’71 ‘Cuda Body Panels Under High HP

Tech Question


brian thomas, cumby, TX, 1971 plymouth cuda 383

My 1971 ‘Cuda has had both quarter skins changed and thetrunk and driver’s floor pans replaced. I have a fairly powerful 440 (approx450 h.p. and 200 nitrous shot) that I would like to put into it for a whileto blow away some Mustangs.

My Mopar mechanic says I’ll tweak the body because it is now not as strongsince changing the quarters, etc. What are your thoughts on this matter? Ido not want to put subframe connectors in it. Will the body hold up? Greatmagazine and I would appreciate your knowledge and input.


Brian, basically: No problemo.

If the replacement panels were properly installed, the car should be just asstrong as original. If they were full seam welded, it might be slightlystronger, in fact.

Here’s the determining factor: Does the car “hook”? If it’s mini-tubbed, hasvery sticky tires, etc — basically any mods that would drop the 60-footE.T. under 1.75 seconds or so, or cause wheel hop — then there’s a risk oftwist, no matter what’s under the hood. If you have normal street radials,it will be fine, even with 750 HP, because you can’t lay down any realtorque in low gear.


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