One of the things that Mopar musclecars are well known for-besides winning races-is the use of a torsion-bar front suspension. Instead of employing a coiled spring, like Ford and G.M., that supports the weight of the car by resting in a spring pocket and exerts pressure on the lower control arm, Chrysler's torsion bar was a far departure from that idea, but we don't need to tell you that.
What we do need to tell you is, that no matter how good something is, there is always a way to make improvements, and there is an alternative for Mopar musclecars. Let's preface this article by saying there is nothing wrong with the torsion-bar suspension in a factory car, but where do you draw the line? When do you realize that a torsion-bar suspension may be outdated for a particular usage?
When we started laying out a plan for our '70 Super Bee, we knew we wanted to do a modernized adaptation of a B-body. Sure, a stock resto has its place, and those cars are cool, but building a car that can handle in the corners, stop in a shorter distance than a football field, and still pound the quarter-mile in less than 11 seconds has definite appeal.
Mopar's factory torsion-bar setup is a good suspension for a stock car that is being drive
So that's what we are planning to do. This month, we will show you what it takes to install an AlterKtion K-frame with rack-and-pinion steering, and coilover shocks to replace the torsion bar. We're not going to stop there-we will also install a tilt steering column to add to the "21st century" appeal. We know you want to know how it works after it's installed, but as you look at the car, you can see it ain't gonna be running for a while. We're in the mock-up stage now, but as soon as we get this car done, you can bet they'll be a lot of track time involved, including some with corners.
The AlterKtion unit has several benefits over the factory K-frame and torsion bars. For starters, the kit is roughly 100-plus pounds lighter, and removing the torsion bars and steering box makes more room in the engine bay; it's actually a lot stiffer/stronger than the factory K-frame.
This job is really not that hard if you are mechanically inclined. But remember, if you aren't sure you can remember to tighten every nut and bolt, or you are just not sure about tackling a project like this, you better farm it out; it's better to be safe than sorry. It only took working a couple nights to complete the install. the only time we needed anything more than a hand wrench was when one of the camber bolts had rusted fast to the upper control-arm bushing, and we needed a flaming hacksaw.
You have to remove the k-frame and suspension to do this swap. In a nutshell, remove the t
A slight coat of black helps so you can really see what we're doing.
The factory bumpstop brackets will need to be removed. Blair tools have a large assortment
The "drill" cuts around the factory spot welds.
After you remove the bumpstop brackets, you'll need to grind the remaining weld off.
The AlterKtion frame is held in place by the factory bolts in the factory locations.