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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Just thought I'd start a thread for our 2010 SE. In my intro thread (I'd post a link, but don't have the post count to do so) from a couple months back, you can see that we didn't get off to the best start with our Challenger. Long story short...head gaskets blew within a few hundred miles of ownership, but we got that fixed and it seems to be in good working order now (knock on wood).

The SE is for my son and will be his first car. I'm perfectly fine with it being a no frills, V6...just the right combo for a 16 year old boy, IMO. But that doesn't mean he can't make it his own and work on improving the appearance.

We have some time before he starts driving and I've been showing him how to wrench on a few things...oil changes, brake pads, etc. It's a pretty clean car, but it'll need a new front lip as the old one was ripped off at some point.

I found a deal on some used 20" RT take-off wheels for $450. The seller worked at the dealership and said they only had 200 miles on them. Now, we just need to get some tires and TPM sensors for them. If it were mine, I would definitely lower it a bit, but I'm not convinced that's the best thing for him yet.

Here's a list of future mods that come to mind:
  • Front lip
  • New tires
  • Aftermarket head unit
  • Flat black graphics (either on the hood or sides)
Anyway, thanks for looking and below are some pics so far.

Thanks,
Brent
 

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Very nice first car! I wish you (And him) much joy with it!
Have fun!
Tom!
 

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you can likely swap over the TPMS from your existing 17" wheels.

Once thing to note - since you're changing sizes, your move from 215/65 - 17 to 245/45 - 20 (OEM sizes) your speedo will be ~ 2 mph slower than actual at highway speeds.

Your car might not set a code (incorrect ratio) -if it does, a hand-held tuner can change the tire size so that the system won't set error codes.
 

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Congrats!! GREAT car!! I WISH I had that for my first car! Those V6s have PLENTY of power for a first driver. My parents were one of those that said that most 16 year olds at some point get in an accident before they graduate, so my first car was a BOAT! LOL it was a 76 Pontiac Bomneville, only had 53000 miles on it. That was back in 99-00 and was the start of me becoming a motorhead!!

Then mid senior year I took my first car loan out and purchased a friend of the family's car, which has turnes into my toy that I have to this day, an '87 Buick Grand National.

Enjoy the car and drive careful! As I said V6 or not it has a lot of power for a teenager!

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
 

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As I said V6 or not it has a lot of power for a teenager!
And some old guys, lol. First vehicle I drove was a 74 Datsun pickup. It was pretty cool, red with black stripes. Black brush guard and rollbar with KC HiLiTES. My first car was a 1978 Trans Am, so that was cool. He'll enjoy the Challenger, it's a great looker, and plenty of power. A Guy
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Some Useful Links for a 3.5L Challenger

Welcome aboard, and kudos for securing your son such a nice ride!

I figure you could use a thread to bookmark for later reference, so here goes my list of links you will probably find useful at some point in the future:

First off, if you are planning on wrenching on the car very much, grab a Chilton's manual for the 2010 LXs: https://www.amazon.com/Chilton-Chrysler-Charger-2005-2010-Chiltons/dp/1620920565
(NOTE: you can probably find that at a local autoparts store for about the same price)


If your car has 100K or more on it, there are some maintenances that should be performed before you go too much further:

- Timing Belt and Water Pump https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/3-5l-timing-belt-water-pump-replacement-614657/

- Transmission Fluid and Filter: https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/nag1-fluid-filter-change-571777/ and https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/diy-transmission-fluid-level-check-539937/

- Engine Coolant: https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/flush-fill-procedure-3-5l-509042/

- Rear Diff Fluid: https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/changing-rear-diff-fluid-573569/

- Brake Fluid: https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/changing-brake-fluid-511498/

- Power Steering Fluid: https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/power-steering-flush-497738/

- Spark Plugs I don't have a DIY thread link to put here, but here's a thread on LXForums for it:
https://www.lxforums.com/board/3-5l-v6-forum/253411-spark-plug-replacement-3-5l.html

and a YT vid series that covers it:
https://youtu.be/q5MCFfwYi-A

- Adding a Cabin Air Filter I didn't do a write up after doing this to mine, but there is another member's write-up here:
https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/cabin-air-filter-mod-installed-w-pics-14534/

I did take some pictures with the intention of doing a write-up though, and those pics are shared out in my OneDrive here:
https://1drv.ms/a/s!BIG-8rk50HoeiPhNhGb0oudlfptkDQ

You can deduce what most of those pics are meant to convey by their names I think.

Also, there is a folder down inside that shared out folder which is named Windshield Wiper Motor or something like that. Those pics are meant to convey a gotcha I ran into after trying to replace the cowl I had to remove for some other task. If you don't get the windshield wiper motor properly aligned with the cowl upon assembly, you can end up with windshield wipers that work but rub up against your brake booster.

- Remove Air Intake Silencer (No write up, just remove your air box and look into that hole from which it draws air. Remove that thing you're looking into for increased sounds at WOT and better air flow all around.)


