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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

So I want to put some performance parts into my car, but have absolutely no idea where to start.

My goal is to have this car last as long as I can get it to last, and to boost performance while keeping the MPG roughly where it is now, or if possible increase it. Currently everything in the car is stock and in good condition.

Do you guys have any recommendations? What would you guys put in? What are some of the best mods? Any tuning recommendations?

I have 0 background in cars so please explain to me like I'm 5.

Cheers!
 

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The Performance Special that we make would be the easiest and first thing you would want to do for your R/T.

We have seen as much as 15 hp increase and 2.5 mpg increase while protecting the internals with both fuel and lubricants.


Regards,
Brian
BND Automotive LLC
440-821-9040
www.bndautomotive.com
Forum Vendor for over 10 years!
 

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You can add bolt on parts (Catback, Cold Air Intake) along with a Diablo tuner to increase the performance. I did a test on the Diablo tunes with a catback and CAI back in 2013. Not much of anything but a better throttle response. I believe I gained around 10 hp. Not enough to feel driving around. Definitely did not get better gas mileage.

Sounds like gas mileage is important from your post. At 97,000 miles it is time to start looking at what has been changed over the life of the car. You have new plugs and coils from a previous post reporting problems? Has the differential, coolant and transmission fluid been changed in the past 97,000 miles. Also brake fluid, has that been changed. You would be surprised at how much better a car can feel by changing the fluids when it gets to the 100,000 mile mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can add bolt on parts (Catback, Cold Air Intake) along with a Diablo tuner to increase the performance. I did a test on the Diablo tunes with a catback and CAI back in 2013. Not much of anything but a better throttle response. I believe I gained around 10 hp. Not enough to feel driving around. Definitely did not get better gas mileage.

Sounds like gas mileage is important from your post. At 97,000 miles it is time to start looking at what has been changed over the life of the car. You have new plugs and coils from a previous post reporting problems? Has the differential, coolant and transmission fluid been changed in the past 97,000 miles. Also brake fluid, has that been changed. You would be surprised at how much better a car can feel by changing the fluids when it gets to the 100,000 mile mark.
I would say I would like to keep gas mileage where it currently is while also increasing power. If I wanted to only get better gas mileage I would sell this one and get a Prius. But thats no where near as fun. haha!

So I have new coils, plugs, brake fluid, and I am 90% sure the differential fluid was just changed as well. I have never changed the transmission fluid, primarily because the manual only said it was needed at 123,000k miles. I took it to a local and highly rated transmission guy near me, and he said that the transmission on this car shouldn't need its fluids changed till the manual says it should. According to him the stock transmissions on these chargers are top notch. I cant remember of the top of my head when the engine coolant was changed.

I'm thinking next time I bring it in I should just have them replace EVERY fluid in the car, especially since its getting up there in miles.

And correct, about 5 months ago I noticed the car had seriously started to slow down in performance. I wasn't sure what it was, until one day accelerating onto the highway a cylinder 5 misfire code got thrown. I looked up the best way to deal with that and figured out that replacing the ignition coils would be a great place to start. I replaced those and that helped significantly. However a good portion of the performance issues still remained, along with a significant decrease in fuel economy (around 25%). I took it to a mechanic who did a complete diagnostic on it and he said that, according to the cars computer, everything was running perfectly. He did notice the performance issues, so he cleaned the throttle body. That did help quite a bit, but the fuel economy issue remains, and its still not up to 100% power. More like 85%-90%. Still working on that issue. =/

So then with regards to your tuning experience, was it worth it to change it, or is the stock tuning good enough?

Thanks for your response,
 

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The trans should have a pan drain and fill and not a full flush! We do the fluid and high flow filter and gasket kit for $150.00 as you have a NAG1/W5A580 5 speed. It is a bullet proof unit but is susceptible to the friction modifier condition in the fluid. We suggest ever 60k miles as the units do best with this without getting clutch glazing which shortens the life of the trans.

QB HP Gold Coolant is $85.00 for 2 gallons and is good for 10 years or 150,000 miles and is like running straight water as the coolant is extremely efficient without any sodium or sulfates in it. Exceeds HOAT, OAT and IAT specifications and is compatible with any residues.

Burning the fuel better in the combustion chamber will give you the most extra power as you are converting more of the energy as work and less as wasted heat. This is where ACES IV comes in to produce more power while protecting it with plentiful lubricity.

Regards,
Brian
BND Automotive LLC
440-821-9040
www.bndautomotive.com
Forum Vendor for over 10 years!
 

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You said it was cylinder 5 that popped the code...unfortunately, many people who have a camshaft go bad report that it started with cylinder 5 misfiring and after tearing into it they found the lifter was bad and had started wearing the cam lobe down...Is yours making any excessive noise (ticking) that would indicate this?
 

