New 1967 Barracuda Owner!

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  1. turb0mik3

    turb0mik3 Member

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    Hello All,

    Been a Euro guy my whole life owning tons and tons of BMWs and Mercedes... This is my first classic car and super excited to get moving on it! 1967 Barracuda 4spd white/red. I have a few question about suspension/wheels so hopefully I can get some help haha.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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    • Car Nut

      Car Nut Mopar Master

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      :welcome: aboard!
       
    • RedFish

      RedFish FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Welcome to FABO. I almost feel cousin. Our first 67 fish was 67 nocthback. Spinnaker white with metallic red guts. It was a slant 6 build but not low end. It got a high end horn ring common to B and C bodies (it has a dust collecting black groove in it, like the A-bodies center console), the reverb option on AM radio, and variable 3 speed wipers.
      We have owned serveral 67 fishes since that time. First always has a special place in our hearts like first loves. Daughter totalled it. :(
      You mentioned suspension. I know handling is part of that. I also know I'm 64 years old. Back in my day, I could buy a 1975 4 door Valiant with blown slant 6 for only 2 hundred and move power steering, disc brakes, stabilizer bar, large bolt pattern, on and on, onto my 67 fish that didn't have any of that when I bought it. Today, that 75 Valiant isn't so easy to find or aquire.
      So sure you will deal with todays aftermarket options and prices.
      The best news... You found the right forum. Members here will help you maintain it as it always was or turn it into something more. Happy moparing
       
    • clementine

      clementine Flight risk FABO Gold Member

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      Im giving life to a 7 fastback as well! welcome!
       
    • paulclark

      paulclark Early A fanatic

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      Great car! I have a 67 also.

      Here's some of the lay of the land as far as suspension and wheels.

      Your car like all pre-73 mopars has a small 4" 5x4 bolt circle which is a relatively rare size in wheels these days. Original stock options include steel wheels with full covers or dog dishes, as well as rallye wheels with caps and rings. Magnum or road wheels are another stock option (you can look all these names up). dog dishes on body color painted steel wheels with no trim rings is a very vintage muscle look (even more with repro redline tires whoo!!) .

      As far as aftermarket mag wheels, the choices which are period-correct to my mind include slots, which it has now and which are by far easiest mag to find. (For all mags including these make sure the correct lug nuts are used to mount them, I'd check that on your car now especially if the wheels were added to help sell the car and haven't had extensive mileage.) Other great classic mags include Cragars, Torqthrusts, and Centerlines - these are the brand names, there are also similar made by other makers. This accounts for 90% of period mags you'll find, there are a few oddballs out there aside from modern styled wheels which to my mind look wrong on a late sixties car.

      You have 14" wheels, which can be tricky to find tires for, but there are almost no 15" 5x4 aftermarket wheels, they are quite uncommon.

      This bring the option of swapping to a larger bolt circle, to the 73-up 4.5" bolt circle. This means swapping both the rear end (or having axles drilled) as well as swapping to newer front hubs, which require also swapping the spindle and newer upper control arm which use a larger upper ball joint.

      A really common swap, mentioned above, is to swap the entire 73-up disc brakes out of a later a-body. This gives you the larger 5x41/2" bolt circle plus the later single-piston disc brakes which are rugged and effective - the down side of them is that they're large and heavy, and many mag wheels don't fit over them without considerable grinding mods to the calipers. Larger bolt circle does open up more wheel options though.

      Another option for stock disc brakes is the period dual piston Kelsey-Hayes discs, which work well and fit some mags better, they do have the small 5x4" pattern, down side is they're rare and expensive. There are also aftermarket disc setups including Scarebird, which uses the stock drum brake spindles.

      I want to also point out that while the old 9" drums are barely adequate in perfect condition, the 10" drums are not bad in a a-body, and they are considerably lighter than most disc brakes, so an option for mild street use is just maintain your 10" drums, adjust them and use a shoe with a good modern lining. Trucks use drum brakes and have huge stopping power, so drum brakes are not the automatic liability people assume (though they do fade, which is an issue if you live int he mountains).

      One upgrade you should absolutely consider no matter what brakes you run, is upgrade your master cylinder to a dual cylinder by swapping the MC for a dual one and the splitter block to a later mopar distribution block. With the single MC if any one of your wheel cylinders blows, you lose brakes entirely - with dual you only lose half, a huge difference in safety. There are numerous sources, I recommend the ones Ehrenberg sells on ebay as he also has the right fittings to adapt the MC to the line fittings you'll need.

