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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all. I just moved to a rural area and found a 1970 duster. I am well versed on this era Charger but I am lost with anything else. The car is sitting in the weeds but not sank in the ground. The owner was outside so I stopped. He claims to be the original owner and bought it about 20 miles away from the dealer. He says the car is a 340 car and came with a 3 speed. He later changed the 3 speed for a 4 speed. The car is blue with a white vinyl top. Only rust I saw on my walk around was in the rockers at the rear of the doors on both sides. He claims it all original except one repaint of the original color and the tranny. What do I look for to verify it’s a 340 and not a 318 and is there anything else I need to look for? It’s a bench seat car and the interior is still nice. No bubbles under the vinyl top. The car looks good but I just did a quick walk around. I wanted to be courteous because the owner is elderly and I wanted to be respectful to him. Sporting Cragers and white letter tired from the 80’s. What do I look for, what are the weak spots of this car for rust, and a wild guess on value if you have one. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and thank you in advance for any replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I did not raise the hood on the car, again taking it easy on the owner and being respectful. I’m sure there is quite a bit of emotional attachment to it, just don’t want to pay for that part. It looks like you could drive it out of its nest. He said it was last stated a few months ago. Trying to give you all the info I received.
 

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The fifth digit of the VIN would be H for a 340 Engine, G for a 318

Thanks
Randy
 

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Welcome to Allpar. By 1970, all engines may have been blue. Hi-Po used to have orange paint. The engine # would be the sure way to identify it.
Rust may or may not be much worse underneath. The rear torsion bar mounts and unibody floor structure need to be looked at.
See p. INF-8 to decode the engine #:
1970 & 1971 Mopar Parts Book
 

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Yeah, total verification would have to be from the casting numbers on the side of the block. You will see 340- or 318- cast into the side of the block, about one inch tall numbers.
 

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Should also have an 8-3/4 rear, 6-leaf leaf spings and larger diameter torsion bars.
 

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A 340 3 speed would be a pretty rare combination.
 

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We had an aggressive dealer who ordered in several 340 3 speeds and 383 B body 383 3 speeds.

These were apparent loss leaders to move performance cars at bargain prices.

Same Dealer also managed runs of 1971-72 340 Dart Swingers, cars not normally available.

I had a 1972 Dart Swinger Special, 340, 3 speed back in the day before I knew it was an oddity.

Special meant a lower trim line with rubber floor mat instead of carpeting.

Thanks
Randy

https://www.swinger340specials.ca/


Canada's Well Kept Secret: The 1971 & 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 Special - Mopar Connection Magazine | A comprehensive daily resource for Mopar enthusiast news, features and the latest Mopar tech (at https://moparconnectionmagazine.com/canadas-well-kept-secret-the-1971-1972-dodge-dart-swinger-340-special/ )
 

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The 3 speed saved a little money up front and sometimes saved money on insurance as 4 speeds sometimes carried a performance surcharge.
 
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The 3 speed saved a little money up front and sometimes saved money on insurance as 4 speeds sometimes carried a performance surcharge.
A mutual FB friend of ours, John G, he has a 1971 Charger with the 383-4V and, 3 spd on the floor.
 

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Here's what Nada says about values:

1970 Plymouth Duster 2 Door Coupe (340) Prices, Values & Duster 2 Door Coupe (340) Price Specs (at https://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/1970/Plymouth/Duster/2-Door-Coupe-340/Values )

Note that they add 20% for a 340. Real world might be higher, depending on condition. Did the owner mention a price?

Look underneath from all angles for any rust, and any potential suspension problems.

You might also take off the gas cap and smell whether the gas has been there for years.
 

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What, no photos???

Will need some to see if its a $500., 5K or 15K car as it sits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No pictures yet. I haven’t been able to catch the guy home. Has a lot of health issues as well. I didn’t take pictures because I didn’t want to appear over interested in the car. I am going to try to contact him the end of the week, I’ll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I still haven’t heard from the owner so I am going back there Sunday. So I need to look for an H in the vin and 340 cast in the side of the block. Where would I find a number on the block that would tie the engine to the vin? It’s not that I don’t trust the original owner, I don’t trust anyone when it comes to cars. I got my Christmas bonus so I want to try to get this thing before the wife gets home from Thanksgiving with her parents up north. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission right? Even if it’s a Frankenstein with the condition it is in if it would start, move, and stop it has to be worth 5k even if the floors are garbage. Am I wrong? Interior is nice, body is nice except for what I mentioned above. Surprised it isn’t rusted under the vinyl top. Help me on the vin on the motor part and any other tips will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Unless you can weld $5k is a lot if the floors are garbage.
 

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I still haven’t heard from the owner so I am going back there Sunday. So I need to look for an H in the vin and 340 cast in the side of the block. Where would I find a number on the block that would tie the engine to the vin? It’s not that I don’t trust the original owner, I don’t trust anyone when it comes to cars. I got my Christmas bonus so I want to try to get this thing before the wife gets home from Thanksgiving with her parents up north. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission right? Even if it’s a Frankenstein with the condition it is in if it would start, move, and stop it has to be worth 5k even if the floors are garbage. Am I wrong? Interior is nice, body is nice except for what I mentioned above. Surprised it isn’t rusted under the vinyl top. Help me on the vin on the motor part and any other tips will be greatly appreciated.
The VIN would be stamped on the, passenger side, above the oil pan.
The transmission should also have a pad on the passenger side with the VIN stamped into it.
Some years it is the whole VIN in these locations, other years it's the last part of the VIN, I don't know which is correct fot 1970. Either way it should match the car if original.
 

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Over at YearOne they used to have a couple pages of date code, VIN, and identifying information for engines and transmissions with good pictures. Might be worth it to look at them. I'm sure there are other places and sites, this one I have looked at and it was knowledgeable and clear.
 
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