Need advice on suspension and brake upgrades

Countach711

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I bought a 67 Barracuda and want to take advantage of the Black Friday deals but am a bit overwhelmed at all the options. I'm trying to go as inexpensively as possible, it's mostly for street driving but I might check into track days at some point. I just got a rebuilt 360 (rated at 480 hp) to put in and am looking for a 727 (recommendations there would be great, the reviews on the transmissions available through Summit are dismal).
I like the Hotchkiss TVS package but may opt for just the sway bars to start, I figure that's probably going to show the most increase in handling for the money and I could always add to it later.
For brakes, I'm really undecided. Between having to get '73 spindles and all the options available, it is really overwhelming. Doesn't really seem like an inexpensive option is available except I did I see one thread about an adapter plate for front disks, but I'm guessing I'd need the '73 spindle for that as well? I'm going to check the car now to see if has 9" or 10" drums, not sure how to measure that, the car came with a 273 and 904 from the factory.
Finally, I'd really like to get a set of wheels and tires on sale, I want to go Torque Thrust II 17's all the way around, or 17's in front and 18's in rear. How much is changing to disk brakes in the front going to affect offset? I was thinking maybe 7" or 8" wide up front and ideally 9" in the rear but I'm not sure they offer a 9" rear wheel package. Not forgetting I guess I need new rear axles to change to the 4.5 bolt pattern so I need a recommendation there as well. Do I need to pull an axle to see what it is or is there a stampling on the end? How do I tell what size pumpkin it has? Tons of questions, I know. If you'd like to comment on just a section, feel free and maybe others will speak to the rest. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks gents.
 

niceolddart

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I'm in the same boat, sort of, but mine is a 73 Duster w factory drum brakes & the small 4" bolt pattern wheels. I know my rear is a 7 1/4" & won't hold up with any kind of power thrown at it, but your Barracuda MAY have an 8 3/4" rear from the factory which is plenty strong for your 480HP engine. 8 3/4" rears have a round center, NO rear cover & are removed from the front of the housing. The 7 1/4" has a 9-bolt cover & will not last long with your engine. I'm going with the Wilwood disc conversion kit for my car. (I've had three so far & like them very much) If you swap to disc, you will probably have to change your master cylinder over, & maybe rear wheel cylinders with a smaller bore. I believe with some Wilwood kits, you use your factory spindles & everything, so you won't need to buy all the extra components. As far as Hotchkiss components, I have their lowering kit on my 2000 Dakota (front & rear springs, & Bilstein shocks) They have been on the truck for over 15 years & have had ZERO problems with their products. Sway bars WILL make a difference, just remember, don't tighten ANY suspension pieces until the full weight of the car is on the ground. Good luck.
 

ECMJim

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Try Speedway Motors, I buy a lot from them, they are pertty reasonably priced. "speedwaymotors.com"
You cheepist option for disc brakes is to pull a set of a '70 or later 'A' body form the bone yard. At least the spindles and possibly upper control arms. Pads, calipers, hoses, rotors and wheel bearings are still available through the local parts house or Rock Auto.
Small bolt pattern though, not sure year they switched to the larger pattern.
Rear brake drums, a tape measure to measure diameter, anything under 10" you have 9" drums, 10" or more you have 10" drums.
They will allow up to 0.060" over size before replacement.
You rear diff. is probably the 7" light duty.
 

Countach711

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Try Speedway Motors, I buy a lot from them, they are pertty reasonably priced. "speedwaymotors.com"
You cheepist option for disc brakes is to pull a set of a '70 or later 'A' body form the bone yard. At least the spindles and possibly upper control arms. Pads, calipers, hoses, rotors and wheel bearings are still available through the local parts house or Rock Auto.
Small bolt pattern though, not sure year they switched to the larger pattern.
Rear brake drums, a tape measure to measure diameter, anything under 10" you have 9" drums, 10" or more you have 10" drums.
They will allow up to 0.060" over size before replacement.
You rear diff. is probably the 7" light duty.
You've got my car! I actually bought wrap in the color yours is, mine is a little too light for my taste. So win, lose, it IS a 7" rear, suck. However, the brakes are 10"! Do you mind if I ask what size and back spacing your wheel and tire combo is?
 

ECMJim

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You've got my car! I actually bought wrap in the color yours is, mine is a little too light for my taste. So win, lose, it IS a 7" rear, suck. However, the brakes are 10"! Do you mind if I ask what size and back spacing your wheel and tire combo is?
My suspension is custom, the front started with a Heidts universal coil spring/a-arm system with rack and pinion steering from Speedway, installed a set of 5/8" shorter control arms, fabricated a set of mounts and tossed the coil springs for QA1 adjustable coil over shocks. The rear is a narrowed Jaguar independent rear suspension. Because of all that my back spacing is custom sized for it so it probably won't work with stock. My color is 2010 Challenger Plum Purple Metallic. I have 17X8 in front and 18X9 1/2 in back.
 

RustyRatRod

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The only advice I have is, be careful what you buy. Not everything that's shiny and new is an "upgrade". The Mopar suspension can and has handled the rigors of everything from decades of street driving, to every kind of motorsports you can think of, so a "true" upgrade is more difficult than you might think. Yes, there are some out there, but the stock suspension can be made to handle most anything, so spend your money wisely. Ask yourself if you're REALLY going to push your car to the limits of "whatever" new suspension you're looking at OR if you just want something "new and different" just because. I would research long and hard and just look at all the things a stock platform suspension can do, BEFORE you just snatch everything out from under the car. @autoxcuda is one guy on here that comes to mind. He really auto crosses his car and I believe his suspension is still torsion bar and coil spring based. Maybe he'll chime in. He'll be quick to tell you the stock suspension platform is a good one.
 

Countach711

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My suspension is custom, the front started with a Heidts universal coil spring/a-arm system with rack and pinion steering from Speedway, installed a set of 5/8" shorter control arms, fabricated a set of mounts and tossed the coil springs for QA1 adjustable coil over shocks. The rear is a narrowed Jaguar independent rear suspension. Because of all that my back spacing is custom sized for it so it probably won't work with stock. My color is 2010 Challenger Plum Purple Metallic. I have 17X8 in front and 18X9 1/2 in back.
did the backs fit in without having to do any work in the wheel well?
 

ECMJim

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My rear suspension is custom as well so my wheel offset will not work with stock suspension.
 

dogbreath

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Heres mine , 71 duster ,kind of a budget build with mostly mopar factory stuff & some aftermarket. Rear 1" lower 6 leaf espo springs (tried hotchkiss , they sucked) heliwig tubular sway bar w/ poly bushings on sway bar only , c-body 11"rear drums , moser shortened bbp truck axles , 255/50/17 kumho ecsta tires on american racing wheels . Front 1.09 mopar torsion bars , helliwig tubular sway bar w/poly on sway bar only , 73 bbp disc brakes w/drilled and coated rotors and severe duty pads , boxed lower control arms , c-body tie rod adjusters , stock manual steering w/lower sector support , offset upper control arm bushings (gave +3.5 degrees positive castor) 225/50/17 tires (probably should have gone 215 because of needing to trim inside of front fenders and would parking lot steer easier) . Drives handles and stops great , but the only problem is a serious lack of traction with the shady dell ported eddie head 408:icon_fU::icon_fU::icon_fU::icon_fU: and the stiff suspension
 
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