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Official *Best* First Mod Thread

7757 Views 29 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  boost_me
Now that were on the new site everything will hopefully be much more organized. Thus the offical thread for probably one of the most frequently asked questions, "whats the BEST first mod to do to my SRT????"

Its all opinion like hozay said to me, first you need to determine what the hell you want to do/excell at before you go modding your car. Dont take this thread as an end all opinion, honesly I have never talked with the guy who made up the list but I agree with a majority of his fact/reccomendations.

Ok on to the point:

Thanks to our buddies at the forums which already did this thread. The numbers were based off a wrx website (he adjusted them for srt-4's) so hp gains may be off but yeah its pretty in depth and includes price ranges. Thanks "MRCLEANSRT4" from srtforums for the compilation. The end is purley (as stated in the disclaimer at the very end) opinion, dont take it or leave it b/c you dont agree with it, read it then make your judgement. I have read this post a few times throughly and its about 80-90% accurate.

Yeah here ya go:
First upgrades that are MUST haves for any SRT-4

Mopar or aftermarket short throw shifter (STS) and urethane shifter bushings ~$120-$400
(oh yeah most def.) The diff. is amazing Pm Psi Chick Or Hozay for more info
cuts your shift lengths by up to 51%

Motor Mounts :
Motor mounts (solid filled urethane,urethane inserts, dog bones,etc.) keeps your wheels from "hopping" in a launch and help you avoid breaking important things like oil pans, motor mount bolts and axels. (yup yup)

20 catch can :
What is it?
A can that keeps oil from getting into your intake.
Ehh your better off with a blow off valve imo.

Aftermarket spark plug wires/ how about sparkplugs (pff.)(MSD,Crane,Magnecore)~$50-$75
**** Only if your wires are rotting above the cap. See link below.
Rotting Spark Plug Wires

First upgrades for more power

240+hp-275+hp range
Stage 1 (pcm)(Performance Powertrain Control Module) mopar upgrade $399 =+10-15hp
(Price reflects full kit which gives the 577cc fuel injectors for the 03 and 04. The 2005 came stock with them :)~
So it would be Cheaper....Nope its not i checked with dick(haha) greenfield dodge its $399 for the unit + tax gets you to $420ish range. Install is around $140 for dick greenfield so your looking at around $560ish if you dont tip. Id make sure your there when they are programming your pcm so you can have them tweak it to your liking also.

Spark plugs:
NGK plug#LZTR5AIX-1 (1 range colder than stock,.40-.45 gap)
Hozay swears by the copper/cheaper ones, and honestly hes got a bad ass car how can you ignore advice. Oh yeah his cars nickname *two times* do you want your car to be like that. Installing everything twice or will you learn from his mistakes??? Up to you.

-cat back ~$300-$750 =+7-12hp
-downpipe (cat-less) ~$149-$250 +10-15hp
-downpipe (high flow cat) ~$149-$350 =+7-12hp
-full turbo-back exhuast (cat-less) ~$350-$1050 =+12-25hp
-full turbo-back exhuast (high flow cat) ~$450-$1100 =+12-25hp

Waste gate actuator (WGA) ~$149-$200=+12-25hp
(Yup our stock starts to waste at 4psi)
Manual boost controller (MBC)~$30-$250=+12-25hp
Electronic boost controller (EBC) ~$250-$650=+12-25hp

Intake ~$149-$350 =+1-12hp (depending on cai or short ram air)
K&N air filter(stock air box) ~$30-$75 =+1-5hp
(dont wast your loot if you plan on intalling cai)

240+hp-255+hp range

Stage 1 mopar turbo upgrade $399 =+10-15hp
(find someone to get you it at cost and its worth it and then some from what i've heard) Or find one that has been used by someone who's upgrading to stage two.
Exhaust Mopar cat back ~$300-$350 =+7-12hp
Mopar air filter~$35 =+1-5hp
(dont be cheap like jigga says cheap is never good get a f'n k&N)

Basic "wet"EFI kit:
(NX,NOS,ZEX,DYNOTUNE,etc.)~$350-$650 =+30-80hp Better overhaul/ bulletproof your internals first!!!

