The Road Shark - 1966 Chrysler 300 Project

Early C Bodies - The Slab Side Years

  1. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Okay, here is the project thread for the '66 300 which is already splattered around the site in different places. Figured I can do a brief review with links to the other threads for starters, then keep the updates here in one thread going forward.

    Bought this car sight-unseen from a Craigslist ad in Sedro-Woolley, WA back in July. Had seen the car a few times while searching but dismissed it since it was out on the left coast and I'm on the right. When the seller dropped the price by a grand it became feasible to ship it within my project budget.

    Shipping ended up being quite an adventure and taking over a month as I stumbled through the learning process. Ended up going directly with a trucking company named Coast-to-Coast Auto Transport for a reasonable price and with excellent service.

    This is the original thread on its arrival:

    http://www.forcbodiesonly.com/mopar-forum/showthread.php?20469-The-300-is-(Finally)-Here

    Here are a shot that I don't think has been posted in the other threads. Because we all love pictures!

    Arrival 3A.jpg
     
  2. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    So a quick assessment showed numerous issues needing attention beyond the mentioned cracked windshield, leaky heater core, non-working fuel gauge and radio. For starters, the car didn't want to run for any length of time. When it did run for more than a few seconds it ran very rough. Also the ammeter is the only item working in the gauge cluster. Nothing else, no oil pressure light, temp lights, high/low beam, not even the illumination. Console lighting is also not working,

    Biggest issue up front was a hood hinge off its pin and with the torsion bar popped out. Seller did mention this but I had no idea what was involved. After the hood nearly took my head off while checking out the engine bay with a prop under it, I decided that was the first project.

    Here's a link to that thread:

    http://www.forcbodiesonly.com/mopar...opeye-Help-Needed-with-Hood-Hinge-Torsion-Bar

    Though I was sure it would be a 5-10 person job to wrangle the huge hood around and get the torsion bar back into place, I managed to get it done by myself. A good confidence builder and the first positive step since the car arrived.
     
  3. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Once the hood hinge was repaired and it was safe to get back underneath, I started digging around the engine bay to see what was going on. The heater hoses had been disconnected from the engine but not removed, leaving them free to flop around under the hood, hang down underneath, lay on hot manifolds, etc. Knowing that the box needs to be removed from under the dash anyway, it made sense to take the hoses off and get them out of the way. No small feat, I might add. Ended up making small cuts in the connected ends to get them free, and then it was still all I could go to get them free. A/C hoses are also flopping around, they're next.

    The biggest problem was keeping the car running for more than a few seconds. Though we were able to transport it two miles from where it was unloaded to my driveway, it wasn't without problems like the car running out of gas when we made a sharp right turn. After that it ran rough but got here.

    Decided to take a look at the carb and fuel set up. Immediately discovered the vacuum advance had been disconnected. Upon removing the the air cleaner another discovery was made: the carb had been changed. Been sorting it out in the Engine section with a great discussion about different types of vacuum. Rather than repeat it all, here's the link to that thread:

    http://www.forcbodiesonly.com/mopar...Course-Please-Vacuum-Advance-Line-Bolcked-Off

    Got a little time to work on it last Saturday. Started by swapping out the suspicious fuel filter. It was a huge mess and appears to have been the main culprit that was keeping the engine from running well or at all.

    Once the car was was running I decided to try my hand at making a video. Hopefully I did this part right:

    https://youtu.be/woYS0yImX1I

    Couldn't believe how well the engine ran once it had enough fuel!




     
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  4. 300rag

    300rag Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Looking forward to the updates.
     
  5. commando1

    commando1 Sergeant at Arms FCBO Gold Member

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    You're an excellent writer. More, please.
     
  6. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Here's the last one for now.

    After letting the engine idle for 5 minutes or so I got brave and decided to take it for a spin. We live in a small triangle of land bordered by roads on all sides. It's a mile or so around, seemed safe enough. Got down the first straightaway fine, even pushed the pedal down a bit. Right turn and down another long straight. Sure rides differently than my Ford Ranger! Sharp right turn back around and it sputtered but kept running. Last right turn and it died as I pulled into the driveway. Out of gas, again. Threw in just enough to get me back up the driveway and parked. It stalled as I was backing up. Wife decided it was a worthy occasion to video, so here's the proof:

    https://youtu.be/GR1j62GSDk0

    https://youtu.be/ujPmQs5Ssho

    All and all, not a bad result for an afternoon's work. Need to concentrate now on getting the fuel gauge working again as well as cleaning the tank. Was going to just change out the sender but there was an awfully lot of rust and crud in the filter I removed. Hoping to get it registered this week (finally) then see if I can get it over to a friend's place to drop the tank.

