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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2008, 02:55 AM
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i will wait for a donor roof and the fix on the problem below to proceed. I cant believe how hard it is to find one for a decent price being i can get a roof from any 2 door hard top car from 67 to 76 anywhere in the country. I cant find one under a thousand dollars. I was expecting to pay maybe 300 or so.

How do you use that tool. Its very strange looking to me. Ive never seen one of those before.

On another sad note.I think my frame is bent. The door has a Large 1/8 inch gap between the door and the fender and the same gap between the door and the quarter panel. If i line it up one side or the other the gap will be more to one side and be a 1/4 inch gap. something is wrong, maybe the gap is more than a 1?4, I know for a fact something is not right and its not panel alignment.
The passenger side wheel sticks out further than the drivers side and the driver side tire would hit if the panel and alignment of wheels was fixed so it wouldn't. the windshield has a crack going horizontal right in the middle of the windshield. I think my car was hit in the drivers side fender at the wheel and bent the frame toward the passenger side a 1/4 inch making this big door gap and pushing the drivers side tire a quarter inch forward so it would hit the fenderwell and making the passenger side wheel stick out of the panel. How can i fix this. I see no cracks or torn metal. I have a body measurement chart and everything measures fine in some places i checked like under the hood. The person who aligned my door last tried to compensate by putting it in the middle to have an equal gap and did a good job.I called a frame guy and he will look at it next week. I have pics of this for you to see if you can tell me how to post them. or i can e mail them. I never took this seriously because i was never going to make the car nice. If im going to replace the roof i might as well make it nice and straight. I still have high spirits and only find one more learning experience with this mess. Cant learn if you don't try.

I need a roof for a 2 door hard top dart from 67 to 76 anywhere in the southern U.S. as my dad drives a truck in most parts of the country or a $400 parts car close to tennessee.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2008, 05:36 AM
F&J F&J is offline
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You need to find out if the car is racked out of shape before worrying about a roof skin.


From your words, you think the nose is bent over to one side? If that is true, look at the side hood gaps as well as the rear edge hood gap. If the nose is racked, the hood will be way off.


Also, do what I did with our dart: Open the hood. Get two long, perfectly straight "straightedges". These can be pipe, or angle iron, whatever. Place one as far back towards the hood hinges as possible across the tops of each fender. Then the other one way up front. Now back away from the car and see if they are both paralell with each other. I would think they should be "off" if it was hit real hard. You could take it one step further with longer straightedges and put one across the rear fenders with the trunk open (so it will rest on the tops of the quarters) Then sight all 3 of the straightedges to see if there may be a twist in the CENTER of the car.


Next, back far away from the car and sight down each side of the car; looking from the rear as well as the front. Compare both sides carefully to see if the car sides are straight, or if the car is bent off to one side.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:23 AM
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Convertibles have stronger substructure. They are designed from the get-go for no top.

Nearly every car we get in for "restoration" is tweaked. The owners insist they are straight but very few are.

Any car needs to be totally squared and straightened on a frame machine before doing any rework or body panel replacement. Few get it.
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:03 AM
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my car will go on the rack before anything is done to any panel. As for what you said. now ill spend the extra on every old car i restore to make sure the body is straight. I would like to know where the added structure is for the convertible. Ive thought about making a convertible out of another car i own.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:13 PM
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A unibody roofed car is like a truss.
On a convertible the only thing tying the front to the rear is the rocker panels primarily, and the floor. The doors don't stiffen the structure.
Usually the rockers are thicker metal and have additional boxed layers inside to add strength and rigidity. At the pinch weld at the bottom exterior an additional layer of metal can usually be seen between the rocker skin and the floorpan skin.
Converting an unibody hartop to a convertible would require substantial subframe connectors and probably some floor strengthening BEFORE removing the top.
Remember between those wheels (say 116" wheelbase) about half way in the middle the only thing keeping the car from bending in half is that 6 inch tall rocker panel made of sheet metal, so it better be stout.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:49 PM
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update

