General Challenger

  • Why Do Hemi Engines Have Dual Sparkplugs?

    Each cylinder on a Hemi engine has an ignition coil pack over one spark plug, and a regular plug wire connected to the other spark plug. Further, the coil pack also has a plug wire attached to it that extends to the opposite cylinder bank. Each cylinder shares a coil pack with another cylinder. Each of the two plugs on a given cylinder is fired by a separate coil. One plug has a coil directly attached, and the other is fired via an ignition wire connected to a coil located on another...
  • Dual Clutch Transmissions

    Most drivers know that cars come with two basic transmission types- manuals, in which the driver changes gears by depressing a clutch pedal and using a stick shift, and automatics, which shifts using clutches, a torque converter and sets of planetary gears. But there's also something in between that offers the best of both worlds- the dual-clutch transmission- also called the semi-automatic transmission, the "clutchless" manual transmission and the automated manual transmission. In the world...
  • Superchargers vs. Turbochargers

    When designing an engine to pull in more than atmospheric pressure, engineers often turn to forced induction. It’s one of the fastest ways to add significant power to almost any engine, and there are two prevalent ways it can be done: supercharging and turbocharging. But, which is better? Both are different in terms of how they work, performance and cost. Both operate on the principle that the more air you can get into your engine, the more power your car will make. Supercharging is old...
  • History of SRT

    Performance vehicles are a Chrysler tradition. In the 1950s, an elite team of Chrysler engineers set out to extract extreme horsepower from existing engines. The team created new manifolds featuring long-tube intake runners. The innovative design helped engines ingest more air, translating into improved performance. The new induction system was called “Ramcharger,” and the team behind the technology adopted that name. The Ramchargers’ new engine produced enormous amounts of power,...
  • History and Applications of Carbon Fiber

    Carbon Fiber is a polymer and is sometimes known as graphite fiber. It is a very strong material that is also very lightweight. Although carbon fiber is five times stronger and twice as stiff as steel, it is lighter than steel; making it the ideal manufacturing material for many parts. These are just a few reasons why carbon fiber is favored by engineers and designers for manufacturing. Carbon fiber dates back to 1879, when Thomas Edison baked cotton threads or bamboo silvers at high...
  1. Camshafts

    Camshafts are used to operate poppet valves. It consists of a cylindrical rod running the length of the cylinder bank with a number of oblong lobes protruding from it, one for each valve. The cam lobes force the valves open by pressing on the valve, or on some intermediate mechanism, as they rotate. Camshafts can be made out of several types of material. These include: Chilled iron castings: Commonly used in high volume production, chilled iron camshafts have good wear resistance since the...
  2. Tire Contact Patch

    All vehicles are supported by a cushion of air contained in four flexible rubber tires. Each tire’s contact patch, or “footprint,” is a little smaller than a hand. As a result, not much of the tire's surface area is touching the ground, so the amount that does touch the ground must handle a great deal of weight (i.e., load) and force. These four patches create the traction which makes the vehicle go, stop and turn. Basically, they send feedback to the driver which helps to control the...
  3. Understanding Wheel Offset

    The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the center line of the wheel. The whole point of an offset is for the end user of the wheel to know how much in inches (4+3), or in the case of millimeter offset, how many mm the wheel will stick out or tuck in from the mounting surface of the hub. Remember, even a couple of millimeters can affect performance, ride quality, the look/stance of your vehicle and safety. It takes precise measurement to make sure aftermarket...
  4. Rearview/Back-up Camera

    A backup camera (also called a reversing camera or rearview camera) is a special type of video camera that is attached to the rear of a vehicle to alleviate the rear blind spot and avoid a backup collision. The area directly behind vehicles has been described as a "killing zone" due to associated accidents. Backup cameras are usually connected to the vehicle’s head unit display. The first backup camera was used in the 1956 Buick Centurion concept car, presented in January 1956, at the...
  5. Mopar Engine Colors

    Automobile engines are usually painted bright colors, like red, orange or blue. This just isn’t for appearance. There is a practical purpose. Bright colors enable leaks to be spotted easily. Here is a list of engine colors (and paint codes) used by Mopar, from 1962 to 1971. Race Hemi Orange- Mopar P4120751 1962-1964 Max Wedge engines (413 and 426 Cross Ram) 1964-1965 426 Race Hemis Street Hemi Orange- Mopar P4349216 1966-1971 426 Street Hemis 1969-1971 High performance 383 and 440...
  6. Crumple Zones

