|Noted Mopar restoration expert Frank Badalson restored this 1969-1/2 440-6 engine based on his 30 years of scrutinizing untouched originals. You get the benefits of all this experience by your own scrutiny of the details on these images. By the way, Frank thanks his painter, Stuart Jackson, and his engine man, Charles Morris, for their help on this project.
Some of the details on this engine may surprise you, they surprised our own tech editor, Rick Ehrenberg, who raised some questions about them. The first is the paint overspray on the sparkplugs. It is generally agreed that the plugs were installed at the time the engine was painted. Our tech editor maintains that the factory used a cardboard mask to shield the plugs from the paint. So the overspray probably is the result of factory sloppiness. When a couple of Mo’experts questioned Frank about the painted plugs, he replied with this answer:
“Starting about 20 years ago or so, when I began coming across cars that had never been tuned up, is when I started noticing engine color on plugs. And yes, I verified they were original and not someone’s ‘touch-up.’ I now have records/photos on several Super Birds, 440-4 and 440-6 cars that were never tuned, or the owner saved all the original parts. Without fail, everyone had engine orange overspray to some degree. Also several ‘67s and ‘68s….all 440-4 same thing….turquoise overspray.
The thing is there are so few examples left of cars with their original plugs. As you know, it’s very, very, very rare to find a car that has not had the plugs changed. I haven’t seen one in the last 5-7 years.”
As far as the sleeve nuts on the right side exhaust manifold, Frank took a couple of photos of a 30,000-mile survivor. The motor had never been touched. He says it is one of the most untouched cars he has ever seen.
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