First Car -- 1968 Barracuda Notchback

Members Restorations

  1. moparmat2000

    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    The body on it isnt too bad. I think I am working on something worse. Definitely try to preserve it until you can do a resto on it.
     
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    • Kendog 170

      Kendog 170 Let the boy go !

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      Like them both but this one is King!

      Hemi under glass.jpg
       
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      • famous bob

        famous bob mopar misfit FABO Gold Member

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        I agree, hemi fastbacks are what made them ''famous'' !
        I get asked quite often , is that a hemi ? Even w/ 440 badges on the front fenders.
         
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        • Joe Mc

          Joe Mc No Car Like A MoPar!

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          Welcome and thanks for sharing your story (thus far) and pictures of you and the car. Brought back memories of my first car purchase at 16 (yikes, back in 1975...), it was a faded blue 64 Dodge Dart GT, 273, 2brl, 4 speed, bucket seat console car with single exhaust. I paid $400 for it, within 100 miles or so after it was inspected and I was driving it, it began the "Smokey MoPar" routine. What a blast I had with that smokey little car, collecting drain oil from all my friends to feed the oil hungry little engine and using "reconstituted" oil while waiting for my friends next oil change. Ah the memories.

          Great luck to you and your car. Awesome to see younger folks getting into the hobby and helping to keep it alive!
           
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          • Chained_360

            Chained_360 Delusional Member

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            Thanks again for the warm welcome everyone! I've dug through the photos that I have and I wasn't able to find too much that captured the winter that I got it roadworthy again, but I do have some pictures here and there. After I got it running and streetworthy I used it as my daily driver during the summer and had a lot of fun and met lots of awesome people -- including you guys here!! Here's another picture of her in June of 2016: IMG_7325.jpg

            And here's the picture of the first guy that ever tried to street race me... An early 2000's Civic with a terrible bodykit that was actively falling off. He wanted to race me in rush hour traffic in a stock Honda. I did not bother myself with such an "opportunity." IMG_7328.jpg

            Here's a picture of her parked next to a similarly colored '64 at the local classic car club. Both beauties! IMG_7346.jpg

            Shortly after I acquired the car, I began to accumulate parts... I started with a rebuilt 318 out of a 1967 Dodge pickup. All original down to the 2 barrel iron intake! I bought it because it was a good deal and I had no idea if my 360 would last since it sat for so long. I did not know much about the durability of these cars at the time so I was worried that it might blow up for no reason. I hung onto the engine for about two months until I realized that if the 360 was going to go, it would have done so already, so I sold the engine for $200 more than I paid for it! Here's a picture of the adventure with me and my buddy:
            IMG_20160918_173536.jpg

            Towards the fall I started to drive it to school, and it was very fun showing up to a parking lot of subarus and pickups in a hot rod! I drove it until about mid October when one morning I stepped on the brakes, and the pedal didn't come back up. Thankfully this happened at the stop sign directly adjacent to my house, so I limped it back the 100 yards and took my truck to school. My first thought was the brake hoses being shot on the inside, so I replaced them to no avail. It ended up being a bad reman master cylinder from NAPA, and by the time I had a new one in my hands it was winter time and I had lost my spot in the garage... So the car cover went on her and she sat until spring.
            20161217_181030.jpg
             
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            • RSie

              RSie Idiot In Training

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              Man, it's awesome to see a younger guy have a love for these cars. I'm loving this post!
              I have a Notch but it's a looong way from being on the road. Yeah, I'm jealous! :)
               
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              • Chained_360

                Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                Due to life and high school, I didn't get much of a chance to work on my Barracuda for most of Junior year. Not having a garage space for it also made things difficult, but when spring came I started to get her ready for the summer!
                20170320_172449.jpg 20170414_161801.jpg

                Once it was nice outside I started on replacing the master cylinder, and ran into a SNAFU with the driver's side front bleeder screw. It had snapped off somehow and I couldn't get a socket or a wrench on it, so I had to pull the wheel cylinder out and get a new bleeder screw for it. Which, when I took the hub apart, revealed that the bearing grease I used to repack the front bearings wasn't high temp enough, which meant replace the front wheel bearing again. Gotta love, it right? Here it was blown apart in the driveway: 20170512_212803.jpg

                After a couple days of cursing in the sun, I got it back together and it was off to fun times around town! That summer (summer of 2017) I was lucky and blessed enough to get a job at a local, mom-and-pop restoration shop called KJ's Auto Restoration in Anchorage. It was one of the best jobs I've had, aside from the internship I had this past summer. I can share some photos from that job if y'all would like! We did some pretty cool stuff. However, I was so busy working on other people's old cars that I didn't have much time or energy to work on my own. I did what I had to do to the car to keep it running, and that was pretty much it. The parts accumulation, on the other hand, did continue... I decided I wanted to have three pedals (and an overdrive) in my car, so I started looking for A833 overdrives.

