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OldChargerGuy

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About OldChargerGuy

  • Birthday 05/18/1960

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  1. Well, "Tame 440" fans, the third exhaust system arrived yesterday. Complete with OEM clamps, gaskets, and hangers, this pre-bent system is touted as being capable of giving this luxury car the dignified sound of an OEM system. The mufflers are enormous. Not 30" long as one guy said; they're 29.5" from inlet to outlet, just shy of 25" were it counts. That's the dimension I'm interested in. So, we'll see. I'll keep you posted. Can we share video files on this forum? You can bet that I'll record "before" and "after" sounds.
  2. Hey, Fossil: Why did I leave unsatisfied? Twice? Personality flaw, I suppose; I tend to avoid confrontations. Though, it didn't have to be a confrontation. I should have discussed my dissatisfaction and had each guy try again. But I'm not so good at that, a lesson well-learned before I have my restoration project's body-work done by a professional. This discussion reminds me of another specialty exhaust garage story . . . true story. In 2016, I took my '66 Charger to the local pipe-bender near my brother's garage in Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania. The pipe-bender, Andy, is a friend; in fact, our entire large families have enjoyed mutual admiration for as long as I remember. Andy installed what he believed was a quiet, stock exhaust system. When I fired it up upon my return, it was louder than before. "Whadaya think?", asked Andy. "I'm sorry, Andy. It's louder than before". I said I would come back another day, but he insisted that he change the mufflers at once to ones he knew were more quiet. What a commotion in the garage . . . Andy cussed and yelled at himself, throwing tools and ranting about his mistake. But he installed quiet mufflers at no extra cost. Then we listened together, and he installed the H-pipe for a bit more money. That did it. We're still good friends. Andy has since sold his business. He just loved fishing too much. He is a creative guy, a small-time musician, as shown in the picture below that I took that day before the work started. That's right, Andy made his own 4-string banjo using parts in stock. Absolutely hilarious looking, yet the sound was pretty good for car parts! Notice the seat-belt banjo strap. The O2 sensor is a nice touch. It was a hit a local festivals, especially with those who know Andy as an exhaust guy.
  3. Wow-weeee. Man, those are some difficult numbers, alsancle. We shall see how it goes. I have some other tasks for the Imperial pushing my schedule now, but after that I must get that Charger moving along.
  4. TAKerry: Thank you for your input, I appreciate it. The shop in the Charger's pictures is my brother's. It is well-equipped, and Johnny is an experienced vintage mechanic, besides his regular customers' everyday cars. He has a couple of antique Mopars himself. But he doesn't do body work, not even his own. That's what the '68 Charger needs. The discussion here is pointing to seeking out a small-time local body shop with experience and interest in restoring old cars. I worked at that shop when I was 14 and until I left for college at 18 years of age. All my brothers did the same, the older ones starting as young as 11 years old.
  5. Hey, Matt: Thanks for your discussion; I don't take it personally at all. This is why I came here with my inquiry, I knew I would learn other points-of-view and experiences. It may be that we have a different idea of what a full rotisserie restoration means. I understand it to be a complete disassembly of the car, every part restored or replaced, and the car reassembled by hand, finished better than any assembly line could ever do: a perfect example of the production car. I signed up for that kind of restoration at a local shop in February 2021, completion date planned for February 2026, estimated cost $60,000. A great deal in comparison to all other quotes which exceeded $100,000. While enjoying the recent Founders Tour in West Virginia, I visited with a senior club member and well-known former vice-president of AACA, Marty. We talked about this '68 Charger and my plans for a Concourse de Elegance show car. Marty had and has a lot of antique cars. He looked at me and said, "Joseph, the cars I enjoy the most are the ones I drive, like on these tours." I agreed. I would rather go on a tour than do a car show any day. Marty caused me to rethink the Charger's restoration. When I got home, I withdrew my car's place in line for the rotisserie restoration (2 year waiting list, 3 year production). Yes, the cost is part of my decision. My retirement is "good enough", I usually say, but it's not millions of dollars; no, not even one. I do well to afford one national car show and one national tour each year, a small-time antique car aficionado. Does the car need a total restoration? No. The undercarriage is solid. I've beat on it with a hammer, looking for weaknesses, and found none. The mechanic doing the chassis work found none (chassis work is complete, air conditioning system being the last item on the bench now). The interior? It simply needs a new headliner, new carpet, new package tray, and a new console body. I'll have an interior specialist do that work. Luckily, all the black upholstery is nearly like new. Yes, it's OK if the undercarriage looks like a used car. I primarily desire to drive it. I drive my '66 Charger about 1,000 miles each year (April-October), the Original HPOF car. I do plan to show the '68 Charger with AACA, but a DPC car is fine with me. This Charger isn't a big-bucks muscle car, just a 318cid, automatic, with air . . . a really nice touring car . . . easy on fuel and really cool. So, it's just a body restoration that I really want. But almost all restoration shops won't consider it, they want the entire job. I get it, that's their preference. I will turn my attention to smaller body shops, seeking a guy with experience, probably old like me, that desires to do some vintage body work, if I may use the word "vintage" when referring to a 1968 automobile. I thank you again for your discussion.
