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69 ROADRUNNER POST




Real RM21H9 69 Road Runner coupe. Serial number on dash, fender tag, core support and all body numbers match to verify that it is an original car. This is an R4 red car with black vinyl top, black interior and hood stripe treatment.  It is a very solid body that had minimal outer sheet metal rust behind the rear wheels, and has been repaired correctly. Has been sitting in primer after being soda blasted for 7 years. Primer should be good and cured by now.

                                                                           Fender tag

                                                                V1X  V21  V68  Y16  END

                                                                A14  A87  M21  M25  M31  R11

                                                                R4  R4  H2X  X9  702  411366

                                                                E63  D32  RM21  H9G  303612

The fender tag indicates that the car was built late in the 69 model year (July 2nd 1969), and has the A14 'Spring Special' package  It also came with a bench seat and column shift for the auto, but was correctly upgraded to bucket seats with headrests and a console, with the correct steering column and woodgrain 3 spoke steering wheel. The black interior for this car needs nothing before going back together after paint. Rear end is a 323 sure grip in an 8-3/4 with 11" drum brakes. There is a complete 3" exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers and correct rectangular chrome tips, and has an H pipe. We have removed the front suspension, steering and K frame prior to its trip to the body shop. Ball joints, tie rod ends and bushings have been replaced, and it will be getting a mid 70's factory disc brake conversion. Grille and all exterior stainless/chrome pieces have been straightened, polished and are show quality.

Engine is a fresh .040 over date code correct 383HP rotating assembly prepared by Mid America Racing Engines, Washington Iowa (319-653-6282). Fresh ground crank, individually hone fitted forged pistons with moly rings, resized stock rods and balanced assembly with reworked oiling and cooling system. Lifter bores were honed and new cam bearings installed. Cam is a Comp Cams 21-306-4 hydraulic flat tappet cam (270 duration, 224@.050, .470 lift, 110 lobe sep.) and new lifters. Stock stamped steel rockers, shafts, push rods and painted valve covers. Heads are a fresh set of 346 castings with new seats and guides, intake is a correct stock cast iron piece with a 1406 Edelbrock carb. Original unsilenced round air cleaner with correct pie plate.   New timing chain and gears, new oil pump and a stock 6 quart pan with baffles. Ignition is a stock Mopar electronic system with a hidden module and regulator. Engine has been assembled and cam break in/tuning has been performed on a run stand. Idles normally with a hint of cam lope, but not obvious or to the point it will need a stall convertor. Has 12 inches of vacuum at idle and 70 psi of oil pressure. We will be using headers since the existing exhaust system is built around them rather than manifolds. The object is to open the hood and have it look as close to stock as possible, and about the only obvious difference will be the headers.

Transmission is a rebuilt non-lock up 727 with new clutches and seals. Accumulator piston has been blocked for a more firm shift under power, and we are using a '76 model valve body to add the part-throttle down shift feature the later model cars had. This feature lets it down shift at low speeds under part throttle, without having to mash the gas and catching first, and eliminates the need to manually pull it down into the next gear when going around corners at low speeds. Its a driveability feature that makes the car a bit more conventional. We also used the bolt in rear bearing retainer and 4 gear planetary units.

 


The body is now back from the body shop (Advanced Autobody, Emporia, Kansas 620-343-7870) and looks great. They replaced the center section of the trunk floor, due to slight pitting in the grooves, but did it without disturbing the metal over the frame rails. Sound deadner was sprayed on the inside of the quarters before paint to retain the stock appearance in the trunk. Overall, the paint and body work came out a little better than what the factory would have produced.

Now the assembly starts...


Went to great pains picking through a 55 gallon drum of assorted downshift linkage to come up with a functioning combination for this car. Half a day later, its all cleaned and detailed on the engine, and seems to be the right stuff. The later style 1-piece linkage just doesn't have enough room between the head and firewall to work on a B body, and a Lokar cable type system seemed to be a waste of money when you know that somewhere you have the pieces to make linkage work. Again, with the engine and trans assembled on the K frame and out in the open, test fitting 26 pieces is a breeze. If it were all in the car and we were trying this, we would still be there cussing.

The full serial number of the car was stamped into the ID pads on the engine and trans. This is for theft recovery and identification purposes only. The original partial numbers are still on the the block and trans, and the new numbers are obviously in a different font so there is no confusion about 'numbers matching'. The block and trans case are date code correct, and that's as close as you can get to numbers matching without being there.

We installed poly graphite upper and lower control arm bushings, new upper and lower ball joints, new inner and outer tie rod ends, new idler and pitman arms and poly graphite sway bar bushings on a stock front bar. Monroe gas charged shocks provide a stable ride without creating a harsh feel. We had a pin-type disc brake set that we bought new calipers, pads, rotors, bearings and seals for. If you are converting to disc brake, the brake hoses can be expensive if you use a caliper needing 'banjo' style hoses, so keep that in mind. 

The power train and front suspension assembly is rolled under the car, and the car is simply lowered into place. Headers are already bolted on and stay in place for this procedure. Everything clears, including the trans fill tube and steering box. The 4 K frame bolts locate the front into place, and the trans cross member locates its self. Upper control arms go right into place with a rubber hammer, and then slide in the torsion bars. Run the bar adjusters in to load the suspension, bolt on the wheels and set it on the ground. Stand back and gaze in amazement. NOTE: exhaust manifolds and 440's will work the same but clearance is a lot less as it goes into position. TTI headers or any other big tube exhaust on B/RB engines will need to be removed beforehand. 

I have heard people say that this is a luxury that only guys with a 2-post lift can do. Not true. For many years we used an ordinary engine hoist to lift the front of the car up as we slid the engine underneath. All that's required is a good way to grab the front of the car by the frame rails. Also, you dont need anything fancy or exotic to do most of the assembly work you see here. None of this is brain surgery or bomb making--just common sense and attention to detail. A cement floor is probably the most helpful item on the list.


Its all together, all the parts are finally rounded up. In between the bad weather of winter in Kansas and sloppy roads, we got it to the alignment shop (Mels tire, Emporia Ks 620-342-8473) where it was aligned by a guy that has done our Mopar alignments for years. Was waiting on a windshield gasket all this time and had to haul it to Mels without a front glass and couldn't go for a first drive after it was aligned. Got the new glass in it and took it out for a shakedown with no problems. Needed a few adjustments here and there--shift points and hot idle, just the small things. This car turned out very nice and is a pleasure to drive. No special skills or instructions to make it go down the road, as it drives and functions like a normal stock Roadrunner would. Manual disc brakes work great with little pedal effort. The MSD ignition lets it fire up cold with about a half revolution when you hit the key. Engine temp runs 170 degrees when fully warmed up and idling or running 70. Its the kind of car you can hand the keys to anyone and not have to give special instructions to drive it. A very clean, straight car with excellent paint, yet not over detailed to the point that it cant be used as a vehicle. Now that the weather is turning nicer, its going to get some road time to prove itself as an all purpose driver.

Car was built on 'speculation' and turned out as fantastic to drive as it looks. Had around 600 miles on it when the call came from the new owner. He had been looking for a RoadRunner, found the site, and began to watch the build. We began to exchange emails and phone calls and he decided that he would buy the car. It was trailered to Chicago where it now lives. Enough info and pictures were sent that he bought it sight unseen, and commented that it was exactly as he expected. I encouraged him to come and see it in person, and that it was roadworthy enough to drive home with confidence. Unfortunately, his work schedule did not permit him to come after the car. That would have been a sweet road trip.