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2008 Grand Cherokee 345ci 4x4

Old 03-26-2019, 04:38 AM
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Still haven't had time to create any videos of hard launches or WOT pulls.
I think it's enough to say that I would stack up against any stock SRT-8 Grand Cherokee with confidence.
I'd stack up against a track hawk, too. As long as they'd be willing to launch on a shallow river bed, haha!

Anyway, the work continues on the Cookie Monster.
The shop seems willing to follow up on their work, which is a really good thing. Seems like the least they can do.
I found some bolts on the transmission housing which were loose. I was furious, especially because they had absolutely no reason to access the transmission at all.
The trans dipstick showed it was still topped off with fluid, so I drove it down to the shop and they corrected their screw up right away, re-checked the rest of the undercarriage and scheduled another follow up fr today.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of cosmetic issues with their work. Broken plastic clips, poorly installed baffles around the radiator, etc.
Absolutely sloppy and unbecoming of a performance shop charging premium labor rates.
We will see if they make good on their promise to correct the issues. But I definitely won't be starting any new work at this shop.
They made a few big mistakes on this build which cost a lot of time and money in re-machining parts, replacing broken parts and multiple reassembly attempts.
Worst issue that remains is that it feels like one of the driveshafts is rubbing against the exhaust system while the system is cold. Ugh!
Seems these guys are only interested in very expensive builds for race purposes. Anything shy of big boost, race gas and extreme mods is treated with disrespect.

I was at least able to confirm that they did do the upgrades and tuning which they claimed they would do. The log files and base tune map are loaded into the tuning tool. The drivetrain feels strong and healthy.

It's not worst case scenario. But for the amount of money I spent, I am very disappointed.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:46 AM
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The shop is doing a good job of correcting issues.
They haven't complained, or mentioned cost at all.
It is a 100% change from the excuses and strife they gave me previously.

I've put about 200 to 300 miles on the Jeep since the work was done;
Not evidence of knock retard, no strange engine or transmission behavior, no concerning behavior at all.
In the end, that's what matters most to me.

I suspect that there might be room for improvement.
I think the current tune has the engine running slightly rich and I also think the tune leaves a considerable amount of power on the table.

Still, I'm happy with the outcome so far.
We will see how it holds up through the next oil change.
(Including a big 5 hr road trip I have planned)
If everything keeps running smooth and strong, I will be looking to have an AWD dyno tune performed before the end of the year.

While I don't have anything particularly bad to say about the shop that did the work right now, I seriously doubt they could ever make an offer that would convince me to have new work performed there.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:20 AM
  #63  
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I put another 500 miles behind me over the weekend.
The engine is running strong but I noticed some strange behavior:
1. After 80mph at wide open throttle, this thing unleashes a whole new can of [email protected]@$$!!
Clearly ramped up more than 20hp (possible a lot more) on the butt-dyno as we passes 80mph and hit 120 between glances at the speedometer.
My girlfriend felt it clear as day and asked if I had been holding back from WOT this whole time. No, I had not. It just has a lot of potential power we haven't tapped into yet.
I'm about to get the shop on the phone about it today.

2. Idle is a little rough.
I get a good amount of shake from the engine after it warms up and returns to idle.
I believe this is due to being tuned to run a little rich. I also think the engine could really benefit from upgraded ignition coil packs and spark plugs.

Other than that, the Cookie Monster is driving just fine. Thank God after all the hardship with the build!
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:52 PM
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Next you will be ready to boost it...
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:36 PM
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Honestly, boost seems inevitable at this point. Fromwhat I understand, my current cam specs would support it as is.
That and we all know how it is. As soon as you get done with the first mod, you start planning the next!

This thing's going to end up with A/C routed into the supercharger like they do on the demon eventually (moment of silence for my girlfriend's dreams of diamonds and beaches). Haha!

