Hotchkis Suspensions All Mopar Open House ****



Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2006
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pomona, ca














This was really a special event where a vendor opened it's doors, really put a lot of effort, thought things out thoroughly, and it resulted in a first class experience.

Every participant I talked to felt it exceeded their expectations. I heard stuff like: "If I'd known it was going to be like this, I would have brought more of my mopar buddies". Or, "I wasn't planning on staying very long, but I changed my mind". Another asked, "Are they doing another one of these next year?"

The complete Hotchkis organization contributed in seminar from the owner John Hotchkis, to Aaron the head engineer, to Drew in technical sales support, to Dan in marketing. They gave a great explanation of alignment, suspension, and handling. Even if you weren't into the handling thing, there was something to learn about basic suspension.

As you can imagine. I had a clip board full of questions. I put them through the ringer and it didn't stop after the seminar.


Looking at the big picture: they are developing a complete suspension systems for Mopars called TVS. This will include items like front and rear springs, upper control arms, heim aluminum tube tie rods, heim strut rods, sway bars, and frame connectors. They are shooting for a $3000 price point without shocks. Their TVS systems are designed to be bolt on and give the best value for actual real world performance gained. Not a bunch of bling for the sake of being bling.

Asking about how they develop products: they have a complete R & D fabrication shop facility to test the products engineered with 3-D suspension analysis, CAD developed, and stress analysis. Once the geometries are figured on the computer they are tested and measured with the proper tools that I saw around their shop snooping around: items like scrub gauges, bump steer gauges, full laser alignment rack, etc to use on an actual car. That was very good to hear and see.

On the product front: within 90-120 days they will be releasing a bunch of new A-body products!! Look for lightweight hollow front and adjustable rear sway bars, leaf springs, frame connectors, and revised geometry upper control arms, to name a few items. Right now for A-bodies they have heim jointed outer tie rods for improved bump steer and large backspacing rims and adjustable hemi jointed strut rods.

Sneak peak into the future: look for a line of custom valved shocks around the 120 day range. I asked about price points and they are thinking 3 different performance and price levels. A $100/ea, $200/ea, and $400/ea shocks to match their TVS systems.

Let's see them sweat with a bunch of questions in front of 150 people :snakeman: -I grilled them with some mild and not so mild tech questions.

"Why did you take the anti dive out of the E-body upper control arms?" (Anti dive is angle of the upper A-arm viewed from the side)

-Hotchkis noticed a bunch of bump steer caused by the large amount of anti dive front geometry on the E and B bodies. They still have some anti dive geometry but it's not needed for the enthusiast driver and they can specifically design it just for an E-body. They've tested it on the street and track. -The amount of stock anti dive was needed to keep grandmas /6 station wagon and nose heavy 4,000 lbs hemi cars with drum brakes on a cold day fool proof and bound up a little when the least common denominator driver slams on the brakes. Remember the front end geometry on an Ebody is completely shared with a '71 426 Hemi Charger to a '72 loaded 400 cid Coronet Crestwood Station Wagon.

*BTW they said the A-bodies they tested have a lot less bump steer then the B and E bodies! :cheers: And they probably won't need much correction in the Upper A-arm, if any. Still developing...

"A lot of companies offered 4 links suspensions in the rear, what have you done with the leaf spring setup?"

-Hotchkis found that raising the front spring eye helped reduce roll steer in the rear. They also have special rear leafs that take advantage of Mopars superior short front, long rear segment springs. Just like they help at the drags, they help handling. Hotchkis has spring made with a stout front spring segment to resist twisting and wheel hop with the rear segement carrying the spring action. They said they are light weight than stock.

"By the way, if you just want to add a stock sway bar to a mopar you have to buy and install special $125 to $175 sway bar type lower control arms. You guys make those same brackets for only $30 that people could just weld on to their early or late lower control arms already on their car. Maybe you should have a product release just for those in the Magazines"

-"Uh... I guess that is a market for those. Funny you say that, a guy in Alabama or Arkansas has been buying tons of them." :munky2:

*Picture of the tabs: 73-76 style:

"Why do all the companies that offer greasable swaybar bushing put the zerk fitting at the very bottom where it can easily be broken off by road debris or a curb?"

-We'll look into that.

I did get their head engineer and autocross driver to drive my Cuda. That was cool. :-D

Video of event:


71 Demon Hotchkis test car:



Tubular upper control arms with bolt on geometry correction


Stout sway bar adapters for 67-72 A-body and 66-69 B-Bodies style sway bars


Kenny Wayne Shepard in attendence.



Very good seminar and great to have a vendor open their doors as they did. I was a little surprised to find they didn't know that Darts (and Scamps) are 111" wheelbase vs. the 108" of their Demon A-body development car.
I mentioned this to several of the Hotchkis people and received raised eyebrows and 'Really?' reactions both times. They are checking into it and said they will offer frame connectors for both wheelbases.
Bump for the evening crew. I know MoparJ was there as well od OCdart obviousy. Anyon else attend?
I was there in my little SRT4 as the Duster and Challenger are still under construction.

It was great event! Very enjoyable. It was nice to see a company take the time to do something like that for everyone. Can't wait for the Abody stuff to get out there, should be right in line for me finishing the Duster.
looks like you don't have to worry about caliber interference on disc brake converted cars. thats good. i should buy a front and rear sway bar for jamies car.

A hemi powered air raid siren... That might be one of the most ridiculous and amazing things I have ever seen.

Oh, and the suspension stuff? I want it. All.
I was there in my little SRT4 as the Duster and Challenger are still under construction.

It was great event! Very enjoyable. It was nice to see a company take the time to do something like that for everyone. Can't wait for the Abody stuff to get out there, should be right in line for me finishing the Duster.

You must live near where I grew up in L.A, Olympic and La Cieanga. Actually were I'm at right now. I don't know how long you've lived around here, but I tooled around this part of town in my 68 Cuda and 68 Dart here a 4 years ago.

I remember seeing a blue SRT4 at Hotchkis. Have you heard about the Spring Fling Speed Festival at Willow Springs we have before Spring Fling? :,com_zoom/Itemid,28/catid,45/PageNo,2/ We get a few SRT4's up there. They are very quick.
I had a great time going up there. My dad was even interested in the show after we went to the Tech Session. We will be putting Hotchkis Suspension on both of our cars now, they are a top notch group. I am starting to save up money for when the a-body setup comes out.

It was great meeting Steve, Dennis_H, Eric Reed, Kenny, and Steve Strope. I cannot wait until I can start bringing my Duster to shows.:-D

- Jon (JonsGottaDusta)
I do live right there. Have been here for around 4 years. Lived just a little closer to the beach previously.

I attended the Spring Fling Speed Festival 2 years ago with my SRT. It was a blast. And I never miss the spring or fall fling. Great shows!

When you are in the area again, shoot me a message and you can swing by and see what I am working on.