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Got A '69 Valiant (4dr.) Signet!

Discussion in 'A Body: Duster, Valiant, Dart, etc' started by Volunteer, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    But, HEY! --- it IS great winter transportation, as long as it doesn't snow and the roads stay dry.
    Isn't getting from point A to point B what it's all about? :unsure:
    So I let my brother use the Ramcharger 'cause where he lives/works 125 miles north, they have winter oct. to apr.
    I also have use of a '77 Power Wagon (on propane) but those who know me around here also know that if the roads are dry I'm on my mountain bike and even Mopars can 'take a back seat'. B)
     
  2. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    Good going.

    Same deal here with the '72. It's rusty but it gets me there.

    Mine does turn heads - when they can only see the passenger side. :)
     
  3. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Well, so far the Little BLUE FLASH is earning its' keep; had to take the DieHard out of it to replace the Energizer in the PowerWagon. :rolleyes:
    I'll give the 'newbie' a good going over; safety check, etc.
    One problem I noticed bringing it home last night. Low beams are showing massive discharge on the ammeter and a couple seconds later, the needle bounces around and other panel lites flicker. Something's causing a 'short' to ground somewhere. The (floor-mounted) dimmer switch is good so should I start looking at the headlite switch itself? :unsure:
     
  4. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    I'd certainly look the headlight switch over. Mine was busted in the dash-light dimmer part (I did a little, umm, fixing, got it to work). Otherwise - maybe frayed insulation somewhere?

    So, what's in there? 170? 225? A sneak 340? :)
     
  5. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    hey, didn't the Bengals win on sunday? and look pretty good doing it? So, what are game tickets going for these days? :huh:
    I haven't checked over the Signet (Cygnet?) heh, yet as got it from a buddy, who got it for $200. a few months ago. It was given up for salvage but there were good papers. Basically we saved $14. (tax) by filling out a 'gift letter' form but it ended up costing $311. for 5 months insurance; no collision. :blink: The reg. shows the weight as 1154kg., which is slightly under 2550lbs!
    The car spent much of it's time in the Victoria area where winters are almost non-existant. (right, Sully?) It does have the usual bad lower quarters, front fenders and a few nasty dents but floors, frame and trunk are solid. Other than the HL switch, everything works. The (225) has had recent headwork, rad, hoses, etc. as well as tranny rebuild and brakes. It rides and handles really well; in spite of manual stearing. Also, new (13") 'winter type' tires all around and good exhaust. I may try to 'buff it up' a bit and touch up the B7 blue but it's no big deal. :p We all have a friend or two who has a really ugly dog, right? (you know, the kind of face only a mother could love.) :rolleyes:
     
  6. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    That description looks pretty nice actually, maybe a little better overall than mine.

    The '72 doesn't have any dents but I had to do some quick and dirty body work on the driver side just to keep stuff from falling off :) Nothing's been rebuilt; the rad is due for replacement (a back-flush only partly opened it up). That ol' /6 just purrs along though.

    Hope you enjoy yours! They ARE decent, dependable little cars, ain't they?

    I used to live in northern Ont - Wahnapitae, near Sudz. I used to WISH I was in Victoria! Cincinnasty is right tropical in comparison too. They use more salt though. People here just cannot handle winter. As a consequence, just about every car around here tends to rot pretty badly on the driver side as the salty slush all gets pushed to the middle of the road.

    Oh, aye, the Bungles have filled their win quota for the year...
     
  7. noguice

    noguice Member

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    If you're worried about a 4dr turning heads, trust me, i still get plenty of compliments on mine, even now with the 7 year old paint getting chalky on top, and chipped all around.
    here in alabama, all you see for the usual college crowd, are mustangs, camaros, civics, and whatever suv is en vouge, so something like an A-body is a nice change to the monotony, 2dr or 4dr. keep it clean, and people will appreciate it. don't do like one guy i knew wanted to do to his 76 swinger, and try and make it look like an import tuner.

    i'm wanting to get tooled up for doing some limited production body parts for my 75 to give it a bit of a retro/shelby flare. check out my cardomain page and you'll see the drawing. i don't know what your background is, but if you wanted to try something similar, i think a 69 would make a great "sport sedan".
    [​IMG]
     
  8. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    I get lots of questions about the '72. It's just what you said - there's nothing else like it on the road around here. The Polara gets the occasional look too but the Val is instantly recognisable, hey lookit that! :)
     
  9. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly what you mean. Just about anything over 30 years old is bound to attract attention or at least a second glance. :p
    I had mine parked on the street since Sat morning and well after dark, about 9pm., I went out to install the steering lock. This particular one hooks under the brake pedal bracket (just behind the pad) and you pull up and hook the other end over the steering wheel rim. This way the brake cannot be applied or the wheel turned. Sure it's defeatable but that's not the point here. Anyway, the car stayed out there all night and all Sunday until I went to drive it at 7pm. Well, there was absolutely no sign of voltage in the battery. :eek: I pulled the Energizer out, checked it and it showed 1.2v. After putting the trickle charger on it I grabbed the Die-hard Silver and put it in. Then when touching the neg. clamp to the post, there was enough of a spark to tell me something was drawing current. I looked inside and noticed the dome light on. I couldn't remember rotating the headlite switch so I assumed that was it and 'fired her up' and drove away. I was at a friend's place one hour later when his wife mentioned that my tail lites were on. I did a little 'math' in my head and said "uh, oh. I bet it's the brake lites.
    Yup. By hooking the locking bar under the pedal, it pulled upward enough to bend the lever which holds the (brake lite) switch. So I was parked all saturday nite to sunday morning with brake lites on and I never noticed. :blink: Then I drove 4 miles to my buddy's in the evening with brake lites on the whole time.
    D'OH!
     
