1971 Dodge Demon - Rebel With A Cause
All The Latest Stuff In One Tight, Light '71 Dodge Demon.
From the March, 2009 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By Ro McGonegal
Photography by Robert McGaffin
Do builders of cool cars lead-foot around town in god-awful heaps? Do they show up with crusty, threadbare urchins? Jason Huber doesn't. He's the owner of G Force Design Concepts in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. G's rules include mostly Pro Touring iterations, Chevrolets predominantly, with a helping of Mustangs on the side, so this Sublime Green Demon is a direct departure from normality. One day Huber just shrugged, whipped off his Bow Tie, and went head-to-head with a Mopar. Jason, why did you wait so long?
"G Force wanted to show that not every car has to be a Camaro. Most of the cars we've done are Chevys and Camaros. This time, we wanted to step into the Mopar line. We wanted a car that had a very decent paint and body, and start from there. This way, the overall budget on the car can be more obtainable and easier on the pocket." Obviously, Huber is a person who reads the directions before fumbling with anything, so before he broke out a wrench, he made a plan, that critical blueprint to which he would attempt to adhere. Part of the plan naturally included a budget. Jason would be happy if they could bring the car in for less than six figures. Some budget!
We must also quantify the way Huber looks at a car and an intended project. Since he does this 24/7, he's well-versed in the potential pitfalls associated with such things. In an attempt to divorce himself from the subjective aspect, he built the car as if he was doing it for a customer. The project became just another piece of business, but with one exception: he was his own customer, so time was on his side. Naturally, he would keep it within budget.
G Force had several reservations about the Mopar suspension philosophy. It was old. It was difficult to work around. It was heavier than it needed to be. Leaf springs are for oxcarts, and the G Force team was not a band of die-hard Mopar freaks, so there was every reason to blaspheme. The key to this realm was a Reilly MotorSports Chassis Components AlterKtion subframe, tubular control arms, Air Ride air springs, antisway bar, four-bar rear suspension, and another arrangement of Air Ride springs. This system eliminates the torsion bars and incorporates Mustang II spindles, a heavy-duty sway bar, and 2003 Mustang rack steering. The Mustang II spindles open the door to a wide variety of aftermarket big brake options.
Jason: "With the major suspension design tackled, we decided on Air Ride Technologies ShockWave assemblies at the front and rear, with ride height sensors. The 4100I system had everything we needed for a clean and reliable air suspension system."
The way the original A-body torsion bar front suspension was devised, it naturally didn't allow for coil springs to be placed behind the spindles. A wider-than-stock track width solves this small nit. The AlterKation system, with Wilwood discs, yields an additional ? inch of clearance.
At the rear of the car, G Force moved the Demon's wheeltubs up to the framerail and inward 2.75 inches to accommodate the 18x12 wheels and 335-series rubber. They added subframe connectors front and rear, and moved the rear control arms on the four-bar setup inward to escape the sidewall of the wide tires. To eliminate the clunky, space-robbing factory leaf spring bundles, G used an RMS Street-Lynx triangulated four-bar setup to locate the narrowed Dana 60 housing and the highly adjustable Air Ride shocks.
We've seen hundreds of early Chevys with LS conversions that are becoming the norm, so why wouldn't G Force select a similar modern form from the latest Mopar inventory? Motive power is from a 425hp 6.1L Hemi taken from a crumpled Charger SRT8. In case you're wondering, the stock alloy intake manifold was powdercoated black to blend with the green and black exterior theme. The engine configuration provided a baseline for the future upgrades, and the standalone AEM management system allows for custom tuning in the future. The inevitable order will be a forged bottom end, more aggressive cylinder heads, and a big ol' turbocharger cramming in the boost.
Fitting the engine within the parameters of the new subframe was much easier with the inclusion of a Charlie's Oil Pans aluminum rear sump. It holds seven quarts of lube, and neatly clears the new RMS rack-and-pinion steering. Now, the room in and around the engine bay is nothing if not voluminous.
Blacked-out CCW Classic three-piece...
Blacked-out CCW Classic three-piece forgings against the lime green and black twin-snorkel hood make a bold statement, as if to say, "You want another hole, just keep messin' with me and I'll rip you a new one." The 12-inch rear hoops carry BFG 335/30ZR18 KDM compound.
Although G Force could have easily accommodated the original automatic, they wanted a clutch-actuated counterpart. As much as the rest of the Demon's systems are geared for maximum control, there was no reason to sidestep this issue. Besides, bangin' gears behind a Hemi of any stripe are cause for guns and tequila. Just short of that, Keisler Engineering served up one of their Tremec five-speed ensembles that includes everything needed to turn a car with a 1:1 handicap into a five-speed overdrive. Further, G Force included Keisler's hydraulic throwout bearing, billet steel flywheel, and an 11-inch Borg & Beck type pressure plate and disc.
