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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,118
      Country Flag: United States

      Project Ratón 68 Charger Hemi 6 Speed AWD

      Hey guys, Ive been on this site for a little while now and have been putting off making a build thread about my car. I did not want to put it up until I was actually doing something cool with it. My plans are very lofty but anyone can say they are doing something to a car or buying crazy parts for it. Its another thing to actually start the fab work to get something crazy done to a car.

      As you can see in the title, I have a 1968 Charger which has been my absolute favorite car for many years. Ive had it for almost 2 years, it will be 2 years this june. I got it in rough shape just like most of you guys did and Ive slowly been bringing it back to more of a rust and damage free state. The plans for it are to be as light as possible, if it does not need to be there to be legal on the road or improve performance then it will not be on the car. Ill have 2 racing seats in the front and the stock bench in the rear so I can still hold 4 people. A very basic stereo with my ipod connected to a small amp and probably 4 speakers. No HVAC, thats what windows are for.

      The drivetrain will be a mid mounted 5.7 truck Hemi, aluminum A-833 (79.5lbs!) 4 speed, full floating ford 9 inch rear from Moser, 3.23 gears, tru trac rear diff. This is where it starts to get really interesting, i have a nv 147 transfer case from a 2004 jeep grand cherokee, the front driveshaft, front diff and front CV shafts from a Cadillac STS, front knuckles are from a ZO6 and Ill use rear hubs from a c5/c6 re drilled for 5x4.5. Wheels and tires will be 18x10's with 315/30's on all 4 corners.

      because of the really wide front tires and the fact that I will have AWD, Im thinking the front camber will not be as severe as an RWD car. Ill probably run normal road setup here, maybe -1 degree with hopefully decent camber gain. Ive set caster at 7.

      The reason Ive put off making my own thread is because up until this past weekend, my car has been really boring. Just another '68 Charger being revived. I did all the standard rust removal stuff, new floor boards, new full quarter panels on both sides, replaced the cowl because of a big hole in it.... I also shaved off the drip rails and put some frame connectors in but still, nothing too interesting. It was a Charger with a various array of odd parts laying around it, fortunately that all changed. I was finally able to start modifying the car to be what I want. I started to fab up the front end which among other things, has to hold the STS front diff. The stock K member would never work for me so I just had to make my own.

      Forgive me for being lazy but Im just going to copy and paste my progress from another site Ive got a build thread going on

      Ok folks, I have a few days here to get some work done on the car. I want to be able to bolt the LCA's onto something by the end of this weekend. I got started today with a decent start, first order of business was making a stand for my new tubing bender. Ive seen bent stuff for years online and at shows but its still really cool to do it yourself for the first time with your own equipment.

      The shot is a little smoky, I think its from just after I welded of may be from when I had my bike running, not sure tho (i guess if i cant remember, maybe the smoke is from something else.....)



      I had to ream out the LCA hole on the ZO6 knuckles since the racing lower ball joints are fawkin huge! This is a PITA if you are curious, my drill hates me now, wont even make eye contact. Somethin about really high load and super low RPM id guess



      Tossed the front passenger stuff together just to check it out



      After that, I slid the front diff and CV's into place. I decided to move the front wheels 2 inches forward from the stock location. I did this for a few reasons; to give me more room under the hood/cowl for the motor, increase WB for high speed stability, to further help me out in getting a 50/50 weight distribution and to get the wheels closer to the front so the front end doesn't seem so damn long

      I marked out the new front end WMS distance, its 63.5 or 63.25, i cant really remember which one rite now. Stock was around 59 iirc. I guess I must have been smokin somethin....







      Now this little beauty, i've been thinking about this for a long time. Its a way for me to finally weigh the shell of the car. Its a 10 ton pancake cylinder from HF and a 1000psi gauge, total cost is just under $200 and it will weigh up to 2200#. Actually it will give you a reading in PSI which must then be calculated into lbs but it is still quite helpful. I used it on the shell today but Im really not sure I can trust it, if its correct then the entire shell only weighs 600 pounds. Id be very happy with that but I just doubt it





      Then I lifted the front diff up into place. I know my methods are very crude using wood but its cheap and it works







      and I finally got to make my first real incision on the car! Ive been looking forward to this for quite a while. Up until now, everything I have done has just been fixing this or replacing that back to stock just about. This is my first real and invasive mod to the car that the purist's will totally hate!

