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Discussion Starter #1
I'm almost 16 and I'm wanting to learn more about cars by working on my baby, a 2009 SE Challenger. But, I'm on a high schoolers budget and have limited knowledge working on cars. I was wanting to know of any easy first mods to get into car building but still keeping it reasonable and daily driveable. Maybe something that I could potentially build on over time? Overall, I just want to learn how my little V6 gets me from point A to B while enjoying it as my first car and getting into the car community all at the same time. Thanks!
 

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2016 SXT Plus Blacktop
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Hello Jordan, you have a 3.5L V6 (250HP) and a 5 speed automatic. You can make "performance" mods, but you'll not net a lot of HP...at a considerable cost. JBA does make shorty headers for the 3.5L, and they are probably "only" $400 or so...but you'll then need to have a custom exhaust, or at least to connect to the stock cats and exhaust.

Inertia Motorsports has cams for your engine, but they also require their heads $2000+ just for parts

If you want to learn engines on a budget, this might not be the best choice. Not to discourage you

However there are mods that can be done over time for appearance especially. Lowering springs, cosmetic mods, etc. This engine actually reacts quite nicely to exhaust (after cats) mods, but will require welding

A rear end swap is possible, unsure of cost


Hopefully someone who has modified a 2009 era SE will chime in. If it were me, just as with my 3.6L, I'd concentrate on appearance mods

A Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Jordan, you have a 3.5L V6 (250HP) and a 5 speed automatic. You can make "performance" mods, but you'll not net a lot of HP...at a considerable cost. JBA does make shorty headers for the 3.5L, and they are probably "only" $400 or so...but you'll then need to have a custom exhaust, or at least to connect to the stock cats and exhaust.

Inertia Motorsports has cams for your engine, but they also require their heads $2000+ just for parts

If you want to learn engines on a budget, this might not be the best choice. Not to discourage you

However there are mods that can be done over time for appearance especially. Lowering springs, cosmetic mods, etc. This engine actually reacts quite nicely to exhaust (after cats) mods, but will require welding

A rear end swap is possible, unsure of cost


Hopefully someone who has modified a 2009 era SE will chime in. If it were me, just as with my 3.6L, I'd concentrate on appearance mods

A Guy
I get where your coming from on cosmetic mods and I'd love to start there since its better for my wallet (hahaha). I also forgot to mention that the previous owner had put in a new exhaust; however, i haven't been able to really get under the car and see what has been installed with little to no tools. Its not stock what they put in and what I'd think was a Cat delete, all i can say is that its louder than stock. Overall I want to learn on how to work on cars. Is there any other avenues you could think of that would allow me to learn. I can't thank you enough for the help!!
 

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Honestly, reading posts here on what others have done. Reading build threads where you may not understand, but over time you pick up knowledge. There is nothing like doing yourself to teach, but unless you have tools, and/or someone to help you, it's hard if your car is your only transportation, and has to be running. I have learned a great deal reading all the posts here, and while I have a technical mind, I am not confident I could do mechanical mods in a timely enough fashion as to guarantee my car is available when needed.

If you have a local Mopar or just car club near you, they can be a great resource to see what they have done, pick their minds, and maybe get assistance.

Your local Community College is likely to have an auto shop, although in these times we live in now and going forward, I don't know if they will be in session. And at 15, you'd have your own school to deal with. I assume they don't have an auto shop? That was always a great way to get hands on, and you could usually work on your own car with the class.

A Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Honestly, reading posts here on what others have done. Reading build threads where you may not understand, but over time you pick up knowledge. There is nothing like doing yourself to teach, but unless you have tools, and/or someone to help you, it's hard if your car is your only transportation, and has to be running. I have learned a great deal reading all the posts here, and while I have a technical mind, I am not confident I could do mechanical mods in a timely enough fashion as to guarantee my car is available when needed.

If you have a local Mopar or just car club near you, they can be a great resource to see what they have done, pick their minds, and maybe get assistance.

Your local Community College is likely to have an auto shop, although in these times we live in now and going forward, I don't know if they will be in session. And at 15, you'd have your own school to deal with. I assume they don't have an auto shop? That was always a great way to get hands on, and you could usually work on your own car with the class.

A Guy
Funnily enough I am dually enrolled on a community college campus so there is a car club there. Even though I go to school there my high school doesn’t really want me to join it. Although I haven’t sat down and talked about it with others I’d love to join it. I’ve also considered a cars and coffee but the closet ones are hours away. Could you think of any other car events and meetups?
 

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alldatadiy.com is your friend. $35 for five years. Everything you ever wanted to know about your car. How to, hours it takes, part numbers and costs, etc. It is what most shops use. If for anything, you will know if a shop is being honest with you. Best $35 you will ever spend!
 
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