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Got a used 2010 Challenger and want to do some changes to it. I got a cold air intake already, but that seems to be about it. Thy don’t make catch cans for my engine and yes I can do the exhaust soon. Any suggestions?
Thanks


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I have a catch can on my engine from Billet Tech. I got it 8 years ago so maybe they dont produce it anymore but they should be available.

Exhaust and a Tuner will do wonders for this engine
 

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I have a catch can on my engine from Billet Tech. I got it 8 years ago so maybe they dont produce it anymore but they should be available.

Exhaust and a Tuner will do wonders for this engine


That’s a huge start of where to look! Thanks


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I'm actually jealous of the sound you can get from a 3.5 engine with an aftermarket exhaust. I swear, it sounds like a V-8 to me.

Good luck to you.


I had a '09 SE, but I only did the CAI and I bought a Diablo tuner, so I can't offer any more advice to you.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Got a used 2010 Challenger and want to do some changes to it. I got a cold air intake already, but that seems to be about it. Thy don’t make catch cans for my engine and yes I can do the exhaust soon. Any suggestions?
Thanks

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What CAI do you have? More specifically what is the air intake tube made out of?

There are some aftermarket CAIs that use aluminum or stainless steel for that tube, and that can be a detriment in terms of performance. Not so much that you lose a bunch of it, but definitely enough that any extra performance you might have gained from the mod could be lost in some scenarios due to that tube’s material of construction.

In terms of performance adding mods, a hotter tune will be the best bang for your buck.

As far as exhaust, replacing the OE suitcase muffler with a si/do or si/so performance muffler (and deleting the resonator completely) will give it a great sound, but it won’t do much for adding performance.
 

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What CAI do you have? More specifically what is the air intake tube made out of?

In terms of performance adding mods, a hotter tune will be the best bang for your buck.

As far as exhaust, replacing the OE suitcase muffler with a si/do or si/so performance muffler (and deleting the resonator completely) will give it a great sound, but it won’t do much for adding performance.

I have the mopar CAI, I was up and down on that vs the k&n ones I’ve used in the past.

When you suggest a hotter tune, you mean the quality of carburetor?

Thanks for the advice on the exhaust, that slight growl would be nice but I’d rather put money in other areas with this car.



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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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The Mopar CAI is a good quality unit, but it isn’t going net you much of a performance increase by itself. The factory air intake setup is technically more of a CAI than most aftermarket ones, but drawing in colder air isn’t the big advantage most people think it is on these engines.

In a vacuum, sure, colder air means a bigger bang. But Dodge still uses a rather outdated method (MAP, aka Speed Density) of measuring exactly how much air is being drawn in at any given time, and the unfortunate consequence of that is the engine will be making an educated guess at the volume of air it is combusting during the times when it would be best to know exactly (wide open throttle engine operation).

That is relevant here because of your CAI mod. That aftermarket device might draw in more air or even cooler air (unlikely to be cooler than OE setup in reality though), but it won’t usually matter because the engine won’t know about the extra amount and won’t be able to make use of it (because of that whole guessing thing I mentioned before).

There’s more to this, but I don’t want to get too far into the weeds yet. Just know that the only time your CAI might be doing some good is when you have the gas pedal floored. However, any gains will be minimal until you inform the car’s computer about the modified air stream.

And that is a perfect segue into the subject of tunes. Your engine doesn’t have carb, it is multiport fuel injected instead. In a port injected engine, the amount of gas for each combustion event is precisely controlled by the car’s computer, and the amount it tells the injectors to spray is dependent upon the amount of air it thinks is in the combustion chamber (this is where the previous paragraphs tie in).

Since your engine uses that computer to control air/fuel mixing (in lieu of a carb), and because it is a MAP based system, there is a predefined table of values that the computer goes by for air/fuel mixing, and the computer also controls when to fire the spark plugs as part of that set of values. And that is basically what is referred to as your car’s tune.

