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Tech Question

Charlie Johnson, Humboldt, KS 1970 Dodge Challenger 225ci

Last month I traded my old ’72 Sportster chopper for a ’70Challenger project (it joins the ’70 Coronet I’ve already started). I’vealways wanted to build an E body that was not only very fast but wouldout-handle a ‘Vette. Seems like many years ago I heard that the “A” arms inAAR Cudas and T/A Challengers are much stouter than in the other ponies. Sofar I haven’t been able to confirm this. What’s your take on it? Any otherhandling tips beyond the obvious (heavier torsion bars, sway bars, rrshocks, etc.) would also be greatly appreciated. I originally planned a bigblock swap but the reduced weight of a stroker Magnum sound interesting.And, although you already know this, your magazine kicks serious ass!

Charlie-

A-arms much stouter than the other “ponies”? If you mean ‘Stangs andCamaros, decidedly yes. But AARs and T/As used the same suspension arms asall other B and E-bodies – which is to say, excellent, with a super-beefyforged/stamped combo design lower arm, and a stout tension strut. What madethe T/A – AARs unique was the fast-ratio power steering option (mainly, alonger pitman arm), a bigger front sway bar, and Mopar’s first applicationof a rear sway bar. They also featured rear leafs with more arch, and longerrear shocks, to make room for the big rear meats and to keep the side-exitexhaust from being immediately trashed – although this (the arch) is reallydetrimental to handling.

You’re on the right track with handling mods. But the #1 secret here is tofit the widest wheels, shod with the lowest-profile, stickiest tires you canlive with. (Look for a treadwear rating no higher than 140.)

Rick

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