REQUIRED SAFTEY ITEMS: (Wear your fucking Seat Belt Thats an IDEA!!!!)
Fuel pressure saftey switch ~$40
N2O pressure gauge,mechanical, on bottle ~$20-250
MSD RPM window switch~$90
Air/Fuel ratio saftey lean out switch~$80
Saftey"Blow Down" tube ~$25-$40

RECOMMENDED bolt on addtional parts:
Spark plugs:
NGK plug#LZTR5AIX-1 (1 range colder than stock,.30-.35 gap)

Wahlbro 255 lph fuel pump ~$99-120
-3" O2 sensor housing~$150-$180 +7-12hp
-cat back ~$300-$750 =+7-12hp
-downpipe (cat-less) ~$149-$250 +10-15hp
-downpipe (high flow cat) ~$149-$350 =+7-12hp
-full turbo-back exhuast (cat-less) ~$350-$1050 =+12-25hp
-full turbo-back exhuast (high flow cat) ~$450-$1100 =+12-25hp

Aftermarket ignition,MSD#6211,or #6212 ~$318-$499
Bottle heater~$50-$150
Purge kit~$99-350
Remote bottle opener~$129-$300
N2O pressure gauge,electrical,dash mount~$150-$250

Second upgrades for more power

275+hp-300+hp range
First upgrades (as above)+

NGK plug#LZTR5AIX-1 (1 range colder than stock,.35-.40 gap)
Larger front mount intercooler (FMIC)
~$350-$1050 +10-20hp
60-55mm throttle body ~$250 +5-10hp (may even be worth an earlier mod. Supposedly erases the bounceyness of the deceleration/when you let off the gas after high rev)
True 60mm throttle body+60mm spacer ~$370 +7-15hp
Ported manifold ~$250-$399 +10-20hp
-3" O2 sensor housing~$150-$180 +7-12hp

260+hp-280+hp range
First upgrades (as above)+
Stage 2 mopar turbo upgrade ~$799 (w/o toys)=260 hp
Stage 2 mopar turbo upgrade ~$1299 (w/ toys)=280 hp

Direct port "wet"EFI kit:
(NX,NOS,ZEX,DYNOTUNE,etc.)~$750-$1050 =+100-150hp

Saftey upgrades (as above)+
(safety???????? When did that become a mod????)

Wahlbro 255 lph fuel pump ~$99-120
Aftermarket ignition,MSD#6211,or #6212 ~$318-$499
Clutch upgrade $650-$1100
Axle upgrade $770+

Progressive N20 controller~$350-$750

Third upgrades for more power

300+hp-650+hp range
Second upgrades (as above)+

BIG TURBO KIT $1550-$4000 =150+hp-450+hp
BRAKE upgrade $650-$1850
Clutch upgrade $650-$1100
Axle upgrade $770+

310+hp-365+hp range
Second upgrades (as above)+
Mopar 2.5" downpipe ~$350
Mopar clutch upgrade ~$550-$600
Stage 3 mopar turbo upgrade ~$3000 (w/o toys)=310 hp
Stage 3 mopar turbo upgrade ~$3599 (w/ toys)=365

Direct port "wet"EFI kit:
(NX,NOS,ZEX,DYNOTUNE,etc.)~$750-$1050 =+170-250+hp

Saftey upgrades (as above)+
Progressive N20 controller~$350-$750


1.0 Intro
This is what I was talking about. Its opinionated just like the list. Quite frankly (Steven A. Smith anyone????) he did a much better job than anybody here has so far. (no offense i just copied and pasted so im the douch in reality)

1.1 -Intro To Tuning

1.2 -Common Mistakes
1.21 -Raising Boost Prematurely
1.22 -Installing An Intake Prematurely
1.23 -Voiding Your Warranty
1.24 -Soft Break In

1.3 -The Order Had to cut down the post was over 10000 characters BAAAAAH

People rushing for speed raise boost right away to gain 20, 30, even 40 horsepower. This is extreme dangerous and could lead to serious damage to your turbo and even your engine. I can’t stress this enough, 40 hp for free sounds great, but that for that price if something should happen, do NOT raise your boost levels until you have researched what you SRT and modifications can support.
-Staged upgrades on our car do allow for more boost. Blah blah blah blah hahahh
---Stage 0 (stock) boosts to about 10-12 psi.
---Stage 1 boosts to about 14psi, unmodified.
---Stage 2 boosts to about 15-17psi redline,~20psi spike, unmodified.
Stage 2 boosts to about 19-20psi redline,~21-24psi spike, unmodified.
Its been tested and proven that you can spike at 19psi and hold 15 w/o little or no reprucussions see bubbatanks latest post. In his Q&A thread. Its very frustrating not being able to determine the problem us noobs would be smart to learn from him. Hes the ideal example for use noobs he is a very informative source of info and willing to help with any question dont repeat questions research before you ask hopefully we have a faq by the time everyone reads this thread.

