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I'm starting this thread to document this crazy ass build I've decided to take on. I'm sure I'll have many questions along the way as I've never before done anything of this magnitude. And I'm sure I'll learn things along the way that may help others. Now, here's what I've gotten myself into.....

I bought brand new a '15 Dodge Dart Aero. Wanted the good fuel mileage for a work car. It's done me well. Presently has 158,000 on it and no mechanical problems. 1 months ago I rear ended a SUV. But not hard enough to damage "too much". Basically just the front clip, impact bar, upper core, radiator, fan, and one fender. When I realized all the all the bad parts were bolt on I decided to fix it myself. Why not? I'm mechanically inclined. I've off and on done light car work since I was a teenager. I own it outright. Why should I let someone else get that insurance check. So I decided I'd buy a parts car and repurpose the parts needed and part out what I didn't need. I live in KC and there's been an abundance of flood cars after the year the Midwest has had. Figured that would be my best cheapest bet since I didn't need any hardware. Just the plastic. Got lucky and found a '13 Limited w/2.0L flood casualty with a junk title at Copart right here in town. Had almost everything I needed. All but the lower bumper. But it was exactly what I needed. Got it for $600. Got the car home and instantly realized that this car was in unbelievable condition for a flood casualty. Interior and all components and options still functioned. Car started and drove. Except for the water in the engine oil and fog lights I found zero evidence the car was in a flood. After some investigation, it turns out that the car was not a flood casualty and had only been driven into a high water crossing and had not been submerged long. So what was supposed to be a parts car was mostly a usable car. But the junk title meant it would never drive the road again. Especially since all it needed was a new head gasket. I started today pulling the body parts I needed to restore my '15. Just happened to glance at an active Copart auction in Tulsa. And that's when everything changed.....

Nine lots away from the block was a '14 SE. 52K miles, a good 2.0L and a bad transmission. Its pretty skinny on options but the body had no apparent damage. But it had a manual. The good tranny I had was an automatic. I should have put my phone down right there. But I wanted to watch it go through the lane. Bidding started at $1200 and was slow from the start. Bidding stalled at $1650. From the first moment I'd seen it I said $1700 was tops I'd go. And that's exactly what I bought it for.

So now here I am. The proud owner of 3 Darts. One with a good motor, good tranny and a shit body. One with a bad motor, but a good body, good tranny, and some kick ass options. And a third with a good motor, bad tranny and no options at all. So now I'm committed. I'm going to restore my '15 Aero as planned. The' 13 will fulfill its fate as a parts car donating its organs to save the lives of another Dart. I'm going to strip it to the harness. The leather seats, the console, the heated steering wheel, even the garage door opener. I'm gonna pull all the modules. ECM, PCM, BCM, and PC. Fuse boxes, relays, and one good tranny and install it all into a 14 basic "Plain Jane" and turn the ugly girl into the prom queen.

This is certain to make for a good damn story.

I'll update this thread as this develops....

DAY 1

My '15 Aero. I removed the damaged body parts a few weeks ago.
125080


The '13 Limited flood casualty
125081
125082
125083


My "Cinderella Story". The '14 SE.
125084
125086
 

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I'm starting this thread to document this crazy ass build I've decided to take on. I'm sure I'll have many questions along the way as I've never before done anything of this magnitude. And I'm sure I'll learn things along the way that may help others. Now, here's what I've gotten myself into.....

I bought brand new a '15 Dodge Dart Aero. Wanted the good fuel mileage for a work car. It's done me well. Presently has 158,000 on it and no mechanical problems. 1 months ago I rear ended a SUV. But not hard enough to damage "too much". Basically just the front clip, impact bar, upper core, radiator, fan, and one fender. When I realized all the all the bad parts were bolt on I decided to fix it myself. Why not? I'm mechanically inclined. I've off and on done light car work since I was a teenager. I own it outright. Why should I let someone else get that insurance check. So I decided I'd buy a parts car and repurpose the parts needed and part out what I didn't need. I live in KC and there's been an abundance of flood cars after the year the Midwest has had. Figured that would be my best cheapest bet since I didn't need any hardware. Just the plastic. Got lucky and found a '13 Limited w/2.0L flood casualty with a junk title at Copart right here in town. Had almost everything I needed. All but the lower bumper. But it was exactly what I needed. Got it for $600. Got the car home and instantly realized that this car was in unbelievable condition for a flood casualty. Interior and all components and options still functioned. Car started and drove. Except for the water in the engine oil and fog lights I found zero evidence the car was in a flood. After some investigation, it turns out that the car was not a flood casualty and had only been driven into a high water crossing and had not been submerged long. So what was supposed to be a parts car was mostly a usable car. But the junk title meant it would never drive the road again. Especially since all it needed was a new head gasket. I started today pulling the body parts I needed to restore my '15. Just happened to glance at an active Copart auction in Tulsa. And that's when everything changed.....

Nine lots away from the block was a '14 SE. 52K miles, a good 2.0L and a bad transmission. Its pretty skinny on options but the body had no apparent damage. But it had a manual. The good tranny I had was an automatic. I should have put my phone down right there. But I wanted to watch it go through the lane. Bidding started at $1200 and was slow from the start. Bidding stalled at $1650. From the first moment I'd seen it I said $1700 was tops I'd go. And that's exactly what I bought it for.

