Category Archives: Engine

High Flow Catted Downpipe by RRM / Hi-flow Cat DP

Best/last mod of the year! woot woot!! (for real, this time)

My new sink trap!

RRM High Flow Catted Downpipe Review:

I got a good deal on the DP on Cyber Monday, and it went under the tree “from my wife” for Christmas. The recording studio is pretty slow at the end of the year after Christmas, so I had some time to borrow some jack stands & jack and installed the Catted Downpipe. The part is stainless steel, so it looks amazing, the welds were solid, and it fit perfectly. At first, I loosely bolted it to the exhaust and tried to put the clamp back on to the turbo, but it was too difficult to get a tight seal. I recommend loosely bolting the top clamp first, and then tighten up the bottom bolts to the exhaust and mounting plate. I was not able to re-use the factory heat shield, as there were no mounting tabs on the new downpipe. It could still be bolted at the top, but my guess is that you may hear the heat shield flapping around in the engine bay. It looks pretty sweet without the cover, but I may get some (orange) heat wrap for it, instead of the cover. I’m not sure if that would accomplish the same thing, but they are only $23 on ebay.

First thing I did was start it up, and damn, does it sound nice! It’s very similar to the straight piped exhaust, but has a deeper tone, but gets more aggressive as the RPM goes up. At idle, it’s only a few decibels louder, but when you step on the throttle, it opens up and sounds MEAN!! I took my foster daughter to the suburbs on the highway, and she noticed it right away – she told me the car sounds “sexy as Hell.” When it starts, especially in the brick garage, it sounds BIG! Everyone is usually surprised when I tell them it’s only a 1.4L.

I did three engine cycles right away, and no CEL. Checked the pending codes as well, and the car was happy. I simply used the factory O2 sensor, which attached perfectly to a connection on the new dp.

As far as local, city driving, the turbo now spools earlier, under 2000 RPM, instead of 22-2300 RPM. The turbo used to hit like a brick wall at that rate, but now it comes on much smoother. I wasn’t digging in, at first, and I was monitoring levels and listening to the change in exhaust sound. It got much raspier as the RPM went up a bit, and turned a few heads, as well. My turbo used to hit hard, but then seemed to die down a bit over 3500 rpm, and the most turbo boost felt (butt dyno) was at 2200-2400 RPM. Now, however, it comes on smooth at 2000 RPM and feels strong all the way up to redline! I did a few 0-60 runs getting on the highway, but I have some practicing to do. I thought the traction control should be off, but I was spinning all over the place, and couldn’t get a decent time.

A few weeks after the installation, I do get a pending P0420 alert, and doesn’t go full CEL until 20+ miles highway driving, quicker if driving aggressively. I did buy an O2 spacer, but haven’t put it on, yet. I will report back, once I do that.

*update 01/19/2016

Little update, this morning the CEL went away on its own. Ironic, as I was on my way to the muffler shop to add the spacer. I deleted the factory 18″ resonator, as it wasn’t really doing much anyway, and I had a larger diameter (2.5″) resonator installed. It’s still 18″ but a bit more efficient, and sounds more growly, instead of raspy and harsh. In addition, I’m a music producer/engineer, so my listening is also critical in my ride – this was a great mod, IMO.

Anyway, the CEL for P0420 went away, but then I had a pending P0139 code – no CEL. As Jimmy was putting on the resonator, i asked if he would pop the O2 spacer on for me, which he did. I was feeling far too lazy to jack up the car, lose the belly pan and fight with it on the cold garage floor in -10º F weather. It was well worth the $10.00 to me.

So far, I have no CEL – I will update later, after 100 miles, or so.

Here are some pics of the RRM High Flow Catted DP – I forgot to add them with the review:
50 miles or so – the cheap $15 O2 spacer worked fine – no CEL, no pending codes.

O2 Spacer: (from


Boost Gauge and Throttle body Spacer

Here’s a pic of the Halo Pro Sport Boost gauge next to my most favorite mod of all time, the Ultra-Gauge.  I installed the boost gauge through the Cravenspeed throttle body spacer, the way to get the most accurate boost reading.

