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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a TDI buyback refugee that has always wanted to own a WRX, in some form. I am a big fan of the hatch, but the FA engine platform sparked my interest as it does not seem to be nearly as piston-hungry as it's predecessor. My "fun car" is this 1972 Plymouth 'Cuda and also the main reason why I did not pursue an STi.

I have had this car for about 11 years now and took it off of the road in August 2014 to start restoring it. In that time I started and finished my MBA and became a father...i've been busy. Progress is a bit behind from what I expected, but I have gone pretty deep into getting this car "right". Anyway, I figured some here may be entertained by a different type of project. I am a 29-year old family man that is working out of a 2 car garage to get this build done, I have done everything on this car except shooting paint...not bad.

Follow along here: https://www.facebook.com/GoodysGotaHemi/

- Rebuilt 5.7L Hemi, comp cam, TTI headers, standalone ECU [Megasquirt MS3 Gold]
- T56 magnum 6speed manual transmission with the conversion parts from SST
- 8-3/4" rear, 3.91s Dr. Diff shafts, Wilwood 12.2" 4-piston discs
- Hotchkis front end, RSB
- Borgeson steering box
- Wilwood 12.9" 6-piston front discs
- Vintage Air Conversion
- Painless Harness
- Tanks Inc EFI tank
- American Racing 17s and 18s




Obligatory "BEFORE" photo






DISASSEMBLY

























The car had typical rust issues in the “Tee” section, trunk floor, etc. All of which has either been treated and topcoated, or replaced entirely.


To help stiffen things up, the car was given a US Car Tool chassis kit




- - - Updated - - -



I smoothed out the engine bay and epoxy primed it, soon after the Hemi was dropped in for mock-up.





Soon after, the sawzall met the car to make room for the T56 Magnum. Keeping torsion bars requires pretty significant reinforcement to that area to ensure structural integrity.







I did some high level blocking on the car to see what I had to work with. The car had been painted yellow many, many times!





The trunk was in need of serious work. I replace the floor, trunk extensions, tank supports and the rear rails completely.



The interior was treated to epoxy primer, single stage Lemon Twist, topcoated with tinted RaptorLiner [bedliner] for noise reduction, heat reduction and some durability in the trunk.



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After working on my back for hours, under the car, I surrendered when it came time to coat the bottom of the car. I made up a <$100 tip-over rig out of wood…it worked very well!





The bottom of the car had Eastwood rust encapsulator sprayed in every crevice and rail hole I could get to. It was then sprayed with the rust encapsulator and topcoated with Lizard Skin ceramic coating. I also took this time to spray the bottom of the roof with the stuff has well, to help keep my melon from cooking in the Summer. Here you can see the modifications I made to the chassis, front and rear torque boxes, subframe connectors and the completely new forward member between the front rail and torsion bar crossmember. I did not care much for all of the 90° load paths up there. That crossmember will help take some load out of the rocker and redirect it through the new subframe connectors. I hope that it will help keep the doors/gaps more consistent and the car more rigid over time.



Fast forwarding a little more, the car was fitted with a 70-71 AMD deck lid [which fit terrible], Goodmark front fenders, an AMD door skin and an AMD header panel. I also took the opportunity to add a ‘Cuda rear valance and ‘Cuda hood to the car. Oh, and I did fork out a few more bucks for all new AMD door hinges as well, a seemingly small investment can help the car hold its lines and feel more solid [to me], with those in place.







Two years after taking it off of the road, it went to the body shop. [Ward’s in Krum, TX]. While the car was out, I could finally get the garage clean enough to rebuild the engine.

Valve springs were swapped with PAC racing springs


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I was able to get all of the accessories together before assembly, then got after it!




***VIDEO***


I sprayed the engine with single stage acrylic enamel Hemi Orange after epoxy primer.





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I finish assembled the engine and trans together and had it setup on the powdercoated K-frame.





with the drivetrain and powertrain together, the car progressed at the body shop behind the scenes.









 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On Tuesday (12/06), the car came home from paint. I stuck the rear axle under the car that evening and dropped the car on the K yesterday.







MegaSquirt MS3 ECU arrived.



Developed my own power steering pump mount. I had bought a mount, while it worked fine, it placed the pump a little too high for my liking, and I was also looking for something a little more refined. The bracket that I developed mounts this Speedway Motors pump about 2-3/4" lower than it was before while maintaining adequate belt clearance.


This bracket started with a rough concept in Solidworks.




From there I printed the concept in 1:1 and built a rough bolt-pattern prototype off of the drill press.



