1968 Dodge Super Bee Convertible

This will be my first conversion to 4-speed.  440, triple black, canvas top w/glass, flat black bulge hood, painted tail stripes, bench seat, Hurst 4-speed linkage, eventually long tube cross ram, 355 Sure Grip, new 15” magnum wheels, NEW original find redlines in perfect condition, Knee Knocker Mopar tach. Have A/C but don’t know if I will put back on. Just painted this week 12/31/11. 3 coats of black 4 coat of clear. My hands are cramping daily from blocking this car.

Text Box: Next Page of Restoration#

Getting body work finished.

Welding any holes, prepping truck, floors, engine bay etc.

Body work complete. Getting ready to put color on car. Cleaned booth and filters. Dusting out and will paper windshield and any parts that need to be protected before paint. Trunk and floors aren’t painted, will get painted after car gets color.

Car is ready for paint. We’ll shoot the engine bay also. 3 coats of black 4 coats of clear. This isn’t a frame off down to metal job.

440 cu Ready to Go when car gets back from body shop.

After car gets put back together and running well, will install long ram cross tube intake. These were used in the early 60’s on 413’s but we’ll gasket match to 440 heads and take little material out of intakes. They will have 2-500 CFM carbs. Difficult to tune, lots of low end torque.

Hurst 4-speed linkage was offered in 68. Re-pops were available so that’s what’s going in with the bench seat.

This car was original a 318 automatic. I converted it to a 833 4-speed. This 833 was manufactured in June of 1969 and is a 23 spline. Bellhousing was out of a 66 so I had to machine opening for trans for a perfect fit.

You can see the Hurst shifter on the cart.

This “BULGE” hood was available for Dodge in 1968 and they are getting extremely difficult to find.

 

Car had turn signal indicators on fenders. On this restoration we will weld closed for a smooth look.

Before the car went to the body shop I completely installed the new engine, and 4-speed trans w/linkage. Wanted to mock it up and make sure everything fit and worked as it’s supposed to before doing the body. This way there’s less chance of  damaging the new paint job.

 

With everything installed and working properly I took the engine and trans out again.  Got the exact driveshaft length during the mock up and actually had a new driveshaft made and balances with new yoke and universals.

Used a diaphragm pressure plate. If you’re doing a Mopar conversion or just need any Mopar 4-speed information or parts, there’s only one name to remember, BREWERS. These guys are unbelievable with the knowledge that they bring to the table. Since this was my first Mopar 4-speed conversion they really help me out a lot. Got the pressure plate, clutch, fork, z-bar and a lot of other conversion parts from them.

Just Google “BREWERS” on the web.

Parts, parts and more parts. Every part gets restored to like new condition and they get tagged, wrapped and stored waiting for car to get back from body shop.

 

Parts on right are for the 4-speed conversion.

I designed this license plate in Photoshop and had 2 of them made for the car.

These are 4 brand new 1968 F-70/15’s I was lucky to find. They were taken off a brand new car in 1968 and have been in climate controlled storage since then. They’re super pliable with no cracks or signs of age. Still have nubbies on the treads.

More parts to restore. It takes about 2 months to restore them all.

Year One had a 30% off sale so I popped for 4 new Magnum style wheels and center caps. Don’t buy lug nuts from them. They’re $45 for FIVE lug nuts!

I found an equivalent on Ebay in stainless and polished them out.  They were a lot less expensive. I think I paid $35 for a whole set of 20.  I believe AMD has them as well.

This is a really hard to find “Knee Knocker” Mopar Parts Department tach. Back in the day if your car didn’t come with a tach you could go to the Mopar parts counter at any Mopar dealership and buy one of these.

 

They got the name “Knee Knocker” because the mount on a swivel bracket underneath the dash and if you mounted it where you could see it correctly you knee would knock on it.

 

I’ve seen these restored on Ebay go for $600-$1000. I won’t say what I paid for it, but I got a great deal on it.

I restored grill, headlight bezels, tail lights and housings as well as “DODGE” lettering. Have to wear two pair of reading glasses in order to paint some of the smaller detailed parts.

 

There was a lot of masking and 0000 steel wool used on this job.

Always move cars into body shop with “roller wheels” on them, they get so dirty at body shop having a spare set of junk wheels is always a good idea.

 

Both doors needed new hinges.

 

Engine compartment has to be prepped with red Scotch Brite. There CANNOT be any gloss to any paint that was previously on the car. Even areas as small as a rivet mark have to be done.

Fenders, hood and deck lid are always removed from car and all worked separately from car.  When car is complete these will a be re-installed.

BEFORE

AFTER

I LOVE to restore car parts to new.

Here’s the windshield wiper motor.

AFTER

Out of paint booth color is on exterior and engine bay. We had the interior compartment and trunk covered with plastic.

 

Car gets completely blocked with 800 wet, 1200 DA dry, 1500 wet by hand in harder areas, then 3000 DA wet sand.

Stepping back, the entire car shell gets hand blocked with 320 before paint. Here are the hood and fenders which are being hand blocked, filled and prepped with wet 320. Guide Coating is helpful but I’m not a big fan of it.

 

The underneath sides of deck and hood were in good painted shape, but every millimeter has to be roughed to a dull finish with red Scotch Brite.

Here’s the installed windshield wiper motor and brake booster with master cylinder that I restored earlier. I always try to use new firewall gaskets when reinstalling.