First of all, a little about the car. It is a 1971 Plymouth Fury III, 4 door. I bought it in very original condition, original vinyl top and two tone blue interior in great shape. All chrome was in good shape, but I immediately pulled off the side mouldings because they are a huge source of rust and very ugly. Surprisingly, there was not any rustholes hidden under the trim. The carpet was nasty because of leaking wiper seals, so I pulled it out, and I have been driving it sans carpet since sometime in July. It was very rank let me tell you.
Originally, it had a very weak 318. Upon getting the car, I promply replaced the fuel pump, both front rubber brake lines, and the front brake pads. It turned out that the reason the guy was selling the car was that it was hard to start, and even harder to stop. For under 50 bucks more, I had a reliable daily driver, until.....
About two months later, I pulled the 440 out of a 1978 Dodge Ramcharger that I had, and I began overhauling it. The only way that I was able to afford to overhaul the motor was to trade parts from my ill-fated Lemans for the parts necessary to complete the engine. I scored a complete overhaul gasket kit, head gaskets, a new timing chain, and a car oil pan and pick up this wy. Then I spent probably 25 bucks on permatex and paint. I wire wheeled the entire motor and learned that the block was in very good shape. Not even any wear circles on the lifters. I figure the motor was rebuilt sometime in the past, but I am not sure of when.
For all of you Ramcharger lovers out there, the truck I pulled the motor from was an original 2-tone red and gray with the 440, the new process transfer case, automatic, removable hardtop, factory towing package and heavy duty skid plates, reverb, and get this, a moon-roof. Yes, I am kicking myself for getting rid of it, but it was pretty rusty, and the wiring was screwed.
Anyway, while the 440 was still on the motor stand, I slushed the trans in the Fury.
Enter problem, no daily driver. I began frantically finishing the 440, and I sold the Ramcharger body for 300 smackers. I purchased a trans from a guy for 100 bucks, and I put it all together. My brother-in-law Chris welded me up some exhaust from what remained of the Lemans', and it was done for a while. Later, I replaced the exhaust with a new system from a local shop. It has 10 inch glass packs, and it exits before the rear wheels. In late April, I toasted the transmission.
Ever seen a trans used on the street get a chunk knocked out of the case? I have never seen it before, and It really sucked, let me tell you. After 10 quarts of trans fluid, a lot of cussing, and some walking(to get more trans fluid), I limped the car back to the school parking lots. I purchased a TCI rebuilt trans, and I installed it in about 4 hours in one of Indiana State University's parking lots (they are really nice to work in if it is nice outside). Smooth pavement is a lot better than cracked concrete, any day of the week. When I broke in the transmission, I backflushed it a little too hard, and within a couple of days, I lost the back u-joint, and part of the yoke on the rearend as well. So, I got a new yoke, and got the car running again.
Since then, I have found out that the reason that the transmission went out was probably that I ran it as a manual trans, minus the kickdown. (wish someone would have told me this earlier) I guess 727's don't like to stay together for real long without it.
Well, at this point, the Fury has been primed gray. I didn't do much to it over the summer, other than regular maintenance. However, it developed some bad gear whine in July. I continued driving it after a gear fluid change, and despite the continued whine, it still made it till August, when we came back to Terre Haute from St. Louis.
The car was still driveable when I took the old rearend out. It sat on jackstands minus the rearend and driveshaft for probably a month before I had both the time and the money to finish it. I wire wheeled the entire new(to me anyway) rear and painted it semigloss black. Jamie painted the Cover yellow and put a smily face on it for me. Yeah, it is corny, but it shows that we like to have fun with our cars. I have started compiling a listing of costs associated with this car, and all of the pricing associated with it. I also did a complete brake rebuild at the time. It pays to know brakes. They are pretty much the same from platform to platform. I can usually do a side in about a half hour. I finished the brakes, and tightened the new u bolts, and it was ready to go. After topping off the fluids and tightening a pesky harmonic balancer and some loose pulley bolts, I proceded to test drive it. After replenishing the trans fluid that had leaked out during the time it had no driveshat, it worked great.
Next on my daunting list of things to do was to configure the 400 trans kickdown to work with the 440. It took me a while, but I finally got it to shift pretty good.
The only problems that I have had since that point was a starter replacement, and deep snow that nearly ripped off one side of my car's exhaust.
Update! When I moved to Michigan, I left the Fury with my mom. Big big mistake. I thought she would respect my stuff more than she respects me. Man was I wrong. When I had my brother in law haul it to michigan for me, I started it and it sounded like it had a rod going. Well,that made me feel pretty bad. But I wasn't going to give up on it. I started tearing it down, and when I got to the harmonic balancer, it was loose. There was my knock. After refusing to pay 400 bucks for a new one, I found a good one at a junkyard. Yes, I found a junkyard with a 440 in it. I know it is a rare thing. Anyway, I ended up replacing the balancer, the timing chain, timing cover, the trans pan, and the alternator at that time. Now I have an excellent running vehicle with just a couple minor problems, other than paint and interior.
Here are the costs involved in this buildup:
As for the rearend? I only had a budget of 200 dollars for
EVERYTHING I needed, from u-bolts to brake parts. Wanna see a truly
budget buildup? This is what I have spent on my Fury:
250+ a 500dollar Pioneer cd player the car itself, all original, running condition.
200 new cd player
450 set of 70ish lebaron rims with new tires
600 TCI 727
Various trades- how I overhauled the 440
40 The new starter
50 The new alternator
30 the new water pump
40 rubber front brake lines
15 front shoes(or pads?? I can't remember which is for disc brakes) 100 the first transmission
12 Enough gray primer for 1 coat
250 new Edelbrock 750(to replace the 5 year old 600 Edelbrock that had choke problems *note: the old edelbrock is on the car now*
150 new dual exhaust
40 new grill
125 rear end
6 the brakelines
35 new springs and pads for the brakes
10 the fluid
5 paint to paint the rear
25 new flexplate (if I had been able to get one this cheap when the other one broke, I probably wouldn't have bought the T-bird)
So, I have probably spent about 3000 total to get it where it is today. That is not counting things I had laying around and traded for parts I needed or things I had on the previous car( like the grant wheel.
What do you think? Sound like an ok ride on a budget?