General Challenger

  • Shock Absorbers

    An automobile shock absorber is basically a hydraulic piston that absorbs and dissipates vibration using spring-loaded check valves and orifices to control the flow of oil. The first production hydraulic dampers, to act on the main leaf spring movement, were probably those based on an original 1908 concept by Maurice Houdaille. One design consideration, when designing or choosing a shock absorber, is where that energy will go. In most shock absorbers, energy is converted to heat inside the...
  • Dick Landy- Mopar Drag Racing Pioneer

    Dick Landy, a legendary drag racer and a major pioneer in Super Stock, Funny Car and Pro Stock, was also known for his innovative race cars and wild wheel stands. His nickname "Dandy Dick" came from his neat appearance in pressed white pants and jacket and long unlit cigar clenched between his teeth. Landy was among the drivers who popularized late-model Super Stock cars in the 1960s, campaigned the first Funny Cars in the middle of that decade and helped establish the popularity of Pro...
  • 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...
  • Ralph Gilles- A Real Mopar Guy

    Mopar enthusiasts owe the fantastic array of performance models to Ralph Gilles, Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. We are truly fortunate to have a cool car guy in charge. Gilles, as a boy living in Quebec, was drawing concept vehicles at the age of eight. When he was fourteen years old, his aunt sent one of his sketches to Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca. A reply came from K. Neil Walling, Chrysler's design chief at the time, suggesting he attend one of three design schools....
  1. Phillips Head Screw

    The origin of the lowly Phillips screw is an interesting one. The history of metal fasteners go back to the 15th century. British toolmaker Joseph Whitworth devised the first screw in 1841 and American engineer produced the same in 1864. Screws were very hard to produce, however, and required the manufacture of a conical helix.. The brothers Job and William Wyatt found a way to produce a screw on a novel machine that first cut the slotted head, and then cut the helix. Though their business...
  2. Tstats and Engine Temperature

    As we all know, the main purpose of a thermostat (tstat) is to maintain your Challenger’s engine at the ideal operating temperature and help produce fewer emissions. First, let’s talk about how a tstat functions and then why racers install low temperature ones. Basically, the thermostat starts at a closed position when you start the engine to help it reach operating temperature. While the engine is running, the coolant temperature slowly rises, making the thermostat begin to open. The...
  3. Tim Kuniskis- A Real Car Guy

    Timothy (Tim) Kuniskis was appointed Head of Passenger Cars- North America in June 2019 and Global Head of Alfa Romeo in February 2018. He has been a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) since October 2015. In other words, he oversees the Alfa Romeo brand around the world while leading Chrysler and Dodge passenger car programs in the United States. Kuniskis has connected with enthusiasts far better than many automotive executives at his level. He attends events like Roadkill Nights...
  4. Types of Tires

    Tires come in many treads, sizes and performance characteristics. Here is a primer on the basic car tire categories and some popular consumer choices. Extreme Performance Summer Hyper-focused on extreme dry grip, but gives up wet traction, comfort and tread life to get it. Not to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, in snow or on ice, or at high speeds in deep standing water, these specially tuned tires combine big-block tread designs with aggressive tread compounds and reinforced...
  5. Engine Dyno vs. Chassis Dyno

    What's the difference between running an engine on an engine-dyno, or, as installed in the car, on a chassis-dyno? Most chassis dynos extrapolate an engine's power and torque based on vehicle inertia. Many variables can affect chassis dyno results. It's a great convenient tuning aid, but you can't directly equate the reported torque and power numbers back to engine dyno results, or even the results obtained from two different chassis dynos. Operator experience is critical for obtaining...
  6. Hemi Heads

    In recent years, Dodge has produced four different Hemi heads. Here is a brief description of each. In 2003, the 5.7 Hemi received the first, followed in 2005 by the 6.1 hemi design. In 2009 and 2011 respectively, the 5.7 Hemi Eagle and 6.4 Hemi Apache head appeared along with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and the larger 392-inch engine. As the engines got larger, the heads improved with the help of larger valve sizes and improved ports. As cams got bigger, the beehive springs got more...
  7. Chrysler’s Amazing Turbine Car