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To increase the performance & fun factor while maintaining driveability & MPG you need to think of the modifications as a package (i.e. sum total of the modifications) rather than just one modification by itself.
The single best modification is a DiabloSport tuner and a custom tune (e.g. HemiFever Tuning). However, the custom tune can only extract performance based on any other modifications to the car. A custom tune will make a stock Hemi come alive and help get the most performance possible from a modified Hemi. Some modifications (e.g. cam, long tube headers, forced induction, etc...) require a custom tune.
My Charger is a street machine, so interstate travel is more important than 1/4 mile times. The modifications I installed and why ...
Cold air intake:
A high-flow air filter in the stock air box will work just fine. If you install a CAI, make sure it's shielded from the heat of the engine bay. Combined with a tune & better exhaust the CAI will give you some HP/TQ but mostly it contributes to changing the exhaust sound of the car.
Exhaust:
Check the diameter of the exhaust. I don't know if the R/T Max has 2.25" diameter piping or 2.5" piping. The 2.5" piping will provide better performance ... especially when combined with headers and high-flow mufflers. Some owners will replace the stock mufflers with high-flow mufflers (e.g. Flowmaster, Magnaflow, etc...) and some delete the mid-mufflers. Either way, keep the rear resonators or replace them with a performance resonator. Replace the stock cast iron exhaust manifolds with ceramic coated headers. Short tube headers will give you good street performance without the complexity of long tube headers. The ceramic coating will help keep the radiant heat down.
Catch Can (air/oil separator):
This traps oil mist that is circulated from the engine crankcase through the PCV valve to the intake manifold. It's mostly used because owners don't want the oil mist coating the inside of the intake manifold. But the oil mist is reported to reduce the octane level of the gasoline in the combustion chamber. If you live in a region of the country where the quality of the gasoline is not the best (even when using Top Tier retailers) then octane improvement will help against KR (knock retard). Hemi engines have a reputation for higher KR and the PCM will pull timing to reduce the KR. For performance you want higher octane & lower KR. The gasoline in my region is referred to as ACN91. It's Arizona, California, Nevada 91 octane and it's notorious for difficult tuning due to KR. 91 octane is the highest octane pump gas in my region ... so I have a 91 octane custom tune.
180°F Thermostat:
This helps keep the engine/transmission temp, fluid temp and intake air temp (IAT) cooler than the stock 203°F thermostat. The cooler IAT helps with the performance because the IAT is one of the parameters used by the PCM to control the engine; and naturally aspirated engines perform better in cooler air. You will want to modify the electric radiator fan parameters (On/Off temps) but this can be done with the tuner. If you live in a cold climate you may not care as much about the colder thermostat but if you live in the desert southwest you will benefit from it.
Disable MDS:
You can use the tuner to disable MDS and the engine will always be in 8-cyl mode. MPG varies depending on your driving, etc... but I only lost 1 or 2 MPG after disabling MDS. I gained this MPG back after installing the shorty headers. That's how restrictive the stock exhaust manifolds are and how much better the headers let the engine flow. The 5.7L Eagle heads are high flowing heads (intake/exhaust) and the headers let you take advantage of it.
Increase Transmission Shift Firmness:
Fluid pressure on the transmission shift solenoids can be increased with the tuner. The transmission clutches normally slip a little to provide a smooth shift. Increasing the shift pressure reduces the slip and provides a faster shift.
.
 
