Pedal Predicament

I have a '69 Charger that was a 318 with an automatic, but I converted it to a Hemi with a four speed. I got the pedal assembly from a swap meet with all the linkage for the clutch. The pedal assembly was for a B-Body, and bolted in with no issues. I got the Hemi power brake booster with the mounting hardware from one of the venders at a swap meet. Everything bolted in with no issues, and the brakes function well. My problem is the clutch pedal is 2-1/2 inches higher than the brake pedal. The clutch pedal is about 8 inches off the floor and the brake is about 5-1/2 inches.

The clutch pedal is against the rubber stop. The brake pedal has the ability to come up that high, but when it is connected to the linkage that goes through the firewall to the brake booster, it will not go that high. Should both pedals be at the same height? Is there a longer linkage that goes between the pedal and the booster and I have the wrong one? The rod between the booster and the pedal is about 7 inches long.

Mike Huelsman - Via

Mike, I suspect that the clutch linkage is parked in the right spot, since you say the pedal arm is against the factory stop in the up position when released. This leaves the brake pedal as the problem spot. First, is the brake pedal coming up enough to meet the stop switch for the brake lights? You say it has the free travel to come up higher, so I have to conclude that the brake pedal is parking in the wrong place. It seems to me that the linkage you have on the brake side is incorrect for the Hemi booster, or is made up of mismatched components.

Where's My Power?

I rebuilt my 340, and I need help getting it to run better. The engine was bored .030-inch over, with domed KB pistons, Eagle rods, and the original crankshaft. I used Edelbrock aluminum 65cc heads. The pistons go into heads a little bit. The cam is a Comp Cams solid roller with 248 degrees duration at .050-inch, and .576-inch lift. The carb is a 650 Double Pumper on an Edelbrock Performer RPM manifold. I also have an MSD distributor. It's a four speed with 3.55 gears. In third and fourth gear it pulls well, but in first and second, it feels like its starving for fuel. What do you think I need to do?

Stephen - Via email

Stephen, your situation is kind of unusual, since a fuel delivery problem usually gets worse in the upper gears where the engine is pulling hard for a longer period of time. Based upon the rest of your combination, the 750 would definitely be better, but I don't think a lack of carb size is the main problem. Likewise, ignition related problems would not usually improve in the upper gears, so I am inclined to believe that the problem is not ignition related.

More than likely you are getting a fuel starvation problem. You can best verify this with an air/fuel ratio (lambda) gauge. You are likely uncovering the jets in the rear bowl and going lean under hard acceleration in first and second. This can be magnified if the float settings are off and the bowl is already short on fuel or the pump pressure or fuel system delivery is not up to the task. I would install a Holley jet extension kit in the secondary side, which should help keep the jets in the fuel. Check the fuel pressure under acceleration with a gauge, and make sure the float level is set to the bottom of the sight plug with fuel dribbling out.

Charger Changes

Back in the day, Grandpa ordered a custom '73 Charger. At some point it began burning oil, and was parked in a barn—which caught fire. The fire department pushed it out of the barn, in to the corn field, where it sat for 20 years. In 2005 I got married, and Grandpa gave us the car. My wife (Lisa Beth) is completely enamored with the car, so a resurrection was begun in 2008. The engine was seized, and I spent weeks soaking every moving part in penetrating oil, and beating on it with a three pound hammer. Eventually I got it stripped to the bare block. The machine shop was skeptical, but returned a beautifully reconditioned block, heads, and crankshaft. I put it back together with a few speed parts, and as of 2011 runs great. However, I'd like to take this car to the next level.

Given that it's the Wife's toy, I'd like to go tubular K-Frame, with a 5.7 Hemi and a 525RFE. I want to go with a brake upgrade, suspensions upgrade, etc. But the B-Body world seems to end at 1972. How difficult is it to make 1972 suspension parts fit into a 1973 car?

Jason Norris - Via

Jason, you will find that pretty much everything in the suspension changed in 1973, so parts made for the similarly styled 1972 and earlier B and E-Body cars will not interchange. That said, the basic factory suspension system for these cars was very good, and I would not overlook just giving it a basic upgrade to Mopar's original setup. You might be surprised at what a good rebuild with new steering components, new up-rated bushings, and most importantly, high end shocks, wheels and tires will accomplish.

If not already so equipped, the factory front and rear sway bars are very nice pieces for a street driver. These same components were used on the Cordoba/Magnum until 1981, and police package Fury and Monaco B-Bodies up to 1978. Add in a set of 11.75-inch rotors and 11-inch rear drums, and you will have a very capable braking system for the street with minimal changes.