My “more project than restoration” 66 Charger

BamaCharger66

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My 66 charger had 10 inch drums. I would be very surprised if yours weren't.
Yes. They are. My question is that the ‘69 Charger kit referenced above are 11’s so, does that mean a different size spindle?
 

Don Frelier

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Yes. They are. My question is that the ‘69 Charger kit referenced above are 11’s so, does that mean a different size spindle?
Ok well you showed a picture and wrote: these are 10" so the indication to me was you thought you had 11" on the Charger.

I don't believe the spindles are different someone here can likely verify that for you.
But you are aware that it's a little more effort to go from 10" to 11" you need to swap everything including the backing plate.
Not really difficult more time consuming.
 

BamaCharger66

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I put half a quart of ATF in and spun the shaft by hand. I definitely hear liquid circulating. It’s almost like the pan gasket gave out. Of course a higher up leak could trickle down and make me think that.
 

Matthew Maloney

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Nice start for your project. Heres a bit of important advice on your 66 charger.

Your dash back lighting along with floor shift indicator and factory dodge radio back lighting on these is "electro luminescent" lighting. It uses an inverter box under the dash to flip the 12V DC into 110V AC to light the dash up. It's not a regular lightbulb back lighting. This was special to the 66 and 67 chargers. It was also used on the Chrysler Imperials in the 1950s. If the gage back lighting doesnt work, most times its a bad inverter box. The Chrysler Imperial guys know how to fix these things. It looks like a piece of Aerospace hardware with cannon plugs sticking out of it if I recall correctly.

The electro luminescent lighting was co developed by Chrysler and Phillips lighting originally for Americas space program. Chrysler was a prime contractor for the space program in the 1950s and1960s. NASA required a light weight easily readable back lighting system that was extremely vibration and temperature extreme resistant. Chrysler added this at the time "high tech" to its "halo cars" namely the Imperial, select New Yorkers, 300s in the 1950s, and early 1960s, as well as the 66-67 charger. These glowing displays look fantastic when lit up at night.

Do NOT try to splice anything into the circuits or wiring that run the dash back lighting, shifter back lighting or radio back lighting because of the voltage differences. You will fry stuff, and possibly damage the inverter.

See pix below of a gage cluster another member restored. The Electro Luminescent lighting looks so awesome at night. I wish they would have continued it for 68-70. I bet this is an area where chrysler cut corners on the 68-up to save a buck.

Hope this helps
Matt

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Matthew Maloney

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Also if you want to upgrade to disc brakes in the front, all you need to do is find an F,M,J body car in the junkyard and take everything from the spindle out. FMJ body cars are 76-81 plymouth volare, dodge Aspen, and 1970s diplomat, or lebaron RWD, and 1984-1989 diplomat, fury, new yorker RWD and fifth avenue. You will need B body disc brake lower ball joints. Your stock upper A arms will bolt right on to these FMJ spindles, ditto for the B body disc brake lower ball joints

You will need 4 grade 8 bolts and 4 "stove" nuts. Stove nuts are a lock nut. Not a nylock nut. See pic below for what you need. If they are a little long, you can cut them down.

Nice thing about the FMJ brake upgrade is the brake rotor part numbers go from 1973-1976 A body , and 1976-1989 FMJ body cars ditto for the wheel bearings, dust seals, brake hardware kits, and brake pads. Theres some variation in the calipers.

NOTE: The FMJ rotors are the same bolt pattern as your charger 5 bolt 4.5" circle with 1/2" studs.

NOTE: If you have a front sway bar, or are planning on adding one, you mount the spindles so the calipers trail the rotors not lead them. This will provide the clearance needed for the sway bar.

If you cannot find an FMJ car in your junkyard, I have a couple spare sets of FMJ spindles along with caliper brackets, and dust shields. You will need to source the rotors, calipers, bearings etc. This is stuff you would probably want to get new anyways. It's all readily available through rockauto. LMK if you cannot find a donor car. I have a decent set I can sell you. All this fits in a USPS large flat rate box.

DoctorDiff online has brake parts like hoses, modern master cylinders along with adaptor brackets and such to make this work. Your car uses the K772 upper ball joint, this is the same ball joint used on all FMJ cars so these spindles are a direct fit.

This all being said, this is all a direct bolt in swap.

