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I've only had my A8 SRT 392 for a month and already the modification bug is starting to bite me. I'm considering what route I want to go; stick with stock internals and just add full bolt-ons plus a tune, go forged internals and supercharge, stay NA and plug in a new cam w/ full bolt ons, or stay NA and add both a 426 stroker kit and cam? For now I'm planning to just start with basic bolt-ons, but I'm not sure how much power gain to the wheels I could expect from just those.

I've heard tell that you often lose bottom end torque when plugging in a new cam designed to increase power at mid to high RPM's / speeds. Is there no cam that can increase power throughout the band? Or are there other mods you could do without resorting to a stroker kit to offset the loss in torque down low from the new cam, such as long tubes, a ported intake and throttle body, and a tune?

Assuming I upgrade the heads like you should when adding a performance cam and tune and assuming the grind is good and not overly aggressive, what possible cost to reliability and longevity could I be looking at for anything in the driveline, from the engine to the trans to the driveshaft to the differential? What kind of power gains to the rear wheels am I looking at? What will happen to driveability in a cammed automatic car?

What if I go the NA stroker and cam route, or the FI and supercharge route? My same questions apply.
 

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2019 Dodge Challenger 392
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I did a cam, head, header 392 in 2012-2013 and loved it...but wouldn't want that as a daily as it was really aggressive. Went from stock dyno 412 whp to 501.

You need to decide how much power you want to make and build towards that...but my HONEST advice is enjoy it, save money and trade up to a Hellcat...MUCH cheaper and will have 700hp potentially with warranty left and no test/tune/reliability concerns. The more you mod a car the more potential failure exists. I didn't have issues with mine once we got the tune right which took a few tries since I was one of the first to run the larger comp 274 in a 392. If I had to do it all over again (and HC was not an option) I'd likely do D1 Procharger with drop in pistons and new rods... or maybe just go big displacement and cam header 426 but use a custom cam for more midrange power likes something based off the comp 270...either way you spend a LOT of money that you won't recover on resale. In fact it's often harder to sell a car modified that much.

Stock internals and tune with headers, intake porting kinda thing you'd likely gain 35-40whp, from a reliability standpoint this would not negatively impact it ... open up and do cam and heads another 30-40 whp. Peak around 500 whp maybe 520 max assuming stock pulls around 420-430. Really not much additional reliability loss assuming the install and tune are right. Under $10k for all would be my VERY rough guesstimate.

Swap to forged internals and do a ProCharger D1 depends on the amount of boost but you'd be in the high 500 whp range to possibly 600. This would yield max output for money spent...over $12k all in I'd think though.

Could do the entry P1 ProCharger and stock internals or even a maggie and just run about 6psi and you'd be fine long term...even 7 psi with a perfect tune and good fuel. Gains around 120 whp for around $8k installed and tuned.

426 stroker and remain NA would get ANOTHER 40-50 whp roughly (call it 550 whp roughly)...no telling what the reliability would be here as this is a full gut and rebuild. Could be flawless...might not. Might as well forge it while opening it and FI though...go all out and put an F1x ProCharger or twins on it and get 900+ whp...but this isn't a daily anymore and trans would need some serious mods also at that point. Well over $20k likely $25k

On my current car... did lowering springs, wheels/tires, tint, hellcat intake and ported TB. Done. I will drive it and save up and upgrade to a hellcat next year... I'd rather spend the $250/mo that I can recoup some of on the resale than dump $15k cash into my current car that will be almost total loss.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did a cam, head, header 392 in 2012-2013 and loved it...but wouldn't want that as a daily as it was really aggressive. Went from stock dyno 412 whp to 501.

You need to decide how much power you want to make and build towards that...but my HONEST advice is enjoy it, save money and trade up to a Hellcat...MUCH cheaper and will have 700hp potentially with warranty left and no test/tune/reliability concerns. The more you mod a car the more potential failure exists. I didn't have issues with mine once we got the tune right which took a few tries since I was one of the first to run the larger comp 274 in a 392. If I had to do it all over again (and HC was not an option) I'd likely do D1 Procharger with drop in pistons and new rods... or maybe just go big displacement and cam header 426 but use a custom cam for more midrange power likes something based off the comp 270...either way you spend a LOT of money that you won't recover on resale. In fact it's often harder to sell a car modified that much.

