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Making Significant Performance Gains from a Mopar Torsion Bar Suspension

Making Significant Performance Gains from a Mopar Torsion Bar Suspension

Mopar suspension throughout the ’60s and ‘70s muscle era predominantly had a torsion bar suspension. This was vastly different than the GM and Ford counterpart of the day. For many years this posed challenges to the hot rod community looking to modernize the ride and drivability. 

In this article, we will break down the Mopar suspension and layout formula many have used to gain huge performance and drivability improvements from their torsion bar suspension.

Inspection

Before beginning any suspension project, a visual inspecting of your existing suspension should be performed. If anything is broken, bent, cracked, or in bad shape replace it. Look for witness marks or places you can see metal that has been rubbing against each other. Assuming everything is in good working order, it is now time to begin upgrading.  

Shocks

After your inspection, shocks are the first place you should start. Even if the shocks are brand new stock replacement Mopar shocks, they aren’t up to today's standards. QA1 offers a full line of shocks of adjustable shocks that will completely transform the ride of your Mopar.

The shocks can be tuned from ultra-plush highway cruising or ultra-performance track attack settings. Besides ride quality, shocks are what keep tires planted to the ground not only during cornering but accelerating and braking too.

Dynamic Strut Bars

QA1’s dynamic strut bars are the unsung hero of our Mopar suspension line. The factory Mopar strut rod was designed to support lower control arm movement through articulation. This was done by connecting the lower control arm to the front crossmember with a rubber bushing.  

This design works great when everything is new, however, the rubber bushing wears and dry rots over time. When this happens, slop is introduced into the front suspension. This results in forward and aft movement of the lower control arm during braking and acceleration – Something you do not want!

The QA1 dynamic strut bars are a great problem solver for this issue by eliminating that rubber bushing. Replaced by a billet aluminum bushing and spherical rod end, adjustment can be made to remove any unwanted movement. As a driver, you will notice a much more solid feel to the front suspension.

Control Arms

Next on the list of upgrades is a new set of control arms. Factory arms are stamped steel which flex, crack, and is not up to par to today’s standards. QA1 tubular control arms are stronger and lighter than their factory counterparts.

The biggest improvement from these control arms is the upgraded geometry. QA1 tubular control arms correct camber curves and increase the caster. What this boils down to is the car will drive better, give you confidence, and perform better than it ever could with a factory control arm.

K-Member

This next upgrade is a big one - replacing the factory Mopar K-Member. The K-Member is what everything else bolts to and might seem odd to replace last, but remember we are trying to do this in steps for best bank-for-the-buck. The factory K-Member is stamped steel and just like the control arms can flex and lose your precise alignment.

The factory K-Member was not designed around big aftermarket headers either which causes more issues down the road. Luckily the QA1 K-member is designed with this in mind to allow for headers along with larger oil pan clearance.

The QA1 K-Members are 10% lighter than a factory set up. The tubular construction has great strength benefits while providing more room to work in the engine bay. Comparing the stock k-member side by side with the QA1 K-member is quite dramatic.  

Integrated into the K-member are all of the factory provisions you need to bolt in steering and other factory components. We often recommend a quality quick ration steering box along with this upgrade for the best overall results.

Sway Bars

The K-member would be a great foundation for QA1 sway bars. The QA1 sway bars were designed specifically for the QA1 K-member and are a fantastic addition to finish off your suspension.  QA1 sway bars are bigger in diameter and designed to keep your car planted while going around corners.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a ring at (952) 985-5675 or shoot us an email.