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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, just over a year under my belt really, about 15 months with my 2016 R/T. Thought I might share some of the things I've learned in that time.

If you're in it for power, purchase the highest end trim that you can afford. Getting that horsepower via aftermarket is tremendously more expensive than getting it from the factory. Unfortunately for me I am very attached to my car, so I won’t be trading up; going to have to get my horsepower the expensive way spread out over a long time.

Don't read threads about purchase price. Someone is always going to get a better deal.

If the brake dust is driving you crazy like it did me, just bite the bullet and buy some ceramic brake pads. About 1 week of heavy dusting, then virtually dust-free!

In lieu of a big brake kit, brake caliper paint is a really easy way to make the standard brakes look good.

Some of the interior plastics are VERY soft; the plastic on the backside of the front/passenger seat for example. Identify the soft plastics and be gentle with them.

If you're going to remove interior trim pieces, invest in a simple trim removal kit. A big help with minimizing marring of the soft plastics.

Dry microfiber towels on low heat. Heat seems to destroy their water absorbing properties, and they just push water around after that. It does make them particularly soft through, so I kept all of the toasted microfibers for other jobs.
- Edit: Cuda340 posts an improved method in post #52,"A better way is to wash microfiber towels with cold water Woolite and then let them air dry. I have been using this procedure for several years and my towels are in great condition."

Take pictures anytime something is disassembled or removed. A good library of photos makes it (1) easier to put back together and (2) easier to take apart in the future without accidentally damaging something you may have forgotten about.

Almost don't want to post this one, but here goes... Don't close your garage door with your trunk lid open while the rear end is up on jack stands.

Dry fit everything you want to install before disassembling anything. A quick dry fit will not only help you see how its going to go together, but it also gives you an opportunity to identify any manufacturer's defects before getting too deep into the project.

The rear and passenger seats are surprisingly fast and straightforward to remove. Easy 100 lb reduction for track days.

We have hard water here. Since I can’t stand water spots and I can’t seem to ever get the car dried off fast enough, the waterless wash sprays are a pretty good cleaning option. I clean the car fairly regularly so it never gets particularly dusty. Even so, I spray the products on heavily to make sure I’m minimizing the risk of rubbing dust across the surfaces. Seems to be working out pretty well so far.

Photo shoot your car from a wide-open area to minimize reflections from the background on the body surfaces.

Preston
 

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Nice write up. Thanks for sharing your experience... So that's why I have to buy microfibers weekly... :D
You are right about power adders being expensive but, if you buy say the R/T as opposed to the SRT or Scat, you pay it off sooner and all the money you were using to make a payment can go directly into the car or savings account, to save up for bigger mods and when done your car is your car.
 

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One thing that still defies logic to me is the R/T power pack and frankly something that kept me away from a challenger for a long time, until I purchased a scat. This is just my humble opinion but I couldn't fathom purchasing an SRT for 50k, to me no pony car is worth that, and even then the old SRT wasn't really worlds ahead of the RT and was about the same maybe a little less in the power department than a Camaro and stang back in the 2010 time frame.


With that said I just don't see how dodge keeps a power pack in the RT that's now almost 100hp less than then the competitors and with 5-800 more pounds of added weight. Now don't get me wrong challengers still have the look if you ask me, but geese when Camaro and mustang is blowing by you, how do you justify that?


The scat was a great idea and has sold well and maybe that was the answer to a base GT and SS.
 

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Camaro and mustang is blowing by you, how do you justify that?
I justify it because I did not pay as much for my R/T as those girls paid for their $hit box Ferd or Shivvy. Plus have you ridden in one of those tiny death traps? The only thing that made my cousin's 2014 Mustang GT redeemable was that hers was a convertible.

How will you justify it when someone in an SXT with a cam and a blower blow your doors off?
There will always be somebody faster, you just have to be somebody smarter. :D
 

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I justify it because I did not pay as much for my R/T as those girls paid for their $hit box Ferd or Shivvy. Plus have you ridden in one of those tiny death traps? The only thing that made my cousin's 2014 Mustang GT redeemable was that hers was a convertible.

How will you justify it when someone in an SXT with a cam and a blower blow your doors off?
There will always be somebody faster, you just have to be somebody smarter. :D
Actually I owned a 2010 Camaro and to TBH I paid less for a 2SS then I would have for an RT that the time. I have ridden in a new Camaro, pretty sweet car if you ask me, now the stang, its ugly now.


Lastly I don't get into comparing things other than stock, going down the road of yeah but my triple turbo SXT can beat your hell cat, illogical to go that route. And yes something will always be faster I got that.


Wasn't getting in a brand war here either, making a simple observation, funny thing is the ram truck engine is tuned up higher than the car, why not go with that tune and at least say you got 400hp or whatever. Just seems silly to give away 800lbs and 75hp to start the game out.


