General Challenger

  • Crankshafts

    In simple terms, a crankshaft is a shaft driven by a crank mechanism, consisting of a series of cranks and crankpins to which the connecting rods of an engine are attached. It is a mechanical part able to perform a conversion between reciprocating motion and rotational motion. In a reciprocating engine, it translates reciprocationg motion of the piston into rotational motion. In order to do the conversion between two motions, the crankshaft has "crank throws" or "crankpins"- additional...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Ignition Coils

    An ignition coil (also called a spark coil) is an induction coil in an automobile's ignition system. It transforms the battery's low voltage to the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the fuel. Early gasoline internal combustion engines used a magneto ignition system, since vehicles did not have batteries. The voltage produced by a magneto was dependent on the speed of the engine, making starting difficult. A battery-operated coil, however,...
  • 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...
  1. The Origin of Scat Pack

    The Dodge Scat Pack was originally introduced in 1968 with the Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS, and Super Bee. In order for a car to enter the Scat Pack it had to be capable of running the quarter mile in the 14s (14.99 sec. or faster). Mainly a marketing term, Scat Pack cars got twin bumblebee stripes and special decals. It became legendary in the enthusiast community and symbolized one of the most feared groups of street machines every to rumble from stoplight to stoplight. In the...
  2. History of the Dodge Logo

    Dodge was founded in 1900 by Horace and John Dodge (The Dodge Brothers). It was initially known as the Dodge Brothers Company and used to sell bicycles, but then within two years it became a major supplier of axles, engines, and transmissions to the automobile industry. The company started by producing chassis and engines for the Ford Motor Company and Olds Motor Vehicle Company. However, with the stress and demands of the booming automobile industry, the brothers decided to tinker with the...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. Evolution of Hood Scoops

    Back in middle school science class, we learned that in order to make fire, you need three ingredients: fuel, ignition and air- or, more specifically, oxygen. You’ll also remember that cold air is denser than hot air, putting more oxygen in the same amount of volume. While the modern internal combustion engine does a fine job of delivering fuel and ignition, that cold air part becomes tricky as you try to route fresh air from outside through a hot engine compartment. In response, in the late...
  7. 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...
  8. High Impact Paint

    In the late 60s/early 70s, Dodge was already offering some of the hottest cars of the muscle car era- awesome machines like the Hemi Challenger and 440 Six-Pack Super Bee. Designers, however, decided to rev up the cars’ visuals to match, creating a far-out assortment of vibrant exterior paint colors. These special colors (a $15 option) generated a big buzz in the showrooms and launched an industry trend. The color palettes used by all the automakers were opened up, giving paint designers...
  9. Paddle shifters

    Paddle shifters, once exclusive to race cars and exotic sports cars, like the Ferrari F430, are now becoming commonplace on performance cars with automatic transmissions. This is because manual transmissions are going away faster than the landline telephone. Critics of automatics say that they take the passion and command out of driving. Paddle shifters, however, bring some of that joy and control back by allowing drivers to manually shift an automatic transmission with steering-wheel or...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. Featured

    Rear Window Louvers

    The rear window louvers that were original equipment on some 60s and 70s muscle cars were first and foremost, styling statements. They were part of an appearance package that was created to set these cars apart from lower performance plain Jane versions and were usually combined with features like stripes, spoilers and vinyl roofs. In addition, while they did not improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle, they created a dead air zone that helped traction by reducing rear lift. Some pony...
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