Mopar Magic

Handling to Match the Horsepower, Thanks to Art Morrison Enterprises

By Ron Ceridono   –   Photography by Matt Jones

While quarter-mile elapsed times were once a hot rodder’s chief factor in assessing a car’s performance, today we expect a more well-rounded approach to performance—we want them to go fast in a straight line, negotiate corners like they are on ’rails, and stop on the proverbial dime. While that sounds like a tall order for vintage Mopar aficionados, Art Morrison Enterprises (AME) now makes all that possible with their new suspension upgrade for ’66-70 Mopar B-body platforms.

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02 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
Shown here is the AME K-member with all the individually shipped components in place. The engine mounting brackets accommodate a variety of Mopar engines, and a heavy-duty antiroll bar is included.

Known for their superior chassis and suspension components, AME’s new bolt-in K-member assembly follows their well-established reputation and comes with rack-and-pinion steering, tubular control arms, Strange Engineering coilover shocks, and C6 Corvette–style knuckle assemblies. According to AME, the tall, forged knuckle assemblies provide several suspension geometry benefits–—as they describe it, the lateral roll center migration is minimal, while the negative camber gain is aggressive enough for high-performance driving and autocross. “Put simply, this means the car will have excellent grip while corning and feel stable to the driver from the initial turn-in to corner exit,” Matt Jones, president of AME, says. Jones adds, “AME’s Mopar K-member is a 100 percent bolt-on assembly that can be easily installed by any competent do-it-yourselfer.”

03 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
Note the two holes in the front of the shock towers for the front caster/camber eccentrics. No modifications are necessary to the inner front fenders; the cardboard templates are for smooth panels that Horsepower Northwest will be fabricating.

Let’s follow along with Tom Smith of AME and Aaron Porter of Horsepower Northwest and as they perform the first installation of the new AME Mopar B-body IFS crossmember. To make installation even easier, a steering shaft kit is available for factory or aftermarket steering columns. The engine mounts accommodate 383, 426, and 440s in the stock location with factory engine brackets and a rear sump oil pan. Gen III engines can be installed with AME-manufactured adapter brackets and no firewall mods are required even for the fire-breathing Hellcat. However, a Milodon rear sump pan or custom Stef’s pan (Stef’s has the drawing to make the proper pan) will be required, along with a 90-degree oil filter adapter or remote filter kit.

04 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
AME has adapted their Sport C6 suspension to work with the B-body’s upper control arm mounting points. The hole above the mounting for the stock shock absorber will not be used.

For outstanding performance AME incorporated their proven Sport C6 suspension geometry with only minor adjustments to work with the Mopar B-body’s original upper control arm attachment points. To simplify installation, the K-member comes partially assembled with only the coilovers, knuckles, and upper control arms to be attached—and the only modification required to the car is the drilling of four holes per side. Like all AME components, their new B-body suspension kit is well designed and beautifully executed, plus it’s easy to install. There’s no better way to perform Mopar magic. MR

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05 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
A transmission jack works well for removing the stock crossmember and installing the AME assembly. The new K-member should be installed with the steering rack, sway bar, and lower control arms bolted in place.
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With the AME crossmember in place the factory framerails will be a snug fit between the vertical coilover mounts.
07 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
Two mounting bolts attach the new K-member to the factor framerails. They are installed at this point but not tightened completely.
08 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
To ensure the unit is square to the car, measurements are taken from the factory datum hole in the rear framerail diagonally to a lower control arm grease zerk fitting. (Datum: For example, on a car’s wheel, the lug nut holes define a bolt circle that is a datum from which the location of the rim can be defined and measured.)
09 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
The location of the K-member is adjusted until the measurements from both sides are within 1/8 inch.
10 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
With the K-member properly located, the attachment bolts are then tightened to 150 lb-ft.
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To keep the car flat when cornering, an antiroll bar is part of the suspension package. Note the three holes in the attachment link that provides suspension “tuning.”
12 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
Once the K-member is aligned and the bottom four bolts are torqued the holes in the coilover mounts are drilled through both sides of the stock framerails.
13 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
After the holes are drilled the supplied steel sleeves are inserted to keep the framerails from collapsing when the bolts are tightened.
14 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
The AME tubular upper control arms are fitted with polyurethane bushings—they mount to the factory attachment points.
15 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
Factory-style eccentric washers are used at all four control arm attachment points to adjust caster and camber. Shown is one of the bolts and eccentrics in the structure on the outside of the inner fender panel.
16 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
For each attachment point there is a matching eccentric on the engine compartment side of the fender panel as well. AME recommends setting caster at +6.25 degrees, while camber is adjustable up to -2 degrees depending on the car’s use.
17 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
The Strange Engineering coilovers are installed using the supplied hardware. Spacers are used to properly position the coilover in the upper bracket.
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Once the coilovers are attached to the lower control arms the uprights are put in place. Note the threaded collar on the coilover body that provides ride height adjustment.
19 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
The C6 Corvette-style forged aluminum knuckle assembly is significantly taller than other designs, requiring a minimum 18-inch wheel. Rather than a conventional spindle, the Corvette uses a modular hub/bearing that fits in the knuckle and is bolted in place.
20 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
AME supplies a custom-valved 17.5:1 ratio steering rack to provide the modern steering feel and responsiveness that vintage B-body Mopars lacked.
21 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
Typical of AME products, the design and welding are superb. For the straightest possible alignment with the steering column, the rack-and-pinion unit tucks under the engine mount.
22 1966 1970 mopar b body platform art morrison enterprises ifs crossmember
The original brake line tabs on the inner fender panels were removed in favor of -AN bulkhead fitting in the K-member. Porter’s team at Horsepower Northwest will be plumbing the chassis with stainless brake lines available from AME.

Art Morrison Enterprises
(253) 922-7188
artmorrison.com

Horsepower Northwest
(360) 471-8173
@horsepowernw.com

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