General Challenger

  • Challenger- Concept to Production

    The planning and design of the Challenger concept car started in 2004. At that time, Chrysler’s Pacifica Studo was given the assignment to work with the exiting LX platform (i.e., Charger, Chrysler 300 and Magnum) to develop a 2-door, rear-wheel drive concept car. Many of the designers were musclecar guys and a new Challenger was proposed to be built around the 6.1 Hemi engine. There was a lot of conversation as to how much retro design features should be built into the car. Based on a...
  • Evolution of Racing Stripes

    Racing stripes are usually a “must have” for owners of muscle cars. These stripes, originally called “go faster stripes,” first appeared on Cunningham race cars in 1951. Two parallel blue stripes ran from front to rear in the center of the white car body. Their main purpose was to help spectators identify the cars during races. They evolved from the traditional FIA registered U.S. Racing color of a white body and blue chassis, which dated from when racing cars had the chassis exposed. The...
  • Mufflers

    Since the beginning of hot rodding, enthusiasts have tinkered with their car’s exhaust system, particularly the mufflers, to get the “right sound.” A muffler’s job sounds easy enough- reduce exhaust volume to tolerable levels while allowing the sweet sounds of your ride to waft through the air. But this becomes a monumental task as horsepower increases. Engines build horsepower by pushing spent exhaust out of the tailpipe as fast as possible. As pistons furiously churn, exhaust velocity...
  • Rearview/Back-up Camera

    A backup camera (also called a reversing camera or rear view 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...
  • 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...
  1. How Rev Limiters Work

    Simply put, rev limiters restrict the maximum speed an engine can achieve. They are there to prevent an engine from damaging itself by extending beyond its limits. Any engine is only designed to be able to function up to a certain speed, which is measured in revolutions of the crankshaft per minute. Out of the factory, the rev limiter is set at the point the engine’s maker is happy for it to rev to on a regular basis. It’s not to be confused with the redline, although it can sometimes be...
  2. Electric and Hydrogen-Powered Cars

    Stellantis is finalizing its 5-year and 10-year plans. According to Automotive News Europe, newly appointed Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato told Italian journalists, during a roundtable event, that all future vehicles from the company would be electrified. They will be built on a new platform known internally as the STLA large-vehicle architecture that will be shared across brands under the Stellantis umbrella. Tim Kuniskis, in a recent Autoweek interview, was quoted as saying, “I...
  3. Car Weight Terminology

    There are three different terms that are used concerning a car's weight- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and Curb Weight. So how are they different? A car’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) refers to the maximum poundage your car can weigh to operate safely and without harm to its components. Put simply, it's the maximum weight before everything breaks. Manufacturers calculate this number by testing the structural integrity of your car’s suspension...
  4. Rocker Arm Ratios

    Many have heard the term rocker arm ratio mentioned when talking about an engine. But, do you know what rocker-arm ratios are, and how different ratios can affect an engine’s performance? To start with, an engine is just a sophisticated air pump. The amount of power this “pump” delivers is directly affected by the amount of air ingested and expelled by the engine. Increase the amount of air flowing through the pump, and you can increase power output. While an engine is running, air is pulled...
  5. Auto-Stop/Start Technology

    Since the Obama Administration finalized standards in 2012, to encourage the automotive industry to reach a 54.5 miles per gallon corporate fuel economy average by 2025, manufacturers have been employing every means possible to squeeze another mile out of a gallon of gasoline. A combination of aerodynamics, weight savings, electrification, hybrid technologies and advanced engine management software has gone a long way, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that you save a lot...
  6. Richard Petty- "The King"

    Richard Lee Petty is aptly named "The King." Over a racing career spanning 34 years, from 1958 to 1992, he was the first driver to win the NASCAR Cup Series championship seven times, while also winning a record 200 races, including the Daytona 500 a record seven times. Incredibly, he won a record 27 races (10 of them consecutively) in the 1967 season, alone. Statistically,he is the most accomplished driver in the history of the sport, and is one of the most respected figures in motor...
  7. The History of Car Antennas

    Automotive antennas have evolved since their introduction in the 1930s. Once tacked on as optional equipment, they are now designed into the car as an indispensable accessory. Several different approaches have been used to improve performance while making the antenna attractive, including embedded windshield versions and electric hide-away styles. The First Antennas In the 1930s, car antennas were incorporated into the radio body, as most stations were in the AM band, which required a...
  8. A Guide to Locking Lug Nuts

    Do you want to protect your wheels and tires from being stolen? The best security is locking lug nuts. These special wheel locks will help keep your wheels and tires safe even in dangerous neighborhoods or unlit parking lots. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that they will still be on your car when you wake up in the morning. Without a unique key, most thieves will be stopped in their tracks if they attempt to steal your rims and may move on to easier scores. Thieves are not only after...
  9. Camera Technology

    Not so long ago, drivers had only the view provided by the auto’s windows, as well as their own judgment, to drive their vehicles. However, no matter how experienced and skilled a driver was, there was always the risk to misjudge the distance between the car and curb while parking or not to notice other auto’s maneuver on the road, especially when it was in the blind zone. All these led to numerous accidents in which no one could prove whose fault it was. The good news is that if you own a...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. Tim Kuniskis- A Real Car Guy

    Timothy (Tim) Kuniskis was named Dodge Brand and Interim Chrysler Brand Chief Executive Officer - Stellantis in January 2021. Prior to that, in June 2019, he was Head of Passenger Cars- North America in 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
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