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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This isn’t meant to start any issues with our Charger brothers but I have a question comparing the two cars. This morning I was “playing” with a 3.5L 2009 Charger with no mods. I have on my 2010 SE Rallye: the exhaust off a R/T six speed, K&N CAI and a 93 oct tune. He couldn’t keep up with me off the line nor could he really catch me. After talking he told me that he had no mods only the factory 3.5.

Are the two stock engines equal? Is the Charger that much heavier or have theses mods really improved my cars performance?
 

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Good question. Been wondering the same thing.
 

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Engines the same. But the '09 has a crappy 4-speed auto and you have the big block Mercedes 5-speed trans. very different gearing for accellerating.
 

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not sure on the weight difference but just a couple hundred pounds is a big difference
 

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The standard Charger SE will likely have an extra couple hundred lbs and a taller (fuel economy) axle ratio, right?
 

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The 5 speed auto is a huge advantage over the 4 speed auto - particularly with lower horsepower engines. The less power, the more critical it is to keep the engine in the "power band" for best acceleration.
 

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Doesn't the Rallye config include the 3.06 axle ratio with the 5-spd? While it isn't exactly short gearing (and looking at the individual ratios on the 5 spd, it can hardly be described as short gearing relative to other contemporary automatics, by any stretch), it is definitely in a different regime than the 4-spd with the fuel economy axle ratio (a whopping 2.65 or something?). That's a considerable double whammy when it comes to getting the most out of a rev happy ohc v6.
 

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Doesn't the Rallye config include the 3.06 axle ratio with the 5-spd? While it isn't exactly short gearing (and looking at the individual ratios on the 5 spd, it can hardly be described as short gearing relative to other contemporary automatics, by any stretch), it is definitely in a different regime than the 4-spd with the fuel economy axle ratio (a whopping 2.65 or something?). That's a considerable double whammy when it comes to getting the most out of a rev happy ohc v6.

Rallye comes standard with 2.65. Must have the SS/T to get the 3.06.
 

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So is the Charger with a 4 spd probably with a 2.83 axle, or is it 2.65, as well?
 

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Niether of the cars mentioned were 2011 models. So the Challenger had 2.87 and I don't know what the CHarger had. I would assume the same. The exhaust is for looks, the CAI won't do much..... I bet the difference was the tune and the 5spd tranny.
 

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Engines the same. But the '09 has a crappy 4-speed auto and you have the big block Mercedes 5-speed trans. very different gearing for accellerating.
Motor Trend tested the 292HP 3.6 Charger at 0-60 7.3, 15.6, the same times as the 250HP 09 3.5 4-speed 3.64 Challenger. Did the 09 Charger you raced have the 5-speed ? 2011 Dodge Charger First Test - Motor Trend According to Motor Trend and C&D the 5-speed is the problem-As for how it drives, let me say this now and get it over with: if Dodge gives the new Charger a proper transmission, it will be spoken about in the same lofty platitudes as the BMW E39 M5. This car is that close to being a performance legend. By "proper" I mean either a manual (like the one in the Challenger, since it will bolt right in) or a dual/wet clutch - I don't care which. The 2011 Charger needs the ability to quickly change gears. As it sits, the car's biggest shortcoming is the one major component Dodge didn't bother to swap out, the slow-reacting old five-speed slushbox from the last car. From C&D-The 292-hp 3.6-liter needs to climb high into the tach to get much done, but the five-speed automatic behind it is geared for maximum efficiency and the revs come slowly. We’ve said it before and would very much like not to say it again: The eight-speed automatic Chrysler will introduce soon for these cars cannot come soon enough. That 5-speed transmission is the lonely weak spot on the Charger, though. C&D review-2011 Dodge Charger V6 Test From Allpar- Our test car had the standard four-speed automatic transmission, the only shifter available with the V6. It’s been refined over the years and now has variable line pressure, which boost pressure when needed and drops it when not needed, making shifts smoother and faster, while transmitting more power to the wheels — and increasing durability. We found this transmission to have an excellent feel; it was generally in the right gear, had a well-sorted-out feel (as it should, given how long it’s been matched to the 3.5 liter V6), did not do anything weird (delayed shifts, failure to kick down, premature shifts, etc.), and kicked down instantly when needed. It felt far, far better than the four and five speed automatics we just tested on the Toyota Corolla. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CEwQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.allpar.com%2Freviews%2F2009%2Fdodge-challenger.html&ei=CEBVTorxOMHv0gGFgZ22Ag&usg=AFQjCNFyFpN3PKwqlqx0aRXusuzNr3b_lg&sig2=kDunr9Z1vRY9dEMeqBWiPQ
 

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As usual, the car magazines are totally oblivious to the problem isn't the transmission (it's just cooler to pine after a transmission with a high number of gears). It is the axle ratio (which would be even easier to fix). No self-respecting high-revving v6 is going to do well with an axle ratio hitting well below the 3.00:1 mark. It's just not. It needs to be running at least 3.3-3.5:1 for this sort of power plant to make sense. The 1st gear in the 5-spd essentially becomes a granny gear, allowing an easy shot into the high rpm range, and the rest of the gears just handle themselves as they should once the cam is "cooking".