      As far as suspension, a-body mopars all have torsion bar front springs which are easy to swap and upgrade, simply swapping a larger diameter bar. Stock bars all are a bit bouncy because that was the soft ride desired at the time; swapping one size up is a nice stiff sporty suspension (smallblock bars in a slant six car, bigblock bars in a smallblock car etc). More than that is quite harsh for street use but good for serious road racing.

      Rear springs can also be replaced and upgraded to springs with more leafs, there are also springs which are higher or lower for racing weight transfer. Stock mopar leaf springs however are very well engineered, their uneven chords acting like a ladder bar already. Unless your springs are sagging or broken, or you want to race, stock original springs are fine although another leaf is a good idea - but you don't need aftermarket to get good street performance.

      This is a running theme with mopars in general - with other brands to go faster you customize them, but to make a mopar faster you make it more like the factory engineered police and racing versions, and often some of the parts you need are already in place. (the analogy in modern brands is how a BMW is engineered for much higher performance and detuned for the street, while a Honda is engineered so that every component is already pushed to its max.) This means a very different approach to performance where you don't have to assume everything will have to be replaced. In many cases those other brands have to install ladder bars, coilovers, etc just to match stock mopar street levels of performance. (again, if you are planning to drop a 500+ HP motor in and run nine second quarter miles, it's a different story)

      Swaybars are a good option, many hi-po mopars came with front swaybars, you can use originals or aftermarket swaybars from Addco. They are mounted to tabs on the lower control arms which can be easily welded on. Many larger cars also came with front and rear swaybars (wider, they don't fit an A-body). Here's the deal though - front and rear sway bars especially are good for two things - either for tuning for extremely hard cornering as in autocross, or else making a stock street car with both very soft suspension yet no body sway - exactly what's desired in a luxury car.

      When I built my 65 Cuda's front end, I planned to mount a front sway bar, but I found the stiff bigblock bars in front eliminated so much body roll that I didnt' feel like I needed a swaybar on the street at all, so I left it off. This is pretty subjective, but what I'm saying is don't assume it needs one until you install the actual springs you plan to use, then re-evaluate. Also, if you do install front and rear swaybars both, be sure the front is heavier, stiffer - if the rear swaybar is stronger than the front swaybar (or worse, rear swaybar only) the car will oversteer dangerously. (I know, some people will say otherwise based on autocross applications, but in that case the very stiff front springs used acts as additional front anti-sway.)

      That's the basic situation for upgrading suspension on your 67 Cuda, and that will help you interpret the many posts on the forums by people making these upgrades.
       
      Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
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      • 4spdragtop

        4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA!

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        Congrats from another 67 fish owner! Nice ride!:thumbsup:
         
      • WV64Signet

        WV64Signet FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Welcome to (North) America Mike!

        :canada::usflag:
         
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        • 383Duster

          383Duster Well-Known Member

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          Welcome from Texas
           
        • ocdart

          ocdart Inland Mopars Car Club FABO Gold Member

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          Welcome to FABO!
          Nice looking Barracuda.
          Great Mopar club down in your area...The Mopar Club of San Diego
          Mopar Club San Diego
           
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          • harrisonm

            harrisonm Well-Known Member

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            Awesome first Mopar. It can get a bit warm in San Diego. You might want to look into a Classic Auto Air exact fit AC kit. I have one in my 69 and it works great. Welcome.
             
          • Kern Dog

            Kern Dog I like girls that wiggle

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            I liked most of this post but you made a mistake....
            A car will not UNDERsteer with a rear sway bar only. It will OVERsteer.
            UNDERsteer is a condition where the front of the car wants to lose traction and run wide on turns instead of gripping and turning as desired.
            OVERsteer is where the rear of the car feels loose and wants to spin the car out in turns.

            Simple rule: The end of the car with the firmest spring and sway bar will lose traction first.
             
          • dartfreak75

            dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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            Welcome aboard glad to have you! I love my barracudas mine is 6 years newer than yours lol but yours looks a hell of alot better!! Haha
             
          • paulclark

            paulclark Early A fanatic

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            You are quite right, my error, editing.
             
          • 1969VADart

            1969VADart FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Welcome from Fredericksburg, VA. Very nice car!
             
          • barbee6043

            barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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            Welcome. Looks like a great car!!
             
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