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Old 04-11-2009, 03:24 PM
mchlmpls mchlmpls is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Posts: 3
Default Rebuild help.

OK, heres the deal: I have never done this before and want help. I want to get into car restoration as a hobby, and need some help getting there. I know of a car i would like to fix up, but there are obviously some problems with it or i wouldnt be here. Basically, my uncle has a 1974 gold duster s/6 parked behind a barn on my grandfathers property. It has been there since about 1995, sitting. My uncle knows engines really well and says that it will start, despite its current state, but even if it does, to be a well restored car it needs to be nice, and that rusted engine under the hood has to be full of sludge and debris, even if it does start. So i figure i should take it apart and completely clean and rebuild it, ground up. Now im not going for a custom restoration, this wont be a dragster. I am going for a stock restoration, i figure stock would be easier since i basically have a list of what i have to accomplish, that list being what it looked like when it rolled of the line in '74. Custom would mean i would have to plan all sorts of stuff out to supe it up, which wouldnt be a good idea since i need help just rebuilding it. So, if my uncle can give me that car for a fair price, and i do believe after further inspection (such as pulling it and seeing from other angles as well as hearing it if possible) that it is better to rebuild it instead of sell and buy a new one, my questions are these: Is there anything i should know before starting, any good guides i might want to take a look out before or during the process, what all parts should i replace, and things i should keep an eye out for during the rebuild? Also on a side note, does anyone know exactly how rare a 74 gold duster is, and what they may be worth if restored well? Not to say im in this for money, its always seemed like a fun hobby to have that i want to get started in, im just curious as to what im working with and what may be at the end of this tunnel.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:47 AM
buckneccid buckneccid is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Point Oh
Posts: 402

You're starting right, you're asking questions.

Plan out what you want to do, get the shop manual for the car, and READ all the forums and web sites you can on the car. Then decide if what you had planned is what you really wanted to do.

A restoration can get VERY involved, and cost more than a lightly modified car. If you insist on NOS parts, numbers matching everything, correct finishes, etc, you may never get the car done, and even when you do, you may not want to drive it because it is too clean and too correct to drive, there goes your fun. Or you may Take it so far into the modified area that it is unpleasant or even unsafe to drive on the road because of the performance and handling.

I can't say how rare the Gold Dusters are, I don't know what options were on them, but it seems they weren't all that common. As to worth, that's something that's going to be different once the car is done. In most cases, don't restore a car with the idea of getting a profit on it. Most people don't make a profit, the profit is made by the people who do the work on the car, or the parts provider.

Restore (or restify) the car because you like it, and you enjoy messing with it, and look forward to driving it.

I hope I don't come off as sanctimonious, I'm definatley not someone who knows it all, but I wanted to toss my two cents in and hopefully give you something to think about, and let you know you're not being ignored.

And if you start on it, You can be sure, someone here or somewhere will be willing to help you with anything we know, just jump in till you're over your head, then yell for help. Most of all, enjoy it!
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:51 PM
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dschumers dschumers is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Brookfield,il
Posts: 1,061

The very first thing you need to do is get the car where you can work on it and see if it even savable. A-bodies have serious rot problems in the floors and subframes, especially if sitting in dirt for 15 years or so.

Get the car apart and see exactly what you are up against. Just because it runs does not mean anything. Rust is a serious issue to fix, especially if you haven't done it before.

A Slant 6 Gold Duster will not be worth what you have in it when you are done if you are doing it as an investment. It will however be a wealth of learning for you and a really fun car to drive when you're done.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:21 AM
mchlmpls mchlmpls is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Posts: 3

Originally Posted by dschumers View Post
A Slant 6 Gold Duster... ...and a really fun car to drive when you're done.
Isnt that what we all really want in the end?

Thanks for the rust info, and again, this is not really a money thing. I love to learn and would like to learn more about how cars work and how to repair them and stuff. If you want to talk investments, im sure all can agree being able to keep 1 car running for decades and not needing anyones help to do it, as well as being able to fix up junkers, will surely offer great returns. And a slant six duster probably gets decent gas mileage, im assuming. I know the 76 feather duster advertised at over 30, so im assuming at least 20 can be expected out of a 74 /6.
And just for clarification, im not writing all this to sound like im arguing with you, im just going on and on about stuff to clarify intentions so that no one else has to waste their finger strength telling me i will prolly end up in the hole.

However, i must say, you have caused 3 new questions for me. How do cars earn the classification of A-body, why do they rust so bad, and how do you take care of all that rust... quick, to the google machine!
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