Hope this helps
Matt

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BamaCharger66

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Also if you want to upgrade to disc brakes in the front, all you need to do is find an F,M,J body car in the junkyard and take everything from the spindle out. FMJ body cars are 76-81 plymouth volare, dodge Aspen, and 1970s diplomat, or lebaron RWD, and 1984-1989 diplomat, fury, new yorker RWD and fifth avenue. You will need B body disc brake lower ball joints. Your stock upper A arms will bolt right on to these FMJ spindles, ditto for the B body disc brake lower ball joints

You will need 4 grade 8 bolts and 4 "stove" nuts. Stove nuts are a lock nut. Not a nylock nut. See pic below for what you need. If they are a little long, you can cut them down.

Nice thing about the FMJ brake upgrade is the brake rotor part numbers go from 1973-1976 A body , and 1976-1989 FMJ body cars ditto for the wheel bearings, dust seals, brake hardware kits, and brake pads. Theres some variation in the calipers.

NOTE: The FMJ rotors are the same bolt pattern as your charger 5 bolt 4.5" circle with 1/2" studs.

NOTE: If you have a front sway bar, or are planning on adding one, you mount the spindles so the calipers trail the rotors not lead them. This will provide the clearance needed for the sway bar.

If you cannot find an FMJ car in your junkyard, I have a couple spare sets of FMJ spindles along with caliper brackets, and dust shields. You will need to source the rotors, calipers, bearings etc. This is stuff you would probably want to get new anyways. It's all readily available through rockauto. LMK if you cannot find a donor car. I have a decent set I can sell you. All this fits in a USPS large flat rate box.

DoctorDiff online has brake parts like hoses, modern master cylinders along with adaptor brackets and such to make this work. Your car uses the K772 upper ball joint, this is the same ball joint used on all FMJ cars so these spindles are a direct fit.

This all being said, this is all a direct bolt in swap.

Hope this helps
Matt

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Thank you for the great informative response! I am in fact still trying to figure out front brakes. It is crazy that I’m having such difficulties finding ONE front hub/drum from a b body. I might just break out the wallet and get a disk brake front conversion. I really wanted to go to Moparty in Kentucky in my Charger. But, I am not there yet. Again, thanks for taking the time to draft a quality response. -Daniel
 

BamaCharger66

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Thank you for the great informative response! I am in fact still trying to figure out front brakes. It is crazy that I’m having such difficulties finding ONE front hub/drum from a b body. I might just break out the wallet and get a disk brake front conversion. I really wanted to go to Moparty in Kentucky in my Charger. But, I am not there yet. Again, thanks for taking the time to draft a quality response. -Daniel
So, I did attend Moparty. Drove up with a friend in my diesel GMC 1500. Got 27.5 mpgs going 65-85 with AC!
Anyway! Scored some complete ‘68 Charger 11 inch drums assemblies from the spindles out.
Today I installed. Have brakes now but needs adjusting. This car has always fired right up. But for the second time in a row, the car runs for about 60 seconds and dies. Now it won’t even start. Any ideas. I can’t imagine I’m losing spark all of the sudden.

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BamaCharger66

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Small update:
First maiden voyage today. Need to better bleed brakes. The small wire between BOTH condenser to coil and dizzy to coil are shot. I simply have a direct 12 v wire from positive terminal to coil.
Earlier in this thread, you’ll see where my tranny dumped most of its fluid. I put a couple quarts in just to test drive today. With fluid she goes strait into reverse, first, and second. Third never came on my short 3 mile round trip. Additionally, when I put her back in park, I gave a few very healthy revs and the car crept backwards! Like it was barley in reverse…. So, sounds like the transmission might be an issue too.
Regardless, it felt good to get her out for the first time in god only knows how many years.

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BamaCharger66

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Another shakedown run in the Charger the other day with my 15 year old. Topped of trans fluid and got third gear. Surprisingly goes down the road well. Had fun but the trans puked virtually all of its fluid out… again. And the radiator was overflowing to after our fun venture. Might be clogged? Thermostat not opening? I did buy a water pump and thermostat already. Need to flush and install the two and see what happens.
As far as the trans, maybe I’ll get her on a lift and clean the pan and underside area and try to find where it’s coming out. Seems to do it after she’s been run and is warm. There’s a motor home 440 w/ 727 with super low miles for CHEAP near me that’s available. But isn’t that trans different (length)? Thoughts?

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