Where we got the stuff:
Engine Builder/dyno testing, camshaft, timing set:
Firm Feel Inc.
2730 NW Bliss Road
Vancouver, WA 98685
CSR Performance Produsts
16936 County Road 252
McAlpin, FL 32062
Engine Mounts and Torque Strut:
Polymer Air Cleaner, Rocker Arms:
Competition Cams, Inc.
3406 Democrat Road
Memphis, TN 38118
Moser Engineering, Inc
102 Performance Dr.
Portland, IN 47371
Carburetor(s), carb tuning parts:
Kickdown Cable Setup, Engine Pulleys:
Pre-formed Steel Fuel Lines:
PCV Catch Can:
1200 Southeast Av
Tallmadge, OH 44278
Distributor Tuning Parts:
Mallory Division, Mr. Gasket Corp.
10601 Memphis Ave. #12
Cleveland, OH 44144
301 Highgrove Road
Grandview, MO 64030
Urethane Trans. Mount:
M&H Electric Fabricators
13537 Alondra Bl.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Available from Year One (see below)
Ignition Coil and Strap, Alternator and PS Brackets, PS Hoses, Heater Hose Brackets, Dipstick, Ground Cable:
Headers, Exhaust system:
TTI – Tube Technologies
1555 Consumer Circle
Corona, CA 92880
Oil Filter Screen:
6006 Ball Park Road
Thomasville, NC 27360
Engine Dolly, Throttle Bracket, Distributor Clamp, manifold & coil brackets:
Cylinder Heads, Victor, Torker, 6-Bbl Intake Manifolds:
Flex Plate, Water Pump and Housing, M-1 Intake Manifold, Vibration Damper, Rocker Shaft Hold-Downs, Oil Pump, Drive Gear:
Mopar Performance Division
…see any of our advertisers displaying the MP logo.
Chassis Upgrades, Driveshaft Safety Loop:
Auto Rust Technicians
275 Niantic Av.
Cranston RI 02907
Schubeck Racing Engines
4160 S. Cameron St. #D
Las Vegas NV 89103
IRC – International Racing Components
5202 184th Street East
Tacoma, WA 98446
Charlies Oil Pans
5281 S. Hametown Rd.
Norton OH 44203
Windage tray, adjustable oil pressure valve:
20716 Plummer Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Phone: (818) 407-1211
80 Carter Drive
Guilford, CT 06437-2116
Carburetor Jetting plates:
Engine Storage Protection Kit:
PolyDyn Polymer Coatings:
Polymer Dynamics, Inc.
4116 Siegel St.
Houston, TX 77009
(713) 694 – 3296
1902 McGaw Ave.
Irvine, CA 92614
Main Bearing Caps (billet):
Fel-Pro / Federal Mogul Corp.
26555 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, Michigan 48034
Project Bold Beeper
A fast and quick Road Runner for the street,
one thats not afraid of twisty roads, too.
Longtime M.A. readers know that we like fast Mopars.
Hey, you probably do, too, or you wouldnt be here. Most of you also know that weve long touted the basic goodness of Mopars rigid and light unibody construction, indirect-spring (T-bar) front suspension, asymmetrical leafs in the rear, etc.
Weve surely validated our theories via running our Green Brick 1969 Valiant in the Car and Driver One Lap of America and kicking some serious butt – again and again.
The Road Runner will kind of be a 12/10ths scale Valiant, although, while it will surely be a corner burner, the emphasis will be more on straight-line rice butt-kicking.
As Dodges NASCAR driver, Jimmy Spencer said to the press recently: Those sons of bitches bombed Pearl harbor, dont forget. …I hope…Dodge kick(s) their ass Amen to that, Jimmy!
OK, we digress (but it was fun!)
We began with a well-used 69 Road Runner, with decent paint
and a tired 440 under the hood. The plan was – and still is – to build a 600+ HP big-block, 100% pump-91 streetable, using the cheapest pars that would still be stone-axe reliable. We enlisted the services of well-known Mopar engine Builder Ray Barton to make the numbers for us.
Heres how its gone so far:
DECEMBER 2002 issue – Basic premise of project, parts selection – junkyard block, etc.
FEBRUARY 2003 issue – Block prep, installing billet main caps, align honing, bore work
APRIL 2003 issue – Partial shortblock buildup
JUNE 2003 issue – Shortblock, continued, good rods, etc.
AUGUST 2003 issue – Oiling system
OCTOBER 2003 issue – Edelbrock heads
DECEMBER 2003 issue – Valvetrain
FEBRUARY 2004 issue – Chassis stiffening to handle the torque
APRIL 2004 issue – Manifold dyno shootout – 593 HP
JUNE 2004 issue – camshaft test, jetting, timing changes, 616 HP
AUGUST 2004 issue – Dressing the engine – pulleys, mounts, water and PS pumps, etc.
OCTOBER 2004 issue – engine installation secrets
As we got the mill ready for installation, we also were prepping the rest of the car to not blow up under the gaff of Bartons 600+ HP, and we got the Beeper to the strip – and a chassis dyno! In fact, on Feb. 14th, 2004, we baselined the car with the high-mileage, near-stock 440-6. We did this with the help of the cool folks at Bristol Dyno Service in Bristol, CT. It was a fun mid-winter break, heres the Videos:
[click to open files]
Hey, what were you expecting? It was rated 390 HP, SAE gross. Thats maybe 330 or so, SAE net. Then the drivetrain loss.. note that the first 2 runs were in second gear, the last – and best – was in third. We couldnt pull it down low – the TorqueFlite would downshift!
