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1973 Dodge Charger - The E85 Mule

A Story Of Alcohol Abuse, Centrifugal Superchargers, Big Horsepower, And Low-11-Second Times From A '73 Dodge Charger.

Photography by , Bob Woods

Tech Notes
Who: Terry Woods, co-owner of The Supercharger Store (thesupercharger store.com)

What: '73 Dodge Charger

Where: Huachuca City, Arizona, where the average humidity hovers in the single digits most of the year.

Engine: The Charger originally had a 318 that got the boot when Terry ran across a Police Interceptor 440 out of a '72 cop car. Terry was living in Iowa at the time and had a Cedar Rapids machine shop rebuild the wedge with its original forged steel crank and Six-Pack rods, adding forged 8.8:1 compression TRW pistons and a Mopar Purple Stripe single-pattern cam with 284 advertised duration and 0.528 inch of valve lift. Terry also resurrected the stock iron heads with some simple pocket porting along with stainless steel 2.14/1.81-inch valves.

Induction: Terry chose a Mopar Performance single-plane M1 intake and a 750-cfm Performance Carburetors Stage II blow-through carb for the gasoline testing, and then switched to a similar PC Stage II carb modified for E85. Both gas and alcohol carbs use annular-discharge boosters that create a much better fuel curve under boost. ProCharger rates the F-1 blower at a maximum of 1,525 cfm and 38 psi, but Terry hasn't turned the wick up that high yet. Most of his testing has been at a more sedate 15 psi. The Extreme Velocity air hat is also worth some power. Big airflow numbers require a good fuel pump, so the nod went to a MagnaFuel ProStar 300 pump for the E85. For gasoline testing, Terry switched to a ProTuner 625 pump. The blow-through carb also requires a boost-referencing MagnaFuel pressure regulator.

Exhaust: The hot gases are directed through a 2.00-inch primary pipe-diameter set of TTI headers plumbed into a 3-inch exhaust system with DynoMax mufflers.

Powertrain: Behind all this power is a simple 727 TorqueFlite automatic with a Turbo Action Cheetah valvebody, a B&M shifter, a Mopar Performance torque converter, and a Mark Williams driveshaft connected to an 831/44 rearend assembly sporting a Sure Grip limited slip, a set of 3.91 gears, and Moser Engineering axles.

Suspension/Brakes: Terry did add a pair of Mopar Performance leaf springs, a pinion snubber, and extralong rear shocks. Otherwise, it's all stock '73-vintage stuff including the factory front disc brakes and rear drums.

Wheels/Tires: Did we mention the stock front wheels and tires? No? Good. In the rear Terry set up a pair of 275/60R15 BFGoodrich Drag Radials mounted on steel wheels.

Body: The main changes to the body are strictly for safety, with a Lakewood driveshaft loop and, of course, that massive 32-gallon fuel cell for E85 in the Mopar's trunk. Try that in a 'Cuda.

Interior: The less said about the interior, the better.

Power: On E85 with water injection, this iron-headed 440 has made 576 rwhp and 710 lb-ft of rear-wheel torque at a pinion tooth-bending 3,500 rpm.

Performance: Let's start with the fact that this Mopar weighs an Imperialistic 4,256 pounds. What makes the B-Body's 11.20-at 120-mph pass at Southwest International Raceway in Tucson even more amazing is that the track sits at an altitude of 3,075 feet above sea level.

Thanks: Bob and Terry want to thank Performance Carburetors (performance carburetors.com), MagnaFuel (magnafuel.com), Extreme Velocity (superiorairflow.com), and Xact Dyno (xactdyno.com) for their help in testing the E85 fuel on the Charger.

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