February 16, 2016

Black Beauty B-body Mopar: 1970 Charger R/T 440 6 Pack Restoration

Her story begins here. She arrived for her beauty shop appointment in October of 2014

1970 Mopar Charger
1970 Charger arrived at our shop
This project has been much anticipated all summer and is about to receive

a major transformation. 318 to 440 6-pack. Column shift to floor shift. Cargo seat to original R/T style interior. 
1970 Charger grill
1970 Charger arrived at our shop
The seat: 
With a little ingenuity, this car became a "driver". After a short road trip across the Midwest to buy the car, the owner hauled it back to his property. On first glance it was obvious that there were a few roadblocks to overcome before being able to drive this Mopar, but determination and little elbow grease can accomplish many great things. If you're going to drive, you need to be able to stop! He got the brakes working enough to trust them (most of the time) and then replaced a few parts under the hood and tuned the carb to get it running. Next he installed a new battery and aired up the leaky tire. Then came the seat. Removed from a conversion van, the seat was installed with custom brackets in the floor. He assured us, and he kept his promise, that none of the floorboards were harmed in the installation of the seat. Being a "double", it provided just enough room for 2 people on evening drives. 

The owner enjoyed this Charger right up to the moment he left it with us at our shop for her beauty shop appointment. Over the summer months, the short drives around his property (on back country roads) provided some interesting stories. He learned just how long the 5 gallons of gas in the can would last him, and how to wiggle the driver door so it closed all the way. The car even had a custom option with a push button start installed under the dash and they learned not to go far without their "starting gas" in tow. We are excited to give him back a car that will be not only reliable and safe but also beautiful and incredibly fun to drive.

custom seat for 1970 Charger
1970 Charger arrived with a custom seat! 
Future powerhouse: 
This engine arrived with the car, already re-built and ready for a 6-pack. We had the existing 318 removed by the end of day one. This Charger will be hard to recognize very soon. 

Mopar 440 6 Pack charger
Future 440-6 Mopar

We often find interesting things when stripping cars. This time around was no exception. 

The paint color appears to have been orange originally, although there are some areas of very dark blue combined with the flat black that covers most of the car. This car was hiding some interesting trinkets within the cowl area(see photo below), as well as a few horribly incorrect body repairs. A combination of fiberglass, lots of mud and screen to reinforce the mud was hidden in parts of the quarters and fenders. 

The existing 318 was removed from the car. Stripping the body continues in preparation for placement on the rotisserie
Stripping Mopar Paint
Wear protective gear for
manual stripping
1970 Charger Fender repair
Someone tried to fix this fender...
This is NOT how you repair sheet metal.

With the car on the rotisserie, it was sent out to our blasting shed and the paint was removed from the majority of the sheet metal. We know we will be replacing both quarters and the roof with fresh metal, so we did not waste any man hours removing paint where it didn't need to be removed. Overall the body looks about as we anticipated with only one or two areas with hidden surprises in need of repair. 
Paint removed from 1970 Charger Mopar
Blasting complete: any un-blasted areas will be replaced with new metal

1970 Charger sandblasted
Blasting complete: any un-blasted areas will be replaced with new metal
Metal work: 
We are moving forward to surgery! 

Fresh sheet metal will be fitted, fitted again, measured and then finally welded in place. Some parts are not available in aftermarket stamped metal(especially stamped metal that will fit correctly), so we will be making our own patches in some places, along with installing some used OEM panels from donor cars.  

Charger floor pan replacement
Original floor pan and rear cross rail are removed

1970 Charger sheet metal fit
New, full floor pan, rear cross rail and rear valance are "mocked" into place
They are held secure via screws and clamps to ensure proper fit, spacing, and alignment
before being welded.

1970 charger sheet metal
Outer wheel housing and trunk extensions were also replaced. The right side is ready for
the new wheel house to be placed, then the quarter panel.

Left quarter is being fitted and "mocked up".
Some of the most critical steps are taking place in the shop at this moment. 

Each body panel must align properly with the ones next to it. Ensuring proper placement, spacing, weld placement and angles is essential to a #1 restoration and the future functionality of the car. We have a few tricks to accomplish this but if we told you, we'd have to kill you.

