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Thread: 1979 Valiant CM Regal 'Survivor' Thread

  1. #1
    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    1979 Valiant CM Regal 'Survivor' Thread

    'Survivor' cars. Can't stand them. Some rich eccentric person generally buys a 1 of 5 high dollar car and forgets about it in a shed for about thirty years, and their kids pull it out and auction it for top dollar because it's rare and has about 20km on the odometer.

    This one is a true survivor in that it's a crap example of a crap model, that's been poorly looked after and should have been crushed into a cube on at least three separate occasions since I've owned it. Hopefully this thread doesn't end with it actually getting crushed into a cube.

    This forum is entirely responsible for my ownership of this car, and probably responsible for the way it's going. Someone started a 2011 Shitbox Rally thread, I jumped on the bandwagon and got a late entry by promising to provide medical support and started looking for a car. Entered it with my cousin who lives in Adelaide.

    The sub $1000 car market is a strange beast and I'd already walked away from a $250 110,000km EA Falcon and free '91 Lancer (with rego and RWC) before taking a long shot and calling up for a carsales ad for a 1979 Valiant for $1100 in New Farm, about a block away from my nopics place. This was at the extreme top end of the budget but the seller called me back a few hours later saying the landlord was evicting the car from the visitor parking and he had already hired a wrecker to tow it for $50 the next day. Blood in the water!

    Headed over there with the Skoda straight away. This is the first time I saw the car, 6th of August 2010 according to my phone.



    Seller was a young guy, PT, and it had been his first car. I suppose alarm bells should have rung when he got held up at work and he phoned to say that it was unlocked and didn't need a key to start it so I could take it for a test drive (also unregistered). But this was way cooler than anything else on the horizon so I hung around.

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    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    While he headed over I sat in the car for a while, admired the smell (indescribable, slightly mouldering but not entirely unpleasant) and wondered about the white powder all over the back seat. Tried to start it but didn't get very far because I didn't know the formal starting procedure (choke on, pump throttle thirty times, then it always fires on the third hit).

    When he finally arrived he was a decent enough bloke, but the worst negotiator on earth. I bought it for the grand sum of whatever I had in my wallet at the time, which happened to be $70. Also talked him into including delivery as home was 500m away and there was no rego, plus the car was only working on five cylinders at the time. We just drove there straight away, I printed and we both signed the papework and I walked back to pick up the Skoda later, Valiant safely left abandoned on the street outside our unit.

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    Exposing Swamp Creatures Walt Kowalski's Avatar
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    Last edited by Walt Kowalski; 18-08-16 at 02:29 PM.
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  4. #4
    Exposing Swamp Creatures Walt Kowalski's Avatar
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    Glad it's not crushed.
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    Former hairdresser Captain_Slow's Avatar
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    I love survivors - not the "tucked away for 30 years" stories but neat, unrestored cars that have had a long and useful life and are still going strong. Looking forward to this thread.

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    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    'Neat' might be exaggerating it a bit!

    I fully admit I didn't really know much about Valiants at the time, so a lot of what I've worked out about the car came over the next five years.

    All I knew then was it was a '79 CM 265 hemi with the Borg Warner Auto. 360,000km on the clock, and it somewhat surprisingly came with all the books, manual and service record, towbar and rego receipts for a 17 foot boat, which explained just how hard a life it had up until that point.

    Looking through the car after I bought it, the main impression was one of rust, followed closely by one of mould. Turns out the white powder all over the back seat was talcum powder in an ill advised attempt to dry the interior out a bit.

    I left it on the street looking abandoned for a fortnight or so, before yielding to reality and having it towed to my cousin's farm up near Cooroy. It wasn't going to make it on five cylinders. On arrival in Cooroy:



    It looks awesome from that angle. Closer up, not so. Boot rust.



    Split, mouldy interior.



    With the back seat being particularly awesome.



    And the plenums. The plenums....



    Though the 265 was 5/6 intact at least, ran on gas (sort of) and petrol fairly well. Though at some stage the lean burn module had been hollowed out and an older vac advance distributor fitted.



    Love how you get bonus stuff with old cars. A pair of shoes, a folding chair, some rope, a random bit of timber (I never found out what it was for) and $6.70 in change in the glovebox.





    The Shitbox Rally guys actually let me deduct the $6.70 from the purchase price, if anyone is interested. $62.30 in so far, plus $100 for the tow.

    The first time it was saved from the crusher.
    Last edited by Mr Purple; 18-08-16 at 03:14 PM.

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    Great stuff.
    Smug elitist wanker since 2013.

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    Registered User trdee's Avatar
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    this thread has potential
    1988 AW11 9A-GTE - project #1 | 1984 MA61 1JZ-GTE - project #2 | 1994 UZZ31 Soarer 1UZ-FZE - Cruise missile

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    anyone? MRMOPARMAN's Avatar
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    Thats really clean for a $60 valiant.. like really clean.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rdyno
    70ynu has to be the most retarded cunt here. "Help me please" me "you need to remove your head" him "fuck off cunt I'm to lazy fuck off out of my thread you told me to do something I don't want to do so you're a cunt fuck off can some one please tell me an easier way???"
    Quote Originally Posted by Tripper
    Its a tight battle between you and rogercordia for the most retarded member on here, thou i think you have it by 5 window licks

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    Registered User PXL265's Avatar
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    Yep, plenums and right hand chassis rail where the steering box bolts on, are guaranteed to have rust in them for any Valiant.

