Two recent improvements to the GTX - and the wisdom gained

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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Ed blog, chapter whatever....
Item #1 - Johnson Controls
One thing I was rudely reminded of recently is that the late-model type starters are wonderful - until they aren't, of course. I have the (in)famous "Dakota" style starter (Denso) on the GTX's 440 and it's been terrific for over a decade now.
Headers don't seem to bother it and it turns over the 440 with great ease, even when the Edelbrock has gone dry and extended cranking is needed after a week or so.

The part I just learned? That the starter has a very sharp minimum volt/amp demand in order to work - it either does or it doesn't, no in between. no gradual slowing over time to give you warning of impending doom.
One day the GTX started and sounded normal - the next, CLICK....
Jumped it off, did the usual diagnostics. Alternator good, regulator good, voltage to battery when running good. No shorts, no draws on the battery when shut down.
That left one thing....the vaunted 850CCA "GOLD" battery from the big box auto parts house in town - which wasn't yet even 4 years old.
(Yep, you guessed it - 3 year warranty on it).

In these days of kungflu, I figured I'd use the available discounts that joint offered constantly through spam emails and fetch another - only to find they don't offer that battery anymore. (If you order stuff online, it gets remarkably cheaper with them - like 25% in this case).
Given the financial situation around my unemployed arse these days, I got all the battery we could afford - but only AFTER my wife, rather forcefully, MADE me do it. I didn't want to spend anything on non-essential stuff; she made it quite clear the GTX, my baby, was essential.
I am a very lucky boy....

Ok, well, the 810CCA "SILVER" would have to do, along with new battery terminals (the pretty color-coded non-NOS looking ones) and matching anti-corrosion pads that go underneath.
Oh, lesson learned? Johnson Controls, that vaunted bastion of battery quality in years past, makes some pretty crappy batteries just like anyone else if it's done for a big box auto parts store.
Another reputation sullied...and a classic case of a battery having all the volts, but not the amps, to get the job done.

OK, on to #2.
Item #2 - Door hinges hate me
One of the items that's been on the shelf in the garage awaiting a spurt of courage was the new door hinges I bought from another FBBO member recently.
My driver's door has always had the dreaded droops, like any 50+ year old car does -
but mine had graduated to having the pin on the bottom hinge actually pull up upon
door opening, to the point where a couple times the door actually tried to come off the car a couple times in public, being held on desperately by the tiny top hinge.

Lots of threads on FBBO about rebuilding these hinges, of course - but I went the "buy new" route and had them at the ready, back when I had money for such things.
You know what there's not a lot of threads on FBBO about, though?
Actually replacing hinges on a fully assembled, finished car.
I figured "eh, I got a floor jack, I can do this whenever I'm up to it..."
The wife had always planned to help me do the task, but she actually still has a job, so
no worries, I got this.
Yeah, about that....

The first thing one should know when attempting such a thing is that there is a bolt on
the body side of the bottom hinge that is in front of the hinge itself, hiding behind a lip
of the hinge - and that no matter what percentage of "open" you have the door, it's an
exercise in some sort of elastic yoga, coupled hopefully with tiny tools (and tiny hands, which I ain't got) to get in there and get that thing out, never mind back in.

The rest of the bolts are pretty straight up, of course - (3) on the door, (2) more on the
body side, accessed from inside the car behind the kick panel.
I figured if I did the hinges one at a time, the other hinge would keep some control of
the heavy-as-fluck door and it'd be a simple R and R affair.
What I didn't anticipate was the other hinge, the supposed "good" one, also was in
eminent failure mode...and laid in wait!

Me, unsuspecting and fairly confident in my abilities, set everything up, perched the door
perfectly on the floor jack at the assumed point of balance and protected by a block of wood
covered in layers of microfiber - and set in, alone.
(That's going to be a key word here, folks...."alone"... as you'll soon see.)
Bolt after bolt came out, each followed by a quick check on door stabilization.
All was good - until I got the last bolt out of the door, which took a little wigglin' of the
door to release it fully.
The bolt popped out of the hinge and...
THE DOOR BECAME A BREATHING, LIVING ENTITY.