Stock internals and tune with headers, intake porting kinda thing you'd likely gain 35-40whp, from a reliability standpoint this would not negatively impact it ... open up and do cam and heads another 30-40 whp. Peak around 500 whp maybe 520 max assuming stock pulls around 420-430. Really not much additional reliability loss assuming the install and tune are right. Under $10k for all would be my VERY rough guesstimate.

Swap to forged internals and do a ProCharger D1 depends on the amount of boost but you'd be in the high 500 whp range to possibly 600. This would yield max output for money spent...over $12k all in I'd think though.

Could do the entry P1 ProCharger and stock internals or even a maggie and just run about 6psi and you'd be fine long term...even 7 psi with a perfect tune and good fuel. Gains around 120 whp for around $8k installed and tuned.

426 stroker and remain NA would get ANOTHER 40-50 whp roughly (call it 550 whp roughly)...no telling what the reliability would be here as this is a full gut and rebuild. Could be flawless...might not. Might as well forge it while opening it and FI though...go all out and put an F1x ProCharger or twins on it and get 900+ whp...but this isn't a daily anymore and trans would need some serious mods also at that point. Well over $20k likely $25k

On my current car... did lowering springs, wheels/tires, tint, hellcat intake and ported TB. Done. I will drive it and save up and upgrade to a hellcat next year... I'd rather spend the $250/mo that I can recoup some of on the resale than dump $15k cash into my current car that will be almost total loss.
What you say makes sense. I think for now I'll stick to basic bolt-ons and tune. Then I'll see what's on offer in the next-gen car in 2023. If I like what I see, I'll buy one of those and trade in my current car. If I don't like what they've done, I'll upgrade to a used Hellcat from the current generation.
 

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I transplanted a 426 N/A stroker only because I wanted something unique and always lusted for a ’70 Hemi Cuda, which is way beyond my means now :) If not for that, I would have certainly just moved up to a Hellcat. My 426 has been extremely reliable after a summer of track and strip days. Did a road trip to South Dakota and even averaged over 21 mpg. Since I’m old school and went N/A, I have an aggressive cam for that big cam lope. Wheel HP ended up at around 540 and 550 torque on a Mustang dyno. with 13:1 compression, built OE heads and hogged out OE intake. Not enough power for me so am building another (build 2.0) 426 this winter with an aluminum Hellephant block, Thitek heads, Johnson lifters and Holly Sniper intake. Hope to be getting close to Hellcat HP on an N/A power plant. If you go with a build, I would recommend a milder cam and less compression to set yourself up for a blower down the road should you decide to go there.
 

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I transplanted a 426 N/A stroker only because I wanted something unique and always lusted for a ’70 Hemi Cuda, which is way beyond my means now :) If not for that, I would have certainly just moved up to a Hellcat. My 426 has been extremely reliable after a summer of track and strip days. Did a road trip to South Dakota and even averaged over 21 mpg. Since I’m old school and went N/A, I have an aggressive cam for that big cam lope. Wheel HP ended up at around 540 and 550 torque on a Mustang dyno. with 13:1 compression, built OE heads and hogged out OE intake. Not enough power for me so am building another (build 2.0) 426 this winter with an aluminum Hellephant block, Thitek heads, Johnson lifters and Holly Sniper intake. Hope to be getting close to Hellcat HP on an N/A power plant. If you go with a build, I would recommend a milder cam and less compression to set yourself up for a blower down the road should you decide to go there.
I remember you mentioning your Hellephant short block the the Hellcat forums but didn’t know you were doing a N/A build. Whats different about your short block and the aluminum 426 short blocks Mopar offer through their catalog? What kind of numbers do you think you’ll see with the mods you have planned? Looks like you did your homework, pretty extensive and probably pricey lol. How much compression? Any interesting in boring it out and going bigger displacement?
 
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