Dave writes: I have been working on a 1964 Plymouth Belvedere with my 17 year old daughter since March 2009.
We bought the Plymouth in Florida when we were down there for her spring break and towed it home to Wisconsin.
|The Mopar is a 318 Poly, push button automatic.|
|We put new rims and tires on the Belvedere since the car needed those early on: we put 15 inch Mopar cop steelies on the rear and 15 inch Torque Thrusts on the front. (I dont have a picture of the Plymouth with the new front rims yet.) So far weve done exhaust work, rebuilt the front brakes, serviced the transmission, and put a different carb on.|
We need to do the rear brakes and tune it up (and do a bunch of little things) before we can drive the Plymouth safely. The wheel cylinders were all gunked up on the front, so we put new ones on. The rears are likely even worse as I couldnt even get any fluid out of the bleeders back there!
We have taken the Mopar on a couple of short test drives, though. The last one ended up with us pulling into the driveway and then not being able to get it out of neutral. All of the buttons feel normal when trying to shift it, but it just stays in neutral.
When the button miscue happened my first thought was the tranny puked, but I then realized it had been shifting great while we were driving it and there were no signs of trouble leading up to it not moving at all. So the more I thought about it, the more I figure its hopefully a shift mechanism issue. (Before I serviced the tranny, I did have a time where the car would barely move in gear but it was clearly shifting. I dropped the pan and drained the torque converter. The bottom of the pan looked good and the fluid looked good. But the filter was completely plugged with slimy sludge. A new filter and new fluid went in, and it shifted like a new 727 after that! That was very satisfying. I had never seen a tranny filter look like that before. But the car sat for a good 10 years or more before we bought it, so it was understandable.)
The rear brakes are the next project after the tranny shifting problem.
Actually, Im quite pleased at how well the Belvedere starts and runs after all that time the car and I havent even tuned it up yet.
Its been a lot of fun working on the Plymouth together, and a real joy for me to have an old Mopar again. My very first car (in HS) was a 70 GTX with a 440 6bbl, 4-speed. While I love all old Mopes, as Ive gotten older Ive really gotten into the cars of the Super Stock heyday the 62-65 cars.
The Mopar looks ok in pics, but it has terrible body work. My plan is to work on it, drive it, and have fun with it while my daughter is still around. Then after she goes off to college, maybe redo the body and paint it back to the original color money permitting!
Some day Id like to put a 426 wedge or Hemi in the Belvedere.
Anyway, thanks for having a cool Web site thats so helpful!
|Here is a photo the Plymouth as it looks today. I intend to do a writeup on the rearend swap I did.|
July 1, 2009; July 17, 2009; November 15, 2012