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#1 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 04:22 PM
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2012 Challenger RT 2K report

Hello Everyone,

I recently (early October) purchased a 2012 Dodge Challenger RT that was manufacturing 5/2012.

My RT has the Automatic / Autostick, Paddle Shifters, Sport Mode, 3.06 - Anti-Spin Rear, 20" Chrome Clad Wheels.

I LOVE MY CHALLENGER!

I have owned Chrysler products before (Dodge Ram, Jeep Commander), and both were very reliable vehicles.

Now that being said, I was a little surprised by some of the issues I am experiencing with my Challenger just at 2k miles.

1) Front Driver Power Seat stuttering and has a distinct knock when moving forward and rearwards since I picked it up.
-The Dealer replaced the Seat Track, and now it is worse. They ordered another one in, and they said they hope this will fix it. I have read some folks experiencing the same issues with multiple tracks and motors replaced before the issue was resolved

2) The cars finish was blotchy and had all kind of surface contamination. (Bright Silver Clearcoat)
-The sales folks said they would have their new car prep clay and wax the car. I drop off the car at the dealership the next day. I pick her up that evening and under the dealerships parking lot lights I can see that the clay and wax treatment took care about 50% of the issue. I showed the owner of the dealership (who drives a GWE Challenger), and he said, that he would have his body shop clean, clay, polish and wax the car.
-Dropped off my car at the dealership, and spoke to their Bodyshop manager. He took my car to his detailer out back, and I was there for about 1 hour waiting for my wife to pick me up. They washed my car, then they started taping the black mouldings etc. so that their polisher would not hit them. They did it right! I went to pick up my car, and the Body shop manager and I inspected it, and I was totally blown away at how clean and beautiful my car looked. The body shop manager said that they get a lot of cars where the finish is very dirty, and the simple clay / wax does not always take care of it.

3) Front Chrome Clad 20" wheels making the distinct clicking noise when driving at low speeds and turning right or left.
-Dealer says that the wheels need to be replaced, and I need to drop off the car next week for them to inspect and contact Chrysler

4) Right front wheel or brake are making a very light scraping noise, almost like the brake pads are toughing a high spot on the front rotor or the right rotor is slightly warped.
-Dealer says it might be the chrome clad wheel since I do not feel any sort of vibration when braking?

5) Front black molding between the bumper and grille is warped in several areas. It looks like it was done due to poor installation?. I have taken pics, and my dealers service writer is sending to Chrysler for approval, and he also sees the issues.

Personal observations:

MDS sucks. For the past month I use the Autostick and paddle shifters 80% of my driving now, and this is much better. Yeah I lose 2-4 miles per gallon depending on my driving vs. MDS, but I have noticed that in certain driving situations with MDS on, there is a significant hesitation when being in MDS, then applying more throttle, and I have noticed several times that when in MDS is on and applying more throttle that the tranny wants to also down shift, and with the hesitation going from 4 to 8 cyl, and the down shifting there is a noticeable rpm jump then it goes into gear. Almost like the MDS and tranny shift happening almost at the same time, and there is a noticeable hesitation with rpm jump like the car just went into Neutral then shifted into gear.
I have read the theories that MDS could possibly be causing timing chains to break, and while I am not an engineer, nor a full time mechanic, I have owned muscle cars before, and I modified cars and rebuilt engines in the past, and I have never really seen this type of MDS/Tranny Shift hesitation before. It made me want to replace the tranny valve body or install some sort of stout shift kit (not sure if there is one for the 2012).

Ok, so I have some minor issues with my RT, but overall I just love her!

My wife still thinks it is a boat, but she did borrow last Saturday, and I heard no complaints.

I haul both of my 21/2yo kids to pre-school with RT every morning, and I get the best compliments from the other dads in the parking lot that are driving their family SUV's, Benz's, Bimmers or whatever cars.

Btw, I am 6'1", and I comfortably haul kids in my muscle car with very little driver seat adjustment.