As such, it is possible to modify certain parts of that tune to increase performance. You need a device that facilitate that sort of thing though, which is what you’ll hear called a tuner. Those are very useful for lots of things, but loading hotter tunes is one of the most popular. A hotter tune will provide some performance increase for your car, but more importantly it will allow your engine to take full advantage of mods like the CAI.

A hotter tune isn’t a free lunch though. The tuner devices are expensive and have a learning curve to using them. Not to mention hotter tunes require higher octane gasoline to work properly. Running the hottest canned tune your tuner has available? Then plan on buying nothing but 93 octane gasoline while you do it.

I’ll wrap this post up now since it’s already much longer than I intended it to be when I started. But let me add one last thing: The engine you have is at a disadvantage when it comes to modding for power because of the cars extreme weight and the engine’s relatively low horsepower and torque output. Plus it is getting to the age now that you’re just aren’t that many mods available for that old of an engine. Now that doesn’t mean you cannot mod it and have fun doing it. Heck, I did exactly that recently as a matter fact, but the fact remains you’re going to be limited quite a bit in what you can do to add power because of the particular setup you have.

P.S. I would rethink the exhaust mod. That car is whisper quiet in its original exhaust set up which always bothered me immensely. But you can slap a muffler on there and remove the resonator in that thing will sound outstanding it. Like I said it won’t add power but it will exponentially increase the sound of the exhaust which will increase your driving experience.

In other words it will just make the car more fun to drive (in my opinion).
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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One more thing: how many miles are on the car?

I ask because there is a set of maintenances that need to be done at 100K miles, and if you acquired this car at about that mileage, you’re going to want to do those or have them done.

Check out this post of mine for a partial list of those important maintenances for the 3.5L: http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/jbds-2010-se-599930/#post7700450
 

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Mike Thank You so much for all that info! I knew buying a 3.5 wouldn’t let me go racing, but it’s great to know I can still have some fun with it.

I did already purchase the predator 2 but I’m thinking it may not be worth it since I’ll be putting 93 gas in it all the time. Do you think tweaking it with the lower gas options are even worth it? And yes, there is a huge learning curve with that machine!! But like I said, this is for fun.

I am going to take your advice and not upgrade the exhaust and do those tweaks you suggested for that growl!!!

My baby has 45k on it, got it from someone who stored it during the winter and babied it! I’ll most def check out that link you posted.

Haha I’m at a “fancy” graduation thing, thinking about being greasy under be hood! I love challengers!!


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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Mike Thank You so much for all that info! I knew buying a 3.5 wouldn’t let me go racing, but it’s great to know I can still have some fun with it.

I did already purchase the predator 2 but I’m thinking it may not be worth it since I’ll be putting 93 gas in it all the time. Do you think tweaking it with the lower gas options are even worth it?

This one is tricky. Normally the 93 octane canned tune on a DiabloSport tuner will yield the best performance of all the available canned tunes on the tuner when run with the appropriate octane fuel. However, the 3.5L is an odd duck in this area, as it actually runs the best on the 91 octane canned tune available on DiabloSport tuners. This has been observed and noted by others (mostly driving 2010 and below Chargers with the 3.5L), and I can confirm that is what I saw in my 2010 Challenger as well. I'm not sure why that engine doesn't like the 93 octane canned tune as much as it does the 91 octane canned tune, but it does.

Now, even though the 91 octane tune doesn't require 93 octane gasoline, you pretty much have to run 93 octane anyway since the only options you will have are 87, 89, and 93 (unless 91 is the highest available in your area, in which case you would run that). So running the 91 octane tune doesn't save you from having to buy the most expensive gas, but it's better to have gasoline that's a couple of octane points higher than what you need than it is to have gasoline exactly the octane you need (hot weather and other factors can lower the effective octane rating of the gas you're running).

If paying for the supreme gas at every fill-up doesn't appeal to you, then you can run the 89 octane canned tune which should be available on the tuner as well. Then you are just having to buy the mid-grade gasoline to satisfy it. Is it worth it to run the 89 tune? Eh, that's a question only you can answer. I would say yes, but not because it increases the performance of the engine a great deal over stock. I would run it because it also does other things like reduce torque management and such, which helps firm up shifts among other things.

