Meet Regina FQ3, a 1970 Polara convertible who turns 51 today

ayilar

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Nope. She has four drums as you know, and I plan to keep them.

PS: The box you see is full of front-end parts.
 
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The Goose

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Who needs air bags to change the attitude? Just a few bags of dirt and mulch will change the ride height, smooth out the bumps and yes, make it into a tail dragger. I could likely benefit from new springs, but not too bad when empty.
Probably close to 400-500 Lbs in the trunk plus full tank of gas.
View attachment 461245 View attachment 461246

Empty, except for about 50 Lbs of tools.
View attachment 461247
...

8A0F2204-4F79-4231-B7A5-D0D10E6174D4.jpeg
 

ayilar

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@71Polara383 has blasted Regina's control arms, strut rods, centerlink, tie rod adjustment sleeves, and sway bar hardware. Here is a photo he shared along the way:

upload_2021-6-14_11-9-50.jpeg


We have replaced the control arm bushings (4 Moog K7006 from Rock Auto for the upper CA; 2 Moog K7007 sourced through Pep Boys, of all places, for the lower CA -- the 7s are very hard to find, thanks go to Wyatt for pointing me in the right direction), the bump stops for the lower (Moog K7293) and upper control arm (Dorman 31052 *), and the upper (two Moog K772) and lower ball joints (initially I had planned on installing 1 Precision Suspension Technology BJ10220 passenger and 1 PST BJ10221 driver -- but Moog K7003 / K7005 from @mobileparts came in just in time and so that is what went on the car; Snow White, Regina's N-code sister, will get the PST parts).

Today or tomorrow, Wyatt will install new tie rod ends (Moog ES352R outer and ES355RL inner), idler arm (Moog K7014), and pitman arm (PST PIT18757 **). New KYB KG4507 front shocks have already been installed, the rears KYB KG5512 will be going on in the next few days after the front end is done. (Note: the torsion bar boots could not be replaced, due to lack-of-space to remove the bar).

*: FWIW, the only replacement UCA bumpers I could find were the Dorman. The good news is that they are an exact replica (see photo below -- the perspective gives the impression that they are different, but they are not). One remaining question mark for me is whether they'll last for the rest of the car's life -- I don't know, as this is the first time I have bought a Dorman product. In any event, the upper bump stops should only be of use in extreme cases, and I don't plan on taking the car airborne...

upload_2021-6-14_11-13-6.jpeg


**: PST offers a discount to FCBO members, but only on orders above $200. I placed my $350+ total in two separate orders, however, and was told after I requested the discount that they did not qualify :wideyed:
 
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Walter Joy

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@71Polara383 has blasted Regina's control arms, strut rods, centerlink, tie rod adjustment sleeves, and sway bar hardware. Here is a photo he shared along the way:

View attachment 466609

We have replaced the control arm bushings (4 Moog K7006 from Rock Auto for the upper CA; 2 Moog K7007 sourced through Pep Boys, of all places, for the lower CA -- the 7s are very hard to find, thanks go to Wyatt for pointing me in the right direction), the bump stops for the lower (Moog K7293) and upper control arm (Dorman 31052 *), and the upper (two Moog K772) and lower ball joints (initially I had planned on installing 1 Precision Suspension Technology BJ10220 passenger and 1 PST BJ10221 driver -- but Moog K7003 / K7005 from @mobileparts came in just in time and so that is what went on the car; Snow White, Regina's N-code sister, will get the PST parts).

Today or tomorrow, Wyatt will install new tie rod ends (Moog ES352R outer and ES355RL inner), idler arm (Moog K7014), and pitman arm (PST PIT18757 **). New KYB KG4507 front shocks have already been installed, the rears KYB KG5512 will be going on in the next few days after the front end is done. (Note: the torsion bar boots could not be replaced, due to lack-of-space to remove the bar).

*: FWIW, the only replacement UCA bumpers I could find were the Dorman. The good news is that they are an exact replica (see photo below -- the perspective gives the impression that they are different, but they are not). One remaining question mark for me is whether they'll last for the rest of the car's life -- I don't know, as this is the first time I have bought a Dorman product. In any event, the upper bump stops should only be of use in extreme cases, and I don't plan on taking the car airborne...

