Stanley Martin's 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger
From: Stanley L. Martin (reprinted by permission)
Kudos on your new Plymouth Valiant Page. Lots of good stuff there.
I'm the proud (third) owner of a '73 Dodge Dart Swinger, 225-slant-6; a/c, auto, rear defog. Nice car, I've had it 11 years. 184,000 mi. on it. I rebuilt the engine four years ago when the #3 main bearing began to fail and it lost oil pressure. I think the first owner didn't use good oil; I know the second owner took good care of the car.
I found out the hard way about the crankcase inlet air cleaner a few years back. The Dart starting blowing oil out of every possible orifice, primarily (but not exclusively) the dipstick tube. Very messy and it was using about a quart *a day* for my then-daily 25 mile commute. After replacing PCV valves and getting the valves done, I finally discovered that the CIAC was completely plugged. What I failed to realize (and the manuals didn't tell me) was that under acceleration, the airflow through the PCV system reverses and excess crankcase gases go OUT through the CIAC and are inhaled by the air cleaner/carb. So with a plugged CIAV, I had a pressurized crankcase but only when I was driving; at idle it was fine since the suction through the PCV valve was adequate. I never was able to get my old CIAV unplugged; finally had to buy a new one from Chrysler. But that solved the problem!
Despite your other comments, I have never had trouble with the Dart in wet weather, unless I had a bad distributor cap. Nor have I ever had a ballast resistor go bad. But I am having a little trouble with the electronic ignition module; the silicone potting compound which they used to fill the inside seems to have lowered its melting point with age and on hot summer days (and here in Texas, emphasize the HOT!) it is slowly seeping out and oozing down the inside of the fender (wheel well). The module itself seems to be working just fine though. I have noticed this same phenomenon on several other early 70s Mopars which I have seen in junkyards.