Planning to have your Mopar judged in the OE tent at the Mopar Nationals? You'll likely sp
Have you ever thumbed through an automotive catalog of aftermarket parts and been overwhelmed at the number and variety of items available for your Mopar these days? It seems manufacturers have heard the complaint that many Mopar owners have stated for years, that there just weren't any quality aftermarket pieces available for Mopars in comparison to other brands of vehicle. Times have changed, however, and numerous companies are now providing everything from factory replacement parts to exotic race items for our Mopars. And while it is nice to have choices these days when it comes to building our cars, picking the correct pieces from this plethora of parts can be a challenging proposition.
Back when this author began building Mopar street and race cars, the only manufacturer providing aftermarket parts for a Mopar was Chrysler's aftermarket division Direct Connection, now known as Mopar Performance. The parts from Direct Connection were helpful, but typically pricy and not readily available, leaving us begging for the aftermarket to catch up and provide economical alternatives. Today, there are many companies providing the pieces we need for our Mopars, and the market competition has brought prices down to very reasonable levels. Twenty years ago, we would have never guessed that you'd be able to purchase a pair of new aluminum cylinder heads for about a grand assembled. That's just one example of how reasonable prices have become for Mopar parts. The only question now is: How do I choose the right stuff to make my Mopar perform its best? And while the answer to this question can't be entirely answered in this two-page column, we will give you some hints and techniques we use when choosing the pieces for our cars.
Street/strip cars are some of the most difficult projects to get right since they need to
The first criterion to finding the correct parts for your Mopar is to determine the intended use of the vehicle. If you're putting together a numbers-matching Hemi car or other rare Mopar, you'll likely need to search the internet, swap meets, and specialty catalogs for the proper OE replacement or NOS items for your project. If a serious street/strip machine is more your style, replacing items like the brakes, suspension, engine, and drive-train components with modern upgraded equipment will not only make your car faster, but safer and more fun to drive as well. And although it may be tempting to install expensive, race-only items on your mild Mopar, it's often best to leave these parts for dedicated race vehicles as they are often overkill for the average Mopar.
Remember also that sometimes replacing one part, like a camshaft, requires replacing other items such as lifters and valve springs as well, and that often these parts are available in kit form which can save you money in the long run. Companies like Comp Cams as well as others offer toll-free help lines in order to make sure you pick the proper parts for your application, so we encourage you to make use of these resources and consult the professionals regarding which parts are right for your car. And if you see a part advertised in Mopar Muscle or used in one of our tech articles, you can bet we've done the research for you and trust the manufacturer is of the highest quality. So we encourage you to build your Mopar into a fast, fun cruiser, street/strip car, or racer but remember, using the right parts will ensure your project turns out just the way you envisioned.
Dedicated race cars like our B3 project use specialty parts that may not be necessary for
Summit Racing Equipment started out as a mail order catalog aftermarket supplier, but now
Not every project we do here at Mopar Muscle is a homerun, but we usually hit the mark pre