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Old 25-08-2014, 10:51 AM
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DaveD DaveD is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 154
Name: Dave
My '72 Challenger project

Hi Guy’s, I’ve been running this thread on some other forums & up till now I’ve really only been a lurker here really… this will be a long thread full of pics & will take a fair few posts just to get you all up to date with where I’m at with the car… Now something that will become very obvious to all very quickly is that I am by no means a mechanic & really haven’t got a clue what I’m doing here & most of what I’ve done I learned on the job, so I’m sure that there are better smarter more correcter ways of doing what I’ve done… but I’m having fun playing with it & that’s all that matters.

Right so lets start right at the beginning… this is how she looked the week I bought her & brought her home to my house in Ireland at the time back in 2010.. this house had no garage so our time living there post buying the Challenger was very short as we hunted a house with a garage big enough to take the car.

Once I had the car I started to put together a list of the things that I wanted to fix/change & I started to put together a bit of a plan in my head as to what I wanted from the car ultimately & that’s what the US call Restomod & I’ve recently ordered some big bits to kick that change off… but we’ll get to that in time when the pieces I’ve ordered get delivered. The car had a bad vibration when I bought her so I started down the path to find the fault & fix that, I pulled the driveshaft off to check the uni joints & they where very worn, so new uni joints where ordered as well as a new slip yolk… also the steering had a bit of play as you would expect from a 40 year old car & I tried to adjust it out with the built in shim adjuster but the box was too far gone, so I ordered a new quick ratio box for the car as well as some of the manuals

Some the first job was to pull the drive shaft off & have a look at the uni’s… well to say that they were stuffed is an understatement, they were so worn that the end that should be perfectly round looked like splined shafts the needle bearings had worn on them so much…

New uni’s where pressed in place to see if that would fix the issue, I had planned to swap out the slip yolk at this time also as I was lucky enough to have access to mate's lift to get easy access to the shaft… sadly the slip yolk they sent me was the wrong one…. So we just had to put the old one back in.. the new Uni’s made a huge difference to the car, but the vibration was still there, now just not as bad

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Then I decided to work on some of the simple little details that I felt would make the car what I wanted, I’ve always felt that sometime the simple small detail changes can make a huge difference to a car.. for example I really love the clean lines that my Challenger has from the side because a previous owner decided to remove & fill in both the front & rear side marker lights that a Challenger should have.. I just love how so many people have stared at her & said “it just looks different, I don’t know why it just does”… So I chose to replace the steering wheel which looked & felt like one from an 80’s arcade car racing game & I opted to go with a larger diameter Grant wood rimmed wheel, not only did it look much better now but the larger wheel made the steering feel lighter & easier at low speeds for parking & the likes

Then I decided that I just had to have the famous Pistol Grip shifter for my Challenger, in my mind this is an Iconic image for a Challenger… so out with the old

In with the new

Another iconic image I always had of Challengers was the flip top fuel cap… but they stopped fitting them as standard from ’72 on.. so mine just had a flat cap… so off that went too

& on went the race inspired flip top

I then changed the plain black plates you can see in the first pics for a set of US styled plates… as I said, for me it’s the small details sometimes that outweigh the big ones

By now the correct slip yoke turned up in the post so it off to find somewhere to allow me access under the car to pull the shaft yet again, my mates lift was full of Boss Stang at the time so a pit was found

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Now this improved the vibration even further but it was still there, so I went looking for someone to balance the drive shaft & tried another 3 places… all of them told me that they couldn’t help & that none of their equipment could test or balance a shaft like mine…. Now whilst under the car this time I noticed that the inside of the drivers side rear wheel was covered in oil.. looked like the axel bearings has shat themselves… so I decided that this was a job too far for my skills & I farmed this one out… A guy in central Dublin was suggested to me & I was amazed to find a workshop & nearby lockup filled with ‘50’s & ‘60’s American cars in central Dublin… for obvious reasons I’m not going to post up the location here.. but if anyone has an American car that needs work done PM me & I’ll give you a good tip..

So back in the air she went again

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By now I had been doing a lot of driving in the old girl & I was feed up with the way the suspension was working, or not working as it was… so I ordered a shiny new set of adjustable shocks for her

Nice easy job, jack up a wheel at a time, pull the old shock off & fit the new one…

Old front vs new front

Old rear vs new rear

The new fronts made a massive difference & are fantastic I must say.. when the old rears where removed it was noted that they could not be compressed at all really they where almost solid, the new shocks even on the hardest of there 12 settings where way softer & this showed up the fact that the rear springs where shot too…. so a plan was hatched to replace them too, this hasn’t happened yet but the bits are ordered.. to give you an idea of what I’m doing google the Hoskitch E-Max Challenger..

I went for a long drive to the beach one day with Keith & on the way out the M50 the car started to develop a misfire… so whilst we ate some chips on the beach we pondered what that might be

We checked all the leads & noticed that they where badly cracked really & probably should be replaced… then once home I did a bit more poking around & found a cracked plug to be the issue

So I replaced the plugs all round & ordered a new set of leads to make up

Now putting the stupid clip ends onto the leads to make them up is a complete frontbottom of a job if your using the crappy little tool that they give you in the kit that has to be hit with a hammer… but it was all I had so it was round to a mates place for a helping had to know up some new leads.. how he still has all his fingers is anyones guess. I’m not happy with the lengths of the leads & I was out shopping today & I bought the correct professional crimping tool & I plan on recutting all the leads & making them up fresh again some night this week.. I’ll take lots of pics & put that in this build thread in a few days

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