So now here I am. The proud owner of 3 Darts. One with a good motor, good tranny and a shit body. One with a bad motor, but a good body, good tranny, and some kick ass options. And a third with a good motor, bad tranny and no options at all. So now I'm committed. I'm going to restore my '15 Aero as planned. The' 13 will fulfill its fate as a parts car donating its organs to save the lives of another Dart. I'm going to strip it to the harness. The leather seats, the console, the heated steering wheel, even the garage door opener. I'm gonna pull all the modules. ECM, PCM, BCM, and PC. Fuse boxes, relays, and one good tranny and install it all into a 14 basic "Plain Jane" and turn the ugly girl into the prom queen.

This is certain to make for a good damn story.

I'll update this thread as this develops....

DAY 1

My '15 Aero. I removed the damaged body parts a few weeks ago.
View attachment 125080

The '13 Limited flood casualty
View attachment 125081 View attachment 125082 View attachment 125083

My "Cinderella Story". The '14 SE.
View attachment 125084 View attachment 125086
Can't wait to see your progress. Best of luck.

Sent from my Nokia 7.1 using Tapatalk
 

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For the flood car you need to pull up teh carpet and any lower trim and really make sure you don't have sitting water/mold. If mold has started or on teh carpet it's trash and not even worth trying to save it at that point. Same thing with the seats, you're really gonna want to check those over as it might not be as noticeable. Judging by the way the leather is looking it has some sitting water on it
 

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For the flood car you need to pull up teh carpet and any lower trim and really make sure you don't have sitting water/mold. If mold has started or on teh carpet it's trash and not even worth trying to save it at that point. Same thing with the seats, you're really gonna want to check those over as it might not be as noticeable. Judging by the way the leather is looking it has some sitting water on it
Well i believe he is not saving that one. It's his 15 Aero that he is swapping everything into, so ultimately if there was mold it's not a big issue except for breathing it in without good ventilation. The seats might pose an issue, but that can be cleaned off once removed from the car.

Definitely looking forward to the progress! That is awesome you got the SE for 1700! If I were you, I would have bought that for a second winter beater at that price. Solid engine, and who knows what the trans issue is. If it's gone, not worth replacing, but it would be funny if it was something as small as the shift cables and could be fixed for cheap. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For the flood car you need to pull up teh carpet and any lower trim and really make sure you don't have sitting water/mold. If mold has started or on teh carpet it's trash and not even worth trying to save it at that point. Same thing with the seats, you're really gonna want to check those over as it might not be as noticeable. Judging by the way the leather is looking it has some sitting water on it
The car being deemed a flood casualty is more of a legal designation than an actual condition. It had been driven into a high water crossing and the engine compartment was the only portion of the car underwater. The cabin stayed dry. Every single electrical component is functioning. But, since the car was deemed a total loss due to water in the motor, Missouri insists it be reported as a flood casualty. And, come to find out, I may be able to get it out of junk status. DOR can't find record of a salvage title ever being applied for and any car 6 years or less must first be applied for salvage before being junked. If that be the case, I may end up searching for another parts car to replace using it for replacing the body parts I still need for the Aero and the transmission for the SE and fix and resell then both. At present I've only got $2300 in both cars. Hopefully I can get a clear answer from the state so I can resume work. The SE is set for delivery later this week and I did get most of the body restored on the Aero this weekend. Kinda nice to have a hood again. Lol. After I finish 100% I'll update with pictures.
 

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The car being deemed a flood casualty is more of a legal designation than an actual condition. It had been driven into a high water crossing and the engine compartment was the only portion of the car underwater. The cabin stayed dry. Every single electrical component is functioning. But, since the car was deemed a total loss due to water in the motor, Missouri insists it be reported as a flood casualty. And, come to find out, I may be able to get it out of junk status. DOR can't find record of a salvage title ever being applied for and any car 6 years or less must first be applied for salvage before being junked. If that be the case, I may end up searching for another parts car to replace using it for replacing the body parts I still need for the Aero and the transmission for the SE and fix and resell then both. At present I've only got $2300 in both cars. Hopefully I can get a clear answer from the state so I can resume work. The SE is set for delivery later this week and I did get most of the body restored on the Aero this weekend. Kinda nice to have a hood again. Lol. After I finish 100% I'll update with pictures.
You still have to be careful, cars aren't always water tight, especially when driving through water high enough to be deemed a flood car
 

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Well i believe he is not saving that one. It's his 15 Aero that he is swapping everything into, so ultimately if there was mold it's not a big issue except for breathing it in without good ventilation. The seats might pose an issue, but that can be cleaned off once removed from the car.

Definitely looking forward to the progress! That is awesome you got the SE for 1700! If I were you, I would have bought that for a second winter beater at that price. Solid engine, and who knows what the trans issue is. If it's gone, not worth replacing, but it would be funny if it was something as small as the shift cables and could be fixed for cheap. Good luck!
He mentioned pulling parts off of it (seats being one of those). Car fabric really love to hold onto mold and involves a ton of cleaning, there's even instances of not even getting anywhere close to clean enough
 

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I think all of my Neons had the tail light gasket leak that would let rain water accumulate in the spare tire well and eventually got the carpet wet. Never had any ill effects once the leak got fixed and the carpet dried out. I think it's over exaggerated about the mold. Maybe you have to be sensitive to it for it to be a problem.
 
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