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Old 04-13-2021, 05:07 PM   #1
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Vintage Restore

I am helping my stepson restore a vintage eyesore…um I mean power house of Beauty!
It isn’t slow, it is majestic. It is ugly as everything but looks like it has a great personality.
Where to start? I am pretty good with old mechanical stuff and used to be a carpenter in another life so I almost feel qualified.
It is a 77 Concorde built on a dodge chassis, 360 2 bbl, 727 Torque Flight. I expect it has the same Dana 60 HD the one I dismantled last year had. Maybe not.
It has 63k on the clock. Passenger side windshield is cracked. Last time it was licensed was 08. Apparently it broke down the last time it was used. The fuel system had been rerouted. Replacing the mechanical fuel pump showed that the actuating lever on the old one is no longer there. When we replace the valve cover gaskets we will get a oil pan gasket and fish it out of there.

I need advice on what order to do things. It starts and runs and stops. It turns and everything, but we are nowhere near mechanically sound. The stepson is going to go full time in this beast so we have at least all summer to get it livable and drivable.
What we have done so far is oil change, complete tune up, fuel pump, air, oil, and fuel filters.
Belts and trans filter are next with a carb rebuild. Holley 2 bbl. I just pray it is the one that has the $25.00 rebuild kit, not the $120 kit.
After all that’s done I need to run all new rubber fuel line. Limped it home on a spare gas tank out of a dune buggy. Nothing like driving a rolling gas bomb! Probably run new vacuum line too if it doesn’t quit stalling every time it comes to a stop.
Once I can get it down the road in one piece, I have to work on the lights. Older cars usually need grounds cleaned up. Maybe connectors shined up if they are icky. Talking about chassis wiring. Any other things to be aware of?

Once I get it to go down the road legally, what order do I need to address the living quarters? The inside is pretty dang nice for a 45 year old beast.
He needs a 100w solar panel on a small battery charger to recharge a 80 AH battery, for the camper not the one for the engine, or at least that is what he wants. Once the panel is mounted, the roof will get resealed.
The hood literally came off in my hands. I have to cut him a new one. Everything else seems solid.
Anything to watch out for?
What about brakes, and tire changes? I need to get one of those battery operated impact guns that goes up to something like 600 ft/lbs just for the lugs, but what size jack does he need? Not sure if there is one in it or not.
He is slowly accepting the fact that you can’t just go buy a new anything for these. Is there an outlet for repop parts?


Windows photo thingie shows the pic like I took it, preview on this page shows it upside down...lame.
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:39 PM   #2
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Anything rubber should need to be replaced. It sounds like you have a plan of attack on the engine, trans and chassis electrical but yes the brakes and tires should get a FULL rebuild. New flexible lines, and look closely along the entire length of each of the hard brake lines because they will decay. Get a tubing bender and flaring tool, I'd be willing to bet you're going to need replace some if not a lot of the hard lines. Remove the calipers and just get remand ones, same with the rear wheel cylinders, its cheap insurance against a potentially deadly failure. Also drum brake shoes will delaminate with age so plan on replacing those as well as the springs and hardware, and since the calipers will be removed you should just replace the pads with new also.
Tires are another big point of contention. Tires are date-coded and should not be run longer than 5 years. Just because they aren't cracked or worn doesn't mean they haven't failed structurally especially if they have sat idle for 12 years. This means 7 new tires (I assume this is a dually rear end) including the spare.
As for a jack, just go to Harbor Freight and get a 12ton bottle jack. Its what I use on my Transtar and it will easily (albeit slowly) lift your entire rig off the ground.
Considering that these us common heavy duty truck chassis from a major manufacturer (Dodge, in your case) you should be able to find most of the mechanical and chassis parts at any major auto parts chain. Finding stuff for the "house" takes a little more work, if you're lucky there is an RV junkyard within a reasonable distance but reasonable may be a couple hundred miles if you can't find anything closer. Internet research followed by lots of phone calls will be your best bet here.
Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:38 PM   #3
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Will say, that class-A looks very clean. Your step-son made a good find.

Agree with replacing anything that is rubber, from coolant/heater hoses to brake hoses. Hopefully the hard lines are good and rust free. Rotors/drums and pads/shoes I would inspect and address as needed. Definitely flush the old brake fluid out.

Fuel system, if the stock fuel pump is acting up, use an electric one. The gasoline in the tank is probably bad, and will need to be drained and filled at best. At worst, the tank will need to be boiled out (radiator shop) and have the fuel strainer in the tank replaced.

Good job on draining and replacing the engine oil, same can be done to the transmission and differential oil. Of course, introduce him to the fine art of the grease gun for the suspension parts.

Tires make sure they are in good condition. Same goes for the spare tire. Harbor Freight does make decent cheap bottle jacks.

Of course electrical is a job in itself. You are correct in inspecting (cleaning) the grounds.

As for the interior systems, no worry on keeping it original. He can replace and upgrade as he likes.

Sealing. Yes, reseal the roof and of course the windows.

Good luck. We went through all the above mentioned on our 1996 Flair. After 3 years I'm still upgrading things. Today was the water pump.
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:51 AM   #4
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Probably a good idea to repack the wheel bearings and replace the bearing seals.

If you have any reason to suspect the fuel tank, might be worth getting it lined to prevent future problems.

Agree that anything rubber needs to be inspected and/or replaced, especially fuel or coolant related. Use new hose clamps to install the new hoses to prevent problems.

Front-end inspection & alignment.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:42 PM   #5
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https://www.classicwinnebagos.com/fo....php?board=3.0


A good forum for the old Dodge chassis parts sources.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argosy View Post
https://www.classicwinnebagos.com/fo....php?board=3.0


A good forum for the old Dodge chassis parts sources.
Good point. Don't go looking for a comprehensive "Service Manual" a'la Chiltons or Haynes for your particular rig, I don't think they actually exist. However you can find comprehensive service manuals for the Dodge chassis and that will serve you well. If you're lucky you can find a wiring diagram for the house electrics but figuring out how the cabinets are attached to the walls or removing an exterior wall panel is something you will have to figure out on your own. There are however a ton of videos online from people who have been restoring and rebuilding vintage RVs and they will give you some ideas of how most of the coach builders assembled things which should point you in the right direction.
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