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1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed
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Author:  OrangeSwinger [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

First post to the forum!

I recently reunited with the 1974 Dart Swinger 225 that I drove in high school 26 years ago. That might sound cool but it's been sitting in my parent's back pasture for 23 years, uncovered and almost untouched. With some tinkering and removing rats' nests, the damn thing runs and shifts pretty good!

I'm seeking feedback and advice on the order and method for getting this car back to SAFE daily driver condition so that my 13 year old can drive it to high school in 3 years. I would love to be able to restore to 100% original or do a restomod for performance, but I own too many other older vehicles that require my attention for transportation and recreation.

I have decent tires on order.

My next business will be the front brake system. I have front single piston sliding caliper disc brakes with 14" wheels. The components are all badly rusted. My plan is to remove control arms, wheel cylinders, possibly spindles and remove rust and repaint and reuse those parts. Here are my questions:

1) Is it worth rebuilding the calipers? I'm assuming they are shot and/or the pistons are ceased because the front hubs are very difficult to turn by hand.
2) Should I be looking at a disc brake kit? Most that I see are CONVERSION kits and come with new control arms and spindles, which I hope I don't need.
3) What is the best (easiest to install) source for front and rear brake lines? I see kits are being sold by many vendors.
4) Is it worth rebuilding the Master Cylinder and Proportioning Valve?

What else am I missing, folks? I'm chomping at the bits here but want to make sure I do the brakes right.

Thanks to everyone who contributes information to this site.

Author:  Badvert65 [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

New rotors and new/reman calipers will do the trick. Then just get some new hoses and you should be golden.
-Matt

Author:  SlantSixDan [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

OrangeSwinger wrote:
I'm seeking feedback and advice on the order and method for getting this car back to SAFE daily driver condition


Read this post.

Quote:
Is it worth rebuilding the calipers?


Get replacements—specify '76 Dart items, with their larger 2.75" bore. This will help reduce the tendency of the disc-braked A-bodies to lock the rear wheels early. The rest of that cleanup is done by installing smaller-bore rear wheel cylinders; see here.

Quote:
Should I be looking at a disc brake kit?


No reason to do so. Stock parts (thoughtfully chosen) are very good and readily available.

Quote:
What is the best (easiest to install) source for front and rear brake lines?


Any auto parts store or RockAuto will sell them to you.

Quote:
Is it worth rebuilding the Master Cylinder and Proportioning Valve?


Buy a replacement master cylinder. Prop valve, if you need it, can be had from Inline Tube.

Author:  Rick Covalt [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

Quote:
Buy a replacement master cylinder.


Buy new not rebuilt unless you like doing the same messy job over again in a couple months! :D :D

Ask many of us how we know! :?

Author:  SpaceFrank [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

If you buy a replacement master cylinder, I'd highly recommend going with a good name-brand unit. I've had bad luck with hydraulic brake components from the cheaper brands (Centric, Cardone, Autozone-store-brand), whether new or remanufactured. Looks like the Raybestos MC36412 is the one for your application in either '74 or '76, assuming it's got manual brakes.

For the calipers, I'm not sure any of the regular manufacturers make those new anymore. However, I've had good luck with the remanufactured Raybestos single-piston calipers on my road-racing Dart. Looks like they would be FRC4103 and FRC4104 for the '76 Dart application that Dan recommends.

All the above parts can be had cheaply at RockAuto. Be careful; you may develop a fridge magnet problem.

Author:  Louise76 [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

Plan also on replacing the front wheel bearings and turning the rotors, or replacing them if badly rusted. By the way, the replacement rotors I got had the new bearing cups already installed in them, but the outside of the castings were sloppy so I needed to judiciously file the outside surface where they scraped the caliper assembly. If you are in farm/ranch country, then your son will be doing some highway driving. It is a major job, but I recommend taking this opportunity to install new (sealed) rear wheel bearings onto the rear axles, and both new universal joints on the drive line. You will need access to a hydraulic floor press for those two items. If you don't have a plan for seat upholstery, there are some threads on this forum about replacing seats with seats from other model cars. Just one step at a time, gets the job done right. :)

Author:  Reed [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

I have resurrected several vehicles from multiple-year-long clumbers and I can tell you you should be prepared to replace the entire brake system, every piece of rubber on the vehicle, rebuild the entire fuel system, and be ready to replace every gasket on the engine and trans. Not trying to be a party pooper, but the worst thing you can do for a vehicle is let it sit, especially uncovered outside.

You also should take this opportunity to upgrade things like changing all the rubber lines in the fuel system to hose formulated to stand up to modern gasoline formulations. Just get 30R9 fuel injection hose at the parts store. I would plan on rebuilding the complete front and rear suspensions, the steering system, the carburetor, be ready to replace the fuel pump and water pump,

But these are also my favorite kind of project. Getting an old car that has been sitting running and back on the road is one of my favorite things to do. Not necessarily easy or cheap, but fun and very satisfying.

Author:  OrangeSwinger [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

Thanks everyone so much for taking the time to reply and offer up your experience. I'm parts hunting now.

Have a great weekend, all!

Author:  Louise76 [ Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

Just one step at a time, gets the job done right. :)

Author:  OrangeSwinger [ Wed May 16, 2018 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

I'm having a hard time finding the correct COMPLETE brake line kit for my '74 Swinger. It has front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, 7 1/4 rear end. Most of the sellers aren't describing a difference between the brake types. Isn't there a difference in brake lines between front/rear drum brake Darts vs. front/disc rear/drum brake cars? Do any of you have a recommendation for a complete hard brake line kit?

Thanks for any help!

Author:  OrangeSwinger [ Wed May 16, 2018 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

Could this be one example of the correct kit: http://www.classictube.com/complete-bra ... -8749.html

Author:  DusterIdiot [ Wed May 16, 2018 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

Quote:
Isn't there a difference in brake lines between front/rear drum brake Darts vs. front/disc rear/drum brake cars?


Not really... With the advent of the dual master cylinder the hard lines are the same between the cars on the same platform (the only difference here is the
extra 3" you get behind the front seat in the 108" WB cars and 111" WB cars)...

Once you're past the hard lines the differences are the master cylinder type (hard line nuts at this connection is the same), the brake hoses at the front wheel (connection at the
frame is still the same drum or disc fronts), and the rear axle hose is uniform, the only other change would be the type of proportioning block, but again the connections are the same
whether it's the hollow brass style block used 1973-1976, or the cast iron version seen from the 70's E-body and through the 1976 Disk Brake cars... As SSD has stated before
to get the correct timing on the brakes it's a matter of matching the correct wheel cylinder, etc...

The kit you list should work fine.

Author:  OrangeSwinger [ Wed May 16, 2018 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

You guys are teaching me so much. I can stop thinking about this at night.

Thanks!

Author:  '67 Dart 270 [ Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

pics of your swinger?

Author:  OrangeSwinger [ Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1974 Dart Swinger - Reunited from High School - Mild Restoration Advice Needed

Sure! This is about all I have so far...

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