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I know myself, and another on here (ctcarl maybe?) It was cylinder 8 that was the issue, though I believe both of us have the 392. But I know in both instances it was the lifter that was the initial problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You said it was cylinder 5 that popped the code...unfortunately, many people who have a camshaft go bad report that it started with cylinder 5 misfiring and after tearing into it they found the lifter was bad and had started wearing the cam lobe down...Is yours making any excessive noise (ticking) that would indicate this?
It absolutley is. After talking with my mechanic and doing my own research I'm going to dive in and see if the lifters/cam are the issue. However I also want to turn off that MDS (cylinder deactivation) feature. I know I will need an MDS delete kit or something along those lines. Any ideas on good aftermarket kits to take care of this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To increase the performance & fun factor while maintaining driveability & MPG you need to think of the modifications as a package (i.e. sum total of the modifications) rather than just one modification by itself.
The single best modification is a DiabloSport tuner and a custom tune (e.g. HemiFever Tuning). However, the custom tune can only extract performance based on any other modifications to the car. A custom tune will make a stock Hemi come alive and help get the most performance possible from a modified Hemi. Some modifications (e.g. cam, long tube headers, forced induction, etc...) require a custom tune.
My Charger is a street machine, so interstate travel is more important than 1/4 mile times. The modifications I installed and why ...
Cold air intake:
A high-flow air filter in the stock air box will work just fine. If you install a CAI, make sure it's shielded from the heat of the engine bay. Combined with a tune & better exhaust the CAI will give you some HP/TQ but mostly it contributes to changing the exhaust sound of the car.
Exhaust:
Check the diameter of the exhaust. I don't know if the R/T Max has 2.25" diameter piping or 2.5" piping. The 2.5" piping will provide better performance ... especially when combined with headers and high-flow mufflers. Some owners will replace the stock mufflers with high-flow mufflers (e.g. Flowmaster, Magnaflow, etc...) and some delete the mid-mufflers. Either way, keep the rear resonators or replace them with a performance resonator. Replace the stock cast iron exhaust manifolds with ceramic coated headers. Short tube headers will give you good street performance without the complexity of long tube headers. The ceramic coating will help keep the radiant heat down.
Catch Can (air/oil separator):
This traps oil mist that is circulated from the engine crankcase through the PCV valve to the intake manifold. It's mostly used because owners don't want the oil mist coating the inside of the intake manifold. But the oil mist is reported to reduce the octane level of the gasoline in the combustion chamber. If you live in a region of the country where the quality of the gasoline is not the best (even when using Top Tier retailers) then octane improvement will help against KR (knock retard). Hemi engines have a reputation for higher KR and the PCM will pull timing to reduce the KR. For performance you want higher octane & lower KR. The gasoline in my region is referred to as ACN91. It's Arizona, California, Nevada 91 octane and it's notorious for difficult tuning due to KR. 91 octane is the highest octane pump gas in my region ... so I have a 91 octane custom tune.
180°F Thermostat:
This helps keep the engine/transmission temp, fluid temp and intake air temp (IAT) cooler than the stock 203°F thermostat. The cooler IAT helps with the performance because the IAT is one of the parameters used by the PCM to control the engine; and naturally aspirated engines perform better in cooler air. You will want to modify the electric radiator fan parameters (On/Off temps) but this can be done with the tuner. If you live in a cold climate you may not care as much about the colder thermostat but if you live in the desert southwest you will benefit from it.
Disable MDS:
You can use the tuner to disable MDS and the engine will always be in 8-cyl mode. MPG varies depending on your driving, etc... but I only lost 1 or 2 MPG after disabling MDS. I gained this MPG back after installing the shorty headers. That's how restrictive the stock exhaust manifolds are and how much better the headers let the engine flow. The 5.7L Eagle heads are high flowing heads (intake/exhaust) and the headers let you take advantage of it.
Increase Transmission Shift Firmness:
Fluid pressure on the transmission shift solenoids can be increased with the tuner. The transmission clutches normally slip a little to provide a smooth shift. Increasing the shift pressure reduces the slip and provides a faster shift.
.
This is an amazing response. Incredibly helpful! Thank you!!

So on my other post I mentioned a performance issue, and I believe I've traced it back to the known flaw with the lifters/cam/MDS for these 5.7L HEMI's. I know that I will need to change out the lifters, cam, and turn off the MDS with tuning. Do you have any recommendations for specific kits that will let me do that? What Cam and lifters should I get that will work with your suggested DiabloSport tuner? Are other parts needed to fix this issue aside from a new aftermarket cam/lifters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is an amazing response. Incredibly helpful! Thank you!!

So on my other post I mentioned a performance issue, and I believe I've traced it back to the known flaw with the lifters/cam/MDS for these 5.7L HEMI's. I know that I will need to change out the lifters, cam, and turn off the MDS with tuning. Do you have any recommendations for specific kits that will let me do that? What Cam and lifters should I get that will work with your suggested DiabloSport tuner? Are other parts needed to fix this issue aside from a new aftermarket cam/lifters?
So after looking at CARID, I see two different diablo sport tuners. The
DiabloSport® - InTune i3 Platinum Programmer, and the DiabloSport® - Trinity 2 Programmer. Any reason to go with one or the other?
 

