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Dodge A100 Adventure

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by LongroofRon, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Showing off my newest project, a 65 Dodge A100 window van, slant six, three on the tree. Picked it up from Wildcat Auto Wrecking last October, thought I'd recount my progress. I was told before I bought the van that it was running when they got it... I later learned that that was around 10 years ago. But I had faith! The folks at Wildcat pressure washed the van for me before I picked it up which was nice, because it was covered in moss. 20200808_144718.jpeg 20200808_144731.jpeg 20201024_110509.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-A102U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  2. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Brought the van to my work, time to dig in. First major problem: the wiring. Good old mopar ammeter guage failure, burnt up most of the harness. Probably part of why it ended up in the junkyard in the first place. Either way I'll just have to hotwire it to get it running. 20201024_142129.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-A102U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  3. I had a 1965 A-100 back in the 70's, almost a carbon copy except it was painted all white, it had a small 273 and a 727 automatic transmission, I stuck a rod through the side of the block and replaced the engine with a 340 out of a Duster.

    I also added a aluminum intake, Holley carburetor, a dual point distributor and headers that van would haul arse, but the brakes were marginal. :rolleyes:

    We all regret selling something sooner or later, I really miss that van it was loads of fun. HRP
     

  4. HRP, that had to be one fun cargo hauler !!!!!


    Cool looking van keep us posted ! Doesn’t look to bad to have been sitting that long
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.

  5. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 527

    Greg Rogers
    Member

    I love that van. Keep us posted on your project!
     
  6. Cool van. Looks like a bunch of Mopar stuff at that yard. Is that a 71 Charger rear bumper with the rare tail light inserts up on the rack?
     
  7. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    @wraymen, I think so, that and a foot or two of the whole tail section. The pictures aren't uploading in super high quality, so good eye

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  8. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Hooked up some fresh wire to start testing on it and tossed in a fresh battery. Touched together the contacts on the starter relay, and to my amazement it cranked with no hesitation. So that was a good start. Pulled a plug however and no spark. Not a real surprise though. But after a whole evening of diagnosing and replacing I was still dead in the water. Everything was pointing to the condenser, which already a brand new part, but as a last gasp I ordered in another one. Picked it up the next morning, plopped it in, and BAM! She fired to life after 10 years sitting and one day of work. Gotta love a slant. 20201024_160957.jpeg

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  9. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    After all that cranking draining down the battery I turned my attention to the charging system.. or lack thereof. When I bought the van I could barely look under the engine cover cause it was so full of parts for other cars in the junkyard. So it was a bit of a surprise to find no alternator, or alternator mounting brackets. Those brackets aren't exactly something I could get in a jiffy, so I just made some. Sure is handy working in a machine shop. Picked up a new alternator and made some mounts for it, which worked out pretty good. Too bad the alternator was junk... as soon as I started it up it was arcing all inside the case and shorted out, trying to set my van on fire again, and the little fan in the front of the alternator was not attached, and just rattled around in there. Glad I paid $80 for that. 20201029_113507.jpeg 20201030_175534.jpeg 20201025_161414.jpeg

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  10. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    The alternator fiasco worked out okay, took it back and got a warranty return on it. They didnt have another Mopar style alternator anywhere close so I got a GM one-wire one, and much as it pains me. But then I could just bypass the shoddy wiring to the voltage regulator and simplify all that. Just had to make a whole new set of mounts. Again. But after all that I finally had a charging system!

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  11. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Once I new the van was a runner, I moved on to making it a driver. A little hard to drive with no seats and a broken gas pedal, but that's an easy fix. Tacked up a simple hinge for the pedal and just bolted it to the broken rubber pieces. Not pretty but it gets the job done. I knew the van had no seats when I bought it, and didnt want to pay out the nose for the real ones, so I got some similar lowback buckets from a Jeep cj. For those curious they're smittybuilt 44801, and they fit these old vans pretty good it turns out. Thankfully I still had the original brackets with the hinge and slider, so that was a nice surprise. I made some adapter brackets and fit them up. Pretty happy with how they look in there. 20201026_200138.jpeg 20201028_190210.jpeg 20201028_204036.jpeg

