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2017 Challenger Scat Pack Shaker
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Yeah I think that goes for pretty much any brand muscle car late 60s or early 70s. Interestingly my 77 Trans Am I'd say actually handles slightly better than my 17 Challenger SPS but it has had some upgrades like sway bars and new shocks. Upgraded springs but the rears are still old fashion leafs. I guess some progress was being made in the 70s suspension wise - not so much on the horsepower front (original engine had a whopping 180hp):)
 

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Yeah I think that goes for pretty much any brand muscle car late 60s or early 70s. Interestingly my 77 Trans Am I'd say actually handles slightly better than my 17 Challenger SPS but it has had some upgrades like sway bars and new shocks. Upgraded springs but the rears are still old fashion leafs. I guess some progress was being made in the 70s suspension wise - not so much on the horsepower front (original engine had a whopping 180hp):)
Yeah.....GM was starting to head us down this road by the late 1970s.....probably because the strict emission standards had strangled engines so severely that a new direction in the definition of "performance" was required to sell a car beyond the idea of just more stickers and stripes attached.

As for how much you can get out of a late 1970s F-Car........I'm terribly surprised to hear how well you're doing. BIG AFTERMARKET support for such a popular run of Firebirds and Camaros that numbered in the 100s of thousand built in each of the 11 year run means lots of parts available to do just about what ever you want.

Like you I've got a Corvette from the late 1970s in the garage next to my Challenger. I'd never call it anything close to as "comfortable" but in terms of flat out performance.......I can't think of anything the Challenger can do better or faster than the old car. It's running on a thoroughly thought out suspension that deviates from stock and now on it's 3rd engine since new it's certainly got a whole lot more power than it had when new.

Just about all of the old car's advantage is a result of how it weighs just about 1,000pd less. Not having to drag around the extra weight or make it stop and turn.........is where most the explanation is found.
 

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My last "old car" was also a Corvette.
A 1972 4 spd car that I "resto modded" about 10 years or so ago now.
It wasn't a full blown "pro touring" car. It still retained its original front control arms and rear suspension lay out.
The car had Vette Brakes and Products (VBP) full suspension kit with poly bushings, stiffer coils, Bilstein gas shocks, big front and rear sway bars and a fiberglass rear leaf spring.
I ran the original 15x8 rally wheels w/BFG radial T/A's. 235/60/15 front and 255/60/15's on the rear.

The original engine was long gone, so I swapped in a ZZ4 crate engine, rated 355hp/405 ftlbs torque. This was actually a pretty mild engine. It had GM aluminum heads, aluminum intake, an aluminum water pump, aluminum radiator, and ceramic coated headers. I ran Barry Grant speed demon carb. A 650 dbl pumper w/mechanical secondaries.

It had a rebuilt Muncie M20 wide ratio trans, 11 inch McLoed clutch w/hurst shifter and a posi rear w/3:55 gears.
I had a full under car chambered exhaust.... FRIGGIN LOUD!

Talking about things being relative, compared to a stock late 60's/early 70's Vette, this one handled great.
Compared to my current BOSS or past SRT, the Vette is seriously out gunned!

My BOSS absolutely crush's that old Vette in any performance matrix. The choice of BFG T/A tires on the Vette put it at a serious performance disadvantage, but it sure looked good!
Going with 17x8 or 17x9 (or bigger) wheels with modern rubber would have helped, but I was trying to stay w/the stock look.

That Vette weighed in at 3,280 lbs with out my fat ass in it. (for comparison my BOSS comes in at 3,600 lbs-ish)
The Vettes only option was P.S. I did add a tilt/tele steering column. I also added a small amp, CD changer and small speaker box. Don't know why, couldn't hear it over the exhaust anyways.

It was fun and somewhat snappy, but not what I would call fast by any means.
Looking back now, I should have run a big block in it.
That ZZ4 350 crate engine was just too weak! It didn't have the lungs to rev, and it didn't have enough cubes to have any real torque.
It only chassis dynoed 265 rwhp. (for comparison, an average BOSS 5.0 puts down 390+ rwhp and the average 6.4 Hemi does around 430 rwhp)

Even a mild hyd cammed 454 would have woke that car up.
A 400+hp /500+ft lbs torque big block would have been a lot more fun.

Oh well, live and learn.
 

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I thought we were talking handling not ride :). You're 100% correct that the new Challenger rides better than my 77 Trans Am. The T/A is a pretty rough ride although I could've gone a bit less aggressive on the suspension setup. It's got an LS3 and an 4L70E transmission so it's not totally apples to apples.
 

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ShakerScat, have you had that T/A on a chassis dyno? Is the LS3 stock?
 

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2014 Challenger SRT 8
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4 corner weight check, alignment for NEUTRAL cornering and sticky tires. One and done.
THEN take a driving course, so U know how to drive. (most have zero clue how to drive a car proper in a corner)
 

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Haven’t done the chassis dyno but the engine is a new E-Rod LS3 for California. Basically same specs as a 2013 Camaro SS: 430hp/430lbs tq.
 

