Mickey Thompson's Challenger III project.

Bro_Gill

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Oh, the original made it sound like you would take 30 or 31". Honestly haven't seen many of that tread patter recently anywhere. Good luck Home Fry.
 

Rory

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Well, I’m sure a set of front tires will turn up at some point, something always seems to fall in place at the right time.

Tracy Rubio from TNC Machine called me on Friday and said the rear-end was finished. I was really expecting it to take about 3-4 weeks as Tracy and the guys are VERY busy, but they knocked it out for me in 3 days. I wasn’t able to get to the race shop on Saturday to put it in and then I had to pull a couple shifts at the FD so it had to wait until today to get mocked up.

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The rear-end slid right into place with no issues, that usually doesn’t happen so I was pleasantly surprised.

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I cycled the suspension a few times and everything is lining up pretty good to the naked eye. I will bring in a couple buddies and see what they thing but I actually think we are good.

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While the rear-end is in the car I went ahead and measured the rear shock length. It looks like from eyelet to eyelet it’s about 44.5”. I will make a call to Rick Haslow (original shock builder for MT) and get a set of rear shocks ordered. Not sure how long or how much this is going to cost but sometimes you just have to go down the correct path to get the job done correctly.

Next up is to rotate the crankshaft in the motor (slowly and carefully) and then unbolt it from the trans and pull them both. Once that’s down we can start cleaning and detailing the chassis.
 

Rory

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I’ve only been working a couple hours here and there the last week or so but today we had a good day. First thing was we were able to rotate the motor which is HUGE as the motor, as far as we know, is in good shape and rotates with minimal effort. The fact that we were able to rotate the motor so we could get to the torque converter bolts was a win too!

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The motor came out with no issues and now we can get to work on really cleaning up the chassis. Thanks to Cody and Cody JR for helping me pull the motor, the last thing I wanted to do was mess up that original MT Aluminum block by rushing it.

Next week we will start cleaning up the chassis and at the same time I will be sending out one of the original rear shocks to get copied by one of the original builders (Rick Hasselo).

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There is a good possibility that this car could be finished by the end of the year. Cody and I are pretty excited with the progress so far.
 

Bro_Gill

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Warpy, old timer friend says the aluminum block was built by Mondello for Mickey if that helps source parts. Said the deal was Mickey bought in bulk and had his name put on them.
 

Rory

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Warpy, old timer friend says the aluminum block was built by Mondello for Mickey if that helps source parts. Said the deal was Mickey bought in bulk and had his name put on them.

Martin,

The plan right now is only to clean up the motor, we will NOT be trying to get the car running. We only want the car to LOOK like it is fully restored, it will not be a full restoration as it is almost original from when MT last raced it in 1979 or 1980. We believe it might be worth more or just as much with it as is, only cleaned up. This thinking could all change later down the road but we will stay with this plan and get the car done with the plan that is in place.

As for the castings for the MT block, I was also told that Buddy Bar castings did some castings of MT's stuff back in the day. Knowing MT he probably had a few different places he outsourced just in case a problem arose. This motor should clean up nicely, be interesting if we can find more markings on the heads or manifold once we really start digging into it.
 

jon coleman

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please?, i would look into it& check it, like a mid season motor freshing up, crank it over once, run it for One Race engine warm up cycle, FILM IT!, then put motor into long storage mode
 

jon coleman

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Of course, everything that’s on the car now is staying, nothing new unless we need it to help complete the car.....like rear shocks.

Tracy Rubio (TNC Metal Fab) finished the rear-end in record time, I wasn’t expecting it for another week or two, Thanks Tracy. With the 3rd member mounted to the titanium axle tubes we can now measure the rear shocks and have them made. We also have to make sure the 3 link off of #Challengeriv is the correct fit so we can have another one built.

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Once I picked up the rear-end from Tracy I dropped it off at Swantys race shop. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to mount it on the car but I might do that today....just because I’m anxious to see how it fits.

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Also, I’m still looking for 2 front tires for this car. Looking for 33x14.50x15 Mickey Thompson Baja Belted tires. Not sure if they made a 30-31” tire in this style but would consider them if they were the same width (14.50). If you know of anyone with a set (2) of these tires PLEASE let me know. Picture for reference below...

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I will post more pictures of the rear-end mounted when it’s bolted in. Time to tune into the Baja 400 race as it is starting shortly. 😬
mickey tompson baja belted on craigs list, look like your example , on wide five baja bug centerlines, 33?, ill get more info
 

jon coleman

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just talked to seller, been in storage in the dark, too big for his vw, gonna check to see if 33 s, here is his number619 8416572 maybe you can tell the size from image asking 450,
 

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Rory

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just talked to seller, been in storage in the dark, too big for his vw, gonna check to see if 33 s, here is his number619 8416572 maybe you can tell the size from image asking 450,
Jon, Thank you very much, I will call him. They look like 35" tires as I already have a set but if they are 33' tires I will be interested. Thanks for thinking of me.
 

jon coleman

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he said he was gonna look at in person today i think, wasnt sure of tire size, his daughter took pics.
 

Rory

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Nothing yet, the ORMHOF deal had me busy. I will try again today.
 
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