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68 DART



 


 


Just your basic 68 Dart GT, 318, column automatic with power steering. Complete with rust in the quarters and window channels, 2 repaints and some kind of bathtub caulking in every crease. Got it with no engine or trans, still complete with the spindly tiny brakes and suspension. Looked like an easy repaint but once all the paint was off, it took quite a bit more. During the process of hanging new full quarters, we took the time to do a US Cartool mini tub and sprayed Reflex body colored bed liner in the trunk. Whole car was shot in silver, and the flimsy fiberglass hood was done in hot rod black. During its time in the body shop, we gathered parts, and came up with a 440-6 pack that we switched to a dual 4bbl set up. A Control Freak tubular front suspension and engine cross member with 650# coil overs will replace the factory front end and torsion bars. An A body 833 4 speed and Quicktime bellhousing will be behind the 440, as the floor hump and pedals are ready for the car to come back from the body shop.

With the car back at the shop, we added US Cartool laser cut subframe connectors, as well as their rear spring relocation kit. This spring kit and mini tub allows room for a 13" wide tire. So the available space was measured for a narrowed Moser 8.75" rear end assembly with 323 TruTrac center section, and installed a set of Cordoba 11" drum brakes. After the subframe connectors are in, the whole underside was undercoated. New stainless brake lines and 1/2" stainless fuel lines, new gas tank and a set of Mopar Performance heavy duty springs went in to finish the underside.

Inside, the entire interior was treated to a covering of heat and sound barrier (floors, roof & C pillars sealed) from the front glass to the back glass. A 4 point rollbar was fitted and the back seat was eliminated.

The 440 and 4 speed fits with plenty of room once the torsion bars are eliminated. TTI headers just fall right into the car with no fitment issues. Radiator is a mongo huge aluminum unit with 2-1" rows. There is somewhat of an interference issue with the blower motor and the back of the right valve cover--it doesn't fit. With a low deck 383-400 you could get away with it, but not a raised deck, so all that went away and the holes blocked. Everything else fits as it should, and even the shifter fits where it should. The clutch pivot stand on the scatter shield needed clearanced, and had we known this in advance, it would have been cut off completely, due to using a hydraulic throw out bearing. 

A couple of notes here:

1- When you re-locate the springs inboard, up and down travel of the rear of the car makes the gas tank get very close to the spring on the passengers side (this can be worked with easily).

2- Re-locating the springs eliminates any chance of using tailpipes if you have a stock tank. Period.

3- When measuring for a narrowed rear end after doing a mini tub, find the center of the available space in each wheel well. This center-to-center measurement is the axle flange to flange width. You can get it too narrow and have problems with the backing plates and lower shock mounts hitting.

4- Tubular coil over type front suspensions are the hot tip for strength and weight reduction as well as improved handling and adjustability. They are indefinitely adjustable, and you wont even get close on the first five trys. Be prepared to listen to your front end guy cuss you for bringing in a pain in the ass to set up, and have his/her favorite bottle of booze ready to compensate for the trouble. The fact that you are bringing in clean new parts to work on will be shadowed by the alignment taking 3 times longer to do.

So far, the engine and trans are in, interior is insulated, roll bar is in, headliner and carpet are done, rear end is in and set up. Ride height in the front is set, rear end height is re-set. New bumpers/grille/exterior chrome and lenses are on it. The hood scoop is reinforced because its paper thin and blows up at 40MPH.

Next up is rebuiling the dash, installing the Flaming River column and building the engine wiring harness. Have to finish the hydraulic clutch, fuel line and put some exhaust on. Stay tuned...