Tech Tip of the Week
We have received a lot of emails and calls asking about what we recommend as far as Engine Controllers go, so we did the research and tracked down a few wise words on the topic. Courtesy of Mopar Magazine staff member Larry Shepard.
There are many names that are used for engine controllers like ECM, ECU or EMS, but perhaps the most common one and the most general is computer. Engine controllers date back to the 1970s but really became engine controllers in 1984 with the introduction of turbos to production engines. By 1993, these engine computers were used across the board on all Chrysler production engines, cars and trucks. Since then we have learned that engine controllers are very engine-specific and definitely do NOT fit in the one-size-fits-all category. Engine controllers tend to be programmed to the vehicle (car or truck), model year of the vehicle (2006 vs. 2004), engine size in the vehicle (5.2L vs. 392) and almost all engine hardware like cams and heads. While there are programmable units that can be adjusted on a PC, ideally the baseline software program is close for your engine and hardware; however, you should be prepared for tech-support consultations. This is a very complicated subject.
An engine controller or computer manages the complete fuel curve through the fuel injectors, one or more per cylinder. Additionally, this same controller manages the complete spark advance curve—total spark advance, the curve itself and the vacuum aspects. It takes a lot of sensors to perform correctly. In researching Mopar® engine controllers for this article, we found that the details on one controller part number could easily fill this whole column, so we’ll just hit some highlights and let you fill in the details by referencing the Mopar Performance Parts catalog, now available for download at www.moparpartsworldwide.com. If you have any resulting questions, please call the Mopar Performance Techline at 1-888-528-HEMI (4364).
There is no obvious order in discussing controllers so we’ll start with the largest and heaviest. The 392 Gen III HEMI® Crate engine P5153605 is a complete engine assembly which includes an engine-specific controller. The fuel-injected version listed makes 525 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, which is very impressive. The carbureted version of this 392 crate engine is P5153604, makes 540 hp and it comes with an 870-cfm carburetor. Obviously, on this version the engine controller doesn’t control the carb but the crate engine assembly does include its own, unique controller which manages the distributorless ignition system. The service unit (engine controller only) for the carbureted crate engine is P5153608 while the service unit for the fuel-injected unit is P5153528. Both of these controllers are programmable so they have more flexibility and can be used on many different engine projects.
In the last few years the Gen III HEMI has been very popular for engine swapping and many unique applications. The current Gen III engine sizes are 5.7L, 6.1L and 392. While the 392 is the largest and most powerful, the 5.7L and 6.1L have been used in production vehicles and are available at many salvage yards. When using this approach with a used engine, a word of caution: consider the engine’s front cover because truck engines and car engines use two different front covers. In general, the truck front cover locates the accessories higher. This could be advantageous for street rods with tall, narrow engine compartments but not desirable on other wide, low-hood engine compartments.
For several years, Mopar Performance has sold a 5.7L HEMI Crate engine (Gen III). The service engine controller for this carbureted 5.7L HEMI crate engine is P4510816, or P4510342 if it was a fuel-injected version. Both of these service units are non-programmable. This means that these units work best if the engine stays close to the stock 5.7L condition. Recommendations: use with the stock 5.7L cam only. For swapping any of the Gen III engines into non-production-based vehicles you will need an engine wiring harness like P5153606AB (for programmable engine controller, with 5.7L HEMI with carbureted intake and 2003–05 coils). There are many engine wiring harnesses, so look up the one that best suits your installation. Note that in the engine wiring harness description the specific coils are mentioned: 2003–05 coils and 2006-and-later coils. Both of these coils are standard production units and are serviced at your local dealer. The year of the engine defines the coils because the valve covers changed in 2006 and the coil mounts on the spark plug and valve covers.
Another item that is used in the fuel injection system is the throttle body or carburetor and its basic specifications are very important to the controller. The 525 hp 392 HEMI crate engine uses an 80-mm single-bore throttle body which is also serviced (P5153689). There is also a 4-barrel throttle body P4510363 which requires a new intake manifold. The 5.7L HEMI crate engine that used the carburetor was based on the 600 cfm Holley vacuum-secondary unit. If you want to use an Edelbrock/Carter carburetor, then select a 600 cfm AVS unit but expect to do some calibration work.
To race a 5.7L/6.1L/392 Gen III HEMI in many classes, including Stock classes from A through F and all Super Stock classes, you must have an SFI damper. The damper for use with the truck timing cover is P5153631, and the one for use with the car/Jeep® timing cover is P5153630. These dampers are unique because the multi-groove front belt is driven by the standard damper, so these SFI dampers have the grooves cut on the outside diameter. Both dampers come with a keyway machined in. Tip: The production Gen III HEMI engines do not currently come with keyway-grooved cranks. Mopar services the 392 crank—P5153578 (3.795" stroke)—with the keyway groove machined in. This could be important if you add a supercharger to the engine. If required, have your local machine shop add the keyway groove to your crank and use one of these SFI dampers.
