Thank you for visiting and following another jakesgeneralstore.com restoration. This is the um’teenth Mopar restoration for yours truly. The challenge with this build is that it is being done without a nice big shop. link here. Here is a build that is being done in a typical 3 car garage, while always keeping the daily drivers and other classics in the garage. Space management is an issue and the accomplished goal of downsizing to a retirement home, while good in theory, offers considerable challenges for car guys doing restorations. The paint and body is most certainly being outsourced. Choosing a good bodyshop to use, if you can find one, is one of the up-front tasks performed in the planning phase as discussed in my blog post Managing Your Restoration. Disassembly, small parts restoration, and most system restoration is taking place in my small garage. It is a challenge but it is working. It passes the time. Onward!
After the AAR Cuda build I said I was done restoring cars. Well the bug bit again on a walk around the lake with my wife. This ’69 GTX was sunk into the earth along a line of trees. Within a few days, and after coercing owner to sell, the car was on my trailer.
1969 Plymouth GTX, A true Track Pack car (A33) – Dana 60 is present and the numbers matching 4 spd is present as well. Interior floors are solid but will need trunk floors and 1/4s. the Right side floor support (see pic is rotten). Frame rails look solid. Other rust is typical areas around vinyl top and under battery tray. The car does have power steering and a center console. B5 Blue and B7 Blue guts.
Progress Timeline- Captains Log
Wrapped up the seat upholstery project. This was actually a major project within a project. A perfect mid-winter project in the garage. There was a 10 month, prepaid wait for the actual blue upholstery covers. Once the covers arrived I was ready with the sandblasted seat tracks. Stretching the covers over the new foam is always challenging. Installing the new foam on the seat frames gives the seats a full look. The old foam on both front sears was actually missing. Again I am thankful the new pre moulded foam is available. Assembling the foam with the muslin provided and following the directions on how to cut the strips is critical. Legendary did a nice job with a video on how to cut the strips and assemble the foam. I did use a white kitchen trash back over the foam to help slip the covers down over the front seat backs. The industrial high heat gun is also critical to stretch the front seat backs down.
|side covers||$ 117.00|
|front covers||$ 517.00|
|rear covers||$ 357.00|
Tore down the interior front buckets and rear bench seat. Many new parts will be needed to restore the front buckets. Thankful most parts are reproduced. Examples include blue headrests and even the plastic front bucket side hinge plastic covers, in blue. The dark blue medium carpet arrived. Seat covers have been shipped are are due to arrive any day. Finished installing the front headlight bezels and front headlamp wiring. Did you know that a headlight bezel for the 68-69 GTX and Sport Satellite are different than a Road Runner? Well then are. The inner flange that meets the grille is 1 1/2 inches shorter for the GTX/SS.
I actually thought of my old pal Dan today as I ran out of “bends”. I remember Dan used to say, “ I only have X number of bends per day.” I think the number was 20 bends, then he was out of commission. Man I felt the same today crawling in and out and around the GTX. A guy finds himself planning trips in and out of the car. Like ensuring ya bring every darn tool you are gonna need to eliminate the need to get back, up (slowly), and get out of the car, get the item and then get back in. Getting in is sometimes as hard as getting out!.
Dash is installed. All glass is now installed and interior pieces are slowly getting installed. Waiting on seat covers, Carpet has arrived and door cards are on. Door handles and stainless side trim unique to the GTX model are installed.
The cover stayed on the GTX all winter in the garage. Recently work started on assembling the dash. Unpacking the gauges (speedo and light switch panel), that have been insanely, professionally restored was better than ANY Christmas morning I remember as a kid. What a thrill. The dash frame itself needed some wet-sanding as a bit too much clear coat was applied to the color base.
This past spring I placed the soft goods order, interior door cards and seat upholstery, Those are not expected to arrive until February 2023. And, they take your money up front.
Light cleaning on the parts was done at the time of disassembly, bagging and tagging, but now the deep detail cleaning on parts is happening, which is extremely enjoyable to see the contrast.
The GTX is now officially a roller. The front suspension, including the disc brake conversion using A body calipers is complete, sort of. I still think the calipers will hit the top bolt head and rubber insulator on the front sway bar, which will hinder steering. I will need to address this. I had a build day with my close pals. My wife made a nice lunch and other friends stopped by to see the car. This comradery is what I enjoy most about the hobby.
After realizing I needed some additional parts and the correct brake pads, I was able to get the GTX on the ground.
The limited space challenge of working in my the three car garage, while keeping my wife’s vehicle inside should get easier. Announced first here to the public is that I have sold my ’70 AAR Cuda. A restoration completed in 2016 that took four years. I acquired that car in the Turkey Barn cars I found back in 2004. The sale of this car should free up the far third stall, which will allow BOTH daily drivers to be inside.
I hope to drastically slow the progress of the GTX and recover from the outlay of $$$ in 2021 for paint and body. I do have enough parts such to keep myself plenty busy over the winter. All dash gauges are back from being restored. I also have the dash wiring harness. I hope to build out the dash over the winter and get that installed. Other items I hope to get accomplished are the installation of the steering column, pedals, and the installation of the front and rear glass, and the body side moulding. I sent the deck lid back to the paint and body shop to address some issues.
