2019 Dodge Charger

Update your progress on your various car projects.

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MostMint
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2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

With Rachel's current Charger pushing 208k, she is planning to get a replacement.

Chargers and Challengers were in the running. Both are still quite expensive, particularly if you want the Hemi and low mileage. She also wants B5 blue. We've done some looking at these, including a visit to a wrecked B5 blue Scat Pack Challenger at an auction yard in Vermilion OH. We got outbid on that car by over $2500.

I also bid on another B5 blue Challenger. That car had failed to sell a month earlier at $3675. The day before the auction, an offer to "buy it now" came up for $4800. I decided to bid on it up to $4300 and it if went above that I'd just hit "buy it now". Unbeknownst to me the buy it now ends at close of business. Sure enough it went over $4300 after business close, so my only choice was to bid it up. I ultimately bid the car up to $5400 and it went to the next highest bidder at $5425.

Today I came across this 2019 V8 AWD Charger former police car. It has just under 39k miles and hit in the left front. It had a buy it now of $6k, which after some conversation with Rachel, and working up an estimate for repairs, she went for it. It'll be here next Friday - coming up from Atlanta. Then the project starts.
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[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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TireSmoker
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by TireSmoker »

That looks like quite the project. Are you confident that the main structure at the left front is still straight?

I saw your one video you made on converting the first police car back to street use got quite a few videos on youtube. You're gonna be the youtube king on converting cop cars back to street use!

-Dave
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

Oh I'm quite sure the structure holding the bumper in place is bent on both sides, the top part of the chassis in front of the strut tower on the driver side is bent, and of course the core support is wrecked. It is possible the front subframe is bent but that - like the Saturn - is a bolt in.

Between the videos I've been watching and experience dealing with damage from racing incidents I'm pretty confident I'll be able to get the structure reasonably straight.

I am seriously considering what kind of video to do during the project.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

Reference videos

On frame straightening: https://youtu.be/LXrD6TwFltM

A rebuild designed more for entertainment, but still lots of good info: https://youtu.be/3jt5IsXXiRg

Getting a column shift into neutral without starting the car: https://youtu.be/UGX06wCfywc
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

The car is scheduled to be delivered on 11/3. The carrier wanted to know if I had a forklift or tow truck to move the car since it will not start for them. They called Rachel since it is her car. Between Rachel and I - we tried to get the message across that if you can roll it off the trailer we can handle it from there. It has four wheels and we know how to get it out of gear if that is needed. I know it runs they had a video clip of the engine running on the listing, so the battery is either missing or dead.

In the meantime I realized that acquiring the parts is going to be a handful. My current estimate is well over $5k in parts - and that is before paint. Anyway to simplify that entire procurement process I bought this: https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=M ... ctid=10337

It's a 2017 with 134k and some minor damage - including blown passenger air bag and LR suspension damage. This should provide a large portion of what is needed, will be good reference for measurements, and hopefully some decent residual value once we have what we need. It will be odd more or less parting out a 5 year old car, but it is what it is. This one is in Columbus so I plan to fetch it myself. It'll be a bit of a workout for the Colorado to haul that car but I'll just take my time.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

Pics of the parts car.
Attachments
Parts 8.jpg
Parts 4.jpg
Parts 1.jpg
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

To my surprise the car showed up on Saturday. At least they texted me in advance and I was able to negotiate an arrival time since we were at Dragway 42 at the time.

Kurt came out to help and in short order he installed an old Optima battery I had and it fired up fairly quickly. It's ticking a bit which could be from sitting for so long or any number of things. I checked the oil before starting since the startup video showed some ticking and I wanted to make sure the crash had not caused any leaks. Anyway I drove it off the trailer and through the yard successfully with intermittent power steering. I don't think it has moved forward under its own power since the crash, as it dragged parts of the front bumper cover and various broken plastic pieces were deposited in the yard.
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The deck height was probably 6 feet where this car was - so there was climbing involved
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Car was a Gwinnett County GA Sheriff's vehicle. Rachel may name it Gwinnett.
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After that the first step is to get the car apart to get a good look at the damage. So the push bar, front bumper cover, front bumper, brake ducting and other plastic pieces up under the bumper cover, headlight, top half of core support, air cleaner, radiator, cooling fans are all off the car. The headlight is salvageable but the rest is pretty much trash. The hood latch cable is broken so it will need replaced

I have an extensive list of things I was planning to fix, and preliminary assessment has uncovered a few surprises - nothing to panic about as there is room for error in my plan.
1) + no holes in roof
2) + has front windshield light bar that we can likely sell - new retail is $1800 so maybe 1/3 to 1/2 that
3) + front subframe looks straight
4) + has inside rear door handles
5) - front windshield is cracked. I looked back at the pics and you can see the damage if you know what to look for
6) - RF fender is damaged
7) - leaking power steering fluid - power steering fluid reservoir is broken in two
8 - engine accessory belt is destroyed
9) - driver side tie rod is bent
10) - forgot we will need the spare cover in the trunk

I was happy to see no apparent damage to the engine up front.

I left the AC condenser in since it appears to have the transmission lines going into it, and the power steering cooler is attached to it.

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Bonus light bars
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Current state of affairs in the damage zone
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Rachel said there would be a "pile of attrition" so here it forms
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

Today I made the 104 mile trek to SW Columbus to fetch the parts car.

Kurt drove down so he could help load and carry some of the weight back. With no trailer brakes I figured moving 400 lbs of weight to a second vehicle was worth it.

