|I bought this car in August of 2003 from an ad on AutoTrader.
It's originally a California car and I had it towed out here via a U-Haul
front wheel dolly. It had a 318 2bbl engine, 727 trans, and 2.94 gears
in an 8 3/4 housing. It has power steering but no power brakes.
The car shows less than 50k miles, but I can't tell if it's been around
once or not. I've been told that the paint wear indicates it's got over
100k, and that the pedal wear shows it's under. Tough call.
|The interior's in good condition except for the driver's seat which was worn
pretty much out and the rear seat which was sun-baked on the top.
The material was cloth/vinyl and I ordered a replacement from Legendary
Auto Interiors. They sent the wrong material and took almost 3 years to get
what they thought was the right material built. They were wrong again, so I
had them build some plain vinyl covers. Once again they were not correct as
they set the vinyl seats up for inserts which would go right behind your
shoulder blades on each seat and never bothered to add 2 and 2 to realize
these were not part of the cloth/vinyl option. I of course didn't have any and
wasn't about to put out 320 bucks for a set of 4. Time had run out so I just
had them installed as-is to showcase Legendary's skill and lack of concern,
reminding me that some companies can get by even when they don't care.
|The 360 had been sitting from 2000 to 2003, and while it ran well in the Belvedere I
decided the gearing and converter should let the motor handle a single plane
intake. As long as the intake was coming off, might as well change cams, right?
So the MP .450/.455 cam and Weiand Action Plus intake (gasket matched) came off
and an MP .484/.484/114deg went in while a MP M1 single plane intake went on.
The motor ate the #3 intake lobe. To my surprise, when I called "Ed" at the MP help
line, Chrysler agreed to take it back and send a replacement. To my further
surprise, the motor ate the same lobe so I figured something had gone wrong with
that lifter bore. Continuing the surprise, Chrysler agreed to take that cam back but
this time I asked for the older .484/.484/108deg as a replacement. At the same time,
I ordered a Comp Cams Purple Plus, which is a grind on their 280deg series and
meant to mimic the original Purple Shaft .474 cam with a bit more duration on the
This cam ran just fine, but then one of the "J" heads leaked coolant in the intake
port. These had been rebuilt using 2.08" intake valves and the backcut was
apparently a bit close although it had held on for over 15k miles. To replace those,
I pulled some '89 or '90 "308" heads from a van and sent them off to Muscle Motors
for their basic porting job. With those heads back on the motor, I finally made it
back to the track. The car ran within 1mph and 1 tenth of a second of the motor in
its J-head, .450/.455, Action Plus mode. And I got pretty good at changing cams.
Also, after the second cam eating, I pulled the pan and replaced the crank and cam
bearings since I suspected contamination. The crank went in for polishing and
only one of the main bearings was marked, not as bad as I'd feared.
Last year I installed an aluminum driveshaft loop, bought from a Nebraska
company who sells on eBay. Also, towards the end of the summer I swapped out
the 941-cased 3.91's for a 742-cased set of 3.23's. Both are Sure-Grip, now I know
that the 3.23's are operational and a little tall for the motor in this car. Last month I
picked up a used 440 and this spring will work to get it up and running in the car
before taking it back out for hot rodding.
One other major addition was a Hurst Quarter Stick shifter. The column lever was
pretty hard to keep from overshifting into drive at the track although the governor
would generally keep the car in 2nd while the lever was put back in that gear. On
the 1/8th mile the car didn't use 3rd until after the finish line. The transmission had
to be lowered to clear worming of the shifter cable through the tunnel, but
otherwise the shifter went in pretty easily. Only other issue is the fact that 2 of the
bolts wind up hidden in a body cross-member where you can't get a nut/washer on
them. Over time they may loosen their grip on the floor.
|The first mechanical alteration was to install 3.91 gears and some SuperStock
springs using front spring mount extensions. Next up was the 360 I've owned
since 1989, first in a '67 Barracuda then in a '69 A100 LWB van. The motor was
rebuilt in 1992 and I raced it a little on 1/4 mile tracks in the Barracuda with those
3.91's, a stock converter in a 999 transmission, 340 A-body manifolds and dual
exhaust. Best time with slicks, and shifting at 5800rpm, was a 13.96 at 98mph.
The 360 went in using TTI headers (didn't need the torque shaft replacement for
my car) and the transmission got a shift kit. A TCI Streetfighter converter is
workable for street driving, though a little on the loose side. An MSD 6AL ignition
has been with the motor since '93 after two Jacobs rev limiters failed, and is
chipped for a 6k limit. A high-speed governor in the 727 gives 5800rpm shifts, and
a transmission cooler has been part of each vehicle with the 360. Best time at
MidAmericaMotorplex was 8.80 in the 1/8th mile, best speed 78mph.