  10. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    Heh. When I started driving, 20 years ago, early-mid 70s cars were considered beaters - and Valiants, Dusters, and Darts were everywhere. I suppose I kept the mindset. So I'm continually surprised how they get noticed now :)

    My glovebox didn't shut properly. I kept wondering why the battery would charge hard for so long after start-up. I had other, more pressing matters right then - rad flush, keep-stuff-from-falling-off body work, fuel tank, U joints. Finally I noticed about two weeks after I brought the car home that, uh, the little light in there was staying on...

    It's surprising how much a little bulb or two can draw down that battery.
     
  11. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Uh, huh. So I spent a little time doing some 'wet sanding' to get most of the (patches of) B5 blue off the original B7. Tomorrow I do a little touch-up and maybe patch a hole above the left headlite. :huh:
    And, speaking of headlites, I figured it was about time I looked into the low beam problem. I unplugged the harness at the firewall, pulled the switch and there was no discharge on the ammeter. Then I unplugged both head lites, shoved the harness back in and pulled the switch. This time the full discharge returned. I pretty much knew there had to be a 'short to ground' somewhere along the wires (between the firewall and headlite connectors). I followed them as far as the right side of the rad support and noticed that a portion of the (taped wires) was caught behind the big washer/bolt that attaches one of the horns. I don't know when the horn was replaced but when I backed off the bolt and 'freed' the wiring, I could see the exposed wire in the purple insulation.
    I pulled the switch and there was NO discharge. ;) So I retaped the damaged wire, installed the headlites and went for a nice little drive to spray off the sanded blue paint residue. Life is good.
     
  12. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's been almost 5 days and today I went on a 260 mile 'round trip' that took me from 1100ft. to almost 4000 and then back on a different highway. It was dry when I left and then went through scattered flurries and sections with lots of sand on the road. I used just over 5 (CDN) gals. which gave me 25.4 mpg.
    On the way back, several hours later, it was just getting dark. There's a 40 mile stretch that's between 3800 and 4000' and it snowed heavily but was pretty much melting as it hit the pavement. Like the other cars, I'm cruising between 65 and 70 with hardly any pedal (or rattles). I used 4 1/2 gals. which gave me 28.7mpg.
    It did 'ping' up a few hills when I was below about 2500 ft. and then stopped as the air got a little leaner. I think it was set at about +8degrees but so far I haven't touched the plugs or points.
    I won't hesitate to take this little blue 'beastie' on a planned 500 mile round trip to Vancouver on Nov. 29. But I will re-install the big Die-Hard first and perhaps take a spare coil and ballast with me. :p Life is still good.
     
  13. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    Nice!

    Passed the road-trip test - you got a good 'un all right :)
     
  14. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    You guys who posted a reply on the 'B-E' forum regarding the correct valve-lash on a 318 poly weren't kidding about the potential s-m-o-o-t-h-n-e-s-s of the slant six. For a while there, I thought mine had been 'up-graded' to hydraulics. :eek: But I'll still check the plugs, wires, points and timing before any more 'road-trips'.
    Oh yeh, I DID get a couple (small but noticable) rock chips yesterday on an otherwise perfect windshield, and it's only november. :angry:
     
  15. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm back safe and sound a day late but overall on a scale of 1-10, the Signet performed at a solid 9. B)
    This is in spite of the alternator failing on the way back (after 90 of the total 280 miles). After that, it ran continuously for 3-1/2 hours; the first 50 miles of which I had to use at least the 'parking lites' and sometimes the headlites as there are 7 highway tunnels on the Fraser Canyon section of the Trans Canada highway. (a lovely drive by the way). It was drizzly and foggy also so the wipers and washer got a good work-out; including 70 miles on just battery power.
    The last 120 miles was pretty much sunny and dry. We kept up an average of between 65 and 70 (mph) and frequently passed cars and trucks on the 3 and 4 lane stretches. Then on one section, after passing a McDonalds truck, right behind us was an empty (30-wheeler) flat-bed. I was doing 75 and he was still gaining so I went up to 83. (I kinda felt like I was Dennis Weaver in that 30 year old movie called DUAL. :ph34r: So, he dropped back slightly and since there was no other traffic I decided to let off the gas instead of waiting for the next 'passing lane'. Well, he zipped by and kept his speed up. I dropped back to 70 and just enjoyed the scenery. It's a 62mph. (100km/hr.) limit by the way.
    I did stop a couple times (about one and two hours later) where I popped the hood and checked the battery voltage, with engine running, and it never indicated below 12.0. Even when we got home it still showed 12v. and soon after that, I went and got gas and also stopped at 2 other places. In all I started the car 5 times and it still cranked and fired-up quickly. I had the Diehard with me (on the trip) but never touched it. There was one thing I could have done (after the charging system failed). When I tested the battery at 12v., the power at the coil was 8.8v. It would have been possible to by-pass the ballast resistor completely but for the last 3.5 hours of running, the engine never 'skipped a beat' so I just left it alone.
    When I checked the oil after arriving in Van., it never went down (from when we left). I'll check it again on Friday to see if it went down at all over the (total) 580 mile trip.
    Other than a little 'wind noise' on the driver's side and bad wiper blades I have absolutely no complaints. She used 22 gallons; (27.5 US) by the way.
     