View attachment 466610

**: PST offers a discount to FCBO members, but only on orders above $200. I placed my $350+ total in two separate orders, however, and was told after I requested the discount that they did not qualify :wideyed:
So I ran into the problem with the bumpers as well. I did not know about the Dorman ones (guess I should’ve waited to work on Delmae until after you finished, since you’re doing the same stuff as me), but I took a gamble and found these ones on Amazon. $16 shipped on Amazon with free shipping. Fits perfect, since the ones that were on this frame had to be cut off with a dremel.
EEAD9C9A-4A81-489D-9D57-693A07B9BB54.jpeg
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ayilar

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As many of you know, Regina attended her first US event at the 5th C-body show organized by @sixpkrt last weekend. She feels like a different car with the front end rebuilt by @71Polara383 -- super job! Of course, she remains a work in progress:

1. she needs a new steering box. I might try to have the original rebuilt (possibly by Firm Feel, but I am open to other suggestions -- edit: like Steer & Gear) but if someone has a used one in good condition, please let me know. I missed @Big_John's listing two weeks ago :(

2. the engine runs too warm for my taste -- it's fine when driving at 55mph (needle about 60% to the right of the middle bar), but the temp needle moves up at 65mph and gets almost to the right end of the "safe zone" (middle bar) when stopped at a light for more than a minute. Not what I want. The issue is clearly not new since the previous owner installed an electric fan in front of the radiator. I have kept that setup (after revising the wiring somewhat). Still, this palliative is not enough, and I want a more "organic" solution. As a first step, the rad will be rodded out. Second, I want to add a shroud. The part number is 2998330 -- I have been unable to find a used one (or a repro) thus far, let me know if you’ve got one. Hopefully that solves the problem.

3. The cooling lever is missing, so I could not open the cooling vents under the dash while driving. Too bad, and that will be fixed this summer.

4. I keep hoping that a donor parts car shows up to donate the right dash pad (Just Dashes charges $1.5k, so I am willing to wait). Meanwhile, I bought a dash cover as a temp fix. It arrived just after the Midwest show, unfortunately, so I have not been able to check fit. Will report later this summer so that @MAGNUM77 can decide whether to order one too.

5. As this picture by @david hill shows, the steering wheel is cracked. Luckily, a friend sold me the correct (non-tilt) rim blow wheel in excellent condition -- I plan to install it when the dash goes off .
 
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MAGNUM77

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As many of you know, Regina attended her first US event at the 5th C-body show organized by @sixpkrt last weekend. She feels like a different car with the front end rebuilt by @71Polara383 -- super job! Of course, she remains a work in progress:

1. she needs a new steering box. I might try to have the original rebuilt (possibly by Firm Feel, but I am open to other suggestions -- edit: like Steer & Gear) but if someone has a used one in good condition, please let me know. I missed @Big_John's listing two weeks ago :(

2. the engine runs too warm for my taste -- it's fine when driving at 55mph (needle about 60% to the right of the middle bar), but the temp needle moves up at 65mph and gets almost to the right end of the "safe zone" (middle bar) when stopped at a light for more than a minute. Not what I want. The issue is clearly not new since the previous owner installed an electric fan in front of the radiator. I have kept that setup (after revising the wiring somewhat). Still, this palliative is not enough, and I want a more "organic" solution. As a first step, the rad will be rodded out. Second, I want to add a shroud. The part number is 2998330 -- I have been unable to find a used one (or a repro) thus far, let me know if you’ve got one. Hopefully that solves the problem.

3. The cooling lever is missing, so I could not open the cooling vents under the dash while driving. Too bad, and that will be fixed this summer.

4. I keep hoping that a donor parts car shows up to donate the right dash pad (Just Dashes charges $1.5k, so I am willing to wait). Meanwhile, I bought a dash cover as a temp fix. It arrived just after the Midwest show, unfortunately, so I have not been able to check fit. Will report later this summer so that @MAGNUM77 can decide whether to order one too.

5. As this picture by @david hill shows, the steering wheel is cracked. Luckily, a friend sold me the correct (non-tilt) rim blow wheel in excellent condition -- I plan to install it when the dash goes off .
Let me know how that fits. I was wanting something more to just protect the dash pad from the sun etc…. Like a top cover.
I also know don’t know if it’s available for C bodies but we had a 72 Challenger and the dash pad was shot and we put a plastic cover on that and we redid the whole dash. This was in the late 90s and it was really hard to tell that the dash had a cover on it. Looked good.
 

ayilar

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Let me know how that fits.
@71Polara383 tells me the cover "sorta fits and covers the ugly cracks." Hopefully he can post a pic, as I won't see the car till late August.

