1966 Polara 2DR Hardtop Project

Member's Projects & Restorations

  1. griswold00

    griswold00 New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I've been lurking here for a while finding all kinds of information that has helped fix up my Son's 66 Polara. I appreciate all the help you have given people in the past as it has helped me immensely.

    So my son is currently 15, will be turning 16 in early September, and we've been talking about his first car for about 4 or 5 years now. He decided last summer that he wanted to get a "classic" car and fix it up. Neither of us have done anything more than an oil change at this point in time, but we decide what the heck let's get an old car. There was a local auction in our town a couple months later and we went to look at this 62 dart. Well it was in pretty rough condition, and the brakes seized on the way to the auction block, so we got scared away from that one. However my son had seen a 66 Polara about 3 cars after the dart. Needless to say after bidding, and extended haggling (it didn't meet reserve) we walked away with the Polara. It was a 2 door hardtop with the 2bbl 383 in it.

    Since that time we've put in a new fuel pump, filter, Carb (standard 2bbl), replaced the distributor cap, ignition coil, and other misc projects. After the carb we took it to a shop that fixes our "normal" vehicles, and he diagnosed that cylinder 4 was missing. So he recommended a valve job and getting the heads checked. Needless to say taking off cylinder heads was beyond what we expected to be doing as a new wrencher. Well after some encouragement from our shop owner, we went to town. Sure enough one of the heads was cracked, and we luckily found a replacement head on ebay in pretty good shape. We got the engine put back together and it actually fired up right way the first time!

    We are now done with all the mechanical issues, we've moved on to interior stuff. We've pulled out the front seats (crappy aftermarket bucket seats), carpet and headliner. We've got to get some new floor pans installed, three point seatbelts, finding a new seat and installing that, then carpet, headliner, radio and we should be good to go!

    I just wanted to post this journey to remind everyone that not all of the current GenZ is lost, there are still a handfull of kids who want nothing more than to wrench on cars all weekend. :) image0(1).jpeg 20191026_112111.jpg

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  2. mikedrini

    mikedrini Active Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Glad to see it, honestly, it's easy to lose hope when you see some of the young minds today and what their "interests" are...A kid like him, he's gonna have a home here as long as he wants that car (or some reasonable facsimile of). I bet Jesus used to walk around talkin about "kids these days"...
     
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  3. griswold00

    griswold00 New Member

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    He's already said "I'm never getting rid of this car". Now that's easy to say at 15, but I think he's seen enough stories about how hard people have had to work to find/get their first car back again that he probably will keep it forever. :)
     
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  4. Dylan Galvin

    Dylan Galvin Active Member

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    Jealous
     
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  5. traintech55

    traintech55 Senior Member

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    As a father myself, I will warn you to be very careful, "C" bodies can become extremely addictive, but then it is better than the other stuff out there. Good Luck. Bill
     
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  6. griswold00

    griswold00 New Member

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    Oh I know, I ended up buying my wife a car also after we got my Son's. But isn't not Mopar :( So we have 5 cars for 3 drivers, probably need a few more :D
     
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  7. LeBaron1973

    LeBaron1973 Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Well done, this is something he'll remember all his life, something to fondly recall enjoying with dear old dad long after dear old dad has departed the scene.

    I wish you all many many happy years of smiles per mile and wouldn't be surprised if other members can supply the parts you require.
     
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  8. RagTop66

    RagTop66 Member

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    That is so cool! Great job! If you have any 66 Polara specific questions, I’ve been driving and working on one for about 6 years now. Shoot me a pm if you have any questions
     
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  9. furious70

    furious70 Well-Known Member

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    I bought the Coronet in my photo garage when I was 14, he'll never regret keeping his first!
     
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  10. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Cool car and cool that another kid is into these cars. Always great to see a family project too.
     
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  11. griswold00

    griswold00 New Member

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    Update on the project! We're in the final push to September 6th which is Birthday day!

    First off we sourced a new bench seat from @BiPolar. He was in the San Francisco area, and I'm in Nebraska so we had the challenge of how to get it shipped back here. I read about Greyhound Shipping, which is putting things on a greyhound bus and shipping them, so we decided to give that a try. It was about $160 to ship it from SF to Nebraska, which I thought was pretty good. However their customer service is a real PITA, and I wouldn't recommend anyone use them going forward. I had purchased the shipping online, and when BiPolar showed up, they wanted a different 6 digit number that I didn't have. After calling the customer service line, I finally got what he needed, and after about 45 minutes of waiting around he got the bench dropped off. Three days later I noticed that their online tracking system wasn't show the package as even being dropped off yet. So I called back to the 800 number, and was told that my shipment wasn't going to be in the "Online tracking system" but rest assured it was in their other secret, non-trackable system. Here's where they let me know that since this object is larger than 48" it can take up to 21 days for it to come to Nebraska! Earlier everything had said 7 days, so adding two additional weeks onto the delivery was quite a shocker. I called back several times yesterday for an update, but got disconnected every time, including after a 40 minute wait. So yea, not good customer service. I'll update everyone if/when it finally gets here.

    We got a replacement wheel hub from @crazyboutwagons as we learned the left front hub was damaged prior likely when someone was trying to take off lefty threaded left side wheels. The prior owner put new righty studs in there, but rather than fixing the hub they chose to JBWeld them in place! We discovered this while getting new tires on it, which was quite a shock to me and the tech putting the new tires on it. We got the hub on Sunday, and got that installed pretty easily. We had a problem getting the center cap to fit, but some tinkering around and finally a couple hits from everyone's favorite tool, the BFH, it was all perfect.

    We had problems with a slow speedometer, so after much discussion, @RagTop66 helped me learn about lubing up the speedo, which we hope will work.

