When it comes to muscle cars, Mopar owners are blessed with some of the best production vehicles produced during the '60s and '70s. And though these vehicles were ahead of the competition in terms of factory performance, a lot has changed since the days of flat-tappet camshafts and drum brakes. In fact, the suspension, brakes, engines, and drivetrains of most muscle cars would be more at home in a museum than on the road when compared to modern vehicles. And while some die-hard Mopar owners still think leaving their cars bone stock is the way to go, there are distinct advantages to upgrading these cars with modern aftermarket components.
This month we'll show you ten (well, nine and three quarter) parts that we feel are great upgrades for your Mopar. Of course there's no way we can list all of the parts we'd like to have in one article, but this will give you some good ideas so you can upgrade your car with modern components to make it safer, improve performance, and make it more fun to drive which is what Mopars were made for. And what about that last quarter of a part? You'll have to click the link at the bottom of the page to see it.
01 Milodon's Billet Oil Pump
If there's one company known for manufacturing quality oil system components for your Mopar, it's Milodon. In fact, if you see a Mopar at the track with the engine screaming past 7,500 rpm, you can bet the oil system contains Milodon components. The latest offering from the oil system gurus is this billet oil pump for Mopar big-block and Hemi engines. These billet pumps and pump covers are compatible with both internal and external oil pickups and provide a higher volume of oil to critical engine components than stock pumps are capable of. Even better, these billet oil pumps are made in America and require less horsepower to turn than other oil pumps, making them a great choice for street, strip, or dual-purpose applications.
02 Performance Distributors' DUI Distributors
Getting enough spark to your cylinders, especially in a high-performance engine, requires the right ignition system. Performance Distributors offers their D.U. I line of distributors for Mopar Hemis, big-blocks, and small-blocks, providing more spark energy which equates to more horsepower and torque from your engine. These distributors include the coil and internal ignition module making them easy to install with simple one-wire hookup, and feature custom tailored advance curves to optimize throttle response and engine power. Race versions offer a built-in rev limiter and instant timing knob as well for easy ignition timing adjustments.
03 Passon Performance's five-speed Manual Transmission
If you enjoy dumping the clutch and rowing through the gears while driving your Mopar, you'll really like the new A-855 five-speed manual transmission from Passon Performance. Unlike other overdrive manual-transmission conversions, this five-speed is dimensionally identical to the Chrysler A-833 four-speed, making installation a snap. You won't need to buy a new bellhousing, flywheel, or driveshaft since the Passon five-speed allows you to reuse the components already in your car. Constructed with an aluminum case, the A-855 is lighter than factory cast-iron four-speeds, and offers a .70:1 fifth gear ratio for easy highway cruising. And what about the shifter? Unlike many other overdrive conversions, it stays in the same location as the factory four-speed unit. So if you like shifting, Passon Performance has just given you one more reason to convert your Mopar to a five-speed.
04 Moser Engineering's Fabricated 8-3/4 Housing
Between the transmission and the tires is a part of the car that is often forgotten, at least until it has a problem. The new Moser fabricated 8-3/4 housing ensures that you won't have a differential problem since it's far stronger than factory housings. Moser offers this rear-end housing for all popular Mopar body styles, and can custom make one for your car as well if you require a differential narrower than stock. The center section of this differential is made from 1/8 inch laser cut mild steel with a 3/8 inch flange, and features a vent, drain plug, and custom machined fill cap. The axle tubes are three inch outside diameter, and are fabricated from seamless 1/4 inch wall steel. This housing comes with your choice of 30, 33, or 35 spline alloy axles, and will ship two days after your online or phone order. If you plan on putting a lot of power to the pavement, this 8-3/4 housing will take whatever you throw at it without adding the weight of a Dana 60.
05 Comp's Thumpr Small-block Mopar Camshafts
We all want our Mopar to attract attention as we pull into the local cruise night, and nothing screams performance like a loping camshaft through a nice set of dual exhaust. Comp's Thumpr series of retro-fit hydraulic roller cams give you just the sound that you want, while targeting horsepower and torque gains for your small-block Mopar engine. These camshafts install easily into Chrysler's LA series of engines which were originally designed for flat-tappet style cams, and offer the perfect blend of duration and lobe separation angle. Available in three configurations, Thumpr, Mutha' Thumpr, and Big Mutha' Thumpr, you'll add power, torque, and an awesome sound without sacrificing your Mopar's drivability.
