Meet Snow White, my 1970 N-code Dodge Polara Convertible

ayilar

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Amid the pandemic, (most) parts can still be ordered and restoration work can proceed in isolation. With this in mind, I have ordered:

1. Four new shocks: KYB Gas-A-Just KG4507 (pair) for the front and KG5512 (pair) for the rear. Rock Auto was substantially cheaper than Summit Racing (15-20 percent after shipping) this time around, so I ordered from RA.

2. A Waldron dual exhaust (Model 3563740200). The look is OEM but I selected the "mild impostor sound" option after listening to a YouTube video of the Waldron MI sound on a '65 Newport with 383 engine. I am very happy to have reverted to an OEM-quiet single exhaust on Medina, and I love the quietness of Poppy's exhaust (both the original before, and after replacement, last summer), but... since I have gotten a woodgrain wheel and RWL tires for Snow, she might as well sound the part :D

The KYBs will be installed later this week, whereas the exhaust may take up to eight weeks to arrive (vs. six weeks fro Medina's exhaust last year). FWIW, when I called the Waldron office yesterday, I was told that they were receiving many requests for orders: whereas last year I would have been bummed out at the implied delay, this spring I take it as good news given the economic circumstances we are currently facing. Regardless of the phone traffic, though, the person who answered me was super-helpful and patiently answered all of my questions.
 
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300rag

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I like his bumper sticker...


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ayilar

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Time for an update on Snow White.

1. First, the carb. I shipped the original Carter AVS 4736S to @Dana for rebuilding, following my good experience with Medina's. Dave found a crack in the base plate, which was a bummer but probably explains why the engine was running less than optimally when Wyatt first tested the car after delivery. I looked far and wide, for a number of days, but could not find any 4736S core for sale. During that time, @saforwardlook made me aware of the fact that (with a minor modification) the 4734S that was correct for California-emissions N-code 1970 Polaras would work on my car. Quoting him:

"The 4734S has a bowl vent which helps improve warm weather hot starts and compensates the idle mixture with temperature to maintain the proper air/fuel ratio, features the 4736 do not have. It was used on California vehicles for improved evaporative emissions but, if you don't hook up the vent outlet to the breather cap as was done in California vehicles (but just leave it open to vent to the atmosphere), all will be well--the system was designed to capture excess hot fuel vapors and store them in the engine, which (...) did lower atmospheric emissions. Carburetors without bowl vents tend to crank for longer periods of time and run too rich around idle and in other circumstances. Otherwise the air/fuel calibrations are the same so it should work well on your 383."

Steve went above and beyond (again!) and pointed me to several 4734S for sale. I ended up buying one that was advertised at a steep discount because it had a broken idle mix screws (advertised in the ad) and a missing link (not advertised by the seller :eek:). No worries, @Dana extracted the screw, salvaged the link from the original (so there will still be a part of the original carb in my car:)), and restored the carb. I have not yet driven the car myself, but Wyatt tells me that the difference is major.

Here are a couple of photos of the 4734S I bought, before restoration by @Dana.

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2. Second, the radiator hoses were too close to the belts for my comfort. I replaced them with the same Gates hoses that I got last year for Medina (my '71 Monaco): 20630 molded upper hose and 20663 molded lower hose -- all carried by Rock Auto.

3. Third, I replaced the new and perfectly fine but (oh, the horror!) blue plug wires that were on the car when I bought her, with date-coded correct reproduction wires from Lectric Limited. I went for the Q3-1969 (rather than Q1-1970) set because Snow was built in early 1970. The blue wires are now on Ming, my ‘73 NYB — for which Lectric does not make repops.

4. Fourth, the person from whom I'd bought the car had done a bunch of good things for the brakes but had installed an incorrect booster (which is why he'd said at the time that the car should not be driven, as it was not braking properly). Honest mistake, and luckily he'd kept the original. I sent the latter to Booster Dewey (at the Power Brake Booster Exchange): he rebuilt the original brake booster, Wyatt installed it, and the brakes work just fine.

