1966 dart commando 4 speed id

Early A-Body Discussions

  1. Slantsix64

    Slantsix64 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,756
    Likes Received:
    1090
    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    Location:
    SGV
    Local Time:
    2:17 AM
    So, A guy comes up to me at the gas station tells me he has a 66 dart 4 speed v eight he bought 20 years ago. I said cool four speed, he shows me a picture and it has the console four speed and all, but then he shows me a picture of the engine and it has the commando valve covers,four barrel but a Holley on top might be after market.

    Any ways he told me to come check it out he wants to sell it. First things I'll check the vin number see what I get, also what are other things? In 1966 it should have a 8.75? Front sway bars? Wonder if it's a commando car, although he didn't say he is actually a Ford guy that owned a tow truck company picked it up. And sat for 20 years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
    • Like Like x 2
    • 4spdragtop

      4spdragtop FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      29,641
      Likes Received:
      9986
      Joined:
      Aug 28, 2009
      Location:
      Wasting time here
      Local Time:
      2:17 AM
      Dual point distributor? If still orig of course. Chk casting/part # on intake.
      If u can remove valve cover chk for adjustable rockers
       
    • chryslerfat

      chryslerfat Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      13,456
      Likes Received:
      7568
      Joined:
      Aug 23, 2008
      Location:
      Monroe,Michigan
      Local Time:
      3:17 AM
      They dont all have 8 3/4 and all of the ones I have seen were 7 1/4 axles.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
      • cudamark

        cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        7,267
        Likes Received:
        490
        Joined:
        Mar 14, 2009
        Location:
        San Diego
        Local Time:
        12:17 AM
        An 8 3/4 would be a good sign though. Take a look at the fender tag. It should have a 32 under the AB if it's an original 4bbl car. A 3 under the C would be correct for a 4 speed. Being a Dart, it would be a Charger 273 car. A front sway bar would be an option. It should also have an Inland shifter if it's original.
         
        • Like Like x 1
        • Agree Agree x 1
        • Slantsix64

          Slantsix64 Well-Known Member

          Messages:
          2,756
          Likes Received:
          1090
          Joined:
          May 11, 2014
          Location:
          SGV
          Local Time:
          2:17 AM
          Oh yeah that's right dart charger 273
           
        • 65 Dartman

          65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

          Messages:
          11,692
          Likes Received:
          3259
          Joined:
          Sep 24, 2006
          Location:
          Strasburg, VA
          Local Time:
          3:17 AM
          Generally speaking 273/235 cars with a 4 speed got an 8.75 while 2 barrel 4 speed cars got the 7.25. Again, this is generally speaking and things could gave been swapped in the last 55 years or so.
           
        • Slantsix64

          Slantsix64 Well-Known Member

          Messages:
          2,756
          Likes Received:
          1090
          Joined:
          May 11, 2014
          Location:
          SGV
          Local Time:
          2:17 AM
          What about the vin number? Anything in there, just in case fender tag s gone
           
        • abdywgn

          abdywgn dismantler

          Messages:
          1,498
          Likes Received:
          748
          Joined:
          Jul 30, 2006
          Location:
          Darien, Illinois
          Local Time:
          2:17 AM
          D/Dart with Holley carb?
           
          • Agree Agree x 1
          • cudamark

            cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

            Messages:
            7,267
            Likes Received:
            490
            Joined:
            Mar 14, 2009
            Location:
            San Diego
            Local Time:
            12:17 AM
            In 1966, the VIN will indicate the engine size, but, not whether it's a 2 bbl or 4bbl. The fifth digit is the engine size. If it's an original 273 car, it will be a D. If the VIN starts out LL,it's a base model Dart, LH would be a Dart 270, and LP would be a GT. The next two digits are the body style, then the engine, then the year is the sixth digit. Without a fender tag or build sheet, the only way I know to verify what the car originally came with, is to contact Chrysler Historical to see if they have the original IBM card that they can decode and give you that info. Good Luck!
             
