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New member here, long-time B body owner...


FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
1:07 PM
Dec 3, 2020
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western Maryland
Hi, I'm Joe, and I have a Mopar problem....wait...what? This isn't that meeting? Ah....


Hi all! I just joined due to my newest acquisition. I've had a '72 Satellite Custom 7-passenger non-a/c wagon for about 25 years, that's been from OEM 318/904/8.75" suregrip (3.23)...to crate 360/727 with the same rear...currently in the garage with a mild LA 360, waiting for me to get around to installing the 2005 5.7 EFI Hemi that I have for it.


engine bay.jpg

hemi bwb.jpg

But that's not what made me join up today.

What made me join, is my new '70 Charger 500. It's got some work for me to do. Cliff's Notes version of this story - my mother bought a triple-green 1970 Charger 500 brand new. Drove it for a couple years, ended up getting a 'family' car, gave the Charger to my aunt and uncle...and one of their sons totaled it in '75 or '76. I've been looking for one ever since. Last week, I found it - a '70 500 survivor in triple green (although this one is FF4 light green; mom's was EF8 dark green). Factory air, buckets/console, 318/auto...just like mom's.

Mom with hers, in 1971:

And mine, last Tuesday, the day after I towed it to mom's house when I picked it up on Monday:


I live in Maryland; my new car was in Gainesville FL; mom currently lives in St. Augustine FL. So, I went to visit...and picked up the car.

More ties to "mom's car": when she bought hers, she was teaching at the University of Florida (go Gators). UF is in....Gainesville, where my car had been living the last couple years. And, the original title (which I got with my car) shows a lien release stamp from the teacher's credit union - the woman who bought MY car, was a teacher - in Tampa FL - when she bought it!

My car has been in FL all its life, until now. It is not quite 100% original. But close. REALLY close. It was painted once - I can see chips at the leading edge of the front fenders; I can see the mismatch under the hood and in the trunk and on the doorjambs. And someone painted the panel above the taillights black. The current color (still quite old, my guess is late 70s/early 80s since it's still lacquer with no clearcoat, likely a Maaco quickie job judging by the tape lines and overspray spots) is more blue; the original has more gold in it. Fender tag calls it out as FF4 though. All the sheetmetal is 100% original. Stickers, trim, body lines, original color underneath...it's all there, on every panel. The only thing I can think is, the factory paint faded and they re-shot it. There's no door sag, they click open and shut like they did on day one. Zero rust - door bottoms, quarters, wheelhouses, fenders, rockers, all of them are ROCK-solid. Even the tray between the back window and the trunk is solid. Valences are pretty straight. No dents. Some ripples - 50 years of door dings - but no creases. It has some goofy black stick-on rub strips down the sides that I need to figure out how to get off. They're UGLY, and they hide the arrow-straight body line. But, someone tried to pull them off starting at the right rear...and it's taking the paint with it. So...they may stay on. I really don't want to paint it - they're only original once - but if I have to, it'll get a fresh coat of the CORRECT shade of green.

And a new top. It has what looks like an original vinyl top...but the fender tag calls out FF4 roof color, even with the M31 body belt moldings (which I understand, are the stainless moldings at the base of the vinyl roof?). And, the Charger emblems on the roof are in the wrong place - too high by about an inch, and too far back by about 2 inches. But damn if they don't look original - faded, dry vinyl and correctly-pitted badges. That'll take some research.

She's pretty well-optioned:

fender tag.jpeg

I have both copies of the broadcast sheet; I have the original title; I have the original bill of sale ($3889.59 out the door!); I have the original dealer invoice; I have the owners manual; I have the original loan paperwork.

As I said - the paint is rough, and the top is rough. Can you tell which side I buffed? LOL


Even buffed out, the paint still has all sorts of stains in it. It was kept in a garage, but apparently they stored stuff on any flat surface - I think the stains are marks from tools - rust, or oily stuff, that just soaked into the paint and left marks all over the car. Ten feet away, it looks ok...but you get up on it and you can see everything.

The interior is actually quite nice - the driver seat shows some threadbare areas on the patterned vinyl (I'll get more photos tomorrow) and the carpet is faded to brown, but all the bits are there. All the trim is there. All the gauges (except the clock) work. AM radio works. Light package works. Headliner is good. I need to replace the drivers 3-point seatbelt because the buckle is a solid chunk of rust, but that's about the worst part inside. Even the dash pad is in great shape! And ohhhhh, that smell. I L-O-V-E that old vinyl smell!

The floors are ROCK-SOLID. Someone in the not too distant past spray-undercoated everything - not original, but I'm good with it for the protection factor. I can knock (well...POUND) on any spot in the floor, and it is solid metal. Clean embossing visible throughout - no rough spots from rust-fluff. Floorboards front and rear. Outer rockers. Floorpan 'wings' in the rear quarter panels. Fenderwells. Inner quarters in the trunk. All of it - pristine. The ONLY rust in the car, is the trunk pan, center section (the part that sits about an inch lower than the rest). Something in the trunk leaked - the rubber trunklid gasket looks pretty crappy, and I also need to check the vinyl top molding clip holes - and it ate out the lowest point in the trunk floor. But that's all. Original spare, jack, handle, and trunk mat are all there. Even the plastic piece that covers the taillights is there - it's cracked, but it's there.

It has factory glass, all around. It has factory taillight lenses (with reflectors), and marker lenses, and turn signal lenses (including the hood). It has a factory grille, and working factory headlight doors. All (and I mean ALL) the trim is there. All the bolts and screws are there. The exhaust is recent - duals, with 2 chamber flowmasters. I'm not really a fan...but it works. Drones on the road...but sounds good when your foot is in it!

