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I recently purchased a 1970 challenger rt convertible and this will be my first challenger build and would appreciate some folks opinions. The car belonged to inlaws and I've had my eye on it for some time,its been in there barn for the last 15 yrs yrs. I've had the car for about two months now and started by completely gutting the interior so I could clean all the mice fecal and nest. I've reinstalled all the interior and now have moved to the engine compartment, which has the factory 383 4 bbl motor with air conditioning. Its all there and appears the only changed is the ignition which is now hei..the bad is the motor has dropped a valve and will need attention,this is where my dilemma is.

I have some really neat rides I've built by transplanting newer drive train into,they are very fast and yet can be very economical to drive and reliable.,My classic muscle power rides are no match for the transplant vehicles with there fuel injection and variable valve timing and computers.

So what say you about putting a newer crate motor hemi into the 70 challenger?, no matter what I will need to build a motor and the price of a 392 hemi is close to the rebuild cost for the stock 383. I have the skill to do either as well as the funds but I want to do what's best for the car,there not making new 70 challengers anymore.
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I recently purchased a 1970 challenger rt convertible and this will be my first challenger build and would appreciate some folks opinions. The car belonged to inlaws and I've had my eye on it for some time,its been in there barn for the last 15 yrs yrs. I've had the car for about two months now and started by completely gutting the interior so I could clean all the mice fecal and nest. I've reinstalled all the interior and now have moved to the engine compartment, which has the factory 383 4 bbl motor with air conditioning. Its all there and appears the only changed is the ignition which is now hei..the bad is the motor has dropped a valve and will need attention,this is where my dilemma is.

I have some really neat rides I've built by transplanting newer drive train into,they are very fast and yet can be very economical to drive and reliable.,My classic muscle power rides are no match for the transplant vehicles with there fuel injection and variable valve timing and computers.

So what say you about putting a newer crate motor hemi into the 70 challenger?, no matter what I will need to build a motor and the price of a 392 hemi is close to the rebuild cost for the stock 383. I have the skill to do either as well as the funds but I want to do what's best for the car,there not making new 70 challengers anymore. View attachment 1006809 View attachment 1006810
Omg, it’s a convertible? You lucky devil. My opinion on your dilemma relies on what your plans are for the car. Keep it original and plan on selling it down the line? Keep it and enjoy the heck out of it? It sounds like the latter is your plan, so to that end, a modern drivetrain would be more reliable, and more enjoyable. And being it’s “only” a 383, you might actually have a similar or better resale value with a modern driveline —done right of course. Sure, that raw visceral feel of a big block from ‘70 is tuff to beat, but with right build, you can get that same feel and then some, and not have to spend your life tinkering with it. I assume it’s got a 727, so if it were me and I could afford it, a 6-speed stick would def be in the cards. That and an updated LSD, upgraded suspension, some killer wheels, and OMG, what an amazing ride! Even if the body work is a little tired, with all the mechanicals new and modern, you could drive it anywhere, whenever, and not worry about door dings and scratches. My .02.
Keep us posted!
 

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I recently purchased a 1970 challenger rt convertible and this will be my first challenger build and would appreciate some folks opinions. The car belonged to inlaws and I've had my eye on it for some time,its been in there barn for the last 15 yrs yrs. I've had the car for about two months now and started by completely gutting the interior so I could clean all the mice fecal and nest. I've reinstalled all the interior and now have moved to the engine compartment, which has the factory 383 4 bbl motor with air conditioning. Its all there and appears the only changed is the ignition which is now hei..the bad is the motor has dropped a valve and will need attention,this is where my dilemma is.

I have some really neat rides I've built by transplanting newer drive train into,they are very fast and yet can be very economical to drive and reliable.,My classic muscle power rides are no match for the transplant vehicles with there fuel injection and variable valve timing and computers.

So what say you about putting a newer crate motor hemi into the 70 challenger?, no matter what I will need to build a motor and the price of a 392 hemi is close to the rebuild cost for the stock 383. I have the skill to do either as well as the funds but I want to do what's best for the car,there not making new 70 challengers anymore. View attachment 1006809 View attachment 1006810
First off... 🤩 Just seen on Motortrend TV a dude who put a Hell Crate in a 72 Challenger and the Torqueflight and rear was not a good match/idea for a modern mill like a 392 or that nasty Hellcat mill. So keep that in mind. BUT if the #s match and it’s a convertible I would run production numbers and keep intact. You might have a gem🤘
 

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Charger 392
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I would stick the crate 392 into it, suspension, brakes, driveline and enjoy the heck out it. Problem free. Dave Weber at Modern Muscle Xtreme in Martinsville can help with all the parts needed. If it is not a rare challenger convertible, the resale on a good pro-tour challenger is about the same or more than a factory stock refurb.
 

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I would stick the crate 392 into it, suspension, brakes, driveline and enjoy the heck out it. Problem free. Dave Weber at Modern Muscle Xtreme in Martinsville can help with all the parts needed. If it is not a rare challenger convertible, the resale on a good pro-tour challenger is about the same or more than a factory stock refurb.
Looks like the crate 392 is $2k off right now!! But I can never find the fully forged 6.4 with 500+hp. Where is that thing? It always so hard to find (and IS different than the 485 hp run-of-the-mill 392).
 

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CONVERTIBLEAUTOMATICFOUR SPEEDTOTAL
383 4bbl
554​
138​
692​


Just sayin' If you drop a hemi in there, keep the original motor

A Guy
 
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Charger 392
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Here are a few links for the resto mod. Not sure why you would want a fully forged 392 unless you plan to use boost. With that light car it should be plenty fast with a factory 392.