Once I honed in on the dimensions I was able to send off the DXF and have it cut out of 1/2" mild steel. I also used this same mount to provide a spot to anchor a torque strap. I've been wanting to avoid a solid driver's side motor mount but struggled to find a clean torque strap mounting location. 3 bolts to the head via 1/2" steel ought to do it.




Mounted up




The bolt locations are spot-on and do not require any "wallowing" out of holes to mount to the head or pump. The only change I would make is to create a larger surface for the countersunk bolt to rest within, otherwise it turned out to be just what I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After fighting with the Vintage Air a bit and their assembly process I was finally able to get it in there in a manner I accepted. I wish it was better, but it will be as good as it gets. I ended up mounting it differently so that I did not have to drill through the smoothed firewall. I installed the dash frame so that I can reference it for wiring and component locations [Fuse box, relay box, ECU, Wideband controller, etc.]



Not much to see here, but I wrapped up the hard parts of the rear brakes. I have yet to tackle the parking brake or hydraulic lines.



The upper control arms I ordered were backordered around 4 weeks and held me up from putting the car on the ground. Regardless I assembled what I had of the front end, Hotchkis lower control arm pivots, strut rods, and sway bar. I have the Hotchkis tie rods ready to go as well.



The power steering bracket I designed was wrapped up as well, so far so good. I was able to use a factory Hemi 6.1L drive belt. I have some interest in the bracket and may sell a few.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not much excitement in this update, it's been nothing but wiring for me lately. I started with a Painless harness, a EFISource Hemi harness and a Vintage Air harness, they are all being well integrated into one complete vehicle harness. The Painless fuse box turned out to be more trouble than it was worth to me. Many of the circuits I would either not use, or it would be mislabeled, which I found annoying. I also needed room to put relays, quite a few of them.

So I took the perfectly new Painless fuse box and cut it out! I replaced it with a Bussman fuse/relay box that I have wired from scratch. I am nearly complete with that part of it and am working to ensure I account for all of the new circuits I want to incorporate. Vehicle speed into the ECU, oil temp, check engine light, 2-step, flat-shift, traction control, datalogging, etc., etc.






The idea is to trim the new fuse box in using the original glove box inserts. In my head it will turn out very nice with a semi-functional glove box with a nice tucked in fuse box within it.

It looks like a war zone but anyone that has done a completely custom/EFI harness like this likely knows how it goes. I hope to be able to put power to the car by the end of the month, but that may be a stretch. I have yet to upfit the gauges into the gauge bezel, which will hinder some of that progress as well.

...eating the elephant one bite at a time and working late in the garage after my toddler goes to bed!

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I managed to spend about 20 hours this weekend on wiring and can say that it's pretty significantly complete now. I have yet to wire the front lights and am about halfway through the rear, but I have the heart of the car is knocked-out.











Once I button up the wiring I will pin-out check the ECU before applying power to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Working through the gauge cluster modifications. I need to whip up a design to 3D print for the speedo retention. Once I get that in and clean a few areas up, I will prep the housing for some SEM coating to give it a semi-factory appearance.



I sent out for a 3D part to be made in order to mount my speedometer well in the stock dash. We will see how it turns out.





Wiring is getting closer as all of the lights are functioning. Just a short list left of connections to make before I can final wrap the harness.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had some time to upfit the 3D printed speedo mount into my sacrificial dash. Fits perfectly. Now to smooth it out on the "final" dash...








I still need to shoot the bezel with SEM, but I have exceeded my own expectations on this part. I'm very happy with it!










 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the comments all! I'll try to keep this up-to-date with the latest progress.



Hey Goody! I know you from JkFreaks, I'm Kermicon over there. I had the Gecko JK. Small world!

Build looks awesome!
Hi there! I got off of that site some time ago as there were a few folks I couldn't quite get along with. I sold my JK about three or four years ago now. It was quite a good rig for me but either the Cuda or the Jeep had to go when I decided to go back to school.





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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Early beginnings of the fuel system. Aeromotive Stealth 340lph pump and a baffled tank.






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Thanks for the comments all! I'll try to keep this up-to-date with the latest progress.

I hear ya. There's some egos on there for sure, but has such a good NE Ohio community so I stuck it out. Loved your rig. I can't believe you left so long ago!




Hi there! I got off of that site some time ago as there were a few folks I couldn't quite get along with. I sold my JK about three or four years ago now. It was quite a good rig for me but either the Cuda or the Jeep had to go when I decided to go back to school.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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