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71 Road Runner Restoration Started

Hey Fellas.

Sorry for the late reply but a lot has happened lately. My wife has been diagnosed with cancer.

She has had 3 surgeries and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

The whole thing sucks. So now you know what we are going through and why I have not been posting anything else about the Challenger.

But I have made some great progress since the last update.

The car is off the frame rail jig and I test fit the rear bumper. Everything is lining up perfect.

Now I have the car on the rotisserie.

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God Bless the World Class healthcare that we have here. All the Best.
The frame rail jig is now at Todd’s Body shop. Since I left it at Todd’s he has used it to replace some sheet metal on a 1970 Challenger. The report he gave me is the jig has worked out great and all of the panels have lined up perfect on the 70 Challenger.

That car is now also on a rotisserie.

I’m currently building up a new set of supports to fit the 68-70 B Body Mopars.

I hope that I have them done in a week or so. Then we will try them out on the next car which happens to be a 69 Road Runner 2 door post car.

I’ll do my best to make updates more regularly. Sorry for the absence.

I hope you understand.

Take care and I’ll talk with you later.

Louis, Good to hear You Man!!! It has been a minute.
So sorry to hear about Your Wife, Prayers, Good Vibes to You both.
As always, Your work is
Top Drawer!
Louis, I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. Best wishes for her recovery. It’s great to see you back here. Awesome work as always.
Hey fellas.

Thanks for the kind words for the misses. She had another round of chemo almost a week ago and she’s still not feeling very well. This cancer and chemotherapy stuff really sucks.
She’s been a real trooper through all of it. She’s a tough little lady.

I ordered some more parts from Summit Racing, for the Challenger. Some of them arrived earlier today.

Here’s some pictures of Christmas in June.

I went with a McLeod clutch and pressure plate assembly. It’s supposed to be rated at 500 HP and has a metallic ceramic disc. I was expecting a Borg and Beck pressure plate and got a little surprise when I opened the box.

This is supposed to be easier to drive on the street with a reduced pedal pressure. It’s made in the USA. It came with a new throw out bearing and bronze pilot bushing. I have a roller bearing setup to try in place of the bronze bushing. There’s also a plastic alignment tool.

I kept and old 23 spline input shaft for this very reason. Plastic alignment tools often leave a lot to be desired.

The MSD ignition box arrived as did the MSD Tach Adapter. The ignition box was made in China which was another shock for me. The last MSD box I bought was made in the good old USA. But then I remembered it was delivered on the Mayflower. Years ago all of their stuff was made in downtown El Paso. I stopped by the factory on several occasions. It was pretty cool.

The Tach Adapter was made in the USA.

I ordered a sure grip assembly for the 8 3/4 carrier. This one made by Auburn Gear is supposed to be a good one for street use. It’s also made here in the USA.

Since the Challenger is going to have a warmed up 440 under the hood, I was concerned that the center chunk would be the weakest link. I’m not going to be drag racing the car, and chances are the tires will break loose before I break parts in the event my right foot gets heavy and my left foot “accidentally” slipped off the clutch pedal.

Hey...... things happen.

I ordered a set of Timken bearings for the car new Auburn carrier. It requires a different set of bearings from what may have been included with the installation bearings setup.

If it turns out that they’re included I’ll keep the extra set for the next 8 3/4 build.

I’m happy to report that the bearings are also made in the USA.

The factory used a Dana 60 with the 440 (or the 426 Hemi) in the 1970-71 E Body cars, if a four speed was checked off for the transmission option. They’re pretty much bulletproof. I don’t have an extra $3,500 to install one in this car, so I’ll roll with a beefed up 8 3/4. As long as I drive it somewhat civilized I think that it’s going to be OK. No hole shots. With slicks.

Anyhow, there you have it. Christmas in June.

Thanks again for the kind words about the wife and comments are encouraged.

Later !!!!!

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Sorry to hear about your wife I hope she gets better quickly. I really missed your updates.
Thanks my friend for the well wishes for the misses. This has really been a rough time. It makes a person take a good close look at what really matters and what doesn’t. The car took a back seat. It’s a chunk of metal, glass and plastic. I’d give it away in a heartbeat if I knew that it would cure my wife.

I’ll try to make posts when I can.
Louis, I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. Best wishes for her recovery. It’s great to see you back here. Awesome work as always.
Hello Jase.
I sincerely appreciate the comments for the misses. It’s been a while since I have been on here. I’ll try my best to make regular updates.

Thanks again and take care.
Thanks my friend for the well wishes for the misses. This has really been a rough time. It makes a person take a good close look at what really matters and what doesn’t. The car took a back seat. It’s a chunk of metal, glass and plastic. I’d give it away in a heartbeat if I knew that it would cure my wife.