The real question is, what keeps Dodge from doing this simple thing? The answer is that their is no functional obstacle, at all. It's purely a matter of objectives, and that objective is for the SE to be the mpg leader of the family, not the v6 barnstormer of the family. That means it is going to have a tall axle ratio. The Pentastar is just there as a marketing attraction. Same thing with the transmission, whether it has 5-spds, 7-spds, or 10-spds. It's just there to say the car has it, not there so that it yields the benefits that those things are perceived as precursors to. The SE will always and forever be there to be geared for maximum possible fuel economy at the expense of all else. That IS it's whole reason for existing. It's not there just to indulge a certain demographic who only prefers v6 power. ;)

I think what we will discover that it doesn't matter what transmission or how many gears get put in an SE or how fantastic a v6 becomes available, the axle ratio will simply change such that 1st and 2nd will essentially be very similar to what you had with the 4-spd. They do that on purpose, not because they couldn't figure out a better set of ratios to put in a gearbox. The only time you will ever see a reasonable axle ratio value that supports the powertrain is in the "special edition" v6 model or an outright SRT6 model. That's it. That's how it has always worked.
 

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For the most part I agree. I simple swap to the 3.23 ratio that was available in the LX cars would yield quite a different result. The SE gears are what they are to make those high government fuel economy numbers. In everyday use they are far from optimal. When the sweet spot in a car puts it cruising on the highway at over 80 mph it is geared too high.
 

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So is the Charger with a 4 spd probably with a 2.83 axle, or is it 2.65, as well?
The charger with the 3.5L and 4-speed trans has a 3.64 gear set. This makes first gears on both car equal. After than, the 5-speed has all the advantage.
 

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The charger with the 3.5L and 4-speed trans has a 3.64 gear set. This makes first gears on both car equal. After than, the 5-speed has all the advantage.

Here's how it breaks down with the 3.64 ratio with the 4-speed and the 2.65 ratio with the 5-speed:

4-speed.....5-speed
10.34..........9.51.........1st gear
5.71...........5.80..........2nd gear
3.64...........3.74..........3rd gear
2.51...........2.65..........4th gear
.................2.20..........5th gear


The biggest difference, other than the 5th gear in the NAG1, is first gear, and with the 2.65 base gearing the 4-speed has the advantage. I pretty much know nothing about drag racing but it looks to me like there would be very little difference through the 1/4 mile. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For the most part I agree. I simple swap to the 3.23 ratio that was available in the LX cars would yield quite a different result. The SE gears are what they are to make those high government fuel economy numbers. In everyday use they are far from optimal. When the sweet spot in a car puts it cruising on the highway at over 80 mph it is geared too high.
My next two mods will be 71mm TB and the 3:23 if find a good used one.

I took the 93 tune off tonight, if I see my Charger friend this week I want to give him try againm, square up and see if the other mods work as well. I don't believe a free flowing exhaust and the CAI makes no differance. More air equals more power. Without the two I don't think you could see the full advantage of the tune.
 

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Try using 2.87 gears with the 5-speed and 3.64 gears with the 4-speed and you will see first gears are equal. Then it s all 5-speed.


Here's how it breaks down with the 3.64 ratio with the 4-speed and the 2.65 ratio with the 5-speed:

4-speed.....5-speed
10.34..........9.51.........1st gear
5.71...........5.80..........2nd gear
3.64...........3.74..........3rd gear
2.51...........2.65..........4th gear
.................2.20..........5th gear


The biggest difference, other than the 5th gear in the NAG1, is first gear, and with the 2.65 base gearing the 4-speed has the advantage. I pretty much know nothing about drag racing but it looks to me like there would be very little difference through the 1/4 mile. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Try using 2.87 gears with the 5-speed and 3.64 gears with the 4-speed and you will see first gears are equal. Then it s all 5-speed.


Damn, missed that. The Challenger had 2.87 gears, not 2.65.

Here's the same chart only with 2.87 gears mated to the 5-speed:

4-speed.....5-speed
10.34.........10.30.........1st gear
5.71...........6.29..........2nd gear
3.64...........4.05..........3rd gear
2.51...........2.87..........4th gear
.................2.38..........5th gear

A clear advantage to the 5-speed in this case. Also supports randycat99's assertion that better gearing in the axle is what the SE needs more than transmission changes.
 
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