

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: Devil] #304656
11/02/09 03:46 AM
11/02/09 03:46 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 27,347
Today? Who Knows?
1_WILD_RT Offline
Management Trainee
1_WILD_RT  Offline
Management Trainee

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 27,347
Today? Who Knows?
Your doing an amazing job!! I like all the attention to detail that most of us would miss if you didn't point it out...

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: 1_WILD_RT] #304657
11/04/09 01:32 PM
11/04/09 01:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 75
pennsylvania
C
conv71 Offline
member
conv71  Offline
member
C

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 75
pennsylvania
looks good so far ,are u at least gonna change it from auto to 4sp???

Re: Gavins 71 Challenger vert, 414 SB rebuild....... [Re: conv71] #304658
11/06/09 04:49 PM
11/06/09 04:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Gavin Offline OP
top fuel
Gavin  Offline OP
top fuel

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,747
London, England
Quote:

looks good so far ,are u at least gonna change it from auto to 4sp???


Yeah it's on my list right behind adopting Ryan

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