                I found one for $250 a couple hours south of me, so I hopped in my truck with my buddy and picked it up on a road trip! I took a look inside it and it seemed to be in okay shape. The guy I bought it from rebuilt it in 1992 (he said) and kept it stored inside. The brass synchros were mint, but the rear bearing was making noise. I didn't rebuild it until the following winter, but here's some pictures of when I got it! It's a 1976 unit (I think) from either a Dart or Volare, not sure which but it should fit in my car. I did end up having to buy a smallblock OD bellhousing but it should be good to go!
                20171026_181726.jpg 20171026_171049_HDR.jpg
                 
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                • Joe Mc

                  Joe Mc No Car Like A MoPar!

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                  Here's a tip for any car that's going to sit a while whether inside or outside, keep it "fluid" meaning, start it up once a week or so, when/if the roads are clean take it for a spin, like 10 15 miles or whatever it takes to bring up to operating temperature. Keeps things working... or let's you know when something isn't quite right before you take that maiden spring voyage.
                   
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                  • A56

                    A56 MoParAffliction FABO Gold Member

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                    Very cool story. I've always had '69 fastbacks but when I saw my first M Code notchback (Tom Hoovers) I thought it was sharp as hell. Right now you have the opportunity to build and drive without worrying about scratches and dents.
                     
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                    • Chained_360

                      Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                      Here's another update in the car's saga before now. I apologize for the lack of activity, I've started working at my old shop again! I'll post some photos of the Mopars we have later.

                      Back to the car's history. I drove her a lot for summer of 2017, attending lots of car meets, car shows, and cruises. I found a few other Mopars around town and took photos with them, like this early Charger I found at a local restaurant! For context, most of the classic cars in Anchorage are Chevys, early Mustangs, or old pickups. Not much classic Mopar Muscle that's driven often unfortunately. 20170711_184148.jpg

                      Again, due to work and the Cross-Country Running season starting later in the summer, I didn't really work on the car much. I do have a picture of me going to my first day of Senior year in the car though! 20170821_072314.jpg

                      As fall approached, I started having trouble with my brakes again. I kept losing fluid from the master cylinder reservoir slowly, until one day I popped the lid to see the reservoir a nice orange/reddish color with rust flakes in it. At this point, I was very done with working on my brakes and drove it for the next few weeks until it snowed. Once again, due to life (this time mostly my parents), I was unable to park the car in the garage and work on it. I did have enough space at my Mom's house to start rebuilding my newly acquired 4-speed. I got a basic rebuild kit with new bearings and seals from Brewer's and started work on the transmission in January. It took me about 4 weeks total to rebuild the transmission due to school and it being my first time inside a 4-speed, but the total focused work time was closer to a couple days. Here's a few images from the process, including me being a total dork:
                      20180101_194602.jpg 20180101_194629.jpg 20180101_205426.jpg 20180101_205433.jpg 20180101_205451.jpg 20180102_205602.jpg 20180102_212917.jpg
                      Javelin throw!!
                      20180102_205509.jpg

                      I learned a lot from the rebuild. You know how sometimes you pick up a part or a tool and you can just feel that it's made from high quality material? That's what every part inside this transmission felt like. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I could tell that the parts in these units are good quality steel. These transmissions are also extremely simple once you get inside them, and I love how straightforward it was to rebuild it.

                      The car continued to sit until about March 2018, when our principal at school changed our Prom date from April 5th to May 5th... The gears started turning and I knew I could have the car ready in time for Prom. More on that in the next post!
                       
