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Killed my HC - looking for advice - worst case scenario

51647 Views 303 Replies 82 Participants Last post by  WhipCat
Hey everybody!

First post!

I wish I had a better post to start with, but unfortunately I don't. What I have is a dead HC, no warranty coverage and I have now been labeled a criminal mod-er by Dodge. Yes, I made the mistake of listening to my salesman and I am now paying the price. I can go into details on anything anyone cares to know more about but I will try and keep this first post short and to the point.

Here are the details on the car:

2018 Charger HC
Triple Black

Performance related Mods:

Toyo R888R DR’s
BWoody End Links
LMI
Catch Can
Metco Valve cover breather
Cat deletes
2.85 metco pulley/gates belt
Trinity 2 tuner tuned via email tune/data logging
93 octane tune/Race gas tune

Yes, I installed the End links, LMI, Catch can, Breather, Unlocked PCM, Pulley/belt and the trinity 2 tuner and emailed remote tunes.

I learned everything I know from the same research everyone here does and I actually had the time of my life installing these mods by myself and changing out tires several times for track days etc. This had been a life long dream to have a car this powerful, make it more powerful, race it and TRY and do the work myself. I guess that's where I made my mistake. You all can be the judge of that.

I tracked the car once before the mods and ran 11.4/124 which I believe is about what the car should run stock. I then ran it stock at a 1/2 mile event and made a modest 149.6 mph run which I thought wasn't that good. After the mods and tune, I tracked one more time and reduced my times to 10.8/132 which I was very happy about. I was scheduled to again attend a 1/2 mile event and the following occurred just a few days before the event.

The pulley and tuning had been on the car about two weeks when my life changed forever. While out and about, I hit the gas and ended up throwing a P0300 code (random piston misfire) and the engine began running rough. Later after getting home I could hear ticking coming from the engine. Nothing from the SC that I could detect that day. I knew this was bad as anyone would but for the life of me couldn't figure out why it happened.

The only additional piece of information for that day was that I had gotten a fresh oil change that morning. Don't know if that plays into any of this at all.

The only other time a code had ever been thrown was after the first emailed tune I received. It was a P0106 (MAP/Barometric pressure performance problem). The tuner stated that he may not have increased one of the values enough in the base tune he had sent me. He revised it and I installed the new tune and never saw that code again.

After that, I was happy with everything except that when I data-logged I couldn't record the 24 values the tuner was looking for and after much trial and error got 16 values he said he could work with. After receiving another revised tune, I data-logged again and sent those to him with a request for a 93 and separate race gas tune for track days. He sent a final revised tune and stated he had advanced the timing one degree. I asked if that was the 93 or race gas tune and he stated that it could be used for both. I was not sure if that was correct but I went with it since I know he is an experienced tuner.

I obtained some ms109 and ran about 2.5 gallons mixed in with about 5 gallons of 93 to see if there was any difference. I couldn't really detect anything. The day of the engine failure, I had about 2.5 ms109 mixed with about 10 gallons of 93. This was completely a testing and research period for me as I was intending to data log one of the runs. I never made it that far.

The car is not being warrantied due to the mods which I did not try to hide. I had listened to a dealer representative and thought I was completely covered. I was wrong. It also appears that the SC is now making a weird noise as well, sounds like bearings to me. I had taken it to a mechanic nearby just to hopefully help diagnose and after listening to the cylinders with a stethoscope, he noticed a weird sound coming from the SC when the car is shut off. I think the SC must have been damaged as well and is just now starting to show signs of it. I listened to it as well and could hear something I definitely don't like as the engine is turned off. I have videos of both I will try to attach to this post. BTW the mechanic noted that the rattle seems to be coming from the passenger side rear cylinder. He said all the other cylinders sound smooth.

That's my story. I contacted multiple mechanics and so far only one will even attempt to fix the car. Unfortunately he is about 6 weeks lead time before he could get started. I am searching for anyone in So Florida that could get me up and running sooner but it's not looking good. I will be contacting Gearhead Fabs as well, but they are 85 miles from me. I am open to all options though and plan to discuss this with them as soon as tomorrow.