    Those plenum repairs would have been enough to be overcapitalising, even filling the thing on gas would be overcapitalising.....

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    Hi, I'm Johnny Hotfuck Greasystick's Avatar
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    Love a cheap rolling resto, especially of a bit of an orphan - keep going!

  12. #12
    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    You haven't seen the start of overcapitalising yet. (Ominous noise).

    Decoding the options later, this one turns out to be a bit of an odd duck. It's actually pretty highly optioned, just all the shitty options, and most of them had been removed or broken.

    The body plate specifies: E33, D32, V10, H51, R26, S77, W35.

    This sounds awesome until you decode it:
    E33 - 265 hemi
    D32 - Automatic, column shift.
    V10 - Vinyl Roof.
    H51 - Air Conditioning.
    R26 - Radio/Cassette Player.
    S77 - Power Steering.
    W35 - Alloy Wheels.

    On top of that it was originally paint code BERG6006 - Caramel Metallic. This is actually a pretty awesome colour in a late 70s sort of way, but it had received a doors closed respray at some stage in the 80's to the generic Spinnaker White.

  13. #13
    Chrome bumper cunts! Soopy's Avatar
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    That's a lot of fucking overspray in the door jams for a "closed door" job.
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    Any peanut who thinks they could have done it better from the comfort of their armchair or work desk is a genuine mong level potato.

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    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    Sorry, I used the term 'closed door' when I should have said 'oversprayed'. A shit job, nonetheless! That's actually the white flaking off to show the caramel.

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    Chrome bumper cunts! Soopy's Avatar
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    Hit it with a high pressure hose and it'll probably be gold again. Either that or you'll find all the other rust
    Quote Originally Posted by oioioioioi View Post
    I've never said or implied everyone on that page was a deadshit - just that there's a concentration of deadshits there. Think of it like a mine, but instead of a rich vein of gold bearing quartz, it's a rich vein of spastic bearing facebook posts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post
    Any peanut who thinks they could have done it better from the comfort of their armchair or work desk is a genuine mong level potato.

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    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    We're still in 2010 here, remember. I've already found all the rust!

    As a disclaimer at this point, I'm a pretty shit panelbeater and even worse mechanic. So the first half of this thread will consist of me fucking things up. Think Skompa, with no skills and less ADHD.

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    Hi, I'm Johnny Hotfuck Greasystick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Purple View Post
    As a disclaimer at this point, I'm a pretty shit panelbeater and even worse mechanic. So the first half of this thread will consist of me fucking things up. Think Skompa, with no skills and less ADHD.
    Perfect! Keep going.

  18. #18
    Registered User TRD-MX62's Avatar
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    My brother had a CM wagon, it was the second car I learnt to drive in, fucking awesome upgrade from his old G60 Pootroll, until the steering box fell out of it...

  19. #19
    anyone? MRMOPARMAN's Avatar
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    My cousin had a teal green CM.. that was the car that got me into mopars (and said cousins constant crapping on about E49s)

    we thought we were boss rollin through frankston with massive hifi speakers on the back seat with NWA at full noise
    Quote Originally Posted by Rdyno
    70ynu has to be the most retarded cunt here. "Help me please" me "you need to remove your head" him "fuck off cunt I'm to lazy fuck off out of my thread you told me to do something I don't want to do so you're a cunt fuck off can some one please tell me an easier way???"
    Quote Originally Posted by Tripper
    Its a tight battle between you and rogercordia for the most retarded member on here, thou i think you have it by 5 window licks

  20. #20
    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    So at this point I did exactly what anyone with a strict schedule would do. I left it in the farm shed for about six months and started work a fortnight before the rally, April 2011.

    Bear in mind my only previous panelbeating experience was rust repairs on a $150 '74 Corona. That was less rusty, I had proper tools and guidance, and it took me a week.

    I 'fixed' the Valiant in two days. I had a hammer, a screwdriver, and a belt sander. The $5 Supercheap spray cans were an almost perfect match, but we weren't prepared to invest that much so I bought about 15 of the $2 ones. Total investment was that, some sandpaper, some $2 undercoat and three tins of bog. Plus some back issues of the Sunshine Coast Daily.

    The results speak for themselves

    A pillar repair:



    Plenums fixed. Just basically jammed them full of newspaper and bogged over the top:



    Left rear quarter. The paint sort of matches.



    Finished A pillar.



    Around the wipers was pretty bad.



    My pristine workshop.



    I remember thinking while jamming newspaper into the sills about how much I pitied the idiot who would be trying to restore this one day.