Anyway, thanks for the great advice.
Sorry I haven't posted videos of launches and pulls yet. It's hard to do in my area and I really didn't want to sort through hours of roadtrip video to pull out one or two highlights.
I'll get around to it one day.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:40 PM
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Sounds like you need to finish sorting out this stage before going to the next.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:28 AM
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You're definitely right, Iowan.
I'm confident the engine would drive as-is for a long while. But I need to do some supporting mods to smooth out idle (and probably beef up the torque converter) before I think about adding more power.
Fortunately, I don't lean 100% on my vehicle to get me to the office (meaning I spend very little time sitting at idle). So, I'm okay with the slightly extra vibration at idle.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:12 PM
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Well if it lets you down... You can always go this way with it....
https://www.clevelandpap.com/product...gine-packages/
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Old 04-03-2019, 04:04 AM
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Nice Bob, I like the turn key motor with trans combo. Sounds to me this truck is gonna be getting some heavy use. Where are you located? Do you have a local drag strip? The one here runs "take it to the track day" one evening each week through the summer to allow us commoners to run our cars. After a simple safety inspect of course. Depending on the time you are running the safety requirements can increase. You should check into that, it is a safe way to test out the truck with real numbers.
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RacerHog View Post
Well if it lets you down... You can always go this way with it....
https://www.clevelandpap.com/product...gine-packages/
Mmm... Only $24k for that Hellcat motor/trans combo!
Haha!
As of right now, I'm only $19k into this vehicle, including dealer purchase price and the 100k warranty.
I've already decided I'm going to do what it takes to keep it running for the rest of my life (even if I were to win the lottery, this thing would stay in my garage).
I'll probably end up sinking another 5 to 7 grand on mods into it in the distant future, but I'll be happy for a good few years once I get this tune straightened up.

I'll save the crate motor idea for another vehicle. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to put that kind of and energy into a vehicle like this one.
Maybe I'll buy a chassis and dress it up with one of those engines for amateur dirt track / circuit one day. Maybe if I live long enough to retire.
It's nice to dream about.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:19 PM
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Hope it all works out and you are happy with it.... I was just pitching up their as on option if it all go's sideways on you...
I am Looking forward to the updates...
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:23 PM
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Well, I do appreciate knowing there are options if it all goes really bad.
I'm not too worried right now. Just wishing there weren't so many frauds in the automotive industry.
I found myself a different shop that I plan to bring the Jeep to for dyno tuning. That should straighten everything out.
Unfortunately, it's going to cost a couple hundred dollars more. But, that's the proverbial rabbit hole.
I'm still confident that I'll be happy with how things turn out in the long run, despite all the frustration.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:47 PM
  #73  
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Brief interlude in the modding process to have some regular service performed at the dealership.
Had the parking sensor system die on me a couple days ago.

But the thing that is annoying me the most lately...
A crack in the leather on the driver's seat! Haha!
It's throwing off the calibration on my butt dyno.

Anyway,
A couple of weeks before my appointment with the dealership, then it's back to turning gasoline into loud noises.

Current plan:
Upgrade coil packs and plugs
AWD dyno tune

According to my butt dyno, I should be laying down anywhere between 360 and 400 at the wheels (depending upon if my estimate of the added weight from personal effects). Which is about 50 - 90 above stock.
I'm expecting to pick up at least 10hp and tq across the entire power band just from the coil packs, if wheel dyno results from hot rod magazines are to be trusted.
The tune should add a much higher number across the power band, if my suspicion that my current tune is garbage is correct.

PSA:
From my research, big spark is worth the extra couple hundred dollars. Even for modern FI engines.
It looks like a bigger spark can potentially increase power even at low RPM and translate into a better driving experience on the road.
Not really worth the money for a drag vehicle, unless a difference of 10hp on the top end really matters to you personally.
But for us road-goers, the total area under the curve is significant.

Last edited by wreklus; 04-10-2019 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:42 PM
  #74  
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Here's a short clip of me mudding in The Cookie Monster.
I have a few clips I might mash together if I ever feel like editing the videos.

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Old 04-15-2019, 04:09 PM
  #75  
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You can do that with a stocker. 🙂
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Iowan View Post
You can do that with a stocker. 🙂
Sure can.
Just took her out for a little dirt and noise.
But in the realm of Jeep, that video is nearly the same as driving down a paved road. There are some tough trails I'd like to hit eventually, but that'll all happen after I get the engine just right and then save up for that sweet 4" lift kit.

I do have to say that engine noise is satisfying, though.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:17 AM
  #77  
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I made the appointment to get my tune cleaned up on an AWD dyno at a shop that has put out a large number of solid projects, both modern Mopar and AWD.
Their garage is clean and organized. They seem like real pros, but we will see.

As performance tends to go, more money getting sunk into the old wagon. And just like any guy, I will promise this is the last round of mods, haha!
Had a hell of a time trying to hunt down all the part numbers for my current mods because the last shop clearly botched writing it down after a simple google search for each item. Argh!
Here's hoping the bafoonery is behind me!