There are a couple of 3.5L specific threads on this forum that you might read through when you have some time, as they have some general 3.5L-specific info which you might find useful or at least good to bookmark for future reference:
- https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/3-5l-high-output-engine-595689/index4.html#post7700410
- https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/how-many-3-5l-owners-still-active-ct-460001/

Since the Challenger was only alive for 2 years when the 3.5L engine was still in use, there isn't much 3.5L-specific information on this forum, relatively speaking. So it would be a good idea to check out other LX forums that may have much more info regarding the 3.5L engine than this one. ChargerForums.com is one I recommend, as is LXForums.com.

Also, one more note on the head-unit upgrade you mentioned - you will need to install a separate harness that adapts the factory warning chimes to your aftermarket stereo, thus retaining things like low gas alert, low tire pressure alert, charging system alert, etc. If you do not use of those adapters to retain those alerts, the lights will still illuminate on the dash when the event occurs, but there will be no audible "ding" to draw the driver's attention to something being wrong.

That's about all I can think of for now. Feel free to PM me if you ever need any help. I'm a fellow 3.5L owner, and there are so few of us on here, we've got to stick together!!

Nuke
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone.
@Nuke - It's at 101k right now and I appreciate all of the great info. Yes, the TB/WP and coolant were done with the head gasket job.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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I forgot to put the spark plugs on that list of 100K mile maintenances. Given the work you have already had done, they may have already done them, but if not, you'll want to replace them with new ones at some point soon. Realistically, you can probably get 150K miles out of the OE plugs, but there's no reason to try to push them that far if you have the ability and time to do them sometime sooner.

I was always going to do a write-up on changing the plugs on the 3.5L, but I just never did. Honestly, the hardest part about that maintenance is the removal and re-installation of the intake plenum. So any thread write-up I did would most likely just be a write-up on how to remove and reinstall the plenum with an extra post containing info on the plugs or something. Once the plenum is out of the way, getting the plugs out and new ones back in really is gravy.
 

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I've been on here the past few days trying to research and troubleshoot a CEL and vacuum leak, so I thought I would update this thread.

The car seems to be doing great since the head gasket failure (knock on wood). Since then We put on a new front lip and a cheap rear trunk spoiler that we painted flat black. We also installed a Pioneer head unit with the hands free calling and bluetooth audio. My son started driving the car back in July and he loves it, especially with the RT wheels.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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I've been on here the past few days trying to research and troubleshoot a CEL and vacuum leak, so I thought I would update this thread.

The car seems to be doing great since the head gasket failure (knock on wood). Since then We put on a new front lip and a cheap rear trunk spoiler that we painted flat black. We also installed a Pioneer head unit with the hands free calling and bluetooth audio. My son started driving the car back in July and he loves it, especially with the RT wheels.
Yeah, those 17" wheels had to go, it looks much better with the 20" wheels on it. Now you just need to reduce that 4x4 ride height it has :wink3:

A set of SRT springs in place of the OE ones would drop it about an inch and really make the side profile look mean!

Good to hear your son is enjoying driving it. Quick question on mods done so far: have you done anything with the exhaust?

Those 3.5L SEs came with THE most whisper-quiet exhaust I have ever heard on an internal combustion engine powered car, but luckily there is a remedy: Jones Full Boar! A single si/do muffler from their full flow race line of mufflers, slapped on that car in place of its OE suitcase muffler will exponentially improve the sound of the car at startup/idle/low speed driving. But don't take my word for it, give it a listen with your own ears on a car just like that one:


And just in case that didn't convince you, here's one more:


Have you ever heard a more soothing sound in your life?!?! If I had one of those white noise machines to try to help me sleep at night, THAT is the sound I would pipe into it so it played it over and over on a loop. I cannot think of a more soothing, comforting sound to drift off to sleep with! :grin2:

Keep us updated on the mods!

Nuke
 

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@Nuke - That is a huge improvement. Do you recall if it 2.5in/2.5out, 2.25in/2.25out, or 2.5in/2.25out? Or do you recall the model number of the muffler?
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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@Nuke - That is a huge improvement. Do you recall if it 2.5in/2.5out, 2.25in/2.25out, or 2.5in/2.25out? Or do you recall the model number of the muffler?
2.5” inlet, dual 2.25” outlets IIRC
FB425 is the part number I believe, although it may be slightly different depending upon who is selling it. I bought mine from Summit and I seem to remember an X in the part number, like JBX425 maybe.

It’s the Full Flow/Race kind, not the Flow Deflector or whatever that other line is. Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll dig up my original order info and get the exact info for you.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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@Nuke - That is a huge improvement. Do you recall if it 2.5in/2.5out, 2.25in/2.25out, or 2.5in/2.25out? Or do you recall the model number of the muffler?
This is the muffler I ordered: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/JEX-FB425/

I should point out though, since the car has a si/so muffler and only one tailpipe, going with that muffler above will require paying for an additional length of exhaust pipe to exit the other side of the rear valance (plus exhaust tips). That's not hugely expensive in and of itself, but I didn't want to make it sound like the muffler is a direct drop in. In fact, you would have to also either swap out the rear valance for one from an RT (they had dual exhaust and so their valances have 2 holes already), or you can cut the valance on the car to allow for the 2 new (tipped) exhaust pipes to exit. I opted to cut mine, and it came out great. Some folks didn't like their chances of getting the cuts straight and looking right, and so they opted for just replacing the valance with one that was cut from the factory. Both approaches have merit, and both have drawbacks IMHO.