Here is the Cravenspeed throttle body spacer, or as I like to call it, the bloody-knuckled, curse-infusing hand-destroyer:

There are only a few of these out there – and they all work basically the same. It’s such a PITA to get the bottom bolts done/undone. Anyway, back in the day, people put spacers on the throttle body for power and performance, but on this car, you will notice no change. I bought the one from Madness Autoworks, as it was the cheapest. They all come with a plug and a nipple – the nipple is used to connect to meth injection or a boost gauge, which is why most use them on this car.

Using this method, you will get little to no oil coming in your boost line. Mine had a filter, but it’s completely clean, so far! This one is made very well, and connects securely, but they are all basically the same.


Lightweight Pulley

The lightweight Pulley from Road Race Motorsports. Thanks @Exitus04 for the help on the installation. Everything installed correctly, no issues, no CEL – and it’s working fine. IDK if it’s all the other mods I have, or the Unichip already on there, but I’m not really feeling any difference with the pulley. I’m surprised, b/c people on here have said it’s the single best mod for the 1.4T – so maybe I’m just not noticing it, yet.

Also added front Mopar splash guards. They are subtle, but they should stop some of the wheel spray on my doors from the extra wide tires. I had to trim down the side skirt a little bit, but no biggie. It looks pretty cool, too!

When I left Joe’s – it was mostly highway, and I had loaded a new tune via my Unichip. I should only do one thing at a time, to be fair. Now that I’ve gotten used to the Abarth 500L tune from Eurocompulsion, it’s pretty rockin! I can really plow through city lights, stops & traffic now, more than before. I notice that if I’m not careful, I can spin in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear, even on downshifting. It seems to jump off the line quicker, and gets up the RPM easier. The 500L tune is nice, but I think @gentz tune is still putting down more power, but I haven’t run the two side by side on a dyno, either.

I’m not sure if it adds any HP to the wheels, but it definitely adds torque. I can also launch at less than 1000 rpm and it really gets the car moving. Keep in mind, 184 is the engine HP, at the wheels stock HP is about 135. I drove a 2.4L automatic as a rental – it had some pick up, but not like the 1.4T with mods – not even close. When my turbo hits @ 2200 RPM, I have to be careful not to spin the wheels, as that has happened several times as I get used to the new tune and pulley.

Update* (The Mopar splash guards were replaced when I built the side skirts, although any style will now work with my side splitter rails.)


FMIC and Intercooler (IC) Pipes

I asked my wife if I could bring this to bed…20150727_233900
Needless to say, she was not nearly as excited as I was about the new FMIC!

FMIC time! ! ! ! It’s time to do some installation fun! I got some tips from some very helpful members on the .org, and the DRP pipes arrived in the mail, too! Yippee!

So I am using my buddy’s garage, and I’m doing all of the final mods at once, so I don’t have to keep pulling the front fascia off. I have the front end off, as well as the aero panels and intercooler shrouds, and now I’m ready to tackle the challenge before me!

I also now have full 2.5″ coming in to the engine, the intercooler & pipes, as well as going back out through the exhaust.

This is the weak, stock FMIC:

FMIC – how to / installation / part list

@jrobmsu (at asked me about the FMIC on Facebook, so I’d thought I would elaborate, as I spent a ton of time doing research on this topic with people who know more about it than myself. First of all, the stock FMIC is 27 X 7 X 2.5, or 337.5 cubic inches. You don’t really want one twice the size, or larger, as others have confirmed that it takes the turbo a lot longer to spool up, and you would lose precious low end torque. On the other hand, the stock IC is pretty weak, so even a third party unit would likely be more efficient at the same size.

There are kits out there, but quite expensive. I put in one from ebay, that is 28 X 7 X 2.5, or 490 cubic inches. IMO – this one is perfect. Perfect fit, good width, and everything connects pretty solid. If you stick with 2.5″ I/O you will have the best possible air flow, but it is tight to fit in there, so you have to massage the hoses to fit them in a bit. I took some images of what I purchased last year, so hopefully, this will help someone else out, too. I didn’t know jack-squat before this car, so I’m learning as I go, as I fix other stuff for a living, so this is very interesting to me.

Here is an example shopping cart from ebay of everything you need, assuming you have 2.5″ IC pipes, such as the DRP. You need two of the 90º couplers, & several clamps. I cut the aluminum pipe in half, one for each side. Remember to put the clamps in a direction where you could access it without the fascia off the car, in case you have to change something later.

intercooler part list