Category Archives: Engine

Headlights V4, Rust Fix, Ignition Coils, Sequential Turn Signals, Shifter

Many things happened at once, as once the front end is apart, it makes sense to add everything at one time, especially if you have other transportation available. The weather has been nice, so my bicycle has been seeing some love during this transition.

First up, the 4H-Tech short-shifter kit, used under the hood connected to the transmission. It works great with the MPX STS and solid bushings – You wouldn’t believe how tight the shifts are – it’s like sex! Installation is pretty simple, but the difficult part is connecting the tiny metal pin clip to secure the new linkage. I recommend using a pair of long needle nosed pilers to hold and attach the clip. The website is visible in the picture below:Untitled

I wanted this design I made for my shifter – will custom print the top portion of their knob, so I made this happen:Untitled UntitledUntitledUntitled

Plasti dipped the back portion of the my stripe – what used to be the Horse-Drawn Records logo, as well as the spoiler that was orange:UntitledUntitled

Upon removing the spoiler, I found the previous genius that installed the spoiler did nothing to seal the hole, or to prevent future rust. By hand, I sanded the tiny portions of rust buildup under the spoiler mounts down to bare metal. I used some rust inhibitor, then cleaned it again and added primer and new orange paint. Also sealed the trunk side, as well.UntitledUntitled UntitledUntitledUntitled

Also painted the rear tow hook orange, and the front one black: Untitled2018

Gloss black roof wrap, using Vvivid vinyl:Untitled

Anyone know where the oil dipstick is?Untitled2018

What’s for dinner? Headlights? Awesome, Dad!! 10 minutes at 220 degrees and BAM!2018201820182018

Color matched eyelids:201820182018

Chicagoland Darts in the house!! #trytokeepup 20182018201820182018201820182018UntitledUntitledUntitledUntitled

Headlights re-assembled:2018Untitled2018Untitled

Finally replaced the factory OEM ignition coils. *tip – If you are patient, you can find these Bosch coils overseas on ebay for $50 each, including shipping if you look around.UntitledUntitled


Finally, painted black fascia pieces and orange trim, replaced the fog lights with sequential fog lights, brought through the front, then sealed with silicone:UntitledUntitledUntitled

Raw AF! UntitledUntitledUntitledHeadlights V4Headlights V4Headlights V4Untitled


Methanol / Water Injection, Boost Leak Fixes, & Solenoid Installation

First of all, if you are confused about methanol injection, then you should read these articles:

Meth injection provides knock protection, cools the engine intake manifold, and allows for more aggressive timing in a tune.  It can also add horsepower by allowing more boost pressure, prevent heat soak, steam clean your pistons, and keeps the turbo running at peak performance.

This installation was done with the kit from Eurocompulsion / HPSI, but is packaged with parts from DevilsOwn – it is a really nice kit.  Mine may be slightly different, as I bought it used and made a few changes.

Here is the kit.
water meth kit

The first thing I did was mapped everything out –  I chose to mount the tank and relay in the trunk, and put the rest under the hood.  I already had constant power in the trunk for my sound amplifier, and there was also a ignition switched line to the trunk, used for remote power to switch the amp on with the ignition.  (These installations can be found here.)

Before I installed anything, I had to prep the tank.  The black part is a tank empty sensor – the plastic part floats, and when the levels drops, it completes the circuit.  This can be drilled near the bottom of the tank, and the wires are run to a small red LED in my dash.  The red and black thing is the check valve – this is installed as close as possible to the nozzle on the IC pipe.

This picture shows the spray nozzle that I tapped into the cold side IC pipe.  I suggest removing the part, drilling it, and then clean out all of the shavings 100%.  The instructions specify the hole size, as well as the size to tap the threads.


These lines easily run along the drivers door liner, underneath the plastic tray inside – there is plenty of room, and then into the truck.  I used a distributor block for the constant power, mounted to the trunk.  Here is the wiring diagram for the meth kit – I had to later change a couple of things to implement the solenoid valve for the factory boost leak.

Boost retainer valve
The relay shows it needs constant and switched power, however, when I added the powered solenoid, it caused the pump to run constantly.  It took me a minute to figure it out – The added solenoid closes the circuit, so I had to later modify the diagram above.  BOTH PIN 30 AND PIN 86 OF THE RELAY MUST BE CONNECTED TO CONSTANT POWER.

