Chads Yellow Polara thread, New dual exhaust, wheels on!Yee!

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Jun 13, 2018
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Seattle Area
Happy Sunday Gents, hope everyone is well and not dealing with any car troubles or intense hellish climate. How frustrating is it that I associate hot weather with Al Gore....

Anyways.... I haven’t been too active on FCBO since my original acquisition post, I have needed time to acclimate to this new Mopar world. It really is crazy the way most aspects of Mopar ownership far differ from pretty much all other classic and modern car cultures. I’ll touch more on this shortly.
I bought a 72 Polara about a month ago. It was the yellow Custom Coupe with 46k original and green interior. If you guys know the car, cosmetically, rust wise, functionality, the car is amazingly original and well kept (minus the brighter yellow than original paint and Chev wire wheel caps. There’s not a drop of rust, exposure, electrical gremlins, etc.
For anyone new to the car, it’s a 72, 46k original miles, I’m the second owner, yellow on green with a green vinyl top, 360 2 bbl Auto, and I found it on Seattle CL listed for $1650 with only an email. I scrambled and was able to buy the car (non-running, but sat for 18 years in a garage and looked promising).
First photos here are where the car was parked when I showed up to sellers house


Yay first Mopar! I loaded the car, went to my local O’Reilly Auto Parts, grabbed the usual plugs, wires, cap, rotor, ether, etc and headed home for the shop.
First thing I noticed was, no matter how much battery charger, CCA battery, or cables attached to battery I couldn’t get the starter motor to turn over at a reputable rate of speed. Even jumping 24 volts only made a slight momentary change and back to the dreary moan of before.
And of course a no start.
Quick trip back to Oreillys, new (to me) starter, and that problem was solved.
Still no start.
Checked firing order, timing, spark, all good (except the kind of orangish yellow spark, which I wasn’t confident in, because of a previous multi day diagnosing endeavor with a 68 289 Mustang, also of which had spark but problem was spark related)

I filled a gas can with premium, added some points booster, and a little sea foam.
Ran a brand new hose from the fuel pump into this jerry can. I had also at this point already drained as much fuel from the tank as possible, put 10 gallons of new fuel in the tank, and changed the filter. I checked that fuels flammability (strong), but what the heck I want to rule out fuel age and starvation.
Nada. No start. Couple occasional pops.
I was really confused. I had heard about the crap original timing gears, but with 46k on a garaged car it should be fine.
On to the squeeze aspect.
Compression test on all cylinders
Most were between 82-95 psi, one was in the mid 70’s, and the worst 2 were pretty much 70 on the nose. Yes low but after sitting for such a long time it’s to be expected. With other classic V8’s in this situation I should be running. Was a bit puzzled.
Artificial compression here we go.
Pulled plugs, dried with compressed air, put about 2-3 ounces of compression mix (5w-20/atf/ether) in each cylinder through plug hole and reinstalled plugs. Wait 20 mins, prime carb, charge battery, introduce major timing advance. The one major precaution on this “compression in a bottle” is to make sure the oil hasn’t been flooded with gasoline after any extended attempts at starting with no spark. I have seen crankcases go nuclear and turn manifolds into jigsaw puzzles.
Anyway I’m rambling sorry...
car fired up. Was idling about 2200 and smoked of course for a few from the compression mix and newly reintroduced heat to motor. But then it cleared up and was running smooth minus a high idle.
Did I mention the distributor was at full CCW advance? Yep, only way it would run.

Obviously engines down on compression are hard to get cold started, hence the magic mix sealing rings temporarily and car starting. After running the compression would come up with ring re-seal from friction and heat.
Timing was still a major issue. Car would sputter bad if I retarded CW at all from full advance, and by full advance I mean the vacuum secondary was butting up against everything and there was no adjustability left there.
Funny thing was when I tore motor down to install new double roller, I found many interesting and baffling items
1)The engines timing sprockets (cam mainly) had “summer teeth”.
as in, “summer” there, some aren’t ;-)
About 10% were broken or missing.
2) the chain was loose enough to remove without taking either sprocket off, not by routing around missing teeth, just THAT loose.
3) the car was at comp. TDC #1, and the crank sprocket mark indeed was basically 12 o’clock on the nose. BUT, the cam mark was at 8 o’clock. I figured the chain had jumped roughly 8-9 teeth for the mark to be at 8 instead of 6. Then I noticed on the forums that it was even worse
4) the new (and old) timing marks on the sprockets are supposed to BOTH be at 12 o’clock!!
The car had jumped more that 30 teeth and was about 150-160 degrees out of time.
Remember this car ran currently. Not great as noticed in the video but I think the timing was catching cyl 6 and was running anyway.
Threw new timing set on. Set timing with the eyecrometer, little ether, popped right off.
Crazy deal after a week of coming back to car and trying to get running.
This was last weekend. I had a lot of other wrenches to turn this week, so I basically spent this week getting new parts (water pump, gaskets, couple Thermoquads in working order for $75!, 4 bbl manifold, and basically just throwing everything I could in parts washed, cleaning up the bay, sanding, priming, painting, etc to get mechanical overhaul where I’ll be content with for a while.
I would just take breaks from other jobs to keep progress.