      I had to cut the front frame rail to allow clearance for the CV boot (how many car builders get to say that?!). Where I ended up cutting is rite where the rear stock K member bolt was so I had to take it out, there is no going back from here!





      After that, I spent a few hours getting the front passenger side into place. I was hoping to build more of a K member for the front, but that is just not possible with the front diff in the way. Ill have to make it an H, the good news is that the rear tube will fit rite under the pinion and I can hopefully clear the crank pulley of the motor when ever I get another one of those





      Well thats all I have to show off for today, Im headed to bed soon then its back at it again tomorrow/actually later today. Hopefully I can get my H member goin

      Ill wrap up what I was able to get done over the past few days. Unfortunately I was not able to get as much accomplished as I wanted to. Ideally, I would have my new crossmember welded into the front of the car with the completed LCA brackets in place so I would be able to bolt the LCA's on and start putting together a game plan for the uppers. Im about 80% there but like I said, just not quite done.

      I started getting my H member in place after I positioned the LCA, got to use the bender for the first time which was slightly nerve racking just trying to make sure I had everything right





      The under crossmember clearance looks good, rite around 7 inches



      Then I got the other side bent up which made me even more nervous than the first bend



      Rear tube went into place then a couple ones to tie everything together. I tacked the forward tube into the frame rail then tacked all these pieces together. This shot also shows the LCA brackets tacked into place. You can see that I slotted the mounting holes. I will be using eccentric bolts to allow for some adjustability and alignment changes. That job was rather simple but still a big PITA. I drilled the two 1/2 inch holes 3/4 inch apart and a smaller one in the middle then used a 1/2 inch carbide burr in the drill to connect the two. The slots are 1.25 long allowing for a nice amount of alignment adjustment



      After I had those mocked into place, I cut the tack welds holding the forward tube in place and dropped the entire crossmember out of the car to finish everything up. Here is what I ended up with

      Drivers side mounts, not quite finished yet. I got the outer brackets in but still need to do the inners and tie the two together



      here are the passenger side ones, they are just about done but not quite

      Steve Calabro
      2015 Chrysler 300S
      2006 Lotus Exige
      1996 Dodge Dakota 4x4 5.7 Hemi on 35's
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Ratón


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,118
      Country Flag: United States
      I also started hacking into the inner fenders and front frame rails. I will have to bulge up the frame rails over the CV shafts as well as the steering rack for strength as well as clearance. Also, I did not like the way the factory tied the sections of the frame rails together, just pinch welded together sheet metal. Im cutting off the flanges and welding the edges back together for a cleaner and stronger front end.

      Passenger side







      and the drivers side. I cut the battery box area out because I have no use for it plus it was rusted thru. One funny thing is that I found out that I had a mouse nest inside this frame rail. I got to find that out while cutting the hole for the CV shaft, I set the dam thing on fire with my grinder then pulled it out the hole I cut for the rear H member tube. Thankfully there was no remnants of the culprit rodent, still odd that it was able to get in there....



      another odd thing I noted a few months ago was the fact that my factory inner fender brace was never actually welded to the UCA bucket. This was nice for me because it made it easier for me to get the UCA bucket off the car



      Unfortunately, that is where Im at rite now. Near future plans call for me finishing up the LCA brackets and getting the H back into place. I will be painting the ends of the tubes with weld thru primer because I do not want that bare metal rusting inside the frame rail where I will never see it again. Ill also be getting some POR-15 paint to coat everything with. I just do not like rattle can stuff, it does not impress me at all and these are things that I will not allow to rust
      Steve Calabro
      2015 Chrysler 300S
      2006 Lotus Exige
      1996 Dodge Dakota 4x4 5.7 Hemi on 35's
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Ratón

