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Posted On: 4/5/2013 11:33AM
dartslantsix

It’s been a while, but never fear, this project has not been dormant. Now that the snow has melted and the ground is thawing, it’s time for a progress update. Last time, I showed you the build-up of the front suspension and steering. This update will cover converting the car to a manual shift and converting to power steering. Seems simple until you realize that this is a vintage car. Where will I find a pedal set within the budget? Can I find a steering column to mate to the power steering box?

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Posted On: 12/12/2012 11:26AM
dartslantsix

Last time, I left you with the rather cheesy line: “…and show you the tricks I used to get quality front end parts cheap.” You’ll have to forgive me for sounding like Vince the Shamwow guy. Someone swapped my coffee for decaf. I’ve dealt with that person and it won’t happen again, ever.

Before I get into where I purchased the front end parts, I want to show you some of the steps I took to make this car better than stock. Remember, this build will be a foundation for future upgrades. The first step is to reinforce the lower control arms. These arms are fine for their intended purpose, but when adding a stiff sway bar they start to show weakness. A sway bar will impart a torsional stress on the arms due to how they are typically attached. Plenty of companies sell reinforcement plates, but I’m going cheap, so I made my own.

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Posted On: 12/3/2012 2:43PM
dartslantsix

Now that I’ve shared with you the road map for the build, I get to share with you the adventure of finding the parts. Something really cool has happened during the course of this build and it’s the very foundation of this hobby--I’ve made some friends. Just putting wanted ads on Craigslist has linked me up with some great people. Simply looking for spring perches led me to a guy’s house with a bunch of old Mopars in the yard. One of those Mopars has a Magnum 5.9L under the hood, running on the stock fuel injection. He’ll be a great resource when I drop my motor in place. Another great thing about making friends is that they’re more willing to make you deals and help out. Some even work for beer. Fascinating.

Being patient for the best deals will be paramount to this build. It took a while, but I finally stumbled upon the deal I needed for the wheels. Listed on Craigslist were a set of 1999 Mustang GT wheels with tires for $200. The tires still have excellent tread depth and the wheel design should look good on the Barracuda.

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Posted On: 11/27/2012 11:10AM
dartslantsix

Last week I introduced you to my low-budget pro-touring project. I asked if you had any ideas on what parts I was going to use. Some of you are on the right track, but others think that it can’t be done. Take a look at the objectives again from the last post. This build will be more of a foundation for future additions than a finished product. Things like sway bars and upgraded torsion bars are not on the list, but will be easily added when the funds are available.

Something else to keep in mind is that I can sell some parts off the car that I won’t be using in the build. For instance, I won’t be using the 14” rallye wheels the car came with so I can sell them to gain some capital. In this installment I’ll clue you in on what the plan is and the rationale behind it.

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Posted On: 11/19/2012 10:22AM
dartslantsix

I struggled with what to call this post because I’ve come to loathe the term "Pro-Touring." It used to mean muscle cars that were built to handle well, but now it seems like it mostly stands for six figure builds with fat lip rims. This project isn’t about that.

This project is more like Chumpcar or 24 Hours of Lemons. This will be a muscle car built to drive and take corners all on a budget. I’m not planning on making sacrifices on the build just to get it under budget. Rather, I’ll choose good parts that are normally overlooked. I may even have to stray from my favorite marque if it makes sense.

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Posted On: 5/18/2012 1:23PM
dartslantsix

Last time I wrote, I was pondering why my beloved 1966 Dodge Dart was not selling. After some soul searching and talking with the wife, we decided that the price was too high. I dropped it by $1000 and a nice gentleman from Denver snapped it up. We worked out the details of selling it long-distance, and a couple weeks ago, the Dart left on a semi-truck trailer. Continue reading...

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Posted On: 2/13/2012 9:49AM
dartslantsix

I've had my Dart up for sale for nearly a year now. I've had several people contact me about it, but no one who wanted to plunk down the cold cash. I've put it on Ebay and Craigslist. I've put it on forums.

It's got everything that someone who wanted to restore one of these cars would love. The disc brake/bolt pattern upgrade, a rust-free body and all the hard-to-find trim. I've asked around to see if I'm asking too much. The consensus was that the price was good.

So what is it? I know that the economy is bad, but it's bad for everyone so I'm going to ignore that. I think for the Dart it comes down to the desirability of it. Hit the jump to continue reading...

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Posted On: 10/5/2011 1:18PM
dartslantsix

A few years back I built a bolt in independent rear suspension for my '66 Dodge Dart. I documented the progress on the old Cardomain blog, but I wanted to consolidate all those articles into one place. It seems that people could find a couple of the articles, but never the whole process. So here it is in one place.

A lot of people have asked if I've been able to improve the design since I got it all together. Well...I actually have removed the suspension and reinstalled the old stick axle. The reason is that the car is up for sale and I'm looking for my next project. I checked all my welds and tubing and didn't find any cracking or bending. That's after driving it for two summers including autocrossing and drag racing. I would like to refine the design someday with an eye on reducing weight and increasing wheel travel. So check out the articles and if you're looking for an internet famous 66 Dart, let's make a deal!

Introduction to the project 

Part 2, the subframe 

Part 3, the control arms 

Part 5, testing