I fully understand the reasoning behind this mod in some SRT owner’s eyes. In most cars a good Intake is worth 5 to 10 hp. It does change the turbo spool sound to add a quite nice scream at full boost. The stock intake/airbox can support 400+ hp.

If you want to keep your car under warranty I would not recommend tuning at all. You can contract your dealer and find out what mods are acceptable, however even then risk the change of coverage. The best policy to assume is that if the car isn’t stock, it’s not covered. A simple Blow Off Valve can void your entire engine at some dealers.
|_____1.3 - THE ORDER

I lot of people have asked for my recommended order of upgrades and mods. For now I am just compiling a list for engine performance. For more details on any step please view the specific section for the upgrade.

NOtice his car is completly stock so yeah its great information and the numbers are true but dont live or die by his first,second, upgrades. Like i said before decide what you want to do. I'll try to help the noobs learn as im not much ahead of the noobs myself.

So yeah have a good time be safe and all that.
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Get a Mike R exhaust first like I did :D
My school of thought about the first mod is behind the wheel. :)
Rinko, the Stage 1 kit for the 03's includes the injectors. 04's/05's have them already from the factory.

Just an FYI
im actually going to agree with howard on this one the first mod should be a good driver, these cars arent easy to drive and can get out of hand quickly, so yes LEARN HOW TO DRIVE before you go adding HP. once you do that BRING ON THE HP
You should take that advice then brian, LOLOLOLOL

like my ass bitch i got the skillz behind the wheel, i just need a few mods to offset my horrible 60 foot.
With a flux capacitor Brian can go Back to the Future and develop even more skills. ;)

The following is an example of HOURS behind the wheel: (there is an association of time to experience here but it may not necessarily be a direct correlation to skill set).

Here's where the numbers stand, with the following ASSUMPTIONS:
-all born on Jan 1 of your birth year
-all got licenses at age 16
-drive on average: one hour/day [to make the math simple]
-one year = 365.25 days

Howard: 6578.25 hrs
Anthony: 4020 hrs or 61%
Brian: 3288.75 hrs or 50%

So, Brian thanks for agreeing with me on the first mod.

PS: Incase you are questioning my math: I DID include an extra day for each leap year...
Leap years since driving at age 16

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brian owned by the math skillz... LOLOLOLOLOLOL
howard you never cease to amaze me.
BlackDragon said:
brian owned by the math skillz... LOLOLOLOLOLOL
ant owned by hooked on phonics
Damn good job rinko your post kicked ass

And yes with a stage 1 & WGA I spike 18/19 and hold 15/16 at redline, without problem, I have been doing it for about two weeks and all that has happend since was a vacuum line came off, oh and the occassional ass whooping I hand out to anyone who wants to race. hehe

If your going to put on a wga find someone who has done it before or ask someone, call someone, call me I dont care I am more than willing to help out. The wga adds a lot of power and it needs to be done right so you dont mess something up.

But yeah I agree with rinko in what he says the stage 1 is probably the best starting mod for a 03, it adds a lot of power for a little money

And for the 04/05 guys go straight to the wga.

Im going to the track for sure on oct 1&2 so I will bring back times for you guys, Ive only spent about $1000 in mods so we'll see what that does for times

03 SRT-4 (my srt's setup)
Stage 1 - $400
AEM SRI - $200
MSD wires, ngk plugs - $150
AGP WGA - $200
Total $950

And of course for the 04/05 guys
Full Exhaust - $350
AEM SRI - $200
MSD wires, ngk plugs - 150
AGP WGA - $200
Total $900

I have the msd coil but I have heard that it has caused some problems so I would suggest skipping it until I can figure out a difference between the msd and stock coil or if there a difference? Im gonna test both at the track and dyno

And lastly, dont forget tires
Tires can make a world of difference on our cars, bf-goodrich makes a street legal drag radial that actually has good tread life (I think its gforce elite or something). They also make a high perf tire that isnt drag radial that is also good gforce sport

our tire size is 205/50/ZR17(non-acr)
you can put 215/45-50/ZR17 (45 less tire, more rim, lower alittle)
ACR can put 225/45-50/ZR17

The other thing is dont buy all four tires bigger save some money and buy the badass tires for the front and get cheaper, not crapier, but cheaper tires (stock size for the rear) that way when your tread runs out you still have a semi-fresh un messed with tire good tire.

