Suspension Query - New member from New Zealand

Brakes, Steering & Suspension

  1. Woodsy

    Woodsy Member

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    Hi there,

    Thanks very much for accepting me to the forum.

    I am just in the final throws of purchasing a stock 68 Charger 440 and am currently putting together my build sheet. I am still running through the finer details, but would like to have 500hp at the rear wheels and as much torque as early as possible right through the rev range.

    This has led me to look at suspension and I am slightly confused and would appreciate the benefit of your collective knowledge. I am looking at the following suspension packages:
    1. Level 3 QA1
    2. RMS Alterktion
    3. Magnum Force Mopar Transformer K Member Conversion
    4. Gerst GTS (Front and Back)

    I am new to this, however from my research the QA1 appears to be the best stock upgrade, while the other three are a more significant upgrade. Through reading many posts on this forum, I haven't seen great feedback on the RMS Alterktion kit; I've also read that although the Magnum Force is excellent, their service at purchase and post purchase is abysmal and there are no instructions for installation (other than a YouTube highlights clip), which is not great when living in NZ. I have read all positive reviews on the Gerst, however from my own point of view I can't figure out why it uses Mustang II spindles.

    I am leaning towards either the QA1 or the Gerst (provided I don't have to use Mustang II spindles).

    I would appreciate thoughts on the above and if there are any other suspension packages out there that I am unaware of. I would prefer a suspension package that is largely bolt in.

    Thanks in advance,
    Woodsy.
     
  2. BeepBeepRR

    BeepBeepRR Well-Known Member

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    • slepr1

      slepr1 Well-Known Member

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      I used Control Freak Suspension on my cuda. No problems so far and their customer service is really good. Bolt in.
      https://www.freakride.com/product/mopar-independent-front-suspension-ifs-systems-copy/

      In the past, both my 440's I've used Mopar cams. This year I put in a Hughes cam and rockers, lifters. Way more immediate torque response. I can light the tires up easily without even trying and thats with 3:23 gears. With the mopar cams it wasn't as easy.
      http://www.hughesengines.com/Index/index.php
       
    • Dennis H

      Dennis H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Purpose and wallet? Stock with upgrades meets my needs, maybe not yours. Tubular UCA, Bilsteins, etc. Welcome.
       
    • Kern Dog

      Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      The aftermarket suspension kits that eliminate the torsion bars have only ONE clear advantage: Exhaust clearance.
      They are nowhere near as durable as a stock based suspension. In some cases, their welds are inferior.
      RMS customers do seem happy with their products but one member here has had numerous problems with their rear suspension setup.
      Before even considering shipping and import fees, the RMS setup will be over $4000, the Magnum Farce stuff is only a little cheaper. For HALF of that, you can have a well sorted stock based setup that performs as well with far greater durability. When one of their welds break on a road trip, who do you call? Ever see weld on a factory control arm break? No, because they are not welded.
      QA1 still uses torsion bars but seems to be based on tubular K member and control arm stuff. I like that they utilize the torsion bars but I still question the welds. They seem to have a much better track record in terms of their stuff not failing.
      Hotchkis makes some good stuff but they are spendy.
      If you are looking for ONE source for all the stuff, that is convenient. Sometimes if you search around, you can piece stuff together a bit at a time and save a little.
      I like Bilstein shocks, myself. I have aftermarket 1.15 torsion bars, Mopar performance XHD leaf springs, a custom 1.25 front sway bar and a 3/4" rear bar from a 1983 Imperial.
      You should consider adding torque boxes and frame connectors. You need a solid platform so the suspension can do it's work. A flexiible platform is like another spring in the system and it will not allow the suspension to work to it's potential.
       
    • Dennis H

      Dennis H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      With exception, the major mod cars I have ridden in were rough and had rattle issues. A lot to sort out. When mine isn’t broke down or on a tow truck for reasons other than suspension, it romps along with confidence at speeds in the low 100’s. Back to purpose, ask those with recommendations how their car is used. Miles driven. Third Sunday cars and coffee doesn’t count.

      I know how modern cars handle, have a new Challenger. Independent rear, abs, blah blah. I’d rather take the Coronet anytime. Anywhere.
       
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      • Kern Dog

        Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        To support my opinions, take a look at the stock based builds of the 1969 Valiant "Green Brick" from Mopar Action magazine and the "Red Brick" 1968 Valiant.A local friend owned the '68 Valiant for a couple of years and I have seen it numerous times. Both were 150-160 mph cars in the straights built with frame connectors and still using torsion bars and leaf springs. Andy Finkbeiner built the '68 Valiant and has stated that there is NO competitive advantage to any of the current coil-over suspension kits. These cars had great engineering to begin with. The aftermarket manual rack coil over kits do shave some weight and offer exhaust clearance so for drag racing where weight is the enemy and frequent engine service occurs, they have an advantage there. AS for street use with rough roads, autocross and road racing, there is no advantage to these kits.
         
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        • Woodsy

          Woodsy Member

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        • Woodsy

          Woodsy Member

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          Excellent, thanks for that. Had never heard of Control Freak Suspension, will investiagte further. Have been looking at Hughes and ahve been quite impressed with what I've seen and read. Great to get your feedback. Thanks.
           
        • Woodsy

          Woodsy Member

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          Road, autocross and track (but primarily road). As for wallet, I have reasonable budget and am not going to be selling the car, so just trying make the right decisions once so I can continue to build on it as further funds come available.
           
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          • Woodsy

            Woodsy Member

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            Noted and thanks. You make some good points for consideration. What makes you so concerned about the quality of welds and welds in general? Will definitely be adding frame connectors. Hadn't considered torque boxes so will look into that.
             
          • Woodsy

            Woodsy Member

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            Definitely not looking for new car handling, just something to handle the anticipated hp and torque. Good point on how people are uing their cars. Thank you.
             
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            • Kern Dog

              Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              I have seen pictures of broken parts. I've read threads online where heim joints have worn out in in 2000 miles, upper control arms have broken at welded connections, lower control arms broke at the mounts and body damage was luckily the only casualty.
              Again, for me, I don't see the value in it. The juice isn't worth the squeeze. The gains are not there. You'd be spending $5000 for a set of parts that are not better, they are just different.
               
            • Woodsy

              Woodsy Member

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              Will check those out. Have actually been reading a lot of articles by Andy Finkbeiner, he's written some excellent informative stuff.
               
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              • Kern Dog

                Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                If you are convinced that you need to go with something aftermarket, I'd suggest the QA1 mainly because it retains the torsion bars. A distant second would be the RMS. I only give them the nod because of their great reputation for customer service. Magnum Farce is the worst in quality and service.
                 
              • Woodsy

                Woodsy Member

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                Fair call.
                 
              • slepr1

                slepr1 Well-Known Member

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                I have to agree with both Dennis H. and Kern Dog. I drove my cuda before the upgraded suspension and after. This is my summary for non-track driving...

                Pros
                It corners and steers very precise. Not like a new car though.
                Looks cool
                Lots of clearance for exhaust, oil pan

                Cons
                Be prepared for a bumpy, noisy ride.
                Lots of weird noises (mine all come from the rear 4 link suspension)
                Not nearly as comfortable to drive as having torsion bars.

                Its kind of like having a hemi engine. Cool factor is there but a 440 can easily make same power with some easy mods.

                I'm glad I upgraded because I like trying different setups and don't mind spending the money. But I wouldn't do another one. Instead, I'd upgrade the suspension like Kern Dogs', install new joints, poly bushings.
                 
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                • Woodsy

                  Woodsy Member

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                  Thanks for that, very much appreciate the first hand insight and experiences; definitely helps.
                   
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