I’ll try to make posts when I can.

Dont be in a rush to post pictures or updates. We all know what you're going through. The Mrs comes first as we all know. In time, you can post updates when appropriate.

Hope the Mrs is doing well and yeah, cancer SUX!!!!!
Hello again everyone.

Yes cancer sux................ I couldn't agree with you more. The misses has completed 6 rounds of chemo and has 2 more to go.

On a brighter note, more stuff for the Challenger arrived !!!! I ordered a McLeod billet steel flywheel. This one has 130 teeth, weighs 30 pounds and is for an internal balance Mopar. It's also made in the USA.

Here's the part number in case you're interested.

My flywheel arrived with a little surface rust on it. No biggie. This should clear up once the clutch engages a few times. I'll probably remove the surface rust before this flywheel gets installed.

It's SFI approved.

The back side has a place to add weights, should you decide to use this flywheel for a cast crank application. McLeod offers a separate weight kit. The weight attachment bolt holes are located at approximately the 1:30 to 2:00 o'clock position in this photo. There are 4 bolt holes. Unfortunately there's some slight surface rust on the back side of the flywheel too. But hey, it's billet steel and not a cast iron factory part, so I'm stoked !!!

Here's another look at the matching ceramic metallic clutch disc, also from McLeod. It's a 10.5 inch unit and this has 23 splines.

The McLeod pressure plate uses special bolts. They're not included with the clutch / pressure plate kit, so you will have to purchase them separately.
This picture shows the part number, which is #1500.

It would be really stupid to use old bolts to attach the flywheel. So I ordered a set that are made by ARP.

This is a set of 6 bolts and they have a 7/16 inch fine thread. The Hemi's used a 1/2 inch bolt. This should be what is needed for a 440. I'll know for sure soon enough. Here's a close up of the part number.

Lastly, the "duck tail" spoiler arrived............ This one is made by First Place Auto Products and is a licensed reproduction. I had it out of the box but didn't take any photos at the time. Now it's all boxed up again so the pictures of the spoiler will have to wait until a later date. Take my word on it, this one looks pretty good..............

Hopefully this weekend I can get some work done on the car. If I can, I'll try to post up some more photos.............

Thanks for looking.

Later !!!!
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Hello again everyone. Please accept my apologies for not being on here lately. Man, I didn’t realize that I had been absent for so long.

Yes Mark is correct. I have been very busy with another project. As you guys know, my wife has gone through a rough time with cancer and the associated treatments that come with it. She’s been through several surgeries and then 8 rounds of chemo.

Thank God that so far she’s remaining cancer free. Every few months she has an exam and following up with this she gets several tests done. So far so good.

I have made a lot of progress on the Challenger. I built the engine and transmission and it’s now running on my test run stand. I fired it up for Mark. He can attest, this thing is a real beast !!! It sounds so mean.

I built a frame rail jig and used it for keeping my Challenger in alignment as we spot welded the new AMD panels on. I’m really stoked about this car. The spot welding is now done and I can rest at night knowing that the car is square and straight. I’ll try to post some pictures of the process. Right now I’m using my phone to post.
I also have made some different stands for the frame rail jig. Now I’m able to build 68-70 B body cars in addition to the 70-74 E body cars by simply swapping the stands.

With all of the great things that happened here with my Challenger, I have placed it on hold. Here’s why.

Shortly after we found out that my wife had cancer, as she was nearing the end of her chemo treatments, she told me that she didn’t think she would live long enough to see her little Dakota RT get restored and back on the road.

Hearing that ripped out my heart.

So I placed my Challenger on a temporary hold for now. I have been working on restoring her Dakota instead.
As it stands now, I have the rolling chassis restored and it is back on the ground. The truck cab is painted and is still on the rotisserie. I’m currently building up the 5.9L (360 roller) engine and the transmission is done. The majority of the interior, including the dash is done and ready for installation into the cab once it’s bolted down to the frame.
The only thing I am worried about is not getting her Dakota RT truck completed in time. Unfortunately for us, her cancer is very aggressive and her oncologist has given her a two year window before it comes back. God I have been praying that they’re wrong and this stuff never happens.
So far it’s been a year and a half since she’s completed her last chemo treatment.

I’ll try to post up some pictures next.
Thanks for checking in.
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Here's a few pictures of the truck cab. I rolled it over about 45 degrees to show the top.

The overall look of the cab is shown here.

The inside looks just as good as the rest of it.

I used 3M cavity wax to help protect it from rust in the future. Here's a close up of the paint. Please keep in mind this has not been buffed out. It's the way it flowed out. I'm very happy with the results. IMG_1716.JPG