Go easy on me guys, I can hear all the moans and groans already but my questions are:

1 - What happened, why did it fail
2 - Any recommendations on a shop down here that could handle this kind of work in house
3 - What would you be looking to do with your HC if this happened to you?

I don't know what my options are but I know they're all expensive, I've resigned myself to that reality.

Couple things, my baby's name is Bessie the HellBeast. I planned originally on keeping her forever. I mean that. Second, did I mention this was my daily driver? Yes, I'm currently ****ed.

Suggestions, constructive comments, questions, ALL WELCOME.

*I tried to attach video but it wouldn't let me. I will try again down below once I figure it out. Sorry. Added catch can to the list, forgot about that.
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· HOTM Winner
2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Wide Body
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Im having trouble not moaning and groaning and asking why the eff anyone ever does this but i wont lol. This just speaks to the advice I've read here over and over, about how spending money on mods and then cheaping out with email tunes is a big no-no. Without trying to sound too harsh, It really seems like you literally made every mistake possible lol. Dealer info is notoriously wrong, email tunes, the whole thing really. Not trying to make light of it, it really sucks.
I think a qualified pro tuner could decipher this, but it’s kind of a no brainer that they should be the ones doing the tuning. I hope you get some answers and learn some things along the way that can be used by the peeps here. Good luck.
 
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· Super Moderator
Charger SRT Hellcat
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Your mods dont seem out of line, but I wonder and I know many will want to know who is your Tuner?

Gearhead is a good reliable speedshop
So is Stage 6 Motorsports, LLC. | Performance Through Innovation in Florida!

The distance to get your Hellcat there will be well worth the money because of the experienced Hemi builders and Tuners.
Me.....I'd tell you to go to Delaware to the most experienced Hemi shop for Hellcats HighHorseman

Just make sure you send your HC to an experienced shop and Tuner.

Linda :)
 

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Don't know anything about your area since the farthest south I've been in Florida is Orlando so not sure on shops. I would fix it and build the motor to the level needed to support the mods you have. Kudos for not putting this on FCA. I've read a bunch of threads on different makes where the owner modified the car and popped the motor and somehow thought it was on the manufacturer which of course it isn't. Good luck hope you get it fixed and back on the road.
 

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Really sorry to hear it! Unless you could afford the consequences, I know you are kicking yourself now that you realize it was not worth taking chances modifying your $75,000 daily driver and voiding your warranty. It really is a hell beast without any mods. Hope you get it fixed and running strong as ever! Best of luck to you!
 

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2017 Challenger SRT Hellcat
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1st - Welcome to Hellcat Nation from H-Town !
That's a tough 1st thread , sorry to hear this happen to you , but like others have said & others will say, that the tuner & tune is the most important mod of all & you can't cheap out on that.
I hope everything works out for you ASAP, GL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I am familiar with those shops, but I’m looking for a shop closer to the house in Broward. I think i’m out of luck on that front. The shop I have contacted is very reputable and I would gladly take it there (which may end up being where I take it), i’m just looking for anyone that can do the job sooner than 6-7 weeks from now.

As far as the tuner, I don’t know the protocol on that. I’m not blaming him or anyone for that matter as I don’t have evidence that it’s anyones fault at this stage. I only have the sequence of events. I don’t want it to appear I am bad mouthing him and so I left his name out. He may have done everything right. I have his tunes and my logs so anyone that can actually read that stuff and knows how to analyze the situation would have to make a judgement on that.

