Our B3 project car was originally designed to run ten second elapsed times for a cost of u
If you've been a Mopar Muscle reader for long, chances are you remember our B3 (budget, bracket, Barracuda) project vehicle. The original premise of this build was to legally run ten second elapsed times in the quarter, on a ten thousand dollar budget. While we accomplished this goal, running a best of 10.13 seconds at 133 mph, and have successfully raced the B3 for over a year now without any major issues, we simply want to go faster than our car's current engine and stock suspension can reliably take us. Since we'll be upgrading to a 500 cubic inch, Indy-headed wedge, and running Calvert Racing rear suspension to help our car hook up, we decided to upgrade the front of our Barracuda with a tubular K-member and tubular upper and lower control arms from CAP Auto Products.
There are several benefits of installing tubular front suspension components, the first being added strength and reduced weight. Factory Mopar K-members and control arms were manufactured from stamped steel and welded together, making a good, but not great front frame member. The stamped steel OEM pieces are prone to flexing, and fairly heavy for their strength. Alternatively, the CAP Auto Products replacement K-member and control arms are made from strong, lightweight steel tubing, making them significantly stronger and lighter than factory pieces. The CAP K-member also bolts right in place of the factory unit, and gives you a ton more oil pan clearance than a factory K-member. In fact, with the CAP tubular K-member you can easily remove the oil pan with the engine in the car and the centerlink of the steering removed.
Another nice feature of the CAP tubular K-member is that it retains the factory steering box location and comes with your choice of engine mounts already welded in place. As an upgrade, rack-and-pinion steering is available, but we chose to keep the factory steering box so we can legally run the stock suspension classes at our local drag strips. We also chose to mount our engine using a motor plate, so while we hated to take the saw to our brand new part, we cut the engine mounts off for additional clearance and weight savings.
The CAP tubular K-member is made from strong, lightweight steel tubing, is fully welded an
To add additional rigidity and adjustability to the suspension of our Barracuda race car, we complemented our tubular K-member with tubular upper and lower control arms, and aluminum strut-rods, also from CAP Auto Products. The upper control arms are not just stronger and slightly lighter than the factory units, they also offer additional caster and camber adjustability by having threaded ends and using shims where they attach to the car's frame. These extra adjustments gave us the ability to get our front end alignment nearly perfect throughout the travel of the front end, which is mandatory for a car that leaves the starting line with the front wheels in the air. The tubular lower control arms are slightly lighter than OEM units, but CAP has manufactured them to be three times stronger, and three times stronger is a good feeling in a car that could see nearly 150 mph in the quarter-mile.
When our parts arrived we immediately noticed the quality of these pieces. The parts looked great and all the parts were professionally welded and powdercoated black. CAP Auto Products will also powdercoat the parts to a color of your choice for a small extra charge, but for our application black worked just fine. When we installed our parts, everything literally just bolted right in. Replacing all of the front suspension components with the CAP tubular pieces took us less than a day with a lift, but could easily be accomplished in a weekend with the car on jackstands. Follow along and we'll show you just how easy it is to improve your car's front suspension with tubular components from CAP Auto Products.
...and has additional lightening holes in the boxed structure.
Before we could install our new parts, we had to get the old stuff out. We began by unload
After removing the cotter pins, we disconnected the steering linkage and tie-rods.