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Old 05-01-2017, 09:57 AM
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Default The Willomet Charger



Before we dig into the build, there's a long track that brought us to this point. From the beginning (excuse the large photos for the first page)...

I picked up this 70 R/T nearly four years ago. Since then, I've built out the shop in preparation for this build and some major modifications to the shop truck, a squarebody suburban. That Duramax intercooler hanging in the background has a new home...


It's fairly complete - interior, trim, mouldings, lights, glass, suspension, drivetrain - really a rolling shell with no engine or transmission; perfect for my purposes.


It arrived at the shop filled with three things: lots of parts, copious amounts of rat scat, and a rattlesnake that had taken up residence in the truck. No doubt it wanted to be close to a reliable meal. The snake didn't wait long to move out, and truthfully I only ever knew he was there from the shed skins in the corner of the shop and the trunk. I try not to hate things in nature, but snakes are different.

The interior was a biohazard, and I ordered the 3M mask and glove setup and got to cleaning the emptied car. I filled my shop vac several times and finished with a thorough rinse of the floor and inner door panels. It was funky.


Having never disassembled a Mopar, I started cataloging and bagging and tagging the screws, clips, brackets with detailed notes as to how they went together and where. The reprint service manual was a useful guide. I should also say that every project - garage, house, car - is a chance to work with friends and family.


Disassembly would move along nicely from this elevated height:


The objective is to build a car that will drive across the country and perform competitively against whatever monochromatic German machine it might encounter, as well as more recent iterations of American pony cars.

We'll keep the solid rear axle, and make upgrades to the unibody so our chassis is rigid and predictable. After visits to Rad Rides, The Roadster Shop, and Gap Racing, I'm set on building a new front suspension and losing the torsion bars. The hope is to deliver power to ground rather than just evaporating the rear tires, which will have the largest contact patch we can reasonably fit in the wells with a mini tub. Big brakes, precise steering, a well sorted suspension, around 600hp, an overdrive, and a target dry weight of less than 4000 lbs are all part of the plan. Maybe I'm aiming high.

Performance and long range comfort are the priorities, and in that order. It will be built by hand, and after stripping part of the rear quarter, it looks like I'll be placing at least one order with AMD for some new sheetmetal.


I guess the previous owner thought 1/4" of body filler could hide all the past sins.

Next up: lots of sanding.

David

Last edited by 1970RT; 05-10-2019 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:58 PM
Zoomin Zoomin is offline
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I never cease to be amazed at how many botched sheet metal repairs there are out there.

Oh well, looks like you're not going to be hurt too bad on this. Looks forward to hearing more about your plans on this one.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:57 PM
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It's a solid car - good rails, unibody is level and square, etc. I feel like I got lucky.

David
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:25 PM
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Welcome David. Sounds like it's going to be a sweet project.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSSix View Post
Welcome David. Sounds like it's going to be a sweet project.
Thank you. I'm enjoying the process.

The next several posts are all disassembly and discovery. Mainly, that this car was neglected and someone prescribed it way too much body filler.

I spent a good bit of time pulling the last of the underhood hardware, and took apart the driver door trim, and can now add at least a passenger rear quarter repair panel or skin to the AMD shopping list.








Quick shot at what happens when you stitch too quickly over rust, and try to cover it up.


Both rear quarters are still leaded smooth to the roof skin.


Next: still, more sanding.

David

Last edited by 1970RT; 05-01-2017 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:01 PM
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I've got a 70 in the garage for a future project. I'll be watching this transform. GL
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:59 AM
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David, can you explain the how you came up with the name of "Willomet Charger?"
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:35 AM
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Onward.

Sanded the majority of the passenger quarter and door, leaving behind only the non-bodyfillered sections.


Also pulled the trunk lid and rear bumper and found more hack-job body work. The PO must have blasted or stitch welded without pausing, because there's a serious warp in the rear deck filler panel.


The 3/4" bondo sculpture artistry on the rear valence corners was impressive. Blue ribbon.


The spares for the truck happened to be out.


Pulled the trunk torsion bars, driver door and quarter glass, and a lot of miscellaneous bits as I did my once-over to make sure everything is removed in advance if media blast.

I did take a minute to organize; can't think straight if parts and tools are strewn about. Glass is packed and window mechanisms are carefully labeled and diagramed so I can put this back together:


It doesn't look like much, but the door and trunk lid represent about 5 hours of continuous sanding with the 3M strip discs and 80 grit on the DA. For the hood, it's the first time the steel has seen light in 45 years:


I've seen this damage on other Charger hoods before:


Trunk isn't too bad with the same hack rust repair; it will be patched:


Handy at the end of the day, the integrated b-body beer holder:


David
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 214Chevelle View Post
David, can you explain the how you came up with the name of "Willomet Charger?"
I have a small custom fab and car-building business: Willomet Motor & Fabrication. I've done a lot of 4wd builds and custom exhaust, quite a bit of general metal fab, and this is the first ground-up car build for the shop.

David
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:29 AM
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David,

Great start on the Charger and I also enjoyed the write-up about the Suburban!

One suggestion: cut down the size of the pictures here. You may have a giant monitor at home, but on a smaller monitor it is a little annoying having to scroll sideways. A good size is around 1200 pixels across for embedded pictures. Just a suggestion :-)

Andrew
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