My words of wisdom have been spoken
any other questions please refer to my q&a page
And please everyone drive safe and wear your seatbelts
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First mod should be a bigger turbo. Just slap on a 50 trim and leave it in low boost until you get your fuel system and you will have 300whp, no PTB and a big ass grin on your face...
lol yeah a fifty tirm would be nice but you could get:
stg 1 pcm 560 installed at dealer
wga- 180
and intake cai or ram 200
mbc 90
thats 1030 in mods. A fifty tirm is what??? 2000-2500 shit your pushing close to 300 with all those mods and, your up 1500 dollars plus, you dont really have to take your car off the road for that long the pcm would take the longest.

As much as I would like to agree with you SPECJ, the financial situation of most new srt owners is most likely well, not good. Unless of course mommy and daddy are supporting you then its a diff story.

If you plan on making your car quick and not really getting out of hand with it. A great mod after your somewhat happy with the performance is a short throw shifter.
For those of you who havent felt one yet its rediculous how far we throw.(with a stock shifter) Im fully extended into first,third and fifth and with a short throw my arm is barley even extended. Imagine this. Mad Dogg makes a 57% decrease in throw with his shifter and mopar is something like 51% thats umm well half duh. So yeah getting into gear is kinda important and if you think you shift quick with the stock try to imaging half the time to shift, yeah its like that.

Worth the loot in my own humble opinion. 125-140$ like the thread sates.
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maddog is a 51% reduction (he also has a 35% i think), mopar is a 28% or so. BIG difference.
my first mod was my REALLY FREAKIN LEAKY bov, hahahaha, boy did i learn quick!! i didnt know much about the market when i bought this car cuz the srtforums are just a joke... no one would answer any questions i had and there was nothing like this place when i bought my baby, haha... now im spending money to fix the things i bought when i first got it with better parts
Ummm...I'm over 10,000 I get a prize?

First mod should always be a nice set of taillights. Call me biased, but I call em' like I see em'. After that a set of blue LED gauge cluster bulbs to reduce eye strain...from there it's anyone's guess....Xenon H/L bulbs maybe. From there it's all "Frill" anyway.
Rinko said:
lol yeah a fifty tirm would be nice but you could get:
stg 1 pcm 560 installed at dealer
wga- 180
and intake cai or ram 200
mbc 90
thats 1030 in mods. A fifty tirm is what??? 2000-2500 shit your pushing close to 300 with all those mods and, your up 1500 dollars plus, you dont really have to take your car off the road for that long the pcm would take the longest.
sorry brotha... but with those mods ur pushin around 260-270, not 300, lol, 300hp on a stock turbo takes alot more effort and money
Original Stuipd reaction"with the stage one you get to 260 hp right????
waste gate is like 15-20 depending on what its set to intake is 10 if not more theres thirty right there then boost your psi up to 18-19 and hold 16 and you have yourself 300hp correct me if im wrong."

Didnt read that you kept it at low pressure at first. For one and two, Who the fuck has 2000 dollars to buy the turbo??? Much less the cost to get it installed. The thread is supposed to inform new srt-4 owners and i think i has gone above and beyond that so far but shit man if were being un-realistic id like to see someone drop a six speed into one of these little bitches. That would be fun.
Seriously though its not unfathomable but in reality who the hell would skip all the other mods to do that. Nitpicking i know, sorry i just want this to be a helpful thread. Ill stop now before we turn it into a rant. Your right dawg thats prob the only surefire way to get 300 hp really really quick. NOt finacially logical but none the less its true..

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and i said close to not 300 hp

And i was waaaaaaay off on the short shifter but i could have sworne thats what i heard at ap. Who knows thanks for gettiing the right info out there Amy.
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