It works fine if you just install the meth, but the boost leak needs this change, if you want the solenoid powered from the pressure sensor.

In the trunk, the relay connects to ground, and there are easy grounding screws behind the carpet – I mounted mine on the left side, and cut out the floor liner.  This way, I can still access the spare tire, and under the carpet without moving the tank.  I also had to cut a small slit behind the tank to allow the wires to pass through behind the tank unnoticed.


Cleaned up:Untitled

All of the connections were soldered and waterproofed, using liquid electrical tape.  Two pins went to power through the distribution block, and one line directly to the pump (very short line) and then only one line needs to run under the car, all the way up to the engine bay.  This line connects pin 85 and the pressure switch.  You’ll want to connect this to the “NO” pin, or “normally open.”  This line will also connect to one of the pins on the solenoid, also in the engine bay.  It doesn’t matter which pin – it is easiest to crimp both wires together to the connector on the pressure sensor, and then waterproof it.


You do not need to use the NC (normally closed) tab on the pressure sensor for this application.  You can see the brass T I’ve added, to give boost pressure to the boost gauge and the pressure sensor above.

Boost retainer valve

This is the T that came with the kit – perhaps it works in the Abarth, but it wasn’t the correct size(s) for my installation: Untitled

Use some heavy wire when you run the line underneath the car.  There is plenty to tie wrap it up to, to keep everything secure.  The line is also fused, to be safe. Ground the remaining pin from the pressure switch under the hood – there is an easy one next to the fuse box.

The pressure switch is connected to your throttlebody spacer (if you have one) or teed into the line for your boost gauge, if different.  This has a thumb dial to adjust – set it to about 12-14 psi.  I am spraying with nozzle #2, or 350 ml/minute, which is equal to 5.55 US gallons per hour.  This can be adjusted to your taste and climate.

The second line in the pressure switch goes to ground, and can be purchased on ebay – I found it relatively cheap here.  The second line of the solenoid goes directly to the battery, or constant power.

Use this search term in ebay if the listing goes away: “1/4 inch NORMALLY OPEN 12V DC VDC Brass Solenoid Valve NPT”  Then I purchased two 1/4″ NPT to barb connectors from home depot, and inserted this solenoid between the cold side IC Pipe and the intake.

The evap system also tees into this line, so you’ll want to make sure you insert it before the T, or on the driver’s side.  The direction of the valve is going out of the IC pipe, towards the intake.

boost leak routing

I suggest you review this post by Greg from EC for more info.

The second factory boost leak was discovered by my good friend, Josh Cook ( @Jmcook321 on the .org ) tinkering with his engine.  When he ran a boost leak test, he heard air rushing out of the separator.  For $6.00 on Amazon, you can get a one way check valve that blocks this flow, in the line where my oil catch can is located, between the PCV and the intake manifold.  (Search 10mm 3/8″ check valve.) I don’t have the numbers, but it is likely small gains on the low end RPM, and it is a very easy fix.

check valve 3check valve 1

The arrow below shows the direction of the valve – all you have to do is cut the line, and insert this check valve – super easy!check valve 2

The methanol mixture I use is from Walmart – the winter washer fluid.  Most winter washer fluid is about 33% methanol – If you want 50/50 blend, you have to purchase “Boost Juice.”  The stuff at Walmart is posted as $2.00 per bottle, but when I checked out, it rang as $0.50 per bottle – this may have been an error, but still a ton cheaper than the boost juice.

boost juice

This is what EC recommends:Untitled

Meth party:Untitled

Completed Installation:Untitled



What is a wot box? What does it do? Why?

WOT Box – N2MB Racing
Launch Control
Launch Control – what is it?
Anti-lag System

Answer: Why not?

Enough with the reading, here we go:

First of all, I used to run a Unichip Q4, which used a harness that connects to the PCM, basically inserting itself between the PCM and the car. This made my install quite easy, as I could tap into all of the needed wires from within my harness, without any cutting, splicing, or modifying of the factory wires, except for one. Below is the cryptic instructions I received from their customer service, upon asking if it would work. There were mixed reviews on what would work, what wouldn’t work, and how to do it, as I reached out to several people who had done it before on other social media sites, and I now know the full details of this box.