Suddenly, I found myself in a desperate wrestling match with the door, from a position of
weakness there on the floor of the garage. My right leg had long since fallen asleep from
the contortions required of my big ol' creaky arse, so I had sat down indian-style on the
concrete and finished from there.
This, as you might imagine, was NOT the prime position of leverage for when an entire
car door decides to LEAVE THE CAR. As in "I'm outta here" leave.
The door saw it's chance to escape and was taking full advantage....

Well, in typical "me" style, I let out a tourette-style string of expletives the likes of which
I didn't even know I had in me, all accompanied by my (petrified) cat-like reflexes as
I leapt to action.
When all the dust had settled, I found myself flat on my back, door perched atop me
defiantly, victoriously even - but no sheet metal had come in contact with any other
metal!!

As the door sat on my belly/chest, I had managed to keep it from banging into either the
car or the nearby garage wall; I took the brunt of the fall, following the prime directive
of not damaging the car above all else.
Knocked the dang wind out of me, but...

Yes, I laughed like a mad scientist once I realized nothing was damaged; I even mocked
the door a little bit (what, like that's not sane behavior? The hell you say!).
Yes, the new hinges on the driver's side were both replaced soon after and the door works
beautifully now and I have a fresh self-effacing car story to add to the repertoire.
Yes, I heartily recommend a helper when attempting this yourself, especially if you're
decrepit like me.

No - the passenger door hinges didn't get replaced.
Damn thing works just fine.... :thumbsup:
 

khryslerkid

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Another episode in the life of Dear Ed and his GTX :thumbsup:

You're missing your calling Ed with your writings. Great descriptions and humour.

Seems like whenever there's a jack involved, you find a way to end up under something.:rolleyes:
 

GetX'd

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Agree - you can tell a tale like no one else on this site. Congrats on winning the tag match!
 

Don Frelier

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I had good success hanging a ratchet strap from the ceiling. As I pushed the door open it lifted it up.
 

Mike67

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Ed this is the best story yet! Youre a natural story teller as I could visualize every epic moment in your trial and tribulation!!!
:rofl:

You should take up writing short stories for kids...or us childish adults!!!
Next thing you ought to do is buy that wonderful lady of yours a bottle of wine and fix her a nice dinner!!!
Glad the X was not harmed in this episode of Ed!!!
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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Another episode in the life of Dear Ed and his GTX :thumbsup:
You're missing your calling Ed with your writings. Great descriptions and humour.
Seems like whenever there's a jack involved, you find a way to end up under something.:rolleyes:
Thanks, my friend. Hey, at least I got less distance to fall if I'm already down there.... :)

Agree - you can tell a tale like no one else on this site. Congrats on winning the tag match!
Thanks. Yeah, me and this raggedy old car - we gots history. The next owner won't give a crap about any of that, either -
they'll just fuss about how things were on the car when they got it. :)


I had good success hanging a ratchet strap from the ceiling. As I pushed the door open it lifted it up.
Suuuure, NOW ya tell me... :)


Ed this is the best story yet! You're a natural story teller as I could visualize every epic moment in your trial and tribulation!!!
You should take up writing short stories for kids...or us childish adults!!!
Next thing you ought to do is buy that wonderful lady of yours a bottle of wine and fix her a nice dinner!!!
Glad the X was not harmed in this episode of Ed!!!
Eh, I write when it strikes me (and the embarrassment has wore off some).
Funny you mention fixing dinner - I've been doing quite a bit of that lately (not all of it successfully, but no hospital
trips yet, knock wood). Just like with cars, if I can find instructions to follow, I'm game. :)

