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Nice score! I believe I read that you have other muscle cars with modern drivetrains? If so, my $0.10 is you rebuild it with the original #'s engine. I know it's a "lowly" 383 but convertible E-bodies are fairly rare.
 

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Enough legacy MOPAR's have been defaced by idiots. Restore it to stock specs for future generations to admire and enjoy.
 

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If you want to maximize the value of your Challenger keep it stock and rebuild the 383 motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Swung by the challenger today and we discussed our options,we have concluded to keep the factory drivetrain in the car. I appreciate all the input and kind words and it was you guys that have played the largest part in this decision, thank you. I rarely get "the car" and usually end up building someone's lost interest half assembled piece of junk so this is a really exciting time for me and I feel so blessed. I mentioned a story about the car and here it is.

About 15 years ago my daughter married into a Dodge family,nothing but Mopar for them, I raised my daughter in a general motors household. Well the marriage started off with a bang and it was like the civil war for sometime as we all live in close proximity, don't get me wrong we all got along and we hung out quite abit but the rivalry was always there. One evening I was at the in-laws and was getting a tour of the property and went through the barn and there sat the challenger,top down and covered in dirt,I wrote I wish I was a Chevy on the dusty windshield and asked what's the story?. Kid tells me its his Dads and when he was young he sold his cuda to help the family during rough times and grandpa bought the challenger a few years later when back on their feet and surprised the son with the car. The car was driven for many years and went to shows and just had a good old time with it then parked it in the barn in the early 2000s , I think I know why. Fast forward to today and the old man decides he wants a newer challenger so wants to sell the 70 so despite the fact of my GM fondness they thought of me first knowing my interest in classic cars. I was hesitant when they first approached me as I had no real knowledge of the value of the car,so I called my buddy and filled him in. After hearing the stats on the car my buddy tells me to buy it or let him in on the deal so I scraped all I had and bought the ride,most expensive used vehicle I have ever purchased,other than my diesel truck.

Here are pictures, I also have the build sheet and manners manual and some various pamphlets and some old receipts for tires and maintenance.

Would like to do a build process on this site

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That thing is EPIC!

Do you have any photos of the fender tag?
 

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I'm no expert, but be sure to check the Torque boxes (likely only front on your car) as they are often corroded or damaged. Several places make replacements
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A Guy

PS 1970 mopar fender tag decoder

Best I can make out on your picture, see attached
 

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ill side with the keep it original guys. Especially since its a convertible and in such solid shape right from the git go. A 383 will never be a 6.4 or even a 5.7 but there quick enough to have fun and cruise with and there to me is just something about a 383. it screams classic mopar. If it were a 318 or a 225 car id say go for it but id keep a 383. If you want a bit more speed. Put in a modern cam and put a good manifold on it and paint it factory color so it looks original. But truthfully id probably not even do that if the original stuff is still there. you dont find many barn find mopars in that kind of shape anymore. Might even be worth thinking about making it a survivor and clean it up buff out the paint and chrome replace the rubber brakes and suspension parts that need it and get it running.
 

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Having all that original paperwork is pretty awesome too. Can't wait to keep up with your build progress. (y)
 

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With all the Paperwork even more so reason to restore that not many surviving convertibles and when all is said and done a well worth piece in the end...
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Great news today,removed the cylinder head with the dropped valve and the cylinder looks good,no scratches or gouges and the piston looks ok. Next week ill pack up the motor and search the Portland metro area for a reputable machine shop for rebuild. So what do folks think on the rebuild? Go stock or go for more?,keep in mind I will retain the factory intake and carb and exhaust manifolds. I also noticed there are 4 mufflers on the dual exhaust system,is this stock or has something been added? Again thanks for all the help and kind words and I really value you folks opinions on this rig.
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I would keep it pretty close to stock. Totally stock outward appearance and set it up to run on unleaded fuel. I'd keep the cam fairly mild because you have A/C and power brakes. You will want a fairly stable idle and good manifold vacuum.

Stock exhaust has resonators in front of the axle and mufflers behind the axle.
 
