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Old 04-26-2013, 09:21 PM
 
12,120 posts, read 28,455,113 times
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it was late May 1971, dad sold his 1966 Peugeot 404 sedan and ordered a green 1971 Plymouth Duster from some car dealer in Tarrytown, NY ( then Tappan Motors I think). I was eagerly awaiting his return home that evening as he had made the long trip from Manhattan's Financial District all the way to Tarrytown (home of the old Chevy plant), to pick up the car and drive it home.

dad actually didn't return, we had gotten a call that the car stalled somewhere in the middle of the Tappan Zee bridge (for those who don't know it's I 87 and a 3 mile span over the Hudson River) and that dad was OK but that he'd be home late

next AM i went downstairs to see the new car in the garage. mom told me the car overheated in the middle of the bridge because there was no coolant in the radiator. i remember her trying to start the car but it wouldn't start

that day the car was towed back to the dealer and repaired so when i got home from school the car was in the driveway and ready to go

curious, what parts could have been affected by the dealer's failure to check the coolant in the radiator? i vaguely remember someone saying something got "burned out" was it the condenser maybe? how long a job was it to repair? i will never forget this story
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:24 PM
 
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File:Tappan Zee Bridge from below.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

picture of the bridge
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,134,646 times
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Poor little Duster... didn't have a chance.

The moral of this story is that if you ever find yourself looking for a car in Tarrytown in 1971, don't forget to check your fluid levels before you drive away.

Anyway, driving a car with no coolant will fry the engine pretty quick. If it stalled from overheating I'd imagine the engine locked up and would have needed to be replaced.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,619 posts, read 12,926,551 times
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The old slant 6 was a near bulletproof engine. While driving it with zero coolant in the radiator didn't do it any good, I highly doubt the slant 6 of 1976 was damaged any. They had reduced the compression ratio for emissions and it was a ghost of what the engine once was. Not that it was ever a tremendous powerhouse but it had a lot of torque in the early 60's which made it a reliable engine for use in trucks. There's not much tellin what burnt out on it- it could have been a condenser but I doubt it. By 1976 all of Chrysler's engines were electronically controlled. I don't remember there being a condenser on the Mopar boxes of the era.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:01 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
8,436 posts, read 12,402,513 times
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HMMM??? Maybe that was the norm (no antifreeze for Chrysler).

I remember my dad bought a new 1973 Plymouth Coronet from a dealer on Coney Island Ave (Brooklyn). About 1 miles from the dealer the car started to smoke and died. The radiator was dry.

Had to get it towed back to the shop, but I don't recall if they just put anti freeze in or repaired the engine.

If that would have happened to me, now that I know alot better, I would have handed them back the keys and said order me another one.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
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Neat story.

I have a '72 Duster 340 4-speed. My dad special ordered it brand new from the dealership where he was working in the body shop. The day the car arrived at the dealership, my dad and a friend had gone down the street for lunch. They had just sat down to eat when they saw the car go by on a trailer on its way to the store. His friend refused to let him leave and made him sit through lunch before he could go see the car.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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it must have taken only a few hours because dad was home by the time i got back from school. probably just a repair and not an engine replacement. that car lasted 8 years until the suspension snapped from the blizzard of 1978 storm's weakening the suspension most likely. had that not happened that would have been my first car. the car had a plusher upholstery set(pillow like vinyl upholstery) with an armrest in front, power discs, and a Dodge emblem in the horn pad instead of Plymouth!! maybe it wanted to be a Demon instead!!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 21,031,962 times
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Probably a shortage of Plymouth marked parts and Chrysler just wanted to get out the door hell or high water. Not the first time I've heard of mismatching parts coming factory on a new car.

Running an engine w/o any coolant, most likely you'd warp a head or a block from the heat. You also have the potential to cause damage to the rotating assembly.

I once too ran an engine w/o any water in it. A freeze plug had popped out during the winter and I was unaware of it until I made it 5 miles into town and she died on me right in the middle of the street.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:52 AM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 23,420,702 times
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Oh it would have went forever... it did in this brand new 1971 Plymouth Valiant (4dr version of the Duster) with the same engine. lol.

scroll to 1:17

Duel 1971(Part 9) - YouTube

I loved this movie.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:17 AM
 
12,120 posts, read 28,455,113 times
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i first saw that movie in 1986. great movie, if you remember "Breakdown" from 1997 with Kurt Russell was kind of like Duel. something tells me Weaver's Valiant had a 318V8 instead of the 6
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