The colors in the chart refer to the colors on the wot box. The one thing that may be different is the coil output wire, which may be black or orange, depending on the revision harness you receive. This is the basic pinouts from their website:

Below are the pinouts for both PCM connectors – one is slightly larger than the other, so they are easy to tell apart.  You will need to access both:
Dart PCM pinouts C1 connector

Dart PCD pinouts C2 connector

All of the wires tap into the lines in question, except for the ignition coils, which I’ll get to in a minute.  You simply need to tap into the the above wires, with the exception of the coils, in which the wot box is inserted into the path.  Skip the next paragraph if you are comfortable tapping off of electrical wiring, or using

I used a technique where I scrape the top layer off of one side of a wire, using a razor blade. You run the blade carefully down the side of the wire, basically stripping one side of the wire. You can make several passes to give you 1/4″ or so of bare wire, such as this (the actual wire won’t break so easily, as the crappy wire in the pic did – doesn’t matter, though, as the solder will solidify it) I did this quickly for these pics, but it’s easy to get perfect with no broken wires, with a little practice. (Yes, you can just use wire taps, but I make every connection under my hood waterproof, and wire taps look like sh!t) Next, add a small amount of solder flux to the exposed wire. Then, add your solder to the bare wire. This is very easy using the flux ,as it forces the solder to melt away any hanging rubber and seal perfectly to the wire:

The connection is then covered with liquid electrical tape:

Be sure to tin the new wire as well, so when you make the connection they bond. If wires are soldered properly, the bond will be far stronger than the wire.

We need to tap into the wires below:
(PCM Wire Harnesses)
Green clutch large connector pin 84 (light green/orange)
Black ground pin 2 large connector (black)
Blue accelerator pedal pin 83 large connector (white/brown)
Yellow injectors pin 3 small connector (blue/black)

The ignition coil power splice (RED / ORANGE) is to all the coils. The  WOT Box needs to be able to cut power to all the coils.  You can find this on the back on the fuse block – Fuse #16 (15 AMP) – brown/yellow wire.  This is also a dark blue/red wire at Coil #1, pin #2.  I do not recommend running bare wire directly over the engine block to connect at this end, it is better to do it at the fuse block.  If you use my method, you can remove the Wot Box at any time in 60 seconds!

The last part of the N2MB pinout instructions above, in red, is very cryptic. This is what it means – you need to interrupt power to all 4 ignition coils at once, by inserting the wot box in this line – out to the box, from the box back to the line.  Some users spliced into the four wires at the engine block, but this seems like trouble, to me. Instead, there is a brown/yellow wire coming directly out of Fuse #16 in the engine bay. If you pull the fuse block up a bit, you can get to this wire and cut it. I went the extra step, and soldered a waterproof connector here: wot box coil connectors

In other words: “Cut the brown/yellow wire in half, the piece going into the fuse gets wired to the RED wire on the wot box so it supplies 12V to the WOT box, and the other part of the cut wire goes towards the coils, so the orange wire goes there, allowing the WOT box to turn ON/OFF power to the coils.”

This way, the whole thing can be quickly removed. When not in use, the male/female connectors complete the circuit as usual. When they are plugged into the lines to the wot box, it gives the wot box power, and completes the circuit. This was a bit of extra work, but makes for a clean installation, and can be removed to repair, go to the dealership, etc. The red line goes to the fuse, which gives the box 12V+ power, the orange (or 2nd black) goes out to the four coils. You can confirm this with a multi-meter.

These are the waterproof connectors, and I also added liquid electrical tape to every connection, for added safety.

Both the wot box and the Unichip fit nicely in the fuse box – at the bottom you can kind of see the waterproof connectors inserted to the coils:

Finished installation:

The voltages had to be adjusted to work with the Dart. Our throttle peaks @ 1.95V, so you have to drop the APP voltage from 3.0 down to 1.6, and the other settings should look like this:


Ported Throttle Body

This damn car is like my extra girlfriend – I just get things squared away and it’s driving great, mileage is back up, then BAM!! I’m so frustrated, I just cleaned the throttle body, now I’m still getting strange revs up and down, inconsistent engine throttle, loss of engine rev in neutral, and idles up to 3000 RPM. I pulled the hot side pipe off of the throttle body and bought throttle body cleaner, but it looks like that’s not the issue. The thing is so clean I could eat off of it. I guess the stupid car needs a throttle body now. Shit!