Great story. I have done a door or two alone. Yip you're right.
So about the wisdom part? You have an awesome wife? :)
Appreciate it - and while I know I'm truly blessed to have her, sometimes a little reminder doesn't hurt.
The wisdom part, though? I forgot Murphy's law of Mopars! :)
 

GetX'd

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You never know. The guy I sold my GTX to calls me regularly about some of the smallest things for at least 2 reasons..1 he is a very good friend for many years (or he wouldnt own the car now) 2. He loves the detailed history and wants it from me. (He was also a part of the history)
You might be surprised at what another owner might want from such a rare car and an even more rare owner - you.
 

multimopes

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Thanks Ed; another Great story with a happy ending! Let me know when you publish your first book! I am anxiously waiting!
:lol::popcorn2::drinks:
 

68Moparmaniac

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Dang, I'll bet you could do a header and not even spill your beer :drinks:
 

440+6

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Sounds like an experience Ed, I was thinking of doing my drivers side, a body shop buddy told me to prop up the door and do one hinge at a time.
Sure sounds like you had more fun your way though.
 

moparwacko

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:rofl::rofl::rofl:
You're a Prince Ed.
You should be writing an Ed's how- to Mopar repair manual.
We need videos of whatever you try next!

I work by myself 99% of the time, try your engine crane next time with 2 small ratchet straps. :thumbsup:
 

chargervert

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I found out from an armature guy that the reason those Denso starters usually fail, is caused by a five cent copper washer that makes the connection for the battery power to the bendix,and he fixed mine for 15 dollars, and it worked for another 60 k miles,until I sold the truck.
 

moparedtn

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You might be surprised at what another owner might want from such a rare car and an even more rare owner - you.
Yeah well, running Yugos are rare, too.... :)

Thanks Ed; another Great story with a happy ending! Let me know when you publish your first book! I am anxiously waiting!
Very kind of you, sir, thanks. I'd have to figure out what to write about, really - something others would find interesting enough to actually fork over some loot for. I have a couple writer friends and I know for solids it's not an easy thing to do, though.

Dang, I'll bet you could do a header and not even spill your beer :drinks:
True. Can't explain it, really, other than "God's got a sense of humor - and I must amuse the hell out of Him". :)

Sounds like an experience Ed, I was thinking of doing my drivers side, a body shop buddy told me to prop up the door and do one hinge at a time. Sure sounds like you had more fun your way though.
Well, that's kinda what I was doing - using the floor jack to "prop". That's great for vertical stability, but doesn't take
into account the horizontal part - which turns out, is kinda important too. :)


You're a Prince Ed. You should be writing an Ed's how- to Mopar repair manual.
We need videos of whatever you try next! I work by myself 99% of the time, try your
engine crane next time with 2 small ratchet straps.
Thanks, my friend. Yeah there ya go, I'll title it "Ed Makes Even Shadetrees Look Good" or some such.
Y'know, I did bring the cell phone out to the garage with me, thinking I might want to document the
process but once out there, one of the little voices in my head said "just lay that thing on the bench
and leave it there". :)
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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I found out from an armature guy that the reason those Denso starters usually fail, is caused by a five cent copper washer that makes the connection for the battery power to the bendix,and he fixed mine for 15 dollars, and it worked for another 60 k miles,until I sold the truck.
This one was a reman from the big box store over a decade ago (lifetime warranty!) and has been rock solid.
Heat doesn't seem to bother it, nor does the task of turning over a lot more cubes than it was designed for.
Once the new battery was in and looking spiffy, that thing spun the 440 over like it was a six banger. :thumbsup:
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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This one was a reman from the big box store over a decade ago (lifetime warranty!) and has been rock solid.
Heat doesn't seem to bother it, nor does the task of turning over a lot more cubes than it was designed for.
Once the new battery was in and looking spiffy, that thing spun the 440 over like it was a six banger. :thumbsup:
Oh. P.S.: I've actually been in the Denso plant where they make alternators and starters down in Maryville.
Literally raw materials come in one end and finished product goes out the other. HUGE plant.
 
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