Ask a car guy what he thinks about modifying a classic muscle car and you will get either a dissertation about why it shouldn’t be done, or a thought about how great updating can be. There is no gray area in this regard, you either accept it or hate it. But, if you’re thinking about performance, then modifications and upgrades are generally needed. Let’s take for instance the Mopar suspension. The stock Mopar torsion bar suspension is a good design in regards to a stock suspension. The torsion bars and shocks absorb bumps, and the steering lets you make turns. But, is that enough? Many enthusiasts would like their classic cars to drive, ride, and handle like their everyday commuters, and the 30 – 40 year old factory suspension just doesn’t accomplish that task.
Such is the case with our latest project, Project 50. From the beginning, we planned to build a 50-state legal ’69 Charger. The purpose of the project is to build a car with exceptional, modern performance and drivability, while retaining the classic lines of a true muscle car. Now that the basic metal and body repairs are done, it’s time to work on the suspension. Since modern performance and drivability are the goal, a modern suspension is required. Enter Reilly Motorsports, and their AlterKtion suspension.
The AlterKtion front suspension is a complete system that is designed to bolt directly into your car using the original K-frame mounting points and bolts. Now, unlike some other aftermarket K-frame kits that use the coil over and the factory shock tower to support the car, (the shock tower was never designed to support the weight of the car), the AlterKtion’s shock-tower design is integrated into the k-frame. According to Bill Reilly, “Some of our first systems from 1999 have seen over 60,000 miles and counting, and they’re still using the original bushings and rod ends they were shipped with.
The AlterKtion is available in different configurations, all you need to do is contact Reilly Motorsports, and they can get you what you need. We ordered the Street/Handling kit, which comes with a 1-1/16-inch sway bar, a custom-valved power steering rack, and hoses that will connect to the factory power-steering pump.
We ordered ours with engine mounts for a late-model Hemi, but other engine mount options are available, and include complete poly bushed spool-type mounts. All systems are powder coated black, and ready to install. The brake kit is not included, but Reilly Motorsports has several options you can choose from.
A leading concern when many guys modify or upgrade their car is the possibility of irreversible modifications. The only modification required to install the AlterKtion is to remove the factory bump stop brackets from the frame rails. This allows their shock tower to fit flush with the outside of the frame rail. Once these brackets are removed, the frame bolts into place with no additional fitting, welding, or reinforcing.
But, like any aftermarket piece of equipment, it is designed for a particular purpose, and therefore, will have some compromises in other areas. According to Bill, “The compromises for the design occur in leaf-sprung drag cars. We moved the travel range up 1-1/4 inches, so you lose that much rise when you leave. That drops your 60-foot time, which requires some adjusting to get back. Four link and ladder bar cars don’t really need the travel, and have a lot of adjustment available, so there’s no concern. The other compromise is that 15-inch rims are limited to 6-inches wide. This kit was really designed for cars with 17-inch and up wheels”.
Whether or not you feel that your car needs this upgrade, it’s tough to argue the fact that the improved handling, suspension geometry, and good ride characteristics, it’s an upgrade that you’ll be happy you made.
Cost for Alterktion Street/Handling (PN RMS302): $4,240.00