I placed some old tshirts under and around the spare tire, and placed a small blanket on top of the spare, and a thick wool blanket inside the trunk, and I cut out about 1/2 the noise.

My near term plans for the RT:

1) Pick up and Install CAI from Speedlogix (Shawn is a really great person to deal with, and has been very helpful with answering many of my questions. I will be ordering my parts from Speedlogix's very soon!).
2) Wheels-That depends on Chrysler. If they will spring for the Heritage wheels, then I will go with these, if not, then I will pick up Factory Reproduction Charger SRT wheels.
3) 1" Mopar Lowering springs and Bilstein shocks. I did not want to lower her, but after seeing some Challengers with the 1" drop, I have to have mine this way too.
4) At 5000 miles I plan on changing the oil (mobil one synthetic), installing new / better than factory plugs, and Goodyear Gatorback Serpentine belt.
5) Weather tech floor mats and trunk mat

Longer Term plan for the RT:
1) 85mm Throttle Body
2) Resonator Delete
3) Debating if I want to replace the rear wing with a taller one?
4) better headlamp bulbs.
5) Hopefully there will be a Predator or computer mod that I can flash into my 2012 computer to disable MDS totally!

Thank you,
Hawaii1970
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 04:39 PM
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Yeah, I saw the surface contamination you talk about on my hood and roof too. Not great, but not a deal breaker either for me and the paint is actually better than I expected. I agree on the MDS and you can kill it the way you do, or do a B&G ECU or a Trinity. I'm waiting for the 2013 tune and more product development myself, but I'll go that route soon.
All in all those are very minor gripes and it's good to see someone as happy with their Challenger as I am.

Last edited by USRWDV8; 11-30-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:10 AM
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hey Hawaii - great report, thanks. As for your future projects, I've done both the 85mm throttle body and the resonator delete. First the TB - I don't really think it did anything and I think it would be a great add if I had headers too, more air in and out. I don't and I question the expense to benefit. The reso delete - wow, BIG difference in sound. You have to be prepared for the "annoy the neighbors at 7 a.m." kind of noise. I live in a neighborhood of older folks and it's a good thing they're up at 5:00! Also, the reso delete, while normally loud, isn't bad while driving though I've read that others who have this same mod hear a drone. I don't but I have a six speed. One more thing, while it's a GREAT sound at idle, at WOT or there abouts, it is a little brappy (I can't think of a better way to describe it). Not fart can on a four banger brappy but definitely not what I was expecting. Good luck with the car.

2010 R/T
Resonator delete
CAI, Predator
6 speed
Hurst short throw shifter
Strut tower brace
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:48 AM
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I share your impressions of the reso-delete mod, with drone on an auto (MDS). Not bad, but not very muscle car-like.
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 11:40 AM
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. I have the same car with 4,500 miles and don't have any of those complaints. It is good to hear that they're fixing those issues.

I really enjoy mine as well. I'm one of the rare birds that really likes MDS. There are so few times I get to accelerate anyway I might as well save some $$. It's good to know you can turn if off with a Trinity tuner now.
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaii1970 View Post
Hello Everyone,

I recently (early October) purchased a 2012 Dodge Challenger RT that was manufacturing 5/2012.

My RT has the Automatic / Autostick, Paddle Shifters, Sport Mode, 3.06 - Anti-Spin Rear, 20" Chrome Clad Wheels.

I LOVE MY CHALLENGER!

I have owned Chrysler products before (Dodge Ram, Jeep Commander), and both were very reliable vehicles.

Now that being said, I was a little surprised by some of the issues I am experiencing with my Challenger just at 2k miles.

