Cheap handeling upgrades for 67 cuda

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. RogerCox

    RogerCox Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,

    looking for some cheap handling upgrades for my 67 cuda. Right now the steering is very loose and the suspension floats like a caddy. Would like to tighten up the steering and the suspension to get less body roll.

    what would you change first, or is there a good “kit” out there?
     
  2. Demonracer

    Demonracer 71 Demon 00 Ram 16 Chrysler 300S 05 Caravan FABO Gold Member

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    Before "replacing" anything, jack the car up & determine what is worn & how bad it is. Throwing parts at it piecemeal gets expensive.
     
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    • rumblefish360

      rumblefish360 I have escaped the evil Empire State! FABO Gold Member

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      For my car, I was redoing the entire suspension, so I went to P.S.T. and used there poly graphite bushings and all new parts. Love it. Great kit.
      With new shocks, this should really bring your car into a good driving feel. I myself do not like the replacement shocks nor the KYB.

      Off the cuff, I’m not sure they offer a new steering box. They might? I’m not sure.

      PST has anti roll bars. A front and rear set up should be done at once, FWIW. It is an excellent step forward for handling.

      Your “ Floating feel” could also be misadjusted parts.
      Things like ride height a bit high and the front end alignment not correctly in place can lead to a floating front end feel. This could also be effected by a sagging rear end and/or Aggravated with offset tire sizes.

      Now that I mention tires, if you don’t mind moving away from the stock tire sizes, wide tires are very helpful in the turns.

      I would not yet bother with the torsion bars.
       
    • 67Dart273

      67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      OP you did not tell us much. Is this a slant/ v8, what? Originally such?

      "Let's say" it is or was a slant..... just a blue sky example. This means the torsion bars are tiny noodles So ONE simple cheap upgrade is to simply find the heaviest (largest) v8 T bars you can find.

      As said above---get a helper and find out what's loose. Have the helper move the steering wheel at various rates and distance back and forth while you look CAREFULLY with a big light. Look for play between two adjoining parts

      The steering column coupling, look for play between the upper shaft and the coupling, then for play between coupling and the shaft into the box. Look for play in the box bearing at this shaft

      Go under. Look for play at the pitman shaft up down and side to side in the bearing. Watch the coupler move and watch how much delay/ play between it and when the pitman moves

      Look for play between pitman arm and ball joint connection to the center link

      Look for up/ down / any other play in the idler arm. Look for play in each of the 4 tie rod ends

      BALL JOINTS READ the shop manual. You MUST jack up the lower arms so the arm is supporting the weight and the lower ball joint is unloaded.

      Bushings. "Just assume" they are bad unless things look newish or that you have history they have been replaced. A crowbar helps, but bushing can be difficult. They can be "pretty mushy" and sometimes feel good. "I would just plan" on replacing them

      Go to MyMopar and download yourself a shop manual. You may or may not have to satisfy yourself with a Dart manual instead of Plymouth, etc. READ the front end/ steering related sections

      Anti sway / roll bar. MOST of these lower end non performance cars do NOT have an anti-roll bar and SHOULD Various approaches to that. ONE OF THE SINGLE BIGGEST improvements on my 67 Dart!!!!
      ALIGNMENT.......Can make a huge difference in handling. You do NOT want factory specs using radial tires. There is a "skosh chart" floating around from All-Par which explains that

      Turn of the screw: front end alignment for performance...
      Last, tires and shocks make a tremendous difference
       
      Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
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      • 69cudaownr

        69cudaownr FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Do that ^^^^^ I ended up finding that all of my bushings were shot.
         
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        • RogerCox

          RogerCox Well-Known Member

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          yes it’s a /6. Out some new 225’s and 255 tires on it but havnt had a chance to drive it yet (newborn baby at the house).
          Okay good idea I’ll check everything out with one of my buddies whose hood around sus.
           
        • rumblefish360

          rumblefish360 I have escaped the evil Empire State! FABO Gold Member

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          I don’t subscribe to the biggest T bar route.
          A 1 or 2 step bigger that what would have come with the car as it is equipped now is all I’d do. Unless racing is the target.
           
        • autoxcuda

          autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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          1. replace worn suspension components
          2. If replace upper control arm bushings, replace with offset bushing installed for more caster
          3. Replace shocks if bad
          4. Front and rear sway bars -hellwig
          5. 1” torsion bars for ~$200
           
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          • 72bluNblu

            72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Exactly.

            Inspect everything first, more than likely you'll need to replace all the bushings, ball joints, pitman, idler arm, tie rod ends etc. But definitely check first! Also, look for some of the more common broken or cracked parts. Cracks at the steering box mount on the K frame are not uncommon. Neither are LCA pivot tubes that have broken free of the K frame. The frame around the UCA mounts is prone to rust damage, and UCA mounts have been known to crack as well. On a '67 you have the one year idler arm that isn't bracketed on both sides, so definitely look at that as well. Obviously lots of other stuff can be bent, rusty or otherwise damaged but those are the most common culprits beyond just worn out parts.

            After that and confirming all your parts are from the same year car (ie, not mixed and matched as can happen on cars of this age) you can order a suspension rebuild kit like from PST. But if you do have a mix and match of later year parts you might have to build your own rebuild kit.

            See how everything works and handles after that, and make sure you get a proper alignment (not factory!!!). If you have radial tires use the SKOSH chart, not the factory specs. For mostly factory parts I would use the "granny" specs, you won't do much better anyway. If you use offset UCA bushings like moog K7103, you can up the caster to +3.5° or so, but that's about all you'll get. Camber can stay between -.25° and -.5°.
            alignment-specifications-jpg-221767-jpg-jpg.jpg

            After you've addressed that stuff you can see where you are, and make better decisions about larger torsion bars, shocks, sway bars and maybe a new or rebuilt steering box. In my opinion you won't get rid of the "floaty" feel until you're running 1" to 1.03" torsion bars and sway bars too. But that is just my opinion.
             
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