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Old 08-29-2002, 02:48 PM
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Question newby seeking advice

hello everyone,

I'm gonna level with all of you right now, I don't know a whole lot about cars. I'm looking into getting an early 70's cuda that's already been fully restored. Assuming I can find one in as good condition as it's possible to be in, do you think I can get by with basic maintenance? How long is it likely to last if I'm not gonna be up to tinkering with it all the time? I'm dedicated to the idea and am willing to learn everything within reason to keep it running smooth. Feedback? Am I crazy and foolish? Are cudas not reliable for daily drivers? What are the things I'm going to have to learn?

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Old 08-29-2002, 02:57 PM
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I think its a great idea to get a cuda. If it has a 318 it would make a great daily driver with very little maintenance. In my opinion the 318 was one of the better engines ever made. The old push button transmission was also bullet proof.

If you get the car, join a club that specializes in the make and get all the manuals you can find. This will help with tune up specs and minor to major adjustments and rebuilds. Get on forums like this one and ask questions. Some stuff is not in any manual and the people that deal with these cars know how to fix them. Just look at some of the posts on overheating and engine rebuilding.

Good luck and welcome to the old car hobby. It's great fun and very rewarding. You sure get a lot more attention than if you drive around a Ford Tempo.
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Old 08-29-2002, 03:08 PM
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If you get a smooth running 'cuda thats already been gone through from rubber to seat springs ($$$$$) upkeep would be reletively easy. Like Mertz said, join a 'cuda club or Plymouth or mopar club and there should be some diehard mopar wrenchers that can walk you through all you need to know. As for a daily driver, I myself would always like to have backup transportantion like an old beater truck or land barge for the messy nasty everyday BS like fishing or carpool or helpin a buddy move a couch or his abnormally large wife across town. Muscle cars and rods are awsome, but sometimes you just need a beater to bomb around in. Plus if you have kids and one asks "dad can I barrow the car" you can say suuuuure and givem the beaters keys and not worry about seeing your car in a ditch or around a tree, oh yeah your kid either

HK
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Old 08-29-2002, 03:57 PM
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Cuda......yeah my friend has a 72 340 and another has a 73 360. I had a Dart back in HS with a slavaged 413. Mopar rules. You can get a good running 318 for descent money. If you want over the top get a Hemi Cuda <img src="graemlins/evil.gif" border="0" alt="[evil]" />
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Old 08-30-2002, 06:22 AM
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Get one and be happy! listen to the advice above me. These are smart fellas.

Be outrageous, it's free! <img src="graemlins/mwink.gif" border="0" alt="[mwink]" />
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Old 08-31-2002, 07:39 AM
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first off welcome aboard;
its important to find a car in really good shape if your a beginer so that large repair projects dont slap you all at once. you have to take care of the little things as soon as you notice them! dont ignore a new squeak or rattle. if your not sure how to fix a certain problem get help. if you let things go an older car like that will fall apart a lot faster than you think. good luck.
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Old 08-31-2002, 02:25 PM
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Thanks for all the responses! You never know how newby questions are gonna get treated on a board and it's cool that everyone is nice and helpful. Some more questions for you:

1: Is there somewhere on the internet to look for classified ads for this sort of thing? (I've already checked a few out but if there's a really good place to look I'd love to know about it)

2: This one might ruffle a few feathers, but I live in New York and this car is going to see some exposure to the elements. Does that rust prevention stuff work? What's the best kind? What's the cheapest way of protecting it if it's gonna (unfortunately ) be parked outside? One of those blue tarps maybe?

3: There any nationwide appraisal service of some sort to ensure I get it in as good condition as the seller is saying? Honest and cheap are key.

4: How much pampering is this car gonna need? Can I just drive it and get by with changing the oil and little things like that? Are the things I'm gonna have to do to keep it running smoothly require an investment in tools? Are parts gonna be a hassle? If there's a big problem, am I gonna get screwed if I just take it to a mechanic?

5: Leading in somewhat from the previous question, how long is one of these things gonna last (bearing in mind the aforementioned weather situation) assuming things go about average and I do my best to take care of it? Is mileage gonna be a big factor in a restored car? Most of the ones I've looked at had at least 75 thou on them.

Whew! That's all I can think of at the moment. A lot to lay on you all at once, I'm sure. Thanks again for being nice folks. Awaiting your replies.
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Old 08-31-2002, 06:24 PM
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Talking

i didn't notice you were from new york, the winter's will definatly shorten the life of your car the only way to try to protect the car is to make sure you get the under carrige really clean and use ample amounts of the rubberized undercoating everywhere you can.
if your going to have to use it all year round i wouldn't get to fancy on what you get if you spend a lot on a real classic your going to loose your investment cause its not going to last. besides you dont really want to drive a car with front drum brakes in the snow trust me!!!!!
i was in a jam once and had to take my chevy to work one day in a snow storm, it was an experience i'll not soon forget. i got about a 1/2 mile from my house went down a slight hill and that was it i turned around and went home. thats why 30 years ago a 6 inch snow storm would shut down a city you couldn't get around!
if your going to use it year round my advice would be to get a 70's era pick-up or blazer/bronco get some manuals and howto books and build your skills, then when you can save enough cach get a classic car you can drive WHEN you want to you'll be much less frustrated that way. good luck hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2002, 04:03 PM
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Really, the winta's and freekin' balmy in New England
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