• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

My '69 Charger R/T Story

I was hesitant to do that much modifying, however the two factors that made my decision for me was a. watching that episode of Engine Masters and b. zero availability of TTI headers, so I went that route instead of gambling on another brand and wasting more money.
I'm building my own if and when it comes to that. The ones on my 66 440 fit really well, no clue what brand they are.
This is a great thread and thank you for all the background. Can't wait to see it back on the road.

I agree on getting them solid and drivable. My GTX was a basket case and I wasn't flush with cash so I did everything in my garage, including paint. It was never meant to be perfect, it was meant to drive and enjoy.

As far as headers and exhaust, I used Jegs ceramic headers (probably the same as Summit) and had to ding in around the torsion bars as well. I think they are all like that.
Still waiting on the pulley that was supposed to be here a week ago.

I got the new u-joints in the driveshaft. Actually I took it to my buddy's shop and paid him to beat on those things. He quickly gave the job to Cliff and Cliff proceeded to bitch about it the whole time saying "he should have to pay double for making me work on my old ****" :D

I left the gauge light issue as it is and I will revisit it later. I've done a lot of Dakota dashes and I wouldn't be opposed to doing one in this car. We'll put a pin in that for now.

Everything electrical seems right on otherwise. I went ahead and wrapped the front and engine harness then sealed up the bulkhead connector to finish the harness install. Looks good.


Have a short list of things left to do so I took a day yesterday and started packing the garage up. Knocked it out about half way or more I'd say but worked my *** off to do so. Felt pretty wore out today but I did some more garage packing and then cleaned the orange car up. Hit it with the clay bar to get all the crap off of it that might have wafted that way when I was doing the Charger. It was naaasty. Then I waxed it up.


As I was washing the 72, I was thinking I should have come up with a name for it by now. I just call it "the orange car". But when I built it I wanted it to look like a mix between The General Lee and Daisy's car. Then I thought "well it IS generally Daisy's car"....

"Generally Daisy". I like that.


Blessed to have my dream cars. I just hope they fit in the next garage...

You don't realize how much stuff you have collected until you have to move it! The Plymouth is lookin good!
I have a few names for some of the cars,the Chargervert is known as Orange Sunshine (from my high school daze) the yellow 70 Charger is known as Yella Flash from the movie Dirty Mary Crazy Larry. Did a Dodge Charger do that? Well yeah, I think so, all I saw was a yella flash! My white 70 Charger is White Lighting, and the black 71 Charger is Sinister. Blue on black might be a good name for the convertible 71 Challenger. That might be appropriate since Kenny Wayne Sheppard is a Mopar guy too!





Last edited:
I have a few names for some of the cars,the Chargervert is known as Orange Sunshine (from my high school daze) the yellow 70 Charger is known as Yella Flash from the movie Dirty Mary Crazy Larry. Did a Dodge Charger do that? Well yeah, I think so, all I saw was a yella flash! My white 70 Charger is White Lighting, and the black 71 Charger is Sinister. Blue on black might be a good name for the convertible 71 Challenger. That might be appropriate since Kenny Wayne Sheppard is a Mopar guy too!

View attachment 1363998

View attachment 1363999

View attachment 1364001

View attachment 1364004

View attachment 1364006

Woah! You really have some great cars. Really nice collection!

I had been thinking of getting some floormats to maybe de-ugly the bare floor but didn't even think to use these until I was packing the garage up. I took these out of my 17 Sport when i bought it and put those plastic floor mats in it so these are new. Sold the truck anyway so wth. The drivers side one fits pretty darn well actually. The pass side is kinda small. Does look better though. NOS mats Brah.

Pulley showed up this evening so I got that installed along with the cooling system. We're just a belt, a battery, some fluids, a prime, and some brake bleeding away from starting it up.



Got the battery in, belt on, rad filled, 5 quarts in the trans, master cylinder bled, and started bleeding brakes with the help of a neighbor.

The battery and belt fit perfect, no issue. Everything else though... lol

Filled the cooling system and the water pump is dripping. The pump I bought had a sheet of paper in it that said the way it was made it could leak right off the bat but once it's run, it'll stop. Let's hope so. Just a small drip into a clean pan.