Also, no matter which canned tune you run (or even if you run no canned tunes and leave the stock tune in place), you should max out the Throttle Boost parameter using the tuner. It's got a sliding scale you can adjust that goes from +1 to +20 I think, but don't bother with anything less than maxed out. It does not actually modify of the engine's fuel or spark parameters, so you aren't actually making any changes to the engine's tune. All it does is modify the electrical signal which your throttle sends the computer when you push on it. It multiples the percentage of throttle that is sent at any one time. While the car gains no performance from maxing out this setting, it does provide the allusion of being a little more responsive to your foot since it is sending the computer a larger throttle signal for any given push of the gas pedal.


And yes, there is a huge learning curve with that machine!! But like I said, this is for fun.

There is a learning curve to using the tuner to its full potential, but I think it is worth it. Once you learn how to use the datalogging capabilities, you no longer have to guess at how the engine is reacting to a new mod or a certain gas station's gasoline. You can datalog your drives and see for yourself.

Ultimately you will just have to dive and start messing with it to learn it for yourself, but I've done a couple write-ups on this which might prove useful:

1) http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/datalogging-diablosport-tuner-266682/

2) http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f108/modifying-canned-tunes-reduce-kr-266706/

That 2nd one is a little more advanced, so I would not try to apply it until you have a good handle on loading the canned tunes and datalogging the engine's output like what is discussed in #1. Keep in mind those were both written back before the Predator II was a thing, so some minor details may be different regarding what you see with your tuner, but the overall basic concepts will still apply.


I am going to take your advice and not upgrade the exhaust and do those tweaks you suggested for that growl!!!

I think you misunderstood my position on the subject of exhaust upgrades for the 3.5L. Even though it won't give a performance boost, I am in favor of replacing the stock exhaust that comes on the car because its sound is so underwhelming. My preferred upgrade to do for it would be removing the single muffler and resonator that came stock and installing a si/do (single in/dual out) full flow performance muffler like one of the Jones Full Boar mufflers (#FB425). Here are some other threads in which this topic is visited in more detail:

- http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f449/strange-new-sound-after-muffler-upgrade-444697/

- http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/v6-exhaust-10-commandments-read-first-621762/#post7935754

- http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/3-5l-high-output-engine-595689/index4.html#post7701913

- Jones Full Boar Performance Mufflers Review - Dodge Charger Forums


If the quietness of the stock exhaust (assuming it is still stock) doesn't bother you, then this mod can be forgotten about. For me, I couldn't stand not being able to hear when the car was running, so I had this on my mod list just as soon as I got the car.


My baby has 45k on it, got it from someone who stored it during the winter and babied it! I’ll most def check out that link you posted.

At 45K, you are obviously a long way from 100K, but some of the maintenances specified to be done at 100K miles also have a time component of 5 years (as in: do the maintenance if either applies). So from that perspective, you would definitely be past time for some of them.

If it were mine, I would definitely do the engine coolant. That stuff goes south quickly after it hits its 5yr or 100K mile limit. I have seen that in person and can vouch for it. You don't want it in there if it's already past its effective use date, and yours very possibly is (absolutely is if it's the factory fill coolant). You can use Zerex G-05 to replace the original stuff, and that's available at your local auto parts stores or online via Amazon or something similar.

I would also consider doing the transmission fluid, though it is probably still okay to use for a while if you absolutely have to. The transmission is a sealed system and doesn't allow contaminants into the fluid very easily, so it's not critical to change the fluid if you're past the 5 year mark, but the sooner you do it the better off you will be. I don't know which transmission your car has, the 4 speed or 5 speed NAG1, but keep in mind that write-up I did and posted up in that link page I provided last time is for the 5 speed NAG1 transmission. So if you have the 4 speed automatic, some of the details will not apply.

It wouldn't hurt to do the power steering fluid since it's likely > 5 years old too, but that's less important to do soon than others on this list. The same goes the for rear-end fluid. It's likely the factory fill and still good, but it's > 5 years old and should be changed sooner rather than later.

