General Challenger

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  1. Types of Tires

    Tires come in many treads, sizes and performance characteristics. Here is a primer on the basic car tire categories and some popular consumer choices. Extreme Performance Summer Hyper-focused on extreme dry grip, but gives up wet traction, comfort and tread life to get it. Not to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, in snow or on ice, or at high speeds in deep standing water, these specially tuned tires combine big-block tread designs with aggressive tread compounds and reinforced...
  2. Engine Dyno vs. Chassis Dyno

    What's the difference between running an engine on an engine-dyno, or, as installed in the car, on a chassis-dyno? Most chassis dynos extrapolate an engine's power and torque based on vehicle inertia. Many variables can affect chassis dyno results. It's a great convenient tuning aid, but you can't directly equate the reported torque and power numbers back to engine dyno results, or even the results obtained from two different chassis dynos. Operator experience is critical for obtaining...
  3. Hemi Heads

    In recent years, Dodge has produced four different Hemi heads. Here is a brief description of each. In 2003, the 5.7 Hemi received the first, followed in 2005 by the 6.1 hemi design. In 2009 and 2011 respectively, the 5.7 Hemi Eagle and 6.4 Hemi Apache head appeared along with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and the larger 392-inch engine. As the engines got larger, the heads improved with the help of larger valve sizes and improved ports. As cams got bigger, the beehive springs got more...
  4. 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...
  5. A Look Back- The Rebirth of the Challenger

    The Challenger concept car, shown at the 2006 Detroit International Auto Show, was a big tease for Mopar fans. It was the answer to a hot rodders’ dream- the reincarnation of a 1970s Dodge muscle car! But, would it make it to production? See the 15:11 minute mark of the following video: Based on the success of the retro-inspired 2005 Mustang GT, Dodge looked at its parts bins and figured out how to use this stuff to create a modern-day Challenger. To accomplish this feat, Chrysler drew...
  6. Driving Dangerously in Motown- 1900-1930

    The very first gasoline-powered vehicle driven on the streets of Detroit was built by engineer Charles Brady King in 1896. It went as fast as 20 mph, which was described in the newspaper as "tearing along the street at a lively rate, dodging people and teams." The transition from the horse age to the motorized age would prove to be very dangerous. At first speeding vehicles were not a big problem, with only a few of them on Detroit streets, but the situation grew serious quickly. As early...
  7. Featured

    Modern Hemi Engines

    Modern Hemi production began in June 2002 at the Saltillo plant in Mexico. The first-generation 5.7 liter produced up to 350 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 375 lb-ft of torque (4,400 rpm)- one horsepower per cubic inch- just like the legendary 426 Hemi. It was smaller, more powerful, and cheaper to build than theLA-series 360 V8 and the "Next Generation" 4.7 liter V8 it replaced, but produced more power and torque. It hooked up to the Mercedes 5-speed automatic, Chrysler's 5 and 6-speed truck...
  8. 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...
  9. 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,...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. Featured

    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...
  13. Featured

    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...
  14. Featured

    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....
  15. Featured

    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...
Loading...