A Day at the Races – Charlie the Charger on a Performance Run

My favorite thing to do on a beautiful sunny day is drive with the windows down and the music up. But in Northern Virginia, Charlie has all these horses and no room to gallop.  Finally, while we were bored after lunch this weekend, Girl and I decided to take Charlie out for a proper ride. 

Empty parking lots are surprisingly hard to find, even on a Sunday south of the Mason-Dixon.  Even the high school driver training course was in use (which would have been PERFECT!)

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Luckily, we found a huge, completely empty parking lot for some electronics company (which totally didn’t have any ‘No Trespassing’ signs…)

And the rest, as they say, is history.

  

 

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I love the smell of burning rubber in the morning.

Examining my Commute with DashCommand

Now that I have an iPhone 4S (thanks Mom!), I finally have a device that can handle the processing and data transfer needs of DashCommand.

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DashCommand is a vehicle diagnostic and data visualization app from Palmer Performance Engineering.  Basically, you can plug your phone into the OBD-II port under your steering wheel (with a cable or wireless transmitter, sold separately), and see every piece of information about your car’s performance.

 

Some of the parameters that can be viewed are:

  • Speed
  • RPM
  • Power
  • Torque
  • Remaining Fuel
  • Fuel Economy
  • Coolant temperature
  • Pitch and roll
  • G forces
  • Check Engine codes

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It also takes averages over trips, each day, and between fillups.  I decided to use a trip average to record the data for my commute from work to home.  Here’s the data for my one way, door-to-door  trip:

 

 

Average Fuel Consumption

23.5 mpg

 

Distance

36.5 mi

 

Fuel consumed

1.2 gal

 

Average CO2 Emission Rate

13.2 oz/mi

 

Total CO2 Emissions

23.8 lbs

 

Elapsed Time

56 min

 

Drive Time

41 min

Meaning I was stopped at red lights/in traffic for 15 minutes

Average fuel flow

1.3 gal/hr

 

Max fuel flow

4.7 gal/hr

 

Average Speed (excluding idle)

42 mph

 

Average Speed (including idle)

35 mph

 

Max Speed

72 mph

 

Average Engine Speed

1535 rpm

 

Max Engine Speed

3155 rpm

 

Max Acceleration

0.4 g

 

Max Braking

0.5 g

 

Max Engine Power

199 HP

 

Max Torque

278 ft/lbs

 

Distance in Neutral

22.6%

I think this means the amount of time I’m stopped or coasting

Time in Neutral

47.3%

 

Distance in 1st Gear

0.7%

 

Time in 1st Gear

1.4%

 

Distance in 2nd Gear

3.6%

 

Time in 2nd Gear

4.7%

 

Distance in 3rd Gear

9.8%

 

Time in 3rd Gear

8.9%

 

Distance in 4th Gear

63%

 

Time in 4th Gear

37.5 %

 

Distance in 5th Gear

0.3%

 

Time in 5th Gear

0.2%

 

Distance in Wrong Gear

77%

I don’t know how this cold be possible, since my car is an automatic. Does anyone know?

Time in Wrong Gear

52.5%

 

 

 

My dashboards:

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My Route:

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(Note the color changes based on my speed)

 

At some point I’ll post some data from a performance run or a quarter-mile, if I can find a safe place to do it.

 

2012 Dodge Charger Concept Unveiled!

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In addition to the 2012 Charger’s undeniable sex appeal (a swift recovery from the 2011 fiasco, in my opinion) the new model will include some impressive new luxury features, technology, and power.  Here’s a rundown:

 

·         6.4L V8 in the SRT-8 model

·         8-speed transmission with Sport Mode (whatever that is)

·         Active-damping suspension

·         Dual-zone climate control with humidity sensor

·         Heated and ventilated front seats

·         Heated rear seats

·         Heated steering wheel (WHAT?)

·         19-speaker, 900-watt sound system

·         Adaptive cruise control (which maintains your following distance from the car in front of you, using radar. It can also aid in collision avoidance.)

 

No price yet, but if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

 

Pictures below. What do you think of the new front-end and side panels?

 

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Dodge Charger SolidWorks Project

For the past few months – after being inspired by Matt Perez’s Camaro Tutorial – I’ve been working on modeling my Dodge Charger in SolidWorks.  I started with nothing more than a set of four orthographic blueprint drawings (top, front, right, rear):

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Then I arranged the blueprints in three dimensions in a SolidWorks part document:

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Then, using mostly surfacing tools (projected curves, boundary surfaces, etc) the shape of the charger quickly took shape:

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Before I got the wheels and tires modeled, this is what I had to do to work on the rest of the car 🙂

Blocks

 

The model is almost done, but it still needs a few features…

  • Door handles
  • Side mirrors
  • Taillight details
  • Rear and side emblems (Make/model, Hemi, Dodge logo)
  • Disc brakes
  • Wipers?

And this is what the model looks like right now, including custom lighting and environment:

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(Special thanks to Paul McCrorey for the red Render)

Update: Door Handles and door seams are done.

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If anyone has any comments or suggestions, feel free to let me know!