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Old 09-21-2004, 11:52 AM
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Possible Dart Project (maybe too much?)

Hey guys; I'm considering starting a project on a 66' Dodge Dart 2 door. I would like to transplant a 360 cid crate motor. I read an article that said on A body cars; fitting a 727 torqueflite would require MAJOR alterations done to the car. In the long run; I would like to turn this little dodge from a neighbors yard ornament ; (straight body and little rust) ; into a:

stage 1: a nice clean 12- 13 second street ride part time driver to display at local car shows
stage 2: consistant 12 second bracket racer
stage 3: Eventually a VERY quick "pro street" car (maybe)

I realize that it may be a bit too much like a pipe dream ; and less based in reality. I have scoured the internet; and have found very few 66 or earlier "high performance" Dart projects. Might that be because it is way too difficult to use this early of a body style?

As you can probably tell; I am a beginner. In my 50s; old age wisdom tells me I should have stayed in the "rodding" game while I was young and had a mixed up priority list putting hot rods toward the top. I've had in the distant past: (2) 57' Chevies ; (1 was a "roller" race car I had to sell; needing the bucks; the other a daily driver with a 327 and a 4 speed) ;a 69' SS Chevelle "roller"; and a 68' 383 Roadrunner daily driver (mildly built. Ran consistant 13s) But these were all decades ago. Now; I even go to "Quik Lube" to get the oil changed in my quad cab(how embarassing) But I've decided to jump back in to the rodding world and get involved in a major project to help my mid-life crisis. So what do you guys think? Am I biting off more than I can chew?

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Old 09-21-2004, 12:31 PM
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I guess it depends on how much time you have and how much fabrication skills you have. Assuming these past cars are ones you built, it seems you would have the mechanical skills to do such a project however how skilled are you at welding and fabricating and what not? Ever done any suspension modification? I suppose it all comes down to a factor of time to learn, and time to do the work.

But Id say go for it and enjoy. Wont find many better places to get the info you need than here.
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:32 PM
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Well; basically I have basic mechanical skills; and basic tools. No welding or professional fabricating experience to speak of. Minor suspension mod experience. (ie, lifting my dodge ram QC, old days air shocks and traction bar install) But will fabricating be invoved in dropping in a 360 and 904 tranny? (I've found that the 904 will fit without mods) Shumacher Creative Services makes a kit for the motor transplant. Mostly I was wondering if anyone here has resurrected an old Dart with a new V8 heart ; and if there are any "out of the ordinary" special problems involved with the procedure? I've got plenty of time to learn and work on it; plus warm shelter for the winter. I considered looking around for a classic Nova (65-67 Which is HARD to find), and know most of the process is totally bolt on; plus plenty of parts readily available. But the Dodge Dart seemed more....unique to me. You don't see many of them around, thats for sure. (Souped up ones anyway) But I've got three stock ones sitting in people's yards within 10 miles of me. Heck; they might even pay me to tow em away! They seem to be abundant here in the Northwest.
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:39 PM
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Must be a Bend area thing. I never see them up here in the Portland area.
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Old 09-22-2004, 08:00 AM
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I guess I'm a lot like you....I was big into hot rods in the 70's and then started a career and a family. I'm now getting back into it, and jumped in with both feet. My feeling is if someone can take an old Ford, Chevy, or whatever from the 30's or 40's and stick a big block in it, chop it, channel it, nose and deck it....you can do it to just about anything. My problem is relearning the things I knew, learning new things as I go, and a lot of trial and error. That is one of the reasons I'm on this site, to learn and relearn. Building something that is not "usual" is what a lot of it is about. I say go for it and have a ton of fun in the process. Good luck!!!
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Old 09-22-2004, 09:33 AM
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Yeah; I think going after something unique ;(for me) ; although building a classic Chevy or Ford would be cool; having something that not many others have would have an added "stoked" factor. As big as the internet is; I've only found 2 other pre-67 darts that have been made into hot rods. How wierd is that?
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:17 PM
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I had a friend who had three going at one time. But I think he may not have them any more. Or at least not all three.
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