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Cool! Do you have an idea what the T/A weighs in at? Are you still running a steering box, or did you swap in a rack?
 

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Base weight on the Trans Am is 3530 lbs. The original Pontiac 400 it came with was 630 lbs. tH350 tranny was 120 lbs.

LS3 is about 400 lbs. 4L70E actually weights 20lbs more than th350. So I’d estimate somewhere around 3320 lbs currently.

I’m running a steering box but it’s an upgraded GM 800 unit.
 

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I hate the title of this thread. I have driven way worse vehicle !

I'll keep mine. I Like my Challenger, I don't read those car magazines anymore, they suck. like mother Jones & Consumer reports . They all suck

Whether its running to the Mothman festival for fun, running to Hilton Head or the Biltmore for a getaway weekend,,,,
sheeeeeet I love taking the Challenger.
Getting complements at the Love's fueling up, and then firing it up. Its cool (y) heads turn. Happens every time.

parking it in covered areas at the Biltmore. Yeah, I'll take it,
terrible handing? meh.

I hope moderator deletes this thread
parrott
 

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Base weight on the Trans Am is 3530 lbs. The original Pontiac 400 it came with was 630 lbs. tH350 tranny was 120 lbs.

LS3 is about 400 lbs. 4L70E actually weights 20lbs more than th350. So I’d estimate somewhere around 3320 lbs currently.

I’m running a steering box but it’s an upgraded GM 800 unit.
The upgraded steer box is a money well spent.
The old ram style P.S.on the Vette wasn't to good. Even with a rebuilt steer box and new ram/ valve, it just had a numb and to light a feel to it.
I had driven a NON- P.S. C3 before and the steering feel/ feed back was pretty decent.
Of course there are more options available now, including a true power box.

Light, dimensional compact and powerful, no wonder those LS swaps are so popular.
 

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My last "old car" was also a Corvette.
A 1972 4 spd car that I "resto modded" about 10 years or so ago now.
It wasn't a full blown "pro touring" car. It still retained its original front control arms and rear suspension lay out.
The car had Vette Brakes and Products (VBP) full suspension kit with poly bushings, stiffer coils, Bilstein gas shocks, big front and rear sway bars and a fiberglass rear leaf spring.
I ran the original 15x8 rally wheels w/BFG radial T/A's. 235/60/15 front and 255/60/15's on the rear.

The original engine was long gone, so I swapped in a ZZ4 crate engine, rated 355hp/405 ftlbs torque. This was actually a pretty mild engine. It had GM aluminum heads, aluminum intake, an aluminum water pump, aluminum radiator, and ceramic coated headers. I ran Barry Grant speed demon carb. A 650 dbl pumper w/mechanical secondaries.

It had a rebuilt Muncie M20 wide ratio trans, 11 inch McLoed clutch w/hurst shifter and a posi rear w/3:55 gears.
I had a full under car chambered exhaust.... FRIGGIN LOUD!

Talking about things being relative, compared to a stock late 60's/early 70's Vette, this one handled great.
Compared to my current BOSS or past SRT, the Vette is seriously out gunned!

My BOSS absolutely crush's that old Vette in any performance matrix. The choice of BFG T/A tires on the Vette put it at a serious performance disadvantage, but it sure looked good!
Going with 17x8 or 17x9 (or bigger) wheels with modern rubber would have helped, but I was trying to stay w/the stock look.

That Vette weighed in at 3,280 lbs with out my fat ass in it. (for comparison my BOSS comes in at 3,600 lbs-ish)
The Vettes only option was P.S. I did add a tilt/tele steering column. I also added a small amp, CD changer and small speaker box. Don't know why, couldn't hear it over the exhaust anyways.

It was fun and somewhat snappy, but not what I would call fast by any means.
Looking back now, I should have run a big block in it.
That ZZ4 350 crate engine was just too weak! It didn't have the lungs to rev, and it didn't have enough cubes to have any real torque.
It only chassis dynoed 265 rwhp. (for comparison, an average BOSS 5.0 puts down 390+ rwhp and the average 6.4 Hemi does around 430 rwhp)

Even a mild hyd cammed 454 would have woke that car up.
A 400+hp /500+ft lbs torque big block would have been a lot more fun.

Oh well, live and learn.
Tires are the limiting factor on virtually any changes you'd ever make to any car.

My car is riding on a full VBP suspension too. Front end being the most dramatic. Transverse fiberglass replaces the coils and it's fully adjust able for both ride height and stiffness. The back end of the car has offset trailing arms that allow for a 10" wide rear wheel. It rides on 17s all the way around and the grip is light years ahead of what the old 15 BFGs the car rode on for many years could have ever handled. Koni shocks keep the car planted over bumps and do a good job of restraining the much faster reaction of the Fiberglass suspension. Big ass sway bars complete the picture in the front and back.

