When David brought his 1968 Cornet 440 by the shop it was already a beautiful car. Maybe one of the best condition vehicles we have had a chance to work on. Its a very original car in that all of the mechanical stuff seems to be stock and untouched. It has had all of the paint and body done as well as a new interior but the suspension, steering, brakes, etc are all original. David and his girlfriend really like to drive the Coronet so he wanted to upgrade the steering, braking, and suspension parts. I know there are a lot of Mopar guys that would have wanted to keep it stock but lets face it, those original parts don’t make for a fun drive. The drum brakes just aren’t safe and the suspension and steering are both sloppy.
Starting up front we stripped the car of all its greasy and worn original parts. The only factory parts we reused were the drag link and the steering knuckles. We replaced the stock torsion bars with larger 0.940″ HP/Police edition bars from Firm Feel Inc. Also front Firm Feel, we installed their stage 2 rebuilt power steering gear box and a set of 12:1 fast ratio idler and pitman arms. The stock lower control arms where sand blasted, boxed, added sway bar brackets, and powder coated. We installed them with new greasable pivot pins and urethane bushings from FF. Hotchkis provided the tubular upper control arms, tension rods, and a tubular 1 3/8″ front sway bar. The upper control arms will allow us to run much more caster angle by leaning the spindle back further. This will keep the car tracking straight down the highway and will return the steering wheel back to center if he has to do any correcting. All of the tie rods ends, adjusters, and balljoints where replaced as well. The power steering pump was leaking a bit from the front shaft seal, so we took the time to rebuild it. In the rear we simply added a Hotchkis 1″ tubular sway bar.
For the front brakes David wanted to pack as much rotor and caliper as he could behind the steel police edition wheels. We went to Wilwood and spec’d a 12.2″ package with a 6 piston dynapro caliper. We also installed a new powder coated booster and master cylinder and a new disc/drum proportioning valve. We also installed new brake hard lines and new stainless braided flex lines.
The last thing we did was add an Autometer tachometer and oil pressure gauge. The Z-Series of gauges was chosen for their clean and under stated look.