If I were going to do a pro-tour I would consider this hot rod 392. A bit more than 485 hp:

 

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A factory 383 with A/C could be either a 727 or a 4 speed. If the engine block matches the vehicle VIN it would be a crime (in my opinion) to not keep that engine in the car. If you must have a modern-powered convertible, use a 6 cylinder or 318 car, PLEASE.
 

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A factory 383 with A/C could be either a 727 or a 4 speed. If the engine block matches the vehicle VIN it would be a crime (in my opinion) to not keep that engine in the car. If you must have a modern-powered convertible, use a 6 cylinder or 318 car, PLEASE.
I hear ya, but this isn’t a 340/440 6-pack we’re talking about. It’s a run-of-the-mill 383. I’m as big ‘a fan of these e-bodies as you’ll find (ever since I saw say that ‘71 Cuda in Phantasm), and a ‘70 Challenger is even a notch up in my book (especially a convertible). Keep the motor and take off parts and build it for your enjoyment I still say. As long as the originals are still with the car, no harm no foul. It’s a driver, not a museum piece. If the car were perfect, it’d be different and I’d feel the same as you. But hey! Just my opinion 🤙🏻
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A factory 383 with A/C could be either a 727 or a 4 speed. If the engine block matches the vehicle VIN it would be a crime (in my opinion) to not keep that engine in the car. If you must have a modern-powered convertible, use a 6 cylinder or 318 car, PLEASE.
Its a 727 and the engine block matches the vin tag and I feel the same way as far as breaking up the numbers matching,this thing is a time capsule. I have it at a friends who is a big fan and helping me,its had one repaint in the 80s that is starting to bubble but no visible rust or body filler. Will pull motor and tranny soon then get the head off and see what's in that dropped valve cylinder,will get some pictures and update on what we find. Thanks for all the kind words and I promise I will take good care of this find, There is a story behind this car and some interesting family dynamics to get it to where it is today.
 

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Its a 727 and the engine block matches the vin tag and I feel the same way as far as breaking up the numbers matching,this thing is a time capsule. I have it at a friends who is a big fan and helping me,its had one repaint in the 80s that is starting to bubble but no visible rust or body filler. Will pull motor and tranny soon then get the head off and see what's in that dropped valve cylinder,will get some pictures and update on what we find. Thanks for all the kind words and I promise I will take good care of this find, There is a story behind this car and some interesting family dynamics to get it to where it is today.
Oh boy, that car deserves to be restored. This is THE GUY for the motor and maybe even the whole thing. Nick is a treasure.

 

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Its a 727 and the engine block matches the vin tag and I feel the same way as far as breaking up the numbers matching,this thing is a time capsule. I have it at a friends who is a big fan and helping me,its had one repaint in the 80s that is starting to bubble but no visible rust or body filler. Will pull motor and tranny soon then get the head off and see what's in that dropped valve cylinder,will get some pictures and update on what we find. Thanks for all the kind words and I promise I will take good care of this find, There is a story behind this car and some interesting family dynamics to get it to where it is today.
Well there you go! Decision made (and nobody upset with you)!
 

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Normally I would say modern drivetrain and suspension. With this car I would 100% go original factory. It’s not like you will be driving it all the time it’s a convertible so reliability won’t be a concern with a fresh 383.

Being a 70’s convertible you don’t want to really throw a ton of power at it anyhow.

I would find a V6 or 318 hard top car and do a modern power train in a second just not this car.
 

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I would find a V6 or 318 hard top car and do a modern power train in a second just not this car.
No V6s back then.198 or 225 slant 6 in-line.
 
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2018 Dodge Challenger T/A Plus in Yellow Jacket w/5.7L and A8 automatic
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Keep the 383 IN the car.
 
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That is a beauty.
Restore that baby, keep the original 383 for sure! I would personally yank the motor & trans, rebuild both. Drop it back in there.
 

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A quick internet search shows that this car is 1 of only 554 built. That's rare enough to restore it to original condition. I once restored a friend's 383/727 1970 Challenger non-R/T convertible, and it was rarer (1 of 84) than the R/T like yours. The "better" engine/trim level is not always rarest.

I had a 440-4 barrel 1970 Cuda back in the day. Found out later it was rarer than the 440-6 version. But back then, people didn't care so much because these cars were never going to be worth anything anyway, haha!

It's your car and you can do as you like. But remember, they are only original once. You can always modify it later, but they're hard/expensive to put back.

Cheers!

JD
 

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I recently purchased a 1970 challenger rt convertible and this will be my first challenger build and would appreciate some folks opinions. The car belonged to inlaws and I've had my eye on it for some time,its been in there barn for the last 15 yrs yrs. I've had the car for about two months now and started by completely gutting the interior so I could clean all the mice fecal and nest. I've reinstalled all the interior and now have moved to the engine compartment, which has the factory 383 4 bbl motor with air conditioning. Its all there and appears the only changed is the ignition which is now hei..the bad is the motor has dropped a valve and will need attention,this is where my dilemma is.

I have some really neat rides I've built by transplanting newer drive train into,they are very fast and yet can be very economical to drive and reliable.,My classic muscle power rides are no match for the transplant vehicles with there fuel injection and variable valve timing and computers.

So what say you about putting a newer crate motor hemi into the 70 challenger?, no matter what I will need to build a motor and the price of a 392 hemi is close to the rebuild cost for the stock 383. I have the skill to do either as well as the funds but I want to do what's best for the car,there not making new 70 challengers anymore. View attachment 1006809 View attachment 1006810
Keep the original engine and do what you want.
new 392 would be awsome but that is a special car nomatter what.
you might want to sell and buy a different car to resto mod.but that thing is Hot score!
 

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If you have any technical questions on your journey, check out E-bodies.org They have some really smart people there that can help with your questions.
 
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