New Member, New Polara

Early C Bodies - The Slab Side Years

  1. Stev

    Stev New Member

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    Howdy.

    My grandfather's going into a home now, which means the mantle of the old family '66 Polara is now passed on to me.


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    I keep my Jaguar in concourse shape, and I built my '48 F3 from the ground up, but i've never touched a mopar before, and I'd like to get the lowdown on these cars.

    It's in fairly good shape. It's got the 383 B motor and a torqueflite of some description. The motor was rebuilt in 2003, but that's the extent of what i know about it. It's been decently cared for but never really babied.

    I'll be going up to the estate pretty soon to inspect the car for roadworthyness and will hopefully be able to simply drive it home. What are the common failiure points or things to look out for on these things? (equivalent to the notorious teapot holleys on a '55 thunderbird, for example). It's a road trip from Port Hardy at the northern tip of Vancouver island down to Vancouver itself, a run of about 500 kilometers through very isolated forest road, so the threshold for acceptable failure is rather low.

    I know they're semi monocoques with structural framelets that are welded to the sheet metal as well as a front subframe for the IFS, so i'm concerned about the floor/body being structurally unsound if it's rusted out, and what the "trailer it home" rust threshold might be. As well as what any other goto areas of concern might be for a quasi 'mystery' car like this.

    It was always the family car growing up, so it's never been under any prolonged period of disuse or neglect until my grandfather's health started to go, so there shouldn't be any truly wild surprises but it's always best to make sure.

    And if the floor hypothetically is rusted out quite badly, are there sheet metal repros for C bodies or am i on my own? I know there's big full patch panels for the usual suspects like GTO's or whatever, but it's harder luck with dad cars.


    The other thing i'd like to know of is typical quality of life modifications. I'm very respectful with my old junk, but I'd like to convert it to a dual master cylinder and maybe some mild performance junk like some long/mid-tubes and that sort of reversable low buck stuff. Any reccomendations for that sort of thing would be appreciated as well

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
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  2. 1978 NYB

    1978 NYB Warfighter FCBO Gold Member

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    Welcome......
     
  3. cantflip

    cantflip Old Jagoff with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    :welcome: That is a nice wagon. :thumbsup:

    Skip the exhaust work, stay stock... and if you really need to, run duals from the manifolds... headers are a step too far on a stock C Body.

    The dual brake circuits is a wise change, but nothing is ever really simple and you should search/follow along threads from others who have been playing with similar model years. @Ross Wooldridge comes to mind for your car, as does @LocuMob (who will like the headers more than most :poke:).

    Don't count on any parts being easy, sheet metal will have to come from donor cars. Get her on a lift for a full inspection before you decide to drive her... but it would take a ridiculous amount of rust to make her structurally unsound. Your rust issues will be more likely to include questionable brake lines and exhaust entry points.

    Without in depth knowledge of your particular model, the most common failure of a C Body would be when a chevy fan or derbier gets a hold of one. The results of the crash fans are obvious, but the folks who think they own one of these as easily as a bow tie... unit construction makes rust repairs considerably more challenging. Torsion bar suspension was a selling point and more advanced than the competition of the time, but doesn't lend itself to the same kind of modifications coil springs do. Many cars have been killed by the dream of making it into something it isn't.

    As I said, :welcome:, and dig around in old threads... there is a lot to love about that wagon. Parts for a Jag are probably easier to find.
     
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  4. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Hello from Minnesota, nice wagon. I need one of those, someday. @cantflip summed it up nicely. Parts are hard to find, but they are out there. No need for headers, exhaust from the manifolds back will be around $600. Keep it a cruiser and it should serve you for many years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
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  5. 66sptfry

    66sptfry Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Welcome
     
  6. detmatt

    detmatt Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Yeah look at that beauty! Great score on that although I am sorry to hear about your grandfather’s decline.
    Based on the looks of the outer sheet metal I would be surprised if you found more than a couple of small holes in the pans to patch.
    My ‘67 is from that region and the majority of its 158K miles was logged there. It has zero rust.
    Cantflip posted a good summary that I agree with.
     
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  7. Rapidtrans777

    Rapidtrans777 Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Welcome. Enjoy your new cruiser.
     
  8. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    That looks to be a very nice wagon. As cantflip said the best thing to do is put it on a lift to look at the underside and brake and fuel lines.
     