But I digest...

So here is a (poorly) photoshopped pic of the underside of a 2010 Challenger SE that is trying to show how the OE exhaust on the SEs is set up (the stock resonator is out of frame):

2010 stock exhaust - SISO suitcase.jpg


If you were to go with that JFB muffler above, your eventual setup should look something like this (NOTE: stock resonator has been removed):

2010 exhaust mod - SIDO muffler.jpg

Here's the original pic I, errr, I mean someone else photoshopped, just in case you want to see it unadulterated:

si_do muffler placement on 2010.jpg


Depending on the place you had do the work, I think it is safe to plan on spending between $250 and $350 for this mod. Mine cost me $30 for the muffler, $20 for the tips, and then $250 for the labor and parts to do the eventual installation. The parts part of the install can be a little high since they will be giving you all new exhaust pipe from the muffler back to the rear of the car, and doing it twice since you're dual outlet now. If you decided to swap out the rear valance instead of cutting it, you would need to factor in the cost of one of those as well. Although, I cannot imagine they would be very much nowadays, since they are over 8 years old by now and probably easily found at any number of local wrecking yards.

Now I have seen another member on here go with the same muffler but in a si/so configuration to save having to mess with the whole rear valance & dual outlet issue. It came out sounding pretty much the same, but IMHO it wasn't as good looking as it could have been. I mean, when I'm admiring the ass-end of a nice car, I want to see dual outlet exhaust! If I only see one pipe spewing those noxious fumes, it's just not as visually appealing to me, personally. But hey, I've been called a weirdo, and for lots more things than my views on automobile aesthetics, so...
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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But in the meantime, here's a mod which you can do to the car to help improve its sound when at WOT, even if only by a bit: https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/full-boar-2010-se-657721/#post8343605

With pics for reference here: https://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/full-boar-2010-se-657721/#post8348205

That won't do a whole bunch in terms of improving the sound, but with the OE whisper-quiet exhaust, it will help somewhat with the sound at WOT. And some is better than nothing, right?
 

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Yeah, I was going from memory, but I could swear that it was single exhaust all the way back after the two downpipes came together. Thanks for all of the great info. I'll have to see if the boy wants to spend some of HIS money doing this. Dad's money is going towards his own project (Audi Coupe Quattro).
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Yeah, I was going from memory, but I could swear that it was single exhaust all the way back after the two downpipes came together. Thanks for all of the great info. I'll have to see if the boy wants to spend some of HIS money doing this. Dad's money is going towards his own project (Audi Coupe Quattro).
It's probably best to teach him the lesson of sensible budgeting for car mods now while he's young...I never had any money when I was young, and so I didn't learn how to sensibly budget for car mods. Now that I'm old and have money, I tend to spend an inordinate amount of it on my vehicle and then wonder why I'm eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my lunch at work the next few days. :dunno:

But I can't help it, when I see a used Trinity tuner for sale in the classifieds for only $150, I HAVE to jump on it, right??? I mean, that's a steal, plus I was still running the stock tune on my Charger, and that's just unacceptable...so what choice did I have? :confused:

And of course, as expected, that next week I was brown-bagging it for lunch every day, lucky if I had enough change left over from the snack machine to wash my car on the way home. Some days it just seems like it's not worth it :shrug03:

But then all I have to do is get into The Bacon Hauler, fire 'er up and watch the scowls of the passers-by as they recoil in surprise at the decibel onslaught my dual JFB Flow Deflector mufflers deliver to their ear drums when the Hemi comes to life. And it's at that point, that it all becomes worth it! :eek:hyeah:

Tell your son to pace himself and budget wisely. There will always be another mod he just HAS to have, and ditto for a bill that needs to get paid or something gets shut off. Otherwise, he'll end up like me - a middle-aged software engineer living in the burbs and offending his prim and proper neighbors every single morning of their boring lives when he starts his car, constantly biding his time until he can get that next mod for this car, and eternally skimping on the non-automotive mod stuff so he can get it.

It's not an unpleasant existence by any means, but it does get taxing sometimes :D:
 

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Well, the boy got into his first (and hopefully last) accident. Got the call last Thursday. Everyone was OK.

The damage looks minor, but the body shop estimate came in at $7,700. No frame damage, but they said the radiator is bent. At that amount, this is probably pretty close to a total loss, but I am hoping not.

 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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That seems like a $3000 fix, but I’m no body man, so I don’t know. Glad to hear everybody is okay.

So I’m curious, the other car involved in the accident didn’t happen to be a Prius did it?

(Those damned Prii have had it out for Challengers ever since I crawled up the backside of one in my Challenger like a rock crawler making a pass on a hill climb.)
 
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