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                      • Chained_360

                        Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                        So, about late March of 2018, the rush for prom started. I ordered stainless pre-bent lines for the front half of the car and rear axle, new wheel cylinders, a new master cylinders, and some tubing and fittings for the brake line going to the back of the car. I also ordered various maintenance parts and some hardware to get the car ready for the eventual 4-speed swap. Everything showed up, and I took the car out to the Auto Hobby shop on base and I got to work. Said shop has bays with lifts you can rent for $7.25/hr, all the tools you need, and help from mechanics! I don't have many pictures from the process, but here are the ones I do have:
                        20180320_141735.jpg 20180317_174918.jpg 20180413_192602.jpg 20180413_195401.jpg

                        I did end up getting the car ready in time for Prom, and it was an... interesting time. The girl I wanted to go out with went with another guy, and we all went as a group of friends. Long story short, I did end up dating one girl from the group for a little over a year, and she did appreciate and enjoy this ratty pile of rust :D. Of course I took my senior photos with the car, with my quote on here of "If it ain't broke, I'll fix it 'till it is!"

                        I drove the car all summer of 2018 until I parked her in August to move to Indianapolis for school. That's pretty much where the catch-up part of this thread ends. I drove the car when I could when I came home for holidays, but I didn't work on it until I came home for spring break of this year. More on that in a little bit!
                         
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                        • Chained_360

                          Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                          So, I know it's skipping far forward (or rather present) in time, but the first real bit of work I did on this car in a long time was in March of this year (2020). I came home for spring break right as the COVID-19 crisis was ramping up hardcore, I made it home three or four days before Alaska mandated a 14-day quarantine for travelers. At the time, I was under the delusion that I was going to be able to get the car ready in two weeks to ship down to Seattle and then road trip across the US back to Indy. And boy howdy, was I wrong. The list I had was as follows:
                          - Rear main seal
                          - Oil pan gasket
                          - Drop transmission and fix all the seals at the front
                          - Rebalance tires
                          - U-joints
                          - Oil Change
                          - Rear axle seals and fluid change
                          - Install headlight relays from Crackedback
                          - Install USB port
                          - Remove dash cluster and repair wiring behind it
                          ... and a few other odds and ends. I thought I was going to be able to do this in two weeks, and plans changed very quickly. The downward spiral started when I began taking the instrument cluster out. I decided that it would be really, really easy to get up underneath it if I took the driver's seat out, so I did: 20200401_191427.jpg

                          The combination of seat foam and crap left behind from me was pretty gross, not to mention the decomposing carpet. I even dug up some of my exes makeup from there! I cleaned up the mess and then decided that gee, it wouldn't be TOO hard to pull the carpet out... I mean, I DID have a box of correct color OER carpet sitting in the storage unit...

                          20200402_155344.jpg 20200402_160728.jpg 20200402_161541.jpg

                          Alllllllll the way down to the original floorpans. Look how nice they are!! At least for AK, anyway. Only a little bit of surface rust by the driver's feet, and the only hole in the floor was where the original seam sealer was starting to come out at the firewall/floorpan seam on the driver's side.

                          20200402_165600.jpg
                          I didn't have time or the materials to treat the rust properly, so I just scraped the scale off and vaccumed it up with a shop-vac. I wasn't too concerned because the carpet is coming out again very soon when I weld in the hump for the 4-speed, so I will treat the rust properly then.

                          I wanted some more sound insulation but I didn't have the money for the good stuff, plus I know the floors aren't prepped properly for the adhesive-backed sound insulation. So I instead went with the $20 moving blanket from Home Depot. I know it won't help much but it was cheap and the carpet was already out so I just went for it. 20200402_185200.jpg

                          All the screwdrivers in the floor were to keep the seat bolt holes lined up while I crawled around and trimmed things. The OER carpet was amazing stuff, it was preformed and all I had to do was cut it to size at the rockers!

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                          And here's an action shot Mom took while I was reinstalling the rear seatbelts :D
                          20200402_171629.jpg

                          I've hit the image limit for this post, but I'll continue this section tonight!

                          20200402_171649.jpg
                           
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                          • Chained_360

                            Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                            After I got the carpet and cheap sound insulation installed, I decided that I wanted to make a trunk divider as well. My mom had some extra sheets of thin plywood from a construction project, as well as a yoga mat that had only ever been used as a scratching pad for the cats. Mom helped me make a template with cardboard ('cause moms are the best!), and then I cut it out on the plywood with a jigsaw and stapled the foam to it. I had some extra material, so I laid it underneath the rear seat where there was no carpet for a little extra sound deadening:
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                            It was a total pain in the ass trying to cut the plywood to fit over the hooks for the rear seat back, but I finally got it to fit. At this point I had finished the carpet and sound insulation, so I FINALLY started on the cluster removal again. Also, pro tip I learned the hard way: When you're cutting carpet with a razor blade, don't just hold the bare blade in your hand, because your tendons don't like it too much (mine didn't, anyway). 20200403_175448.jpg

                            They were just super enflammed from all the grabbing and pulling I was doing with my hand, the pain went away in a few days!

