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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had been looking for the perfect car for several months - even going as far as creating a spreadsheet to keep track of all the cars that could be modded, got good gas mileage, could fit my wife and 2 kids, and look BAD ASS. My search ended when I found my sweet new girlfriend, Dartlene! (or as my children refer to her as Orangina [long i sound]) I bought her with 52K miles, and she already had some mods done!

These are the original listing pics:
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So now, let's go back in time...back to the production of this mean little bitch! I used my time machine (or at least some clever internet detective skills) and found her on another Dart forum, the owner called her Orange Crush. She came off the line in Sept of 2012 and was purchased in January 2013. Color was the same, but no stripe, no black painted wheels and no spoiler: Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Red

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Yeah - I do love the interior - I'm not a big fan of leather seats - my butt sweats too much and I stick to it! These look great and are super comfortable. Yeah - these are hard to get dark stains out! Grease on these bad boys would not be good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Still too STOCK! Argh! Now it's time to paint the stock wheels! Orange and Black! Yes! The black somehow makes her more angry...
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The wheels could have been painted a little bit better, but it'll do for now. The calipers were painted orange, which I wouldn't have thought of at first, but it really makes them stand out! They were painted while still on the car, so also not perfect. I can still see traces of orange paint on the discs - not to worry, next time the wheels are off to change brakes, they will be re painted. I already found Bright Orange Engine and Brake Paint at Autozone. I originally purchased from Amazon, but had to return that can, as it was tomato red, not orange at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Now, for the thing that helped sell this car to me, and JUMP OUT of all the other 5 million cars I had been staring at online: Racing Stripes. This increases HP by AT LEAST 20-30! No, it't true, I swear! Ok, so maybe not a deal maker, but it sure as hell looks cool!
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Limo tint was added on the back and side windows - The front tint was damaged when I bought it, so they knocked a little off and I had it redone. Maximum legality in Chicago - 35% driver sides and 35% stripe on front window. I'm not into asking for trouble with Johnny Law!

The lettering was removed by the time it hit the sales lot - I found out it was purchased by the dealer through an auction, and I also found the entire vehicle maintenance history, including oil changes and repairs. It DID have a faulty clutch, master and slave cylinder which were replaced. Now I'm good for another 100,000 miles!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Now under my rule - replaced tint, washed & rolled into Chicago!
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Drove the whole way in reverse, so I could stare at the huge backup camera.
Current config:
2013 Dodge Dart SXT - Header Orange - Aero Package
Dual Exhaust - 17 inch rims
Front and Back Sway Bars
1.4 turbo motor 6 - Speed Trans
Race Track Tail lights
8.5 inch display
Rear view camera
Blacked out tinted windows
Spoiler
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
So, what were the original pics of?. I'm confused. Because the 2013 SXT Rallye didn't come without black headlights and weren't available with leather interior. That car is 1 of 1 and extremely rare.
Good catch Viperman96 (i've seen your threads and I love your car BTW.) It was not actually a Rallye - the (Used Car Kia) dealership thought it was a Rallye because of the color and stripe, I think, but I've looked into the previous owner's purchase ticket and found it was an SXT with the Aero package. The interior is light grey cloth, not leather. The "original pics" were what the car looked like before I bought it, I'm guessing near the purchase date back in Jan of 2013.

It would be crazy if it were some sort of RARE Dart, but I don't think so. I believe it was an SXT with all of the available upgrades added, but never actually considered a Rallye. I have since replaced the headlights with Eagle Eye black bezeled version, but I haven't gotten to that part of the story, yet :D

I was just commenting on leather seats in general, not these specifically - Sorry to be misleading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
First up, for me, is fixing the factory audio system. I have never known much about cars, but I have always installed third party audio systems. I am a sound engineer, so I'm very picky about audio, and have very specific audio needs. It is often important to check mixes in the car, and compare with other audio reference material. I did a bit of analysis with the audio, both with a pink noise generator and frequency analyzer and my old school ears. The factory limiter in the audio path sucks, but it can work with proper gain staging and third party solutions.
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Here is the trunk installation. These are the wires running along the driver side, under the doors. They run into the two fuse blocks, and the amp power goes directly to the battery (fused.)
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The wires were brought into the back seat, then sent up to the front, where they were spliced together with the factory speaker cable. This line includes direct power for the power amplifier, remote 12v switching cable, subwoofer remote control, & speaker sends. The large, heavy stuff was all mounted to the top of the trunk, under the back window. I used self tapping screws and made sure everything is very tight and solid, as the subwoofer will be vibrating right near there. In the picture, you can see the power amplifier, audio crossover & Speaker to line level converter.
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I tucked away the wires as tightly as possible, as my children can be Ultra-Massive-Destructoids, and anything hanging, dangling, or lying about is subject to their wrath. I didn't want any chance of having to do this again because of carelessness, or because a Nerf gun battle broke out and the trunk was used for cover...