At first, the throttle body error light would reset after a restart, now it will not. I guess it was going out slowly, much like my patience. My Corolla doesn’t do this crap, neither does my Yukon. Ugh. I guess I’m riding my bike all week. I cannot get any of my sockets to fit on this nut (the socket walls are too thick.) It is bigger than 10mm, seems like 7/16″ which doesn’t make any sense. I added the Cravenspeed Spacer last year, and it was the worst getting it off and on. Does that spacer come with different size nuts? Reading other posts, it seems like it was a T30 but mine is clearly not that. I can’t get the stupid nuts loose to save my life… Anyone want to buy a Dart?

OEM Throttle Body:20160805_083250

Replaced the throttle body. Interesting to note, the new part was ultra easier to work with from my original. The wrench and socket fit over the new TB just fine, and it was indeed a 7/16″ socket, which came with the Cravenspeed spacer. I put the MPB bored throttle body on as a replacement, as I got it used for cheaper than an unaltered OEM one. This did not fix the issue. I removed the accelerator pedal, still the same P2135 code. Taking it to the shop. (It was a wiring issue in the Unichip harness)


Rear Engine Mount

Most guys have done this first, I guess, but I was hesitant to do it, but it’s not bad. There is a bit more vibration, especially when the AC is running at idle, but I found out the sound system has an off switch! Once I had the music back on, couldn’t tell the vibes unless AC on at idle. I do feel the wheels spin easier, and seems to be more responsive. At the same time I did the rear engine mount (flex, in orange) I also did the CDV delete. My full review of that is here.

This is the stock OEM mount next to the Deyeme Racing Flex mount:20160530_133544


CDV Delete and Review (RRM / Road Race Motorsports)

Review of the CDV Delete from Deyeme Racing

First of all, let me preface this with saying I am no car expert, but I have learned a lot the past 18 months with my Dart. The only thing I can offer is my personal experience, and I hope it helps somebody else out there. My inbox, as well on FB, has been blowing up with people asking about this, so here we go:

I did this installation during the afternoon, after installing the flex rear engine mount, which came in the same box from @DeyemeRacing . I guess I’m their poster-boy this week – lol. I had some prior issues, which is relevant to the topic, so I’ll explain. I bought the Dart last Feb 14 – and the night I brought it home, my clutch sunk to the floor and stayed there. Looking back on the situation, it actually stuck a tiny bit a few times, but I didn’t know enough to recognize it, as it was very subtle. The following week, the Kia dealership, where I purchased the vehicle, replaced the Master and Slave cylinder, as well as the clutch. They tried to blame my driving on the clutch going out – yeah – on the first day I owned it. Anyway, you don’t mess with a Amish guys’s kid – needless to say, a year later Chrysler reimbursed me for everything. Woot Woot!

As time went on, after the replacement, I had 2-3 issues over the next 8 months, where the clutch would stick momentarily, and then pop up. Couldn’t get any video, but I took it back in one time, complaining of the same issue, they couldn’t replace it and claimed to bleed the clutch. It did feel better, and I know they bled it b/c the green outlet nipple was missing (no cap.) As time went on, I would try to analyze the clutch, and I realize that many, if not all, of the “jerky” launches I had in first gear was due to the CDV sticking, ever so slightly, then releasing a moment later, causing a less than perfect launch. I have been driving stick for over 25 years, so I’m pretty confident in my ability to drive any stick, even bigger trucks. If I needed to move quickly, such as WOT, the clutch would stick momentarily. I also noticed (as others did) that on my WOT launches, I would grind third gear. It happened about 5-6 times since I’ve had the car, no more, but it was odd to me.

I also agree with others about the 1-2 shift point. Let me tell you what – this freakin sh!t fixed everything!!  Buy it and get out of here! Go!

What are you still doing here? Ok fine:

Does this feel like a new clutch?

Does this feel stiffer?
Yes, but that may have been accomplished by simply topping off the fluid levels. The clutch feels tight and consistent.

Did I have to re-learn the clutch?

