Drag Radials


After making a few 1/4 mile passes on my Nitto Invos, I decided I needed to upgrade to some Drag Radials in order to improve traction off the line. Launching a 4400 pound car, with 550+ rear wheel horse power, and a 6 speed to boot is a real challenge. With the Invos I've had to completely avoid boost in 1st gear, and even after grabbing 2nd I'm getting A LOT of wheel spin.



After consulting with several friends who are quite experienced at the track, I decided to go with a set of M&H drag radial tires in a 275/50 R17 size. The 17" tire size will have a larger side wall to flex a bit allowing better traction.


There are very few manufacturers (count 2 as of this writing) that make 17" wheels for the Challenger with it's 5x115 bolt pattern. Bogart and Weld. The problem is that those wheels are full on race wheels, very light weight, and while high quality, they're also very expensive for someone who doesn't spend a whole lot of time at the track.


An alternative is to use Mustang Cobra R wheels. The hub bore is 73mm and will fit the Challenger's 71.5mm hub, however the Mustang bolt pattern is the more common 5x4.5 which comes to 114.3mm. That's a .7mm difference to the Challenger. A lot of guys use this wheel as it's easy to find and very inexpensive at just a bit over $100 a wheel if you use clones. That's the route I decided to take and the wheels fit perfect. If you have upgraded aftermarket brakes, you'll need to do some test fitting to make sure any wheel will work. A buddy of mine has a StopTech brake kit and these will would not fit his car.


For this modification you'll need:


Drag radial tires - M&H have a great reputation as sticking well and not flinging rubber all over the rear of the car during burnouts

Wheels to run the DRs on

10 lug nuts with a through bore thread meaning there's no cap on the lug

Hub centric rings if running a 5x114.3 bolt pattern wheel (not required but highly recommended)

Torque wrench that will read up to 110 ft/lbs

1/2" drive 19mm thin wall socket

1/2" drive ratchet or impact gun



Difficulty Rating:


Procure your wheels and tires. Discount Tire hooked me up with the wheels, and I got the tires from High Horse Performance.


Jack up the car being careful to use the jack pads and follow obvious safety procedures. Remove the lug nuts and tires. Install the hub centric ring if using a 5x114.3 bolt pattern wheel. The hub centric ring I needed to run my Cobra R clone wheels was 71.5mm to 73mm. These rings are just small plastic pieces, but they center the wheel on the lugs which is important when torqueing them down. Install your new wheels and tighten the lug nuts to 110 ft/lbs. Go run good times at the strip!



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