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1969 Dodge Dart 408 Powered Engine - It's Just A Dart

Rod McGregor's '69 Dodge Dart

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The current cam is a Comp solid roller with 0.576/0.582-inch lift and 248/254 duration at 0.050. Since Rod already had the short-block together, the cam is a compromise to make sure he had piston-to-valve clearance. He added 1.6:1 rockers for more lift, but he thinks he might need more duration. The cam stays until the short-block needs to be freshened up. By then, the engine will go together as a 414.

The carb is a Holley 950 HP. It had a 750 on it for a while, and then the larger one went on shortly after the new heads. He also found it liked a carb spacer, even on the already-tall Indy manifold.

The first set of headers was from TTI with 1 5/8 primary tubes stepped to 1 3/4 inch. When he swapped on the Indy heads, he stepped up to 1 7/8, also from TTI. The pipes are 3-inch with a cross-pipe all the way back to DynoMax Ultra Flow mufflers, then over the axles to the bumper.

The A-500 was swapped for a 904 with a full-manual valvebody. The 904 isn't really designed for this type of abuse, so Pro Trans makes a lot of its own custom parts you'll usually see in big-block cars with a 727 case and 904 internals. It has a 4,400-rpm 9 1/2-inch converter, but he still drives it to the track . . . just not on the freeway.

The 7 1/4-inch rearend was junked immediately, and Rod found an 8 3/4 from an old truck at Pick-A-Part. Using a Mark Williams rearend-narrowing jig he bought years ago, Rod chopped the tubes to tubbed A-Body size. The axles are 30-spline from Mark Williams with a 4.30:1 rear gear and a Sure Grip. This gear is good for eighth-mile and quarter-mile runs.

The front discs are from Wilwood to replace the front drums, and the rears are 11-inch discs from "some old B-Body wagon." The leaf springs are Cal-Tracs monoleaf with a stock height and arc. The CalTracs were set in the lower holes with a 1/3 turn of preload, in case you were wonder-ing. On a Chrysler A-Body, the spring is parallel to the frame. To clear the tire, Rod cut a piece of frame and used a Mopar Performance spring relocation kit to move the springs inboard.

The slicks:
The fronts are Hoosier Quick Time, and the rears are 29x13.5-15 (11-inch tread) also from Hoosier. Rod runs them at 12 1/4 pounds on race day. The wheels are 10x15 and 15x5.5 Weld ProStars.

Rod did the rough work, and Citrus Auto Body in Covina, California, did the finish bodywork and paint in Subaru WRX blue.

That trunk:
In the beginning, the fuel cell sat on the floor of the trunk, taking up space. Rod dropped the fuel cell and built the recess for the battery and a rack for tools to keep them from sailing into the quarter-panels when he gets rowdy with the car (he drives to the track, remember?).

Sealing the AAR Six-Pack-style fiberglass hoodscoop to the carburetor was worth about a tenth on the dragstrip.

Son, Jim Ringer, Mike Aikin, and myself.

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