I reached my photo limit, so I’m going to cut this one and keep adding in my reply. I am extensively noveling this for a few reasons. I wish I saw this thread when I was having my troubles, it’s nice to read a long extensive diagnostic thread with solutions, especially if you can relate with the symptoms because they were expressed in great depth. Also I want to get more involved on this forum and this is a good way to get the ball rolling. Other forums I enjoy are great but the newer car threads are a very different experience at times.
I suffered my first heat stroke or exhaustion today and it was brutal. I was wrenching on the Polara in 90 degree weather and basically freaked out. Went from a little disorientation, then instantly went to nausea and chunks in drain pan, and capped off with full body cramps all at one time. Crazy scary! I was all over the cold h2o all day and still happened. Be careful overdoing it in the sun gentleman. Anyways so I took some downtime in shop to cool off and start this thread.

Be back shortly here with last night and today’s major progress. I’m going to button up engine bay tonight after 8:30 or so PST when it cools down.
I also have some really big questions from inexperience with Mopar for you guys. I have searched endlessly and really am scratching my head. If you’re still reading thanks. Back shortly!
Good progress. You make me feel like a underachiever. Its taken me a month, in my spare time, just to do a brake job on my Fury.
What is the original color on the car? Looked FY1 in the craigslist ad.
Thanks for the update,I remember seeing that car for sale on CL and wondered what happened to it.Glad it's getting a resurrection and back on it's way to being road worthy.
The car was originally yellow but not this bright yellow. It was a dull factory color they put on these models. Thanks! Too
I inquired about the car and never heard back. Glad the car went to a loving home. Looking forward to your progress.
Hey I remember this car. I know I could recall that vibrant yellow anywhere. I’m glad to see the car is in the hands of such a loving hand.
Break time again. Anywho yesterday after I finished sealing up 4 separate oil leaks on an 02 Infiniti QX4, I delivered it to the customers house. I like delivering cars because it’s an additional road test and that never hurts. I was picking up another vehicle from the same customer anyway. I was excited to get back and get the Polara together. Unfortunately this Chev conversion van wasn’t charging and about 3 minutes into my 25 minute drive I broke down and had to get an uber to Oreillys to get a new $200 battery, New side post freaking terminals (errrg) and basically limp the van to the shop on the new battery’s power. I made it back, and got to work on the Polara.
I used a small pneumatic brush disc to clean up all the faces of any old gaskets or fresh paint.
Time to drop oil pan and replace gasket. I winched the front of the car onto the ramp truck so I would have access. With the pan off I proceeded to look at the caps and visually inspect the bottom end. All was hunky dory minus the timing sprocket teeth in the pan. After installing the new front timing seal and oil splash guard, I bolted up the timing cover with all the bolts that don’t share any bracketry with any accessories. From there it’s just tightening up the balancer, removing bolt, installing the main pulley and again main bolt. This is where I ended up last night.


This morning I started to sort through the endless bolts, all different lengths, and all very confusing. It’s not rocket science, but having not JUST taken the car apart, there was a bit of a learning curve. Unfortunately I did strip one of the P/S bolts in the blocks I’m glad it was a power steering bolt, because there is a myriad of other mounting points for the P/s.
The biggest pain after solving the accessory puzzle was of course the a/c pump and supporting hardware. I spent about an hour sanding the monster of an accessory before priming and painting it. I must say though it came out really nice compared to before. Being a very large accessory right on top in front it plays a huge part in the bay visual. While the paint dried on it I continued to clean up and paint parts of the bay. After mounting the 15 bolt monster pump I was pretty much feeling done.
Then I realized something was wrong and I was feeling right done, and my goose was cooked. Heat stroke. Boo.
All that’s left now to really do is mount clutch fan and pulley, radiator, and shroud.
I am going to replace both rad hoses because they look tired and it’s hot and I want her to stay cool. I switched to a 180 deg thermostat from 195 for this reason as well. New thermostat housing installed, just add new Fram micro particle filter, and some royal purple 5w-30 and we will be cruising. All this stuff is worth doing. Trans will get serviced tomorrow as well if it is serviceable. The car has new tires, disc brakes, and all the lights are good. Radio even works all the speakers boom. I’m going to be cruising tomorrow night I hope.


I do need to find a way to make alternator pretty again


Here she sits all pretty with her big voluptuous body



Lastly if you have a look at the engine bay you can see what I mean on the importance of cleaning and painting that monster A/C pump. Looks so much better, even though I cleaned up bay a lot, as well.