1) Front Driver Power Seat stuttering and has a distinct knock when moving forward and rearwards since I picked it up.
-The Dealer replaced the Seat Track, and now it is worse. They ordered another one in, and they said they hope this will fix it. I have read some folks experiencing the same issues with multiple tracks and motors replaced before the issue was resolved

2) The cars finish was blotchy and had all kind of surface contamination. (Bright Silver Clearcoat)
-The sales folks said they would have their new car prep clay and wax the car. I drop off the car at the dealership the next day. I pick her up that evening and under the dealerships parking lot lights I can see that the clay and wax treatment took care about 50% of the issue. I showed the owner of the dealership (who drives a GWE Challenger), and he said, that he would have his body shop clean, clay, polish and wax the car.
-Dropped off my car at the dealership, and spoke to their Bodyshop manager. He took my car to his detailer out back, and I was there for about 1 hour waiting for my wife to pick me up. They washed my car, then they started taping the black mouldings etc. so that their polisher would not hit them. They did it right! I went to pick up my car, and the Body shop manager and I inspected it, and I was totally blown away at how clean and beautiful my car looked. The body shop manager said that they get a lot of cars where the finish is very dirty, and the simple clay / wax does not always take care of it.

3) Front Chrome Clad 20" wheels making the distinct clicking noise when driving at low speeds and turning right or left.
-Dealer says that the wheels need to be replaced, and I need to drop off the car next week for them to inspect and contact Chrysler

4) Right front wheel or brake are making a very light scraping noise, almost like the brake pads are toughing a high spot on the front rotor or the right rotor is slightly warped.
-Dealer says it might be the chrome clad wheel since I do not feel any sort of vibration when braking?

5) Front black molding between the bumper and grille is warped in several areas. It looks like it was done due to poor installation?. I have taken pics, and my dealers service writer is sending to Chrysler for approval, and he also sees the issues.

Personal observations:

MDS sucks. For the past month I use the Autostick and paddle shifters 80% of my driving now, and this is much better. Yeah I lose 2-4 miles per gallon depending on my driving vs. MDS, but I have noticed that in certain driving situations with MDS on, there is a significant hesitation when being in MDS, then applying more throttle, and I have noticed several times that when in MDS is on and applying more throttle that the tranny wants to also down shift, and with the hesitation going from 4 to 8 cyl, and the down shifting there is a noticeable rpm jump then it goes into gear. Almost like the MDS and tranny shift happening almost at the same time, and there is a noticeable hesitation with rpm jump like the car just went into Neutral then shifted into gear.
I have read the theories that MDS could possibly be causing timing chains to break, and while I am not an engineer, nor a full time mechanic, I have owned muscle cars before, and I modified cars and rebuilt engines in the past, and I have never really seen this type of MDS/Tranny Shift hesitation before. It made me want to replace the tranny valve body or install some sort of stout shift kit (not sure if there is one for the 2012).

Ok, so I have some minor issues with my RT, but overall I just love her!

My wife still thinks it is a boat, but she did borrow last Saturday, and I heard no complaints.

I haul both of my 21/2yo kids to pre-school with RT every morning, and I get the best compliments from the other dads in the parking lot that are driving their family SUV's, Benz's, Bimmers or whatever cars.

Btw, I am 6'1", and I comfortably haul kids in my muscle car with very little driver seat adjustment.

I placed some old tshirts under and around the spare tire, and placed a small blanket on top of the spare, and a thick wool blanket inside the trunk, and I cut out about 1/2 the noise.

My near term plans for the RT:

1) Pick up and Install CAI from Speedlogix (Shawn is a really great person to deal with, and has been very helpful with answering many of my questions. I will be ordering my parts from Speedlogix's very soon!).
2) Wheels-That depends on Chrysler. If they will spring for the Heritage wheels, then I will go with these, if not, then I will pick up Factory Reproduction Charger SRT wheels.
3) 1" Mopar Lowering springs and Bilstein shocks. I did not want to lower her, but after seeing some Challengers with the 1" drop, I have to have mine this way too.
4) At 5000 miles I plan on changing the oil (mobil one synthetic), installing new / better than factory plugs, and Goodyear Gatorback Serpentine belt.
5) Weather tech floor mats and trunk mat

Longer Term plan for the RT:
1) 85mm Throttle Body
2) Resonator Delete
3) Debating if I want to replace the rear wing with a taller one?
4) better headlamp bulbs.
5) Hopefully there will be a Predator or computer mod that I can flash into my 2012 computer to disable MDS totally!