Before we leave the 5.7L HEMI fuel injection topic, there are two powertrain controller upgrades for the 5.7L HEMI engine when used in cars: 2005 Charger/300/Magnum P5153331 and 2006 Charger/300/Magnum P5153450. These are best used with HP camshaft P5153325AB and lifters P5153570AB. Also consider adding the transmission(automatic) controller upgrade P5153332, for 2004–06 Charger/300/Magnum 5.7L engine. I recommend using with the controllers listed above.
The fuel injection kit for use with the 360 Magnum® Crate engine is P5153590 (automatic transmission). This kit includes a JTEC engine controller. The kit is based on the 4-barrel throttle body and single-plane HP intake manifold and 33 lb/hr fuel injectors. The A-engine ended production in 1992 and the Magnum family went out of production in the early 2000s. Getting new or HP parts for these engines has been difficult, especially cast iron blocks. The new Magnum cast iron blocks— P5153579, 5.2L with 3.910" finished bore and P5153452, 5.9L with 4.000" finished bore—have a trick feature. They have a small hole drilled between the tappet bores of the same cylinder. This hole is used to hold the special dog bone tappet locators (P5155275). These dog bones come with special flanged screws and small springs that allow these dog-bones to be used with the production Magnum hydraulic roller tappet without the production spider. This system could be added to older HP blocks designed for A-engines and this opens up the door for hydraulic roller cam use in these older engines.
If you want to add engine controllers and fuel injection to your A-engine or Magnum small block then you need an intake manifold to hold the injectors. The Magnum engine has a single-plane aluminum intake for use with the standard 2-barrel throttle body like P5007398AB (with EGR). The 4-barrel throttle body version is P5007790. Both have the injector bosses already machined. The 426 HEMI (Gen II) should use P4876188 which has bosses but will require machining. The best choice for the 440 RB-engine is P4529463 but it will require the bosses to be added and machined. Tip: The key to installing electronic fuel injection onto 426 HEMI (Gen II) and 440 RB wedge engines is a dual-pickup (dual trigger) distributor which is available from Accel (Mr. Gasket).
The Viper V-10 package also uses an engine controller in production. The high-performance version is P4510172AB (2003–06) and P5155254 (2008–09). There are also HP engine controllers for the Ram SRT10® truck built using the all-aluminum Viper V-10 engine like P5153335 (2005 version – the ’04 and ’06 versions are also available).
There are turbo upgrade kits that include four injectors and an HP engine controller for the turbo Caliber SRT4® like P5155175 and also for the turbo Neon SRT4 like P4510910 (2005 version) and for the 2003–07 turbo PT Crusier models like P5153846 (2007 without ABS). See the Mopar Performance Parts Catalog or view the catalog at www.moparpartsworldwide.com for more part numbers and added details. Additionally, there are engine controllers for many of the older Neons like the ’95 DOHC (P5007034).
The first electronic fuel injection kit that Mopar Performance put together was designed for the 4.2L in-line 6-cylinder Jeep engines mated with automatic transmissions (1981–90), kit P5249686AE. The manual transmission version is P5249610AE. It still offers greatly increased power and torque and many off-road features desired by off-road customers. This kit includes a special engine controller which is also serviced separately: P5007146 auto, P5007147 manual. Don’t forget that these kits require a special crank damper—like P5249687 (V-belt version).
Whether you are swapping engine controllers and fuel injection parts onto your carbureted engine or swapping a fuel injected engine into a previously carbureted vehicle or even a newly built vehicle, you will have to sort the complete package out once it is running. This sorting-out process is called fuel calibration. To help with any calibration process, it can be handy to have a boost/vacuum gauge, like 77060032, installed where you can easily read it. This gauge design has the Mopar “M” in the center of the face and reads both boost pressure and vacuum. You will also need a tachometer like 77060057 which also features the Mopar “M” in the center
HOW TO CHANGE THE OIL ON A 2011 DODGE CHALLENGER SRT-8 392 INAUGURAL EDITION
On This Week's "TECH TIP of the WEEK" we are going over the details on how you're local dealership does an Authentic Mopar Certified Oil Change on the new 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 Inaugural Edition. While its always recommended to have your regularly scheduled maintenance done at your local Dodge Dealer, in today's blog, we'll show you how its done for all you do-it-yourselfers so in the event you can't make it to your dealer, you can feel comfortable that you are following all the same steps that your ASE Certified Master Tech is following. They say it might take a Man to get the job done, but it takes a Woman to get the job done right. So we'll turn the riegns over to "Frenchie", our favorite resident Technician here at MoparPartsWorldwide.com
Before you start removing any bolts or nuts from anything on the car, its important for the motor to be at its normal operating temperature. When the motor is cold, the oil is thicker and doesn't drain as effectively. So, to help ensure that you empty as much of the oil out of the crankcase as possible, your Dodge Dealer will bring your motor up to temp. Usually the total time it takes to bring the cars engine temp up is about 10 mins or so. You'll also need to have a Mopar Oil Filter (Part # 4884899AB) and 7 qts of 5W-40 Full Synthetic Motor Oil.
