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La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty

Posted By: SlowCompany

La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - July 27th 2018 2:25 pm

After a lot of waiting, and looking, i finally found a windowless shorty with a 360 for a great price...well... an okay price.

Drove up last night to Anaheim and she ran great, strong enough to drive it back down to San Diego. Even stopped to grab some food at an In & Out and accidentally parked in a vintage car show, haha.

She definitely has some issues, a lot of play in the steering, like a lot. A lot of oil on a lot of things, she's leaking somewhere, but she's a blank canvas inside and out. So i'll be scouring the forums for some help fixing these things and i'm sure the laundry list thats going to come up.

After she's mechanically sound though and the electric is cleaned up....new wheels, new shoes, lift the rear, bubble window, visor, antennae, shiny new grill...what else am i missing?

and then onto the interior. I'll be sure to update with progress.


But here she is!



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Posted By: Vannible_Lecter

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 27th 2018 3:25 pm

rad dude, where in anacrime was it?
Posted By: Rusty_Pancelode

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 27th 2018 3:45 pm

Nice score!
Posted By: cornfarmer

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 27th 2018 5:00 pm

I would just rock that as-is.....keep it clean.
Posted By: oldskool73

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 27th 2018 5:57 pm

Congratulations ! Looking forward to following your build.
Posted By: OVANNER

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 27th 2018 7:08 pm

Check the steering box or the rag on the steering issue. Recently had mine done. Good luck with her!
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 28th 2018 1:52 pm

Picked it up in Covina, so a little east
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 28th 2018 1:58 pm

Yea that’s what I’ve been hearing, going to dive in tomorrow, I have a few buddies that have had to weld their steering box back into place, hoping to get it sorted this week. Then onto chasing down the leaks.
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: Pulled the trigger, New van! - July 29th 2018 2:04 am

Congrats on your purchase!
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - July 30th 2018 10:57 pm

Started to hit it yesterday. Gutted the interior, if you'd call it that. Someone down the line installed a tongue and groove hardwood floor that was rotting, pulled it all out, and the last two screws in the back were 4" long and went right through the floor and into the gas tank. So now i have two holes in the top of my tank i need to address, i had to put the the screws back in to slow the leaking "i was parked on a slant, lost about a 1/4 gallon before it stopped.

I think i should be able to pull it and plug it no problem.

There was pretty bad mess under the floor, oil, grease, glass, wrenches...so i got to scrubbing.

Still going through everything. Valve covers were super loose, hoping that's the source of my oil leakage. Tightened up the adjuster on the steering box and was able to get rid of the slack in the wheel, which was great. She handles good but still having a power steering problem when she's not moving, she rattles and squeals....a lot...whenever i move the wheels with the brake on. I also found i'm leaking trans at a rapid rate, so i'm chasing that down too. After that list is fixed moving on to clean the front and exterior.

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Posted By: CatFish

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - July 31st 2018 2:50 am

That's a sweet little van.....you'll get your sweat back in smiles.
Posted By: crazyvanman

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - July 31st 2018 2:23 pm

Right on! like the updates.
Posted By: Vannible_Lecter

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - July 31st 2018 4:00 pm

make sure that rig is ready for the pilgrimage!
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 03rd 2018 2:40 pm

Haha I’m trying man! Power steering is fixed, ended up replacing the valve cover gaskets (they were loose but a good torque didn’t stop the leak) and now onto fixing the trans leaks (emphasis on leaks).

I just want to shop for wheels already
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 07th 2018 3:45 pm

Cleaning up the engine, replaced the valve cover gaskets, still leaking from the main, but that’s gonna have to wait. Also added a new edelbrock filter and breather. The originals were trashed.

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Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 08th 2018 4:45 pm

New old Grill!

Previous owner had taken off the original grill to spray paint with an iridescent paint, pretty cool, but not my thing. Every tab on the bottom was broken as well so the thing rattled like crazy. Scored a grill from a '73 on CL for cheap and threw that one this week.

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Posted By: lukester

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 09th 2018 1:43 am

Great looking van. Congrats.
Posted By: Vannible_Lecter

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 09th 2018 7:41 pm

good job
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 28th 2018 10:49 pm

Just scored a set of old Cragars for a steal. 15x8 in the front, 15x12 in the back. Maybe a little aggressive on width, but i'm stoked. Will post more once i get 'em cleaned up and get some rubber on them. Just dumped a boatload into rebuilding my transmission. That's going to set me back a little.

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Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 28th 2018 10:50 pm

You can see my new gas tank in the back there too. Just installed that to replace the one the previous owner put two screws into through the floor. That was fun.
Posted By: frscke1

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 28th 2018 11:02 pm

SWEET ... 12" wide rims, now you can put a set of N1's on it , a monsterish 16" wide drag tire .. not enough room .. lets shorten your rear axle housing N deepen those wheel wells ...... Hang a broom stick out the back N watch that b*tch fly !
Posted By: Dyno_Dave

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - August 29th 2018 1:46 pm

Yeah, 12's will fill up the wheel wells real nice.
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - September 11th 2018 7:53 pm

Man, so updates, had the trans rebuilt, fixed the power steering leaks, found the only leak left to chase and it's my oil pan, so that's been added to my to-do list. Been staying stoked by working on some cosmetic shit. These wheels were a mess. Still Cleaning them up but they're getting there. You can see the before and after here, Gonna hit the middle with some rust restorer paint and get some shoes fit. A little nervous about how far out the 12's are gonna sit, they're freakin deep. But there's only one way to find out. Hopefully getting shoes on 'em this month. Also scored some bubble windows off Craigslist today. Does anyone have a good source for gaskets that might have some round one i can throw between these windows?

