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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking around lately and doing research on a very cool car, the Porsche 944. They dont have much power, but there is a company that sells kits to put a chev 350 in them and is supposed to not affect the handling since an LS1 weighs close to a 944 engine with a turbo system on it.

now I am not a big fan of chevy's so here is my question. To buy a porsche 944 and V8 for the power with the brake kit and suspension is about $10-15K. Do you think a duster could be modified to handle (with a smallblock) as well as those porches? I have always thought of Mopars going in a straight line, never thought about turning them. I just think it would be awesome to show up at the road race course with a car twice the size of some ricers and beat them at thier own sport.

tell me what you think, what parts should I research? is this a stupid idea? who else thinks it would be awesome?
thanks
-Mike
 

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IN New Zealand Back in the 70s we had the aust Valiant charger dominating the road race circut for 7 years, it got to the stage where the rule book runners just said "HEY you charger guys we are going to have to handicapp you to make it fair on everyone", now although the valiant charger and the plymouth duster are two different looking cars underneath they are both the same animal but with the modern brakes and suspention mods avvailable now Im dam sure that these two stylish looking sleek back MoPar coupes can dominate again, lets face it they do make the power -o
 

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If you want to learn about A-bodies that can handle, you might want to check out Lou Madsen's cars:

Project V and Project V

68 Dart 270

'68 and '64 Dart 270's

Lou seems to do extremely well on road racing circuits with his slant-six powered Darts.  His photos don't seem to be working right now but they might come back on-line in a little while.

You can make A-Bodies handle but factory-built handling cars like the Porche start off with a big head start.  What are you really trying to achieve?  Do you want to out-run the ricers in general or do you want to do it with a Duster?  I also have 2002 Camaro SS (besides my Duster and Barracuda) and it handles like it's on rails.  Since you're ready to drop a Chevy engine in a Porche, it might be more cost-effective to just buy a car with an LS1 already in it.  On eBay, late model Camaros go for about the price you're already willing to pay.  Personally, I'm planning to follow Lou Madsen's example with my cars.

Frank
 

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Read up on the "Flying Brick", there were articles back in the late 90's in Mopar Action, and I think there was even mention of it in a few of the other Mopar rags of that era. Here's a link to a page that has a few pics Flying Green Brick but this link here has a LOT of pics and info More Green Brick Pics
I have a copy of the original articles they ran where they described there performances in the "One Lap Of America"  race where they beat out a lot of VERY HIGH dollar corvettes, porsche's, mercede's, specialty race vehicles, etc. The A bodies can SLAUGHTER porsches and Vettes. I based my car on what they did to that car, and it corners like it is on rails. I have made the statement before that I would gladly take on a porsche on a skid pad, because I know I will win. I do need to do something about the damn bench seat though, dosn't hold myself or any passenger in place very well when performing those tire screaching corners. The factory "sports" cars may come with a few more bells and whistles, but they also come with a huge $ tag also. I have an E ticket ride for the price of an A ticket, in my opinion, and I have way more class doing it too ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, it started off that I really like the way the porsche 944 looks, then it went to how fast can I make it, then I already have a Valiant that will be getting a big block soon, so I dont need FAST, I needed fast and to be able to turn. Then I started researching to see if anyone made a ford or dodge V8 kit since I am not a big fan of chevy. Then it clicked in my head that instead of starting with a car that cost 5,500, I could go pick up a duster with minor problems anywhere from 500-1500. Plus I could take it to shows and it would probably be worth more than a porsche all fixed up.

I do want to race it, roll cage, striped down interior everything. My valiant is a cruiser, I want to make a race car. If I am racing it and someone bumps my rear, I dont want to freak out cuase it will cost me 2-4k to fix, I would rather be able to pick up a quarter panel and weld it on and shoot some color over it.

thanks for the info, This is a project that wont be started for awhile, so I have a good amount of time to research it. I have my valiant to finish and a mazda to complete the air ride on.
thanks again,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
also, does anyone know where there is a list of rules and regulations for road racing and rally racing? I want to make sure I plan it correctly
 

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A '73 or later A-body would be great. They're not as desirable to collectors, so the price is a little more reasonable.

You can make the stock suspension handle well too, but if I could afford one, I would go with an AlterKtion. An AlterKtion with an anti-sway bar would take care of the front suspension, brakes, and rack & pinion steering. Talk to Bill and I'm sure he could sell you a setup that will handle great. I wonder if the steering ratio is quicker with the rack?? I would think so. That would also be good, since the stock boxes are a little slow.

In the rear, Addco makes an anti-sway bar. Maybe have some leaf springs made by ESPO or other spring shop, with a little less arch than normal.

A mild 440 would probably be plenty of power. You could be around 450hp without much effort, or expense. The money saved could go into the front end! ;D If ya got the cash, aluminum heads and intake would reduce the weight.