            • Agree Agree x 1
            • cudamark

              cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

              Messages:
              7,267
              Likes Received:
              490
              Joined:
              Mar 14, 2009
              Location:
              San Diego
              Local Time:
              12:17 AM
              If it's an original 273 4bbl. 4 speed, my sources say they made 1561 of them in all body styles. 109 LL's, 215 LH's, and 1237 GT's. In some body styles that combo would be quite rare. I see that they only made 23 273 4bbl. 4 speed wagons, for instance......10 LL's, and 13 LH's.
               
              • Like Like x 1
              • CudaFactHackJob

                CudaFactHackJob FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                Messages:
                1,359
                Likes Received:
                479
                Joined:
                Mar 17, 2016
                Location:
                Hemet, Ca.
                Local Time:
                2:17 AM
                My buddy bought a 66 GT 273 four barrel four speed in 68. It had a 7 1/4 posi.
                 
                • Like Like x 1
                • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                • Agree Agree x 1
                • Valiantjim

                  Valiantjim Well-Known Member

                  Messages:
                  67
                  Likes Received:
                  50
                  Joined:
                  Jan 10, 2013
                  Location:
                  Aurora, CO
                  Local Time:
                  1:17 AM
                  I don't have precise info but subjectively after 50 yrs of sampling I suggest 273 4bbl A-bodies, Barracudas/Valiants/Darts in 1966 were likely 7.25 rears from early in production. By late 1965 build dates the 8.75 started showing up in 4spd cars but still inconsistent. I have never seen a true factory 273 4bbl automatic with an 8.75 in 1966. I've seen factory 4spd 273's with either 2bbl or 4bbl motors with 8.75 or 7.25s. That's an observation based on lots of sampling but no source data from the production side. All I have to offer, for whatever it's worth...
                   
                  Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
                  • Like Like x 2
                  • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                  • Agree Agree x 1
                  • Valiantjim

                    Valiantjim Well-Known Member

                    Messages:
                    67
                    Likes Received:
                    50
                    Joined:
                    Jan 10, 2013
                    Location:
                    Aurora, CO
                    Local Time:
                    1:17 AM
                    Cudamark's reference adds to the difficulties as the 4bbl variation over 2bbl was not well documented. 1966 factory sales and ordering literature emphasized the 4bbl was not available in any station wagon for 1966. Were 2bbl 273 4spds produced? yes. Were any 4bbls? Can't tell but skeptical. Unless anyone trips over what appears to be a real factory exception to all this and wants to make money on it, who cares. Ultimately its not like we're dealing with Hemi Cudas here...

                    Any 273 A-body I've owned since the 70's has gotten a 360 with Commando/Charger trim and my next one that looks stock will be a 408. I even use single exhaust with the big resonator... as far as you can tell. 8.75 or practically, an 8.25 work just fine.
                     
                    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
                    • Like Like x 1
                    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                    • cudamark

                      cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                      Messages:
                      7,267
                      Likes Received:
                      490
                      Joined:
                      Mar 14, 2009
                      Location:
                      San Diego
                      Local Time:
                      12:17 AM
                      My Aug 17th 1965 build date '66 Barracuda 273 4bbl. 4 speed came with an 8 3/4 and disc brakes. I've seen other 4bbl 4 speed cars that year with both 8 3/4 and 7 1/4 years. I also used to own 2 '66 Formula S's that were automatics and had 8 3/4's.
                       
                    • Valiantjim

                      Valiantjim Well-Known Member

                      Messages:
                      67
                      Likes Received:
                      50
                      Joined:
                      Jan 10, 2013
                      Location:
                      Aurora, CO
                      Local Time:
                      1:17 AM
                      Bingo... My August 1965 build date 1966 Valiant V100 2dr post, 273 Commando, 4spd, disk brake, Rally suspension, Blue Streak, 16-1 fast ratio steering, 3.55 Sure Grip was a 7.25. My Feb 1966 Barracuda 273 2bbl, 4spd, "nothing else" had an 8.75. Thus the point...

                      Big point to me being who cares? Good gosh if you have an early A-body with any performance mechanicals, make them work and drive it. No one (I know) cares enough about "matching numbers" in this realm enough to ruin a good time.