  16. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    A bit over 20 mi/USgal, not bad. The '72 does 15-16 locally, probably on account of the 3.23:1 rear (which I'll keep - it adds some git! to it, worth the fuel usage).

    I've had alternators go bad on three (Duster, Dart, Polara), each within a couple of months of getting the car. I consider it one of Chrysler's few weak spots. I'm waiting for the one in the Val to go, it hasn't yet.
     
  17. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Time to put some more 'life' into this thread.
    As I posted on my other (Signet) topic, I had a really good trip on Christmas but the weather was kind of a non-issue. The outside temp never went much below freezing so once I drove for a half hour it got to the point that it was too warm inside the car. Usually I just move the 'heat' lever back a bit but sometimes I like to open the floor vent to give a good blast of outside air.
    This is not a problem. What IS a bit of concern is that when I first start the car and wait for the heat to build, it takes quite a while to get some warm air from the system and it never really gets as hot as I expect it should. The thermostat is a new 195-degree and the guage goes up to just about the middle and stays put. I felt the hoses to and from the (heater) core and the supply hose is definitely hot and the return is only warm. To me this indicates that the inside of the core itself is in good shape but there may be junk on the outside and/or there is (cold) outside air that is 'by-passing' the core and 'blending' with the heated portion. Any ideas?
     
  18. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    I dunno but mine does much the same (with std 180 deg thermostat; the temp gauge rises to about 1/3). I noticed during an exceptionally cold morning last week. The heat in this thing is definitely weak. I'll investigate if there's a junk-in-intake situation this weekend. Also have to fix the vent door - its handle came off a couple of days ago, I have to kick it closed every now and then.

    Nice thing with mine this morning. Jump in, turn the key, no starter. Jump solenoid terminal on starter, action. Wiggle wires and plugs, still no key start. As I was running late, I used the screwdriver again and took off. Stopped at the store. Jumped back in, turned key, started. I dunno. More to mess with. I guess I'll pull all the electrical plugs one by one and clean 'em out.

    I think it knows I intend an oil change this weekend so it's throwing me other stuff to look at.
     
  19. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    These 'creatures' DO have a bit of a personality, don't they?
    I think Ialso mentioned about the one minute 'phantom' discharge situation? Now 120 miles and 4 days later it's still 'good to go'. Maybe the alternator was trying to tell me to dim the lights because there's snow on the ground AND a full moon. :lol:

    In your case, check the voltage at the yellow? wire that brings power from the (key-start) to the relay switch. Also, this (relay) can only energize in 'start' IF the tranny switch is grounding properly in N or P. But, if you have a column-shift (I should know this) there may be a neutral start switch attached to the column. If the tranny switch has 3 pins on it, the center one is for the start/ground but if it has two 'blades' then both are for the backup lights and the 'ground' is in the column.
    Also check the 'bulkhead' connectors and spray WD or similar in all 3 of them. ;)
     
  20. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    If it quits again I'll check all those. Intermittents drive me up the wall. I did notice the start relay is quite rusty and the wires around it filthy; it's my first suspect. Will clean the plugs and sockets on general principles no matter what.

    I'll post results of the junk-in-heater-intake investigation. ccrcin have tomorrow off so that's Plymouth Day for me :)

    --- update ---

    Well, I wimped out on the heater intake when I figured out that I'd have to unbolt the blower. It was raining and I was wet and cold from lying in a puddle changing the oil. It'll be raining around here for the foreseeable future too, but it'll be warm too so I won't need full heat anyway :) Vent door - fixed. Wiring - passed on, it's working for now, I'll be forced to mess with it sooner or later but all that water comin' down out the sky, you know. I also finally found a 1004 bulb for the trunk light. The original finally burned out a few weeks ago. Its lead contacts were dimpled and mushroomed from 33 years of spring pressure. I thought that was kind of neat. Finally, the tailpipe had rotted and broke, I replaced that with a nice tip like I put on the Dodge.

    [​IMG]

    That's the eBay photo up there, taken in August. It doesn't look much different now except there's a bit of primer here and there, and it ain't surrounded by all that nice green...
     

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