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Wednesday, September 14, 2005


The Project Dart

I am one of those gearheads who just can't let go of his first car. In my case, this is a 1966 Dodge Dart four-door sedan. It has the 225 cubic inch slant six and a Torqueflite automatic, making it pretty much basic transportation for its time. I talked my parents into buying it as a Christmas present my senior year in high school. They paid $500 for it, called AAA, and had it hauled to the family driveway on a flatbed because its radiator leaked so badly that it couldn't make the drive home. I also found out after getting the radiator fixed that the carb and the transmission were in pretty bad shape. Moral: Never, ever buy a car without a test drive, unless you are willing to replace just about everything mechanical on it.

I've been working on the Dart for several years now - next year will mark ten years of owning it. When I last left off, I had tried to turbocharge it. It did run, but not very well. With a used Holley four-barrel tweaked by a variety of incompetant carb tuners (myself included), it had no end of drivability problems. So I parked it, and somewhere along the way the carb completely died and so did the battery.

Today marks my official attempts to get it restarted again. This time, I won't try to make a carb handle fuel mixtures under pressure. Instead, I'm using a Megasquirt homebuilt fuel injection setup. I've already had a local machine shop (Nunley Machine in Covington, Georgia) modify a Clifford intake manifold, adding fuel bungs and a fuel rail, as well as making an adapter so I can use a Ford 4.6 throttle body.

So, tonight I've started wrenching on the car itself. I got the old intake manifold off, and started putting the new one on. If you've ever worked on a slant six's manifolds, you are probably familiar with how the exhaust manifold hangs from two studs and has to be stretched a bit to fit on there. Well, I tried hanging it from the stud at the back and threading the front stud in, using the stud to stretch the manifold. The result was chewed up threads on the front stud. Looks like I'll have to get more studs on my trip to the junkyard this weekend. Along with some of those triangular washers - it's always useful to have spares when you're dealing with a slant six.


Woo-hoo! I get to be the first person to comment on your blog! :)

It's an appropriate time, too, because tomorrow (I hope) marks the end of an era. Ever since I got my junior license, I have owned precisely one vehicle: a '91 Blazer. It is now falling apart piece by piece and I'm planning to buy an Aviator tomorrow and put dear old Burly up for sale.

Anyway, happy blogging!
Hey, Jenna! Thanks for stopping by. I'm adding a link to Absolute Write and will definitely give your site another plug once my contract arrives for MCN Magazine.
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