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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France

    69 charger build

    Hello to all, this is my first pro touring build it's not mine it's for a buddy of mine, he bought this car and imported it to France in 2016 from the US. The car was a driver in a so-so shape, some people would have just laid a nice paint and call it done but he is a perfectionist and this is his dream car, so he immediately tore it down and sand blasted it and this is where I come in.
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    The car was not bad but it had seen better days : hit hard on the right front, light hit on the left front, medium hit on the right rear, right rear quarter panel replaced not perfectly but in a ok fashion, left rear quarter panel sideswiped, trunk floor corrosion, as well as the left floor right front floor and around the back glass. On the plus side the cat walk and cowl were damaged too but salvageable and most importantly the car had been straightened and squared, all the dimensions were spot on. Front fenders hood, trunk lid and doors are solid.



    The project is QA1 front subframe, air ride triangulated 4 link, air suspension, big wheels, reinforced body structure, most likely a 5.7L Hemi and smooth body work and I mean smooth : everything is shaved, mirrors, wipers, door handles, vent grille, gas filler, marker lights, one piece door windows and a new Charger tail light assembly.

    First things first : hack everything that needs replacement.
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    I did put some reinforcement tubing in the rear, I don't think they're necessary but just to be safe since the car will be moved around quite a bit in the garage and the set up is a little sketchy.
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    Now I can start to rebuild
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    The Druid City
    Posts
    14,425
    Country Flag: United States
    Needs a bigger hammer! Looking forward to updates!

    Andrew
    1970 GTO Version 2.0
    1967 Cougar build
    GM High-Tech Performance feature
    My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
    Instagram @projectgattago

    "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Newton, KS
    Posts
    182
    Country Flag: United States
    Looks like fun. Its always nice to see another Mopar project since there aren't many Mopar projects compared to all the Chevy's.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    You're right, Mopars ain't that common, the only other one I ever worked on was a '35 pick up. And in France people who talk about muscle cars are 90% into Mustangs... So when my friend told me about his Charger project I was super excited since I have a soft spot for Mopar muscle even though I'm not a muscle car guy.
    I started by installing some Global West subframe connectors (actually before cutting the floors) and replacing the right front subrail. I don't post all the pictures of the set ups and measurements I used because it's boring, just know that it's not just a measuring tape and 2 vise grips.
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    Then it was the driver side floor
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    I had a small problem with the AMD B-post, I don't know for what car it was, but certainly not a '69 Charger, the stamping is spot on but the flange way too short so I fabricated the missing part of it.
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    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    Next up was fabrication and install of the torque boxes like those found on Hemi cars, you can see the front one in place in the pic of the subframe connector.
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    Then I also fabricated the inner fender braces and core support stiffener. I forgot to take pictures of the new right inner fender and new cowl top.
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    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southern California / Maryland
    Posts
    469
    Country Flag: United States
    Looking good on progress - Also - if you're going for smooth be sure to remember shaving the driprails - I shaved mine about 9 years ago on my 68 Charger and it makes a huge difference in the appearance.

    The 5.7L is a good engine with plenty of support and can make good power
    1968 Dodge Charger SRT8 6.1L Hemi 6-speed

    1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye 340 Auto

    1964 Dodge Polara 6-71 Blown 440 4-speed

    2013 Dodge Challenger R/T 5.7L Hemi 6-speed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    Thanks. Despite the fact that I'm really into custom cars, the rain gutter shaving didn't even cross my mind, could be a good idea. I did that on one of my car a long time ago and regretted it afterwards because we see quite some rain here (Normandy).
    The new hemi is very tempting, but being in France we have to source a lot of stuff far away and the whole electronic part of the build, which I'm not going to do, will have to be outsourced and this is where it gets scary because since modifying a vehicle is illegal there are nobody who's an expert on this kind of swap with aftermarket ECU. There are people who do reprog on almost anything but I'm not sure at all they can tackle that, maybe in Germany or northern EU, we're not here yet anyway. We'll see because my friend knows also where to get a Viper V10 but that involves a lot more than the hemi.
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    Next up were the rear wheel wells, he likes big wheels as close to the fender lips as possible so I fabricated both of them
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    A quick mock up of the quarter panel to see if everything fit as it should
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    This bodyline
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    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    There was some rust around the the back window:
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    all patched up
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    the left side is just more of the same.
    Mocking up the trunk floor pan
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    all welded up
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    That's a lot of plug weld and grinding.
    Left side floor extension
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    Not funny, I ordered left and right floor extension and I received 2 of the left, I even double checked what I ordered to be sure I'm not the idiot , that's the second wrong part I got shipped from AMD, with an ocean between them and me and shipping costs/import taxes costing an arm and a leg, I just have to suck it up and get to work
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    And voilą! Instant Frankenstein right side floor extension.
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    I also received the QA1 subframe
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    Really beautiful piece and superb quality.
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    A view of the reinforcement I fabricated for the core support
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    The shaved new cowl top
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    First try of the tail light panel for final setting of the 1/4 panels.
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    And Houston we have a problem
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    After a little bit of persuasion with the Come Along everything is in order
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    As you can see it's a '68 rear valance that we used to delete the backup lights.
    Test fitting the bumper and cat walk and finally welding the left 1/4 panel in place and it's rain gutter, I also mocked up the trunk lid and back window
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    One last problem, despite the glass fitting correctly and having nice gaps all around the trunk lid I have this huge gap between the 1/4 panel and cat walk on both sides...
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    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    167
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisp View Post
    A view of the reinforcement I fabricated for the core support
    Check to make sure the radiator clears...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    I know it looks like it doesn't but it does clear the radiator that was on the car. I checked that before fabricating and welding the reinforcement.
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    Quote Originally Posted by 68Cuda440 View Post
    Check to make sure the radiator clears...
    I've been thinking about what you said today, when I did mock up the radiator, I thought it was odd that the lower tank was in the opening instead of below, tucked behind the lower part of the core support... Maybe the car came with some radiator from something else, but it bolted right in place.
    We'll see if I have to redo that or if a crossflow radiator would fit since we have to put a bigger one anyway.
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    Left quarter panel completely finished, the lip is rolled over and welded on the wire I put in the fender well.
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    It looks wavy but it's not, it's the places I ground the welds.
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    The gap between the quarter and the door is nice and close to stock but I find it too big, I like when they are 1/16" so I'll see with my buddy if I rework them when I'm done with everything else, because it's a giant pain and a lot of time to get 1/16 gaps all around a car when originally they're close to 3/16.
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    I also started on the new Charger tail light panel.
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    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    In the states
    Posts
    72
    that is an expensive build here state side