Then we installed the new Barton engine
DECEMBER 2004 issue – tuning for street driveability
Before attacking the track, we concentrated on prepping the Beeper for immaculate road manners – driveability in Detroit-ese. We also took pains to prevent trouble before it showed up!
We installed a full-length TTI exhaust system (awesome 3″ mandrel-bent stuff), 3/8″ fuel pickup from Year One, full-length 3/8″ lines from Inline Tube, a superstrong Dennys aluminum driveshaft, a really, really slick kickdown cable setup from Bouchillon Performance – paired with AR Engineerings tall throttle bracket kit, swapped to the latest Holley high-tech 870-CFM vacuum-secondary Street Avenger carburetor. We also spent quite a bit of time dialing in the advance curve in out MP vacuum-advance distributor this proved to be a key item. Without reworking this distributor, your chances at streeability are near zero!
We also turned the underhood area into a plumbers nightmare, by adding a super-trick fuel vapor return setup that imparted EFI-like starting, idling, etc., and a PCV collection system that guaranteed an oil-free intake charge. All this on pocket change!
Then — ta-dah! we ran the now slightly detuned 496 on a Dynojet chassis dyno. Where, on 91 octane pump unleaded, we made get this 60% more power than our old 440 6-Pack engine!
FEBRUARY 2005 issue – at the drags
Before heading out to the drag strip, we had a few more minor chores to attend to. We knew, from our original dyno testing at Bartons, that the original 68-69 round air cleaner setup was restrictive, so we ordered up one of Comp Cams lightweight, free-flowing 14″ units – a 30-second installation. We did a bit of by ear and seat of pants carburetor tuning on our new Holley.
Wanting to keep out lower extremities intact, we slipped in one of those way-cool composite tranny shields from CSR.
From experience, we knew that one of the first failures was likely to be the left engine mount insulator, so Schumachers hooked us up with his way-cool bolt-in adjustable, urethane-insulated torque strut kits. Since it bolts in to the K-member at the swaybar points, we took the opportunity to upgrade to a fat-boy front bar from Firm Feel, Inc.
And, although it nearly gave us a coronary to send any money to the French, we had little choice if we were gonna hook up at all we needed a pair of BFG Drag Radials. On they went.
Result: our street tuning was way off for drag strip / drag tire launch, especially with the huge-diameter tires coupled to 3.23:1 cogs. First gear was nearly all bog. Still, 12.5 @ 115 was respectable, considering that we drove from the interstate at 65 plus – plus right to the starting line. But we know theres lots more to come after all, our second names not Action for nothing!
APRIL 2005 issue – At the Auto-X!
For this installment, we decided to attack — literally — a sports-car autocross held at a local airport. Before heading out, we headed off disaster by plumbing in Moroso’s 3-quart oil accumulator, keeping the Barton 496’s bottom end supplied with solid oil even if the pickup tube became uncovered. We also cut way, way down on understeer by installing one of Firm Feel, Inc.’s new over-the-axle rear sway bars — basically, one of the ‘good’ (no unsprung weight increase) E-body designs, re-engineered for B-body use. Way cool.
While we didn’t win the ‘cross, we were also one of the minority of entrants that took down no cones all day. Our decades-old rock-hard tires hurt us, but the chassis response was truly excellent. Read all about it in the April issue.
Or, just go slow around corners.
JUNE 2005 issue – Brake upgrades
The Bold Beeper had, eons ago, been the test bed for the famous Mopar Action brake-swap upgrade
with our newfound velocity, thanks to 500 cubes of Barton-Edelbrock HP, we soon learned that we needed even better brakes.
With a cool set of CNC billet adapters from AR Engineering, we retrofitted Viper / Brembo 4-piston aluminum calipers onto our stock Mopar 12″ cop-car rotors. Amazingly, it this setup even cleared out 15″ OEM Mopar wheels! As icing on the cake, we added a pair of stiff n light tubular upper control ams.
While we were looking at (and wrenching on!) brakes, we decided to see what else was out there. We uncovered several cool gems, including a low-cost solution for pre73 A-body owners desirous of keeping their 4-inch bolt circle, and some solutions for – get this! – 1950’s Mopars!
This is one issue you dont wanna miss.
AUGUST 2005 issue – Brake proportioning, steering upgrades
With our new Viper calipers, we needed a way to get the front/rear brake proportioning dialed in. We used the typical adjustable valve, and we show you all the secrets to getting the proportioning dialed in correctly, which can make a huge difference in stopping distances
We also have some cool steering upgrades, via Firm Feel Inc., up our (tie-rod) sleeves!
Dont have this issue? Youre dead!
OCTOBER 2005 issue – New angles on alignment, and a new way to tune!
We finally got the Beeper to an alignment shop, and we show you all the secrets weve learned to get the most cornering power, straight-line stability, and tire life for your Mopar. We also investigated a new, low-cost wide-range oxygen sensor (A/F gauge) setup from AEM. This is the tuning tool for the new millennium, giving you a true view of whats happening each time the mix goes bang! in the cylinders. This is one installment you really dont wanna miss.
Copies of most back of these back issues can be had – for a price. Click HERE for info
Lots more good stuff coming, so get your subscription tuned up, or be left out!