Coil Over vs Torsion Bar

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. 70chall440

    70chall440 Mopar or No Car...

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    Interesting thread to say the least really because I have an A and B body that are in line to be built and front suspension is a concern for both. Like so many things these days, there are strong opinions on all sides and a pile of people in the middle trying to determine what is what. I would offer that also like most things today, the truth lies somewhere in the middle of the issues and is very dependent on one's view, experiences, and desires. I choose to retain the factory designed systems mainly because it is familiar and it fits. I cannot debate which is better suffice to say that there are many people on both sides using each system successfully. I think the CO systems look cool and offer some bragging rights, but I am not convinced they offer enough of an advantage to warrant their cost. As to cost, someone here stated that it is about a wash when you compare the 2 systems, which I don't believe is entirely accurate. I would have to do a cost benefit analysis to really determine the true costs associated with both courses of action; that said its a matter of prospective I think. If you are doing a brand new build from the ground up and buying everything new I believe the costs will be relatively commensurate (maybe); however most people are not generally doing this, they are trying to upgrade their car a little at a time. In this case, staying with the factory stuff has the advantage of allowing incremental development whereas going to a CO system does not.

    As was pointed out here, the vast majority of owners will not drive their cars hard enough to really appreciate the differences between the two systems (whatever degree that is). That said, every hotrodder wants to make their car "better" (me included), the answer to the question of "what is better" is why threads like this exist. I would offer that the answer to that question is an individual issue, what do you want, what can you afford, etc. I will add that my own experience with a CO system was with a MF system on a 70 cuda I helped install with a friend, in that case it was a nightmare and left a lasting impression on me. If I ever did go to a CO system, it would be about anyone's other than MF.

    The 3 wheel car video is awesome.
     
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    • HemiDenny

      HemiDenny HDK Suspension FABO Gold Member

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      I agree it is really about what you want and I am glad you do not judge all CO by MF. The cost / benefit analysis thingy has me confused.....when exactly does this need to be done and does the wife's opinion factor in at all ??

      The holidays are coming up......Happy Hot Roddin!
       
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      • 70chall440

        70chall440 Mopar or No Car...

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        LOL well as to "when" it needs to be done, that would be an individual issue. If you have deep pockets then one is not necessary. If on the other hand you have to budget for your build, then you probably need to do one earlier vice later. As far as whether the wife's buy in is a factor depends on your marriage I would think... :)

        I do cost benefit analysis's on many big ticket buys; usually its more of a comparative analysis to determine what is a better value. I also do weighted factor decision matrix's to help me to make decisions especially when I know I am being too emotional about something (want something just because its cool). These are pretty subjective and you really have to try hard to keep emotion out of the process in order to arrive at a position that is accurate.
         
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        • abodyjoe

          abodyjoe Well-Known Member

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          i think they said they are a lot closer in cost then many think...

          from another thread a week or so ago...

          Best suspension for new restoration??
          __________________________________________________________

          TVS kit $2100 TVS (Total Vehicle Suspension) System 1973-1976 Dodge A-Body
          Torsion bars $239 but this site gets discount 1.03" Torsion Bar - A Body
          front end kit $359 assuming you are running 73-up disc brakes. also discounted through this site. Original Performance Super Front End Kit
          shocks $435 but again can be discounted through site. may also want to upgrade to even better shocks but are more expensive. Bilstein High Performance Shock Set - Front & Rear
          steering box $836 no way do ya want to keep that sloppy stock box (even rebuilt) in the car... Bergman Auto Craft - Home of the Modern Muscle Car


          up to $3959 (without site discounts) already and that doesn't include a brake kit, bearings, brake hoses and the other lil shit you'll end up needing by the time you are done... at this point its not near as much cheaper then an alter-k as many make it seem.. some upgrades you may consider during the process fox shocks(not sure on the price but more expensive then what i posted above) and adjustable strut rods think rms has them for $249 (pst sells rms strut rods with a pst decal on it)... so now you are over 4K for a stock style suspension... then if you can't press bushings in and out at home or a friends you may have to pay for that on top of the parts.





