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Thread: upgraded suspension reivews

  1. #1
    FNG
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    Feb 2010
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    upgraded suspension reivews

    Hello everyone.
    I finally painted my 1969 charger and we are in the wet sanding phase, ( Ill post pix later when we are done) I had originally thought to do a full hotchkis TVS system. A friend of mine who also has a second gen 1968 charger asked me what type of suspension I was going with. upon hearing my thoughts he countered with why not a coil over/ rack and pinion? I said that the alterkation unit was very expensive and was out of my budget. He then stated his reasons why I should think twice about using an old torsion bar design and not a newer and improved full front suspension with rack and pinion and coil overs. I then went home and began pricing everything out and honestly when everything is said and done the
    Hotchkis TVS system
    fast pitman arm
    borgenson steeting box
    power steering pump
    front brake kit
    hotchkis torsion bars
    hotchkis shocks
    all together add up to almost the same amount as the Reilly alterkation unit (or one like it Gerst, HDK etc)
    I am going to use my car as a weekend warrior and also autocross. No drag strip for me. I would like it to handle well and be as comfortable as possible. Y have 18X9 wheels up front and 19X12 in the back.
    For those of you that have either of these units (rack and pinion or Hotchkis) Do you like them and why did you choose one over the other?

  2. #2
    FNG
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    Mar 2011
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    San Jose CA
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    I'm doing my research on these systems now too and would be very interested in hearing everyone's opinions on them. From what I've read so far, the real reason everyone wanted to switch to coils form torsion bars was for header clearance and tuning ability. Now there are lot's of tuning choices for torsion bars. And having the torsion bars where they are, actually reduces your unsprung weight compared to coils which are considered unsprung weight. Please correct me if that's wrong. So, the big reason those coil kits came out originally is not as critical as it used to be. One kit I thought was interesting was the QA1 setup. Keeps your torsion bars and updates everything else, also reduces the weight up front a bit by replacing the K-frame with a tubular one.

    One thing is great, there are lots of good options out there, also a bad thing in that now I have to agonize over which direction to go. Hahaha.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dangina's Avatar
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    I went was going to go with a RMS kit, but I broke it down to this, for the cost of just the FRONT RMS kit, I was able to do all of this to the front and rear of my car:

    AndyF 13" Viper big brake kit from doctor diff w/drilled slotted rotors
    AndyF LCA braces
    Auto Rust Technicicans Torque boxes
    Boregson Power Steering Box Large Sector
    BCA Power Steering coupler adapter
    Dr. Diff 11.7" Rear brake kit with cobra calipers
    Energy Suspension Polyurethane bushings
    Firm feel Fast ratio Pitman and Idler arm
    Firm feel 1.12 torsion bars
    Firm feel roller bearing Idler arm kit
    Firm feel nylon control bushings
    Firm feel greaseable control pins
    Firm feel 2" rear leaf spring brackets
    Hellwig tubular front sway bar 1.25"
    Hellwig rear adjustable sway bar 7/8"
    Hotchkis Front geometry corrected tubular upper A arms
    Hotchkis Adjustable Strut rods
    Hotchkis Heavy Duty front sway bar bushing brackets
    Howe 11/16" tie rod ends with 5/8" studs and spacers
    Hypercoils rear leaf springs (200lbs)
    Moog rear Sliders for leaf springs
    Magnumforce 2" Dropped spindles
    Moog balljoints
    Moog tie rod ends 11/16"
    Moog double ball joint sway bar hanger
    welded and strengthened kmember (did that on my own)
    Qa1 double adjustable shocks
    custom subframe connectors, inner fender braces, lower rad braces and tie rod sleeves
    probably forgetting some lol
    stock saginaw powersteering with a different flow control valve

    Car handles as well as a modern machine and its all bolt in parts. I also did it because I wanted to get in scca cam t category someday - handles beautifully, no regrets.
    Build thread!!!http://www.protouringmopar.com/showthread.php?796-1971-Speedipus-Rex

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brads70's Avatar
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    The most common complaint I've heard with aftermarket k-frames that use a rack is they loose turning radius.They all use the mustang rack which is the cause of the shorter turning radius.
    Gerst and RMS looks nice I talked to both of them at Carlisle a few times. But they all seem to use the pinto spindle with welded on steering arms. Call me paranoid but I'm not a fan of that. I'd like to see a bigger spindle, bigger bearings and a steering arm that's not welded on. Beware of aftermarket systems that use the shock tower to support the weight of the car. It was not designed to do that.
    There is nothing wrong with the basic stock design, just need to get the bump steer out of it and use real spring rates and good shocks. My car out handles most ( not all) newer cars with the stock design. just upgraded parts similar to what dangina is using. I often don't use the brakes when making turns in town. Tires are also a big part of a good handling car.

