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Monday, April 30, 2007


New parts for the Dart

I've picked up a few more parts for the Dart. I went and bought an 8 3/4" rear axle, with tapered roller bearings, E-body drums, Moser aftermarket axle shafts, and a Sure-Grip with 3.23:1 gears. Is this overkill? Probably. But choices for a hopped up A-body with the large (5 x 4 1/2") bolt pattern seem to fall into two categories: Maybe not enough, and too much.

There's two factory axles that had this bolt pattern in A-bodies. I've heard of the 7 1/4" breaking behind naturally aspirated slant sixes. The 8 1/4" axle is a bit more durable, and might have worked on the Dart. Or it might not have. Still, it came behind the 360, and it was adequate for that.

The other axles either weren't installed in the large bolt pattern, or weren't installed in A-bodies, period. You can get an A-body 8 3/4" rear axle, and these can live behind a 400 to 500 hp engine with no problem. But the factory axles had a 5 x 4" bolt pattern that you can't find wheels for, and it's risky to drill them for bigger bolt patterns. So you need to get new axle shafts or have C-body ones cut down. And there are companies that offer the ultimate axle Mopars used, the Dana 60, cut down to fit an A-body, at a pretty hefty price. More than the $1,250 this axle set me back.

And I also picked up a MSD-6A ignition box for the Dart while I was in Richmond. You may have heard me mention I had been thinking EDIS and even picked up some of the hardware for it. Well, I've sort of changed my mind. Now my plan is to make it run with the MSD-6 and the HEI module, then eventually convert it to a crank trigger and have a Megasquirt (not necessarily the one in there now) drive it directly. But once I have it running, I plan to do a somewhat over the top ignition shootout: I'll gather up a bunch of different ignition systems and test out all of them on a dyno. I've never heard of anyone comparing EDIS to an MSD box and flogging the two on a dyno back to back, so it will be interesting to see what happens.


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