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    set me on fire, egads, Bleach and 3 others like this.
  12. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Finally got sick of working in the filth and cleaned out the van to see what was living under the house carpeting, high density foam and wood paneling. Almost filled a whole dumpster with the junk from the back of this, and probably removed 100 sheet metal screws that were holding everything on. The good thing about all that junk was it actually protected the original paint underneath pretty well, so I'm happy with that. The floor is still in remarkably good shape, considering all the wet carpet that was sitting on it for years. 20201031_130335.jpeg 20201031_143203.jpeg

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  13. KRB52
    Joined: Jul 9, 2011
    Posts: 1,077

    KRB52
    Member
    from Conneticut

    My Dad had the Chevy version of this type van in the late 60s, 250 six, three on the tree. I think the only two options he got were an AM radio and the removable jump seat on the passenger side. This was for his business, so carrying stuff was what he needed.
    You will find, if you haven't dealt with these types of vans before, that the rear end is very light. It doesn't take much to have the rear tires break loose. Rainy road going up a hill? Spin the entire length. Snow was even better. Dad used to keep the snow thrower and a couple of hundred pounds of rock salt in the back all winter, just for traction. One snowstorm, I had to get out of the passenger seat and stand back by the rear doors to give him extra weight to keep the tires from spinning on an unplowed road.
     
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  14. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    @KRB52 yeah they really nickel and dimed you on the options to keep the base price competitive. I love how stripped down you could get them. But as far as the rear end goes, yeah I found that out pretty quick when I was testing some new brake parts lol

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  15. Ford52PU
    Joined: Jan 31, 2007
    Posts: 493

    Ford52PU
    Member
    from PA

    good luck with your Van. A good friend had one in my youth same color also, we used it to get into a lot of trouble!! Good Times Great Memories.
     
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  16. WildWorkz
    Joined: Jun 16, 2013
    Posts: 22

    WildWorkz
    Member

    Nice project, brings back fun memories when my kid was little and absolutely loved this style. Showed him this post and he too got a kick out of it.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,148

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    Parted out a few of them. Couple had 3.55 Sure Grip 8.75 rear ends in them. Know of one in a farmers scrap pile that may have some parts to scavenge but I won't get there until Spring or a warm day in the 40's. Let me know if I can help with parts in the future.
    They sure are fun vehicles.
     
  18. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Hey thanks for all the encouragement guys! Next up on the van I started prettying it up a little bit. Straightened out and cleaned up the headlight bezels, and put on some fresh wheels and tires. I picked up the wheels previously and painted them silver, and polished a set of Plymouth valiant hubcaps. And of course, had to go with whitewalls. Changed the trans fluid real quick, and for the first time got it to drive out on it's own power. 20201030_215252.jpeg 20201030_220426.jpeg 20201031_151527.jpeg 20201031_151751.jpeg

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  19. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Once it could drive I kind of had to make it stop too. Brake pedal was completely stuck, but I'll open that can of worms later. Parking brake should be good enough! That was also stuck but I got it freed up and adjusted to where I can almost confidently stop it. Put a few miles on it driving it around like that. Rigged up a little switch on the brake pedal so I'd at least have brake lights. 20201102_202037.jpeg

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  20. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Before I took it home I had to solve a slight problem. The front doors have no lock cylinders in them, and because I have to park on the street, I'd like it to at least look like it does. I couldn't find a set of the original door lock cylinders, but I had an extra pair of the later style Mopar ones... which are very different it turns out. Good thing I work at a machine shop. I made a pair of these little adapters out of 304 stainless. They push the lock cylinder outboard of the door so that it clears that glass on the inside, and the diameter matches the size of the van's original lock cylinders. The new locks press into the adapters, and the adapters are bolted in to the door through the back. I'll make some linkage to hook it later, but for now I can just lock it from the inside. 20201107_161537.jpeg 20201107_164751.jpeg 20201107_165533.jpeg 20201107_172732.jpeg

