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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1990 Dodge Daytona rear wheel drive conversion

Hello all,

Thought I'd upload some pictures of version 2 rear wheel drive conversion on my 1990 Dodge Daytona RWD conversion. This design completely bolts in!! Yes we still need to remove the spare tire well and relocate the gas tank, but it's the least cutting design I have to date. It also uses frame connectors that go inside the front frame rails all the way up to the turn up at the firewall. After bolting in it's welded in to ensure strength. Mocking up the fuel system now and plan to drive it around for a bit with the front wheel drive to see how it rides then I'll start version 3 of the front.

Already planned changes:
- custom gas tank that uses Daytona fuel pump and gas gage

UPDATE: 4 June
I got the car running today and took it for it's first drive! It's still front wheel drive, but now the back is 100% done. I'll start the front once I get to KS.

The rear suspension is awesome!! It rides like a stock Daytona! The ride height is perfect. It sits about 1" lower than a stock Daytona and I have plenty of adjustment to go up or down.

I finally got the front set up today too. So I'm running a Grand Caravan wheel bearing, with Ford .590 knurl 1/2-20 3" studs, .380 thick hats with .260 offset and 13" rotors with a .712 caliper spacer. I put the longer wheel studs in for added security and to make the whole car 1/2 -20 thread. The best part is now everything is 5 x 4.5" and I can run a single bolt pattern wheel with no wheel spacers.

More to follow
Enjoy
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you very much. It's a labor of love with my singular goal to provide a kit anyone can buy and bolt in. I went past the small block and right to the Hemi. Version one has a 6.1 Hemi, version 2 will have the 5.7 Hemi since they're half the money and can make plenty of power for this car.

Thank you for checking it out
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
UPDATE: 6 June

Added front fenders to check the stance. I think it'll be perfect.

It's been fun driving it around. It rides like a stock Daytona.

Just received the Quicktime bell housing today to mate the Viper T56 to the 5.7 Hemi. Once we get moved I'll resume work and start converting the front.

Thank you for stopping by
Tom
 

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I'd love to do this conversion to my Rampage. It'd be a bit different with the leaf spring setup those things have in back. Was almost thinking an AWD Caravan rear end. I'd definitely keep a 4 cylinder powerplant. I like TD's for the gas mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1990 Dodge Daytona rear wheel drive conversion

Well we're relocated to KS and now it's time to get back to work on the Daytona.

Over the next few months I'll be converting the front.

Attached some of latest pictures with the nose on (just to move it to KS, it'll be coming back off to ease working on the motor) and some pictures of the 5.7 Hemi mated to the T56 Viper transmission via the quicktime bell housing.

Tom
 

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Re: 1990 Dodge Daytona rear wheel drive conversion

this looks great I was thinking of going with the full frame kit threw jegs but this looks so much better. I would luv to know when you get the kit all done I'm for sure interested and already have a thumbs up from the wife lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
All,

Thank you for the feedback. We've (Kenny and I) have been working hard to make this a bolt in kit for the average guy that doesn't want to hack his car to pieces and doesn't want to worry about all the math to make it.

You can get started on this style rear right now if you want. When I designed and had Kenny make the final version of the rear cross member in this car I had Kenny make a jig so we can make multiples. I'm not sure what Kenny would charge to make you one, but it's a pretty straight forward cross member made out of 2x4" with 1.5x2" frame connectors. The suspension comes from Art Morrison (links, coil overs, and brackets) run about $1300. The axle I use is a 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Dana 44HD ~$250, when narrowed we weld on 8 3/4 axle ends so I can bolt on 11" Willwoods with internal e-brake ~ $720 and both axles have 30 spline axles so it makes ordering narrowed axles pretty easy, I just order axles for a 8 3/4 ~$500. I also use a Spartan locker ~$350. The axle comes with 3:73 which is perfect and if you get a Limited or Overland axle it may already have a factory limited slip. For fuel I use a 16 gallon fuel cell with a Mopar fuel level gage, but honestly I plan to have custom tanks made so we can use our factory fuel pump and fuel level sender. The Hemi's need 40 psi, the factory turbo pump or a neon 225 L/hr pump will be more than enough, but that's a few months away for me.
As far as the floors go you'll have to remove the spare tire well and the portion after the rear seat mounts to the factory rear cross member. I drill out the welds on the factory rear cross member so you can leave that portion of floor.

I've spent roughly $4900 to build the rear you see in these pictures.

I'm attending ILE - Intermediate Leaders Education (I'm an Army Major and this is a required school) so my plan is to revise the front design while here. The changes I want to make from the 88 on Kenny's web site are retain the factory lower control arms, add the rear mount point to have three mount points per side, and try to see if with a front sump pan I can relocate the factory rack and pinion to keep rear steering vs. going to a Dakota rack and front steering.