How long did the install take?
2 hours.

Did it change the way I drive?

Does it make me happy?
OMG – Every single launch was perfect, even in slow, city traffic. I have not opened it up yet, I’ve only driven 10 or so miles in city traffic, but A LOT of clutch holding, launches, downshifting, etc. Shifting into second gear was perfect every time. I had no jerkiness, no sticking, no issues, and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t double clutch much in this car, but I do rev match to downshift, and there were no issues there, either – smooth as butter!

This fixes the inconsistencies of the CDV. I really think many Darts’ CDV’s stick a little bit, but so slight that you don’t always notice, until it’s gone. I didn’t have to adjust anything, and driving it was as easy as driving any manual. Also, keep in mind, I never really had issues launching, but looking back, I can see where it was less than consistent. I would say, that if you haven’t done a bunch of mods, this is NOT the easiest installation. The biggest difficulty was bleeding the system.

Two issues I had while doing this installation was removing the CDV without pulling the pushpin completely out. I dropped the pushpin, and it’s very difficult to see in there, so be careful of losing it. The other issue was my air compressor wasn’t powerful enough to use the brake bleeder tool. That fluid drained SOOOO slow. I ended up using a friend to help, so one could pump the clutch and the other monitored the fluid. The biggest thing, is DO NOT LET AIR INTO THE SYSTEM. Make sure fluid stays in your supply tank. I’m not sure if I read it wrong, but I bought 3 quarts of brake fluid, but only needed less than one. It was taking so long to bleed, I ended up topping it off and replacing only what I needed. I’m going to see how it does, as I haven’t opened the other two bottles, but by looking at the tank, I don’t think you could even fit more than a quart in there, but I could be wrong.

I will give more results on the power / racing side on my personal build thread here. I will surely beat my 7.16 second 0-60 now that my clutch responds properly.

If you are in Chicago, New Star Transmission will install it for you for $140 + parts, if you don’t feel confident in your abilities. PM me for details, or google them – ask for David.

OEM CDV:20160530_233527


Custom Silicone Apollo Ram Air Intake with Heat Reflective Tape

New Custom Ram Air Intake – I was going to wait until i installed the amazing heat reflective tape I found, but since it’s a bit unusual, I’ll update that in it’s own post. Currently, I have a K&N typhoon CAI, and I installed the HPSI Ram air tube last summer, and I was playing around with a ram air intake system. I found a 45º silicone coupler, and was able to match it up with a universal K&N Apollo filter I found for CHEAP on ebay. I plugged the hole on the new Apollo, and get the temp readings from the same bung on the K&N. The Apollo sits right in the RAM air tube, just like the HPSI intake. This filter is quieter than the K&N, so you’re not always hearing that much turbo “flutter” sound that some have thought to sound like actual turbo flutter. Now the blow off sound is more pronounced, as I drilled out the Forge plate a bit more, and this is now pulling air from down below and through the front grill. Since I’ve put in a open mesh up there, I’m hoping to get as much air flow as possible.

I also like the large K&N heat shield, and I wanted to keep that as well, for more heat reflection. I removed it, and used a sawzall to cut the bottom out, to make room for the filter down there. I was still able to bolt it on from the top.


*heat reflective tape information below*
Next up – custom RAM air is now finished. Here is a better view of the Apollo filter joining with the HPSI Ram air tube. I pressed two small holes on the top of the tube, and used tie-wraps to secure it to the metal frame bracket. This gave me a better, more solid, connection, and I didn’t have to spend all the $$ on their intake. As mentioned earlier, this is a K&N typhoon intake, with some Yoderian Wizardry. I forgot to take a pic, but I also cut off the top / front of the factory air tube, just inside the front grille, This allows for actual air flow, much like the newer 2014-16 models with the plastic tube.


I wrapped the intake with reflective heat wrap. This stuff is 56% more efficient than the cheap ebay gold stuff. I did some research, and this is what many of the racers use (because #racecar not) I purchgased 1 ft (1ft X 15″) which was $33.00 plus shipping, and is called Aerolite-Shield. You can find it at Earls Indy



Optima Battery Upgrade

Made it to 63k miles, now I need a battery replacement / upgrade.

