16. The Terminator
Though a lot of guys don't like working on it, once in a while we have to mess around with the wiring on our Mopars. For real street use, reliability is the key, so here's the real deal. Get rid of the cheap crimp connectors and use OE-style, noninsulated terminals. Use a pro-type crimper tool, which folds over the crimp tabs and indents the solid backing of the terminal for an OE-quality crimp. Once crimped, drop a bead of solder in the connection and you've got a terminal that won't fail. Use OE-style insulating cases and connectors or, minimally, some heat-shrink tubing. The worst approach is using cheap insulated aftermarket terminals crimped with nasty low-buck crimpers that just squeeze the terminal. These connections start out poor and will usually fail in time.
17. Connector Conductivity
A sound electrical connection is with minimal resistance. This means a good mechanical fit and no corrosion. Unfortunately, given all the years since they were new, corrosion on terminals is all too common on old Mopars. What to do? A dip in a mild acid solution, such as PPG's Metal Prep will quickly dissolve the corrosion, restoring the conductivity of the connection. Rinse the cleaned terminal with water, dry, and hit it with some WD-40 to protect the bare metal. A dab of dielectric grease will protect the connection practically forever.
No Fuelin' Around
18. Cool Fuel
We all know fuel octane is down from the good old days, but it seems today's fuel is more sensitive to heat than the stuff that was around when 'Cudas were new. Fuel-injected cars, with their high-pressure fuel systems, are largely immune to the problems of fuel percolation, vapor lock, and gasoline boiling in the carb's bowls during hot soak. This unfortunate problem is ugliest with aluminum carbs, the material used to make our Mopar's old Carter AFB and AVS mixers.
What to do? First, use a thick, heat-insulating gasket between the carb and the intake, which was OE on most Mopars. If an aluminum manifold is used, particularly in hot climates, block or restrict the exhaust crossover. Finally, make sure you use a fuel return line, which circulates excess fuel capacity back to the tank, allowing cooler fuel from the tank to continuously circulate back up to the carb. Many factory high-performance cars had return lines stock. This system can be retrofitted into standard cars, or a system can be fabricated using a fuel filter with a return fitting and running a steel line back to the tank.
19. Pressure Point
Without fuel getting to the carb, you're dead in the water. Factory HP cars used a 3/8-inch fuel line versus 5/16-inch lines in lesser models. The fatter fuel system is being re-popped by aftermarket line makers, so why not upgrade? Even with the good lines, the pump has to deliver the fire-juice, and again, the factory used special pumps in hi-po applications. Get the good pumps if running mechanicals; both Holley and Carter make new pumps similar to the factory performance units. Verify the fuel pressure with a mechanical gauge, such as this online unit on David Frieburger's Duster. For long treks, consider an electric pump near the tank. Not only will it help prevent vapor lock, but it can save your butt if the mechanical piece fails.