          ....
           
          Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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          • AAndrews

            AAndrews Supercuda

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            and.... you forgot that if you are going to go to this level with the factory suspension upgrades, you would probably want to address the k-member. This means removing the engine and dismantling the complete front suspension. I can pretty much guarantee that if you remove it and sandblast it like I did, you are going to find poor factory welds and areas around the LCA pivot points and the steering box mount that need attention. To see what's involved in upgrading the k-member, go to Firm-Feel's site and check it out. Its the blueprint I followed. All this to get only marginal improvements, very little weight loss ( I had power steering and 10" drum brakes) and still be saddled with the access and clearance issues with headers, and vehicle height. ( I'm using a 4-Speed).
            I guess you can justify anything cost wise and for me, it came down to modern easily serviceable components that dropped my front end weight considerably, allowed me more access around the engine compartment and allowed me to lower the car to the height I wanted.
             
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            • dirty white boy

              dirty white boy 47 yr old Juvenal delinquent

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              i stated thay used ballast in my first comment bout it,..yeah i see fine!! your twisting a B body just adds to the whole point i was trying to make!! these cars need bracing for harsh use or bad things can happen!!!!!!!!
               
            • MrJLR

              MrJLR Built, not bought FABO Gold Member

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              I guess for me, and the way I drive, my freshly rebuilt factory suspension is just fine then. ...
              I'd only go coil over for fitment issues which I really don't forsee.

              Jeff
               
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              • AAndrews

                AAndrews Supercuda

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                Absolutely Jeff. In the concern of safety though it is worth checking all the subframe components over carefully if you are rebuilding the stock suspension as they are 50+ years old and have suffered the ravages and abuses of previous owners.
                 
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                • 70chall440

                  70chall440 Mopar or No Car...

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                  Everyone has to decide what works for them. For my B body I would consider CO mainly bc its already hacked up has manual steering and brakes. I am not sure about what I would/will do on my 68 Cuda, but would no rule out CO. For me (and I suspect others) it comes down to making the decision about which CO system to use as every one of them makes the same claims (No offense Hemi Dan) and unless you are immersed in the engineering and understanding of it all, it is confusing and not an inexpensive initial investment. Again, not saying anything negative about any of them (except MF..) but it comes down to a bit of a gamble. If you are a builder with a complete shop, the gamble is slightly less because you can probably make it work if there is an issue, if you are weekend builder with minimum tools it is much more daunting.
                   
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                  • topbrent

                    topbrent Well-Known Member

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                    You all are being silly.
                    Question: When do you need a coil over rack & pinion front end?
                    Answer: When you want a coil over rack & pinion front end, of course!

                    This is hotrodding folks. Build your car your way! :usflag:


                    (In my case... it sure makes installing an LSx engine easier once the torsion bars and steering box are out of the way. )
                     
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                    • BigBlockMopar

                      BigBlockMopar BigBlockMember

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                      Using my 45 year old Dart as a daily driver for the last 6-7 years, driving on cobblestone roads, roundabouts and a myriad of speedbumps every day make the 'marginal' spots in the unibody-setup noticable.
                      Especially when upgrades have been done in the form of 1" Tbars, 17" shortwall tires, better shocks and more blades in the leafspringpacks.
                      Add in a heavy A518-transmission, 8-3/4" rearaxle and 2 steel propane tanks in the trunk, tighter Borgeson steering, things get loaded more.

                      (Common) Cracks (already had) appeared in the front frame rails, originating from the rear K-member bolts.
                      Tried to weld them up and repair/reinforce it, but more is needed to strengthen that area (or add bracing to releave that weaker-area from the stress).

                      Subframe connectors helped a bunch. But add some basic sheetmetal rust-issues here and there, and other areas are simply experiencing (some large) hairline cracks due to the extra strain on it.
                       
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                      • famous bob

                        famous bob mopar misfit

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                        AGREE WITH ALL THE 5-6 POSTS ABOVE ---------------I NEEDED THE ROOM.
                        The stock front end needed a total rebuild, and I wanted to run a rear sump pan and external pick up. I hate the stock chrysler oil pans.
                         