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The more expensive tuner (Trinity) allows more datalogging and has timer features to check your performance.
They both come with the same loaded tunes and they can both turn off MDS.
,
The tuner can turn off MDS, but if you want to permanently delete it with the kit, Modern Muscle Xtreme has a kit for you to do that. May be the best option since you may have a lifter/cam issue. Pull the heads, check the lifters and Cam. If bad replace the Cam/lifters with an aftermarket Cam/lifters. Increase your performance. I would also install a set of longtube headers while the heads are off. Free labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The more expensive tuner (Trinity) allows more datalogging and has timer features to check your performance.
They both come with the same loaded tunes and they can both turn off MDS.
,
The tuner can turn off MDS, but if you want to permanently delete it with the kit, Modern Muscle Xtreme has a kit for you to do that. May be the best option since you may have a lifter/cam issue. Pull the heads, check the lifters and Cam. If bad replace the Cam/lifters with an aftermarket Cam/lifters. Increase your performance. I would also install a set of longtube headers while the heads are off. Free labor.
Awesome. thanks for the clarification! And yes I do want to permanently delete the MDS. So I checked out their kits and came across this one...


Is there a reason that this kit includes a bunch of other things aside from just a new CAM and lifters? Do all of those things need to be replaced as well for type of issue? In addition, I've heard that replacing the cam and lifters with stock parts, as this kit seems to do, doesn't actually fix the issue permanently. Do you have any insight into this?
 

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This is a fairly new kit offered at a good price. The Non MDS cam will get you around 35 rwhp increase. Pulls hard at 3800-4000 rpms and up. The Hellcat lifters are the lifters that replace the ones you have that are prone to failure. These and Johnson lifters are the ones most everyone goes to. Johnson being the most expensive. The spring kit is highly recommended due to the higher lift of the Cam. The delete plugs are self explanatory. With 97,000 miles, when changing out the Cam it is highly recommended to change out the timing chain, tensioner and gasket. New head gaskets again self explanatory.
  • 1 - Non MDS factory 6.4 camshaft
  • 16 - New Hellcat Lifters
  • 1 - 5.7 Premium Spring Kit
  • 4 - Solenoid Delete Plugs
  • 1 - Timing Chain
  • 1 - Timing Chain Guide
  • 1 - Timing Chain Tensioner
  • 1 - Timing Cover Gasket
  • 2 - OEM Quality Head Gaskets
What I do not see on this list are the pushrods for the new Cam. Around $100 but the Non-MDS Cam from what I remember requires different length rods.

Just need a shop to install, I would also highly recommend longtube headers with High Flow cats. When taking the heads off, putting a set of longtubes back on should not cost a dime. Regular install without the heads being pulled is around 6-8 hours labor. You can get an email tune from Modern Muscle or shop around for a good tuner for the Cam. You will need the Diablo or HP tuner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is a fairly new kit offered at a good price. The Non MDS cam will get you around 35 rwhp increase. Pulls hard at 3800-4000 rpms and up. The Hellcat lifters are the lifters that replace the ones you have that are prone to failure. These and Johnson lifters are the ones most everyone goes to. Johnson being the most expensive. The spring kit is highly recommended due to the higher lift of the Cam. The delete plugs are self explanatory. With 97,000 miles, when changing out the Cam it is highly recommended to change out the timing chain, tensioner and gasket. New head gaskets again self explanatory.
  • 1 - Non MDS factory 6.4 camshaft
  • 16 - New Hellcat Lifters
  • 1 - 5.7 Premium Spring Kit
  • 4 - Solenoid Delete Plugs
  • 1 - Timing Chain
  • 1 - Timing Chain Guide
  • 1 - Timing Chain Tensioner
  • 1 - Timing Cover Gasket
  • 2 - OEM Quality Head Gaskets
What I do not see on this list are the pushrods for the new Cam. Around $100 but the Non-MDS Cam from what I remember requires different length rods.

Just need a shop to install, I would also highly recommend longtube headers with High Flow cats. When taking the heads off, putting a set of longtubes back on should not cost a dime. Regular install without the heads being pulled is around 6-8 hours labor. You can get an email tune from Modern Muscle or shop around for a good tuner for the Cam. You will need the Diablo or HP tuner.
Ok...this is all extremely helpful!

Can you explain why a "longtube header" is recomended? I have no idea what that is or why its important. I also saw someone specifically say "short tube headers". What are the differences/pros and cons of each?
 

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Ok...this is all extremely helpful!

Can you explain why a "longtube header" is recomended? I have no idea what that is or why its important. I also saw someone specifically say "short tube headers". What are the differences/pros and cons of each?
From my experience with small cams in the 5.7L, The Longtube headers give you more hp gains over the shorttube headers. More air out of the engine. I had a cam similar to the Non-mds cam alongwith JBA short tubes installed back in 2013. I gained around 20 rwhp. After several months trying to figure out why the low numbers, Dave Weber, (Owner of Modern Muscle Xtreme) told me that I needed to install a set of longtubes to see the real potential of the cam. I gained over 25 rhwp with just the installation of the longtubes.

I went with the shorties at first because of the cost factor. Had I known, I could have saved myself a lot of $$ by just installing the longtubes with the cam install.
 
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