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Hello all. I'm an infrequent visitor, but always get good advice when I drop in. I have a dilemma that I hope to get some experienced insight for...
I currently own a 2013 SRT 392 (automatic) with 36k on the odometer. I am the second owner and bought the car in 2015 with only 18k. Since then, the only mods that I have installed are a K&N CAI along with front and rear strut bars.
I recently located a 2016 Hellcat with 12k miles. Dealer is asking $54k for the Hellcat and offered me $27,000 for my trade-in. As much as I would love to own a Hellcat, my family and I have a lot of sentimental attachment to our silver SRT. I'm also not keen on dropping an additional $27k to take home the Hellcat, but it isn't completely off the table.
Alternately, I've debated modding my car for a few years now, but didn't have the time or resources. I now have both, but do not know how to get the most bang for my money. I am contemplating two courses of action, based on a $10,000 budget:
1. Invest in a Comp cam, some good short-tube headers, new pipes, and a good tune, or...
2. Get forged pistons and a supercharger.

I'm comfortable installing bolt-on mods, but am reluctant to get into the inner-workings of the engine. I don't really have the space or tools to pull the engine and do the work required to install a cam or new forged components, so a third-party will be involved in the work and subsequent tuning in either case.

Ultimately, I want to get the most for my money and drive away from the endeavor with a car that has significantly more power, sounds good, and would be able to support more mods in the future. Your collective feedback is appreciated.
 

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For forged internals and a supercharger, you are looking at a much higher tab than 10k, especially if you are not doing the work yourself.
I think the cam option is not going to satisfy you though it would fall well within your budget.
Now I am all about sentimentality. Many here will tell you to take the plunge and go with the hellcat because you’ll have a warranty and yada yada. I will never get rid of my Challenger because of the attachment I have to it since I was 16.

If I had 10k to throw at a bonestock 392 I would do the following (in my state, don’t know if you have different regulations):
Drop in pistons and rods- 2k
Nitrous kit including all safety components/plugs-2500
Standalone fuel setup for the nitrous for race fuel-2k depending
Tune-500
Expect 2-3k install labor

That puts you very near your budget or slightly more. You could throw a 200-250 shot at it without a blink and probably catch a lot of hellcats off guard with the power it’ll make. You are talking a 200hp increase. Spray the car when you want and don’t when you don’t. I also believe that nitrous setups are some of the easiest things to install. If you have any sort of wiring experience, you could probably do the install yourself and just bring it to a shop for the internals and a tune. Later could do better wheels and tires and longtubes/cam/heads for a the NA portion of power.

That would be my recommendation for all out power. I don’t know exactly what you are looking for (drag car, more fun daily, or something to rival that hellcat you are looking at).
You could definitely opt to build a more rounded car by doing cam/heads and longtubes. Expect to pay around 7k between parts and labor. Then you could do a decent wheel and tire setup if you wanted. But you will probably only see 60-80 hp gain from such an investment.

Really depends what you are looking to do with the car.



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Personally, I would put the cherished times with your SRT in the memory bank, and go with the HC.

It appears that you're ready for more power, don't want to do internal engine mods yourself, and have a $10k mod budget for the SRT.

If the HC is the color that you like, and is in good shape, trading is a financial no brainer to me.

The dollars invested in mods give no returns on the value of your present car, while trade money invested into the HC, will get you a stock, higher valued vehicle.

Add to this, you'll have the performance and fun, ready to go, right off that bat.

Good luck on the choice you go with.
 

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Hello all. I'm an infrequent visitor, but always get good advice when I drop in. I have a dilemma that I hope to get some experienced insight for...
I currently own a 2013 SRT 392 (automatic) with 36k on the odometer. I am the second owner and bought the car in 2015 with only 18k. Since then, the only mods that I have installed are a K&N CAI along with front and rear strut bars.
I recently located a 2016 Hellcat with 12k miles. Dealer is asking $54k for the Hellcat and offered me $27,000 for my trade-in. As much as I would love to own a Hellcat, my family and I have a lot of sentimental attachment to our silver SRT. I'm also not keen on dropping an additional $27k to take home the Hellcat, but it isn't completely off the table.
Alternately, I've debated modding my car for a few years now, but didn't have the time or resources. I now have both, but do not know how to get the most bang for my money. I am contemplating two courses of action, based on a $10,000 budget:
1. Invest in a Comp cam, some good short-tube headers, new pipes, and a good tune, or...
2. Get forged pistons and a supercharger.

I'm comfortable installing bolt-on mods, but am reluctant to get into the inner-workings of the engine. I don't really have the space or tools to pull the engine and do the work required to install a cam or new forged components, so a third-party will be involved in the work and subsequent tuning in either case.