The timing belt, water pump, and timing belt tensioner pulley are supposed to be changed at 100K, but I would not wait until then to do yours. You don't have to do it soon, but I would do it before you get to 100K just to be safe.

The serpentine belt and associated idler pulley/belt tensioner should be on the list but nowhere near the top either.

One thing to note concerning the engine oil to use each time you change that out: you will benefit from running 10w-30 grade oil if you can (instead of the ever-popular 5w-30). That 3.5L engine will tend to burn through oil at a slightly elevated rate when running your typical 5w-30 conventional engine oil, but it will not go through as much during your typical OCI if running 10w-30 conventional oil. I'm not sure of your location, but if you live in the northern states, this may not be practical, as 10w-30 can be very thick at low temps (< 40F) and cause lots of engine noises at first start during cold weather. In that case, you should just run 5w-30 and live with the fact that you'll be adding 2 quarts or so in between oil changes.


Haha I’m at a “fancy” graduation thing, thinking about being greasy under be hood! I love challengers!!


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That's what happens once you get the mod bug on these cars. But hey, that's a good thing in my opinion. I could be in my garage working on my car or I could be out raising hell and causing trouble. Which is better??

Oh yeah, here's one final link to check out that can help you get to know your car and learn how to use the tuner to datalog more quickly: Electronic Fuel Injection Mass Flow vs. Speed Density - Hot Rod Network

That article explains the different kinds of fuel injection available today, and the one you want to key in on is the Speed Density system they detail in the section. That's what your car has. That is important to remember because of how it reacts (or fails to react) to performance mods like a CAI or something similar. From the article, "Because a Speed Density system still has no sensors that directly measure engine airflow, all the fuel mapping points must be preprogrammed, so any significant change to the engine that alters its VE requires reprogramming the computer."

That is why just adding a performance mod to these cars isn't cut and dried going to result in a power increase similar to what is claimed on the side of the product's box. Unless the computer knows to look for a different set of inputs, the mod's effects may not be taken into account and no performance gains may be noticed.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Nuke,

Those were lucid, intelligent, well-thought series of posts. Are you feeling ok?
Honestly, no I’m not. I’ve got a splitting headache which is likely the lingering remnants of a massive hangover that beset me Sunday morning as soon as I woke up, or came to, whatever.

A close friend once told me I was a special kind of drunk, one to whom 1 beer is too many and 12 just ain’t enough. I didn’t put much stock in his assessment at the time, but I gotta tell ya it’s getting harder and harder to deny in the face of mounting evidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nuke!!! Thank You so much! You have given me so much information and I’ve been having fun with this too! I tried toying with the programmer tonight but options seemed limited after they did an update for me so I’ll look at it more when I get some sleep. I am ordering a catch can and looking at a tb. Haha my wife is laughing at me cause im bouncing around like a little kid


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Custom email tune might be my way to go lol


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Regarding @cdahl383's post:

1) Theoretically speaking, yes, a custom tune will beat one of the canned tunes any day as far as performance gains for the mod. However, unless you purchased the platinum edition of that Predator II tuner, you will not be able to load any custom tune you pay to have done for you. In other words, you can take your stock tune and send it to a tuner via email and pay them to modify it for your car, but you would have no way to load the modified tune they send back to you with the standard Predator II tuner you have (I am assuming you have the std. model; if you have the platinum version, ignore this).

2) I didn't mention it before for <reasons>, but for the 3.5L engine in particular, a Catch Can can save you some headaches later down the road (~100K miles). The things that the engine does internally that make it a good idea to run a 10w-30 over a comparable 5w-30 conventional engine oil (as mentioned in my last post) are the same things that make running a CC a good idea. You can get away with not having one, but you will be prone to the dreaded P1004 DTC later in the engine's life as the crud builds up in the intake which would normally have been caught in the CC. I have even gone so far in the past as recommend running a homemade CC (made out of an air compressor inline filter) if an aftermarket one is not available or affordable. I have since backed off that recommendation lately as the 3.5L's PCV line location makes it easier to run the smaller inline air filters if going the homemade route (1/4" NPT) as opposed to the 3/8" ones, but doing that will come with its own set of problems due to the small size of the CC bowl on the inline filter (have to constantly empty it out; hard to get to, etc.). But if you are planning on getting an aftermarket CC, then you don't have to worry about any of the homemade issues anyway, so it's all good.