I had the frame checked. My frame checked out ok. I rebuilt the door hinge and lined up the doors as perfect as i could. The result i got was still not what i was looking for. I have a 1/4 inch gap where my wing window frame touches the the seal. it should be 1/8th. My gap behind my door is 1/8th too wide. my gap in front of the door is 1/8th or more too wide. if i pull the door back to close that gap i will make the wing window frame and front of the door gap wider. My car is a 69 dart. the door is from a 70. we measured the door. it is the same as the other side of the car (which is perfectly aligned) we measured the corner of the rocker to the top of the car (diagonal measurement) and got the same numbers. To simplify all this. my gaps are too wide with no room for adjustment. my measurements are the same on both sides of the car. my door measures the same. Its almost like the drivers side of the car was stretched 1/4 inch too long but the measurements stayed the same. The guy i took it to told me to replace the fender and door. The hood was replaced and the drivers door was replaced. the fenders are stock original to the car. the windshield does have a crack across the top about halfway down. The hood is perfectly aligned.I could adjust the wing window forward but the gaps will still be off down below. The passenger side wheel ended up being different offsets. What do you think this is?
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 07-14-2008, 09:45 PM
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Maybe typical Chrysler build quality from that time period? I know a friend in the auto restoration biz has mentioned this before, he has seen it on late 60's Roadrunners and Chargers along with early 70's Challenger.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:29 PM
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that was brought up today by a friend of mine. was the quality the same as that described above
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:05 AM
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The 70 Challenger was really bad, like you describe you Dart.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:15 AM
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do you think maybe a new door might help. Sounds kind of crazy but i thought about doing a perfect alignment(which is done already) drilling the door skin spots with the door closed cutting the skin (sectioning the door) in half and move the rear section of the panel to perfect alignment and spot weld it back on leaving the 1/4 inch gap in the center of the door running from top to bottom. Then removing a piece from another door 1/4 inch wide and welding that gap closed. it this feasible or is it overkill. maybe i need a new door, why are all the measurements the same on both sides but one is perfect? thoughts on this mess
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glhx
do you think maybe a new door might help. Sounds kind of crazy but i thought about doing a perfect alignment(which is done already) drilling the door skin spots with the door closed cutting the skin (sectioning the door) in half and move the rear section of the panel to perfect alignment and spot weld it back on leaving the 1/4 inch gap in the center of the door running from top to bottom. Then removing a piece from another door 1/4 inch wide and welding that gap closed. it this feasible or is it overkill. maybe i need a new door, why are all the measurements the same on both sides but one is perfect? thoughts on this mess
Never cut a panel or door in the center to gain a little. You'd ruin the door. If you must add to the door, you can weld metal rod to the door edges; much less work.

If it was my car, I would spend whatever time it takes to find out exactly what that gap error is caused by.....before doing any mods. Sometimes doing a modification, leads to a another nightmare further into the restoration.

If there really is a factory error, it should be detectable by measuring from many different points, or perhaps even by making thin cardboard templates of areas like the front w/s post angles or other places. Spend time this way first, rather than assuming a certain part needs modding. JMO

Yes, there are factory errors on 69 darts, (among other years & brands). Our 69 Dart has several; the worst one is where the back of the left rocker is welded to the lower part of the rear quarter. The quarter is "out" about 3/16 to 1/4" and shows as a "ramp" made od body lead, instead of a smooth panel.


As far as the comments on 70-up cudas & challengers.... Yes, they were junky when new. If you moderately slammed the door and viewed it from outside, the car flexed . And I am talking a BRAND new one, right off the truck. Those later chargers were the same, and you could see the nose shake when you slammed a door Mopars had the reputation of "having a tin can body, but went like *ell". But we still like them all
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2008, 11:54 AM
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Can't really have quality issues on a car that had no quality built into it

68 Roadrunner and 69 GTX---------absolutely nothing fit right
My 67 Chrys 300's (2 of them) and 70 Sport Fury----a bit better
But these were c-bodies with a higher price tag.

my 73 Ply Gran Coupe was the best of them for fit and finish----Highest priced Plymouth available--rivaled the New Yorker and Imperial for options.

By 79 when I was shopping for a new truck, I looked at a NEW d-150 extended cab. Half of the interior trim screws were missing--only vehicle I had ever been in that had road noise before I put it in gear (this alone stopped a test drive), and when I closed the driver door----the upper belt moulding popped right off onto the ground

66 Elky----fit and finish is horrible

79 Chev C-10-----everything fit and after 400,000 miles----still no rattles
(but the factory never did put any paint on the roof---red primer showed thru the grey)
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
The 70 Challenger was really bad, like you describe you Dart.
I hear ya on that! I did a 73 Challenger that was jigged wrong at the factory, the right door opening was 1/2" longer than the left and gaps were horrible. Looking at the hinge plates mounted in the right A pillar you could see prybar marks under the original paint- someone on the assembly line was fighting with that door alignment from day one before paint was applied. Quality control was very poor back then. I had to do some metal surgery and hinge adjustment mods to get good alignment on that car. Bob
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:14 AM
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how on earth did you fix 1/2 inch too look right
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:58 PM
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You weld a strip of 16-18 gauge to whichever edge you want or need to make longer and then grind this edge to the gap width you want. This is the kind of stuff the real pro's have to do to get the perfect gaps on all the magazine and show cars.
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