Working away on some Fury III projects


Oct 5, 2019
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Eastern Shore, MD
The ‘66 Fury III has spent some time in the shop of late and I figure I owe an update. It started with getting the car on the lift for the first time. 3weeks ago was the 1st time, really! It was overheating at the end of last year, so it sat for the winter and then the master cylinder failed when I woke it up this past spring. So it sat some more looking lonely and forgotten. I figured the overheating might be a head gasket, so ignored it for the summer. We finally pulled it onto the shop (no brakes) and put it up. This elevated moment showed us that the cheap emergency rubber freeze plug had partially blown out.


So maybe it isn't a bad head gasket! Fill him up with water and begin the pressure test process. I first pumped it up with a pressure tester and when it didn’t leak, I fired it up and backed it out to let some heat build and see if that might show some water loss. All was well after idling for 30 minutes, so that problem has been sorted temporarily. I have the right sized brass freeze plugs in stock, so will make the change before I need to put in antifreeze.

While sitting outside for a few hours, I went to put him back in, the starter was stuck! Wouldn’t turn over, not a little bit, so I had to order a new and improved starter. The trick setup (so I’m told) is a starter Dakota pickup from 1995. Not only is it more powerful but it’s also cheaper than a rebuilt for the stock 318. Another Benny is that it’s much smaller and fits easily for may applications, including headers on a hemi. Wait 2 days, push Nick into the shop with Angie and yank the old starter. It’s a huge heavy beast of a starter and a little tricky to get out. Stab new starter in after doing some scraping and cleaning of heavy grunge all was finished.




Napa was the only place that has a MC rebuild kit. No new MCs readily available. 4 days and the new kit is in at the local Napa and off to the shop to rebuild. Some usual previous owner Shite to get the old one out and the seals are shot. New kit in after a quick hone and some nice new paint, install and correct PO screw ups and I’m ready to bleed. Go to the furthest wheel cylinder in the rear. These are the smallest bleeder I can remember. The hex size is 1/4”. I try to use my vacuum bleeder with limited success and find that the left front wheel, the bleeder is broken off . So, order some new wheel cylinders. Wait 4 days and begin to work on this problem. No problem replacing the front cylinder and find that the rear brakes need replacing, order new brake shoes. While waiting for the shoes to arrive, the new wheels and tires arrive. They are wide and fat! But back to the brakes. All new cylinders and now new shoes installed in the rear.


New thick shoes


Why so many bits to work 2 brakes shoes!


The tires were mounted by hand except for the front. Jegs shipped the wrong wheel stud pattern for those. The rears were a bit of work to get mounted but I pressed on and got them done.

Just enough clearance! 275/60-15 on 10” wide wheels.



The front will be 255/60-15 on 8” wide wheels.

That’s all for tonight.

Jon Slocum

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Have you had it on the ground yet?
There is a crease in the inner fenderwell about 4" up from the lip, and you'll want to check it for tire rub.
I red-lined the area to check, you'll feel it with your hand.
I put 275-60-50 on mine, on 8" Ramcharger wheels that have 4" BS. I was going to rub on that rib, so I made other adjustments.
But if you have more BS, might not be an issue.

Thanks for that bit of info. I do have it on the ground and have driven it to the gas station and back. No rubbing so far. I will keep an eye on it.
The wheels have a 4 inch back space. I measured and measured to make sure they would fit.


The trip to the gas station was eventful. The trans has been trouble since I bought the car but 3rd gear crapped out completely. It made a bad noise when shifting up from second and that was all she wrote. I was able to drive home in 2nd successfully but now I need to fix the trans. I will be rebuilding it myself, my first time! This trans seems simple enough to do and there are some excellent videos online to follow.
the "bunny slope" of transmission repair.

That what I think too. I hope (hope is not a strategy) it goes easily. I have picked up a low mileage big block trans from a motor home and will try to use the heavy duty parts from it in my small block case. It also has the modern pump splines so it will take a more available torque converter.
Good thread and info on the starter.

I dont really know anything about American cars (learning quickly) but with the shop manual and basic tools I was able to rebuild the trans in my 65 Ford Fairlane last year. Working perfectly. Kit was only like $120 with clutch packs and bands.
I think you can do it...looks like you have space and real tools so....
Yes, the Hemi is still going into the wagon next year, probably late summer time frame.

The front wheels were exchanged and have now been installed. I had to lower the front about 1-1/4" to get a good stance, but I have not driven it yet because of the trans. That project will finish up this week.

Before lowering




Got to LOVE torsion bars for making it east to adjust the ride height!!!

Wheels & tires look good.The stance looks really good. Looking at the pictures of your wagon i think i have seen it before did you by chance purchase it in NC .
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I did, Salisbury, NC. The silver POR15 is covering up all the rust created by the PO with his sander. Faux-tina it was. Car is clean and rust free for sitting out most of its life.

I also added some front suspension goodies this weekend! The front shocks were totally shagged and I picked these up on a sale day.



I think it might be the same wagon that the guy i bought mine from was looking at buying he sent me pictures of it it needed a rear window also. He called me and asked if i still had the extra tailgate glass he gave me when i bought my wagon from him .I told him i in fact had 2 the one he gave me and the one from the replacement tailgate i bought for my wagon. He drove to NC to look at the wagon but did not buy it because he said it was to much of a project he wanted something more of a ready to drive car.
Your wheels looks killer!!!
I have a set of 15'' Chrysler steelies that I am thinking of widening as well for my wagon. Thanks for posting these pics
Your wheels looks killer!!!
I have a set of 15'' Chrysler steelies that I am thinking of widening as well for my wagon. Thanks for posting these pics

Thanks for the kind words. I like the look it has. I need to start driving it to allow things to settle.

Speaking of driving, I have finished the rebuild of the trans last weekend and installed it last night. It was pretty easy to do this work and no special tools required. It came apart easily enough and the new parts went in with ease. Some measuring is required to get certain clearances just right and that is where the slow downs of the build can occur. There are snap rings with different thicknesses to make clearance adjustments as well as thrust bearings. Assemble, measure, get the parts to do final assembly and install. Luckily I had 2 dismantled transmissions to work from. a 1978 Motor Home 727 and the original 1966 727 from the car. There was a bit of parts swapping to get the trans updated to the newer input shaft so that a modern torque converter could be used. The old one has no options. Here are a few photos taken during the process.


View attachment 416623




I'm very lucky that the Moho flex plate fit the 318 crankshaft!! Thank you Ma Mopar for keeping things the same over the years. The old TC has a different bolt circle compared to the new one.




Finally in place!! Now for fluids and a test drive.
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