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This is my 1966 Dart. I have had this car since 1988. I drove it to high school and college. This car sat in a garage just a few miles from where lived and I
never knew it existed. An elderly couple owned it and rarely drove it. One day it was sitting at the end of their drive with a for sale sign in the window. I
didn't pay it much attention to begin with, then one day I noticed the V8 emblems on the fender and I was hooked. I stopped and talked with them. They
financed the car for me. A whopping $50 a week for 12 weeks. It was white, with gold bench seat interior then with 273 2bbl. It has been painted twice, had
the engine rebuilt three times, had 3 or 4 transmissions, received a 65 Dart GT bucket seat interior, and taken one not so nice ride through a ditch. It has
been retired to garage duty for a while and now I am finally getting to do what I always wanted to do, DROP IN A BIG BLOCK! Well it will really be more
like wedge, shove, mangle and smash it in, but it is going in. That little bitty rear that came in this car can't stand up to a 440.
So the first thing to do is get the rear ready.
|Well, she is all loaded up and headed to
David Lemmond's Race Shop.
An 8.75 rear from a 69 Polara will be narrowed, with new posi unit, 4.10 gears, Wilwood disc brakes, a pair of wheels from the Polora widened to 10 inches by TDW and M/T tires, Caltracs split monoleaf springs and traction system, green bearings, Moser axle housing brace and axles, spring relocation kit and assorted other parts to do this right. David will be widening wheel wells to the frame, relocating springs, adding subframe connectors and roll bar, removing gas tank, adding fuel cell in the trunk, relocating battery to the trunk and anything else that I can afford to do to get this little Dart ready for a major heart transplant.
|The gas tank was always in the way and made running duals
difficult on this car. That is no longer a problem. The tank was removed,
and the sparetire well was massaged to allow a racing fuel cell to sit
inside it. Once all the welds are cleaned up, seam sealer and paint applied,
this will look really good.
|Keeping safety in mind, a fire barrier was added behind the seat. Once the roll bar is completed, the speaker holes will also be closed off to isolate the fuel cell in the trunk. Notice in picture to the right that hole for gas inlet has also beenwelded up. The left quarter panel will be smooth now.|
|Well, a big motor and stronger rear are no good will small tires, so as you can see above the wheel wells have been widened to the frame rails. This will allow them to hold 10 inch wheels and new M/T Sportsmen S/R Radial tires that 12 inches wide. The springs will also have to be moved in board, those pictures are below.|
|A section is actually cut out of the rear subframe and a new section welded in. This allows the springs to hang inside the frame instead on the outside of it. This give about 3 extra inches of inside clearance for the wheels and tires. With each change, you see the need for another. With the big motor, stronger rear, and bigger tires, you increase the torque and flex on the unibody, so in goes the subframe connectors, pictured below.|
|These will really tie the front and rear subframes together. This should help performance and handling.|
|The 8.75 rear has been cleaned and is ready to be
cut and to have rear support brace welded in place. It will also be powder coated before it is installed.
|I have gotten a few items for the Dart from eBay recently. I was very happy to get a NOS set of Police Hub Caps. They will look great on the steel wheels. I also got a simulated wood grain steering wheel. I will have it refurbished and install it with a smooth column after moving the shifter to the floor.|
|Here is another eBay purchase for the Dart. It is a Weiand Drag Star intake, with 6 reconditioned 2 bbl carbs. This should have tons of eye appeal under the hood.|
|Here are a few pictures of the latest progress on the Dart. The battery will be safely secured in the trunk. There will also be plenty of room for the exhaust pipe on the right side. No more flat pipe due to speed bumps.|
|I am sorry that these pictures are kind of dark. The one on the left is the roll bar installed. The one on the right is the rear end housing with ends, and Moroso brace installed and ready for powder coating.|
On 6/13 we brought the little Dart home. It took a while, but the back half is finally done. The steel wheels look great and it rides better than I expected. The neighbors will be glad when I get new exhaust installed. With the pipes cut off beside the transmission it is a little loud.
|On 6/20 we went to the Mopar show at Hunstville dragway and sold enough old parts to pay for a new exhaust system. The Dart got new 2.5 inch pipes with Flowmaster mufflers and they sound great!|