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!


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 BigDaddiesGarage.com)


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.)