The 440-6 pack mocked up. The block will be prepped and re-painted in a high gloss Chrysler orange

Trim inspection and selection. This car arrived with some trim, but not all of it. We needed to take a complete inventory and determine what to re-plate or polish, and what parts to purchase aftermarket where available. We ended up with 1 complete set of trim and a few extra pieces to re-sell at a later date. We'll be using the trim during panel fit and alignment to check for mount location and proper fit before we weld the panels in place. 

Inspection of the doors reveals a few extra trouble areas, including holes for a mirror that someone installed nowhere near the correct location.

1970 Charger quarter panel outer skin is being prepped for fit and installation
1970 Charger metal replacement continues with the tail panel being welded in place and 

The quarter panel replacement is complete. Now we have removed the roof skin and are prepping the new panel for fit and installation

1970 Charger roof skin has been fitted and is spot welded into place

The floor pans are removed and the structure was sandblasted and prepped for rustproofing. A few repairs were required to the structure, then the floor pans will be fitted and welded in place
Floor pans welded in place and the interior of the body is scuffed and prepped for epoxy primer

Metal work continues on the body with panels shaped by hand for smaller areas.

Steve, welding a replacement panel in place

Small replacement panel spot welded

The Charger body is still on the rotisserie, which allows us easy access to prep the bottom of the car's body for epoxy primer and seam sealer. We did a lot of metal work, and now we have to protect that metal for decades of enjoyment.

The bottom of the Charger body after epoxy and spray on seam sealer(black seam sealer) is applied to the bottom of the car. 

Seam Sealer is applied in the engine bay

Seam sealer is also applied to the interior panels

Plum Crazy Purple, the most infamous of the Mopar colors, was applied to the bottom of the body, the interior of the car, trunk area and engine bay

Plum Crazy Purple, the most infamous of the Mopar colors, was applied to the bottom of the body, the interior of the car, trunk area and engine bay

Plum Crazy Purple, the most infamous of the Mopar colors, was applied to the bottom of the body, the interior of the car, trunk area and engine bay
We will be adding the R/T door scoops to these doors. Holes are drilled in the proper location and now the panel is ready for metal work

1970 Charger door metal work in progress. This door had several problem areas

Steve straightening the rear deck panel on the Charger

Quarter panels were stripped of factory e-coat to ensure proper adhesion of our materials to be applied to the body. There were several imperfections and a few rust spots on the these panels that were quite obvious after stripping the e-coat, which is why, when you want a perfect body, you have to put in the time and remove the factory e-coat.

Sandblasted parts ready for cleaning and primer
Suspension and other small parts ready in epoxy primer

727 Transmission to be installed

Final cleaning before we prep and mask the body for epoxy primer after the majority of the metal work on has been completed

Epoxy Primer applied to the bare metal on the Charger body after most of the metal work has been completed. 

Primer surfacer applied to the charger body over the epoxy primer

Charger door in primer surfacer, ready for fitting and panel alignment

Molly Preps the engine for re-paint

Mopar 440 Re-painted and ready for assembly

Dana 60 Rear axle to be installed


Chrome plated gas filler cap and opening trim
Plated and polished trim

1970 Charger body in primer/surfacer

Suspension installation begins

Suspension and steering installation in progress
Suspension and steering installation in progress, rear axle in place and the car is being prepped for coming down off the lift for final tightening of the suspension parts and engine installation
Off the lift and ready for the engine

1970 Charger Dyno test day! The guys at Advanced Engine Concepts in Green Lake WI did a great job to tuning the 6 pack system and gathering the data on the engine. 

VIDEO: 440-6 on the Dyno at Advanced Engine Concepts

440 6 Pack Mopar engine is ready for installation
The 440 is in place in the engine bay

Black ceramic coated Hooker Headers will be a great addition to the 440 and the styling of the engine bay

We'll keep you updated on how this Mopar moves along! 

If you have questions about our processes, parts or recommended materials, please comment or email us at [email protected]. Remember to follow us on Facebook for our most recent updates!