    That should pretty well get things up to date. I'll post more info here as time allows. There's still a looooong road ahead. But it's a great old car worth some effort.
     
  7. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Member

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    You picked a beautiful car to play with. Great progress!
     
  8. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Thank you very much. It once was and could be again, but I have to admit there are times I wonder what I've gotten myself into. Nothing time and money won't fix, I'm just limited on both. The first week or two were the worst as it was one more bad discovery after another, but once things started back in the other direction with the hood repair, the whole started looking and feeling better. It really is a neat car with come interesting options, which is why I dove in to start with. I still get a little *twitch* now and then....

    Thanks, Stan. Coming from a silver-tongued devil like yourself, this is high praise indeed.

    I will post more as soon as I know more. Right now the plan is to deal with the tank/sender next, then get after the half-dead electrical system. Though I may sneak in some of the latter sooner. Electrical is annoying at times, but one of the few things I know a little about, at least.
     
  9. 1978 NYB

    1978 NYB Warfighter FCBO Gold Member

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    Road Shark.....killer name for a killer Chrysler!!!

    I never tire from hearing BB Mopar engines running!

    Very cool......Thanks for sharing!
     
  10. 1978 NYB

    1978 NYB Warfighter FCBO Gold Member

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    I would go on EBay and buy the service manual for your car. They'll have all the wiring diagrams and a lot of other helpful stuff. Excellent way to learn about your car and the electrical system too.

    You can also go to this site and get a reprint or a CD....

    http://www.autobooksbishko.com/
     
  11. 1978 NYB

    1978 NYB Warfighter FCBO Gold Member

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    A parts book is very helpful too.
     
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  12. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Indeed, that's next on the 'documentation' list. Got the '66 Chrysler/Imperial white and blue service manual with the car and a member here turned me on to an online copy for download which I snagged. Knowing the part numbers for hard-to-find parts like the vacuum advance would be handy.

    The name came to me back when I was first looking at the car. The slanting, shark-like snoot along with the blue-gray mottled coloring it obtained over the years just screams 'SHARK!'. And it's about the same length as a healthy Great White, so......look out little Smart car, Prius, and other plankton or gold fish-sized boxes....

    After reaching the level of Moderate Drought conditions, it looks like a wet few days ahead. No work on the shark this weekend.
     
  13. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Thanks to the monsoon, no progress on the car in in nearly two weeks beyond getting it registered (FINALLY!!). Had to send the title back to the seller for another signature and 'discuss' it via the phone while he insisted he didn't need to sign it again. Probably true in WA, but not in NC. It only took another month. At least now I can move it around (legally) to work on it elsewhere.

    Meanwhile the 300 sits in the driveway beneath a blue tarp since it appears to have a leak or two. Rear floor behind the driver's seat had water under the rug every time it rained. Suspecting the rear window gasket since the side window area was always dry.

    Here's a couple shots of it all tarpped up. Looks like a blue aircraft carrier in the yard. You don't realize how long these cars are or how low until you take away the features by covering them up.

    Been researching the CertiCard owner. A plausible history is emerging to explain the neglect, based almost entirely on speculation. Getting info from the seller is like pulling teeth.

    Tarp2.jpg

    Tarp3.jpg

    Certicard.jpg
     
  14. commando1

    commando1 Sergeant at Arms FCBO Gold Member

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    :laughing4:

    If you think about it, that is really funny.
    Plausible based on speculation...:poke:
     
  15. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Ya think Yogi would've been proud? :D
     
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  16. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    Back to the fun.

