Ram-Tuning Roundup

By Steve Magnante

 

It has been nearly 65 years since Dodge first applied the theory of ram tuning to its engines as a means of picking up some free horsepower, fuel economy and torque through the use of skillfully designed intake manifolds. Unlike many competing manufacturers’ induction systems, for the 1960 model year, Dodge (as well as Chrysler, DeSoto and Plymouth) came up with “tuned” intake manifolds designed to take advantage of the naturally occurring pressure waves present within the intake tract of every running Otto-cycle piston engine.

 

You see, during the intake stroke, as the piston is pulled to the…

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Ram-Tuning Roundup

Jim Thornton’s Greatest Hits: Part 2

By Steve Magnante

 

The Dodge high performance world lost a pioneer with the June 2, 2014, passing of former Chrysler Corp. Race Vehicle Design Manager and Ramchargers race team member, Jim Thornton. Recently, we reviewed some of Mr. Thornton’s many contributions to the evolution of Dodge stock-bodied drag race vehicles. Now, let’s continue our tribute with a look at how he helped ensure that Dodge drag race package cars were ready to fully employ the mighty output of the 426 Race HEMI® engines that powered them down the drag strip.

 
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Jim Thornton’s Greatest Hits: Part 2

Strong-Arming the HEMI® Engine: 1964 and 1965 HEMI Drivers Got an Added Workout!

By Steve Magnante

 

As we celebrate 50 years of 426 HEMI® engine power, let’s remember that Chrysler Corp. actually created three distinct generations of this fabled dome-head power plant. The first generation appeared in Chrysler vehicles in 1951 and — with unique variations for use in Dodge and DeSoto models — was offered through the 1958 model run. The second generation is the one racers love. That’s the mighty 426 HEMI engine of the 1964–1971 era.

 

Of course, the third generation of the HEMI engine is what’s driving so much excitement at Dodge these days. Available in 5.7-, 6.1-, 6.2- and…

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Strong-Arming the HEMI® Engine: 1964 and 1965 HEMI Drivers Got an Added Workout!