As far a price, Camaro made a leap up in price. But if you look at the base GT and base 1ss for the money you are getting a lot of car there for under 40k. I would argue to get some more car equal to those two in the challenger you would have to bump up to an RT plus to match the others base levels. Maybe not size of car, but if were talking performance and other little goodies, you may pay more but Id argue overall your getting more with the Mustang and Camaro.


I have a challenger not a hater, just observations.
 

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funny thing is the ram truck engine is tuned up higher than the car, why not go with that tune and at least say you got 400hp or whatever. Just seems silly to give away 800lbs and 75hp to start the game out.
It probably has something to do with the different intake on the 5.7l in the Ram and emissions and the GVW of the truck vs. the car. I am sure someone who works for Mopar on here could answer that. BTW, I added the scat pack 1 PCM so mine is around 400 h.p.
 

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It probably has something to do with the different intake on the 5.7l in the Ram and emissions and the GVW of the truck vs. the car. I am sure someone who works for Mopar on here could answer that. BTW, I added the scat pack 1 PCM so mine is around 400 h.p.
Could be CAFE standards who knows. IM sure there is reason, but just found it odd that your truck engine higher than your hi pro car, weird.
 

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Could be CAFE standards who knows. IM sure there is reason, but just found it odd that your truck engine higher than your hi pro car, weird.
not really, look at the fastest (American) production vehicle from 1978, and it came down to the same thing, pollution standards on cars vs trucks.
 

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One thing that still defies logic to me is the R/T power pack and frankly something that kept me away from a challenger for a long time, until I purchased a scat. This is just my humble opinion but I couldn't fathom purchasing an SRT for 50k, to me no pony car is worth that, and even then the old SRT wasn't really worlds ahead of the RT and was about the same maybe a little less in the power department than a Camaro and stang back in the 2010 time frame.


With that said I just don't see how dodge keeps a power pack in the RT that's now almost 100hp less than then the competitors and with 5-800 more pounds of added weight. Now don't get me wrong challengers still have the look if you ask me, but geese when Camaro and mustang is blowing by you, how do you justify that?


The scat was a great idea and has sold well and maybe that was the answer to a base GT and SS.
They don't. 5.7 R/Ts aren't that slow. The '15+ R/T 5.7 is a low 13 sec car with the 8 speed. Up until the new hp bump and 10 speed Mustang, the Coyote 5.0s were high 12 sec cars. At that point its a drivers race. I've owned two coyote 5.0 Mustangs, three 392 Challengers, and three 5.7 Challengers. I've had several spirited driving encounters with other fast cars with all 3 types and have never been embarrassed driving a 5.7 Challenger. 410 pounds of torque will get a heavy car out of the hole in a hurry. I really enjoy banging gears in my R/T Plus.
 

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One thing I just learned after one month owning my Scat Pack:

Go down easy on the speed bumps. Challenger’s undercarriage hangs a lot closer to the ground than my Wrangler’s.
 
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Nice write up Preston, and glad that you're enjoying and learning about your Challenger.


The initial "budget" means a lot to most folks. Some folks like to mod, while others don't/won't. I've always said that one should buy as many CI's or HP that one can afford from the factory. That said, if the end result is what one likes, then it was the right route taken.


Myself, I went with a bare bones SP when I ordered, and couldn't be any happier.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You are right about power adders being expensive but, if you buy say the R/T as opposed to the SRT or Scat, you pay it off sooner and all the money you were using to make a payment can go directly into the car or savings account, to save up for bigger mods and when done your car is your car.
Never thought about it like that, thanks for outlook!
 

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They don't. 5.7 R/Ts aren't that slow. The '15+ R/T 5.7 is a low 13 sec car with the 8 speed. Up until the new hp bump and 10 speed Mustang, the Coyote 5.0s were high 12 sec cars. At that point its a drivers race. I've owned two coyote 5.0 Mustangs, three 392 Challengers, and three 5.7 Challengers. I've had several spirited driving encounters with other fast cars with all 3 types and have never been embarrassed driving a 5.7 Challenger. 410 pounds of torque will get a heavy car out of the hole in a hurry. I really enjoy banging gears in my R/T Plus.


You are right the last Camaro and stang all were close cars with the challenger. Even as we sit here today still could be a drivers race. But if we are talking today the new Camaro and stang are now high 11 sec cars, your giving up almost two seconds now and depending on the driver maybe more, that's a lot. Same skilled driver driving each its not close. We can sit here and talk eachs, and what if I add a turbo, or some anecdotal evidence, but the paper doesn't lie.


My point is numbers do matter when selling to the market, to almost be a 1/3 heavier and be shy 100hp and torque, just doesn't look good. Not sure why they cant at least put the RT at 400 hp.
 

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Thing is, the rt 5.7 is under rated. In stock tune they do 340-350 at the wheel. This would be over 400 at the crank. Ya got to k own how to drive a 4k+ lbs car. Any 4k+ car turning low 13's is making good power, you get these to hook, your in the high 12's. And it's not an ugly mustang or camaro. Both of those are cramped inside as well. Also two different styles of cars. I will take my 5.7 shaker any day and that fact I like to wrench and make what I have mine and not like every other one ya see is what I do. In the end there always someone quicker.

