Mopar Muscle - - Contents - WORDS AND PHO­TOS BY CAM BENTY

Adam Monfortes’ “Sleeper” Dodge Charger Day­tona

By any stretch of the def­i­ni­tion, Adam Monfortes’ Charger isn’t your pro­to­typ­i­cal “sleeper,” since the yel­low and black 2017 Charger is far from sub­tle. The big fat tires and the ag­gres­sive en­gine rum­ble por­tend the fact that big power lays in wait. But to­day, the Charger, and its sis­ter model, the Challenger, gen­er­ally re­quire the signature Hell­cat logo on the fender flanks to re­ally achieve per­for­mance su­per­star­dom. Day­tona’s like Monfortes’, well, just can’t be that fast, right?

But that’s where the sleeper as­pect of this amaz­ing ma­chine wakes up.

With the help of Adam Mon­tague (yes, an­other Adam) out at Spankin’ Time Mo­tor­sports out in San Bernardino, Monfortes’ Charger Day­tona has the specs that su­per­sede the Hell­cat num­bers. Frankly, as his dyno sheet num­bers will pro­fess, this Charger’s list of pieces, noted be­low – gen­er­ate 840 rwhp – that’s sig­nif­i­cantly more than the Hellcats 707 hp (at the crank) and more than the much­lauded De­mon.

“Ev­ery­one is do­ing the Hell­cat build up th­ese days,” noted Monfortes. “But no one is do­ing the Day­tonas. I wanted to do some­thing that was dif­fer­ent and be­tween the ex­ten­sive en­gine mod­i­fi­ca­tions and the ex­te­rior up­grades, my Charger is re­ally some­thing dif­fer­ent — and be­side, I’ve al­ready done the Hell­cat thing!”

Con­tin­ues Monfortes, “The power out­put at this level can be dif­fi­cult to har­ness. Case in point is the trans­mis­sion that has been com­pletely re­built and strength­ened by South­ern Hotrods. Be­tween the big tires and the big power, if the tires don’t break trac­tion, some­thing had to give. In this case, it was the pre­vi­ous trans­mis­sion.”

But the route to a su­per-fast car that can achieve sub-10-sec­ond e.t.’s while re­tain­ing streetabil­ity can also be paved with slip­pery spots. To de­liver that ver­sa­til­ity, Monfortes re­lied on Mon­tague. Spe­cial­ists in th­ese kinds of builds, Mon­tague un­der­stood just what Monfortes wanted and flowed in the right parts and pieces to­gether to de­liver the right com­bi­na­tion. Fea­tur­ing a num­ber of Hell­cat-tested parts and adding some race-bred pieces like Cp-car­rillo pis­tons and Moli­nar H-bean Rods, the en­gine is more than up to the task.


With a goal of cre­at­ing more power than even the De­mon pow­er­plant, Mon­tague be­gan the build of a com­pletely fresh 6.4L en­gine goal us­ing higher-end parts. Mike Lazano at Cp-car­rillo Pis­tons cre­ated a set of blower pis­tons that would match the weight of the stock pis­tons, each pis­ton/rings/wrist­pin set within 6 grams of each other.

Tom over at Mol­nar Tech­nolo­gies pre­pared a match­ing con­nect­ing rod, each unit with 2 grams of the fac­tory pis­ton and rod weight. In­ter­est­ingly, the crank­shaft and ro­tat­ing assem­bly re­mained stock. Top­ping it off, BMS Rac­ings’ James Cole ported and pol­ished the heads and fin­ished them off with a five-an­gle valve job.

“We picked the Edel­brock Su­per­charger as a test to see just what the twin-screw

su­per­charger could gen­er­ate,” said Monfortes. “A lot of folks were us­ing the Whip­ple su­per­charger sys­tems, but I wanted to use some­thing dif­fer­ent from the norm. Cur­rently, we run about 13 pounds of boost to achieve the 840-plus horse­power at the tire fig­ure. With E85, the en­gine runs cooler, which al­lows for more boost and re­duced chance of en­gine det­o­na­tion. But fear not, more horse­power is on the way, each pound of boost equat­ing to 22 ad­di­tional rwhp, ac­cord­ing to [Monfortes].”

