COVID Chrysler update - advice requested


Sep 26, 2019
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Good afternoon everyone. I'm now on my third summer, sloooowly chipping away at the '72 Newport. I hope to have it pretty much put back together by the end of the summer, with the two exceptions being the engine and the trans being rebuilt over the winter (I'm up in Maine). I do have a few questions for those who have done this many more times than I have, so any feedback is appreciated! - MG

- To pull the stub-frame w/ the engine and trans in or remove both then pull? I went back through old posts and some prefer to remove the trans, then engine. Some pull both out at the same time. Some said if you're pulling the stub-frame anyway, leave both in and remove after the SF is out. Thoughts on this? Pros and cons on each? Either way, I'll be measuring and taking 1000 pics before the SF comes out. Having to figure out how to make the replacement SF bushings work and have everything aligned correctly is something I'm going to take extra care with. I'm guessing I'm going to have to modify the bushings to make them work.

- Sequence of removing, repairing/restoring, and putting everything back? While the drivetrain is out, I'm going to be going over the fuel system, rear suspension, and rebuilding the rear end. Any "work smarter, not harder" advice out there before I start pulling parts? I've done work on other cars in all three areas but have never pulled off of this stuff out at once. I know lots will come up but any advice from those who have delt with the headaches of doing this before I start would be appreciated.

- Undercoating the unibody? Once everything is removed, I'm going to clean everything up and hit it with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator. Fine to knock off loose original undercoating and leave the stuff that's still hanging on strong or bring it down to bare metal? I'll also use this opportunity to replace anything really rusty with new metal. After really looking at things underneath, me thinks I'll have to address the rear sub-frame rails that run under the trunk floor.
The factory put the body over the subframe and drivetrain combo. It is not a problem. BUT, you need some room and equipment to do this at home.

Do you have the front end sheetmetal on the car or is it all off.

factory undercoaitng is tough and if it is still sticking to the car then leave it on there.
Some general reactions . . .

If you are going to remove the sub-frame with the engine and trans in it, you'll probably need a body-contact overhead lift, which contacts the rocker panels to lift it with rather than any suspension-contact locations. That way, you can unbolt the subframe assy and raise the body away from it, which can work pretty neat. BUT you'll also have to have the subframe assy supported when you do that so you can move it around after it is separated. Unhook all lines (hydraulic and electrical), the driveshaft, and linkages before doing this! With the body safely overhead, you can then move the subframe assy out of the way to work on it (which increases the space requirement for the whole operation. Then lower the body back down for safe keeping and other operations.

WHERE did you find body mounts??? Are the current ones bad or do you just want to replace them for general principles? Just curious. ALSO be prepared to possibly get some NEW body mount bolts, too! Something not usually considered as "deterioratable", but can be.

In many respects, taking the subframe assy away for the car is a neat way to do things. Which emulates how it was put together at the assy plant. No need to worry about hood alignment or getting the re-done engine compartment scratched putting the engine back in. Not sure if the body bolts will be self-aligning as they are installed?

From our experiences doing a full restoration of a 1970 Superbird, we had a shop which had a body-contact overhead lift. One of our car club members built a holding fixture out of 2x4s for the engine/trans/K-member. Those things were already out of the car when the painted body came to the shop, so all we had to do was put it back together. If you do not have one of the body contact lifts, then doing things "the normal way" of taking the hood off, extracting the engine/trans from the car, then the subframe after the body is on jackstands, etc. might be the best way to do things for you. For best results, some other strong bodies will be needed, too.

Just some thoughts from our experiences,
Hoods are heavy and a bear to align.
I removed grill and radiator support panel
Then removed engine and trans as assembly.
Subframe is removed after.

Installing subframe/brakes/suspension and engine/trans as assembly is very heavy.
I prefer installing subframe, then suspension and brakes
Then install engine and trans. Get everything set up while you have easy access. Wiring, fuel system, exhaust, heater hoses, etc.
Then install the radiator support panel and put the grill back together.
Good Luck!!!
My only comment is to wear a respirator when chipping away at the underbody coating. I am in the hazardous materials industry and there can be a lot of asbestos in that material. Be safe!
Thank you to the info so far. I appreciate everyone's insight.

Good stuff, @CBODY67. I do have access to a lift but that would be tough logistically. I'll be doing it the "the normal way".

WHERE did you find body mounts???
After looking a endless options, I went with these Body Mount K Frame Bushing Kit 73-81 B Body | Roseville Moparts thinking the factory didn't have different bushings for different cars. They are the same size as the originals but the inside of them are oval shaped and sit inside of each other. Not sure if I can make it work. We'll see. When I picked up the replacement front clip from @Wollfen, he gave me a coffee can of bushing hardware & old bushings of varying conditions. Lots of the hardware in there are in good condition.

My only comment is to wear a respirator when chipping away at the underbody coating. I am in the hazardous materials industry and there can be a lot of asbestos in that material. Be safe!
I hadn't considered that. Thanks for the heads-up!

Do you have the front end sheetmetal on the car or is it all off.
Sheet metal coming off of the front. Still packed away in winter storage but once it's back home, it's coming apart.
Thanks for the information on the body mounts. I would recommend using the best of what you have, combined with Wolfen's items. NOT B-body items at all, even if they might appear similar.