    Been a few weeks, mainly due to Noah's 40 days and nights (12, actually) of constant rain which kept me from doing anything outside. I had covered the Shark with one of those big blue tarps due to a leak somewhere in back that was getting the back floor wet. Well, the tarp did the trick and kept the interior dry. But due to the amount and duration of the rain event, it also kept moisture under the car or, at least, in the engine bay. One the first sunny day when I popped the hood, it was like walking into a rain forest - something I've never done. As the hood went up, the rain came down. Only in the engine bay. It soaked everything, though a lot of it dried out even before I got the camera to snap some shots. But, hey - that hood works pretty slick now that both sides are attached.

    The car now resides under an open carport-type enclosure where I think the former homeowners kept a boat. Another lesson learned the hard way.

    Condensation1.jpg

    Condensation2.jpg

    Condensation3.jpg
     
  17. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    More time passed while I caught up on other things like mowing. Managed to stuff the tractor into the side of the house just enough to cause the front crank seal to leak, sheeesh. Another project.

    This past weekend provided a little more time to work on the 300. Peeled back the tarp, went to start it up, same issues as before: hard starting, wouldn't idle or run without my foot on the pedal. Figured the new fuel filter was full of crud again like Dave suggested in my carb thread. So off the the parts store. This time I got the cheapie clear plastic filter so I could see the buildup. Was surprised when the old filter came off - very little rust, more a slight brownish tinge to the gas, and only a few drops. Sure enough, new filter in place, car ran like crap.

    Turns out The distributor cap was a bit askew. I had pulled it off to check for moisture after the rain forest episode and apparently didn't get it back on right. Started up and ran well, though I had to keep my foot on the gas until it warmed up. Need to get that choke hooked up.

    Note to self: before starting a big car with a big, hot motor, remove blue tarp *entirely* from car. That exhaust pipe apparently gets a lot hotter than you'd think.

    HotTarp.jpg
     
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  18. Boomer

    Boomer Active Member

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    And the final update for now.

    After the dealing with the blue tarp and moving all the hold down implements (bricks and a couple spare tires) from the driveway, I decided to move the Shark over under the carport to remove the need for covering it to keep it dry. Drove out across the lawn, into the carport, and was suddenly overcome with the crazy desire to take the old girl out for a drive. After all, it was now legally registered and I'd put a couple more gallons into the tank so I figured it was safe for a few miles. Put the air cleaner back on, closed the hood, fastened the mega-seat belt, eased console shifter into 'D' and headed down the drive.

    Went a couple miles down the road to a new school and turned around in their lot. Headed back to my road but feeling bold, decided to head down the looooong straightaway and get up to speed. Made it to 60-65 somewhere, felt an occasional 'skip' but otherwise it went well except for the stopping part. Forgot that the brakes still need bleeding from the new calipers the PO installed. Those T intersections will wake you up fast.

    Cruised back home and under the carport. Popped the hood to check the radiator bulkhead and surrounding areas as it had gotten quite hot previously. Cool as a cucumber, nice.

    Then I got stupid. Figured since I'd been cranking the engine more than running it lately, I'd let it idle for a few minutes while I did some other things, just to charge the battery. *BZZT* wrong answer. I was around the corner in the yard when I noticed the car sounded like it wasn't running. Came around the corner to discover coolant pissing out the bottom in a few places. A quick check showed the overflow hose was doing its job. However, the car sits at a slight sideways angle and there was coolant leaking higher up the bulkhead.

    Peering down between the condenser and radiator I saw it: a nice stream squirting out on the left side, a couple inches above the lower tank. Great. Something else to fix.

    Not sure if the radiator is plugged somewhere or there are other issues. Did notice that the clutch fan is AWOL and has been replaced with a standard 4 blade fan. Looks small inside the shroud. So I'm wondering it the smaller fan along with the AC condenser in front are to blame for the overheating. Surely my lapse of judgement in leaving the car unattended had nothing to do with it.

    At this point it looks like the radiator will come out next to be checked and repaired. Need to replace the heater hose bypass kludge while I'm at it. At least I got the AC hose off that was clunking around under there.

    CoolantLeak.jpg
     
  19. MarkS

    MarkS Member

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    I guess that a Ford Ranger is a necessary accessory for many of us :)
     
  20. live4theking

    live4theking Old Man with a Hat

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    I'm glad you're still working on the old girl. I'm looking forward to the maiden voyage with my NYer. Hopefully it isn't to far out yet. Things seem to be coming together quicker now.