Show up to any of the many Pro Touring racing events through the country and you’ll spot a sea of Chevys, a handful of Mustangs, and maybe, just maybe, a Mopar. The running joke at the Goodguys autocross is that Mopars so rarely participate that there’s a bounty for the first one to show up and make a lap. Even if it’s just urban legend, it’s still close enough to the truth that it hurts. But Mopar fans should not despair; there are a few car builders and suspension manufacturers doing what it takes to represent you with muscle cars and parts that can turn corners on par with modern performance cars, and in some cases, even better.
The best news is that many of these ideas and designs are making their way into suspension systems—and even complete chassis. You can now swing a chassis under your Mopar muscle machine to show the GM and Ford camps that these cars can hold their own on a racetrack and on the street. If cutting your Mopar’s unibody up for a chassis isn’t your thing, you can do the bolt-on program with surprisingly good results.
For the time being, however, Mopars don’t get as much love from the suspension players, so we thought we’d pull together a few pages of the hottest suspension offerings to help you convert your Chrysler, Dodge, or Plymouth muscle car from legendary straight-line performance to a tire-scrubbing handling machine. Hopefully, these goodies will finally raise the eyebrows of Corvette and Viper owners at the track!
What: G-Machine Chassis
What it fits: ’68-70 B-Body and ’70-74 E-Body
What it does for your Mopar: The G-Machine Chassis from Schwartz Performance lets you slip an entirely new chassis under your unibody Mopar, giving it modern handing, steering, and brakes in addition to a rigid foundation. The G-Machine chassis doesn’t require you to cut the floor for installation, although you will need to cut out the inner fenderwells and front frame section up to the firewall. The torsion bar crossmember is notched for the new frame to pass through, and plates are welded to them. On the B-Bodies, the rear section bolts to the original framerails. On the E-Bodies, the inside of the rear framerails will also need to be cut and moved so they are parallel to the new chassis.
The G-Machine Chassis does not replace the unibody structure, but strengthens it. The front suspension and engine originally bolted to sheetmetal, and both will now attach to the new chassis, resulting in reduced road noise, less twist, and more strength.
What: TVS and Upgrade Components
What it fits: ’66-69 B-Body, ’67-72 A-Body, and ’70-74 E-Body
What it does for your Mopar: Offering kits for more Mopar models than any other company, Hotchkis Total Vehicle Systems (TVS) provide the components you’ll need to dramatically improve the handling performance of your Mopar muscle car. Engineered as a tuned system, the TVS reduces body roll, improves handling, and gives the driver much better control over his car.
The specific components included in the TVS vary depending on the application, but generally include geometry-corrected tubular upper control arms, adjustable strut rods, front and rear sport sway bars, geometry-corrected rear leaf springs, and subframe connectors. Installation is straightforward with minimal welding required. The systems retain the original K-member.
Hotchkis Sport Suspension
What: RS Fast Track Chassis
What it fits: ’70-74 E-Body
What it does for your Mopar: The Roadster Shop has solved the entire issue of making upgrades to the Mopar unibody by creating a Fast Track chassis that provides real structure. The Fast Track chassis starts off with 10-gauge boxed framerails that are CNC cut and TIG welded together. It includes a front suspension system with 1¼-inch tubular upper arms and 1⅝-inch lower control arms designed to accept C6 spindle and Z06 hubs, letting you fit monstrous brakes on your E-Body. In fact, you can order it with either 13- or 14-inch Wilwood discs for the front. The suspension also includes Afco billet coilovers and the chassis yields a lower vehicle ride height without severely limiting suspension travel. All bushings in the suspension are Delrin and have grease fittings for a long, quiet lifetime.
The rear suspension is a triangulated four-bar design, also including Afco billet coilovers. An independent rear suspension (IRS) is optional. The entire chassis is a weld-in assembly, replacing all of the factory suspension mounting points and adding considerable rigidity to the vehicle for much improved handling
What: AlterKtion and Street-Lynx Suspension Systems
What it fits: ’66-70 B-Body, ’67-72 A-Body, and ’70-74 E-Body
What it does for your Mopar: RMS developed the AlterKtion front suspension and Street-Lynx rear suspension to greatly improve the handling, response, and control of popular Mopar muscle cars, making use of readily available, off-the-shelf parts, and requiring no cutting of the car for installation.
The AlterKtion front suspension replaces the K-member and upgrades the entire suspension with adjustable coilovers, power rack-and-pinion, custom engine mounts, and A-arms designed with handling geometry in mind. The layout, geometry, spring rate, and sway bar size are all designed to complement each other to provide excellent roll control without sacrificing ride quality.
The Street-Lynx triangulated four-link rear suspension improves the ride quality and wheel control compared to the original leaf springs. The positive location of four-link bars eliminates the tail-wagging feeling of leaf springs during cornering. The system fits with a stock gas tank and tailpipes. Although a bar must be welded into the car, no cutting is necessary, and the lower links use the factory leaf-spring mounts. Like the AlterKtion front suspension, it’s also easy to return a car to original later if desired.
RMS Advanced Suspension Systems
Hotrods To Hell
What: CenterDrive Truckarm Suspension Kit
What it fits: ’70-74 E-Body
What it does for your Mopar: Hotrods to Hell offers both front and rear suspension systems for ’70-74 E-Bodies, including its CenterDrive rear suspension kit. The CenterDrive kit is designed to eliminate wheelhop, improving handling and traction while maintaining good ride quality.
The kit works with your stock axlehousing (or an aftermarket housing). New brackets are provided for you to weld to your axlehousing and attach the long lower control arms. Also included are coil springs and shocks to replace the original leaf springs. A Panhard bar is added to control lateral movement of the axle.
Hotrods to Hell
Art Morrison Enterprises
What: Max G Chassis
What it fits: ’68-70 B-Body and ’70-74 E-Body
What it does for your Mopar: Art Morrison offers its Max G chassis as a universal performance chassis that you can drop your unibody Mopar onto. You’ll need to cut out the floor of your car and construct a new one that fits over the new chassis and your drivetrain components.
The Max G chassis gives you a choice between tubular steel front suspension control arms or C6 forged aluminum A-arms. The rear is an Art Morrison triangulated four-bar system. Strange Engineering adjustable coilovers are used at all four corners. The chassis is also equipped with a 20:1 rack-and-pinion steering system. All Max G chassis are CAD-engineered and built from 2x4-inch frame sections. They include pass-through sections for 3-inch exhaust to maximize ground clearance on extra-low cars.