The interior is completely functional, a tidy package, and G Force maintained minimal incursion, leaving the Auto Meter Sport-Comp II gauges in a flat, fabricated panel where the original stuff went. Creature comforts are at a minimum. Since Huber lives in southern Pennsylvania, not south Louisiana, the Demon has heat and defroster, but stops short of air conditioning. All the audio system components are Alpine, two amps, a single 10-inch subwoofer and four 6x9 bleaters. Right next to those controls is a keypad for the Air Ride height and firmness adjustment. In any case, Huber can access all of them with "blind" reach, never having to take his eyes from the road ahead.
Jason assumes the position in fourth-gen Camaro seats. G covered them with perforated Allante material (with matching back seat), a durable, abrasion-resistant vinyl that looks and feels like leather. That theme has been carried over to the headliner as well. Though Huber didn't see the need for safety harnesses and the bracing required for them, he compromised admirably with XV Motorsports three-point front belts and XV lap belts in the rear. An all-business Momo Champion steering wheel is juxtaposed with that funky, straight out of the '60s, dog-leg shifter. In the day, we'd change those wiggly props out for a Hurst linkage and peace of mind, but there's no denying that it fits the visual scheme perfectly.
So did Huber make his budget or did he crack his nut? "The final result exceeded our expectations and still came in within the budget we set up front," he said. "At the Run Through the Hills, we placed Sixth out of 50 cars in the autocross competition. The Demon is a great example of how much fun you can have building and driving a car like this without taking out a second mortgage. Bang for the buck, this turned out to be a great highway cruiser, autocross car, and dragstrip demon."
Pistol Grip shifter (from...
Pistol Grip shifter (from Keisler) is still a gnarly prop by anyone's standards, but fits the interior scheme very well.
See how it all blends? No...
See how it all blends? No surprises, no one particular thing that jumps in your eye. Major changes include a rack of Auto Meter Sport-Comp II instruments laid in the handmade panel, audio and Air Ride adjustment controls, the repro dog-leg shifter, Momo Champion steering wheel, and fourth-gen Camaro seats coated in leather-like Allante material.
Air Ride supplemented the...
Air Ride supplemented the suspension, and works off Reilly Motorsports suspension components that, among other qualities, eliminate the torsion bars. In back, the stock leaves were blown away in lieu of the Air Ride air shocks.
By The Numbers
|’71 DODGE DEMON |
|Jason Huber • Chambersburg, PA |
|Vehicle weight w/driver: 3,250 pounds |
|Type: ||Dodge, 372 cubic inches |
| ||(4.10 bore x 3.58 stroke) |
|Block: ||2006 Dodge 6.1L Hemi |
|Compression ratio: ||10.3:1 |
|Oiling: ||stock pump, Charlie’s Oil Pans |
| ||low-profile seven-quart pan |
|Rotating assembly: ||stock 3.58-inch |
| ||stroke forged crank, |
| ||powdered metal rods, |
| ||hypereutectic flat-top pistons |
|Cylinder heads: ||stock |
|Camshaft: ||stock |
|Engine controller: ||AEM standalone |
| ||electronic controller |
|Induction: ||stock cast aluminum intake manifold, |
| ||stock injectors, Walbro in-tank pump, |
| ||LS-style filter/regulator set at 58 psi, |
| ||Goodyear 300psi fuel line |
|Power adder: ||none (yet!) |
|Ignition: ||stock |
|Exhaust: ||TTI 6.1 headers, 1 7/8-inch primaries, |
| ||X-pipe, 3-inch exhaust system, |
| ||Corsa mufflers |
|Fasteners: ||stock |
|Built by: ||Mopar Performance |
|Transmission: ||Keisler Engineering |
| ||TKO 600 five-speed, |
| ||billet steel flywheel, |
| ||Borg & Beck 11-inch clutch assembly, |
| ||Keisler hydraulic throwout bearing |
|Driveshaft: ||custom 4340 steel, |
| ||1350-series yokes |
|Rear axle: ||Moser Dana 60, |
| ||housing narrowed 8 inches, |
| ||Tru-Trac differential, |
| ||3.55:1 ring-and-pinion |
|Front suspension: ||Mustang II-based spindle, |
| ||RMS Chassis Components, |
| ||Air Ride ShockWave air springs, |
| ||1.063-inch antisway bar |
|Rear suspension: ||RMS four-link, Air Ride |
| ||ShockWave air springs |
|Brakes: ||Wilwood SL6 calipers, 14-inch disc, front; |
| ||Wilwood SL4 calipers, 14-inch discs, rear |
|WHEELS & TIRES |
|Wheels: ||CCW Classic 18x8.5, front; 18x12, rear |
|Tires: ||BFG KDW |
| ||245/35ZR18, front; |
| ||335/30ZR18, rear |