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69 Charger Resto Plans Coming Together...Finally

magrima

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Hey everyone. Posted a few times here and there, just throwing out where I am at with planning my restoration, see what you all think. A little back story, got my 1969 charger r/t clone back when I was 16 (before I even had my license). She looked great but engine, trans, and diff were blown (some crazy stories on those). Rebuilt engine and trans, 383 out of a 71 cuda and the original 727 Torqueflite. Swapped the 3.23 gears for the Borg Warner 4.10 suregrip. Was originally a 318 car, previous owner made the r/t clone mods. I rebuilt it to stock just because I wanted to drive it in high school and because, well lets face it, I had no money after buying it. Now, Im 22 and about to graduate college, which means one great thing: the almost 20k per year I've be paying for tuition can now go towards what matters most, the resto!

So here's what I'm thinking. I want something that looks original but can tear it up and handle like the modern day cars. Not a strip car, purely street but can still send these little imports back to the matchbox factory. For the engine, I've been looking at/talking to the guys over at Proformance as well as a local shop. Looking at doing a 522 stroker off of a 440 block putting out around 600 HP/625 TQ. For the transmission, I've been looking at the Tremec Magnum 6 speed manual. Of course, I'll be needing the conversion kit along side it. For the differential, I've been looking at Moser engineering. Looking at the Detroit TrueTrac 4.10 suregrip with axle housing and chrome moly axles. Brakes will be converted from drum to disc all around by brembo.

For suspension, I've heard good things about Reilley Motorsports. For the front suspension, I'm looking at the Alterktion coil over system for street/handling. For the rear suspension, I'm looking their Street Lynx suspension kit. Both are rather pricey, but from what I hear they are high quality and have excellent fitment. On the other hand, I couldn't find a whole lot of info on suspension upgrades for 69 chargers except for the strip so there may be other good options somewhere.


Interior I haven't spent much time on yet. I would really like to modernize the seats. I love the leather seats, but I guess I'm partial to the newer bucket seats. Dashboard is cracking and the instrument panel will need a lot of love soon, as well as door panels. Not really sure how much I'll change inside just yet, I just don't know what I want with that regard.

For body work and electrical, I'll have to most likely have that done at a shop, as I have no skill/experience with body work and am not yet up to par with electrical work. I'll be planning on stripping the car myself and then sending the body out to be done.

Lastly, the paint. I will also have a professional shop do this. I'm split between two ideas, good thing I still have some time. First idea is to repaint it the way I have it now. I love how it stands out, I get compliments all of the time. Plus it's what drew me to the car in the first place (I'll upload some photos). On the other hand, a buddy of mine drew up some sketches. One of which was the car being black, but along the door and onto the quarter panel what looked to be a tear in the metal (painted on). Green ghost flames were then billowing out and back toward the rear end. We had seen something similar but with blue flames on an old dart and I loved it. I like both so time will tell which way I lean.

A bit of a long winded post, but there ya have it. This by no means will be a quick, cheap, or easy project, but it'll be mine and will be worth it in the end. The body and paint seems to be my biggest obstacle as it will be the most costly area, but it'll get done. I'd love to hear your guy's comments, questions, suggestions, concerns, advice, etc. As I said, I'm 22 and learning as I go and I can learn more from you all than probably anywhere else.

IMG_0264.JPG IMG_0897.JPG IMG_1423.JPG IMG_1424.JPG IMG_1425.JPG IMG_1426.JPG
 
YOUR words were:
"For suspension, I've heard good things about Reilley Motorsports. For the front suspension, I'm looking at the Alterktion coil over system for street/handling. For the rear suspension, I'm looking their Street Lynx suspension kit. Both are rather pricey, but from what I hear they are high quality and have excellent fitment. On the other hand, I couldn't find a whole lot of info on suspension upgrades for 69 chargers except for the strip so there may be other good options somewhere."
Couldn't find a whole lot of info? Maybe you have heard of Firm Feel? Hotchkis? QA1?
You will never find a suspension and steering that is MORE durable than the factory setup. A stock based torsion bar setup can be a great performer. By "great" I mean a great street car, a real road race or track car or a mix of the two. The stock setup was designed with some great engineering. If you rebuild the front end with quality parts and add in a few select aftermarket parts, the car will ride and handle quite well. If the car is only going to be driven at reasonable speeds on the street, even a stock rebuild results in a good performer. Why spend $4500-5000 for a replacement front end kit to just slowly cruise around? The gains that I hear and read about with these replacement kits is that they ride and steer well. Okay, I will concede that the 1957 era Mopar power steering is loose feeling and overboosted in stock form. A steering box from Firm Feel can take care of that. There is also the Borgeson power steering unit that is supposed to give precise steering and is smaller than the stock Mopar chuck. Some brag about the "tunability" of the RMS coil over design. The stock Mopar suspension can be adjusted for height with a 3/4" socket and a ratchet. Some of the guys claim a weight loss with the aftermarket front end kits. This may be true BUT are they comparing apples to apples? A stock setup with POWER steering VS an aftermarket setup with a manual rack and pinion is not a fair and direct comparison.