The only stuff that's not OEM is 50-years-of-life stuff - hoses. Plug wires. Voltage regulator. Tires. Shocks. Exhaust. Brake lines. Fuel lines. Fuel tank. Valve covers (has Mopar Performance covers on it now, but I have - and will likely re-install - the originals once I repaint them, they're super-crappy looking right now). Some wiring is...amateur (wire nuts do NOT belong on a car!!!). Some knucklehead installed a Dixie air horn (drilling a half dozen holes under the washer tank in the process...ARRRGH!!), but I pulled that out earlier tonight. I'll have a buddy plug-weld the holes for me. A couple of A/C lines have hose clamps on them, and there's no belts on the compressor - it spins, but it's crunchy. Dash lights don't work. Couple of side markers don't work. Signals flash fast (but they work- and so do the ones in the hood!). And the horn doesn't work - the center of the steering wheel is just flopping around, so I need to figure that out.

This car is SO original...it's a debate for me, honestly. Do I paint it and put a top on it? Or...leave it as-is? They're only original once...

I do want to change from the factory manual 4 wheel drums, to power front discs - nothing Wilwood or anything like that, just factory style, and just for safety. But, that may require a wheel change from the factory 14's (and original hubcaps!) to 15's because I'm guessing the disc brakes won't fit inside the 14's. But that's about all I WANT to change - the rest is just fixing stuff that's original, getting it working again, and having a fun driver. No motor swaps; no "R/T clone" business, no making it worth so much I'm afraid to drive it - just keeping it true to what it already IS, and having fun with it.


I've been looking for 40 years...and now, I have my Charger. And plenty of time this winter to make some progress getting stuff fixed up - my toy cars don't go out when there's salt on the roads, so I can dig in and make some progress.

I just need to find some manuals, and some wiring diagrams, so I can learn the lay of the land...any suggestions? Don't need factory-original books, just something accurate. .pdf versions are just fine - they're for the garage, not for shows.
Welcome from Alabama, glad you found that dream.
Well hi there Joe! Yes you have a problem...many of us do. And it's a beautiful problem! Nice cars, thanks for the pictures and back stories.
Myself, I'd put off painting for a couple of years - the originality might grow on you. If it doesn't then you can paint it later with no down side.
Greetings. Looks like a great project car for sure - but yes, you DO want
factory manuals when fooling with these things.

If you don't want to pony up for any of the reprints out there for those
(and they're easy to get), you can always download the originals from here:
There's shop manuals, wiring diagrams, all sorts of stuff on there free for the
Have fun with it and make sure to make and update progress threads on here
as you do so. :thumbsup:
Welcome aboard Sir, from the middle of the mitten! Nice car!!!!
welcome to FBBO cool story and nice looking charger
Welcome from Indiana. A couple of great looking Mopar you have. What’s the condition of the engine and trans in the Charger? If those side moldings are the same as what we used to install back in the mid seventies, they are screwed to the car.
Hello from California!
Nice to see you have your Mother's good taste in automobiles.
I like the trailer hitch & go-go boots too!
Nice Mopars!
the 360 is a VERY good engine and I don't know why you would swap it for a g3 hemi
Welcome aboard from Ohio.
The Charger runs and drives fine - reach through the window, turn the key, she starts right up. No smoke, no tapping, good oil pressure, clean oil. Trans shifts fine in D, but I need to adjust the cables or something because it's near impossible to notch into 2 or 1. Once in a while, the 2-3 shift flares a bit, but I plan to do fluid and filter at some point anyway.

I got real antifreeze in it last night, and found a torn motor mount ("is that....yeah...the engine is sitting crooked!"). Driver side mount tore, that side of the engine slid up, and that let the passenger side slide down a bit.

My Satellite had those big, screw-on moldings when I got it. Those, were real moldings with a chromed pot metal base channel (the screwed on part) that held the rubber strip. The Charger? Has some stupid plastic-tape things that aren't straight (like a drunk putting on pinstripes), and are held on with double-stick tape. They're not thick enough to have any screw heads in them - they're barely thicker than the double-side tape! I was reading somewhere that tiki torch citronella oil might work to eat the adhesive...perfect season to find tiki fuel (LOL), but I'll have to give it a shot. If I can find any.

Thanks for the tip on the manuals download - all I need at this point is wire colors and connection points, to try and troubleshoot the dash lights, and the harness that runs down the passenger side of the intake, to the alternator and a/c and horns and washer motor. Right now it's loose wires, with *wire nuts* on it. Ugh. Gonna have to fix that the RIGHT way, and tape-wrap the whole thing for protection when I'm done.

It's a good thing I love this stuff! :)
Welcome from Missouri !! Very nice!!
Nice rides

welcome to FBBO

make sure to check out the
Resto-Mod & Pro-touring forum section here
should be right up your alley
Well, I did some more work on the Charger today. The rear windows rolled up and down but were crunchy, so I pulled the back seat and inner quarter trim, to white-lithium the regulators. Now, they work flawlessly.

The downside? When I knelt on the floor behind the driver seat, my knee went through the floor. Rust. DAMMIT. The passenger rear floor still has shiny green paint on it; the driver rocker panel is solid; the driver door is solid; the driver quarter is solid; the floor under the back seat is solid, with shiny paint. Just that left rear foot well is rotted out. Not sure HOW - there's no 'path' of rust showing where water went in order to get to it - but it's done. And, it's bigger than a left rear patch panel, I need to get a front and a rear to make a complete footwell (unless I'm missing a vendor somewhere that has something that goes basically from front seat rear studs, to rear seat).

Oh well. Parts exist for this one (unlike for my wagon!), so it's just a matter of getting the pans I need and splicing them in. Still frustrating though. I'll pull the front seats and all the carpet tomorrow, just to make sure.

I still love the car!

Some photos from today:

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