Monfortes pick­ing the Edel­brock su­per­charger is prov­ing to be a su­per high-ef­fi­ciency unit, ex­actly what he was look­ing for from his Day­tona. For fuel de­liv­ery the Day­tona sports a pair of twin 465-lph pumps and an FC3 har­ness to han­dle the E85 fuel in place of the fac­tory 290-lph unit. This set up will sup­port 850 rwhp, the limit for this sys­tem. Mon­tague noted that higher horse­power fig­ures would re­quire the swap to a sys­tem with a re­turn line (Hell­cat and other high-per­for­mance Mopars don’t use re­turn line fuel sys­tems) and ad­justable boost ref­er­ence reg­u­la­tor.

Con­tin­ues Monfortes, “In the fu­ture I’m look­ing to add ethanol in­jec­tion that will al­low for even more boost and horse­power along with an MSD Boost-a-pump to raise fuel pump out­put. In the high heat of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia sum­mers, ethanol in­jec­tion is crit­i­cal to avoid­ing det­o­na­tion.”


As the name im­plies, Spankin’ Time Mo­tor Sports in San Bernardino is fast be­com­ing the place to go for Mopar en­thu­si­asts look­ing to turn up the wick on their ve­hi­cles. Mon­tague, as the owner, has laid down some im­pres­sive cre­den­tials over the last 15 years, in­clud­ing tak­ing the best time for a Hell­cat at the Mus­cle Cars at the Strip event last May of 9.33 sec­onds at over 150 mph. Cur­rently, his high wa­ter mar­ket for Hell­cat out­put is right at the 1,200-rwhp mark, mean­ing he’s mak­ing in ex­cess of 1,400 hp at the crank. Ve­hi­cles that turn out that kind of horse­power have put his shop in high de­mand.

“We are an ex­clu­sive Mopar shop. With the ex­cep­tion of those cus­tomers who were with me be­fore, we made that our pol­icy,” says Mon­tague. “That al­lows us to fo­cus on Mopar brands and de­liver the kind of per­for­mance our cus­tomers pay for. We are an en­gine builder/in­staller and dyno tuner, but we can ad­dress all as­pects of the ve­hi­cle right down to a rollcage if nec­es­sary. The ma­jor­ity of our cars are daily driven yet run sub-10-sec­ond quar­ter-mile times, which makes in­stalling rollcages manda­tory to run at many dragstrips. For those ap­pli­ca­tions, we use Car­lin Fab­ri­ca­tion in Cal­imesa, Cal­i­for­nia.”

For a time, Mopars were the one left out of the mix, Chrysler hold­ing tightly to the com­puter codes that al­lowed mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the ve­hi­cle ECMS. While GM and Ford ve­hi­cles were eas­ily up­graded through com­puter tech­nol­ogy, the Mopar tuners stood on the side­lines un­able to make th­ese cars com­pat­i­ble with many of the stan­dard per­for­mance up­grades de­manded of en­thu­si­asts. That all changed when Di­ablo Sport broke the code — and from that time on, Mopar fans have en­joyed un­lim­ited per­for­mance en­hance­ment.

“We use Di­ablo Sport CMR soft­ware and HP Tuners to cal­i­brate our ve­hi­cles, and

I tune the cars for com­pat­i­bil­ity with the changes I pack­age into ev­ery ve­hi­cle,” con­tin­ues Mon­tague. “We pack­age ev­ery en­gine for the tar­geted per­for­mance on a case-by­case ba­sis. We ex­clu­sively use South­ern Hot Rod Trans­mis­sions, Pro-torque Per­for­mance Prod­ucts for our stall con­vert­ers, and Fore In­no­va­tions for fuel tasks. Whip­ple is still our first choice for force in­duc­tion but the Edel­brock’s per­for­mance has been im­pres­sive. From mild to ag­gres­sive, we see our per­for­mance out­put abil­i­ties at Spankin’ Time Mo­tor­sports as un­lim­ited.”

Con­tin­ues Mon­tague, “Even through we may be mov­ing the Ti­tanic [ref­er­ence to

the heavy­weight of the cur­rent Chal­lengers and Charg­ers] we build cars that drive great, are very fast, and re­tain the com­fort items we know our cus­tomers want from their cars.”

