When it's time to cheat on your mechanic
August 2, 2006 12:25 PM   Subscribe

My 1970 Dodge Dart swinger has begun making some odd noises and my current, very-good mechanic, can't figure it out. But he says it's nothing. For the first time, I don't think he's right. So I need to cheat on him with a new mechanic. A Dodge Dart specialist. Does anyone have any supremely talented classic mopar men in the Los Angeles area they can recommend?
posted by rileyray3000 to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
call CLick and Clack the Tappit Brothers of Car Talk fame. They have a long-running joke about the Dodge Dart, so asking them for help with one would make for an interesting bit of radio. (They have a radio call in show about car problems. )
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:54 PM on August 2, 2006

I wish I could help, but maybe you can help me instead. Who is this very-good mechanic in the LA area?
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:09 PM on August 2, 2006

The Dodge Dart page has a list of mechanics.
posted by Floydd at 1:13 PM on August 2, 2006

What kind of noise? (Hey, I grew up in the same state as Click and Clack?)

Slant-6's were famous for lifter tap, which got worse faster than most if you were low on oil. They also had a tendency to break the Delrin distributor gear (which if it breaks all the way, of course, will keep the engine from running...)

The last thing I had a nasty problem with was another piece of Delrin: the ball socket for the wiper cross arm.

Anyone else got a broken Dart? :-)
posted by baylink at 2:18 PM on August 2, 2006

My 1965 Chrysler 300 has been going to Chuck's Auto at 105 S. Fairfax for longer than I've owned it. He does good work, but it's not cheap.
posted by jjwiseman at 3:05 PM on August 2, 2006

Slant-6's were famous for lifter tap, which got worse faster than most if you were low on oil.

Heartily seconded. Older lifters will knock something fierce! They'll start as a light tick-tick-tick, but let 'em go long enough and it'll sound like rod knock (clack-clack-clack) and people will point and stare and laugh at you because they stupidly think you're driving around with no oil. As far as I know, having bad lifters doesn't actually hurt your engine, per se, but your car might develop a few cracks in the dashboard where you smacked your head against it in furious rage.

To replace the lifters, you'll have to remove the head, which can be tricky even if you've worked on your car before, and expensive if you haven't.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:59 PM on August 2, 2006

Is the noise less after an oil change?
posted by notsnot at 4:41 PM on August 2, 2006

The 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger with the 340 c.i. V8/auto trans is a pretty simple car. Not hard to diagnose at all, and there are no special tools or techniques needed for general repairs. So a generalist shop that does the full range of repairs might actually be your best bet for a second opinion. A lot of guys that run independent generalist shops do so, in part, because they like working on a wide range of vehicles, instead of being a flat rate part changer in a specialty shop or dealership.

If you're near Torrance, and your baby is a hobby car, try Affordable Classics, 310-542-5824.
posted by paulsc at 5:03 PM on August 2, 2006

My first car was a '69 Dodge Dart named T-Wrecks. How I miss it! He was lovingly cared for by a great mechanic named Pete from the Hopefully Reliable Garage in the Silverlake/Atwater Village area.

Try as I might, I haven't been able to google him up, but I thought I'd put it out there anyway.

Best of luck!
posted by Space Kitty at 5:12 PM on August 2, 2006

Slant 6s have solid lifters whereas the V8s have hydraulic lifters. Solid lifters need periodic adjustment. There's a great message board at slantsix.org that should be of help (even if it's a v8).
posted by 445supermag at 8:57 PM on August 2, 2006

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