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Winter Project - ‘69 GTX Engine Compartment Rehab

Show prep continues. I pulled the front tires and cleaned them inside and out. While they were off, I cleaned up the dog dishes with Mothers. Still no word on my radiator which was supposed to ship a week ago, I’ll be giving Bob at Glen Ray a call in the morning…

My radiator finally made it’s way back from Glen Ray, my project tonight is to get it all back together and see if the GTX will run…

Done, I need more coolant before I fire it up, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow…

A lot of things happened since my last update. With the radiator back from Glen Ray, it was finally time to fire this sucker up. Since the carb and fuel system was bone dry, it took some cranking to get fuel up to the carb. When it started the oil light stayed illuminated so I shut the engine off right away.

After some basic checks I pulled the distributor and spun the oil pump with a pre-lube tool. Still no joy! I started a thread in the engine section titled Oil Pump Not Priming. A couple of sharp-eyed guys noticed in the pics I posted showed that the oil pump gasket was incorrect. I pulled off the pump and sure enough, the port from the pickup to the pump inlet was totally blocked.


It turns out Milodon accidentally packed some stock pump gasket kits with the gasket for pumps using an external pickup. Oops! Nobody in town had a gasket so I cut the hole in the old one and bolted the pump back to the block. It took all of 2 seconds to generate oil pressure with the pre-lube tool. Satisfied, I reinstalled the distributor and PS pump then fired it back up. The oil light went out and it was running good enough to set the timing. Then I stood back and let it get to operating temp.

I made this short video for posterity.

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Glad to hear that all is fine
She sure looks great and sounds super
All your hard work is certainly showing
There was a small puddle of coolant on the floor and I tracked the leak down to one of the driver's side header bolts. I drained some coolant and resealed the threads, so far it appears to be holding.

Now that it's a runner, I have an alignment scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Once that's done, I can put on the splash shields and alignment covers. The car should be officially finished. Thursday morning I'll give it a final wipe down and head out to the Washington County Fairgrounds for Mopars in the Park. Despite minor setbacks and a little drama, I feel like this project went pretty well. I was able to make improvements to the car and learned some things in the process.

It's time to go have some fun...
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No coolant drips on the floor this morning, gotta love that.

The damn reproduction front seatbelt retainers broke before I even drove the car. I put the 54 year old originals back on…

Doing some minor cleaning, the GTX will be heading to the alignment shop on Wednesday…
Got the alignment done this afternoon. Rear thrust angle was .05 degrees so we left it alone. Caster is set at 4.9 degrees, camber at -0.5 and toe is 1/16”. I jumped on the freeway to go get some Sunoco 110 and it drove really nice. On the way home I swung by the parts store to grab a part I ordered, there’s a couple minor issues but I can address them after Mopars in the Park this weekend. It’s been a huge amount of work getting to this point, but it looks like I’m going to make it…

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More junk parts, after putting 10 gallons of fuel in the GTX yesterday it seemed odd that it was showing just over 1/4 tank. The temp gauge was also reading lower than usual. After reading through the instrumentation section of the FSM, the common theme in the trouble shooting section was ”faulty voltage limiter”. That can’t possibly be, I installed a new VRC601 replacement when I had the dash apart a couple months ago. Just to see if it made a difference, I replaced the new part with the original which I had fortunately saved. Lo and behold, my fuel gauge is showing over 1/2 tank. I bet the temp gauge will read normally too. Are all replacement parts crap nowadays? It sure seems like it...
It's sad how bad parts have gotten. You should be on the heavy diesel side volvo is the worst. Oring this and that parts people hand you what it calls for but it's either to big or to small. Doesn't have a flat side or it does. Then your told it's been upgraded to this or that.
It's sad how bad parts have gotten. You should be on the heavy diesel side volvo is the worst. Oring this and that parts people hand you what it calls for but it's either to big or to small. Doesn't have a flat side or it does. Then you’re am on the heavy diesel sidetold it's been upgraded to this or that.

I am on the heavy diesel side. I’ve been in the industry since 1980, on the parts side of things for the last 14. Parts sourced from offshore are my biggest bitch. China is great at copying parts, but they certainly don’t perform the same. I try to steer my customers towards quality, brand name parts and educate them so they understand the value, even if it costs more they will save money in the long run.
Thank you for staying strong it's hard these days.
Found an original style air filter element and coolant decal at the swap meet, finishing details are done…

One of my favorite cars on this site. You nailed the wheels, tires, stance, etc. Engine looks stock but is nasty...what more could you want? Kudos to you
Ended up getting an Outstanding award, the class winner was a flawless 340 Duster.


No shame in losing to such a nice ride.

The GTX showed well, but with participants voting you can’t predict what they will like.


Now that the GTX is “done” this will be the end of this thread…
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And it was a great one! Thanks for the time and effort it took to take us down your journey. I appreciate all the tips and knowledge shared in this amazing thread. Great photos. Helps a great deal
She turned out beautiful!
Well done!
I got to see your car in person at Mopars in the Park. The pictures in this thread do not do it justice. Fantastic work!