General Challenger

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Fuel Delivery Systems

    A carburetor was the common method of fuel delivery for most US-made gasoline engines until the late 1980s, when fuel injection became the preferred method. This change was dictated by the requirements of catalytic converters and not due to an inherent inefficiency of carburation. Basically, a carburetor consists of an open pipe through which the air passes into the inlet manifold of the engine. The pipe is in the form of a venture- it narrows in section and then widens again, causing the...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  1. Featured

    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...
  2. Featured

    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...
  4. Featured

    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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    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...
  9. 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,...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  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. 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...
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