The car is moving courtesy of a 383 that produces stupid big power in the 455HP range.

The car is faster in all respects verses my 392 Challenger but it comes at a serious cost to ride. The car is no comfortable cruiser to be sure, no AC and while the suspension is more complaint than steel coils it's still pretty brutal over any sort of crappy pavement.

As to how the car would do vs say a BOSS Mustang........that's tough to say but I came close to a comparison with my '14 Track pack Mustang that I traded to buy the Challenger......here the part that will create the most controrversy. That car, despite the solid rear axl, was also a better handling car than the Challenger and it was every bit as fast.

In a straight line the Corvette is quicker here too.......comparing the handling capability .......that would have been closer for sure. The 500+pd advantage the Mustang had over the Challenger is where the uncertainty vs the Corvette comes in.
 

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T/A 392 YJ

Your Vette build is much hotter in-every aspect vs my old Vette.
It sounds like you have a nice set up. I tip my hat to you.

I agree, the solid axle in my Boss or my past GT was never an issue. They both handle fine.
If anything, I feel having less movement in the rear end adds to the BOSS’s responsiveness.
 

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T/A 392 YJ

Your Vette build is much hotter in-every aspect vs my old Vette.
It sounds like you have a nice set up. I tip my hat to you.

I agree, the solid axle in my Boss or my past GT was never an issue. They both handle fine.
If anything, I feel having less movement in the rear end adds to the BOSS’s responsiveness.
Yeah, that's pretty much how I felt about the solid axl in the Mustang too. The only time it became a handful that would be a problem where either the old IRS in the Corvette or the newer version in the Chalenger would be better for is those sections of winding road where the pavement just sucks.

Smooth pavement though and the Mustang really was very good for what it was.......if I'd kept the car by now I'm sure I would have gone with Whteline's Watts Link set up. Before buying the Challenger I had been looking at it pretty seriously. I had already swapped in some of their parts to eliminate the "wheel hop" that is such a huge problem with the stock issue trailing arms.

I bought the TA because when I was just a teenager pumping gas for my part time job at a service station in 1978 when one of the mechanics in the bays sold me his very tired 340 TA and I loved that car despite the idea it was quite the POS rattle box and less than really good looking in it's faded 8 year old paint. So when Dodge re-issued a modern version I had to have it. To this day though I kinda miss the Mustang. I still say that 302 Coyote is a marvel of engineering and cost effective.

Truly RACY motor in a way that for all it's grunt in the low end the 6.4 can't match. In an auto shift car the advantage would go the other way concerning the smaller Ford motor vs the big broad torque curve in the 6.4 but I'm a manual transmission guy. 6 speed in the Mustang vs 6 speed in the TA.......the mustang engine just had an edge in it's ability to rev and it had the more "throw back" feel in the way you had to work the gears to make it move. The Challenger is good.....really good, just as fast, but it's the lazier driver's choice. More torque down low is what you really NEED in a heavier car but it's not nearly as demanding of you, the driver.
 

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For a lot of circumstances, solid axle is the way to go, the rears are always parallel to each other and basically always perpendicular to the road surface. The unsprung weight is higher, and torque affects one wheel more are the downsides. I forget how long ago, but I remember something like the 280Z or 300Z switching back to solid for that reason.
The problem with new/fancy/updated anything on cars is, once one company does it, they advertise it as being superior and the others HAVE TO do it, because the general public doesn't understand it anyway. Like the whole FWD is better, McPherson Struts are better... Yeah, name one performance track car with them. One drag car...
 

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2019 Dodge Challenger Widebody Scat Pack
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My widebody is set up for Autocross and twisty tracks. It sticks like glue in the corners. For those that have been to the Bondurant driving school, they know how good the narrow body Hellcats can corner when set up properly and driven by those with skills.
 

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For a lot of circumstances, solid axle is the way to go, the rears are always parallel to each other and basically always perpendicular to the road surface. The unsprung weight is higher, and torque affects one wheel more are the downsides. I forget how long ago, but I remember something like the 280Z or 300Z switching back to solid for that reason.
The problem with new/fancy/updated anything on cars is, once one company does it, they advertise it as being superior and the others HAVE TO do it, because the general public doesn't understand it anyway. Like the whole FWD is better, McPherson Struts are better... Yeah, name one performance track car with them. One drag car...
Dodge has it's own best effort Challenger Drag Pak and it comes with a solid axle for drag racing.

On the street though.....in a world full of CRAPPY road surfaces and engine power that isn't high enough to say, "I'm gonna BUST every damn weak link between the motor and those big sticky tires you need for an 8 second pass or faster in the 1/4 mile"........IRS is the way to go and while the pre-2015 Mustangs did relatively well it was time to move on.
 
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