As I said. I’m really excited, but I do have some big time questions. I’m a bit fried tonight thus far, maybe after a shower and such I’ll jump back in here to ask. If not, I’ll defonitely be back tomorrow with more big big updates and hopefully her first drive and get her cleaned up. She can speak up and tell us her name. Lots of videos and pics to come. Those are always my favorite threads, when I get to follow along and witness a first start, first drive, etc.
You ladies and gents have a good evening and feel free to ask any questions in here. Viva la Mopar.....tomorrow

The gentleman had them up for sale for a bit of time and they didn’t sell, so he put them in storage. He said he would pull them out in the next couple days and contact me. The manifold I put in a molasses bath to strip all the old gunk, multiple layers of paint, and anything else that might come off (thank you for the tip DeBoss Garage!) you guys HAVE to check out deboss garage on YouTube Rich is a stud, he works alone, and cummins swaps everything, works on heavy farming equipment, builds quad turbo LS AWD stick shift Audi’s (Quattro debacho) he is a real gem in the YouTube community
Thanks for sharing your story & related progress as well as frustrations. If working on cars were easy, anybody could do it. Good luck the rest of the way.
I didn’t have much time today. I was focused on putting an alternator in a 95 Chev conversion (the one that I broke down in due to no charging). The radiator, new upper and lower hoses, and the fan/ shroud are now installled.
I haven’t attempted to start the car again since after the chain was installed, but I’m confident itlll run Excellent. The goal today was to give the cooling system time to bleed, as well as clean up the alternator so it would match all the newly installed parts.
I used Albright to make the alternator House shine, as well as black paint on the pulley. Doesn’t look perfect but it is 50% better.

I mentioned before I had some questions for you esteemed forum members, so I think it’s a great time to lay them here. I’ll only do a few now to not make it too convoluted, so here we go. Also I have browsed hundreds of forums and looked all over the web, CL, OfferUp, etc.

1) I decided on what are called “road wheels” in either 15x7.5 or 17x8, but I can’t source them anywhere with the beauty rings and center caps. I found one set called U.S. wheels style 667 but they all say out of stock when I look for a dealer. Where can I find a quality used set, or a new set at a semi decent price with center caps and rings? Also 15’s or 17’s?

2) The vinyl top on the car is in excellent Condition, but it’s been sitting in the sun, no proper care, and seems extremely dried up and in need of a treatment. What is the best way to clean and treat a vinyl top? I want to bring it back to life and make it look sharp without risking any damage or tears. Just curious on what you guys know to be ostensibly good for vinyl tops?


Lastly. I have an appt with my trusted exhaust guy locally. I am going to run a very simple 2.5 inch dual system. Header back, 1 larger single muffler on each side. I’m curious as to which mufflers would be ideal, if I should run an X or H pipe, and lastly where the tips should be and their orientation. There’s a lot of Furys and 300’s woh cool exhaust I can reference, but Polara’s seem to be a more stock type aftermarket. My only importance is the exhaust being as close to the body as possible, after I drop the torsion bars and add a rear 1-1.75 inch leaf spacer I want the car to have that nice beach cruiser “Fear and Loathing in LV” type ride.

Any and all input would be highly appreciated. I have zero experience with C bodies let alone Mopars, and even with some heavy online searching, I’ve come out scratching my head. Thanks!!! Everyone enjoy their evening!

Also! I have a beautiful conversion van for sale! It’s a 95 Chev built by Custom Craft Vehicles. It’s the Ritz model. 350 V8 TBI. Only 53,000 original miles. You’d be the 3rd owner. Beautifully maintained, all paperwork, new Toyo tires and recently serviced. These are hard to find and this one is beautiful. PM me for more details or any interest. Located in the Seattle, Wa area. Here are some pics, the van has been cleaned up and washed since these were taken.


Years ago I bought a 70 Olds with a white vinyl top that was actually brown by the time I bought it. I literally scrubbed it with soap and water with a soft bristle brush (so I could be sure to get the low spots as well as the raised) and had no problem with the vinyl roof handling it. I then bought an auto vinyl conditioner/wax and applied it. It protected the surface as well as conditioned it. That roof came out like new - snow white and shone like new. I doubt the exact same kind of wax/conditioner is still available since vinyl roofs are virtually a thing of the past, but I would think the vinyl conditioners/finishers that are available today would do the same job.
Thanks so much. I’ll use some warm water and find a soft bristle brush. I just didn’t know if scrubbing it would hurt it. I’ll have a post here shortly of the first start and drive (hopefully) on the 2 barrel, then after I know everything is right and I’m comfortable with the runability, I am going to yank the 2 barrel mani and carb off and drop in my new Edelbrock Performer 4 barrel and a Holley 4 barrel I have. I’m still after the Thermoquad, but have yet to pick it up, I’m waiting on the seller. The Holley will be great for now.
Here is a couple YouTube vids of her first start. All good minus a small water leak above water pump at heater hoses

More to come shortly.
Also I realized how far it’s come the last couple weeks from looking under the hood in this video....