Bottom line, with those few changes, @71Polara383 tells me that Snow White drives great. The old, incorrect exhaust is slightly wheezy, but the correct replacement is on its way from Waldron. While test-driving her, Wyatt has been getting plenty of compliments. The blue tint is still on the RWL tires, but cosmetics can and will wait till the car is ready.

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5. On the frills side, I got these air valve caps from an eBay vendor that seems to have disappeared after the start of the pandemic. I hope he's OK. They are not correct, but the white/black logo is perfect for Snow White.

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ayilar

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Well folks, guess what came the shop mail today? Hint: the packages come from Michigan and will soon go "vroom vroom" :steering:

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ayilar

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Well, the vroom vroom will be for this weekend it seems!

Since the last post, Wyatt has installed a new rotor and cap (ACCEL-8320 to replace the set installed before I bought the car, which was not great) as well as the spark plugs (I chose Champion Copper+ 14 as usual), and he fixed a coolant leak at the thermostat (replaced it and installed a proper gasket). Wyatt also suggested to install an Edelbrock Heat Insulator Gasket 9265, so that's now on too.

While Snow was up on the lift for her exhaust replacement, Wyatt replaced the transmission mount with a new Prothane, as he'd done for Medina last year:

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He also replaced the U-joints, and he serviced the transmission before installing the Waldron exhaust:

1. this time, rather than the Fram filter and gasket set I've gotten for Medina (happy thus far) and Ming, I decided to try a reusable Moroso 93110 transmission pan gasket on the recommendation of @sixpkrt, and WIX 58707 filter on Wyatt's recommendation;

2. I had bought a set of SKF heavy duty UJ from NAPA for Snow, as I did for Medina and for Ming, but on Snow we experienced a problem locking the retainer clip; so I bought two Moog 316 (7290) from Advance Auto Parts, and all is good.

When installing the Waldron, Wyatt noticed that the original exhaust hangers were not in great shape. Luckily, I had bought two NOS ones (P/N 3466646) from @marty mopar last year. Thanks Marty for excellent parts and a fair price!

Wyatt combined the NOS hangers with the support part and bolts/washers that he rescued from the originals, and here we are :)

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Finally, when test-driving the car, Wyatt noticed a vibration that he traced to the radiator fan. Snow was missing her fan shroud when I got her, and thanks to @70 Sport Suburban I found the right one. When replacing the shroud, we also replaced the fan clutch (with a Hayden 2747). That was all well, except that at some point in Snow's life someone epoxied something that prevented the clutch from seating properly -- hard to notice, till you drove the car. Well, that's now fixed and (according to Wyatt, as I won't see it till this weekend) Snow now apparently runs strongly and smoothly.

What's left to do, on the mechanical side? Three things:

(i) replace the radiator (the current radiator is not original and has a small leak, so given the short time frame left before Carlisle I decided to get a Spectra CU332 from Rock Auto on the recommendation/experience of @Trace 300 Hurst);
(ii) service the front suspension (A arms, idler arm, upper and lower balljoints, shocks);
(iii) install a new rear center brake hose.

Those are for later this week, then it's time for a good drive. I'll post about those during the weekend. :steering:
 
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ayilar

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Looking good

Good, but hot... When I drove her for the first time yesterday, she ran too hot for my taste. She had a new water pump and hoses properly installed by the seller before I bought her, but Wyatt had warned me on Monday (see above) that she would probably need a radiator. I ordered a Spectra CU332, given @Trace 300 Hurst's recommendation, the time constraints ahead of Carlisle (where I was hoping to take her for the birthday reunion), and the lack of correct radiator available for sale currently. That new radiator arrived this past Thursday, but it still needs installing because Medina got most of Wyatt's attention at my request (so that the latter would be ready for the several hundred miles that I was going to put on her this weekend). Mission accomplished for Medina, but at the cost of Snow.

So be it. She also still needs the front suspension redone. As of Friday, I do have all the parts -- but again they need installing. And then there needs to be debugging to make sure she's roadworthy, not to mention some cosmetics. With tons to do at work this whole week, for both Wyatt and myself, this is simply not gonna happen in time for Carlisle.