Are you thinking four speed? They can be a little pricey. Read Duster 413's article in the tech section for info.

Heck, I think it sounds like a lot of fun! It's always fun to screw with the sports car crowd who thinks an American V8 car can't handle. Ask Carroll Shelby if that's true! ;D

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was thinkinf a 73 or 74 becuase It still has the muscle car body, but the front end would look cool with big foglights on the front of the grill. I was thinking of using an Alter-K but a 440 might be abit much for rules sake. I want to remember that there was a limit on cubic inches, i think it was 350. so I figured a bored out 318 with 360 heads and a fuel injection system. For the rear, I was thinking a 4link with coilovers and a custom swaybar. but I guess I am not doing this for a living, so a leafspring suspension, with a large sway bar would probably be good for me.

heck the only place I would probably racing would be pacific raceways in kent, why not go for a 440, like you said, with aluminum heads and intake. run fuel injection on it. I will just have to race in the open class, since i am doing it for fun, I dont need to be too competitive.

about the transmission, there is a company that has an ad in one of the mopar magazines for a six speed tranny, that bolts into an A body and can be bolted to a small block and you can get one for a big block. I think a nice 6 speed going into a ford 9" with LSD would be a perfect combination behind a small block or a big block. only problem with the 6-speed is that it cost about 2500 for the whole kit. I think it might be a good price for what they give you, I believe its the tranny, bellhousing, clutch assembly, the sheet metal that goes over the tranny, all the linkage and hardware. It might be worth it, Its kind of hard to find those 4 speeds, plus people want a lot of money for em, and the OD speeds in the 6 speed might help.

it would definatly need bigger brakes, thus my reasoning for the 9", lots of racing disc brake kits, the alter-K would give me perfect setup out front. I was also thinking 17" mustang rims, with some racing tires, i really like nitto neo gen tires, got a nice tread pattern.
thanks,
Mike
 

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Depending on the racing organization the rules will be different. For SCCA solo-II almost anything goes in CP (C-prepared) as far as drivetrain and suspension mods. A fast as my son's Barracuda is, it really lacks horsepower to win in CP, but it will compete.

Figure out where you want to race and get a rules book. Rules do change every year, but the major stuff will probably stay similar.



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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks, I will have to stop by Pacific Raceways to see if they have a rule book. It sounds like I want to do what your son is doing. I dont really want to be the best, I mostly want to race and have fun, I dont really care if I dont win, plus have a really cool old car that I can drive, not one that sits in the garage.

what type of suspension does your son have? does it have an alter-k to put a big block in?

thanks,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had just another quick question. With the way the suspension will be set up for road racing, would it be able to drag race too, or would the suspension have to be adjusted for drag?

I started looking at some of the older valiants and darts. they look smaller, but dont know if they look right as a rally car. What kind of car do you think would look right, what car would be better as far as weight and wheelbase? If an older one is better cuase its smaller, I would much rather go for that. I would like to stay with A bodies, since they are plentiful and easy to find.
thanks,
Mike
 

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If I was going road racing in an A body Id seriously consider using a small block. Big blocks in A bodys do make for a front heavy handling car, & certainly here in Aust we have alot of very tough small blocks & with the modern day alloy heads & afordable stroker kits you could make a very very competable car -o
 

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If your limited to 350 ci- then build a 318 stroker .030" over with a 360 shaft comes to 349. I built mine mild for the street and it has 370 hp and 400 ft/lbs on pump gas with 360 heads opened up to 2.02"s, fairly basic build and its a torque monster!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think I am going to wait on deciding on a motor untill I see how the big block goes into the Valiant. I just made a big decision to not do my truck, its a dialy driver, why mess with it too much. I am going to start on the valiant, It is going to be a cruiser, so I will do a lot of the same stuff I will do to a road race car, except not so extreme. I am going to try and fix the valiant, it has bad rings in it, and take to my father's car show for work. Then fix a few cars I have for sale and then the valiant will start being stripped for its new heart.

thanks guys, you gave me a lot to think about.
-Mike
 

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Chek out firmfeel.com. they have some really nice stuff. I think their rear swaybar kit is the way to go.
 

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I also believe their stuff looks like the way to go if you stick with the factory type front end. I'm almost positive that's what the Green Brick runs.
 

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Alan's Barracuda has a 383 with factory type suspension. We did upgrade the sway bars and added bigger torsion bars, but there really hasn't been much money spent to make the car handle. We did recently install a set of Bill's tubular upper control arms so that we can align it. It sits quite a bit lower than stock. It hasn't been driven yet, though.



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A porsche 944 with a tubo and chiped is no slouch of a car and I have looked at them very affordable and they would be alot of fun.Any car that will do 150 plus mph would be fun. Go on Ebay and look there will probably be a few nice turbo cars on there for under $10000 and most of them have been babied and garage kept.
I know what you are thinking though and a handling A body with a hot motor would be alot of fun also.
 
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