                      Good point as an old timer to go all "lawn" about the trend to claim "matching numbers" with 318s, slant sixes and stuff. Is it wrong to recommend scrapping anymore? By the way, stay on the sidewalk, that's my lawn... :-0
                      I'll give you 15 bucks for that headlight bezel before they pick it up though.
                       
                      Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
                      • Like Like x 1
                      • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                      • 66fs

                        66fs FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                        Messages:
                        5,015
                        Likes Received:
                        1666
                        Joined:
                        Sep 9, 2009
                        Location:
                        Greenwood, South Carolina
                        Local Time:
                        3:17 AM
                        Not mine. 7 1/4 3.23 sure grip.
                         
                      • Jim Lusk

                        Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

                        Messages:
                        4,490
                        Likes Received:
                        796
                        Joined:
                        Mar 8, 2006
                        Location:
                        Fresno, CA
                        Local Time:
                        12:17 AM
                        Perhaps, but to my knowledge, none of them had a console. Console could have been added, though.
                         
                        • Like Like x 1
                        • chryslerfat

                          chryslerfat Well-Known Member

                          Messages:
                          13,456
                          Likes Received:
                          7568
                          Joined:
                          Aug 23, 2008
                          Location:
                          Monroe,Michigan
                          Local Time:
                          3:17 AM
                          My 65 commando 4 speed Barracuda is 7 1/4 and 9 inch power brakes including build sheet.
                           
                        • cudamark

                          cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                          Messages:
                          7,267
                          Likes Received:
                          490
                          Joined:
                          Mar 14, 2009
                          Location:
                          San Diego
                          Local Time:
                          12:17 AM
                          I'm surprised it didn't have 10" brakes. All the V8 cars I've seen that year came with 10's.....even some 6 cyl cars. Is it an early build date?
                           
                        • chryslerfat

                          chryslerfat Well-Known Member

                          Messages:
                          13,456
                          Likes Received:
                          7568
                          Joined:
                          Aug 23, 2008
                          Location:
                          Monroe,Michigan
                          Local Time:
                          3:17 AM
                          Yes it is September 65 and until I found the build sheet I didnt believe it. But hey at least they opted for power assist lol
                           
                        • toolmanmike

                          toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

                          Messages:
                          53,156
                          Likes Received:
                          38675
                          Joined:
                          Jan 18, 2006
                          Location:
                          Iowa
                          Local Time:
                          2:17 AM
                          The 5th digit of the 66 VIN will tell you it's a 273 if it is a "D" but you need the tag to find out if it was a HP-273. Like
                          The VIN would start out "LO" if it was.
                           
                          Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
                          • Like Like x 1
                          • toolmanmike

                            toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            53,156
                            Likes Received:
                            38675
                            Joined:
                            Jan 18, 2006
                            Location:
                            Iowa
                            Local Time:
                            2:17 AM
                            Sept 65 build date is a 66. The tail lights on the car in your avatar is 66.
                             
                          • toolmanmike

                            toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            53,156
                            Likes Received:
                            38675
                            Joined:
                            Jan 18, 2006
                            Location:
                            Iowa
                            Local Time:
                            2:17 AM
                            The rear axle option is on the build sheet on the 66's. It didn't show up on the fender tag until 67. And it's crazy that the option code books don't differentiate between the axles by code. Just gear ratios. We had a discussion about this a few months ago.
                             
                          • cudamark

                            cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            7,267
                            Likes Received:
                            490
                            Joined:
                            Mar 14, 2009
                            Location:
                            San Diego
                            Local Time:
                            12:17 AM
                            Is this your avatar car? If so, it's a '66 model. If it's another car....a '65 model, that build date is too late for 1965.
                             
                            • Agree Agree x 1
                            • chryslerfat

                              chryslerfat Well-Known Member

                              Messages:
                              13,456
                              Likes Received:
                              7568
                              Joined:
                              Aug 23, 2008
                              Location:
                              Monroe,Michigan
                              Local Time:
                              3:17 AM
                              Sorry brain fart. It is Sept. 64
                               
                            1. This site uses cookies to help personalize content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                              By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.