Since our Challenger came with a Hemi from the factory, installing the engine was pretty straightforward. TTI makes a great set of race headers for this application, so we slid them into the engine bay before dropping the engine in place. To replace the factory engine mounts, we opted for a set of solid motor mounts from Razor’s Edge Motorsports. The rear transmission mount was fabricated along with the drive shaft loop by Steve Miller Fabrications. The late-model Hemi and 904 transmission combination does require a special starter, which we got from RobbMC Performance Products. To keep our Hemi cool, a Meziere electric water pump was utilized with a Meziere radiator and fan combination.

Inside, much of the factory interior was utilized including the dash, carpet, headliner, door panels, and rear panels. We installed a TCI Outlaw shifter in the factory console, and Mopar Performance engine gauges were placed in the factory instrument panel for a clean look. Since the safety harnesses are only good for two years (a rule we’ve never understood) we waited until the car was complete before getting our five-point harness system from ART. ART also provided the window net for our Challenger, which was connected to provisions in the rollcage.

Since cars running quicker than 10-second elapsed times also need an engine diaper (yes, we’re optimistic), we contacted DRE Engine Diapers and they fabricated a custom Kevlar diaper for our car. DRE offers several levels of engine diapers, from economically priced Sportsman diapers all the way to custom made Kevlar lined units, and even if your car isn’t required by the rules to run a diaper, it is a good idea in the interest of safety. An engine failure at speed can oil down the tires, rendering the car uncontrollable, so a diaper can not only contain the spill, but may just save the car as well.

With the Challenger complete, we took the car to Inline Performance Specialists to weigh it and set the corner weights. This is an important step to ensure a drag race car launches and tracks straight. Keep in mind, the car should be weighed with the driver sitting in the driver seat. With driver Rick Menditto in the car, our Challenger weighed just over 3,200 pounds, which is significantly lighter than a factory ’10 Dodge Challenger R/T. With the car scaled and the chassis adjustments made, we took the Challenger to Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, for our preliminary testing.


Since this car is brand new to the track, we decided to ease into it by first driving it down the track and accelerating to around 60 mph to test the steering and brakes.


Since this car is brand new to the track, we decided to ease into it by first driving it down the track and accelerating to around 60 mph to test the steering and brakes. Deeming the Challenger safe, Rick got in the car to make a couple of easy passes to get used to it. A quick learner (and experienced racer as well), Rick quickly got comfortable and clicked off a series of 10-second-flat passes at over 135 mph. For the first day at the track, we were happy with these results, especially given the fact that we had a 20-mph headwind during our test session.

The following weekend, we took the Challenger back to Auto-Plus Raceway to really see what the car would do. Leaving the starting line with the foot brake and shifting at a conservative 6,200 rpm, Rick made a best pass of 9.95 seconds at 137 mph during this test session, and we’re sure the car has more in it. As we further test this car, we’ll experiment with the trans-brake and different launch rpm settings. We’ll also increase our shift rpm to optimize the combination. So far we’re happy with the car’s performance and it has been reliable, consistent, and fun. It’s also fairly inexpensive to run since it only needs pump gasoline.


Price Tag
DRE Sportsman Engine Diaper $169
DRE Kevlar Sportsman Diaper $249
DRE Custom Diaper call for pricing
Razor’s Edge Motorsports solid engine mounts $169.95
five-point harness $129.95
Window Net $ 30.39
TTI Hemi Headers $740
Running nines on pump gas Priceless

Rick will be racing this car in NHRA Division 2 races, and will also be at the Mopar Southern Nationals at South Georgia Motorsports Park over Memorial Day weekend. You can also look for our Challenger project at the Monster Mopar event later this season in Indianapolis. Be sure to stop by and say hello if you see us at the track. We’d love to hear what you think about our latest project car. Also be sure to log onto our website, www.moparmuscle.com, to see video and additional photos of our ’10 Dodge Challenger.

A nice feature of the new Hemi is that it incorporates nearly the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the LA small-block, requiring only a special flex-plate to bolt the two together.

Since this car is brand new to the track, we decided to ease into it by first driving it down the track and accelerating to around 60 mph to test the steering and brakes.

SOURCE
Comp Cams
3406 Democrat Road
Memphis
TN  38118
800-999-0853
http://www.compcams.com
Milodon
2250 Agate Ct.
Simi Valley
CA  93065
805-577-5950
www.milodon.net
Indy Cylinder Head
8621 Southeastern Ave
Indianapolis
IN  46239
317-862-3724
www.indyheads.com
Tube Technologies Inc.
909-371-4878
www.ttiexhaust.com
Inline Performance Specialist
Webster
FL
352-568-7591
Diamond Racing Pistons
877-552-2112
www.diamondracing.net
TCI
151 Industrial Drive
Ashland
MS  38603
888-776-9824
www.tciauto.com
Auto-Plus Raceway
352-377-0046
www.autoplusraceway.com
Razor's Edge Motorsports
3767 NE 11th Ave
Pompano Beach
FL  33064
954-788-2348
http://www.razorsedgemotorsports
.com
SilverKing Collision Center
St. Petersburg
FL
727-498-6436
http://www.silverkingcollision.c
om/
Meziere Enterprises
220 S. Hale Ave.
Escondido
CA  92029
800-208-1755
http://www.meziere.com
DRE Engine Diapers
217-454-5289
http://enginediapers.com
Holley EFI
1801 Russellville Rd.
Bowling Green
KY  42101
270-782-2900
http://www.holleyefi.com
MSD Ignition
915-857-5200
http://www.msdignition.com/
ATI Racing
6747 Whitestone Road
Baltimore
MD  21207
1-877-298-5039
http://www.atiracing.com
Callies Crankshafts (Compstar)
419-435-2711
http://www.callies.com/
Steve Miller Fabrications
Clearwater
FL
727-743-5470
ARP
800-826-3045
http://www.arp-bolts.com
Applied Racing Technology (A.R.T)
800-571-3023
appliedracing.com