Normally, a battery is not much of a car mod, but in this case, it was quite the upgrade. I have needed a battery for a while, and I thought I’d make it through the winter, but I didn’t want extra strain on the alternator, so it is time. I pushed it one day too far, as I had ordered a new Optima Red Top battery, but the car shit out on me the day it came in! [doh!] The stock OEM battery is $120.00 @ AllMoparParts + shipping, and is rated @ 600 CCA. Optima does not make a battery specifically for the Dart, so I had to improvise a little bit. I found a universal Optima Red Top that fit, and was rated @ 900 CCA – 300 over stock, and only $100 more, found locally.

The terminals were a little farther forward, so I had to bend the battery connections a little bit. Now all of the extra ground lines are tied to the same post, so I need to do some cleanup. Admittedly, the engine bay was a bit of a disaster, anyway, and I was waiting to swap the battery before I cleaned everything up, re-routed the non-factory wires, and tidied up. I’m going to add posts on the front of the battery and separate the main lines from those, and re-solder some of the ground lines, as one had come off when I was pulling cables around. This battery is a beast – all of the small issues I had (random cylinder mis-fires, random CELs from the Unichip, and strange DRL switchback behavior) are all gone. The unichip uses 100% of the electrical system in the Dart, so it makes sense how much better it runs now. Since I put so many leds & add-ons that this was a needed upgrade.


The strange looking white bar in front of the battery is an LED strip used for resistance to cure the “park light out” error. It will be mounted and moved, eventually.


RRM / Custom Engine Cover

The thing that needs the most work aesthetically is under the hood – I should have done this before ROTM (ride of the month), but whatever. My buddy taking pics said he didn’t take much under the hood b/c it looked sh!tty. lol.

Latest update – I bought a used RRM engine cover for the car last week. I must be missing something, perhaps someone else with this cover can chime in, but it sure as Hell did not fit! @%#^$ I had to double check this is for the 1.4, which it is. The only pics that I can find are with the RRM intake, but three of the four holes provided don’t line up with squat! Whatever, I guess – I made it work.  I was told others had some issues with it rattling, so I wanted to take care of that, first thing. Perhaps mine was missing the hardware, I’d be surprised if they sell this thing for $300 without hardware, as without the intake, it just doesn’t line up.

Not a problem – first thing I did was remove the aluminum plate below the lettering. It was riveted on, so my guess this is where the rattle was coming from for the other user. I cut all four rivots off, and removed the plate. I did some sanding on the surface, and painted it with (of course) orange high temperature engine paint – same I had used for the fuse box cover, heat shields, etc. When I put it back together, I used nuts and bolts with lock washers, so this thing will never come loose, or rattle.

Then I measured the distance between my two engine cover mounting rods, which was 15.5.” I marked the inside and drilled another hole, same size as the other (useless) holes. Once I had it lined up, it looked fine over the engine. I didn’t like seeing the other holes, so I used some black allen head bolts and washers, and secured them from the back with nuts. Now the cover looks fully bolted on, like my car!

I took some metal tubing I had lying around, and cut two pieces approximately 1.5″ each. Then I sanded them down and removed any extra particles – these will be the spacers to hold the heat shield off of the engine. I had to find two longer bolts, as the stock bolts wouldn’t even reach! Fortunately, I had these lying around, too. Now it mounts just fine, clears the engine & hood, and comes on/off quickly, now with an 8mm socket, instead of everyone else’s 10 mm.

I still have to clean up the engine bay a bit. I also added switchback LED DRL’s and had issues with the resistors – no worky! Perhaps it’s due to the switchback fog lights I have, as when the resistor was in line, the side marker lights and DRL cut out. (This means there is too high of a load in the system.) I experimented with a few things, and found that another switchback led I had lying around worked perfectly! So I have one extra LED strip inside the engine bay, which will work great, as I already have other engine bay lighting installed, I just haven’t updated this build thread, yet. At first I wired the white and yellow together, which worked at first, but caused some weirdness with the turn signals. Instead of flashing straight yellow, it flickered in white once every few flashes. This told me there was still too much load, as the yellow is triggered by lower voltage. I cut the yellow power line, removing that load (cutting the load in half) which solved the problem 100%! I haven’t had a single bulb out message in over two weeks of daily driving.

Score one for the good guys!