  9. mrfury68

    mrfury68 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome, you have found a great source of knowledge for your wagon. Cantflip summed it up pretty well in the previous post. Judging by the area you and the car are from, I don't think major rust would be an issue. Mechanical parts for these cars are not too difficult to find. Sheetmetal and trim pieces can be another story. I totally agree with keeping the factory exhaust manifolds and running dual exhaust from them. I did this with my Fury 30 years ago and have never had an issue. I used a shorter muffler than stock, it is not loud but a nice low tone that says "big block". The conversion to a dual master cylinder set up is pretty common nowadays and with basic mechanical ability shouldn't be too difficult to do yourself. Keep us posted on your progress with your very cool wagon.
     
  10. Ross Wooldridge

    Ross Wooldridge Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Welcome! A very nice Canadian Polara wagon. Let's talk.
     
  11. Flemming Navntoft

    Flemming Navntoft Active Member

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    Welcome.
     
  12. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    Welcome. You are fortunate to benefit from your grandfathers good taste in automobiles. It's a beauty.
    OEM/ original is the best direction to follow with a car like this. Right down to the wheel covers. A dual master cylinder would be acceptable, but not necessary. I don't see any front end damage so the single pot M/C has done it's job so far. Rebuilding the M/C, wheel cylinders and all rubber brake hoses would be recommended, as well as inspecting all the steel brake lines.
    A TTI dual exhaust system will be huge upgrade. Keep in mind the tailpipe's should exit behind the rear wheels as opposed to out the rear, This to limit fumes entering through the back window.

    Drive this car 500KM home and you'll fall in love with it. Very nimble and powerful for it's size.
    Good luck with it and keep us in the loop.

    Will.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  13. BLUPORT

    BLUPORT Carpe Diem Cras FCBO Gold Member

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    Welcome aboard, and since nobody else has said it yet, DEFINITELY post more pictures of the Polara when you get up there! When I went to pick up my Newport, it was a 5 hours drive to get it, and I posted all the way up, posted pictures while I was looking over the car, and even more on the trip home.
    I'm sure several will be curious to see what's on the fender tag under the hood if you can score a picture of that too!

    I've always hated anything with more than 2 doors, but wagons are growing on me... If only there were a 2/3-door wagon!
     
  14. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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  15. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Welcome from ND
    If you are going to do any work or tinkering of any kind, get a service manual and parts book.
    Online copy free here, although originals are frequently online.

    MyMopar - Mopar Forums & Information - Service Manuals

    Parts book will help with what other Mopars could share the same P/N.
    First on the list is make sure your wheel cylinders are not leaking, and brakes functioning for the windy road. Wouldn’t hurt to make sure E-brake works. These cars are pretty resilient if they have been taken care of and not sitting for 10 years.
    As said before, trim parts are the worst, don’t ever throw any away. Mechanical parts are ok as shared with many models. The hunt for parts is both fun and frustrating.
     
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  16. Wildbunch02

    Wildbunch02 Senior Member

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    Welcome from Long Island
     
  17. Fratzog

    Fratzog Old Man with a Hat

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    Welcome aboard from Grimsby Ontario. Your car is a beauty. A couple of things come to mind for the trip. Maybe a new set of points condenser and rotor before a long trip might be good insurance. I'd also check the date code on the tires.
     
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  18. Stev

    Stev New Member

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    Cool, thanks for all the feedback.

    Regretfully the only lifts i have access too are here at home, which gives us a chicken and egg problem in that regard. I was just going to head up with a box of tools and a floor jack and see what's what.

    I'm assuming the wheel cylinders are toast, a-priori. So i'll pick up four of those and see what happens.

    Interesting that the service manual specifies that the grease zerks be only temporarily fitted and replaced with a plug. Is that just mopar weirdness or is that an actual clearance issue? That's very peculiar.
     
  19. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I wouldn't know as I've only put them in, and uninstalled one when it hit my header. No plug, just out one in and grease it occasionally, then remove agian. :realcrazy:
     
  20. cantflip

    cantflip Old Jagoff with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    AMC's are welcome at most MOPAR events, you'd look good in this. :D
    091917-1978-AMC-Pacer-wagon-1-630x354.jpg
     
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