I started filling the trans and the dipstick tube is leaking. I only put 5 quarts in and have a deep pan so I guess I'll let it drip until the level goes down enough to pull the tube without dumping **** everywhere. Then I'll replace that o-ring or just put some rtv around it. Idk.

Bugged a neighbor and had him work the pedal while I proceeded to find all the brake lines I apparently didn't tighten enough. Damn SS lines always seem to need Herculean strength to get them to seal. So anyway I found several leaks, tightened em up, found others, tightened those, let the neighbor go home, and I hosed down everything that mightve gotten brake fluid on it. Will try again for brakes tomorrow. Should've done it before the engine, I know. I messed up.

Anyway, it'll get there.
I appreciate the kind responses. When I have a stupid day like I did today, it really helps.

At this point I've just been buttoning up stuff as I remember or come across it while I wait on the pulley. Kinda all over the place. Doublechecking and so on. I added oil, power steering, and gas. No leaks (*yet)

I "finished" the wiring the other day (I'm losing track at this point) but didn't start testing stuff until today. My wife was inside bitching at the cable company for hours on end so I wasn't going to be in there for THAT so I stuck a battery in it and started looking for smoke and listening for the sizzle. Neither happened. Whew! Relief. Turned the key, fuel pump kicked on. Turned it off, pulled that fuse so I don't have to listen to it. Turned the key, I got headlights, hi & low, tails, brakes, blinkers, flashers, courtesy, horn, CB, cranks, etc.

What I noticed I didn't have was dash lights or gauges... This is the part of the harness that was kind of confusing for me the day I did it. The AAW harness is great but the "instructions" are my least favorite of any harness I've ever done and the last thing you need to do when you are rewiring an entire car is: Get frustrated and keep going. Fuckin stop. LOL. Just stop. Go fishing. Bang the ol' lady. Something. I kept going. Anyway I screwed up and had to drop the column and pull the cluster to see what I could see.

About 30 min in I tracked down the gauge issue to a connector. Say it's a 6 prong connector but only 5 are used and I put the power feed in the dead spot. That was easy enough to fix. Now the gas gauge moved, but the temp gauge pegged out. Hmmm...

Well then I figured I'd try to track down the dash lighting issue. And that's where I screwed up AGAIN. I pulled the seat and spent hours checking and rechecking. Tried grounding the cluster differently. Nope. Couldn't find **** wrong.

At this point I'm like "F it", it's 9:30pm she's got to be finished hollering at her phone by now and I went inside. Shower, food, hung out a few then she went to bed, and I think "what if that dimmer is bad"... You know. The thought I should have had hours ago. So I'm out there in my robe, laying in the car digging under the dash. Made a jumper and pinned the 2. Took 5 minutes. Dash lights work. Bad rheostat.

Well they "mostly" work. The printed circuit board lights were not working. I put LEDs in everything in the dash and remembered some guys saying they had to turn/clock some of theirs to get them to work so I tried that on one and nothing. Then I turned the key to acc and the circuit board light I just turned around came on which is weird. Not right. It wouldn't come on with the dash lights. So about half the dash lights work currently.

Anyway I've still got one or two things screwed up in there. I beat myself up over screwing up but it doesn't do any good because I definitely WILL screw up again. I'll figure it out. It's like they say "If it was easy, everyone would do it"

If anyone has any ideas, LMK. I appreciate you guys. We're getting there.
@devinism is a member here and he specializes in restoration of the OFTEN troublesome dimmer switches on our cars.
(As you're discovering, a lot of the electrical in the cluster goes through that damn thing; Ma used it as sort of a junction
He sells them on ebay and all that jazz. Excellent reputation and I can tell you from personal experience he's very good
to deal with, too.
Well shoot. Still have a brake leak.