    Here is the part of the story where I clearly show that I am a moron.

    We had taken the speedo gear out of the transmission, and due to it's location we weren't able to jack up the rear end so about a quart of transmission fluid came out. That fluid sat under the car for about 2-3 days while we waited on the hubs. After we did the hub, we sealed up the speedo gear and poured the transmission fluid back in. A quick trip around the block confirmed the wheel hub was perfect, but now the speedo was not working at all. I guessed correctly that my son had put the speedo gear in wrong. Rather than setting it to the 25-31 tooth area where it belonged, he had it set to the 18-23 tooth area (loosely speaking) so it wasn't engaging the transmission at all.

    So we pulled the Speedo gear again, and you may have guessed it, the fluid was a wonderful (frightening) strawberry milk color. I had no clue what had happened but Mr. Google taught me that is a signal for water in the fluid, which is the death of a transmission. I'm guessing the neighbors sprinklers got some water under the car and into the pan where we kept the fluid while we waited on the hub.

    So the Polara got towed over to the transmission shop today for a purge and refill of the transmission fluid. Personally I don't see how having a little bit of water in the tranny for 72 hours will destroy it, but the guy at the transmission shop was not so optimistic. I'm interested in all your feedback. It's literally diven around the block once since the issue.



    We are going over to a friends house on Saturday to weld in some new metal for the rusted out floorboards. It's not going to be a pretty job, but it's going to get the floor sealed and solid. Which is our goal for this daily driver of a teenager.

    I've got three point seatbelts, Carpet, and a new headliner all on their way here. A new bluetooth radio adapter and speakers are being installed on Friday. So we've got lots of work to do in order to get across the Birthday finish line, so wish me luck!

    I can't say enough how much I appreciate this community and everyone on the boards. Obviously I've made several great connections with good people across the country to get the parts I thought I'd never find. I can't say enough how much I appreciate all of you!

    More updates to come!

    Scott
     
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  12. traintech55

    traintech55 Senior Member

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    Make sure you post pictures of the yougnun on his birthday date.
     
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  13. griswold00

    griswold00 New Member

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    Oh there will be pictures. He's actually getting about 6-7 other friends with "Cool Cars" and they are going cruising and stopping somewhere to take lots of pictures of all the cars. I think one kid even has a drone they are going to use.

    That being said, I plan on getting at least one with the birthday boy and the car for myself :)
     
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  14. GJS

    GJS Senior Member

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    Nice, man. One of the best lessons a dad can teach his kid is: Be careful, not scared.

    Awesome car and awesome story. Stoked to keep up on this one. Happy Birthday to him!
     
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  15. BiPolar

    BiPolar Member

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    Man If I'd know how much trouble you are receiving from this shipping Corp, I would have and will next time have friend with United, shuttle it there. Would you like me to contact the clerk from sf? I have his email, he was a big help. Hope it miraculously arrives before the bday.
     
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  16. crazyboutwagons

    crazyboutwagons Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Scott: I was wondering today how your son's birthday cruise in the Polara went hope all is well.
     
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  17. 65sporty

    65sporty Old Man with a Hat

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    If you got the milky fluid out it may be ok, the problem is the water loosens the glue holding the friction material to the steel for the clutches. That's how my trans guy explained it, after flushing the trans it may survive.
     
  18. griswold00

    griswold00 New Member

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    Alright, time for another update for everyone!

    Well last Saturday we went over to my friends house who is a welder and worked on the floorboards. Needless to say the car was a complete shit show. I was thinking there were a few holes in the floorpan, and there were, but in reality both sides of one crossmember were still there, but had significant rust issues, and the other crossmember had about 4 inches of it that were completely missing from rust! So we spent about 9 hours in the 97 degree Nebraska heat cutting, and grinding and welding and cutting and grinding then welding then cutting....you get the picture. It was a long day, but I feel WAY better about Sam driving it around now that we have that fixed.

    I got new side mirrors in since we last talked, and Sam got those installed pretty quickly. They are not stock mirrors, but are close enough, and much cheaper than the replacements I had found. We got Carpet in last week, so that is ready to go in once we get our Seat that is still slowly taking it's time here via Greyhound Shipping. Once again, I can't state enough how nobody should ever use Greyhound shipping again.

    So birthday day came around and the kid took off around 11:00 AM (early for a 16 year old!) and spent some time driving as a free man! Later in the day he met up with a bunch of his friends, and they all took pictures of all their cars in cool places in downtown Lincoln. I'll attach some of those pictures later. One cool thing is that as they were taking pictures at the top of a parking garage, a stranger pulled up in their 1980's IROC Z. Sounds like he was a really cool guy, and he even joined in for a few of the pictures.

    Later that night as Sam was "enjoying" some dirt roads outside of town his Valve Cover gasket let loose. He was dumping oil and nursed it back to the house. So we've installed new Gaskets for like the 10th time. Don't ask about all the ways we've screwed up something as simple as a valve cover gasket :D.

    I got three point seatbelts in this week, and plan on installing those and the new bench seat next weekend. Taking this weekend off from the car just to regain some sanity :)

    Oh, and Sam is officially employed as well! He got a job at a local fast food chicken finger place. He was super happy because he met a coworker who has a 2000's Dodge Magnum with the Hemi V8 so he has a fellow "car guy" to talk with.

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  19. crazyboutwagons

    crazyboutwagons Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Scott &Sam congrats to both of you for the dedication to getting the Dodge roadworthy again Sam enjoy your first Mopar C-Body and welcome to the club.I am glad I was able to help you out.
     
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  20. 65sporty

    65sporty Old Man with a Hat

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    Congrats on getting the car up, running and your son getting his license and a job.
     
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