66-67 Dodge Charger Source Guide

Restoration Advice

What is your main objective?   Points winning restoration, or a driver?   First thing to do is to go to the nearest bargain store and pick up some zipper lock sandwich bags, disposeable bowls with lids, several rolls of masking tape, permanent markers, couple of pens, a note book, and a camera of some sort.   With all this ready start taking things off, taking a pic, marking the piece(s), and noting it in the note book.

One thing that would help the speed of a resto is the depth of one's bank book.  If it's like mine you can dig through to the other side with a plastic spoon with one swoop.  We all know that parts are expensive and scarce for these Chargers. I have had good,bad,hard,unbearable,ecstatic,and disapointing times during my 13 year term of caring for this car.  And I wouldn't trade any of it for the world!  It's a fun, rewarding hobby if you let it, and you won't find a better group of people than right here!



Built and sold by:
John Paseman
Take a lot of pictures and video before you do anything. I have taken many parts apart and then forgotten how they go back together (Most folks on the list will tell you that!!) I buy plastic zip-lock type bags in quantity and some of those indelible markers in various colors. As I take parts off, I drop them and the screws into a back, write on the outside what it is, zip it and put it in a box (or one of those plastic bins).
Years from now when you start putting things back together you will wish you had more pictures, so take more now. I took over 100 of my 1970 Coronet R/T Convertible survivor with 32K miles and I didn't even take that apart!! Imagine how many it would have been to restore it!
If you are doing a full-on rotisserie resto: I would take the car apart in subassemblies like the factory assembled it - just in reverse. Interior, then the nose (bumpers, sheetmetal, wiring), then the rear stuff (decklid, bumper etc.) all the body trim, glass, doors, then drop the engine/trans K-frame and finally the rear and gas tank. The order may vary a bit - but you get the idea.
The disassembly goes much faster than the re-assembly and remember - you will not remember how stuff goes back together - so make drawings and take a lot of pictures. John Paseman
After a year of the removed parts and you will have oodles of removed parts, screws, bolts, springs, and if each piece is not labeled where you can understand where it goes back they will all look the same a year from now. Label them in the zip loc bags where you can understand where they go a year from now or beyond depending on how much money you have will speed or slow things down.

Get yourself a shop manual for the 66 as you will need it. Go to cruz in's and see if you can find a good body man if you intend on getting someone to do your body work and same for the MOPAR aspect of the restoration. A good Mopar mechanic is hard to find that understands these old cars and transmissions and sure grip rear ends and front end work. Use the Source Guide that we have put together. A wealth of information there. Where are you going to get your peak moldings re- anodized to look like chrome again? All sorts of where's and how's covered in the Source Guide. Clock? Guages? Headlights? you name it. It is there. If it ain't there ask for it by email. Most of us have already been there and are here to help you, now that we done had our turn in the head and hiney scratching world of restoring our fastback.

Remember now, removing the part is easy. Putting it back together is the hard part. Now where did I git this thing and what are all of these screws for? And, DON'T THROW ANYTHING AWAY, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING UNTIL THE JOB IS FINISHED, and then hang onto it a little bit longer. Even the weather stripping rubber. Keep it as intact as you can so that you can get a hint as to how the new stuff goes back on. The old stuff leaves tracks of how it was mounted. Your gonna love replacing the rear deck carpeting. You have to strip out everything in the interior to get that job done, and I mean EVERYYHING. We'll help you when you get to that point.

Don Dodson

Painting Advice

Posted by Gordon Albrecht on 07/26/05

Let the opinions fly! Take EVERYTHING off the car. Buy new rubber, clips, etc that are available (John P. has a lot), and clean up the rest of the parts. Have front and back windows removed by a professional who really really knows these specific cars (you will need new clips and seals). Wait as long as you can before having the windows, or anything, put back on the car. Ideal wait time is 30 days, and no less than a week.

Always buy the best paint you can. Pay $600+ for the paint. The only paint job that can be touched up forever cleanly is a single stage solid color. That means one solid color with no clear coat. This is my favorite for a daily driver because you can fill scratches and chips and color sand them to a perfect blend. Metalic is nearly impossible to repair later, and a clear coat makes chip fixing stick out. Remember to get a small can of paint with a separate can of hardener from the painter for touch up. Unless you are doing a frame off restoration (think $40k and 2 years) stick to the original color. I will not buy a car that has had the color changed.

If you strip the car to bare metal, you will have a huge job applying and sanding filler to get a smooth surface again (think 15k). Just sand the old paint down to a smooth surface. The original paint is often a better base, and stuck on better, than any new primer over bare metal would be. Now you are in the $3 to $8k range. Find a high volume paint shop that has a person who specializes in bigger restoration jobs. In So Cal we have a couple One Day Paint shops that have this. Their regular cheap job is $600 and will look terrible in 5 years, but their restoration runs $3 to $5k and beats anything I've seen for twice the price.

Posted by Greg Rose on 07/26/05

Well, having just "finished" mine I can offer this:

* I had the car media blasted to metal - good part is I know what I've got and it is fixed right. Down side - I'll be vacuuming plastic media grit forever (it's not real bad - just a little bit now and then but with a black interior it shows. Looks like I spilled a little salt now and then,

* I went base coat / clear coat. Can't beat the look and durability. All the other issues Gordon mentioned are true. It's a fresh paint job on mine, so I'll have a better opinion in a couple years. It's black, so matching it is as simple as possible.

* I left the glass in until the painting started (during body work). Then I only had the front glass removed and replaced. Seemed like to big a risk to take that back glass out - it doesn't leak so why mess with it? Front glass was in bad shape so I had it replaced (that gasket is EXPENSIVE!)

* I did replace the front trim clips as well

* Definately remove all trim.

* I did a color change for 2 reasons. First, there were 3 coats, the original yellow, red, and blue. None were done very well (red was done best). I wanted to correct that. Second, I like black on our cars. It really makes the chrome and brite trim pop.

* Best way to find a good shop is word of mouth and references. You must check it out.