So, bad news: Poppy will have to wait to meet her sister, since Snow White will not be joining the 50th birthday party of the Last Convertibles this year. Meanwhile, here she is next to her cousin Medina. I took the photo right before I drove her for the first time yesterday (and the seats felt better than I'd feared -- there may be no need for re-upholstering them in the near future I think :)

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ayilar

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Some positive news about Snow White: she got her new Spectra Premium CU332 radiator, and the latter seems to cool her properly. More testing is needed at higher speeds (which won't happen till the front suspension has been rebuilt) and in hot weather (which won't happen till next year), but -- based on @71Polara383's temp readings today -- my guess is that the cooling issue has been solved.

Ideally, I should replace Snow's front valance. If anyone has a good used (or, even better, NOS) 1970 or 1971 Polara/Monaco front valance, please let me know!

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71Polara383

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I worked on snow a bit over the weekend and for a few hours yesterday, after some training at work.

I replaced the existing, not original radiator with a Spectra Ayilar got a few months back. Obviously looking down into the drained radiator didn't look too great, but the real difference was how much heavier the original one I pulled out was from the new one, had to be at least 5-10lbs heavier then the new replacement.
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I installed the radiator and topped it off with 2.5 gallons of Zyrex coolant. Upon testing the temperature reads just about perfect now.
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While that fixes one problem I am running into a pulley alignment issue. The water pump pulley seems to sit further back then it should and is actually making contact with the PS belt.

When the car arrived it had a different non mopar clutch fan on it and a spacer behind the pulley to make it fit, washers spacing out the idler pulley...all of that has been removed now, but the water pump pulley still doesn't line up properly...any ideas?
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carfreak6970

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I ran into some pulley issues with the charger and on my one dart. I know when it comes to big blocks you have to make sure you have the right pulleys and brackets all around. Depending on the water pump housing (identified by a casting number) you would get different power steering pump brackets and pump (this should have either a federal or saginaw pump, not TRW)(I believe the change happened in 69, but seeing that this is a used car any thing could have been changed at one point). Depending what the power steering pump came on (engine wise) would dictate what power steering pump pulley you got (differences between six cylinder, small block and big block). The pulleys elsewhere on the engine would again change with six, small block, big block but would also be different if the car had A/C. Unfortunately I do not have an easy way to determine this besides look for part numbers on the pulleys and reference them in the part books.

If you arent aware, mymopar does have the parts book downloadable for free that covers multiple years for this era. Good luck.
 

71Polara383

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I ran into some pulley issues with the charger and on my one dart. I know when it comes to big blocks you have to make sure you have the right pulleys and brackets all around. Depending on the water pump housing (identified by a casting number) you would get different power steering pump brackets and pump (this should have either a federal or saginaw pump, not TRW)(I believe the change happened in 69, but seeing that this is a used car any thing could have been changed at one point). Depending what the power steering pump came on (engine wise) would dictate what power steering pump pulley you got (differences between six cylinder, small block and big block). The pulleys elsewhere on the engine would again change with six, small block, big block but would also be different if the car had A/C. Unfortunately I do not have an easy way to determine this besides look for part numbers on the pulleys and reference them in the part books.

If you arent aware, mymopar does have the parts book downloadable for free that covers multiple years for this era. Good luck.

I think I need to unbolt the crank pulley and see if it has washers or something sitting behind it, pushing it out a bit, causing an alignment issue...

Or the balancer is possibly coming apart?

I took some video of it running, definitely going to need a new PS pump...

 

cbarge

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There is different water pumps..the length of the snout is different whether the car has A/C or not.
Also there was a change in water pump design for big blocks in the early/ mid 70's and thry can be mixed up.
Hope this helps.
 

71Polara383

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There is different water pumps..the length of the snout is different whether the car has A/C or not.
Also there was a change in water pump design for big blocks in the early/ mid 70's and thry can be mixed up.
Hope this helps.

I was kinda thinking that...but with all the BS I have UNDONE... I am going to check out the crank pulley before we get a proper Gates pump.
 

LocuMob

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I was kinda thinking that...but with all the BS I have UNDONE... I am going to check out the crank pulley before we get a proper Gates pump.
Are the A/C belts in alignment with the power steering belt?
 
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