General Challenger

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Entertainment Systems- from AM Radio to Bluetooth

    Over the past 97 years, “entertainment systems” in cars have evolved from primitive 6-volt dry-cell AM radios to high-tech Bluetooth units. It is interesting to take a look back to see how technology has changed over the years. Here is a brief, illustrated chronology of these devices: 1922: First radio in a Car The first radio (“Marconiphone”) appeared in a Daimler car at the Olympia Motorshow in England. 1927: First Radio in Mass-Produced Car The “Transitone” radio appeared in a...
  • Hood Pins

    Hood pins are used as a secondary restraint for the hood and are attached by a pin and plate drilled through the hood. They were originally made for the racetrack to keep hoods buttoned down at high speeds, but found their way onto muscle cars of the late 60s/early 70s. Hood pins (two per hood) were most prevalent on Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars of that era (e.g., Challengers, ‘Cudas, Road Runners, Daytonas, GTXs, Super Bees, etc.). They were, primarily, a styling element used to give a...
  • 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...
  1. 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...
  2. 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)...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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....
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. What is Hydroplaning?

    The term hydroplaning is commonly used to refer to the skidding or sliding of a car’s tires across a wet surface. Hydroplaning occurs when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter. Water pressure in the front of the wheel pushes water under the tire, and the tire is then separated from the road surface by a thin film of water and loses traction. The result is loss of steering, braking and power control. Rubber tires have tread (grooves) that are designed to channel water from...
  12. Entertainment Systems- from AM Radio to Bluetooth

    Over the past 97 years, “entertainment systems” in cars have evolved from primitive 6-volt dry-cell AM radios to high-tech Bluetooth units. It is interesting to take a look back to see how technology has changed over the years. Here is a brief, illustrated chronology of these devices: 1922: First radio in a Car The first radio (“Marconiphone”) appeared in a Daimler car at the Olympia Motorshow in England. 1927: First Radio in Mass-Produced Car The “Transitone” radio appeared in a...
  13. How Do Navigation Systems Work?

    Getting lost while driving, or stopping at a gas station to ask for directions, has become a thing of the past. With GPS in your car’s navigation system, in the portable navigation device on your dashboard, or in your smartphone, it is easy to pull up a map and see where you are, or get directions to where you are going. GPS makes you safer, routes you around traffic delays and helps you find nearby services. GPS (Global Positioning System), a technology we now take for granted, started...
  14. Drag Racing Classes

    The NHRA has a huge variety of categories and eliminators. Class eligibility is based on requirements that include type of vehicle, engine size, vehicle weight, allowable modifications and aerodynamics. Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Pro Mod feature a single class of vehicle in heads-up competition. Comp, Super Stock, and Stock are made up of a variety of classes equalized by a handicap starting system....
  15. 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...
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