Resurrection of my 1970 Chrysler 300 Convertible

Ripinator

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I thought about the washing machine, but the dishwasher was already empty and all that clanging in the tumbler would drive everyone in the house crazy, LOL.

James: Last year at Carlisle, I ran into a group of ladies from Sharon's Web. They are located in Hawkins, TX, and specialize in restoring seat belts, buckles and retractors, etc. I looked at samples of their work, and it was first rate. And their prices were very reasonable.

Their basic service and optional services cover the whole gamut of seat belt restoration. They will even remove and sew back the specification labels, if you want. I plan to send them my belts as soon as remove them from the car again.

Contact info: 903-705-2501. Their web site is not up currently.

Rip
 

Samplingman

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I can grab you a picture and length of my 70 E body belts when I get home. I did dye them and it worked okay. There is no way to through them in the dryer to "set"the color with heat. I think they did rub off onto clothes for a time. I'm such a non fashion guru that it was not a problem for me. They are fine years later.
Thanks Dave, I’d appreciate that. I might leave them blue. if I find a set of ‘70 belts I could pass them along to someone who needs a blue set.
 

Samplingman

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James: Last year at Carlisle, I ran into a group of ladies from Sharon's Web. They are located in Hawkins, TX, and specialize in restoring seat belts, buckles and retractors, etc. I looked at samples of their work, and it was first rate. And their prices were very reasonable.

Their basic service and optional services cover the whole gamut of seat belt restoration. They will even remove and sew back the specification labels, if you want. I plan to send them my belts as soon as remove them from the car again.

Contact info: 903-705-2501. Their web site is not up currently.

Rip
Ok that’s cool, I’ll check into that. Maybe they could make an 8 foot set of shoulder belts, I’ll just have to find a set of buckles. That’s the one thing about washing them, the tags basically shredded and fell off.
 

Samplingman

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Progress has been slow due to the extreme heat and limited mobility. After reworking the amature 1990‘s repair on the lower quarter, I focused my attention to the damaged marker light area. At some point, the quarter was hit, and then banged out and filled in with a 1/4 inch of bondo. The actual maker light opening detail was crudely sculpted and not acceptable for a finished product.

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Grinding and cleaning up the area, I worked the metal best I could, even attempting to weld up the cracked area around the the opening, but the situation just got worse. I needed a patch.

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Thanks to @bigmoparjeff, I was able to score a pair of decent, complete quarters from a 1970 4 door car. I thought I could cut out what I needed and use the top and bottom style lines to line everything up, but found out that the taper is narrower at the end of the 4 door panel, by an inch and a half.

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After measuring and re measuring a dozen times, I finally found the courage to make the cut, not that I could have screwed it up any worse at this point. If only AMD made C body panels…

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Yes, I can fit in the trunk, apparently my wife was checking to make sure she could easily dispose of the body.

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Samplingman

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Cutting the patch was one thing, doing a successful butt weld was another. My patch panel repair usually included a 1/4 inch overlap which comes with its own challenges of post-production bondo finishing. Here, I was clearly moving out of my comfort zone. The next series of shots was completed over a few months, but I think I got it close enough for driver quality.

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Those cheap HF clamps were great, except for loosing the back support bar deep into the quarter when trying to reposition them.

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So many patches, so little time! With a major hurdle complete, I moved onto all of the little rust spots. Eating this elephant 1 hour at a time.

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It’s hard to see here, but I finally got around to attaching the wire loom strips. these were just screwed into the ‘73, but in ‘70 they were tack welded.

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I’m still missing one on the extension, I’ll have to harvest it off of the scrap pile. Notice the strange round depression towards the bumper brace. The trunk extension came from a different model, but I’ve never seen that in any trunk since. It might have been a dent I thought belonged there, lol. I’ll be cutting that out and patching as well.

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Complete, with minimal warpage.

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Samplingman

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Time to flip this thing around and tackle the passenger side. For the most part, it looks like it is in a lot better shape than the drivers side, but there are plenty of hidden gems beneath the surface.

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Samplingman

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First thing, use a chemical strip to remove the many layers. Unfortunately, modern paint strippers are not worth a damn when it comes to bondo and original factory paint. Oh how I miss the days of the flesh melting Aircraft strippers!

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Samplingman

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This kid had a pop rivet gun, a few pieces or sheet metal, a screen door and a gallon of bondo!

They didn’t even attempt to hammer out this dent! Almost 1/2 inch of filler.

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This drop down was just flapping in the breeze.

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So, what do you do when you need 37 inches of metal, but the local hardware store only carries 36 inch sheet? You add a screen door, fill it up with plastic and call it a day!

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Don't pick at the small holes, you never know what you will find. Fortunately, the inner rockers had minor damage, but a small hole in the wheel house made a great entry way for a mouse house and storage for a tree full of nuts!