I also know don’t know if it’s available for C bodies but we had a 72 Challenger and the dash pad was shot and we put a plastic cover on that and we redid the whole dash. This was in the late 90s and it was really hard to tell that the dash had a cover on it. Looked good.
Just Dashes does something similar, high-quality according to other members, for the dash repair. Therefore, I plan to go with Just Dashes if I can't find a donor (which is likely). The dash repair by JD would be a winter project, for this year or next: take out the dash in early November (after the end of the driving season) and ship it to JD, as the redo will take a few months, so that I have the car ready for the next year's driving season. I want to be sure that the car is all good mechanically/hydraulically/electrically before spending $1.5k on the dash.
 

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@71Polara383 tells me the cover "sorta fits and covers the ugly cracks." Hopefully he can post a pic, as I won't see the car till late August.


Just Dashes does something similar, high-quality according to other members, for the dash repair. Therefore, I plan to go with Just Dashes if I can't find a donor (which is likely). The dash repair by JD would be a winter project, for this year or next: take out the dash in early November (after the end of the driving season) and ship it to JD, as the redo will take a few months, so that I have the car ready for the next year's driving season. I want to be sure that the car is all good mechanically/hydraulically/electrically before spending $1.5k on the dash.

At least you can look good broke down ... :lol:
 

ayilar

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@71Polara383 tells me the cover "sorta fits and covers the ugly cracks." Hopefully he can post a pic, as I won't see the car till late August.
Here's the pic he send me, taken last night. I think his description is correct -- sorta fits. I'll follow up with the company and let them know that the fit could be tighter.

PS: Could it be that the dash pad would work better on a later-model hood? (Edit: the cutoff is in early January 1970 if memory serves) I need to try on Snow White.

upload_2021-7-6_14-17-18.jpeg
 
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polara71

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Here's the pic he send me, taken last night. I think his description is correct -- sorta fits. I'll follow up with the company and let them know that the fit could be tighter.

PS: Could it be that the dash pad would work better on a later-model hood? I need to try on Snow White.

View attachment 471498

I think you are right. That's a after December dash pad cover, good eye.
 

ayilar

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Regina has been missing its interior mirror. Thanks to the efforts of @C Body Bob parting a 1969 Newport 'vert, I now have one incoming.

71b67572-cc62-463a-98fe-02ea8b5aeb7e-jpeg.494572


Many thanks to Bob for his efforts extracting the mirror, base, cover & screws. He had to drill one out. @71Polara383 thinks that it will all clean up nicely. Thanks to the latter, I also have a lead on a 1970 Polara non-A/C dash pad. I should know later this week if it is what I need.

dash pad grainy pic sent to Wyatt summer 2021.jpg
 

ayilar

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More to come on the dash later this week.

Meanwhile, this weekend I ordered a Waldron dual exhaust to replace the duals now on the car: the latter were already frittering away when I got the car, and I want to drive Regina properly next year.

I went with the exact same setup as for Snow White, my N-code 1970 Polara 'vert. On Snow, the dual exhausts are correct. On Regina, I know that the car did not come from the factory with duals, but I want the car to sound and look the part and so I will go with the same setup as that chosen by the original owner when he replaced the exhaust.

FWIW, compared to my Waldron order for Snow in April 2020, the price is up $71 (to $542 for aluminized steel, 6 stainless steel clamps, and 2 gaskets, while shipping is up $38 (from $122 to 160 for the full-length pipes, in both cases to @71Polara383 's shop). With tax, the total is $786; 18 months ago, I paid $655.
 

ayilar

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Well, thanks to @71Polara383 , the lead morphed into a purchase -- a full month later than I thought it would, but it's winter and we are are in no rush.

The non-A/C dash that I just bought comes from a 1971 DK41 (police sedan) that was going to be restored but has since disappeared. The dash was redone by Just Dashes as part of the car's restoration many years ago, and it was put on a shelf by the owner. Since the full project will never materialize, he and I made a deal: including shipping and taxes, I am at less than 40% of the current JD cost. Fingers crossed that the pad is as nice as I hope it is -- a few pics below as an appetizer (pardon the dust):

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IMG_20211110_105243187_HDR.jpg


IMG_20211110_105237749_HDR.jpg


IMG_20211110_105230121_HDR.jpg
 
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polaratherapy

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I acquired DL27L0D148841 from @Tobias74 earlier this month. This Polara convertible's scheduled build date was 51 years ago to the day: October 31, 1969. The color is my favorite, and I had yet to own a fusie C-body with a console, so I took the plunge and thus deviated (some more...) from my long-term goal of keeping ´only’ four fusies.

Tobias himself had scored this ragtop in August from a seller in Regina, SK. That person apparently had gotten it from the original owner, who is now very old. Here she is when she was being advertised in Saskatchewan this past summer.