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I used a distribution block for power, since the amplifier and the crossover had different power requirements. The crossover has a remote control function - this is used for the subwoofer, so that may be adjusted on the fly, without use of the radio or other controls.
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Subwoofer Control:
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After the full installation, I was rockin' for about two weeks - then all of a sudden, no bass! Uh oh - the amplifier i had used was from a previous installation, so it already had a bunch of hours on it. Needless to say, the power transformer blew on it - It wasn't worth the time for me to fix it, due to it's power and age, so I replaced it with a Kicker DX.500. This is a mono, 500 watt power amplifier specifically designed for this purpose. I added a 0/1 Awg ground line for power in the trunk when I replaced the unit.
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From the driver seat, I have control of the EQ and subwoofer controls, and from the trunk, I can alter the crossover frequency, bass boost & output gain. The Polk speakers compliment the Kicker 3.5" in the front dash, as the Kicker full range 6x9 speakers are a bit too "hyped" for my taste. In other words, they boost the high frequencies in our vehicles 3-5 dB at 8K and higher. The Polks have always sounded smoother to me, and the addition on the subwoofer and dash speakers give it a huge sound - not a flat frequency curve, but a pleasantly pleasing one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My next purchase was a very simple install - The Madness Go Pedal:
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After using it for several weeks - it is quite the improvement, and if you want to remind yourself, turn it off for a while! Now I get it, it's not improving HP, and it's not a tune, but it does make it fun to drive. I will be getting the tune eventually, so this may stay or go. But for now, it is quite the improvement in fuel economy, too. I started out with the economy mode, and it sure make millions of starts and stops in tight Chicago traffic easier. It is a slower, smoother start in first gear and promotes more eco-type driving.

With the middle mode selected, I surprisingly got better MPG than the stock as well. I had it on for a few commutes into the city, and it was 5 mpg higher than the trips without it. I'm sure it influences my driving, so It's not a "magic pedal" - but it did what I wanted it to do! All of my non-cosmetic mods are hopefully going to contribute to better mileage. The red (Sport) mode is best for chasing neighborhood animals and scaring small children! Seriously though, whoa - it for sure kills the MPG - so I don't use it often, but it is fun to be able to kick it on when I want to impress my wife.

Actually, that is a complete lie. She could care less. Lol.

My nephew and my two sons, however, now think I'm in up to be in the next Fast & Furious movie! I'll never have that layer of rubber back on these tires...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Next up... one of my favorite mods: Eibach Pro Lowering Springs. Couldn't do the sport, being all Dukes-of-Hazard in Chi-town, but these are great. In fact, I didn't mention it to my wife, and one day we were driving home and I took a left turn pretty quick. She got all excited and said, "Wow, this new car really feels like it sticks to the road when you turn!" I just grinned:big smile: Then I told her.
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
You are correct, BlueDemon - Amps are designed to dissipate heat in this manner; The more it is pushed the hotter it gets. In this case, the amp is pretty far overpowered for this scenario. Many people believe a lower powered amplifier will be safe from harming lesser components, but the opposite is true!! Lower powered amplifiers will be pushed harder, and therefore output more distortion, which is what really kills speakers.

This is a 500 watt amplifier - likely twice the needed power. In this case, the amp is barely pushing what it could really do, as the all of the speakers in this install are quite efficient. Another alternative to this would be to mount it to the speaker enclosure. I did not so this, so I could easily remove the speaker for storage space or to use with one of my other systems.

You might not want to mount your amps like that. When amps are mounted upside down...the heat rises into the board instead of through the heat sinks and through the top. This could be a factor why your previous amp took a crap on you. Just food for thought. I'm currently building an amp rack for mine so I can mount it upright but still attach it to the decklid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
I took it to my buddy to help with the springs, as I didn't want to lose any appendages if the springs released on me. I have not done any of this kind of work, but this is one of my favorite mods. It's like this is how the car was meant to feel from the factory. Below is my baby on the lift getting her treatment. I highly recommend New Star Transmission, if you are in the Chicagoland area.
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The rotors were previously painted, but not removed to do so. The next time I have these off to replace the brakes or wheels I will be re painting those bad boys,
Here is after the Eibach Springs installed:
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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Now Dodge didn't pay me SHIT to drive it's vehicles...did they pay you? Well, then I'm not in the mood to advertise them for free! I removed all of the Dodge badges for a cleaner look. The Multiair turbo badge was saved for later use inside. The 5 letters of D-O-D-G-E were replaced with those of my name: Y-O-D-E-R.
 
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