Installed the driveline: Engine, Trans and the Dana 60/Springs etc. The car is now sitting on rear tires. For the engine trans install I lifted up the front of the car with an engine hoist. Rolling the engine and trans under the car, then lowered the car onto the engine/trans. The engine landed right where is should and the height of the cart put the frame rails and K-Frame within 2 inches. The k frame bolts actually reached in the frame rails and started. No big shop, no big car hoist, just ground pounding floor jacks and jack stands. It took me a day of recovery in between the Dana 60 install and the engine install. I had to reload my daily “bend” allotment.
The GTX is now home from the body shop. 942 hours were spent on the following scope of work at the body shop.
- Final disassembly of the car including, k-frame, dash, steering components and all glass
- Epoxy sealer applied to the car after I hauled the car to have it blasted. Once blasted I returned the car to the body shop
- Metal work and any necessary fabrication- replacement of full 1/4 panels, trunk floor, rear crossmember.
- Body straightening, body panel alignment
- Apply Exterior B5 blue paint and interior B7 paint per fender tag.
- Black hood and lower body paint treatment
- Vinyl top and headliner installed.
- Final wet-sand, buff
- reinstallation of side glass, side markers and rear bumper.
- Prepare and paint the rear decklid finish panel and the tail light bezels (Potmetal)
Assembly will now commence over the next year.
Exterior paint is complete and vinyl top is installed. Final wet sanding and buffing will happen throughout the rest of the month.
Exterior paint is all that remains. Should see car back at the end of June. The B7 blue interior pieces are completed, dash, steering column, inside of upper doors and rear upper panels.
While the car is away at the bodyman’s place, I am building out engine and trans on k-frame and will lower car onto the assembly. I have not installed a drivetrain this way before.
April 2021 Body work update-paint work started. underside color/clear, most jam work complete
February 2021 Body work update- Metal work complete, blocking sanding underway.
December 2020- Body work continues offsite. The cold air has hit Minnesota in addition to being locked down due to a worldwide pandemic, and a tyrannic left wing liberal Governor/former social studies teacher, that must miss his authoritative hallway and lunch room duty, where he gets to tell people what to do.
I am working on cleaning and inspecting bolts, washers, clips and brackets that were “bagged and tagged”, as part of the disassembly process. I have an Eastwood tumbler that I have had for 10 years or so. I dug the unit out again and fired it up. This is what is meant when you hear the phrase, “nut and bolt restoration”. Literally each nut and bolt is restored.
November 2020- The dash assembly is a restoration project in and of itself. Each piece gets removed. All wiring will be replaced (safety issue).
Gauges and clusters- The woodgrain or lucite will get professional restored with the correct 1969 finish. There is a difference in the lucite grain and appearance from ’67’68’69 and ’70. All white lettering will be re-done along with the instrument cluster itself will get calibrated including the tachometer. The speedo in the ’69 GTX is a 150 MPH speedo. Cost here will be around $2,700 to get professionally restored.
October 2020- extensive metal work has started on the body, which is on a rotisserie. AMD sheet metal was about $3,500. The shop that is doing the work is making excellent progress.
August 13th, 2020- Dana 60 rear end rebuild- $2,991
The coveted Dana 60 rear end is back from being professionally rebuilt and properly set up. A new Dana locker and Moser axles along with green bearings were installed in the stock rear end housing. The professional set up in a rear end here is what the big deal is.
What I find interesting about Mopar using a Dana 60 in their muscle cars is that the Dana 60 was built for Mopar’s truck division. Mopar muscle car engines produced so much torque and horsepower that the Dana 60 truck rear end was adapted to go under the muscle cars. It was sure to not detonate. Yes it was big and heavy but remember unlike the heavy Chevys of the same era, Mopar did not put a full frame under their cars. Mopars were unibodies. This rebuilt rear end, using the latest technology, i.e. the new Dana locker green bearings are examples in utilizing today’s top technology on the insides but retaining the correct restoration look on the outside. Imagine having an adjustable wheel/axle bearing blow out after restoring your ride and sending ball bearings all over the highway. No thanks.
June 24th, 2020- Car is back from media and sand blasting. $1,700
An interesting discovery was made. Owner upgrade trailer-tow package? It appears the rear upper shock absorber bracket, directly above the rear end, has been replaced and upgraded with a very stout 3/8″ piece of channel angle iron. Moreover, note the 3/8″ flat strap that wraps around the frame rail. The car also had an extremely heavy duty trailer hitch that included vertical 10″ bolts that went through the frame rails up through the trunk floor and into the trunk. One can safely deduce that a previous owner used his “Gentlemen’s Muscle Car” for a bit of family vacationing pulling a big camper? Or, maybe used to pull his Mopar drag car to the track on a trailer? After all the car did have a factory truck rear end, Dana 60 with 3:54 gears, a big block 440 and a 4 speed. Stopping was a different concern as the car did not have power brakes and had all drum brakes
June 10, 2020-Reengaged on the project stripping parts off of the car and prepping for blasting.
Stainless and long lead pot metal items needing refinishing has been sent out. est $2,600
2016 the motor rebuild and dyno testing/ break-in is complete. All in cost for machine work, carb, correct Dist. , stock exhaust manifolds etc. $7,346.98
’69 HP Motor rebuilt and was on dyno in the fall of 2016. 374HP- stock rebuild on a virgin block. NOM to car- came out of ’69 Coronet R/T. WS23L9G148774
The end goal