General Challenger

  • 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...
  • Ethanol Fuel Mixtures

    The question frequently comes up, “Are E10 and E85 fuels harmful to my engine?” Here is everything you wanted to know about the chemical compound ethanol that is added to gasoline. Ethanol is used as an “oxygenate” and is added to fuel to help reduce hydrocarbon emissions that cause air pollution. It is highly refined beverage (grain) alcohol, approximately 200-proof, that can be produced from natural products such as corn, sugar cane and wheat. New technology allows ethanol to be made...
  • Mopar Automatic Transmissions

    Modern automatic transmissions can trace their origins to a gearbox that was developed in 1904 by the Sturtevant brothers. This unit had two forward speeds, the ratio change being brought about by flyweights that were driven by the engine. At higher engine speeds, high gear was engaged. As the vehicle slowed down and engine rpm decreased, the gearbox would shift back to low. One of the key developments in arriving at an automatic transmission was the use of planetary transmission in the...
  • 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 They were originally made for the racetrack to keep hoods buttoned down at high speeds, but found their way onto muscle cars of the late 60s/early 70s.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...
  1. Development & Evolution of the Hemi Engine

    Alan R. Welch and his brothers, owners of the Welch Motor Car Company, are credited for pioneering the first hemispherical engine. The power plant was a simple 20-horsepower, 2-cylinder engine with a single overhead camshaft. Although the General Motors discontinued the HEMI in 1910 when it bought Welch, Peugeot developed its own hemispherical engine. BMW mass-produced a HEMI version before Chrysler engineered it for modern use. Three generations of Hemi engines have been built by Chrysler...
  2. Featured

    Engine Control Unit (ECU)

    An engine control unit (ECU), also commonly called an engine control module (ECM), is the brain of your car. It is the main reason that we are now in the second era of muscle cars, despite restricting emission regulations. The ECU controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It does this by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay, interpreting the data using multidimensional performance maps (called look-up...
  3. 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...
  4. Featured

    Leasing vs. Buying

    How does the cost of leasing a Challenger compare to buying it, in terms of out-of-pocket costs? Or if you decide to buy a used Challenger, how much more will you save? And finally, what do those costs look like in the long run? These are important questions for buyers who want to carefully manage their automotive expenses over the years. It's hard to give one answer that covers all people and all situations. But the question can be divided into two parts: 1. An analysis of the hard costs...
  5. 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...
  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. Factory Paint Process

    In the early days of the automobile industry, painting was a slow process. It was applied manually and dried for weeks at room temperature by solvent evaporation. 1930 Packard Factory As mass production of cars made the process untenable, paint began to be dried in ovens. Nowadays, two-component (catalyzed) paint is usually applied by robotic arms and cures in just a few hours either at room temperature or in heated booths. (Note- That is why car paint can be waxed as soon as the new owner...
  8. 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...
  9. Drag Racing Primer- Tips with Street Tires

    Here are some drag racing tips to make your trip to the drag strip safe and successful. Before you arrive at track Remove the floor mats, child seats (if applicable) and other non-essential cargo. Every bit of weight you remove can help. Try to plan so you have about ¼ tank of fuel when you arrive. Extra fuel adds weight and you won’t need more than ¼ tank. Don’t show up with your tank on empty. The fuel is usually expensive at the track and you don’t want to be “running on fumes.”...
  10. 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...
  11. 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,...
  12. 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...
  13. "Grandfather" of the 2018 Dodge Demon

    Did you know that the controversial Dodge Demon name goes back 50 years? In 1970, the restyled Plymouth Valiant, named the Duster, was a massive success. Dodge immediately insisted on getting its own version. That car became the 1971 Dodge Demon. 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 Both the A-body Plymouth Duster and Dodge Demon were fantastic cars for the money (starting just over $2,100). The two cars were virtually identical, underneath. The attractive-looking Demon came with four optional...
  14. Mopar Automatic Transmissions

    Modern automatic transmissions can trace their origins to a gearbox that was developed in 1904 by the Sturtevant brothers. This unit had two forward speeds, the ratio change being brought about by flyweights that were driven by the engine. At higher engine speeds, high gear was engaged. As the vehicle slowed down and engine rpm decreased, the gearbox would shift back to low. One of the key developments in arriving at an automatic transmission was the use of planetary transmission in the...
  15. The Right Size Wheel for Your Tire

    It is important to ensure your vehicle is installed with a properly sized tire. Each tire size is designed to fit a specific rim width. The correct rim width allows the tire sidewall to flex where the designers meant for the flex to occur. There is a wide range of tires that will fit a specific rim width. After you know what size range of tire will fit your wheels, you can pick a size based on aspect ratio and height of the different tire sizes. A rim that is too narrow in relation to the...
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