  6. Wow, alsancle: I'll be on my guard, and I hope to remember to come to this post and keep you updated. We'll see what happens. I hope to see it done before my brother Andrew passes away; though I'm not sure I'll let him drive it; certainly not unsupervised.
  7. Finally, I enjoy knowing the history of antique cars. Chrysler made it easy with the CertiCard program. I found the original owners for both Chargers; we've met and talked about the days when they bought their Charger. Both guys are named Charles; one goes by Charlie, the other, Chuck. Charlie came to Hershey with his wife (original) in 2015 to see and drive his old '66. Chuck lives within 75 minutes of my home and is looking forward to seeing and driving his beloved '68. He ordered it the way he wanted it: 318cid, console shift automatic, air conditioning, 2.94 Sure-Grip rear axle, and an AM radio? Did ya fergit ta chick a box, Chuck? Charlie and Elaine reminisce about their once-upon-a-time '66 Charger. The awesome Chuck, original owner of the '68. The guy is as healthy and strong as a man half his age; still doesn't need any medications.
  8. alsancle: Yes, this Charger has sentimental value to me. I've known the car since I was 12 years old; my brother bought it from the original owner in 1972. It was perfect, only 9,000 miles, original tires. Andrew, my brother, beat the crap out of the car until he finally wrecked it around 1990. The car was put into very poor storage and ignored for 25 years. He called me in 2015, asking me to buy it; his 3 sons all wanted the car. His sons had plans for a Confederate Flag in place of the black vinyl top. Andrew knew I would take good care of it and keep it original because my brother Tom sold me his '66 Charger survivor 12 years earlier (it's still a survivor and an AACA Original HPOF car). It was beyond my dreams to get both Chargers that I loved as a kid. They could of asked 4 other guys; my mother has 6 sons. The Gray Ghost (1966) and The Kid (1968) reunited in the same garage after 42 years. March 2015.
  9. Oh, about "getting it out" being a problem . . . Isn't it customary to sign a contract with an antique car restoration company? We're talking big bucks and lots of time. During my career, when the jobs included those two factors, the contract was written with incentives to complete the work as scheduled (for car restoration, the company sets the schedule, I figure). As long as the project was on schedule, monthly invoices were paid in full; but nothing was paid until the work was inspected and verified. If the project began to drag, a percentage of payments was retained until the project was back on schedule. If the job was done on time, great. If the work was finished early, a significant bonus was paid out as agreed in the contract. Each month the project was late, the contract's value diminished to an agreed base amount. I've heard the horror stories of cars not being done at all after many thousands of dollars were sent to the company. That's not happening.
  10. Hi, alsancle: Yes, it is hard to get into a good restoration shop. This is the second round for this car. The first round had shops with long waiting lists and others ready to take the car as soon as I could get it there. The few that were looking for a project insisted that the job be a total rotisserie restoration, or no job at all. One shop finally agreed to do a "body-on" restoration, but the price was the same as a 5-year rotisserie program of another shop. Your advice is well received. I do need to make the rounds at local body shops with my laptop computer and show them the pictures. It's really not a tough job; not much rust removal and metal fabrication. Thank you.