And it sucks because it's a problem I created. When I ordered new brake lines I didn't realize there are 2 different factory sets for this car with front disc rear drum. I had the set that only needed a prop valve but ordered the set that needed a prop valve AND the metering valve. I already had them in before I realized so I figured wth I'll order the metering valve. I got from Mancini. I should've bled these out a long time ago and would've realized that valve is ****. Apparently it's the "inline tube" one that so many people have had issues with leaking. It's dumping fluid out the bottom. Now I have to try to find an original one because I'm not swapping that thing out a dozen times to find a "good" aftermarket one...

Sucks. Not happy today.

Looking like a snow plow with that weight on it. Will have to raise it up tomorrow.

Had 2 people stop in today trying to buy it and I live on a cul de sac. Guess I better get used to that and just keep the door closed :D

Hey anybody got a metering valve you wanna sell?

I found my priming tool and a buddy came over to buy my air compressor so I enlisted him for an hour and the car fired right up. Starts up and runs fine. I've got to get these brakes fixed so I can see how it acts under load. A few things to check and recheck.

I fixed the dipstick tube leak then the dipstick itself broke . The "finger ring" snapped off. At least that's just 1 step forward and 1 step back and the step back doesn't involve trans fluid pouring all over the ground. Got to look at the bright side I suppose.

Cliff came over and hung out for a while too. He was excited, hadn't seen the car since he sold it to me a year ago. He took pictures and climbed all around and in it. I told him to go fire it up and he hesitated but went and sat in the seat. He sat in the seat of his old car and it fired right up. He talked about how he loved the sound of that cam, how the old seat somehow felt softer than he remembered it last, how nice it was to see floors back in the car, how he always dreamed that the engine bay would shine like it does now, how he used to try to wax the engine bay to shine it up but it never worked , and how he didn't like the stance. He always wanted the car so sit super low like a nascar car. Can't win 'em all I guess. I should have got another picture of him with it...

I'll contact the original owners family this week because they all want to come see it as well before we move.
Congratulations on getting her up and running! Nice work! There are always going to be minor set backs and glitches after going through a car like you did, make a list,and check them off as you go. It is very satisfying to cross them off the list,and makes you feel like you are making forward progress! It is cool that Cliff got to check it out and fire it up,and cooler that the original owners family are still interested in the car and wanting to see it. I would like nothing more that to get my parents 70 Charger R/T SE back and show it to the family.
Nice work! Now it's time to enjoy it!

Thanks! Shipper is coming to get them both next week and haul them to Tennessee so I probably won't be enjoying it til next Spring. But I can promise this, in spite of how much I love it, I WILL be enjoying a break from it. That was a lot of work. Pile packing up an entire household on top of that while trying to keep the wife, who has been working out of state for months, happy was a lot... I'm ready for a break.

When I started on the car, I went slow, did the metal work and paused. The wife said "idk why you aren't working on your car" I said "Because you keep talking about moving and I don't want to be in the middle of a build when you tell me we have to move". She says "We won't be moving this year. It will be well after the 1st of next year before we move" So I said "Alright I'll get on it and if I bust ***, I can finish what I want by then". Then I started on it and 3 months later she decides we're moving. That was mid summer. The car was in 1000 pieces. Still, I was able to get all this done before she could ever find the right house and did it with 60 days left before the end of the year. I can't imagine trying to move all that **** in pieces.

I will take some time and then spend the winter working out little bugs that are left and finding some appropriate wheels and tires. It sure needs them. I was thinking of keeping the front wheels I have and doing steel wheels in the back to match but I'd grab some of those 15x10 steelies from Year One or wherever and use N50's. Paint 'em to match. I have the hubcaps already. But it would look sick AF with just about anything. Cragars would be cool too... Fresh chrome against that ratty paint might look sweet.

Last thing to do before I go is invite the original owner's family out for a visit. I'm gonna do that now.

Thanks again to all yall for the kind words. The car isn't finished but it's pretty much finished for a while. I have a more manageable project on my hands and all issues should seem small after all that has been done. I didn't blow ALL my car funds but we got close. I was really worried about that. Just having it together, running, and movable is a complete load off. Like 1000 lbs off my back. I can breathe again. Now I can look forward to Tennessee instead of dreading it.
Auto Transport Service