Quick note about the 5.7 Hemi. I built the first car with a 6.1, it cost $8000 just for the motor!! A used one to boot! The 6.1's have come down some, but 5.7's are $2500-4000!! Way cheaper and in my opinion more than enough power for this little car. If you really want more I'd still buy a 5.7 then stroke it to a 6.4, but based on my experience driving the 6.1 88 Daytona it won't be necessary. I've had A LOT of fast cars and the 88 with the 6.1 and 13" rear tires is down right scary fast. I think the 5.7 with a 10" rear tire I'm building now will still have the giggle factor, but a lot more manageable to drive. At the end of the day you can always go with a stroked LA series small block and make the same power, but it'll cost you ~$5-6000 for that motor. For me the Hemi is 500lbs, makes plenty of power stock ~ 380-390 and is downright cool.

Hope this helps. I've started a excel spreadsheet to track prices and where I'm getting parts. Email me at [email protected] and I'll share what I have. I'm trying, please keep in mind serving our country is my primary job, but my passion is cars. Everything I have learned I'm more than happy to share. I'm a novice just like you guys and far from having this all professionally packaged up. I really need to build a website that shows all the pictures and prices, but I'm just not there yet.

Best wishes
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes Kenny Exline and I have been working together since 2010.

After working with him to convert my 88, we recognized that we needed to develop the rear conversion to be a bolt / weld in so it would be more user friendly. In the process I've also been working on improving the front design.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
UPDATE: rear wheel drive conversion dodge daytona

UPDATE: 3 July 13

Pulled the motor and trans last night and started getting measurements for the new front cross-member. I'll order some steel this week from Metalsdepot and start fabricating a template to send to Kenny. It's going to take me a few weeks to a month since I'm slow when it comes to fabrication.

I called Kenny Exline today and told him he might get some calls for the rear setup. If you guys need his number it's: 717-573-2811

UPDATE: 6 July 13

Uploaded the latest pictures.

I ordered the steel tubing so next week I can start fabricating a mock up front cross-member. It's amazing how much variance there is in these cars from the factory so the first thing I'll do is square the front wheels to the car, which will require moving the drivers front wheel forward about 1/2", I already have an idea for the jig I'll make. The jig will do double duty as it will hold the front spindles in place while I relocate the lower control arms.

I took the time to remove the passenger side and front engine mount brackets since they'll no longer be needed and it just cleans things up.

I also took the time to stitch weld in the front frame rails to inner fender wells to add some strength.

Finally after making some measurements I have a plan!! It's a simple design, but why make it complicated. I'll be making the template out of 2" round tube.

More to follow!!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
UPDATE: 6 July 13

Okay so I'm anxious while I wait for my steel to arrive. Even though I have 6.1 Hemi 88 Daytona in the driveway I still get excited when I see these Hemi's in these cars!!

Couple of pictures checking the steering to exhaust manifold clearance and crank damper to radiator support. The Jeep GC headers look like they're going to work perfectly! They angle the exhaust just enough to get away from the steering shaft. Also looking promising for retaining the rear steering and reusing the Daytona rack! I'd love to get away from the front steer ackerman corrections.

Also plenty of room to keep the V6 radiator and AC... sweet!

UPDATE: 7 July 13

Basically prepping as much as I can while I wait for steel.

Removed the center console bracket by drilling out spot welds. I'll modify and re-install it afterwards to install the center console.

Masked and marked out the first cut for the transmission and driveshaft tunnel. Keeping it to the minimum right now, after the engine / trans is installed then I'll trim as necessary. Cut trans tunnel only since that's all I'll need to set the engine.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE: 9 July 13

Still waiting for steel, but it should arrive today or tomorrow. I'm taking care of odds and ends until it arrives.

- removed the dash
- ordered a manual brake and clutch pedal assembly
- made a template to remove the power brake booster while reusing the master cylinder

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #18
UPDATE: 12 July 13

Steel arrived today!!!

- fabricated a jig to hold the front suspension in place while I re-locate the lower control arms.
- tack welded the front cross-member together.
- fixed the one tiny rust spot under the dead pedal.

Tomorrow I'll finish weld the front cross-member and then I'll fabricate the front to rear bars and mid mounts. After that I'll set the engine and make the motor mount cross-member.

Tom
 

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What are you planning to do for a gas pedal? You seem to have completely removed the area that it (and the associated leg/foot) would go. That part about chopping up the center of the car is what keeps me from doing it to one of my cars. Though I may some day get a cheap PT Cruiser and do it..
I love that core support bar, something like that might be handy with a FWD setup since one of the main torsional motor mounts goes to the very weak core support.
Oh, and thanks for posting the pictures. I love people that share. That's how progress gets made. Building on each other's ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You're welcome (posting), I appreciate it when fellow members take a look and ask questions.

There is still a lot of room for the gas pedal. Since I'm using the Hemi and I retain the drive by wire I modify a Challenger/Charger gas pedal to hang off the brackets on the end of the steering column bolts. I removed less this time than when we built the 88 6.1 Hemi. (see photo). The 88 was even more challenging since I used the TR6060 6-speed which has a double clutch so the bell housing was A LOT bigger than the quicktime I'm using now.

Now that I already have the frame connectors in and the rear bolted and welded in the car is very stiff. The section I removed had no effect, but to be cautious that's why I'm doing it in halves. (front half / back half). No need to remove the back half until I'm ready to set the driveshaft, which I'll do after I fabricate the front half of the tunnel.

Thanks for asking
Tom
 

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