    Crumple zones, crush zones, or crash zones, are a structural safety feature used in automobiles, to absorb the kinetic energy from the impact during a collision by controlled deformation. This energy is much greater than is commonly realized. A 4,409 lb. car traveling at 37 mph.,before crashing into a thick concrete wall, is subject to the same impact force as a front-down drop from a height of 47 ft. crashing on to a solid concrete surface. Increasing that speed by 50% to 56 mph. compares...
  7. Development of Airbags

    Airbags, like lap belts/shoulder belts, are a type of automobile safety restraint system designed to mitigate injury in the event of an accident. These gas-inflated cushions, built into the steering wheel, dashboard, door, roof, and/or seat of your car, use a crash sensor to trigger a rapid expansion of nitrogen gas contained inside a cushion, that pops out on impact to put a protective barrier between passengers and hard surfaces. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)...
  8. 3.6L Pentastar Engine

    A popular cost-conscious alternative for Challenger owners to the 5.7L and 6.4L Hemi engines is the 3.6L Pentastar engine. It replaced the 3.5L engine, in 2012, and is rated at an impressive 305 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, with 90% of its torque available from 1,800 to 6,350 rpm. Performance from this modern 6-cylinder engine actually exceeds some small blocks from the first muscle car era. Before the first aluminum block was cast, the new Pentastar V-6 benefited from more than...
  9. Dual Clutch Transmissions

    Most drivers know that cars come with two basic transmission types- manuals, in which the driver changes gears by depressing a clutch pedal and using a stick shift, and automatics, which shifts using clutches, a torque converter and sets of planetary gears. But there's also something in between that offers the best of both worlds- the dual-clutch transmission- also called the semi-automatic transmission, the "clutchless" manual transmission and the automated manual transmission. In the world...
  10. What is a CVT Transmission?

    Some say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But the innovative continuously variable transmission (CVT), which Leonardo da Vinci conceptualized more than 500 years ago is now replacing planetary automatic transmissions in some automobiles. Since the first Toroidal CVT patent was filed in 1886, the technology has been refined and improved. Today, several car manufacturers, including General Motors, Audi, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan, are designing their drivetrains around CVTs. Cars with...
  11. Pro Stock Record Holders

    Pro Stock quarter mile drag racing times have dramatically decreased over the decades, since the class was established in 1970. This has been the result of tremendous advances in technology. To determine who is the fastest competitor, forty-nine years ago, NHRA instituted the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The champion is determined by a point system where points are given according to finishing placement and qualifying effort. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 18...
  12. Fuel Delivery Systems

    A carburetor was the common method of fuel delivery for most US-made gasoline engines until the late 1980s, when fuel injection became the preferred method. This change was dictated by the requirements of catalytic converters and not due to an inherent inefficiency of carburation. Basically, a carburetor consists of an open pipe through which the air passes into the inlet manifold of the engine. The pipe is in the form of a venture- it narrows in section and then widens again, causing the...
  13. Crash Test Dummies

    A crash test dummy is a full-scale anthropomorphic test device (ATD) that simulates the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body during a traffic collision. Dummies are used by researchers,automobile and aircraft manufacturers to predict the injuries a person might sustain in a crash. Modern dummies are usually instrumented to record data, such as velocity of impact, crushing force, bending, folding, or torque of the body, and deceleration rates during a collision....
  14. Featured

    Tire Speed Ratings

    Tire speed ratings first originated in Europe in the 1960s, as a way to make sure increasingly faster vehicles were equipped with appropriate safe tires. These early speed ratings set the foundation for the current speed rating system used by the DOT and tire manufacturers. Every tire approved for highway use by the Department of Transportation comes with a particular speed rating. The speed rating is a letter corresponding to the maximum safe speed at which a tire can be driven, as...
  15. How the EPA Tests Vehicles for Mileage

    Fuel economy for vehicles (city, highway and combined) is measured under controlled conditions in a laboratory using a series of tests specified by federal law.The results are displayed for the consumer on the "new car window sticker." Estimating MPG with Laboratory Tests In the laboratory, the vehicle's drive wheels are placed on a machine called a dynamometer. The "dyno" simulates the driving environment much like an exercise bike simulates cycling. Engineers adjust the amount of energy...
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