    i can only imagine at what it cost(s) on that side of the pond ....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    The owner was on vacation, then me, plus I had to finish a 36 Chevy that was on hold for quite some times.
    Now I have time to continue the work.
    Next up was the smooth firewall.
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    Then I moved to the suspension, I started with what's easy : the front
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    I'm missing the lower ball joint for now but I ran into some clearance issue with the shockwave
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    I guess I'm gonna need to notch the rails or are there any spacer of some sort? I can't access the air ride site I get this message : Forbidden
    You don't have permission to access / on this server.

    I tried different ways to access it but always get this message, a couple month ago it was fine
    An other problem on the AMD rail
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    The original washer doesn't fit in, I didn't check the washer that came with the QA1 kit but I'm expecting the same, also no problem on the original left rail... If I had known I would have saved the original piece on the factory rail. Other than machining down the washer is there any fix to that?

    Speaking of problems :
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    I decided to weld shut those holes and redrill, I had the same issue on both sides, is that a Chrysler lax QC or is it air ride that's off?

    Now more trouble some is this :
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    There is no way I can align these holes to put the bolts in, it's absolutely not the car that's f'd up so I'm guessing Ridetech is the culprit here.
    That gives me another headache
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    The freaking shock bolt is at an angle, that looks wrong, the instructions have been lost and I can't access Ridetech site to download one. Has anybody run into the same problem or am I doing something wrong with this cross member????

    On the other hand the other cross member went in smoothly and measurements are spot on, so I started to weld it in (I don't like bolt on stuff)
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    I might replace the lower mounting bracket by some weld on depending on what rear end we end up using (I'm waiting for a quote on a 9").
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Jasper, Indiana
    Posts
    4
    Country Flag: United States
    Hey Chris,

    We noticed a lot of irregularities with those B-bodies but have never had the front 4-link bracket be off like that. Just remove the lower bolt, line up the other three holes, and re drill the one that's off. As for the crossmember, we have seen that quite often. Sometimes it fits perfectly, sometimes it's off due to the different locations of those holes. The brackets on that crossmember are just locator brackets. So, you can either completely remove them or drill a few holes to keep them in place.
    Jody Glenn
    Ridetech Sales Specialist
    812-481-4751
    [email protected]
    https://www.ridetech.com/

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southern California / Maryland
    Posts
    469
    Country Flag: United States
    I just got back from the UK - there's actually a Viper V10 and T56 on craigslist London for super cheap (compared to the cost here in the US)

    https://london.craigslist.org/pts/d/...987520114.html
    1968 Dodge Charger SRT8 6.1L Hemi 6-speed

    1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye 340 Auto

    1964 Dodge Polara 6-71 Blown 440 4-speed

    2013 Dodge Challenger R/T 5.7L Hemi 6-speed

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    Thanks for jglenn6 for the infos.
    @Rolling_Thunder, thanks for the link, the seller was contacted and I had a good talk with my friend, as much as I'd like to drop that engine and trans in his Charger and as much as he'd love to have them in his Charger, the problem is that involves redoing some of the work that was already done and something's gonna happen with the new front crossmember and steering, apparently it's not going to be cheap. So in his interest since he his not wealthy with a large disposable income we decided against it.
    On the plus side I found a guy who lives 10mn from me who builds rally cars, race cars and does maintenance on a couple of LMP2 cars (LeMans Prototype) so he is into custom EFI stuff which opens the possibility of the 5.7L Hemi. I already talked to him, now I'll have to go there with my friend to talk more in detail with him.
    Again thanks to jglenn6, because of the infos he provided, I was able to finish welding the rear crossmembers. Now I still don't know what the front air shocks are but I do know that they will work.
    Here's what it looks like with the front frame rails reworked (still need to finish) with the shock in the low position and we still need the lower ball joints.
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    But at least I know it works without rubbing anywhere.
    The part that sucks is that apparently nobody from France can go to the ridetech website, so to look for parts I go on vendors websites and it complicates things a lot.
    I'll get better pictures next time.
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    18
    Country Flag: France
    Here's the mod I did on the front frame rails to clear the shockwaves:
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    And I also deleted the torsion bars
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    Some months ago I floated the idea of chopping the roof a little over 1" and leaning back the windshield, now that the idea of the V10 is definitively buried and he really want to stand out the crowd (as if a Charger wasn't enough in France) he talked to me this week end about doing it, but first I got to get a quote on the glass work to see if it's financially doable. I hope it will.
    Everything can be fixed with a big hammer.