  11. Searching for a restoration shop to restore the body of a 1968 Dodge Charger. I am not seeking a rotisserie restoration, simply expert metal body work, an excellent paint finish, a perfect vinyl top covering installation, and deliberate attention to detail. The engine and transmission are removed from the chassis. The interior furnishings are completely removed, except for the dashboard and steering column. The under-dash air conditioning components are removed. The chassis rolls on its original wheels with radial tires. Of primary importance is who the restoration shop perceives as the project manager. Seeking a shop that considers the car owner as the project manager. The car's body will be restored as directed by the car owner. Professional advice will be seriously considered, but the final decisions for the body work are the car owner's responsibility. The car is currently located in Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania. My residence is in Bridgeport, West Virginia. A restoration shop within a 3-hour drive from my residence is preferred; the car owner will inspect the work upon receipt of each invoice, payment of each invoice will be made in full upon verification of work completed. The approximate area of preferred consideration is bounded in the north by Clarion, Pennsylvania, and Youngstown, Ohio; bounded in the east by Hagerstown, Maryland, and Winchester, Virginia; bounded in the south by Beckley and Charleston, West Virginia; bounded in the west by Columbus, Ohio; all bounds being approximate. If you know of or represent a restoration shop that will yield to a car owner's decisions, please contact me at seyberspace9@gmail.com and/or post your contact information here in this forum. I will visit your shop and discuss the work details as needed to assure a successful working relationship and a beautiful final product. Thank you. With a mere 58,300 miles, this Charger has a personally-verified solid unibody. The car requires a new front clip, or you may rework the hood and fenders. All chrome parts will be replaced. A new front grille and lower valence is already acquired, front bumper and parking lamps are needed. In the background, the engine and transmission are ready and waiting to be reinstalled.
  12. Whoa, Jack! What an exhaust system! And what fun. I found a supplier of original 1967-8 Imperial single and dual exhaust systems, thanks to a member of the Online Imperial Club. It is shipped pre-bent to factory specs. I should be able to install it myself. It's very frustrating. I've poured $998 into two installed exhaust systems. The next system hasn't been priced yet; looks like parts alone will be near $825, then clamps and hangers, then shipping! But the great RitaMary must be silent. Thanks, Jack.
  13. A Long Overdue Update on The Carburetor I didn't get a carburetor at the Mopar Nationals, but my online search successfully procured one Carter AFB 4131s 4-barrel carburetor. It was delivered freshly rebuilt, and it worked well for a while, but premature leaking prompted a search for a carburetor genius to do a lasting rebuild. I found him. The Gray Ghost has been running well ever since the last rebuild. A big surprise was the air cleaner. The original air cleaner for the 2-bbl carburetor fit snugly on the "new" Carter AFB! Unless you're looking for it, you can't see the 4-bbl carburetor. It looks bone-stock. The underside of the stock air cleaner was perforated for extra air flow. A thing of beauty . . . a 1966 Carter AFB 4131s sitting on a 1966 361cid engine. The intake manifold was sourced from the 383cid engine of a junked Plymouth Fury, a good original look for a HPOF car. What a wonderful surprise. The stock 2-bbl air cleaner fits nicely on the 4-bbl Carter. END POST.
  14. Thank you, edinmass. I'm a retired civil engineer; a lot of experience writing contract specifications: specific, concise, thorough, accurate. What's a civil engineer? An engineer with refined etiquette. My search was fruitful. After passing on a white one, a beige one, and a 1967 model, a dark '68 finally presented itself. It was ordained, nearly exactly like the one my mother owned while I was learning to drive: Forest Green Metallic with a black vinyl top. An unrestored car with 103,500 miles, she needs some tender loving care, but she's not a project, being enjoyed now while I fix this and that. See the photo album, OldChargerGuy Miscellaneous. Thanks, again. Joseph...
  15. Miscellaneous photographs of the humble JosephMark Collection.
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