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Old 12-14-2011, 09:03 AM
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Suspension change plus brake conversion question

I have a two part question about suspension and drum to disc brake conversions. Question 1. I am putting a 440 in my '68 barracuda, i know where i can get the mounts an stuff but i was wondering what i would have to do as far as suspension so it would compensate for the added motor weight on the front of the vehicle. What are my options on this? Are aftermarket suspension products available such as coilovers an things like that? Question 2. I would also like to convert my drum brakes to disc brakes to deal with the added HP/TQ of the motor, i have a site that tells me about the conversion from start to finish as to what parts off of what year model cars i can use for the swap it says this.

1. Upper Control Arms, from 1973-1976 A-Body Disc Brake Car. (single Piston Caliper only) The upper control arms are needed because the A-bodies were upgraded to the bigger B-body balljoints in 73, which means you need the later a-body arms to get the bigger balljoint. You can see the balljoint differences on the Steering Linkage Page

2. Spindles from 73-up A,B,E,F,J,M,R chassis disk brake car. Drum spindles don't work.
Note - the B,F,J,M,R spindle does have differences... Read A vs. B spindles for more info
3. Rotors and calipers - A-body rotors were 11" and were also used on many other cars. Some 77-79 B and 79-81 R bodies used an 11.75" rotor. Both rotors fit all spindles above. You do however need to use the caliper bracket that matches the rotor diameter. There are pin-type calipers and sliding calipers. The correct one must be used with the corresponding bracket. Most likely you'll find all your parts together on one car. The less-desirable pin-type calipers were used on the E-bodies, while most other cars had the slider style calipers.
4. Divider block and prop valve from a donor disc brake car.
5. New Front Brake Hoses (Rubber)
6. New Brake Pads & Bearings (you must know what make, model and year of the donor car)
7. New Master Cylinder, Disc & drum, use 73-76 A-Body, with or w/o power brakes
8. 4.5" bolt pattern front wheels.
9. New Upper Control Arm Bushings recommended
10. 73-76 Lower Ball Joints are necessary. The stock lower control arms can be retained.
11. From the donor car, remove the (2) lines that are attached to the master cylinder, and use them on
your car. it just easier to use these lines than to bend up your existing ones to work

my question dealing with this is can i use an aftermarket master cylinder with it? can I put in aftermarket rotors such as slotted rotors, an aftermarket calipers... Im sorry if you have a hard time understanding what im asking, I know what i want but its one of those things that kinda hard to explain over a computer. Thank you for any advice, your time, and your knowledge.

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Old 12-14-2011, 12:43 PM
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Since you want to use aftermarket rotors and calipers one choice would be to just use one of the disk brake conversion kits available for your Barracuda? Or you could stick with the Mopar conversion and maybe use aftermarket parts made for the calipers and rotors used in the swap.

I'm doing the same conversion on my '64 Polara ("B" body) which has a big block with a 4 speed. That conversion uses late 70's "A" body spindles, calipers, brackets and rotors. It also uses the stock "A" body master cylinder and proportioning valve. Since I'm not going to put wheels larger than 15" on the front I won't be going to larger aftermarket rotors, just the stock stuff will be fine for my application.

Aftermarket rotors and calipers can get pretty pricy so you might just consider doing the stock parts conversion and stick on aftermarket calipers and rotors at a later date.

When it comes to suspension, did your car originally have a slant 6 or V8? The Mopar big blocks aren't that heavy (about 670 lbs. in stock form) and with the addition of headers and an aluminum intake you can pair it down a good 50 lbs or more. Your Barracuda, like all Mopars of that era uses torsion bars and not springs. In order to convert to coil-overs you'll need to convert the front crossmember to a tubular unit. This translates to $$$$$ so if your pockets are deep go for it. That conversion will require a total aftermarket brake system though.

Good luck.

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:13 PM
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first off, thank you for the advice. Second, I forgot to add what it came with my apologizes for leaving that out. It came with a 318 an 727 Torqueflite tranny. the car isn't in very bad shape it just has a spot in the trunk where it looks like the spare went that is rusted through. Also, i wanted the bigger brake setup along with the better suspension because i do plan on putting a modified 440, im just not sure how modified i wanna go though, along with doing the tranny an so on an so forth. My plan was to seperate the body from the frame, inspect the frame an do whatever needs to be done to if, if theres something small or repairable wrong with it. then do the brakes/suspension while it was seperated an at the same time be doing all the bodywork etc etc. Thirdly, how expensive would it be to change it to the tubular set up? Or would I be better off going with the torsion bar set up? its going to be a street/strip car.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyChevyUSA
first off, thank you for the advice. Second, I forgot to add what it came with my apologizes for leaving that out. It came with a 318 an 727 Torqueflite tranny. the car isn't in very bad shape it just has a spot in the trunk where it looks like the spare went that is rusted through. Also, i wanted the bigger brake setup along with the better suspension because i do plan on putting a modified 440, im just not sure how modified i wanna go though, along with doing the tranny an so on an so forth. My plan was to seperate the body from the frame, inspect the frame an do whatever needs to be done to if, if theres something small or repairable wrong with it. then do the brakes/suspension while it was seperated an at the same time be doing all the bodywork etc etc. Thirdly, how expensive would it be to change it to the tubular set up? Or would I be better off going with the torsion bar set up? its going to be a street/strip car.
First off, you can't separate the body from the frame. All Mopars of that vintage (except trucks) are unibody cars. The frame is part of the body and can't be removed. Mopars aren't like GM cars where you have a front frame clip that can be separated from the body with a few bolts. When it comes to the body parts on a Mopar, you can take the doors, the trunk lid, front fenders, and hood off and that's about it. The rear suspension and differential can be removed just like any other car. The front crossmember can also be removed. As a matter of fact at the factory the engines and trans were first mounted to the crossmember, then the whole unit was installed in the car from underneath. You can pull the engine and trans from above but that's not how the factory installed them.

The front suspension that's currently on your car is the same one that would have been on that car if it had been equipped with the big block from the factory. Even the hemi option had the same suspension. The torsion bar suspension will serve you very well in all driving with the exception of road racing. Its very good for normal driving and drag racing but is probably not the best for high speed cornering. Now, if you want to go to the tubular front suspension be prepared to shell out right around $3500.00 for the crossmember and associated pieces. Really, unless you're building an all out race car or you're going to do some serious road racing, the tubular front crossmember just isn't worth the expense.

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Old 12-14-2011, 09:30 PM
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ahhhhhh. alright then, good stuff, thank you for all the advice knowledge and your time.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:12 PM
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68 Barracuda

I had a 1967 Barracuda coupe back in the day. It was a Formula S 383 4 speed. I had headers, intake and Holley carb. That was a nice car. But I was a reckless teenager and unfortunately I had an accident and it went to the junkyard. Do whatever mods you want to do to the motor. The only part of the suspension that will need addressing will be the rear to get traction. I remember I had to battle wheel hop. Good luck!
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