I doubt that many people are going to treat a restored classic car the way that they were treated when they were new. Personally, I don't drive my 70 Charger on rough roads, gravel, mud or even in the rain if I can avoid it. Still, my stock based (But reinforced) suspension can handle anything that I throw at it. I am not broke but I'm not swimming in dollar bills either. I prefer to spend the money where it really matters. It isn't that often that I spend money on flashy stuff that provides little gain in performance.
If you are open to options on how to maximize your stock front suspension and steering, send me a PM. I can spell out what I have done to my car, what I know and have heard from others and anything else you may need.
 
While it is your car do what you want but you can save ALOT of money by not using the alterkation set up, Get some
Nice shocks, upper and lower control arms, bushing kit, and you'll Be good! As for the rear I can't say anything bad about the street lynx set up that's what I'm installing on my 67. YOU HAVE ONE HELL OF A BUDGET FOR A 22 YEAR OLD FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE! I think you can save yourself a lot of money by tweaking your plans a little bit. Welp anyway good luck and HAVE FUN!
 
While it is your car do what you want but you can save ALOT of money by not using the alterkation set up, Get some
Nice shocks, upper and lower control arms, bushing kit, and you'll Be good! As for the rear I can't say anything bad about the street lynx set up that's what I'm installing on my 67. YOU HAVE ONE HELL OF A BUDGET FOR A 22 YEAR OLD FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE! I think you can save yourself a lot of money by tweaking your plans a little bit. Welp anyway good luck and HAVE FUN!

Thanks for the advice. I started a business about the same time as I got the car and it happened to take off so I've been able to do pretty well for myself. No debt to pay off helps too.
 
YOUR words were:
"For suspension, I've heard good things about Reilley Motorsports. For the front suspension, I'm looking at the Alterktion coil over system for street/handling. For the rear suspension, I'm looking their Street Lynx suspension kit. Both are rather pricey, but from what I hear they are high quality and have excellent fitment. On the other hand, I couldn't find a whole lot of info on suspension upgrades for 69 chargers except for the strip so there may be other good options somewhere."
Couldn't find a whole lot of info? Maybe you have heard of Firm Feel? Hotchkis? QA1?
You will never find a suspension and steering that is MORE durable than the factory setup. A stock based torsion bar setup can be a great performer. By "great" I mean a great street car, a real road race or track car or a mix of the two. The stock setup was designed with some great engineering. If you rebuild the front end with quality parts and add in a few select aftermarket parts, the car will ride and handle quite well. If the car is only going to be driven at reasonable speeds on the street, even a stock rebuild results in a good performer. Why spend $4500-5000 for a replacement front end kit to just slowly cruise around? The gains that I hear and read about with these replacement kits is that they ride and steer well. Okay, I will concede that the 1957 era Mopar power steering is loose feeling and overboosted in stock form. A steering box from Firm Feel can take care of that. There is also the Borgeson power steering unit that is supposed to give precise steering and is smaller than the stock Mopar chuck. Some brag about the "tunability" of the RMS coil over design. The stock Mopar suspension can be adjusted for height with a 3/4" socket and a ratchet. Some of the guys claim a weight loss with the aftermarket front end kits. This may be true BUT are they comparing apples to apples? A stock setup with POWER steering VS an aftermarket setup with a manual rack and pinion is not a fair and direct comparison.

