Tire and wheel prep:
Be sure to put tubes in all tires. This is the number one factor in keeping the tires from going flat. Try to run an aggressive
tread and high ply tire on the rear and a normal tread high ply tire on the front. Some people use forklift tires. I haven't
yet. The taller the tire, the better usually. Width isn't as big of a factor, but generally narrower is better. Some people
put another partial tire on the outside of their tires to protect the sidewalls. I don't do this, but may in the future.
I have never had a tire go flat in any derby heat I've been in. This may just be luck, but I believe tubes make the difference.
I have filled my rear tires with water before. This makes each tire weigh about 150 pounds. I didn't notice any differences
in maneuverability and am not sure if it helps any. Another thing that I do is to put 2-3 washers on each of the front lugs
before putting the wheels on. '74-'78 Chryslers have very large brakes on the front wheels and a few good hits can lock the
wheel to the brake. The washers give it just a little more clearance. One last thing that may or may not be a tip is to
paint stripes that cross on the wheels and tires. This makes it easier for the judges to see if the brakes are applied or
if the wheels are turning. This could be the difference from being DQ'd for an accidental driver's door hit or being let
go for it.
Chryslers are very easy to get front-end clearance. Just crank up the torsion bars by the front wheels. The back-end is
where a lot more tricks can be used. Leaf suspensions are definitely the best. They allow the tires to stay away from the
back-end even if the back folds down. The back shackles where the leafs connect can be flipped and will give an extra inch
or two of height. Another way is to stuff rags inside of the shocks. Some people use shocks with helper springs. Another
way is to first lift the back-end off of the ground. Then each place where the ends of the leafs are should be clamped to
another leaf, both in back and in front of the axle. The front is especially important because if the leafs bend here, the
axle will move forward and probably break the driveshaft. One last thing to raise the back-end up is to use 16" rims.
You will lose some room in the fenders, but gain an inch or two of height. Usually the higher bumper wins, but can get hung-up
on other bumpers if too high.