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View Poll Results: 1973 Duster. A good buy/project?
Great car! Great price! Go for it. 1 33.33%
Looking good but will be tough. 1 33.33%
It's your call. I'm not too sure about it. 1 33.33%
Forget it. Don't even try. 0 0%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-17-2004, 08:20 PM
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Is this Duster a Good Buy?

Hi everyone,

Last weekend I was driving with my family on the backroads in the country. We drive by this house where there's a muscle car of some sort sitting under the front tree with a big "for sale" sign on it's hood. As we drive by I inmediately think this could be "it". I tell my dad to stop and he does. We get out of the car and ring the doorbell. It turns out its a 1973 Plymouth Duster. It has a slant 6 engine in it that's still runnin. On one side is has a little bit of rust. The rest of the body looks straight and good. The lady gave me the keys to sit in it. The interior is almost perfect. Original seats, dash, gauges, steering wheel, shifter and tranny.....everything original. Under the radio there were 3 wire sticking out. The lady said the her husband had it running last weekend but the fuel pump is broken. Everything else seems to be running. It's definitely a project car and not yet a daily driver. It was dark so I couldn't see too much. But I did sit in the car and made VROOOM, VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM noises. I asked for the price and she said $700 cnd. (about 500 u.s.). This would be my first restoration project, my first rod, my first car EVER! Now I'm askin you guys if this is a good buy. I'll try to get her down to $500. I'm going by daylight next weekend to check it out again.
If anybody know if this is a good car or bad car or any particular tip about his buy please let me know.

MIke

P.S.: Her husband is also selling a 340 to go with it. Price of that bad boy is still no known. We'll see what happens.

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Old 03-17-2004, 08:27 PM
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It may be a good buy....to put a V8 in it, you need to change the "K" member, which is the crossmember that holds all the front suspension together.
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:31 PM
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If the body is in good shape, and IF (big if here) it is only the fuel pump that's bad, it's definitely worth looking at more seriously. $700 is a steal for a car that's in that good shape, especially if the interior isn't mouse infested. Some of those old back country cars have been sitting in the back 40 so long the interior is just dust. (Ha, get it, dust, Duster....ah never mind...).
Anyway, IMHO if ya got the cash, and your parents are okay with it, go for it.
And if the 340 is in good shape and the price is reasonable, go for that too. You never know when you might need a spare engine.

Good luck....

Chickie.

Ooops, forgot to log off the Chuckster....
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Old 03-17-2004, 09:06 PM
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In Michigan we called them "Rusters" , mother nature reclaimed most of them. The ones that survived seem to all be at the drags on the weekend!
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:03 AM
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Jack the car up and take a good luck underneath at the frame, gas tank,floorpan, pop the trunk and check the floor. Unibody construction is tough to work on if the rust is bad. If the fuel pump is the only major problem, prime the carb with a little gasoline and fire it up. 73's had some problems with horsepower because of the new smog laws but the car could run pretty good with a better distributor, carb, and exhaust manifold. The slant sixes are tough and can be made to run pretty quick. Good luck. Dan
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:16 AM
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a good project is a good automotive education! Heck, it doesn't really matter if it runs or not, does it? I mean, you're going to yank that mill out anyway right?

Just keep in mind that the MOST expensive part of a car is the body and paint. Sometimes its better to spend a little more money at the beginning, it saves you money in the end. I would be looking for a car with good paint (one that could be polished up or is in good to very good shape) that has all the mechanical shot in it. Dumping a motor in is easy and the costs involved are easy to spot ahead of time, body is not the same way.

For instance, if you find a car with a great body and crap motor for 2500, THAT is an awesome deal. This car is a fun project, but you're going to be 3500-5000 dollars into the paint and body alone.

Importance level in a possible project:
Paint-body
electrical
interior
mechanicals

Just my .02

K
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Old 03-18-2004, 05:04 AM
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If your thinking bout dropping the 340 in it I wouldnt worry bout the condition of the six banger.
The body is the biggest worry on it. Duster parts wont be had at the local Autozone, but you can find em. Go in the daytime and look it over real good, underneath especially. If its good, then Id nab it.
As Bob said, most are at the drags, so a street car would be nice and different. Good luck. HG
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Old 03-18-2004, 07:21 AM
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Man you found the kind of car that i want. I've always wanted a duster. 1971 Duster 340 I'd buy it, but thats just me
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Old 03-18-2004, 07:51 AM
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Alright,

thanks a lot for the advice so far guys but I have a couple more questions:

If I do the paint job myself will it cost just as much? I thought about taking the angle hand grinder and grind all the little rust spots of. Then fill it wiht filler or weld a new piece back in. Then I'd sand the old paint down and apply 2 coats of primer. After that I'd sand until it's smooth. Finally apply 3-4 coats of metallic red or blue and after that 3-4 coats of clearcoat. I'd dissasemble driveshaft, tranny and everything under the car and spray it with anitrust. I'm on a tight budget so I thought I could just rebuild the original slant 6 engine (295?). Then paint the engine and engine compartement and maybe a new ehaust system. Everything I plan to get used, outta junkyard or NOS. Is this possble?

Mike

ps. I'll inform you more after I take a look at it again next weekend.
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:14 AM
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a picture would help......

The slant six is a 225 cu in.
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:44 PM
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don't waste your time and money on a slant six. You're buying the car to go fast aren't you? Put an 8 in it. Go fast.

K
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:49 PM
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Killerformula,

I'm on a pretty tight budget and I've never done an engine swap in my life. But like Poncho said I'd need to change the "K" member. I'm not sure if I'm up to that level of skill yet. Maybe I'll fix the slant 6 up a bit and after a year when I have more money I could replace it with a V8. Would a 350 smallblock fit or would I need extra motor moutns?

Mike
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:58 PM
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Nightfire, I think for your first car, or first project car, it's a fine buy. There's nothing wrong with the slant six for a beginning driver anyway. Learn how to be a good driver before you learn how to be a fast driver.

Chickie.
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:14 PM
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The 350 Chevy in a Duster sounds like fun...........really pi** off the HEMI kids................
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:30 PM
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no need to change the "K" member. theres a company that makes mounts that dont require changing K member, can even put a big block or hemi in it with 6 banger K member.
I forget for sure who it is, Im thinking Schumacher is the name.
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