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Discussion Starter #1
Back in July, I had a Borla ATAK cat back installed (the one with the AES simulators). Initially it threw a code because they installed the springs wrong on the active exhaust. That got fixed. A few weeks later, it developed a rattle. It was determined that it was the metal cylinder that the spring connects to was way too loose and that a new design had come out to fix that. I got sent new pipes and solved that problem.

Last week after washing my car, I took it out for a ride and right as I was about to pull in, the check engine light came on. The reader I have was too old to tell me the code but I was able to clear it. It was fine for 5 days and came back. I had someone near me that had a tuner that was at least able to give me a code which was P121b which I'm lead to believe is valve two or the right side. We cleared it again. The light came back 2 days later. I cleared it again and this time started the car and stuck my head under the car to listen for a minute. While the car was doing its warmup, every 20 seconds or so I heard a clicking coming from the active exhaust area as if the actuator was trying to spin but was getting stuck.

I am assuming that something is wrong with the actuator. When it's not cold or raining, which doesn't appear to be anytime soon, I'm gonna jack the car up and take a look but I wanted to see if anyone had any opinions. I'm probably not going to go to the dealership as this will most likely be blamed on the aftermarket exhaust but it seems that I am able to buy the actuators online if that is the problem. The car still runs fine and everything but obviously if the CEL is on, the remote start doesn't work which is a bit of a hassle.

I'm wondering if it's common for the actuator to fail at such an early time (the car has less than 4,000 miles)? Or is it possible that the few times I drove the car when it was really cold (single digits) could have done something?

Thanks for any insight. And by the way, I'm beginning to despise this active exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Could be a result of the Borla installer messing with the valve. There is a thread that talks about the valve in detail.

"NOTE: If the transmission spring breaks or the valve becomes disconnected from the actuator for whatever reason the valve assembly likely will cause a rattling noise with the engine running."

http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/6593273-post2.html
Initially yes, the problem was a result of them installing the spring wrong but it was fixed a couple hours after it was installed. I had also taken it apart a month later to replace the pipes so it's been running error free since August. Is it possible the spring could come loose? It seemed to have a lot of pressure on it so that couldn't happen but I guess since it's aftermarket now, it may not be as tight a fit as it was stock. I've also noticed that some of the exhaust pops are pretty strong, strong enough that I could feel a small vibrations. Could it be possible that knocked something loose?
 

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I am not very familiar with the active exhaust, but it looks like a geared servo (a larger version of the actuators found on the blend doors of the HVAC system). If the spring was installed incorrectly it could have caused damaged to the internal gears which over time can cause failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am not very familiar with the active exhaust, but it looks like a geared servo (a larger version of the actuators found on the blend doors of the HVAC system). If the spring was installed incorrectly it could have caused damaged to the internal gears which over time can cause failure.
It was wrong for a very short period of time so I'm doubtful that it could have been damaged because of that. And also that its worked fine for 6+ months.
 

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It was wrong for a very short period of time so I'm doubtful that it could have been damaged because of that. And also that its worked fine for 6+ months.
Wait so you have AES simulators on now (similar to image below). The springs were originally installed wrong but corrected. You removed the actuators and reinstalled but they were working for 6+. Recently you have been hearing a clicking noise and have a code.

Have you taking the actuators off recently to inspect?
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Not exactly like that. I had the pipe off the car as well as the actuator detached so I was able to line everything up without having to let the car do anything to line it up. I'm wondering as well if something is stuck since I heard the clicking noise every 20 seconds.
Oops, I changed my previous post while you responded. It sounds like you are not running a pipe with valve (i.e. no valve shaft to plug - AE simulator)...correct? Now you hear a repetitive clicking and you get a code. It sounds like the valve is cycling and expecting to hit a hard stop (i.e. valve fully closed/opened...not sure which event it is looking for) but instead is free spinning. Have you taken the actuator off to see everything is ok (spring is intact and positioned correctly)?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wait so you have AES simulators on now (similar to image below). The springs were originally installed wrong but corrected. You removed the actuators and reinstalled but they were working for 6+. Recently you have been hearing a clicking noise and have a code.

