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...
  • 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...
  • Evolution of Rear Spoilers

    A car spoiler is a stylish automobile accessory that can be mounted on the rear of most cars. There are many different styles of spoilers. The general shape consists of a slender slightly downward angled piece of metal, fiberglass, silicone or carbon fiber that is usually the width of the vehicle. Some seem to appear to mold into the vehicle and others stick out with two small ledges on both sides. The term "spoiler" is often mistakenly used interchangeably with "wing." An automotive wing...
  • 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...
  • Why Do Hemi Engines Have Dual Sparkplugs?

    Each cylinder on a Hemi engine has an ignition coil pack over one spark plug, and a regular plug wire connected to the other spark plug. Further, the coil pack also has a plug wire attached to it that extends to the opposite cylinder bank. Each cylinder shares a coil pack with another cylinder. Each of the two plugs on a given cylinder is fired by a separate coil. One plug has a coil directly attached, and the other is fired via an ignition wire connected to a coil located on another...
  1. 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...
  2. Featured

    Active Exhaust

    It’s a fact of life- cars make noise. Inexplicably, there are those in this world who build houses next to major freeways and then complain about the speed of the vehicles going past. There are those who build houses next to airports and complain about the excessive noise. Just as there are those people, there were those who decided that cars were too loud and needed to shut up! This presented car companies with a problem. Their engineers were telling them that for maximum efficiency,...
  3. Anti-Sway Bars

    An anti-roll bar (roll bar, anti-sway bar, sway bar, or stabilizer bar) is a part of many automobile suspensions that helps reduce body roll during fast cornering or over road irregularities. It connects opposite (left/right) wheels together through short lever arms linked by a torsion spring. A sway bar increases the suspension's roll stiffness- its resistance to roll in turns, independent of its spring rate in the vertical direction. The first stabilizer bar patent was awarded to Canadian...
  4. All-Wheel Drive

    Four-wheel drive, 4WD, 4x4 ("four by four"), or AWD ("all-wheel drive") is a four-wheeled vehicle with a drivetrain that allows all four wheels to receive torque from the engine simultaneously. While many people associate the term with off-road vehicles and sport utility vehicles, powering all four wheels provides better control in normal road cars on many surfaces, and is an important part in the sport of rallying. The first application of four-wheel drive, occurred in 1893. In 1937, the...
  5. 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...
  6. Camshafts

    Camshafts are used to operate poppet valves. It consists of a cylindrical rod running the length of the cylinder bank with a number of oblong lobes protruding from it, one for each valve. The cam lobes force the valves open by pressing on the valve, or on some intermediate mechanism, as they rotate. Camshafts can be made out of several types of material. These include: Chilled iron castings: Commonly used in high volume production, chilled iron camshafts have good wear resistance since the...
  7. 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...
  8. Understanding Wheel Offset

    The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the center line of the wheel. The whole point of an offset is for the end user of the wheel to know how much in inches (4+3), or in the case of millimeter offset, how many mm the wheel will stick out or tuck in from the mounting surface of the hub. Remember, even a couple of millimeters can affect performance, ride quality, the look/stance of your vehicle and safety. It takes precise measurement to make sure aftermarket...
  9. Rearview/Back-up Camera

    A backup camera (also called a reversing camera or rearview 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...
  10. Mopar Engine Colors

    Automobile engines are usually painted bright colors, like red, orange or blue. This just isn’t for appearance. There is a practical purpose. Bright colors enable leaks to be spotted easily. Here is a list of engine colors (and paint codes) used by Mopar, from 1962 to 1971. Race Hemi Orange- Mopar P4120751 1962-1964 Max Wedge engines (413 and 426 Cross Ram) 1964-1965 426 Race Hemis Street Hemi Orange- Mopar P4349216 1966-1971 426 Street Hemis 1969-1971 High performance 383 and 440...
  11. 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...
  12. 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)...
  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. 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...
  15. 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...
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