Rather than installing our CalTrac bars and springs on our stock, somewhat rusty original front spring hangers, we opted for a pair of new hangars from AR Engineering. Since most of the car’s torque and power is transferred to the frame through the front spring hangers, it’s a good choice to replace these parts with new ones while the springs are off of the car. The AR Engineering front hanger brackets are made from .188-inch thick material, are zinc plated, and offer two mounting holes for dual ride height options. We chose the stock ride height for our Dodge, and installed the hangers using AR Engineering’s reinforcement plates and hardware. With our CalTracs and new mounting hardware installed, we moved on to our differential.

We all know that the 83⁄4 rear is one of the toughest built, second only to the Dana 60, but our factory open center-section with 2.76 ratio gears is basically worthless for a performance drag racing application. Since our Dodge will be a street/strip vehicle, and eventually end up only seeing track duty, we contacted Strange Engineering for an axle and spool package for our vehicle. Aftermarket axles are a mandatory upgrade for drag racing, required by the NHRA and other sanctioning bodies, and the Strange 35 spline axles and spool are some of the toughest in the business. Even better, the Strange axles get rid of the funky, early Mopar rear hub bolts, with retainers that bolt directly to the axle housing and non-adjustable sealed axle bearings.

We know you may be thinking that a spool is a little much for a street car, but this is barely a street car, and will only be driven on dry days or evenings to an occasional cruise night. Rather than installing a Sure Grip and having to change it later, we opted to install the spool for maximum straight line traction to both tires. For safety reasons, especially in a car that will be driven in the rain, we certainly don’t recommend a spool for a street car, but in our case we’ll sacrifice a little drivability for maximum traction.

To set up our rear differential, we took our components to Inline Performance Specialists. The crew at Inline installed our Strange spool with a Richmond 4.10-ratio ring and pinion gear set, all new carrier and pinion bearings, and a pinion yoke for a 1350 universal joint. With the components together, we bolted our center section and axles in place and filled the differential with AMSOIL Severe Gear 75W120 lubricant.

With our rear suspension and differential up to speed, we installed, we finally got to install our Weld racing 15x8-inch RT-S forged racing wheels and a set of Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial tires we got from Summit Racing Equipment. The Weld RT-S line of wheels are great looking, lightweight, one-piece forged wheels, and meet SFI 15.1 specifications for racing applications. To match the nostalgic look of our ’64 Dodge, we chose the five-spoke versions of this wheel with polished outers and black centers. The Mickey Thompson P275/60R15 tires are street legal, but sticky enough to give great traction on the track.

Speaking of the track, this month’s improvements get our Dodge that much closer to actually making a pass down the drag strip. We’re making good progress on our car, and hope to make the Mopar Muscle Mopar Southern Nationals at South Georgia Motorsports Park Memorial Day weekend. We hope to see you there, and can’t wait to finally get a chance to race our super stock Dodge. Be sure to follow this project in future issues of Mopar Muscle.

Performance Online Cal-Trac bars and brackets $339
Rear split mono-leaf springs $349
Strange Engineering double adjustable rear shocks $499
Strange 35 spline axle and spool kit with 5/8 studs and bearings $639.50
Richmond 4.10 gear set $247.50
Richmond differential bearing kit $91.11
Weld RT-S rear wheels $272.95
Mickey Thompson ET Street Tires $228 each

Summit Racing
Strange Engineering
8300 North Austin Avenue
Morton Grove
IL  60053
Inline Performance Specialist
AR Engineering
Weld Racing
6600 Stadium Drive
Kansas City
MO  64129
Calvert Racing
42156 10th Street West, Unit V
CA  93534
Performance Online
2572 E. Fender Ave. Unit #A
CA  92831