                            After about another four hours of cursing and cutting my hands open on sharp edges, I finally had the instrument cluster out!
                            20200403_005330.jpg

                            I fixed a few janky wiring situations such as wire nuts holding things together, and the following day I put the dash back in. It only took me about 45 minutes to reinstall! One of the issues I was trying to fix as well was the HVAC. For some reason, I can't move the position lever to defrost, which is very inconvenient when it rains or dips below freezing here. The defrost used to work when I bought the car, but at some point in time I guess I moved it to "vent" and it never moved back. So I guess I'll just have to dig deeper to fix it!
                            After the interior debacle, I moved on to wiring in the engine bay. More on that in the next post!
                             
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                            • moparmat2000

                              moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              Coming along nicely. I would recommend pulling the wiper arm pivots and putting new seals, and adding grease fittings to them and pumping them full of grease. The midwest US gets a fair amount of rain, if they leak, your floor will get soaked, Let me know if you want to sell the factory radio from it that's lying on the floorboard in the pix.
                               
                              Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
                            • Joe Mc

                              Joe Mc No Car Like A MoPar!

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                              Jacob, once again thanks for sharing your story with us and stirring up similar memories of times when we were just starting out with our "motor head" life. BTW awesome to see your mom involved and giving you a hand, PRICELESS!
                              Keep up the good work and best of luck with your fish. Looking forward to your next update.
                               
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                              • 440jimr

                                440jimr Well-Known Member

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                                Great thread. You must be attending Butler or IUPUI?
                                Long time resident of the Westside of Indianapolis here....
                                 
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                                • Chained_360

                                  Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                                  I'm at IUPUI! I'm studying in their Motorsports Engineering program, I just finished up my Sophomore year. College does fly faster than high school for sure!

                                  I'm thankful to have you guys to share it with and ask for help! Everyone on here is incredible. I love my mom, she's the best! My parents are amazing, they've been supportive of my addiction to vintage iron and I love them all very much. I'm working on the next post right now!
                                   
                                • Chained_360

                                  Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                                  Well, it turns out I remembered things wrong. I thought I did the interior and then the wiring fixes, but apparently I did things in reverse order. So, here's the wiring saga:
                                  This car has always had very dim headlights and the only gauge lights that worked were about 1/3 of the speedometer lights and the light in the gear indicator on the column. My headlights used to get brighter with engine speed, but a new voltage regulator fixed that. The main upgrades I wanted were headlight relays, better choke wiring, and a USB charger for the cabin.

                                  When I installed the new Holley 650 on the car 5 years ago, I did the worst wiring job a 15 year old could ever do for an electric choke. It was crappy splices into the harness with a cheap-o inline fuse and a relay dangling in the inner fender. This time around, I decided to buy a designated fuse/relay box for the engine compartment similar to what many newer cars have. I did a more in-depth review of the unit I bought in this thread: Engine Bay Relay Box Installation

                                  I bought a $20 relay box off of amazon, and it's a pretty skookum unit. Nice glass-reinforced plastic, rubber weather pack seals, six 5-pin relay slots and 6 maxi fuse slots left me room for more electrical upgrades in the future. 20200323_160530.jpg 20200324_125239.jpg

                                  I started by installing the relay box empty in the car so I could figure out my wire routing and lengths. The last thing I wanted to do was drill holes in my inner fenders, so I made the jankiest bracket out of a spare piece of steel in the garage. I bent it to shape with pliers and an unsecured vice, and then wrapped it with electrical tape to prevent the sharp edge from cutting wires. I didn't want to drill holes to mount it, so I secured it with a fender bolt and a broken plastic clip further down the inner fender. The last bracket was one the box came with, and it shares a mounting point with the washer fluid reservoir. It is in tripod mode, but it's pretty secure and I installed rubber washers at every mounting point to reduce vibrations from the car. Here's the first mockup:
                                  20200324_144926.jpg

                                  Once I had the box in, I began assembling the headlight relay kit from CrackedBack. It's an amazing kit! I highly recommend it. It took me a while to assemble because the relay box changed the layout from the original kit, but I'm glad I took the time to do it. Here's a diagram of how I laid things out, plus some wiring pics:
                                  RelayBoxDiagram.jpg
                                  20200328_020051.jpg 20200325_002305.jpg

                                  Since both the choke circuit and the USB charger run very little current, I decided to run them off the same switched ignition relay on two separate fuses. The switched ignition relay gets its signal from the 12v side of the ballast resistor, and the switched circuit pulls power directly from the battery. I used a set of pre-assembled weather pack connectors for both the choke and USB charger circuit for easy disconnect in case I have to service or repair any electrical components. I've once again hit the photo limit so I'll include a picture of them in the next post, but I'm satisfied with them as well!

