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Re-Rebuilding the 440-493 in a 1970 Charger

I'm hearing you.
I dropped my engine off at the builder on April 4th and still no sign. Not his fault, waiting on custom pistons that were due weeks ago.
At first it was ok as I had jobs to do. Painted the engine bay, installed the 1.03" torsion bars, re-installed everything I could after the painting, but now I'm just waiting, and waiting. Cleaning the dust off the car gets pretty boring after awhile. He reckons 2-3 weeks once he gets the pistons, but JE tell him they are "in the system" and we just have to be patient.
It's one of the reasons I never went for an exterior repaint - paint jail would just be the worst.
You don’t know how many times I’ve heard 2-3 more week’s. I’m getting the same with my rear end along with I should be able to get to it this week. I may just brake down and buy a complete chunk or order a new Dana.
Any of you ever see "The Money Pit" with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long? I swear some of these shops are like the construction guys in that movie. No matter what, the answer is always "2 weeks! It'll take 2 weeks!"
I consider myself pretty lucky in that area; the machinist I use runs a 6-second Chevy and builds engines for several Mopar racers...not only does he do good work but to do a short block from start to finish takes him no more than 3 weeks, and his prices are very reasonable. The trick now is to get all your parts together first! We're all at the mercy of supply delays nowadays:rolleyes:
I know there's a lot of hand work in engine machining, but I would love to work with one of these guys to streamline the operation.
We are in the middle of a hot spell here but I still felt compelled to walk out back to tinker a bit.
The PST tie rods and sleeves look great.


The one on the left was just mocked up. I need to put the locking nuts on before I install them.
This front end of this car was rebuilt in 2003 or 2004 but in 2014 I had to replace the lower control arm bushings. I will humbly admit that back then, I tightened the LCA pin with the car on jackstands. I have since learned to do that once the car is on its tires.
The tie rods and sleeves all side by side;


I was just going to set the new assemblies to the same length as the old ones but was reminded of something…


Look at the threads remaining outside the sleeve on the above picture and the below.


The short one is 11 7/8” center to center. The long one is 12 3/4”.
I never noticed any trouble with the way the car steers. The tires rub the frame rail on full lock so the shorter assembly didn’t affect travel. My guess is that this only affects how much adjustment I would have… the long side was on the left. I’m going to equalize the lengths. 11.875 plus 12.750 divided by 2 is 12 5/16.
The Borgeson steering box requires the coupler to be properly centered exactly at center travel. I marked the shaft splines on the box to ensure that since they don’t have any index like a factory box does.
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They look great, and a lot beefier.

I was replacing waaay worn out stuff, so I didn’t really compare, and trailered it to the alignment shop, because they were also doing the exhaust. But they aligned it, didn’t mention anything, and I’ve never had issues. But I’m sure my 15x7s are a little different then your wheels.
With the car apart, I am adding another small change to the mix.
Another FBBO member started a thread about the Mopar Action magazine article featuring the FORD sway bar stabilizer link, Rock Auto PN K750074.

The sway bar end links in my car looked okay a few years ago....

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....But as I was cleaning parts today, I remembered that they were loose when I removed them a few weeks back. The bushings had distorted which resulted in some loose fitting parts. The nylock nut held on though. The fix?

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These are similar to the ones I just bought. Looking at the threaded shafts, that rubber boot hides a small ball joint that takes the place of the outer bushing in the traditional end link. This eliminates slop and allows the sway bar to be more effective.

M A sway 1 (2).jpg

The units that I ordered were just shy of $20 each and have Zerk fittings.

S c o r e !
Reassembly begins.....
Looking at the stock tie rod assemblies versus the PST ones, I expected some weight gain.

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Not bad....just a 2 lb gain and the weight is low in the car so not a problem. It is worth the weight to have the sturdy parts in there.

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Steering box and linkage, LCAs and strut rods, steering knuckles/spindles and the sway bar are in place. I have some parts to round up...gaskets, fluids and other bits. I really need the engine so I can get moving on all of that.
Gaining a couple pounds for extra strength is completely worth it IMO.

It’s looking really good, too bad it gets hidden under the car.
The Moog built, Rock Auto supplied sway bar end links came today. I bought two pair in case I want to use a pair for the rear bar.

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They look a little different that the ones that I saw on this forum in another thread.....


Mine are unpainted. These black ones have actual boots for the swivel/ball joints. Mine have Zerk fittings and finally, mine seem to be longer.

Before I installed them, I looked at how the previous setup looked and how the end of the sway bar did rest below the LCA:


The bar is a modified 73-87 Chevy C-30 2wd front bar. It probably already hangs lower than a stock bar.

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This hangs too low for sure.

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Looking at the old end links and the new ones side by side:

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The distance between the LCA tab and the sway bar is.....

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That is about 3 5/8". The Moog unit is a LOT longer....

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5 3/8". That is 1 1/2" longer than before.

I need to take about 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" out of the middle. Is there room??

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It can be done but that leaves very little in the middle.
The upside is that these are all steel. I could cut, section and weld in bursts to keep the heat down and avoid damaging the rubber boot.
If you cut a section out, and weld it back together, would that create a failure point?

I don’t know how much stress is on the sway bar endlinks, but I do know on Datsun z cars, people put a Subaru rear end in it for strength, they have to cut the axle shafts down, and they use a sleeve, with a couple holes plugged up with weld, and each side of the sleeve to regain strength. (I only know this because of Roadkill.)

I think people do that with steering box couplers too
I could slip a sleeve over it and weld that. Good idea.
Out of curiosity, what size are the threads on the new links & what are the ID of the holes in the swaybar & mounts?
I saw the mod but just seams like it'd be a sloppy fit in the bar ends...
The threaded section looks slightly larger than 3/8". The nut is an oddball 18mm hex. It would help if there were some tapered or conical washer/spacer to make a more precise fit into the sway bar hole and the LCA hole.

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Kern is it possible to thread the area where you need to shorten the link? Then you could use a connecting nut. If you do the sleeve and weld method, I'd pin both sides and weld the pin. Without a pin it might pull it apart at some point.
I will probably shorten them, then slip a sleeve between the links and weld the ends. These look like cast iron but might just be regular steel. I don't know how to tell the difference.

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The Zerk fitting is a nice feature.
Delays, delays.....
The Machinist has had the engine for almost 2 months. WTF ?? It isn't like I needed extensive work for this build. The heads didn't need anything but a valve spring swap. The block only needed bore and hone and to mill the decks. No line boring, no grinding the bottoms of the bores for rod clearance since I did that in 2004. The pistons had to be swapped on the rods though. Still. 2 months???
Then....He said the new pistons are 100 grams heavier than the old Ross pistons requiring a REbalance job.

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He doesn't do balancing so once I do get the engine back, I have to find someone else to balance it all.

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I will probably shorten them, then slip a sleeve between the links and weld the ends. These look like cast iron but might just be regular steel. I don't know how to tell the difference.

View attachment 1321225

The Zerk fitting is a nice feature.
as far as I know, all suspension pieces like this are forged, which means forged steel. Cast iron wouldn't have the needed impact resistance for a suspension component.
If the new pistons are 100 grams heavier the crank is either going to have previous balance holes filled and welded. And /or heavy Mallory added. Not going to be cheap to balance.
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