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Great news today,removed the cylinder head with the dropped valve and the cylinder looks good,no scratches or gouges and the piston looks ok. Next week ill pack up the motor and search the Portland metro area for a reputable machine shop for rebuild. So what do folks think on the rebuild? Go stock or go for more?,keep in mind I will retain the factory intake and carb and exhaust manifolds. I also noticed there are 4 mufflers on the dual exhaust system,is this stock or has something been added? Again thanks for all the help and kind words and I really value you folks opinions on this rig.
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Keep it close to spec as you can update the Valves and Valve Seats and Rings / Seals for Pump Ethanol 89 Octane Unleaded
Can always Jet the Carb, Right Plugs good exhaust system she will move just fine...
 

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You have a real gem there. I look forward to watching the rebuild.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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That's a solid piece! There's a lot right with that car, starting with it being a rust-free E-Body convertible. and a nice full fender tag of desirable options. I've done my share of Mopar restoration work in the past, and that is a spectacular starting point. It deserves to go back all original.

As stated above, the exhaust that's on the car is correct; 2 resonators, 2 mufflers. Exhaust looks solid, but if it needs replaced, you can upgrade the exhaust pipes to an H-pipe like the 440 and 426 cars came with. Gain a little torque with no degradation in (original) sound.

And, I wouldn't spend a lot of money saving that cylinder head. You can find good used 904 heads anywhere for decent money. My '67 has 915 heads which are rare, 1-year only pieces, and would be worth the money to fix. You can shelve the damaged one, and replace it with an undamaged head without impacting the visuals. Of course, if it's not hurt bad, may as well keep it on the engine.

I noticed it doesn't have power windows. Be glad. My buddy's '70 Challenger convertible that we restored did, and it was a nightmare. My arms had scars for a year after digging around in the doors and quarters removing, restoring, reinstalling and adjusting those bad boys!

Beautiful find! Best of luck with the restoration. Keep us posted. Sounds like lots of good resources right here on this forum to help with questions. Of course, lots of great dedicated E-Body sites that will be good to join.

If you get stumped on a tough question, I've found that Roger Gibson (Google him) is a great resource. He's one of the most knowledgeable Mopar restorers, and very approachable. He'll answer your email.

Cheers!

JD
 

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the retrofit of the Chrysler electronic ignition is a good upgrade - this was standard from '73 on up and is a straighforward reliable system over the old points / condenser that would have been OEM for a '70

hotter spark and more stable dwell angle over points
 
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the retrofit of the Chrysler electronic ignition is a good upgrade - this was standard from '73 on up and is a straighforward reliable system over the old points / condenser that would have been OEM for a '70

hotter spark and more stable dwell angle over points
That's what I have in my 70 R/T SE. Mine is an old Direct Connection kit. I mounted the ignition box in a '73 E body bracket.
 

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id upgrade to electronic ign. and maybe a cam. Cam technology has come along way and theres hp on the table with plenty of vacuum for accessories. Maybe a mild porting job and upgrade the valves and seats for unleaded fuel. You could easily get 75 hp with no one but you knowing it was done. Plus if you sold it and someone wanted it absolutely stock it would be easy to change back.
 

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As far as stealth upgrades, I use a Pertronix ignitor on my '67 R/T. Fits all fits under the cap, and eliminates the primary concern; points. The additional primary wire is easy to disguise, and there's no box to mount (holes to drill), or hide. Sure, there are hotter ignitions, but the Pertronix is sufficient for a restoration. Not like it's going to be pushed like a race car.

Get with Hughes Engineering for an excellent cam selection. They're Mopar-only, and have really engineered their cams for our applications, taking advantage of Mopar's inherently larger lifter diameter. Read their website for the technical details. If I WERE to switch cams in my 67, it would be one of theirs ;).

JD
 

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I have a 70 Challenger 383 convertible, 727 transmission, AC, PW, Variable windshield wipers, delayed headlights, 6 way seats, rim blow steering wheel. I would never consider putting a modern power train in it. It is a time machine and beautiful. Spend the money and rebuild the 383 and 727, you won't regret it. The 383 is not a slouch it is a great engine. Congratulations on the car it will get a lot of compliments and thumb ups.
 
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