3) Swapping out the rear-end (aka carrier; aka differential) for a lower geared one is probably the best mod you can do for that car to improve seat-of-the-pants acceleration all in one shot. You won't actually be adding HP/TQ, but you will be ensuring the car gets into the engine's sweet spot, in terms of torque output, more quickly and stays there longer. (At a base level, that is basically the goal for any performance mod really). However, swapping out the rear-end in one of these cars is not simple, especially if all you have is a floor jack, some jack stands, a garage, and some hand tools. You could pick up a lower-geared rear-end from a wrecking yard for several hundred dollars, but you would spend all weekend rolling around under your car in the garage trying to get it swapped out with your current one, and that's assuming you got it done in just one weekend, which is no guarantee if you've never done it before.

Also, on the subject of going with a lower geared rear-end - if I were going to do such a mod to my 2010 Challenger (and believe me, I had planned on it several times, just never pulled the trigger for reasons mentioned above), I would want to make sure it was worth the effort and expense of doing it. In my opinion, just going with one of the 3.06 rear-ends would not satisfy that. You have the 2.85 rear-end in yours, so going down to a 3.06 would not result in a huge difference in acceleration. For me, in order for the mod to be worth it, I was planning on going with one of the 3.64 rear-ends available in older model Chargers/Magnums/Avengers. Going from the 2.85 to a 3.64 rear-end ratio would definitely be felt when accelerating from a dead-stop...enough to make all the trouble and expense worth it, IMO.

NOTE: if you want to research prices and availability of rear-ends in local wrecking yards, use car-part.com to do the search. Do not specify Dodge Challenger in the search page though, as there were only 2 year models with the 185mm rear-end non-LSD like you have, and 3.06 was the only other ratio available in them. You should specify Dodge Charger (years '06-'10) pick any non-LSD rear-end from a RWD version (not AWD-front) to see all the compatible options. That will basically boil down to 2.85, 3.06, and 3.64. One of those you already have and one doesn't have a good ROI IMO (3.06), so that just leaves the 3.64 as the sole search choice if you go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lol of course I purchased the wrong one for that! Oh well I’ll have to learn to become an expert.

I found the catch can on billettech and just ordered it! They seem to be the ONLY ones who have it for the 3.5L and they gave a military discount, double score!

I love that idea (which I would have never thought of) for replacing that part. It’s not something I’d do, that’s too far out of my range of mechanics I’m willing to try.


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Long time lurker, first time poster specifically for this topic... Just wanted to share my upgrades and also say thanks for the 91 tune tip to guy above (posting from mobile so I can’t see your name).

I’m running a 93 tune, which I’ll be changing to 91 in the morning (obviously), just looking through other threads to see which parameters can be changed.

Besides that, K&N CAI, JBA shorty headers, three inch stainless steel straight piped MotorSport exhaust with cat delete, JDM catch can and breather filter, air intake silencer delete, Diablo Trinity for the tune, functional hood scoops.

Oh, and, my baby is a 2010 3.5L Challenger, who broke 101K miles as well just the other week!
 

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Lol of course I purchased the wrong one for that! Oh well I’ll have to learn to become an expert.

I found the catch can on billettech and just ordered it! They seem to be the ONLY ones who have it for the 3.5L and they gave a military discount, double score!

I love that idea (which I would have never thought of) for replacing that part. It’s not something I’d do, that’s too far out of my range of mechanics I’m willing to try.


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A word of advice. Before you get too involved with the mods, swap out the rocker arms on the 3.5L BEFORE they get bad. That is a known problem with these engines.

http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f38/well-boys-i-ve-rolled-her-91476/index6.html

Enjoy.

Greg
 
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