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Need Suspension Help 74 Challenger

74stroker

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I could use some help with my 74 Challenger.
I've owned it since 75. It has original rear springs which sagged badly in the last few years. I lowered front end with torsion bar bolts to level it (probably not good in long run). HD shocks are from 1988. Got under the car and photographed a litany of sins which follow. It was originally 360 4 bbl rally, but now is a 415 stroker with about twice as much HP and torque. Still has 3:23 rear.
Most serious problem may be frame rusted near drivers side rear spring rear attachment (photo 2) Lot's of other issues.
14 photos in 2 parts; 1-4, 6-7,9-10 are of rear suspension
(11,13,14,16,18,20) front suspension will be sent separately, next post.

Photo No. View Parts/issues
1 left rear looking forward old shock, rotted bushings...
2 left rear looking back rear spring attachment point on frame serious rust, bolt/rubber off center in hanger
3 left rear spring front hanger sideview
4 left rear spring front hanger, underside
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6 right rear looking forward rotted bushings, shock lower bolt off center
7 right rear looking back rear spring hanger, bushings off center
8 right rear spring, front hanger side view
9 right rear spring, front hanger underside, dry-rotted bushing

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11 right (passenger) side, looking forward lower control arm, ball joint, shock (leaking?)
13 right (passenger) side, looking back L. control arm, shock, ball joints, rotted bushings, corroded upper control arm..?
15 (same) (same+upper shock attachment loose?)
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16 left (driver's) side, looking back loose connections, rotted bushings, shock, lower control arm
18 left (driver's) side, looking back upper ball joint +...
20 left (driver's) side, looking forward lower control arm, shock, +...
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IMG_1-5818.jpg


IMG_2- 5819.jpg


IMG_3-5820.jpg


IMG_4 -5821.jpg


IMG_6-5823.jpg


IMG_7-5824.jpg


IMG_8-5825.jpg


IMG_9-5826.jpg
 

74stroker

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74 Challenger - suspension help. These are photos for front suspension:

11 right (passenger) side, looking forward lower control arm, ball joint, shock (leaking?)
13 right (passenger) side, looking back L. control arm, shock, ball joints, rotted bushings, corroded upper control arm..?
15 (same) (same+upper shock attachment loose?)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
16 left (driver's) side, looking back loose connections, rotted bushings, shock, lower control arm
18 left (driver's) side, looking back upper ball joint +...
20 left (driver's) side, looking forward lower control arm, shock, +...
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IMG_11-5827.jpg


IMG_13-5829.jpg


IMG_15-5831.jpg


IMG_16-5832.jpg


IMG_18-5834.jpg


IMG_20-5836.jpg
 

fasjac

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Just looks like a 50 year old e body that needs some love. Obviously, any rusted out frame rails have/need to be addressed first.
Complete rebuild if it was mine. Total new bushings replaced, etc.
there are a few companies making leaf springs that can be ordered to your taste.
My opinion ( if you’re keeping it) disassemble all the suspension and rebuild/ replace what’s needed.
 

74stroker

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Thanks for your input!
1) LR frame rail - would you repair or replace?

2) Given that with 415 stroker, care has about twice the hp and torque of 74 360 4bbl, and would be mostly street driver, with possible trip or 2 to 1/4 mile track, would suspension upgrades from stock be advisable?

3) Could you recommend any particular complete kits? Spring choices? Shocks?
 

fasjac

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Thanks for your input!
1) LR frame rail - would you repair or replace?

2) Given that with 415 stroker, care has about twice the hp and torque of 74 360 4bbl, and would be mostly street driver, with possible trip or 2 to 1/4 mile track, would suspension upgrades from stock be advisable?

3) Could you recommend any particular complete kits? Spring choices? Shocks?
Unless you have a doner car, I think a repair cap is in order. Classic Ind. AMD possibly can sell you these.
Espo seems to be the most popular around these days. I have MP heavy duty on mine.
I like QA1 adjustable personally. There are several good options out there.
I would definitely put some frame rail connectors in while your at it.
 

Ricks72Chlgr440

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Man, before you EVEN think about an upgraded power plant or other items, you MUST address the rot under there. To do it right will not be cheap, and you don't want to go cheap on the structural integrity of your car. Someone on the forum likely knows of a shop that could do the repairs.
 

74stroker

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Unless you have a doner car, I think a repair cap is in order. Classic Ind. AMD possibly can sell you these.
Espo seems to be the most popular around these days. I have MP heavy duty on mine.
I like QA1 adjustable personally. There are several good options out there.
I would definitely put some frame rail connectors in while your at it.
I've seen left rear frame rails for sale from anywhere from $ 200-380, on eBay, JEGS, Classic industries etc. Would a cap have good structural integrity? less expensive to install? I've heard many folks speak well of QA1
 

74stroker

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Man, before you EVEN think about an upgraded power plant or other items, you MUST address the rot under there. To do it right will not be cheap, and you don't want to go cheap on the structural integrity of your car. Someone on the forum likely knows of a shop that could do the repairs.
Guess I got the cart before the horse...stroker is already installed; trying now to catch up with suspension...probably lucky to be alive at this point..
 

74stroker

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Hi Joe, Funny... This car (74 Challenger) is a NJ car from Town and Country Dodge in Matewan (i think). I bought it in Oct of 75.
Someone beat it to near death before I bought it with 20,000 miles. Worn out ball joints, cracked K frame, suicide carb..
I lived in Mendham (Morris Co.), went to Rutgers New Brunswick, until 79. ..Don't have a lift, could jack it up in garage..get better lighting.
What areas need to be better photographed..?
 

Xcudame

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I agree with Fasjac and Rick72Chlgr440, time to bite the bullet and repair/replace any structural components and replace the entire 50 year old suspension front and rear (leaf springs, bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arm, idler arm, shocks, etc.). And definitely consider subframe connectors and torque boxes!
 

cuda joe

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thats not to far from here 1975 that;s when everyone raced from stop light to stop light I got my drivers license in 76 fun times. need pics of the rust you are talking about can;t see much in the above pics and yes all the suspension parts need to be replaced;also tubler upper a arms or offset bushings in the original a arms will give you more caster and box lower arms it will make it handle a lot better
 

74stroker

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thats not to far from here 1975 that;s when everyone raced from stop light to stop light I got my drivers license in 76 fun times. need pics of the rust you are talking about can;t see much in the above pics and yes all the suspension parts need to be replaced;also tubler upper a arms or offset bushings in the original a arms will give you more caster and box lower arms it will make it handle a lot better
Thanks for your suggestions. I will look into those improvements. When at Rutgers in Late 70s, I ran the car on Wed nights and Englishtown Raceway (trap night).
Ran well for a stock 74 challenger with a stock smog engine (I did have exhaust recirculation jets in base of carb braised off).
 

74stroker

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I agree with Fasjac and Rick72Chlgr440, time to bite the bullet and repair/replace any structural components and replace the entire 50 year old suspension front and rear (leaf springs, bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arm, idler arm, shocks, etc.). And definitely consider subframe connectors and torque boxes!
Thanks very much. Just trying to ID a shop that can do the work in the Ohio area. I've been talking with Mike Ross (B/E&A) in the Cleveland area.
 

cuda joe

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oh you do need a rear frame rail and a trunk floor extension ;they make the parts you need It;s great you are getting her back on the road again. got my cuda back on the road about 8 years ago I call it the time machine cause when i drive her i feel like I;m 25 again
 

fasjac

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I was going to do a simple cam and heads swap and that turned into a year! My fault though, they have to be faster when the goes back together.…. right? 🤔$$$
I miss the good ole simple days
 
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