More updates to come...

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Posted By: Reed

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - September 11th 2018 9:33 pm

Maybe CR Laurence might have gaskets? http://www.crlaurence.com/crlapps/showline/offerpage.aspx?ProductID=20967&GroupID=55437&History=30587:21889:16124:21889:55434&ModelID=55437&pom=0

If not, then maybe check out the stick on weatherstrip available at your local hardware store or maybe clear silicone caulking?
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - September 12th 2018 5:13 am

Thank Reed, Silicone will probably be the route i take, i use it on everything else, why not? haha.
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - October 12th 2018 6:45 pm

Jumping the gun on an update, but i got the fronts on! went 245/60 bf goodrich on 15x8 cragars. The tire shop ordered the wrong tires for the for the rear, so i'm waiting another 2 weeks on the 29" Hoosiers to come in, and i'm sure i'll post again when they're on. I ALSO scored an un opened OEM black dash to replace my broken one. Will post pics of that soon for sure.

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Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - October 12th 2018 6:47 pm

Chased an oil leak to my oil pan, have to replace that to get her to stop pissing all over the place, and then onto more fun stuff. Paint and windows. Then the interior. Stoked
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - November 01st 2018 3:20 am

Finally got the rears on...

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Posted By: kursed

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - November 01st 2018 3:48 am

Looks bitchin'
Posted By: oldskool73

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - November 01st 2018 4:43 am

Looks great.
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - December 14th 2018 7:06 pm

So i got the engine all sealed up, no more oil leaks...well, any that are bugging me anyway. I also thought i was having carb issues but turned out to be a rotting fuel line, so i replaced that and now she's running mint. So on to the interior...which is empty. I pulled out the rubber mat the PO had in there, it was pretty gnarly underneath. Cleaned it up and painted it with some rust reformer, threw down some kilamat and some mass backed carpet. Will post when i find some seats to throw in there and get it cut into place. Also threw a black, oem gauges/dash piece in there, and will be covering the rest of the dash in pleated vinyl. soonish. Probably after the body work is done.

Am i missing some dash parts here? Were there plastics that ran under the dash?

Ran out of light, but will post once i get the carpet cut and everything into place.

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Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - December 14th 2018 7:37 pm

Also got those windows in! Will probably have to re-install them, i couldn't get them flush since the panel is curved and was afraid to bend the 40 year old bubbles. May just try and find some rubber trim, so they look flush.

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Posted By: kursed

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - December 18th 2018 4:01 am

Heck yeah, looks sweeeeeet!
Posted By: Wizard78

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - December 18th 2018 10:28 pm

Nice smile
Posted By: newkirkinc1

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - December 19th 2018 12:29 pm

Looking good!
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - April 17th 2019 9:28 pm

It's been a while but i've def got some forward momentum happening. I was able to pull all the old and warping bondo the original owner put in the rain guards and filled it with some 3M self leveling seam sealer. cleaned up some wiring inside, and found these cool little rubber guys to keep my doghouse down.

Also go to cleaning out the cargo area and painting the interior. Going to be moving on to the subfloor this weekend hopefully. I'm still looking for some OEM swivel seats for a 78 in SoCal, if anyone has a lead. I threw some old Porsche seats from the 80's in there, and i'm not digging them, at all, but they're better than what i had.

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Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - April 17th 2019 9:32 pm

few more pics. I'll post in the classifieds but please holler at me if ya got a set of swivel seats with the 78 bolt pattern

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Posted By: frscke1

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - April 17th 2019 9:53 pm

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/pts/d/la-mesa-captains-chairs-with/6863428842.html
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - April 25th 2019 9:30 pm

Finally getting to the interior, stoked. Laid down some kilamat and the subfloor. Just need to bolt her in. I also picked up some rear doors here in San Diego with some sweet pop out windows in them.

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Posted By: kursed

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - April 25th 2019 10:51 pm

Loving it!
Posted By: SlowCompany

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - June 17th 2019 7:10 pm

UPDATE: I got some doors with pop-outs for a steal, and i got to working on the interior finally. Recovered the dash with some vinyl, looks good from a few feet away haha. With the floor done i'm moving onto the walls, once i decide how i want to insulate the thing. it's Foam board vs that bubble wrap insulation. Any one have any input between the two?

Here are some photos of the doors and before and after of the dash.

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Posted By: DontComeKnocken

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - June 17th 2019 7:25 pm

Looks really good on that dashboard. For wall insulation I just did some foil sound deadening and then wood panels on the ribs.
Posted By: Reed

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - June 17th 2019 7:33 pm

The foil insulation is designed to work with an air gap. Read the instructions carefuly. If you use foil, put it on the back of whatever you use to build the walls. If you use foam board, just cut it and shove it into the gap created by the wall ribs.

Neither the foil nor the foam insulation does much for noise. You need some kind fo mass damping material applied to the walls and floor to deaden sound. fatmat etc... just find something close to you and in your buget. Apply the mass damping material as per the instructios that come with the material then build your walls and insulate according to whichever style of insulation you choose.
Posted By: tuner4life

Re: La Bruja Blanca - 78 Dodge Shorty - June 18th 2019 1:03 pm

That dash turned out great!! Good work!
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