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,118
      Country Flag: United States
      Being called the Silver Fox, it will obviously be silver. I think the name fits really well esp with the whole MILF thing goin on now. She is 43 and Im 24, while she is not as small and light as some of the newer models, her curves are sexy as hell and that is why I had to have her/it. I really fell in love with these cars for the grill or lack there of pretty much. From a distance, you cannot even see it. Just a gaping hole that seems like it is used to swallow every other car that unfortunately gets in front of it. I for some reason have decided against running the stock grill however in favor of the 69 Charger 500 grill as this rendering shows



      Here are a few shots of the car when I got it







      and when I brought it home, it has a fiberglass lift off 6 pack scoop hood. I also have fiberglass fenders for it



      New floors





      Full Brazilian





      Rear axle; dont worry, I just taped over the spindles. I had to use electrical tape since I was out of masking tape but did not want paint on that part obviously



      Drivers side quarter



      Moving day! Had to take it to my new house, sadly I went to a very small 2 car attached garage. Its an upgrade from the dirt floor and a tent tho



      Passenger side quarter

      Steve Calabro
      2015 Chrysler 300S
      2006 Lotus Exige
      1996 Dodge Dakota 4x4 5.7 Hemi on 35's
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Ratón

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Charlotte
      Posts
      1,295
      Damn.... thats awesome!

      Will this be full time 4wd?

      So I'm assuming this will connect to a trans - then have a transfer case behind it?

      Not like an Audi/Subaru 4wd setup...
      2005 LeMans Blue Corvette w/ T56 & Z51 & C6Z06 Brakes, Build Thread: https://www.pro-touring.com/showthread.php?64496
      2005 GMC Sierra 2500HD LLY / Allison
      2014 Chevy SS LS3 / 4 Door

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Location
      Sandy, OR
      Posts
      383
      Nice project Looking forward to seeing the car as you make progress

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,118
      Country Flag: United States
      Yep, full time 4wd. Well, technically AWD. The 147 transfer case uses a gerotor pump (like any engine oil pump) to apply hydraulic pressure to the front driveshaft. The amount of power going to the front is variable from 0-50% based upon what the transfer case senses as far as slippage from the front or rear. That is all done hydraulically inside the transfer case, no need for any wheel speed sensors, computer monitoring or electrical motors needed.

      Yeah, Im still figuring out exactly how to connect the trans and transfer case. Im probably going to do a semi-divorced setup where the transfer case will mate to the trans but have its own crossmember to hold it in place
      Steve Calabro
      2015 Chrysler 300S
      2006 Lotus Exige
      1996 Dodge Dakota 4x4 5.7 Hemi on 35's
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Ratón

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Sep 2005
      Location
      Woodstock, Ga
      Posts
      695
      Country Flag: United States
      Cool Project! Hope everything works out, it will be nice to see and awd muscle car!

      Robert

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
      Location
      Hills of Anaheim
      Posts
      273
      Neat project! What kind of power can that front drive setup handle? Might it be a limiting factor?
      Matt - 1970 Chevelle

      www.street-demons.com

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Jan 2010
      Location
      Elk River, MN
      Posts
      692
      Quote Originally Posted by Motorcitydak View Post
      The drivetrain will be a mid mounted 5.7 truck Hemi, aluminum A-833 (79.5lbs!) 4 speed, full floating ford 9 inch rear from Moser

      After that, I slid the front diff and CV's into place. I decided to move the front wheels 2 inches forward from the stock location. I did this for a few reasons; to give me more room under the hood/cowl for the motor, increase WB for high speed stability, to further help me out in getting a 50/50 weight distribution and to get the wheels closer to the front so the front end doesn't seem so damn long
      Maybe I'm reading wrong, but wouldn't having the engine mid-mounted mean it's not under the hood anymore? Just trying to understand your plans a little better, looks like an interesting project.

      -matt

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Apr 2009
      Posts
      50
      Glad I'm not going with that paint design any more. lol. I had DS do that up for me a long time ago. Haha Keep up the good work, the AWD will be Awesome!

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Long Beach, Ca
      Posts
      1,568
      Country Flag: United States
      Oh my... Charger + AWD + 315s = Beast!