Ultimately, I want to get the most for my money and drive away from the endeavor with a car that has significantly more power, sounds good, and would be able to support more mods in the future. Your collective feedback is appreciated.
For what purpose will the hp the mods add be used? The car as it is is not under powered. It appears to be well on its way to delivering a long and trouble free service life.

The mods almost certainly will affect the car's service life. Mods with rare exceptions is money down the drain when it comes time to sell/trade in the car.

You might as well walk outside and throw the $10K to the wind.

If you really want more power the best way, the least risky way, almost certainly the least expensive way to get more power is to buy a car that comes from the factory with more power. All the hardware has been selected and matched to deliver the extra power in as a reliable manner as possible. The car could even come with a warranty.

If your financial situation is such that you are in a position that trading up to a higher performance car would be relatively painless and not materially impact your life or that of your family then considering upgrading to a Hellcat.

However, I can't blindly recommend even this path. I own a Hellcat and in some ways it is an awesome car but it is not well suited to being a family car. Noisy, mostly the loud exhaust. Terrible gas mileage. Consumables are rather expensive. Two new rear tires -- driver side got a puncture and both tires replaced -- cost $600. I shudder to think what new brakes will cost based on the reports of Hellcat brakes running around $2K...

The car is huge and when I drive mine I do so on days I know I won't be parking it in places I'm not familiar with but instead parking it in places that I am familiar with and know there are places that have the room for the car.

Navigating drive way entrances/exits is a pain. The nose drags horribly unless I can angle the car as I enter or leave a driveway but often other traffic interferes with this.

Parking lots it seems are filled with wanna be demolition drivers hell bent on running into as many cars as possible. Traffic laws like stop signs, right of way, speed limits are violated right and left. I'd rather walk through a middle east mine field blind folded with oversize shoes on than drive my Hellcat through the local Safeway parking lot.

There is no way one can use Hellcat power on the street and remain within the law. Several times a week mine gets used for my work commute. The RPMs barely get much over 2K and only a fraction of the engine's 707hp is called upon.

My advice would be mod your existing car only if you like to turn "lots" of money into no money. And turn a nice car into a not so nice car that requires more care, servicing, can become less reliable, costs more to run, and suffers accelerated deprecation from the mods which put most people off a used car.

Buy a Hellcat if you want to drive a beast of a car day in day out that drinks gasoline like there is no tomorrow and in other ways is expensive to own/operate.

Or leave the $10K in the bank. You still get to enjoy your current car, which you admit you and your family have a sentimental attachment too so it has to be a superior car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate all of the feedback. I received three different courses of action from all the feedback: 1. keep the car stock and be happy with what I have, 2. possibly opt for a more cost-effective nitrous set-up, or 3. Pull the trigger on a used Hellcat.

I have raced my Challenger a few times at the south Georgia Drag strip, near Valdosta, GA, but do not do so with any regularity. Although I wouldn't mind better strip performance, I am really more interested in just getting more street performance from my car to catch some folks of-guard. I definitely want to keep my SRT enjoyable to drive.

Yes, I love my SRT, as do my wife and daughter, but truth is, they rarely ride in it. My daughter is almost too big to ride in the backseat any longer. I mostly just take the car out to cruise on nice days or to enjoy a night out on the town with my wife in. The car runs great and aside from some intermittent problems with the UConnect radio/nav system, is a pleasure to own and drive.

I acknowledge the reality that mods are generally a "waste" of money in the long run and may limit the service-life of the car. I'm not a professional racer and could certainly use the money on more meaningful purchases or investments. I'm not, however, very concerned with trade-in or resale value down the road. If it gets traded in, it will only be for a Hellcat (unless Dodge comes out with a dramatically lighter and faster SRT model in 2020...). Rockster's comment regarding HC expendables is also pretty sobering. Aside from my SRT, I own an older Ford truck and a 2010 Volvo XC60. The Fors is cheap and easy to own and maintain, but the Volvo requires expensive parts, so I'm reluctant to add another, similar vehicle to my stable.

Still, though, it's a tough dilemma for me. I don't think I'm really ready to commit $27k to cover the difference of my trade-in toward the HC. Likewise, if NewoldChallenger is accurate in his assessment, then I don't think $10k to gain just 50-80HP is a sound investment.

What's a man to do?

As an alternative, if I rule-out the Hellcat option, but still want to add some performance mods, do you guys think that a good set of headers and some new piipes (and maybe a simple tune), would be worthwhile to get a few more horses under the hood?
 

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You've got shorty headers already from the factory.

Exhaust alone won't give you much at all.
 
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