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Compared to the drivers side, I think I got off pretty easy.

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Big_John

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First thing, use a chemical strip to remove the many layers. Unfortunately, modern paint strippers are not worth a damn when it comes to bondo and original factory paint. Oh how I miss the days of the flesh melting Aircraft strippers!
I'm thinking one of these might be the way to go. I think if I had to strip a car now, I'd buy one.

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Ripinator

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This kid had a pop rivet gun, a few pieces or sheet metal, a screen door and a gallon of bondo!

They didn’t even attempt to hammer out this dent! Almost 1/2 of filler.

View attachment 549491View attachment 549492

This drop down was just flapping in the breeze.

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So, what do you do when you need 37 inches of metal, but the local hardware store only carries 36 inch sheet? You add a screen door, fill it up with plastic and call it a day!

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Dont pick at the small holes, you never know what you will find. Fortunately, the inner rockers had minor damage, but a small hole in the wheel house mad a great entry way for a mouse house and storage for a tree full of nuts!

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Compared to the drivers side, I think I got off pretty easy.

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James: Like you, I do a lot of my own repair work, but you have gone way beyond my courage and abilities. You are my body work hero!
 

Samplingman

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James: Like you, I do a lot of my own repair work, but you have gone way beyond my courage and abilities. You are my body work hero!
Haha, thanks Rip! I‘m more comfortable with sheet metal than engine tuning. Just hoping the car doesn’t “wave” to bystanders as it goes down the road, lol.
 

Samplingman

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Final updates for the year. I go into knee replacement mode for the next 6 months, but fortunately I was able to get all the big sheet metal projects out of the way.

First up, get the inner quarter structure fabricated and fitted. The small patches are easy, cut and bend. Re-creating the rusted out area of the drop down required some creative welding.

Cut out the old piece and mocked it up with tape.

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Start tacking and fitting until it looks about right.

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Useless OEM drain plug fitted for looks.

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And fitted back into place. Not pretty on the inside because of the seem sealer, but it will get the job done.

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Samplingman

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The outer patches are a bigger challenge with the style lines. They might have been easier if there was some contour, but getting the line straight is another story.

I could have used a patch from the donor quarter and then cleaned up the rust and seal the holes up from the back with fiberglass, but forming out of “date correct“ metal was so much more original, lol.

After a few test shots, I ended up using the line at the very top of the quarter and forming the patch from there. My bending brake consists of a few clamps, a piece of angle steel and a BFH. I use the HF shrinking/stretching set to get the curves for the lip.

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Samplingman

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Time to clean up the metal and get it welded into place. I spent a lot of time adjusting and fixing warpage as I went along. The lower rear was the easiest, probably because I had experience from the left side last year. When it comes time to do the TX9 I’ll be a master, lol.

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Samplingman

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With lots of nuts and bolts to clean up, I picked up a HF 5 lbs. vibratory tumbler. I load it up at night and change it out in the morning. Works great and it’s been running nighty for months. A quick dip in some lacquer thinner to loosen up any leftover gunk and a coat of black provides an endless supply of fresh hardware.
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Samplingman

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While I had access, I decided to remove the quarter window motor and tracks to clean them up. Nothing worked, although the motor made an attempt. It took several hours to inch the window up a little at a time so I could reach the bolts. The FSM is a useless guide, and there are no pictorial descriptions on the net, and I now understand why. Once you figure it out there is no opportunity to stop and take pictures of the procedure.

I went through great lengths to clamp the gear to remove the motor to prevent the sudden springing of the swing arm, but when I got the assembly out I was surprised to see the very spring was missing! I looked but there is no evidence of the spring anywhere in the quarter, broken or otherwise. Then I took a look at the left side and lo and behold, no spring there either. What would possess someone to remove the springs from these mechanisms is beyond me. I bench tested the motor and it runs strong in both directions, now to find two springs. I didn’t have to look long, @Jer had them listed on eBay.

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Samplingman

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Next up, put the grille hardware on, marker lights and install the hood to wrap this project up for the year.

Once again, I thought I had everything I needed, but how wrong I was. Let’s start with the headlight motor. I had two, one from the ‘69 I helped part out and another that came with the car. Compared to my parts car, neither looked correct. Fun fact, the rod from ‘69 is a different shape than ‘70 and will not mate up with the headlight doors.

Back to eBay and I found one listed as a ‘78 NYB motor and rod. For $20 I took a chance and not only scored the correct rod, but also the rarely seen rubber boot! The motor is stuck, but it has the same silver label as the one that came with my car, but no part number that ties it to 1970. I’m thinking that this is some kind of replacement motor. Good thing I’m not building a concours winner, lol.

1970

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1969 on the left, unknown vintage on the right. Note the different manual wheels and the slightly different shaped opening for the rod.

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