Interior Parts Swap for 1971-1974 B-Bodies

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Interior Parts Swap for 1971-1974 B-Bodies

Post by Dave » Mon Oct 06, 2003 5:43 pm

Compiled by Dave Goerlich and Jeff Brown

There are few, if any, sources for reproduction interior pieces for the 71-74 B-bodies. This sends those of us who are trying to restore these cars to the boneyards and swap meets in search of these parts. Here are some points to keep in mind when looking for these parts:

As far as front seats go, there are the 71-72 Style and then the 73-74 Style. Not a whole lot different, but enough to tell. The plastic seat backs are different, as well as the seat buns and covers. They will all bolt up without problem (I've got seats out of a '74 in my 71 RR right now). You can also use 70-74 E-Body seats, but you may have to change the rails, espically if you use ones from a 70. The back seats are pretty much the same across 71-74 B-bodies. E-body rears will not work as far as I know. I have never tried, but it wouldn't surprise me if the rear seat from a 4-door might be the same. I would definitely check some measurements before I bought some.

ALWAYS check the springs of any seats (front and rears, bottom and back) for broadcast sheets - in your car or any parts car/boneyard resident. The factory had a history of not always getting the right broadcast sheet into the right car, and you might find one that someone is desperately looking for.

The same console was used for the 71-74 B-body and E-body. There are two different basic console designs, auto and 4speed. It is possible to adapt an auto console to work in a 4-speed car, but you would have to find a top plate from a 4-speed. The button on the door in the console is the same as the button used on the glove box door in the Dodge pickups for a number of years (Pre-1994). You should be able to find these in locking and non-locking.

There seems to be 2 different variants as well. The 71-74 B and E body pieces have an ashtray for the back seat passengers. The 1970 E-body piece was different. It had an opening to put the "extra" female ends of your seatbelts (for the shoulder harness). When compared to the 71-up style, the 70 e-body console almost looks as though something is missing, but rest assured, that's how it came from the factory. Otherwise the two consoles appear to be identical.

Rear Lower Panels
There are basically 3 different types of rear lower panels, all of which will "fit" in place of the others:

- 71/72 version have a separate padded armrest. Unlike the armrests in the door, these have a tendency to be in better shape, probably because they were not used as much, and were not part of equation of closing the door.

- 73 version has a molded in armrest (all one piece). IMHO these are not as comfortable for any back seat passengers you may have, and just don't look as nice. I've always felt these looked "cheap" compared to the earlier versions.

- 74 was the first year of the combined shoulder and lap belts for the front seats. Because of this, the lower rear interior panels are different (to accommodate the retractor). 71-73 parts would require a LOT of work to make them fit a 74. Going the other direction, the 74's will fit a 71-73, but would not look correct, and IMHO look a little weird.

Rear Upper Panels
The upper rear interior panels (and sail panels) are different between the Dodge and Plymouth. This is due to the difference in shape between the quarter windows. I also believe that the 73-74 Plymouths were different from the 71-72 cars in this area as well. There is also the fact that these panels carry the trim design, so the would need to match your upper door panels in order to look correct.

Door Panels
Door panels (both upper and lower) should exchange without problem. There are the obvious things that might eliminate specific pieces (trim style, power windows, etc) but they will all "fit". You should note that if your car does have power windows (or you are planning on adding them) that the exact locations for each power window switch is marked on the back of each respective panel (lower door and lower rears).

Power Windows
The switches are actually used EVERYWHERE when you start looking. Even Volares/Aspens/Cordobas, etc, will have the same switches/bezels. Some coupes (i.e. Cordobas) will actually have a dual master (driver's door) since the quarter windows didn't roll down. You will be surprised how easy it was to find these parts once you really start looking.

All the motors are the same too (there's a right and left version though). I found it really nice to put connectors in the wiring about 2-3' off of each switch. That way you can mount the switches in the panel and then put them on and plug them in at the same time. It's also nice when for when you have to remove the panels. For a connector, snag the brake light 6 slot connectors behind the driver's kickpanel from a 72 and earlier B/C body or any A body. 73-up B/C's went to a 8 slot connector if I remember correctly. The original crimp on connectors can still be had to work with that connector.

Kick Panels/Sill Plates
I believe kick panels are the same across all years/makes, as well as the 4 door cars. These can be hard to find in good condition simply due to their location - they weren't called kick panels for no reason, and because this was a popular place to install stereo speakers.

Sill plates (those chrome plates that hold down the carpet along the door opening) should be the same for all 2-door 71-74 B-bodies. These are still widely available as NOS parts.

Carpet/Seat Covers/Headliners/Package Trays/etc.
If you are planning on doing a nice job on your car, I'd recommend just getting these types of things directly from Year One or some other restoration supplier. It MUCH easier than trying to find good used ones, and a lot of times a much cheaper.

FWIW, I'd order a Year One catalog if you haven't already. Other than being a cool thing to look at and dream over, they can also be an excellent resource as far as cross year and cross model parts compatibility.

Usefulness of 4 doors and station wagon parts cars
While they really can't give up much as far as "seating area" parts, they are an excellent source for a lot of dash parts. The dashes are the same between both 2 and 4 door models, so _everything_ can be used. The nice part of this is if you are planning on "optioning-up" your car, there are a lot of nicely optioned 4 doors out there. A/C ductwork, heater core, and the like. All the nice little things that make up the light group. Rear Defrost, etc. Also remember that they have the same dash pad, and you may find a nice one on a car that had once been a "grandma car" that stayed in the garage a lot of the time.

Just keep in mind that every wagon or 4dr isn't by default a parts car. Wagons are simply cool, and a 4dr makes a great driver, or even a cop car clone!

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