      Really awesome project you are taking on, can't wait to see more progress.
      Jon Rasmussen
      Ex Team OLJ.
      '72 Nova

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,118
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
      Neat project! What kind of power can that front drive setup handle? Might it be a limiting factor?
      Ive heard of guys bumping up the power of the stock STS which weighs around 4000 pounds to 5-600 and no one mentioned failures of the front end components. Im going to be running 4-500hp so I will just have to see how it all holds up and keep my fingers crossed
      Steve Calabro
      2015 Chrysler 300S
      2006 Lotus Exige
      1996 Dodge Dakota 4x4 5.7 Hemi on 35's
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Ratón

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,118
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by monteboy84 View Post
      Maybe I'm reading wrong, but wouldn't having the engine mid-mounted mean it's not under the hood anymore? Just trying to understand your plans a little better, looks like an interesting project.

      -matt
      It will be technically mid engined because the motor is between the center lines of the front and rear wheels. The motor will sit somewhere around being half under the cowl. You will see maybe the front 4 cylinders. The crank pulley should fall somewhere around the rear tube of my crossmember

      Speedfreak68, did you have that rendering done? Im not trying to steal it, I found it one day over on dodgecharger.com and really liked it. Mine will not be exactly like that, no drip rail molding, front splitter and different stripes, etc..... I just like that pic because it is close to what I want. Its actually been my background on my computer since I saw it.
      Steve Calabro
      2015 Chrysler 300S
      2006 Lotus Exige
      1996 Dodge Dakota 4x4 5.7 Hemi on 35's
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Ratón

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Apr 2009
      Posts
      50
      Lol, I wasn't saying that you were trying to steal it, I was just suprised to see it that all. Mine won't be much like that anymore, I've kinda ditched the idea of the 500 grill, and i'm just going to go with one wide stripe instead of two, there are several small changes I'm doing too, it was just there for an idea. Apparently you and I just have fantastic taste in car designs! lol Keep up the good work,I'll be keeping my eye on this build!

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Dec 2010
      Location
      Out in El Paso, TX
      Posts
      190
      Can't wait to see more of this one bro.
      low is all I know..

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Dec 2008
      Location
      Columbus, IN
      Posts
      131
      Country Flag: United States
      Awesome project!
      '66 Mustang
      '67 FireBird https://www.pro-touring.com/forum/sh...light=firebird
      '68 Barracuda
      '69 Mustang Mach 1
      '97 Mustang Cobra
      '04 Mustang Cobra

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Jan 2010
      Location
      Elk River, MN
      Posts
      692
      Quote Originally Posted by Motorcitydak View Post
      It will be technically mid engined because the motor is between the center lines of the front and rear wheels. The motor will sit somewhere around being half under the cowl. You will see maybe the front 4 cylinders. The crank pulley should fall somewhere around the rear tube of my crossmember
      Gotcha.

      Just something to consider, but scrub radius will be pretty important with power to the front wheels now, in order to avoid torque steer.

      -matt

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Apr 2009
      Location
      san diego
      Posts
      5,102
      Country Flag: United States

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,118
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by monteboy84 View Post
      Gotcha.

      Just something to consider, but scrub radius will be pretty important with power to the front wheels now, in order to avoid torque steer.

      -matt
      Good call. I will have to check my scrub, Im not sure what it will be with the wheels I have. They are cheap tho and thats why I got em, if needed, Ill get some custom ones down the road. I just want to get it on the road first
      Steve Calabro
      2015 Chrysler 300S
      2006 Lotus Exige
      1996 Dodge Dakota 4x4 5.7 Hemi on 35's
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Ratón

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Nov 2006
      Location
      Ma.
      Posts
      5,299
      Country Flag: United States
      Being called the Silver Fox, it will obviously be silver. I think the name fits really well esp with the whole MILF thing goin on now. She is 43 and Im 24, while she is not as small and light as some of the newer models, her curves are sexy as hell and that is why I had to have her/it. I really fell in love with these cars for the grill or lack there of pretty much. From a distance, you cannot even see it. Just a gaping hole that seems like it is used to swallow every other car that unfortunately gets in front of it. I for some reason have decided against running the stock grill however in favor of the 69 Charger 500 grill as this rendering shows

      Steve I love the explanation for the name. This is an awesome project .
      Wayne
      Car FINALLY home !!!!!! lol
      Project FNQUIK https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ghlight=FNQUIK

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