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A few story ideas for Magnante

Hi Steve, I’ve been a big fan of your columns and thoroughly enjoyed your latest. If I may, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for your next altered wheelbase project. You said “there aren’t any other late seventies Mopar 2-door sedans to choose from. The Volare / Aspen is the only candidate.”  While I’m not sure about sedans, I do believe there were 2-door Scamp and Dart hardtops available till about 1976. Weren’t there some altered wheelbase hardtops used back in the ‘60s?   

Concerning your thoughts on a K-car, there are a few I’ve seen on the strip with small and big block mopar engines.  So...why not a ’92 or later truck magnum 3.9L V6?   They had good power to begin with, are already fuel injected, are rear-wheel drive, and should fit with few problems.   A hotter cam, a little head work (later version heads are better quality than earlier), headers (which you can now make), six throttle bodies, and you’re crusin’.   You could probably even make the engine work ok with a stock computer.   

One last thought.  While not an altered wheelbase vehicle, wouldn’t a late ‘80s Mopar van with a stock 2.2/2.5 up front and a rear drive V8 in the back be a hoot to have?

Ray Block
Columbus, Ohio
Block Party Racing

On the Steve Mags story of left hand lug nuts, I remember that when my family had our Chrysler Plymouth dealership in the ‘50s and ‘60s, we had customers that still drove cars from the ‘40s and those cars didn't have wheel studs and lug nuts (2) pieces like the "late models" but had a one piece lug-stud combination, and, if memory serves me, they were left hand threads on the driver’s side also.

Dean Marsteller

Really reaching back: this article was in our November 2006 issue

A while back you guys did an article on upgrading rockers on big block Mopars. On the second page of the article it says that you can alter the contact location of the roller tip by varying pushrod length. Did the writer flashback to small block Chevy heads? The only way to alter the roller to valve location (rocker geometry) is to either change the valve installed height longer or shorter valve) or to change the height of the rocker shaft (shim or machine).

heck it out and let me know what you think.  

Volume I, Issue 4, Page 41
"I would guess that there are many ways to get the pushrod length just right. I use a simple method I have used for 20 years. Put a couple of rocker arms on the shaft and drop them down over the adjustable test pushrods. Set the valve lash, then when you are ready to turn the engine over by hand, slide a piece of carbon paper and regular paper between the tip of the rocker and the valve stem. Turn the engine over on complete cycle and remove the carbon paper. You will see an outline of the valve tip and a dark line where the rocker arm pushed the hardest. This needs to be as close to the center of the valve stem as possible. A little trial and error here with trying different lengths on the pushrod will be worth the time it takes. I ended up about .100” shorter than the original length and it marked the paper dead center on the valve stem."

Dave Wettlaufer