Thank you,
Hawaii1970
Do the B&G Tune, I love it. Great Throttle Response and No MDS! Plug-N-Play and it actually works.

I'm with you on Clad Wheels, simply put they look ok but are not built real well. I want some Factory Replica 22" Black Chrome Marcellino.
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by USRWDV8 View Post
Yeah, I saw the surface contamination you talk about on my hood and roof too. Not great, but not a deal breaker either for me and the paint is actually better than I expected. I agree on the MDS and you can kill it the way you do, or do a B&G ECU or a Trinity. I'm waiting for the 2013 tune and more product development myself, but I'll go that route soon.
All in all those are very minor gripes and it's good to see someone as happy with their Challenger as I am.
Exactly. I have purchased new Bimmers and Benz's before with similar issues and a good detailing took care of the surface contamination issues.

I will look into the B&G ECU and Trinity.

Mine is a 2012, and my understanding is the 2012 and 2013's should be the same...?

Yeah, my issues are minor in comparison I lemon law'd a 2003 BMW 530I Sport after owning it for less than 6 months since it was at the BMW service center every other week for all kinds of electrical and computer glitches including my engine shutting down on me while doing 80mph on a the fwy (yeah I was speeding), but having your engine computer crash and shut down your engine in the middle of a fwy at night in LA is not a very good thing!
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mschipa View Post
hey Hawaii - great report, thanks. As for your future projects, I've done both the 85mm throttle body and the resonator delete. First the TB - I don't really think it did anything and I think it would be a great add if I had headers too, more air in and out. I don't and I question the expense to benefit. The reso delete - wow, BIG difference in sound. You have to be prepared for the "annoy the neighbors at 7 a.m." kind of noise. I live in a neighborhood of older folks and it's a good thing they're up at 5:00! Also, the reso delete, while normally loud, isn't bad while driving though I've read that others who have this same mod hear a drone. I don't but I have a six speed. One more thing, while it's a GREAT sound at idle, at WOT or there abouts, it is a little brappy (I can't think of a better way to describe it). Not fart can on a four banger brappy but definitely not what I was expecting. Good luck with the car.
Thanks for the great input.

I have done a TB change before on another car, and we never really felt a significant improvement, but I seem to be reading a few Challenger owners saying the throttle response is improved with the 85mm TB. I am going to do the CAI first, and if I feel there is improved throttle response, I won't spend the $$ on a TB.

The Resonator delete is also something I am going to think about some more. I would love the improved sound, but I am also thinking of my hwy cruising, and how the louder sound coming from the back through the trunk will sound like.

I also want to turn off the MDS on my car as soon as possible.

Thanks,
Hawaii1970
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 05:32 PM
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My driver's seat has the same "stutter" but it's only in one spot. Moves smoothly, stutter, continues moving. Same spot every time. I'm not going to mess with it since the seat doesn't get moved often and it sounds like there's a good chance getting it "fixed" won't fix anything.

I've got 20k on my 2011 and still love it, only other real issue I've had was with the airbag light due to the harness under the seats. Had that fixed 10k miles ago and it's been fine.

Glad you still love it! I don't plan on ever getting rid of mine.

- 2011 Challenger R/T Classic GWE 6-speed, 27M, Hurst Billet Pro shifter, SX catch can, SX skip-shift eliminator, JBA Cat4Ward headers, Solo Mach-X cat-back w/ J-pipes, 180 t-stat, DiabloSport-tuned, Charger intake tube, BC coilovers, Razor's Edge front and rear 4-point braces, SPC UCAs, SPC rear camber bushings, Michelin Pilot Super Sport 255/45ZR20


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#10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by speregrine View Post
Do the B&G Tune, I love it. Great Throttle Response and No MDS! Plug-N-Play and it actually works.

I'm with you on Clad Wheels, simply put they look ok but are not built real well. I want some Factory Replica 22" Black Chrome Marcellino.
I am going to look into the B&G tune tonight.

I want to get rid of MDS.

Thanks,
Hawaii1970
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