The Edel­brock 2650 su­per­charger used on Monfortes’ Charger is a first­time ex­pe­ri­ence for Mon­tague, the two Adams want­ing to try some­thing dif­fer­ent. The twin-screw su­per­charger sys­tem, also used by Whip­ple and Kenne Bell, are the stan­dards for the in­dus­try. Edel­brock’s 2650 ver­sion of the Twin Screw sys­tem took Mon­tague by sur­prise with its power out­put at low boost and im­pres­sive low air in­take air temps.

“My shop fo­cuses on forced-in­duc­tion in­take sys­tems, and the Whip­ple su­per­charg­ers have been the best so far in terms of power, in­take air temps, over­all kit qual­ity, and fit­ment,” says Mon­tague. “With Monfortes, we are hop­ing the Edel­brock 2650 will be a con­tender on the smaller dis­place­ment su­per­charger kits and of­fer a solid op­tion to any cus­tomer want­ing to run some­thing other than a Whip­ple [su­per­charger]. With [Adam’s] car we are cur­rently run­ning 13 psi and spin­ning the su­per­charger 16,660 rpm. Edel­brock states that their su­per­charg­ers will han­dle 18,000 rpm. If we put the next size su­per­charger pul­ley on the blower, it will hit be­tween 15 and 16 psi and turn right at 18,200 rpm, which will put us on the cut­ting edge for the su­per­charger’s abil­i­ties and peak ef­fi­ciency. But the horse­power at the tire will be over 900 — and that’s truly the limit as I see it for this com­bi­na­tion — and some of the cur­rent in­ter­nals of the en­gine build.”

As any en­gine builder knows, keep­ing the in­let air cool is key to big power. With the Edel­brock su­per­charger, in­let air at cruise is only 5 de­grees over am­bi­ent and peak temp after a dyno pull is 150 de­grees F. Clearly this com­bi­na­tion is per­fect for all per­for­mance du­ties. But de­spite Mon­tague’s im­pres­sive dyno num­bers and record-set­ting cus­tomer cars, he re­tains some hu­mil­ity, a unique qual­ity that makes his ef­forts all the more im­pres­sive. Notes Mon­tague, “I don’t re­fer to my­self as an ex­pert, but a Mas­ter in Train­ing. I still have a lot to learn.” Don’t we all.

From this view, Monfortes’ Charger Day­tona hardly looks like a sleeper, but the car’s full po­ten­tial is hid­den deeply un­der­hood. Hell­cat snobs be­ware.

The hand­work of Adam Mon­tague and his team at Spankin’ Time Mo­tor­sports, this 6.4L en­gine has been re­worked to emit 840-plus rwhp. For those won­der­ing how that ranks with the highly praised Hell­cat, nearly 300 rwhp more. This red blow-by sep­a­ra­tor unit keeps the oil out of the fuel sys­tem.

The fac­tory Brembo brakes do a great job of stop­ping the Charger. As per the theme, Monfortes painted the calipers yel­low.

To give the front end a per­for­mance look while in­creas­ing the car’s abil­ity to cut through the air, an APR split­ter from Wicker Build was in­stalled. The side re­flec­tors were “smoked out” to add to the all-busi­ness look, and a K1 Body Kit in­cluded all of the other body dress­ings.

The mas­sive rear spoiler ap­plies sig­nif­i­cant down­force to the rear tires to aid trac­tion and pro­vide a pur­pose­ful per­for­mance look.

The mas­sive di­am­e­ter of the rear ex­haust tips pro­vide some clue as to the per­for­mance po­ten­tial of the Charger.

The neatly de­tail trunk in­cludes this ethanol kit, which is tucked into the driver-side com­part­ment.

While the sus­pen­sion uti­lizes the stock shocks, Rob at Big John’s Per­for­mance in Va­len­cia, Cal­i­for­nia, helped Monfortes into a set of Mopar Race Springs that greatly help weight trans­fer at the race­track and de­liver a de­cent ride on the street.

The car­bon-fiber hood is su­per light­weight and pro­vides three func­tion heat out­lets to keep things cool at all times.

The li­cense plate says it all – 392cid – num­ber-one su­per­charged and very fast Day­tona.

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