The good news is that if anyone is looking for a Diablo inTune i3, I'll be selling mine around mid May.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:28 AM
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Next monday (5/13/2019) marks the start of tuning. We're scheduled to hog the AWD dyno for 4 days.

Does anyone have any advice for me to prep the Cookie Monster for her tune?
I have the weekend set aside for me to prep.
I know it's best to check for leaks and torque exhaust system bolts. But if any of you have experience running N/A vehicles you can share, I'd appreciate it.
Specifically, I don't have the tools and knowledge to perform a compression test myself. I can do simple things like make sure my engine isn't losing oil, but when it comes to technical things or tests that require special tools beyond a wrench, I'm limited by time and resources.
Obviously, I'll need to explain this to the tuner and ask for him to check those things. But, if there are other simple things I can check, I'd be really glad to hear it! Even if it's just a simple list of do's and don'ts
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:24 AM
  #79  
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Put it up on the pipe and see what it dose....
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:45 AM
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I don't know how many miles you have on your build but I would be tempted to drop the oil and filter or at least the filter and change. Check the air filter and clean if it's that type check all the fluids, diffs, trans and transfer case. Me personally I would change the oil before putting the hammer to it!
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:02 PM
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Iowan,
Thanks for the tip!
Luckily I have fresh oil and filter on standby. I'll go ahead and knock all that out this weekend.
Unfortunately, I have exhaust leaking from under the hood occasionally when the engine is cold and I'm driving like a civilized human. Hoping that's just loose bolts (rather than a gasket). But, I don't have a good way of getting at the bolts with a torque wrench. I think I'll need to just tell the tuner about it.

RacerHog,
Famous last words, "Just send it!"
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:35 PM
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Exhaust leak will or can mess with o2 cesor introducing oxygen into the axhaust system.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Iowan View Post
Exhaust leak will or can mess with o2 cesor introducing oxygen into the axhaust system.
I Agree !!!
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wreklus View Post
Iowan,
Thanks for the tip!
Luckily I have fresh oil and filter on standby. I'll go ahead and knock all that out this weekend.
Unfortunately, I have exhaust leaking from under the hood occasionally when the engine is cold and I'm driving like a civilized human. Hoping that's just loose bolts (rather than a gasket). But, I don't have a good way of getting at the bolts with a torque wrench. I think I'll need to just tell the tuner about it.

RacerHog,
Famous last words, "Just send it!"
Thats it.... Tune it and "Send It" !!!!!
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:14 AM
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Funny thing about the exhaust leak,
It smells like Pepperoni. Girlfriend agreed when I asked, "What does that smell like to you?" When we saw exhaust gasses escaping from under the hood.
I'm certain that this is caused by the bolts on the manifold or custom Y-bend loosening due to heat cycle. Had it happen when I first got the vehicle back. Tightening down the bolts fixed it.
Of course, there is that nervous voice in the back of my mind that says "Your headers got bent! The gasket is crushed! Rebuild everything!" Haha!

Either way, it will all be okay. I might spend more money on this than I want to, but... that's modding for ya!
As long as I'm not blowing out gaskets on boost or shredding my transmission, I'm happy. I spent way too long doing that (and paying for it) on my first project!
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:39 PM
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Thats it.... Tune it and "Send It" !!!!!

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Old 05-10-2019, 04:30 AM
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Haha!
That's exactly what I mean!
"Send it" in all the worst ways.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:01 AM
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Good Luck.... Send it....
Eh...lol
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:25 AM
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I run all my junk on the dyno after assembling, whether it's a new build or a refresh. I use nitrated flat tappet cams and I like to try different carbs and intake manifolds combanations.
With me there isn't much anxiety about blowing the thing up because I'm not pushing my mopars as hard as I once did but trying to get the power I wanted in the new boundary I had set. They're all done at 6500 now. Here is my iron headed e85 440 with a few mods.


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Old 05-10-2019, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Iowan View Post
Here is my iron headed e85 440 with a few mods.
Great set of numbers!
And 500+ ft-lbs across the entire power band!
I imagine that kind of power on e85 isn't meant for road trips (without some extra gas cans, anyway).

Is that from the flywheel, or on a chassis dyno?

Either way, glad I came to you all with my dyno questions. There are a lot of opinions out there without a whole lot of experience.
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