Have you taking the actuators off recently to inspect?
"Oops, I changed my previous post while you responded. It sounds like you are not running a pipe with valve (i.e. no valve shaft to plug - AE simulator)...correct? Now you hear a repetitive clicking and you get a code. It sounds like the valve is cycling and expecting to hit a hard stop (i.e. valve fully closed/opened...not sure which event it is looking for) but instead is free spinning. Have you taken the actuator off to see everything is ok (spring is intact and positioned correctly)?"

The only difference from stock is that the butterfly valves are gone. It still has the same type of mounting bracket and cylinder. So the spring still hooks into the cylinder and the car still thinks it's spinning the flap so it's not freely moving. I'm gonna take it off hopefully this weekend.
 

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A custom tune with HP will allow you to shut off the AES codes and permanently disconnect the actuators.

No simulators required.
 
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A tuner using Diablo might be able to do it. I figured out how to do it with HP, but I'm not 100% sure with Diablo.

No matter, the AES was a dumb idea and I knew people would come to regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not sure if I'm ready to start tuning yet. I don't mind having the simulators since I don't have the flaps anymore so it's loud all the time. I have to figure out what the problem is first before I decide what direction I'm gonna go in.
 

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As an update. I pulled both active exhausts apart starting with the right one. The spring appeared to have a little bend to it that didn’t look normal so I fixed it and put it back. Cleared the code and went for a drive and the CEL came back with the same code. So I emailed Borla to see if they have anything. I’m beginning to think it’s the actuator which is not the worst thing in the world if that’s the case.
 

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Wonder if the actuator is bending the spring while it is looking for mechanical feedback that it is hit the valve stop? I think the PCM is looking for high current as the actuator hits the stop (i.e. current tracks with mechanical torque).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wonder if the actuator is bending the spring while it is looking for mechanical feedback that it is hit the valve stop? I think the PCM is looking for high current as the actuator hits the stop (i.e. current tracks with mechanical torque).
It’s possible the cylinder that the spring connects to isn’t designed right and it isn’t allowing the actuator to do the full range of motion it requires. I feel like this problem would have presented itself a while ago if that was the case though.
 

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It’s possible the cylinder that the spring connects to isn’t designed right and it isn’t allowing the actuator to do the full range of motion it requires. I feel like this problem would have presented itself a while ago if that was the case though.
If Borla has no feedback maybe you can try something like this to test the actuators are working.
http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/5740370-post1.html

Or you can use these diagnostics to test if they are working.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If Borla has no feedback maybe you can try something like this to test the actuators are working.
http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/5740370-post1.html

Or you can use these diagnostics to test if they are working.
Yeah that may be the next step if Borla doesn't have anything for me. Like I said, it's not the worst thing if I have to replace the actuator as it seems I can get it online for about $200. I'll also say again, I despise the active exhaust. In my mind at least, I bought the 392 because it's loud and obnoxious and there's no reason I would want to quiet it down. The stock exhaust isn't even really that bad either so having the AES doesn't make sense to me.
 

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I guess the AE is to help with drone and MDS. I really don't understand the crazy with AE, I have a co-worker that brags about a mild to wild switch he installed and all it does is keep the exhaust flap open. I keep telling him...that is what the valve in front of the intake is for.

Now on my GC, there are mechanical flaps but they are there to for the MDS
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I guess the AE is to help with drone and MDS. I really don't understand the crazy with AE, I have a co-worker that brags about a mild to wild switch he installed and all it does is keep the exhaust flap open. I keep telling him...that is what the valve in front of the intake is for.

Now on my GC, there are mechanical flaps but they are there to for the MDS
That's the thing though. If they are gonna have an AES, at least let us control what it does. I can understand there may be times you would want it to be quieter without having to keep your foot off the gas so actually being able to control it would be beneficial. I honestly never really noticed a difference in sport or default mode when it came to exhaust sound.
 
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