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                        • Signetroar

                          Signetroar horsepower rules,build to drive

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                          Clutch info well taken,hadn't caught that one,long time ago build,think might have 11"? B&B,have to revisit.Very stiff. Surprised 67 pipes could be made to fit.Damn narrow chassis! Many thanks.
                           
                        • 67autocross

                          67autocross A new iron curtain drawn across the 49th parallel

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                          I posted here a few years ago that my Valiant with all the best parts you could install in a factory front end had more money tied up in it than the Dart sitting in the next garage bay with the Alterkion... and that was before I bought QA1 lower control arms.
                           
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                          • Signetroar

                            Signetroar horsepower rules,build to drive

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                            That "room" thing is a big issue with me and anyone with pre-67 chassis.I want safe,full clearance with steering,headers etc,as I push mine like a 'shine runner with bingo lights on his tail!
                            Will def. ck that site,thanks again.I also until now was running single master cyl/drums,but I drilled the brake shoes and that actually seemed to help,never "lost"brakes during events.Anyway,I've learned much here,many thanks.
                             
                          • AAndrews

                            AAndrews Supercuda

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                            No problem Signetroar, glad to help. That's what I like about this site. A lot of different and very valid opinions and solutions to issues that come up when using , driving or modifying these A-Bodies. Great that most on here can still be very spirited and passionate about their point of view without being abusive like so many of the other so called "enthusiast" sites I have visited.
                            Great thread Mr JLR !!
                            I learned a lot here!!
                             
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                            • jezidad

                              jezidad New Member

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                              The coil overs can be adjusted for ride or control, maybe better response. Personal preference plays a big role but for the street rider, torsion bars should suffice. IMHO
                               
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                              • Signetroar

                                Signetroar horsepower rules,build to drive

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                                I have done high speed road courses(max speed under 120)with L & R turns,hills and bowls with t bars and have enjoyed the handling ability of my little A body.My future goals are to install workable headers to increase power and speed.Never too much,right?
                                 
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                                • ChuckDock

                                  ChuckDock Well-Known Member

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                                  About 30k cheaper! lol. I just googled a 2017 hellcat, $62,495
                                   
                                • ChuckDock

                                  ChuckDock Well-Known Member

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                                  "2 steel propane tanks in the trunk" Just curious if that's for showing cargo/weight in the trunk, or are they used for something other than propane?
                                   
                                • BigBlockMopar

                                  BigBlockMopar BigBlockMember

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                                  Propane is the primary fuel source of the car.
                                  The tanks combined have a volume of 110 Liters, but due to the tanks 80% safety-fill limit, only about 88 Liter can be carried.
                                   
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                                  • ChuckDock

                                    ChuckDock Well-Known Member

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                                    Ah, you in the Netherlands. Wow, a propane classic car, that's pretty cool!
                                     
                                  • Kern Dog

                                    Kern Dog Well-Known Member

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                                    "Everyone considers" ???
                                    You mean everyone that sells a coil over suspension considers them an upgrade?
                                    I'll bet that every person selling a product that they develop would say the same thing.
                                    They are not an upgrade, they are a change. Change can be good but is not always that way.
                                    If you drive a Chevy and change to a Ford, you are still an idiot.
                                     
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                                    • Kern Dog

                                      Kern Dog Well-Known Member

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                                      Comparing a classic car to a new car? Really???
                                      A Factory torsion bar car can handle as well or even better than a new one with proper parts selection. A solid platform with frame connectors, torque boxes, urethane bushings, properly valved shocks and a Borgeson steering box can be quite impressive.
                                      The steering rack is an amazing thing, I will admit that but a $5000 coil over setup is a steep price to pay when you can have equal or better handling at 2/3 the cost by sticking with a stock based setup.
                                      If you are hung up on having the newest shiny object for the car, this logic will not register with you.
                                       
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                                      • famous bob

                                        famous bob mopar misfit

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                                        ^^^^^^^^^^^
                                        I agree w/ the last two posts !
                                         
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