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  21. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    While I was machining those lock adapters, I had some fun and made a new horn button. I'm too cheap to pay for a real one, so I made something similar out of stainless. Real light interference fit into the original bezel, and it does the job. I might polish it up and put a sticker or something with the Dodge fratzog logo to make it look a little more original later. 20201108_131131.jpeg 20201108_134834.jpeg 20201108_134908.jpeg 20201108_135702.jpeg

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  22. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Figured it was about time to bring the van home. Only like a 5 minute drive, so it's not too hard to ease it on home with the parking brake. Finally time for it to meet my other big old blue people mover mopar!

    As a bonus, the little cinder block wall by the curb where I park gives a great advantage of the killer patina on the roof. 20201108_141934.jpeg 20201108_150428.jpeg 20201108_150442.jpeg

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  23. Ford52PU
    Joined: Jan 31, 2007
    Posts: 493

    Ford52PU
    Member
    from PA

    whats new with the van??
     
  24. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Hey folks been a bit, but I'm back! Still playing catchup here but I'll keep going where I left off. Once I got it it home I noticed that the carburetor wasn't even bolted down tight, creating a massive vacuum leak, so I'm still surprised it ran enough to get me home. Took the carb off and rebuilt it which was a big help. 20201109_185009.jpeg 20201111_182758.jpeg

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  25. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Next up was a big one, the wiring. Probably why it got parked in the first place. Luckily the harness is super simple. The back of my factory service manual has a diagram with colors and guages, and I printed out one I found online on a large sheet of paper to reference and make notes on. I pulled out the harness and stripped off all the electrical tape, and damn I must say Chrysler wrapped these very well, it was a lot of work to strip it down. I replaced all the burned and damaged wires, terminated the leads I wasn't using and added in a new large guage lead to the fuse box from the alternator to bypass the burnt up ammeter. The box below is all the crusty tape and wiring I removed. Wrapped it all back up, and it should be good to go. Screenshot_20210305-220648_Gallery.jpeg 20201114_211824.jpeg

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  26. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 4,135

    48fordnut
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    LRR, you do good work but some of us would like to know where you live. Or at least a state.
    Good eye on the machine work.

    jim
     
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  27. nosford
    Joined: Feb 7, 2011
    Posts: 687

    nosford
    Member

    Man, I have heard of bad brand new condensers about a dozen times in the last couple years. Seems like the cheap parts stores all get them imported from somewhere that doesn't know how to make them.
     
  28. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    @48fordnut, thank you, and I'm located in the Portland Oregon area for those curious.
    @nosford yeah I believe it's a supply and demand problem. Not many of these kind of vehicles are still on the road and driven in great quantities, and a lot of them that are have converted to electronic ignition and bypassed it altogether. That leads to less manufactures producing the product in great numbers, and with no real competition, quality goes out the window

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  29. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    With the harness all repaired I snaked it back in to test it. Added new grounds and fusible links so it shouldn't happen again. With everything plugged in, I was surprised to find I only had one bad bulb on the whole rig, so that was nice. Most of the accessories under the dash were unplugged so I'll test those later, but the lights are working great. And man those dome lights are just spectacularly bright, makes working inside of it really easy. 20201116_181756.jpeg 20201116_181909.jpeg

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  30. LongroofRon
    Joined: Nov 1, 2020
    Posts: 53

    LongroofRon

    Now that I was fairly confident the van wasnt going to burn down again, I wanted to make it a little more of a driver, and functioning brakes would really go a long way with that. I drove it back to my shop for the weekend for that, since I was going to need some special equipment. Forewarning: some of the upcoming stuff may not be super HAMB friendly, as I'm going to discs in the front and converting to the later model dual circuit master cylinder. While I like originality, 4 wheel drums and a single circuit master cylinder in a state that constantly rains isn't exactly my cup of tea. Plus the front drums were past reusing and going the disc route was financially comparable. I went with the Scarebird conversion kit, so coming up will be a write up on that, with my experience, plus some tips and tricks, because I've heard mixed opinions on it.

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