General Challenger

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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)...
  1. 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...
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    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,...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
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    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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    Chrysler Corporation in World War II

    Many are unaware of the vital role played by Chrysler Corporation in World War II. As Mopar enthusiasts, we should all be proud of its outstanding war record. In 1939, the U.S. military was laughable. The Army's own chief of staff, Gen. George C. Marshall, ranked it 19th in the world- one spot behind Portugal- in a report to the president. Roosevelt was about to change that- and America- forever. Decades of isolation and a global depression had created a nation unresponsive to the world...
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    Axle Ratios

    An axle ratio is the number of revolutions the output shaft or driveshaft needs to make in order to spin the axle one complete turn. The number is expressed in a ratio, which represents the number of teeth on the ring gear divided by the number of teeth on the pinion. For example, a vehicle with a 3.73:1 gear ratio means that the driveshaft will turn 3.73 times for each complete wheel spin. Many people simply refer to the axle ratio as 3.73, rather than express it as the ratio 3.73:1....
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    Intake Manifolds

    An intake manifold is the part of an engine that supplies the fuel/air mixture to the cylinders. Its primary function is to evenly distribute the combustion mixture (or just air in a direct injection engine) to each intake port in the cylinder head(s). Even distribution is important to optimize the efficiency and performance of the engine. It may also serve as a mount for the carburetor, throttle body, fuel injectors and other components. The design and orientation of the intake manifold is...
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    Car Salesman Tactics

    When buying a new or used car from a dealership, there are many pitfalls you must avoid. It must be remembered, you and the dealership have different objectives. You are trying to buy your vehicle as cheap as possible and it is trying to maximize its profits. Here are some of the common sales tactics that unscrupulous dealers may use: 1. The Hard Sell Buying a car is a big decision, so never make a purchase simply because you feel pressure from an overaggressive salesman. 2. Selling on...
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    Are Radar Detectors Useless?

    A radar detector is an electronic device that has been used by motorists, for decades, to detect if their speed is being monitored by police using a radar gun. It gave a driver sufficient warning to reduce his speed to avoid being ticketed for speeding. Passport x50 Radar/Laser detector In a general sense, only emitting technologies, like Doppler radar, or LIDAR (pulsed laser light) can be detected. Visual speed estimating techniques, like ANPR or VASCAR cannot be detected in daytime. There...
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    Seat Belt Technology

    A seat belt is a vehicle safety device designed to secure the driver or a passenger of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result during a collision or a sudden stop. A seat belt reduces the likelihood of death or serious injury in a traffic collision by reducing the force of secondary impacts with interior strike hazards, by keeping occupants positioned correctly for maximum effectiveness of the airbag (if equipped) and by preventing occupants being ejected from the vehicle in a...
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    Line Lock

    A line lock is a device that allows the front brakes to lock independently of the rear brakes, via a switch. The device is an electric solenoid that controls a valve which allows the brakes to be controlled individually. This allows the front brakes to be locked and the rear brakes to be open, and allows the driver to spin the rear wheels without wasting the rear brakes. This method is referred to as line lock and is popular among drag racers. Cars with manual transmissions allow drivers to...
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    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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    Windage Tray

    Most of us know about windage trays, but what is their function and what exactly is “windage?” Simply put, windage is a force created on an object by friction when there is relative movement between air and the object. Windage loss is the reduction in efficiency due to windage forces. As it pertains to internal combustion engines, windage is the power loss caused by the friction of the oil in the engine coming into non-lubrication contact with its internal moving parts. For the most part,...
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    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...
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