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    Registered User schnitzelburger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Purple View Post
    I remember thinking while jamming newspaper into the sills about how much I pitied the idiot who would be trying to restore this one day.
    hahaha

  22. #22
    Slanted big_pete's Avatar
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    At least they'll have something to read.... or plenty of tinder for when they decide to set it on fire

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    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    Lol, hate to break it to you mate, I'm almost certain some other bloke had already stuffed the sills with bog and newspaper well before you got it! We had Valiant wagon that was full of rust when we bought it in '83. Would have been only a few years old by that stage.

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    Registered User TRD-MX62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnitzelburger View Post
    hahaha
    Don't laugh, remember we used no-more-gaps on that MA45 :P

  25. #25
    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    I didn't have that sort of budget!

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    Ellis Juan mizone's Avatar
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    *sigh. I had one. CL Regal, factory air floor shift, vinyl roof and that comfy trim.

    I always thought the VK (Ranger trim) I had before had rust issues. then I bought the CL. Sills, under the wipers, plenum, steering box, rear window (that's why you've got mould in the back) boot floor, rear quarters, bottom of C pillar where it joins the rear quarters.. I could go on.

    265 is Awesome. If it's not a ELB ignition you'll be fine and it will make loads of bottom end torque and be nice to drive around. Is the rear ratio a boring 2.X to 1 or did you fit a proper higher numerical ratio?
    Last edited by mizone; 18-08-16 at 10:15 PM.

  27. #27
    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    You've just described exactly the places this one was rusted. The funny thing is I always thought of it as a massive, rusty pile of crap until I realised they're all like that.

    Well, anyway. After one and a half solid days of shitty bodywork I finally got around to doing something about the rest of the car. The minor bits, like the interior and mechanical bits.

    I did the worst possible job I could at fixing up the holes in the drivers seat to get it through roadworthy. The only knot I can reliably tie is a surgical knot, so I just knitted old flannelette bed sheets into place with continuous sutures.



    Surprisingly, with a good vacuum the interior came up ok.

    On the mechanical front, my cousins 85 year old grandfather is a retired mechanic, and pretty spry. He got sick of the thing filling up the shed and gave it a going over.

    We could never get it to run right on gas and a gas certificate was $300 anyway which was way over budget, so he just ripped out the gas system, gave it a brief tune so it at least idled and advised us to leave the battery disconnected because it was going flat in the matter of hours for some reason.

    We both sort of assumed he would involve changing the oil, filter and plugs. Big assumption, being 85 he knew what the value of a Valiant was in the 70's, so he wasn't going to waste $40 on that. Or fripperies like new coolant, air filters or fuel filters. Mind you I didn't find that out until about six months later.

  28. #28
    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    At this stage I had owned the car for about six months or so but not actually driven it.

    First run up and down the dirt road at the farm was mixed. The thing sounded awesome, the rust holes in the muffler must have been in the exact right place! It had a decent amount of power, but the steering wheel really didn't feel as if it was connected to anything. I seriously thought it was completely buggered until my uncle had a go and reported back that it was normal, for a Valiant.

    Roadworthy attempt #1 went pretty much as expected. It tried to kill me by unlatching the drivers door at the first corner, dropped a cylinder again on the way there, and failed. It wasn't as bad as it could have been though - left parker light not working, heater not working, and they quite rightly reported one of my sill repairs was just newspaper spray painted black.

    After a slightly illegal drive back to the farm I did the shittiest possible job at repairing all this. Thin film of bog over the newspaper, $15 cigarette lighter heater and bought a $2.50 trailer light, bolted it onto the bumper and connected it to the parker light wiring by twisting it and wrapping in electrical tape.

    I think the only reason it passed the second time was because I promised I was driving it to the Northern Territory border and not bringing it back. After two hours in Queensland Transport at Noosaville arguing with them about whether I needed a gas certificate or not they finally admitted defeat and gave us plates.

    Stickers on and the hard work was done!



    Awesome overspray work here.



    Some angles were more flattering than others.


  29. #29
    Exposing Swamp Creatures Walt Kowalski's Avatar
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    Keep the posts coming. Some of us are interested. It's like a AusMoPar serial.
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  30. #30
    Registered User Mr Purple's Avatar
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    I like to think of it as the opposite of those barn find threads. I find a car I know is shit and make it more shit.

    So, Shitbox Rally 2011. I actually read the instructions this time and took it out for a 70km odd Sunshine Coast hinterland testing run. Up to Gympie and back again via the backroads, mainly to work out the fuel economy to budget for jerry cans.

    It ran surprisingly well in that nothing fell off. Stops ok, steers ok with the allowance for the 30 degree of freeplay in the wheel that all Valiants seem to have. Used about 14L/100km at 80km/hr so we just went with two jerry cans.

    This is my team-mate driving off from the farm a couple of days before the rally on the way to my place in New Farm. Biggest trip the car had with us up until that point, a bit over 100km.



    I like this photo because you can actually see the body roll. These actually handled better than the earlier models, with Chrysler's version of 'radial tuned suspension'. Though they had no money at this point so it basically consisted of a decent front anti-roll bar and slightly bigger torsion bars.

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