View attachment 412449

We learned in this post that the car was bought by the first owner for his wife. Tobias also told me that the 'vert was used in local harvest parades. The car must have been used for some other things as well, because the first time I put her up on a lift, I found evidence suggesting that an aftermarket hitch was at one point welded on but later was removed (see the photo below). Tobias has promised to help me get in touch with the first owner, and I look forward to hearing first-hand about the car's history.

View attachment 412341

DL27L0D148841 is one of only two known surviving FQ3 turquoise Polara convertibles (hence her name). The other also has a 383-2, black bucket seats, power windows, and a black top but DL27L0D110005 (i) was in very rough shape the last time we heard of her -- back in 2016 -- and (ii) has a buddy seat rather than a console.

Thanks to research by @Bill Watson and @kmccabe56, and posts by @Fratzog, we know that just 25 FQ3 Polara 'vert were produced for the US market in model year 1970. Although I have been unable to find out how many FQ3 'verts were among the 144 manufactured for the Canadian market at the Belvidere, IL plant that year, their number was likely a single digit (assuming that color choices were similar for the Canadian and US markets). Bottom line, the likelihood to find another in this condition is pretty small -- hope springs eternal, but I am glad I got this one. Cherry on the cake: I like fender signal repeaters and she has the L31 option (Edit: I initially thought that the car was the only Canadian 'vert with the L31 option code, but 86/144 cars came with the option -- 85 of them by way of having the A01 Light Package).

Even if she was built on the day of Halloween 1969, Regina is neither a ghost nor a Frankenstein. She was repainted in the original metallic light turquoise. Tobias had told me that the paint job was professional one and indeed, while it is not flawless, it looks good -- among the few imperfections I found are a bit of "ghosting" on the hood (which I hope will buff out), three small bubbles and a hairline crack on the deck (Dutchman panel, driver side), a couple of bubbles on the RHS front (of which I was aware before buying the car) and rear fenders, and a couple of bubbles on the RHS rear fender extension. There is some overspray on the gas cap and on the springs, but that's easily fixed. Most importantly, the car appears to be very solid underneath. The only bondo that I could find when I put her on a lift is a bit of fiberglass on the left-hand lower rear quarter, just behind the wheel; the rest of the underside appears original and free of any structural rust.

So, what is next for the car? I have driven her for over 300 miles in a variety of settings since delivery on October 19, and Wyatt put another 60 or so miles on it yesterday. We agree that the following is needed:

1. tires, suspension, steering, mounts, driveline: the original tires were old, so new 235/75R15 whitewall tires shall be ordered at the end of the winter; the A-arms, idler arm, and ball joints will all be replaced and the steering box will be rebuilt as there is some sloppiness in the steering; the shocks need replaced front and rear too; the rear springs looked fine at reception but are now almost flat, and so they shall be replaced as well (which will take care of the overspray :rolleyes:). To get rid of some vibrations, the engine and transmission mounts shall be replaced, as well as both U-joints (only the rear one is on its way out, but I might as well replace both and be done).

2. there is an exhaust leak at the manifold on the driver side, so the required work shall be done; the tail pipes have a pinhole on the RHS and a bigger hole (due to rust) on the driver side, so the exhaust shall be replaced sooner rather than later.

3. the car lost its rearview mirror at some point, and the passenger sunvisor has a loose articulation system --> both shall be replaced; ditto for the high beam headlamps -- one does not work, and the shape looks goofy to me anyways.

4. with a couple of caveats, the interior is in pretty good condition: there are no cracks on the seats or the door panels; the driver's armrest is beyond salvation so will be replaced with a vintage piece, courtesy of @71Polara383's used parts inventory. As Tobias had noted, however, the dash is in sorry shape and needs a full restoration. The rimblow steering wheel has multiple cracks, and the horn does not work, so it'll be replaced when the winter is over. I am not sure if I will replace the carpet right away because, despite its having faded (to a darkish gray) and having a tear in front of the rear seat on the driver side, it is in pretty good shape overall.

5. while the dash is out, I plan to take the opportunity to refurbish the radio (which rich now only outputs white noise) and replace the speakers (for which I plan to follow the advice of @Ross Wooldridge in this thread).

6. finally, the power window motors all seem to work, but the mechanisms need servicing. That is in the cards.

Hopefully, that should do!

Edit: I forgot to mention the brakes. The four drums work fine 99 percent of the time, but at very low speed (parking speeds, approaching a red light or drop sign), the power assistance seems to disappear. The booster will be rebuilt, and the master cylinder may get replaced.
 
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