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Challenger Suspension Kits | Essential Guide

Challenger Suspension Kits | Essential Guide

When you have a Hemi under the hood backed by a 6-speed transmission and factory 3.92 gears, little is left desired for the drivetrain. That doesn’t mean your ride can’t be improved in other areas though. The third-gen (2008-present) Challenger’s suspension can be the center of focus; we all know factory Dodges typically lack a bit in this area. This isn’t to say they don’t handle well -- but they aren’t exactly traction-happy angels in the corners.

Shop Challenger Suspension Kits

Challengers are known for their raw performance at the strip, but they don't have the corner carver attribute from the factory. Using a complete suspension kit is an efficient way of upgrading your Challenger's handling in one package. There are various levels of performance with each kit to cater to your needs.

Shop Handling Kits >>

Challenger Factory Suspension

Mopar Muscle doesn’t exactly scream “nimble and agile.” Challengers are great big cars that don’t exactly cut through corners like a smaller platform might. Sure, third-generation Challengers have struts and sway bars, but there’s much room for improvement. Making upgrades to the suspension improves handling, which translates to improved speed all around. Not just through turns.

Challenger Suspension Handling Kits

While shopping around for suspension upgrades, you’re going to come across handling kits for Challengers. These bundles save you a ton of legwork by bringing everything you need together into one package.

After these kits are installed, it’ll feel like you have a completely different car. It’s always good to know exactly why upgrades work though. Let’s take a look at the typical handling kits, what’s included in them and why each part works to improve the Challenger’s handling.

Components Included in Handling Kits:

  • Shock Absorbers/Struts
  • Control Arms
  • Coil Springs
  • Sway Bars

Shock Absorbers/Struts

Shock absorbers are the most familiar part of the suspension system in any car, so we might as well start here. Shock absorbers are designed to keep the tires in contact with the road at all times, over bumps, through turns, and also when cruising down the road.

Aftermarket shocks can be designed to either stiffen up the ride or soften it. For handling purposes, stiffer shocks are typically wrapped up in handling kits as they work more aggressively to keep the tires in contact with the ground. This characteristic helps to keep your Challenger’s power to the ground and the steering wheel working.

Challenger Control Arms

Factory control arms have never been well made from Dodge. The geometry is off, and they’re heavy.

Swapping to tubular control arms lightens things up a bit, corrects the offset geometry, and they’re actually a bit stiffer. All of these factors contribute to improved handling by what seem to be a minor amount alone, but when paired with other upgrades it becomes a great amount.

Challenger Coil Springs

Third-gen Challengers arrive with coil spring suspension systems. Naturally, it is economical to keep true to the factory coil spring set up as aftermarket springs simply swap into place of the original equipment on your Challenger.

The use of aftermarket springs can improve handling and even change your Challenger’s ride height. Though, be warned removal of these springs can be quite dangerous and should only be approached with the proper tools even if the weight is off the suspension.

Challenger Sway Bars

Factory sway bars are a great thing to have. Back in the day, Challengers didn’t always come equipped with them. Sway bars reduce body roll in turns by tying both sides of the car together.

As the suspension shifts, the sway bars work to keep the car as square as possible from side to side. The factory equipment is a bit thin and can deflect a little. This allows the body to roll from side to side a little more than one may feel comfortable with.

Aftermarket sway bars are thicker and more ​rigid, which works to combat this issue. With bigger sway bars, you can take tighter turns at higher speeds by reducing both oversteer and understeer.

Challenger Coil Over Kits

In some handling kits, coil over systems may be part of the deal. These systems transform the Challenger into a handling machine. They can do this by themselves and warrant a little more attention than some of the other parts. Factory coil spring systems are a bit sluggish for precision driving. Even with stiffer coil springs and a lower ride height, they leave more to be desired. Coil over systems are as good as it’s going to get with a Challenger.

Coil overs are a system that wraps the coil spring around the strut. In fact, coil over is short for “Coil over strut.” Now, considering Challengers come equipped with struts with springs on them from the factory, you might be wondering if this upgrade is even worth it. Struts differ greatly from coil overs though.

The biggest characteristic of coil overs that separates them from the factory struts is the amount of adjustments you can make with them. Not only can you raise and lower the ride height of your Challenger, you will get to finely tune the spring rate. Perfect for Challengers subjected to track use. Drivers can feel out exactly what the suspension is doing in particular conditions and tune it accordingly.

It’s worth noting that although this type of upgrade is great for performance, it’s not exactly ideal for comfort. Before dumping a ton of money into coil over systems you need to consider how stiff the ride may be. Sure, they can be adjusted for comfort, but these kits are precise and may not always agree with the rules of the road. If you have a lot of track time in mind, go for it. If you plan to drive your Challenger around town more than you do on the track, you may want to consider sticking with the factory style coil spring set up.

The installation of a coil over system will require the removal of the factory coil springs since the coil overs replace them. It’s also worth noting they will use custom brackets considering they won’t bolt into the same points as factory struts and shocks on your Challenger. The good news is the only specialty typically required will be tools for retaining coil springs as they are being removed. Seriously though, those things can kill you so it’s worth mentioning it twice.

Fitment includes: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT-8, RT, SE, SXT, RallyeRedline, ScatPack, Hellcat, GT, TA, Demon