  5. #5
    FNG
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    Nov 2013
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    Looking at your list and don’t see front or rear brakes at Dr. Diff. Also what is AndyF? Thanks for reply.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Brads70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda_440 View Post
    Looking at your list and don’t see front or rear brakes at Dr. Diff. Also what is AndyF? Thanks for reply.
    Andy's website/store , I've used a few parts from him. Honest seller to deal with! http://arengineering.com/about-us/
    Cass is also great to deal with ! (DrDiff)

    http://www.doctordiff.com/brakes/complete-kits/

    Hope that helps some ! Andy and Cass work together and some of the brake kits/components have been discontinued I'd guess due to not selling very many? People that are into Mopars that handle and stop are few and far between. You either have the purist types that want date coded everything or Drag race types that just want to go fast in a straight line with as least amount of weight as possible.
    Last edited by Brads70; 10-23-2017 at 07:37 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dangina's Avatar
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    I apologize the andyf kit is http://arengineering.com/ Andy (who's written a few mopar handling books) used to work together with Dr. Diff and they had this kit that were 13" rotors provided by dr.diff, and the gen2 caliper brackets were provided by andy. And you had to buy the viper calipers off of viper forums (usually $300 for the pair). Dr diff also used to sell a rear 12" rotor running ford cobra calipers but both kits are now unavailable now I believe. I believe the lower control arm braces are now sold through firmfeel.com along with a ton of other suspension upgrades. I would call dr. diff (cass) and see if he has any of the kits still available kicking around but I think he sold them all and is now running his own line. Dick at firm feel is also a great man to talk to over the phone and very knowledgeable at all things mopar.
    Build thread!!!http://www.protouringmopar.com/showthread.php?796-1971-Speedipus-Rex

  8. #8
    FNG
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    Nov 2013
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    Thanks for the reply. The more info I can get the better.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    ImO, aftermarket kits don't offer really superior geometry. They improve a few spots a little bit, but are not a wholesale improvement. They do have a few advantages though; they drop weight, allows fast spring rate changes, and have access to inexpensive springs. If any of these are important to you, then they would be a better choice.

    The stock set up only really suffers in a few areas; lack of caster, which can be fixed with aftermarket controls arms, limited t-bar rates, and weight.

  10. #10
    Mopar Owner and Builder Rolling_Thunder's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Southern California
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    I decided to keep my factory mopar set up - just upgraded torsion bars, control arms, etc etc... used Hotchkis for swap bars but went MP for the torsion bars and rear leaf springs ---

    system works pretty well - is it a top of the line pro-touring system? no... but its a system that is proven, robust, and serviceable with any parts house pieces.
    1968 Dodge Charger - 6.1L Hemi / 5-speed manual / 3.55:1 Sure Grip

    2013 Dodge Challenger R/T - 5.7L Hemi / 6-speed manual / 3.73:1 Limited Slip

    1964 Dodge Polara 500 - 440 8-71 / 4-speed / 3.91 Sure Grip

    1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye - 340 / Auto / 3.23 Sure Grip

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brads70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolling_Thunder View Post
    I decided to keep my factory mopar set up - just upgraded torsion bars, control arms, etc etc... used Hotchkis for swap bars but went MP for the torsion bars and rear leaf springs ---

    system works pretty well - is it a top of the line pro-touring system? no... but its a system that is proven, robust, and serviceable with any parts house pieces.
    Good choice, I'd recommend Firm Feel torsion bars as the mopar ones are lacking from a quality and performance aspect. ( They are not big enough and they don't repeat I've found) Bet ya a shiny nickel you will go bigger at some point.

  12. #12
    FNG
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    Jul 2015
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    South Dakota
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    Ran Hotchkis components for 4 years now....Great equipment that has proven over and over for us, got my 2nd Goodguys win with it this past fall. Dad and I co-drive at every autocross event we do and we are right with the fast guys.
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