I doubt that many people are going to treat a restored classic car the way that they were treated when they were new. Personally, I don't drive my 70 Charger on rough roads, gravel, mud or even in the rain if I can avoid it. Still, my stock based (But reinforced) suspension can handle anything that I throw at it. I am not broke but I'm not swimming in dollar bills either. I prefer to spend the money where it really matters. It isn't that often that I spend money on flashy stuff that provides little gain in performance.
If you are open to options on how to maximize your stock front suspension and steering, send me a PM. I can spell out what I have done to my car, what I know and have heard from others and anything else you may need.

Thanks for the advice. I get what you're saying, it makes sense. I'll PM ya
 
Thanks for the advice. I started a business about the same time as I got the car and it happened to take off so I've been able to do pretty well for myself. No debt to pay off helps too.
That's great to hear, congrats. If you're looking to get 600/600 out of a 440 no need to spend money on a stroker kit, trick flow offers a top end package, heads, cam, intake that makes 600+ check it out, it'll save you some cash not buying a crank rods and pistons.
 
My opinions are not just mine, others have similar views.
If the RMS and other kits added additional reinforcements to supplement their products, I may feel better about them. As said, when you place all the stresses of the steering and suspension into the stock frame rails, you are concentrating loads to an area that was not designed to carry everything. The loads were designed to be spread out from the radiator core support to the torsion bar crossmember. Magnum Force at least offers a bar that welds to the cowl and down to the frame rails. This adds strength and stiffness to an area that sees additional load when using a coil over setup. Another thing: The mounting area for the top of the shock absorber is not a heavy thick part. It was designed to support a shock absorber, not carry the weight of the car.
The aftermarket guys brag about oil pan clearance and exhaust clearance. That is great if you intend to remove the oil pan every day. TTI and Dougs offer headers that fit great and fit around the torsion bars.
A rebuilt stock suspension with bigger Torsion bars, sway bars, shocks and a NEW Borgeson 14-1 steering box can be done for $2800 compared to $4500 for an RMS setup.
A friend I know bought into this Magnum Force hype. He had a stock rebuilt suspension in a 64 Valiant. This MF setup did have better steering feel as compared to his unrebuilt 53 year old manual steering box. The turning radius is wider though. What could be made in a U turn now sometimes takes it to a 3 point. The suspension travel is less so it has a bouncy ride on rough roads. The exhaust clearance is great now but he still has cast iron exhaust manifolds. $4800 to gain nothing or even step backwards?
No thanks...I'll pass on that.
 
Sorry to be so long winded about this....
I'll admit also that the huge cost is a turnoff for me too. I just don't see the benefit when for about half that money, you can upgrade the stock based setup and have a great riding, great handling car.
I welded the seams on my K member and added supports around the steering box mount to reduce flex. The lower control arms have steel plates on the bottoms to reduce flex. I have 1.15 torsion bars, a 1.25 front sway bar, Urethane strut rod bushings, offset upper control arm bushings, Bilstein shocks, welded in subframe connectors, a Firm Feel stage 3 steering box with Fast Ratio arms, torque boxes, a 3/4" rear sway bar, stage 6 leaf springs and Bilstein shocks. I run an 18x9 front wheel and a 275-40-18 Nitto NT05 a 18x10 rear with a 295-45-18 Nitto NT05. The Charger handles better than my 2015 Challenger R/T and rides about the same on smooth roads. On bumpy roads, the Challenger wins because the independent rear suspension soaks up bumps rather than skipping across them.

CCM 1.JPG
 
Great info Kern, thanks again.

Did you have to do anything to get your wheel/tire combo to fit?
 
Great info Kern, thanks again.

Did you have to do anything to get your wheel/tire combo to fit?
The front fitment is great. The rear axle is a 66-67 B body unit that is about 5/8" narrower than a 68-70B housing. The wider B housing would still work since I still have a little bit of room to the outside. I do get some rear tire rub to the wheel tub on that common contact point where the tub bulges . It is only on rough roads.
 
I could either flatten out that bulge by cutting and patching or go with a slightly shorter sidewall. I like the current stance and would rather not raise the car.
 
Again, thx Kern. Always helpful to know what's worked for others, especially in the wheel/tire department as that's something people are always asking about. Your Charger looks great with a good stance.

I'll probably switch out my Firm Feel stage 3 unit for the Borgeson one for better road feel/feedback. That along with pretty much the same upgrades you've done should make my RR do what I want it to do and is definitely worth trying.

:thumbsup:
 
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