06 FAST's EZ EFI Fuel Injection System
When it comes to installing electronic fuel injection on a classic Mopar, most of us carb guys are a little skittish. Fortunately, the new EZ-EFI system from FAST (Fuel,Air,Spark Technology) is a complete, turn-key system that makes installing and tuning fuel injection easy without the need for a laptop or any prior tuning experience. With EZ-EFI, fuel-injection is a breeze to install and the patented self-tuning technology simply prompts you to input answers to some basic questions into the provided hand-held unit and then tunes itself while you drive. The throttle body contains the injectors and fuel rails, and hooks up to carburetor style throttle linkage. In addition to self-tuning functions, the hand-held unit includes onboard diagnostics, a check engine LED display, and a protective ôlimp-modeö to keep the engine running even if the signal is lost from any of the sensors. Best of all, the EZ-EFI system will support engines up to 600 horsepower, providing power, throttle response, and reliability simply not found with carburetors.
07 ZEX's Nitrous-Oxide Systems
When it comes to adding power to your Mopar, nothing is quicker and easier than installing a nitrous oxide kit. Zex offers nitrous kits for carburetor equipped Mopars as well as newer fuel-injected engines, and they have been engineered to be easy to install and even easier to tune. For carbureted engines, ZEX offers kits designed to add a little or a lot of horsepower, with cutting edge features such as the perimeter plate injection system. ZEX was also the first to market a kit specifically designed for 2008 and up Dodge Challengers equipped with the 5.7 and 6.1 Hemi engines, offering power increases from 75 to 175 horsepower. These systems offer engine protection with Active Fuel Control which monitors tank pressure and adjusts the kit's fuel enrichment so the mixture is never too lean. Easily installed in two to three hours, these ZEX nitrous systems set the industry standard for safely and conveniently adding power to your Mopar.
08 440 Source's Stealth Aluminum Cylinder Heads
If there's one part of an engine critical to making power, it is the cylinder head. Having the right cylinder head affects many engine parameters, but thanks to 440-Source aluminum heads for your big-block Mopar now affect your bottom line less than ever. These Stealth heads are cast from aluminum, so they only weigh 29 pounds each fully assembled. Cast with a preferable closed chamber design, Stealth heads offer 2.14 inch intake and 1.81 inch exhaust valves made from forged stainless steel. The also retain the factory shaft-style rocker arm supports for stock diameter rocker shafts, and don't require specially offset rockers like some other aftermarket cylinder heads. These aluminum heads flow 280-290 cfm on the intake side as cast, making them capable of 550 horsepower when used on a 500ci Mopar wedge. At less than a grand per pair, these heads will wake up your big-block while also shedding weight from the front of your car.
09 Hotchkis' Total Vehicle System (TVS) Suspension
Let's face it, when it comes to handling and suspension, our older Mopars come up short when compared to modern vehicles. In fact, one of the biggest complaints we get from readers who have restored a Mopar is that it just doesn't drive or handle like it should. Hotchkis Performance must have noticed the same flaw in older Mopars, and has engineered Total Vehicle System (TVS) Suspension kits for A-, B-, and E-Bodies. These superior suspension kits include Hotchkis sub-frame connectors for added rigidity, and geometry corrected leaf springs and an adjustable 13/16-inch diameter tubular sway bar for the rear. Up front, the TVS kits include geometry corrected tubular control arms, adjustable strut and steering rods, and a lightweight, durable 1 -inch tubular front sway bar. So if you want to bring your Mopar's handling into the current century, be sure to check out the TVS kits and components available from Hotchkis Performance.
09-3/4 TCI's 6X Six-Speed Automatic Transmission
Automatic transmissions have come a long way since the TorqueFlites that were installed in most of our classic Mopars, and TCI has taken full advantage of these advances and incorporated them into their 6X six-speed automatic. Available for the Mopar small-blocks and big-blocks as well as new and old Hemis, the 6X gives drivers six forward gears for improved acceleration and a final .75:1 overdrive ratio for better fuel economy. The TCI kit includes a 6X transmission, appropriate Chrysler bellhousing, flexplate, transmission control unit and wiring harness, dipstick, fluid, and transmission cooler, so there is nothing else to purchase. Each TCI 6X transmission is run on a computer controlled transmission dyno, ensuring proper operation prior to shipping. Able to handle up to 850 horsepower, the 6X transmission is a great choice for street, pro-touring, or race vehicles.