Both front tires were flat. As it turns out you can't fill two tires with just 80lbs in your air tank, but there was enough to fill one pretty decent, and get the other up off the rim.
Installed the battery and got no response at all so we pushed it out of its space into the aisle, then backed the trailer up pretty close. From there we used a come along with tow rope to pull it up on the trailer. With no power we could not lower the window, so we removed the back seat and left the trunk open to be able to exit the car.

We put the car pretty far back on the trailer, so as not to increase tongue weight. Had to remove the gate and slide it up under the car to make this work. The back foot of the car was hanging out past the end of the trailer. This turned out to be an excellent balance, and allowed the truck to focus on towing and braking. On the way back I kept the speeds down to 65-68 for most of the trip. That cruiser is well over 4,000 lbs and so I didn't want to overheat the tires, or be too concerned about getting that load stopped in time.

Once I got home I put the other battery in it and it fired right up. The battery from the 2019 is officially dead. Having a running car made unloading much easier.

Observations
* it has both front seatbelts in good working order which we will need in the 2019
* there is surface rust on the LF and a little bit of paint bubbling on the front edge of the hood
* the passenger headlight has dust or dirt on the inside of the lens
* it ticked for a few seconds each time I started it, but ran great every time
* moving it around I can feel the LR wheel moving around in the wheel well, which means I won't be doing any AWD burnouts in the yard with it

It's almost too nice to part out, but that is its destiny.
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[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by Basement Paul »

It is, it's destiny.

-BP
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

The teardown continues

* electric power steering removed - the reservoir is broken. connected hoses to each other to avoid leaks
* RF inner fender off - required to power steering bracket bolts out
* LF fender off
* confirmed no refrigerant left, removed AC condenser. connected transmission cooling lines with a bypass hose
* removed lower radiator support bracket
* fabricated a measuring tool to assist with straightening process

Also, ran the car for a minute or so and revved it up a bit which helped with the lifter ticking.

Both cars run real nice, though the dash is lit up like a Christmas tree on both lol.
Attachments
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[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

Updates:

* Driver side frame end cap (attachment for the bumper) straightened

* Worked on straightening the frame rails.
- I was able to use a come-along and a large tree to move the passenger side frame. The bolts holding the frame to the subframe had to be removed on both sides.
- The driver side rail took a little more more. I had removed a 6" section of half of it (frame is two halves tack welded together) to get access to straighten the other half, so I had a bit less leverage. Maxing the tension with the come-along and assisting with a sledge I was able to straighten this one as well. Neither are perfect, but this activity proved the concept.

* Work on straightening the LF fender support. The end of the support also connects to the core support. This part had been pushed back and left a bit, so it took a bit to get it looking reasonably close.

* Installed the passenger side frame to subframe bolt. Had to tug on the frame rail a bit to get it lined up. Driver side is still off a bit. Further inspection uncovered that the rail is a bit twisted. Current plan it to use the porta-power to push it back.
Attachments
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[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

Updates:
• This car had interior police light bar from SoundOff Signal. New these are over $1100. There is a control module that is required to test so I cannot confirm they are working. Going to sell these.
• The push bar had four small police lights in it from same manufacturer. Three are damaged but they are all working
• Driver side frame rail turned out to be twisted and pushed down. Decided to cut it out and straighten. After removing I separated the two halves at the spot welds, and straightened one of them. But the other had additional reinforcements and all of it was bent on an arc. Current plan is to cut frame rail from parts car and install
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• Rachel was over and cleaned most of the coffee from the interior and sticker remains off the paint, and we moved the hood
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• Disassembled the front end of the parts car. Evacuated the A/C system into a portable air tank
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• Start measuring and comparing the front ends. This uncovered more accident damage on the structure supporting the fender/core support. I’ve seen this called aprons
• Fabricated a tool to take measurements – allows accurate measurement from back of engine bay to frame rails without having to remove the engine
• Transfer the power steering pump reservoir from the silver to the black car
• Straighten LF tie rod and set the toe in. It’s nice to see the wheels straight – the LF was toed out at least a few inches
• In order to better straighten the RF frame rail, cut out a section in the fenderwell by drilling out spot welds and making two cuts. The double u-channel design makes it possible to separate the halves and work on individually. Outer part that was removed was straightened quite quickly using the vice and other tools to bend the metal back. Pound out the places where the metal was buckled, and make final adjustments with the porta-power.
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• Separate the passenger fender apron by drilling out the spot welds forward of the strut tower, straighten the outside and center piece, made some adjustment to the inside piece. These pieces all line up nicely and will require the other side to be straightened to test fit the core support to confirm.
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• Started in on the driver side by cutting and removing part of the outside layer of the driver side apron
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Having a reference of location and understanding the look of the frame rails and aprons has been immensely helpful, as I know where I want these parts to be.

Up next will be aligning the driver side fender apron, and making more adjustments on the passenger side frame rail. The next major milestone is to get all the metal supports in alignment, and welded back together.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

None of this is welded yet but things are starting to line up.
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[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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MostMint
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by MostMint »

More welding allows the car to support itself, allowing for preliminary test fit of the body panels.
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The hood alignment is off quite a bit, there is no hood latch yet, and there are a few minor adjustments needed for the fenders. The tops of the front wheel wells are at exactly the same height, and the front bumper cover lines up well on the bumper.

After just over a month, it is starting to look like a car again. Still a long ways to go but I'm happy to have reached this milestone in the project.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]
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Re: 2019 Dodge Charger

Post by wxo »

Andy, in your photo, I see, on your workbench next to the ladder, two yellow gallon containers on their side. It's an unusual position for these containers, especially on a workbench. What's up with this?
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