Sent from my LG-H918 using Tapatalk
 

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I got a no frills left over 2017 5.7L Shaker last fall. Paid base price 33K and got the 4K shaker package, premium brake pads, STP and destination charge and doc fees included in the 33K + taxes. Didn't want a 40K+ cost and figured it would be fun and not be the worst for MPG and insurance costs and am happy and enjoy it. All I got is a sport and traction control button and a tiny radio screen with no perf pages. Don't want more stuff to fiddle with anyway. The basic RT has decent standard options.

Now if you think about it, A crate 392 Hemi is about 8K, You would prob be at about 10K to swap out the 5.7L. When it gets tired (if I keep it that long), you could upgrade to the 392 and still have around 43K invested. You can surely get a basic Scat for that I know........but......stay with me here. Saving and upgrading later......you are still registered as a 5.7L and insurance on a 3-5 yr old 5.7L is gonna save you and make up some of the cost of upgrading. Then you have a sleeper and can mess with all the Camaro's and Stangs that want to blow your doors off. >:)
 

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You are right the last Camaro and stang all were close cars with the challenger. Even as we sit here today still could be a drivers race. But if we are talking today the new Camaro and stang are now high 11 sec cars, your giving up almost two seconds now and depending on the driver maybe more, that's a lot. Same skilled driver driving each its not close. We can sit here and talk eachs, and what if I add a turbo, or some anecdotal evidence, but the paper doesn't lie.


My point is numbers do matter when selling to the market, to almost be a 1/3 heavier and be shy 100hp and torque, just doesn't look good. Not sure why they cant at least put the RT at 400 hp.
I agree with you on those points. I always figured that the Stage 1 PCM must have been the Ram tune to get real close to 400. Always wondered why they didn't just bump the 5.7 to an even advertised 400hp. It would make a lot of folks happy. I'm thinking its fleet emissions. There is some truth to them being underrated when you consider they're running dynos on 5.7s in the 340-350 range for the newer engines. If I keep my R/T long term I'll bolt on some long tubes and a blower in about 4 years to turn it into a hot rod project. I don't have a history of holding on to my cars very long though.
 

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I got a no frills left over 2017 5.7L Shaker last fall. Paid base price 33K and got the 4K shaker package, premium brake pads, STP and destination charge and doc fees included in the 33K + taxes. Didn't want a 40K+ cost and figured it would be fun and not be the worst for MPG and insurance costs and am happy and enjoy it. All I got is a sport and traction control button and a tiny radio screen with no perf pages. Don't want more stuff to fiddle with anyway. The basic RT has decent standard options.

Now if you think about it, A crate 392 Hemi is about 8K, You would prob be at about 10K to swap out the 5.7L. When it gets tired (if I keep it that long), you could upgrade to the 392 and still have around 43K invested. You can surely get a basic Scat for that I know........but......stay with me here. Saving and upgrading later......you are still registered as a 5.7L and insurance on a 3-5 yr old 5.7L is gonna save you and make up some of the cost of upgrading. Then you have a sleeper and can mess with all the Camaro's and Stangs that want to blow your doors off. >:)

But..................you won't have the brakes and tuned suspension.


Also, you're not fooling the insurance company. If you had a wreck, and your car was totaled, you won't recoup the costs of the mods. In fact, they may legally go after you for not informing them on the larger engine.


Icy slope with your thinking. A SP is the cheaper way to go, and none of the issues that could happen.
 

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But..................you won't have the brakes and tuned suspension.


Also, you're not fooling the insurance company. If you had a wreck, and your car was totaled, you won't recoup the costs of the mods. In fact, they may legally go after you for not informing them on the larger engine.


Icy slope with your thinking. A SP is the cheaper way to go, and none of the issues that could happen.
Good points, and that fact that your adding at a minimum 10k to something that's depreciated and not even worth the upgrade. My scat was 37 before taxes, why not just spend the 4k up front instead of 10k later.
 

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If you mod it you will know it was built not bought. There is a cool factor that comes with that. If you build it chances are you will enjoy it more, and you won't be in a "me too mobile". Just my 0.02 cents. Even if it was a Hellcat or a Demon, or a Bughatti, if you are a car guy, it is getting something custom thrown on it somewhere.
 

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If you mod it you will know it was built not bought. There is a cool factor that comes with that. If you build it chances are you will enjoy it more, and you won't be in a "me too mobile". Just my 0.02 cents. Even if it was a Hellcat or a Demon, or a Bughatti, if you are a car guy, it is getting something custom thrown on it somewhere.

Agreed, if you do the right "build".


Stuffing a stock 392 crate into an R/T is well.......................just another "me to" 392 on the road. It's cool that it was done, gratifying if it was a DIY swap, but in reality, nothing really special mod wise.


Just saying
 
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