I brought this beast home just over two years ago to fix up and be a winter beater.
I drove this half running/sputtering little red thingy dingy through downtown Madison just a few months after getting my license to take it back to my home. I sure got a lot of looks, but I don't know if they saw a awesome car or saw some half baked kid that couldn't drive stick because the car barely ran! The manual trans was nothing new to me, as I had been driving tractors, dirtbikes, and the farm truck as long as I can remember. Anyways, the car somehow made it home, probably on pure adrenaline and excitement that was exploding out of me by now, and I got right to work. (under supervision)
I started with the engine and replaced..
-Dist. Cap and Rotor
Now the engine ran really smooth, and was getting really excited to get Duke ready to drive very soon! But when I took it out for a test drive something still wasn't right. It jerked really hard whenever I shifted, so back to the shop it went for all new engine and transmission mounts. (Recently had to replace these again, but used Rodneys poly strut)
Now I really thought I was good to go and was going to be able to start driving it soon! But I still had problems with a major component on the car.
I originally replaced only the front calipers because those were stuck very bad, but now I have redone everything
All new calipers
Flexible brake lines
Steel brake lines
I also had another big problem with the car. The battery would die every night, and this was really pissing me off! But a lightbulb turned on in my head somewhere, and it ended up being that darn trunk light not shutting off!
Now winter came...
With spring came new ideas to me, and I decided to upgrade the radio and refurbish the rims.
The rims were pitted really bad so I started with 200g sandpaper, and worked up to 1200g sandpaper, taking over four hours on each rim. I then polished the crap out of them and threw em on the car! Now I'm a firm believer in keeping a car stock or reversible modifications only, and these rims were waayyy to shiny, like holy crap I could use them for mirrors. Now I only do one coat of polish on them and they look great, but i'm hoping to clear the rims like they were originally so I don't need to polish them all the time.
They look way better than before!
Now onto the radio, I decided I wanted a fuller sound than what new speakers and a deck could give me, and pursued the sound I got out of my Camaro with a bose system. I knew that would not be easy, so I got a 10' sub and some fiberglass mats, and molded a box into the footwell, with a wooden face. I then took a spare floor mat that came with my car and covered the face with that, because I knew that would be very tough and durable carpet. It also acted as a gasket between the wood face and the subwoofer to prevent rattles, and also as insulation to get the quality sound I was after. I installed the amp behind the passenger seat so I could easily run the wiring from the new deck to the subwoofer and through the center armrest and to the battery. If I were to do this again, the amp would go behind the drivers seat, so the passenger seat can go as far back as possible to make up for the lost footwell.
This past month has brought loads of repairs to Duke, I just replaced the front wheel bearings, my first experience with wheel bearings, they were a piece of cake! I also got a new radiator, 3 core all aluminum champion, which needed minor modifications. I had to take out the rubber bumpers on the top and bottom supports and cut them a bit shorter, then the radiator fit perfect! I also rebuilt a headlight relay with Rodney's metal gear, it came with a great set of directions that were very easy to follow. I also replaced the outer dew wipes, which were completely gone. using Rodney's tool, it took about 25 mins on each door.
Sadly, I diagnosed my car with cancer last year.
This is my project for next summer hopefully! I'm not sure that I am ready to tackle something that big yet!
Red '84, 75,000 miles.. work in progress