                                  20200402_022121.jpg

                                  Once I had the main box installed, I finally installed the USB charger. It was a cheap-o $10 unit with two ports and no bracket, so I had to make do. The previous owner of the car installed an oil pressure and ammeter combo underneath the dash below the ashtray, and the ammeter has never been wired up from what I could tell. I pulled the ammeter out and stashed it away for later use, which left a hole about an inch too big for the USB charger in the gauge bracket. Again, using the powers of hackery and my mad skillz, I fabricated a precision adapter plate out of the bottom of a can of olives:
                                  20200326_145241.jpg 20200326_153743.jpg 20200326_154033.jpg
                                  aaaand, Bob's your auntie! A fine USB charger for the fancy tech that we all carry nowadays.

                                  That pretty much wraps up the March 2020 debacle saga. I'll finish the details in another post, but that brings us up to speed until Friday, May 29th, when the transmission suddenly decided that it didn't like ATF anymore... Stay tuned!
                                   
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                                  • moparmat2000

                                    moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                    I love that relay box. What brand is it? The $20 buy in on it sounds like a great deal.
                                     
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                                    • KudaKid

                                      KudaKid FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                      Why didn't one of us "OLD" guys think of this ?:lol:
                                       
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                                      • Kendog 170

                                        Kendog 170 Let the boy go !

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                                        Ahh cause were old??
                                         
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                                        • Chained_360

                                          Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                                          Sorry for the late reply! Last night got a little crazy. The box is from a company called Online LED Store, they make lighting and electrical products for offroad and marine applications. Here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MR64XK1/?tag=fabo03-20

                                          And here's the premade connectors I used:
                                          71D5E8pGJhL._AC_SL1000_.jpg

                                          https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A6LTK44/?tag=fabo03-20

                                          I'm very satisfied with both products so far! I'll update more tonight.
                                           
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                                          • Chained_360

                                            Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                                            Well, as usual, I lied :D. I said I was going to update more last night but I got distracted again, so I'll wrap this up today! Here's some odds and ends I left out from the electrical and interior upgrades. Here's a photo I took after I finished the major wiring and just had a couple things to clean up:
                                            20200406_124406.jpg
                                            And here's my very crude, drawn-at-2am wiring diagram of the accessories relay:
                                            20200406_140552.jpg


                                            Here's a poor before/after comparison on the headlight relays. This picture is in a closed garage, engine running, all lights out except the car's headlights:
                                            20200324_174838.jpg
                                            And here's cruising down the Seward Highway to Girdwood at 11PM with the new wiring:
                                            20200411_225415.jpg
                                            Also, I found a corner of the car's build sheet! I can't confirm 100% that this build sheet belongs to this vehicle because of the '1' in the map & courtesy light package. There's a hole in my dashboard below the headlight switch where I think a map light switch belongs. I'm hoping to find a more complete one in the car but we'll see.
                                            IMG_20200406_0004.jpg

                                            And if you can see it, the grunge and grodiness of the old carpet. I always hate throwing away original parts, even when they're long past their intended lifespan. This carpet outlasted the company that made it!
                                            20200403_012547.jpg
                                            And of course, the obligatory post-upgrade burnout smoke:
                                            20200411_233006.jpg

                                            I'll start the transmission posts soon! I've been busy trying to figure out why in the world I don't have wide open throttle. It's being very annoying. Have a great night everyone!

                                            20200410_181145.jpg
                                             
                                            Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
                                          • moparmat2000

                                            moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                            Did you ever get all your gage lights working again?
                                             
                                          • Chained_360

                                            Chained_360 Delusional Member

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                                            Ah, I forgot, thanks! I replaced all the bulbs but two of the sockets were bad and I'm not sure what was wrong with the rest of them. I got the speedo and tach working, but not the rest. I did fix some sketchy wiring behind the dash though. Also managed to swap the temp gauge and oil pressure gauge in the cluster like an idiot. I'll fix that another time!
                                             
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