As far as opinions in modding/not modding, I can say unequivocably, it wasn’t the smartest thing i’ve ever done but I live once and its my money and time. I dreamt of having a super fast car and as fast as HC’s are they can be faster. I’m an enthusiast, I love to drive fast, I love to race and even though I got started late, I wanted to be as fast as I could be and I probably let my excitement and some friendly competition to be the fastest get the best of me. It is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
1st - Welcome to Hellcat Nation from H-Town !
That's a tough 1st thread , sorry to hear this happen to you , but like others have said & others will say, that the tuner & tune is the most important mod of all & you can't cheap out on that.
I hope everything works out for you ASAP, GL.
I agree 100%

This tuner came highly recommended, however if I had it to do all over again I def would have taken it to a reputable shop and had it done. Thank you for the advice.
 

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2017 Challenger SRT Hellcat
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I agree 100%

This tuner came highly recommended, however if I had it to do all over again I def would have taken it to a reputable shop and had it done. Thank you for the advice.
And not to say that some tuners aren't good with remote or email tunes, as long as they know this Dodge HC stuff, bc their a different animal compared to Chevy or Ford stuff from what I've been told.

Hopefully you can get back to racing soon !
 

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With these mods it is almost surely the tuners fault imo. You even had few gallons of race fuel in car with a pulley that should be safe on only pump91/93. Speedy can review your logs if you wanted to ask him. I don’t want to blame anyone but honestly this shouldn’t have happened to you. Im really sorry and hope you can somehow turn this into a positive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your mods dont seem out of line, but I wonder and I know many will want to ok know who is your Tuner?

Gearhead is a good reliable speedshop
So is Stage 6 Motorsports, LLC. | Performance Through Innovation in Florida!

The distance to get your Hellcat there will be well worth the money because of the experienced Hemi builders.
Me I'd tell you to go to De to the most experienced Hemi shop HighHorseman

Just make sure you send your HC to an experienced shop and Tuner.

Linda :)
Thank you Linda! I have read more of your responses to other posts than I can recall. I am in agreement with you about going to the most experiences and I think I am definitely looking for the most experienced I can find that can get to the work somewhat quickly. Thank you so much for responding!
 

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Welcome and so sad! :(

If the crank is still spinning, it's not too late to save the motor. It might take some serious effort and cubic dollars, but as Henry Ford said: "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." Worst case, you reinforce what is busted so it can't happen again.

There are stories I could tell about myself and laying under the car late Sunday night wondering how I'm going to get to work on Monday. Anyone who hasn't been there hasn't done that has a lot more money than I do probably! What I learned is that hard work and perseverance (and the occasional 2x4 to my noggin') wins the day in the end.

Let's see those vids and dig in - hang in there!
 

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I feel bad for ya especially because those are considered mild mods. I really like your honesty and candor though. Hope you don't let this situation discourage your experience of owning one of these machines. Get it fixed right and keep us posted. Hang around, we could always use more people with your attitude. Good luck.
 

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I know Alex Peitz at Peitz Performance does remote HP tunes here in Houston, He's 1 of the best that is not well known across the country but he also teaches HP tuning classes. He was the first to do tcm tunes on the HC also. He did mine.
 

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Moving on to the diagnostic phase now....

Did you bounce off the rev limiter at all? What max RPM did you reach? These modern Hemis don't like excess RPM, and the supercharger isn't a big fan either. You can fix that with reinforced parts, but your mod list doesn't show any of those so it's important to know if there was a high RPM event in here to get on the road to recovery....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Moving on to the diagnostic phase now....

Did you bounce off the rev limiter at all? What max RPM did you reach? These modern Hemis don't like excess RPM, and the supercharger isn't a big fan either. You can fix that with reinforced parts, but your mod list doesn't show any of those so it's important to know if there was a high RPM event in here to get on the road to recovery....
Good question. I can only speculate, but I know I was probably in 5th gear as I was wot with speed still climbing. I don’t think it bounced the limiter but that day is all kind of a blur now. I heard the engine light sound, looked down and let off the gas immediately. I clicked the code that popped up on the tuner when I saw the multiple random piston misfire code P0300.
 

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Second question...Given your mods, I see the potential for more boost, but stock injectors. That's possible but you need to be sure you didn't run out of injector and go lean.

So there's a couple of things to consider...will stay tuned!
 
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