    Chrysler has always been an innovator in the car industry. Nothing, however, captured the imagination of the driving public and the spirit of the 1960’s space-age as the turbine car. The Chrysler turbine car was produced by Chrysler, from 1963 to 1964. Its body was made by the Italian design studio Ghia, and Chrysler completed its assembly in Detroit. Surprisingly, the Chrysler turbine engine program, that produced the turbine car, began during the late 1930s and created multiple...
  8. A Look Back- The Rebirth of the Challenger

    The Challenger concept car, shown at the 2006 Detroit International Auto Show, was a big tease for Mopar fans. It was the answer to a hot rodders’ dream- the reincarnation of a 1970s Dodge muscle car! But, would it make it to production? See the 15:11 minute mark of the following video: Based on the success of the retro-inspired 2005 Mustang GT, Dodge looked at its parts bins and figured out how to use this stuff to create a modern-day Challenger. To accomplish this feat, Chrysler drew...
  9. Driving Dangerously in Motown- 1900-1930

    The first gasoline-powered vehicle driven on the streets of Detroit was built by engineer Charles Brady King in 1896. It went as fast as 20 mph, which was described in the newspaper as "tearing along the street at a lively rate, dodging people and teams." The transition from the horse age to the motorized age would prove to be very dangerous. At first speeding vehicles were not a big problem, with only a few of them on Detroit streets, but the situation grew serious quickly. As early as...
  10. Featured

    Modern Hemi Engines

    Modern Hemi production began in June 2002 at the Saltillo plant in Mexico. The first-generation 5.7 liter produced up to 350 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 375 lb-ft of torque (4,400 rpm)- one horsepower per cubic inch- just like the legendary 426 Hemi. It was smaller, more powerful, and cheaper to build than theLA-series 360 V8 and the "Next Generation" 4.7 liter V8 it replaced, but produced more power and torque. It hooked up to the Mercedes 5-speed automatic, Chrysler's 5 and 6-speed truck...
  11. Dick Landy- Mopar Drag Racing Pioneer

    Dick Landy, a legendary drag racer and a major pioneer in Super Stock, Funny Car and Pro Stock, was also known for his innovative race cars and wild wheel stands. His nickname "Dandy Dick" came from his neat appearance in pressed white pants and jacket and long unlit cigar clenched between his teeth. Landy was among the drivers who popularized late-model Super Stock cars in the 1960s, campaigned the first Funny Cars in the middle of that decade and helped establish the popularity of Pro...
  12. Featured

    100th Article! Dodge Brothers

    Few people are aware of the important role that John and Horace Dodge played in shaping Detroit’s early auto industry, and of the story of a dynamic partnership formed between two enterprising brothers who remained inseparable throughout their lives. John (right) and Horace Dodge HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Born into an industrious but poor family, Dodge brothers, John (born in 1864) and Horace (born in 1868), received their mechanical training from working in their father’s machine shop, in Niles,...
  13. Safety Regulations/Equipment for Racing

    If you plan to enter your vehicle in any competition sanctioned by the NHRA, your Challenger is going to have to pass a series of pre-race inspections for the required safety equipment. These requirements get more stringent as the expected horsepower and speeds increase.The SFI Foundation sets the standard for quality assurance in the vast majority of aftermarket and performance products. Basic Safety The basic safety stuff for the street legal classes is pretty simple. You’ve got to have...
  14. Shock Absorbers

    An automobile shock absorber is basically a hydraulic piston that absorbs and dissipates vibration using spring-loaded check valves and orifices to control the flow of oil. The first production hydraulic dampers, to act on the main leaf spring movement, were probably those based on an original 1908 concept by Maurice Houdaille. One design consideration, when designing or choosing a shock absorber, is where that energy will go. In most shock absorbers, energy is converted to heat inside the...
  15. Featured

    Limited Edition Challengers

    Over the past 13 years, Dodge has employed a marketing strategy of releasing an array of limited edition models. Here is the staggering lineup. 2008 SRT8 The inaugural edition of the Challenger was numbered, X of 6,462, and came equipped with the 425 hp. 6.1 Hemi engine with 425 lb.-ft. of torque. It also featured an Auto Stick Automatic, 20-inch Alcoa forged aluminum wheels, 245/45-20 Goodyear tires, Brembo brakes, etc. Color choices were Hemi Orange, Brilliant Black Crystal and Bright...
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