The next step is to elevate the front end of the car to ease the access to the skid plates that help protect the bottom of the engine compartment from debris flying up off the road surface. Obviously it helps to have a lift at your disposal, but, if its not accessible, ramps or jack stands work just as well. Just make sure to secure your parking brakes and block off the rear wheel with a chock to help prevent the car from rolling while you're under the vehicle.
We start by removing the four bolts from the bottom of the 2011 Dodge Challenger's skid plate to open up access to the oil pan and filter. There are only four bolts on the skid plate so its not hard to locate them, they are even highlighted by arrows molded into the skid plate. Use a 10mm socket to remove them.
After the skid plate has been removed, we find the oil pan drain plug is facing the rear of the car in plain sight. If you are facing the vehicle, the Mopar Oil Filter is located just to the left of the oil pan in a vertical position. Here at the shop, we'll start by draining the oil out of the pan. Using a 13mm close ended wrench, we break the oil pain drain plug loose. We'll make sure that our pan is positioned toward the back of the motor because once the plug is removed it will come flying a good 8 inches out of the back of the oil pan. Keep in mind that the oil in the motor is still very hot. So, when unscrewing the plug by flipping it quickly with your finger until you get to the point that the pressure from the oil pushes it off and into your collection pan. Allow the oil to drain completely to ensure as much of the oil has come out of the motor as possible. Then replace the plug and tighten it snuggly. This should be done with a close ended wrench and not a power tool to ensure that you don't damage the plastic gasket on the plug or the oil pan itself. As a good rule of thumb, finger tighten the drain plug, then tighten it 1/2 turn with a wrench.
The next step is to remove the oil filter and prep the new filter to go on. Keep in mind, the old oil filter will still be full of oil. So, move the collection pan so that when you unscrew your filter and place it in the pan to drain as well as catch any more residual oil left in the lines. In most cases, the oil filter will tighten itself through heating and cooling repeatedly during daily use. While wrapping it in a rag will often give you enough grip to break the seal between the engine block and filter, in some situations, you may need to use a filter removal tool that can be found at most auto part stores for around $10-20.
After the oil filter has been removed and the residual oil drained, lightly lubricate the new filter seal with some of the new oil by running your finger around the top of the seal. Doing so helps prevent it from sticking or "mounting" itself to the engine block during your next oil change. While it isn't completely necessary, its always recommended to fill the new filter with new oil before screwing it back on to the bottom of the engine block. This helps ensure that your motor is never starved of oil during start up right after your Mopar Oil Change is finished. It will usually hold about a half quart. Next, screw the new oil filter on where the old filter was located, making sure to only "hand-tighten" to a snug fit. Do Not over tighten your filter because it will make it much harder to remove at your next oil change and can cause a lot of problems for you. Snug the filter up and the heat changes that occur during driving will do the rest. After the filter is properly installed, wipe off any oil drips from the bottom then reinstall the skid plate to the bottom of the engine compartment. Tighten the bolts up snuggly to prevent them from backing out while driving.
Now that we have removed the old oil and replaced the filter, its time to refill the motor with new oil. The 392 Hemi on the SRT-8 Challenger calls for 7 quarts of oil in total, including what your added to the filter before you installed it. Mopar and Dodge recommend using Mobil One 5w-40 weight oil to maximize engine life and performance. Remove the filler cap located on the right side of the motor and insert a funnel to help prevent spills. Connect to the filler neck is a hose that leads to the air filter to help vent crankcase pressure and allow the motor to breathe. Its important to make sure that when you are adding the oil you do so slowly to prevent the oilfrom running down that line and into the air filter box. The simple fix is to unplug the hose while you areadding your oil then hook it back up when you are done. There are no clamps and rings so the hose slides on and offrelatively easily. But, again, its not necessary if you just make sure to pour the oil into the funnel slowly.
After adding the 7 qts of 5w-40 to your motor, the last thing you need to do is reset the oil sensor light on your dash to tell the computer you justchanged the oil. There are two ways of doing this depending on whether or not you have the push button start or key start version of the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT-8. If you have the push button ignition, start by pushing the start button two times with your foot off the brake pedal to put it into the on position. Next, pump the gas pedal four complete times then push the ignition button again to switch the car back to the off position. Then, hold your foot on the brake pedal and start the car up normally. The light should no longer be on. If it is, you will need to repeat the process again. If you have a key start version of the SRT-8, it is very similar. With your foot off the brake, Insert your key and switch it to the on position just before the start position on the ignition. Pump the gas pedal four times then switch the car back off again.Then, hold your foot on the brake pedal and start the car up and you're light should be reset.
With all that done its time to fire up the raw 470 horses and let the motor idle for a few mins to make sure the oil circulates throw the motor a few times. Then, you're ready to hit the road. We hope this helped out a little bit and at the very least, gave you a better understanding what goes on when you bring your car into the dealer for a Mopar Certified Oil Change. Thanks for reading and check back next week for MoparPartsWorldwide's newest TECH TIP of the WEEK. And remember, if it ain't Mopar... it ain't worth it.