General Challenger

  • 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)...
  • 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...
  • High Impact Paint

    In the late 60s/early 70s, Dodge was already offering some of the hottest cars of the muscle car era- awesome machines like the Hemi Challenger and 440 Six-Pack Super Bee. Designers, however, decided to rev up the cars’ visuals to match, creating a far-out assortment of vibrant exterior paint colors. These special colors (a $15 option) generated a big buzz in the showrooms and launched an industry trend. The color palettes used by all the automakers were opened up, giving paint designers...
  • Driving Dangerously in Motown- 1900-1930

    The 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 as...
  • 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...
  1. Limited Slip Differentials

    A limited-slip differential (LSD), or “anti-spin” differential is a type of differential that allows the rear wheels on a vehicle to turn at different speeds when executing a turn. They are widely used in high performance and four-wheel-drive vehicles because they provide superior traction abilities. Various types of differentials can be classified as "anti-spin." These include limited slip, locking and spool differentials. Each performs differently on and off the road. Generally, only...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. Ignition Coils

    An ignition coil (also called a spark coil) is an induction coil in an automobile's ignition system. It transforms the battery's low voltage to the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the fuel. Early gasoline internal combustion engines used a magneto ignition system, since vehicles did not have batteries. The voltage produced by a magneto was dependent on the speed of the engine, making starting difficult. A battery-operated coil, however,...
  5. 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...
  6. Exhaust Headers

    A component of any car or truck engine is an exhaust manifold for each bank of cylinders .In most production engines, the manifold is a cast iron assembly designed to collect the exhaust gas from two or more cylinders into one pipe. Engineers like cast iron because of its heat management properties and its superior longevity over any other type of exhaust outlet design. They also use the least metal, occupy less space and have the lowest production cost. Although these design restrictions...
  7. 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...
  8. "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...
  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. 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...
  11. History of the Dodge Logo

    Dodge was founded in 1900 by Horace and John Dodge (The Dodge Brothers). It was initially known as the Dodge Brothers Company and used to sell bicycles, but then within two years it became a major supplier of axles, engines, and transmissions to the automobile industry. The company started by producing chassis and engines for the Ford Motor Company and Olds Motor Vehicle Company. However, with the stress and demands of the booming automobile industry, the brothers decided to tinker with the...
  12. Dim to Bright- Headlight Technology

    From its humble origins, the headlight has evolved from what was considered an accessory of the 1900s to a necessity safety feature (half of all deadly accidents occur at night). Since its first generation, headlights have traveled a long way from a simple flame to a high-tech laser. Carbide Headlights The first vehicle headlamps were officially introduced during the 1880s and were based on acetylene and oil, similar to the old gas lamps. Originally developed for mining purposes, Carbide...
  13. Nitrous Oxide

    Juice. Squeeze. Laughing gas. Nitrous oxide has many aliases. It can inject a healthy dose of horsepower into an engine, via direct port, carburetor/throttle body plate, air intake tube or, air cleaner injection, to give a race car the winning edge at the track. In racing, nitrous oxide (often referred to as just "nitrous") allows an engine to burn more fuel by providing more oxygen than air alone, resulting in a more powerful combustion. The gas is not flammable at a low...
  14. 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...
  15. High Impact Paint

    In the late 60s/early 70s, Dodge was already offering some of the hottest cars of the muscle car era- awesome machines like the Hemi Challenger and 440 Six-Pack Super Bee. Designers, however, decided to rev up the cars’ visuals to match, creating a far-out assortment of vibrant exterior paint colors. These special colors (a $15 option) generated a big buzz in the showrooms and launched an industry trend. The color palettes used by all the automakers were opened up, giving paint designers...
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