Volume II, Issue 5, Page 23

 

When it comes to traction, more is always better. Though we’ve enhanced the weight distribution of our altered wheelbase ’63 Dart tremendously by moving the rear axle forward one whole foot, there is still the problem of getting large tires to fit inside its modestly sized factory issue wheel tubs, and that’s a problem that’ll become more critical once the Max Wedge goes under the hood.

Last month, we gained a ton of sidewall clearance as Dale Snoke of the Funny Car Farm moved the leaf springs inboard 3 inches using a Mopar Performance relocation kit. It was a huge step in the right direction. But while there’s plenty of sidewall clearance, the upper inboard edges of the 30 inch diameter Radir 10.00-15 nostalgia drag slicks are a little too close to the wheel tubs for comfort. There’s a sharp flange that looks ready to slice down into the slick surface during hard cornering or any other dynamic situation that causes the leaf springs to compress more than an inch or two.

So we’ll get Dale to open the Funny Car Farm once again to install mini-tubs on the car. Unlike full blown aftermarket wheel tub kits like the kind you buy for Pro Street applications, mini tubbing a Mopar can be done using 99.9 percent of the cars original structure. It’s a simple matter of trimming and filling while adding less than 6 feet of foreign metal in the form of filler strips. Do it with care, and the job is nearly invisible.

Click on the thumbnails below for full-size versions.


The mini-tub process eliminates the wasted space shown here and delivers an extra 2 inches of tire clearance on each side of the car. The pinch welded flange is where Dodge originally joined the wheel tub to the floor pan of the Dart. Most Mopars exhibit similar architecture in this area. If your tires exhibit mystery slices on the inner part of the tread surface, contact here is the likely cause.



A reciprocating saw and cut-off wheel are used to slice the stock wheel tubs down the middle and around their bases where they attach to the floor pan. If something looks “funny” about this picture, it’s because the rear wheel tubs (and entire rear axle and frame section) have been moved forward one foot on this altered wheelbase Dart. Fear not, the process is the same as on standard wheelbase Mopars. But remember, on a stock Mopar the package shelf and trunk hinge supports are welded to the tubs and must be separated –then rejoined - adding an extra touch of effort to this otherwise simple job.

 

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