Hey guys! Rebuilding my engine and I want your input on parts and upgrades!
Long story short, I dropped a valve seat in Cyl 5. It didn't break so the piston and cylinder are fine (yay!). The head is a little dinged where the seat bounced around on top of the valve during my attempts to figure out the issue, but that's the extent of the damage. (Read about my adventure chasing electrical ghosts HERE
I now have both heads off and I am piecing together a rebuild plan for preventative replacements and upgrades and I'd like to see what you guys think!
Since the valve seats are a common issue, I definitely want them replaced with a better alternative. Other common Hemi problems (at least on 03-08s) are valve springs and lifters...I want to replace/upgrade all of this NOW before any of it potentially creates bigger problems while I have the engine apart!
First, the heads. I'm planning on having Inertia do my head rebuilds. They have an authorized installer about an hour from me, but I'm not sure if they can do everything there or if I still have to ship to Inertia's main location. Regardless, their head jobs fix and prevent the issue with better parts and I believe pricing INCLUDES shipping. Since I want to fix the other head issues, I will be doing one of their upgraded head packages that includes a full 6.1 valve train, plus head bolts and gaskets. I want to at least do the fuel economy package (ported/blended exhausts), but at that point I might as well go for the full performance (intake & exhaust ports)...however, that's getting pricey with my end goal in mind
The lifters. I want to keep MDS and any "upgraded" lifters I can find are MDS delete versions. So, Rock Auto has Melling and Enginetech lifters. I read somewhere that Melling recently (2016?) upgraded their design. I don't think I want to go with Mopar OEMs since I still read about those failing up to 2011, maybe even newer. Thoughts?
I'm also very heavily considering a new cam. In fact, yes, I'm going to do a new cam
. I don't plan on doing any racing, so I don't need a really tall one, but I want to do something. I was leaning towards a CompCams 260H-13 but now I think I'm set on a Crazy Jay Plus from Inertia. I like the CJP since Inertia is already doing my heads and valve trains, etc and they seem a bit better, being custom and all. The Plus has better low and mid range over the regular CJ, which is better for towing and for just how heavy the Commanders are (over other Hemi vehicles). Plus, they are the same price! I'll be getting either 6.1 push rods or Inertia's Custom Forged as a result here.
The head rebuild will come with head gaskets, and considering everything else about Inertia, I would assume they are good. So, suggestions on intake seals, valve cover seals, and exhaust gaskets? I saw some people swear by Percy, some by Mopar OEMs.
I need new exhaust bolts: Nord-locks? Suggestions?
While I have the front of the motor off for the cam....should I consider replacing anything?? Other Hemi rebuilds (mostly in the Chargers) suggest so, but most of them are racing....113k miles on everything currently. I know the general idea would be "yes, just replace everything!"....but I'm trying to be realistic here as none of these are THAT complicated to replace later.
- Water Pump (new one was put on by previous owner. I would guess around ~70k miles)
- Timing Chain
- Timing Tensioner
- Entire timing set? (Cam/Crank gears, chain, & tensioner)
- Oil Pump
Exhaust. Having the heads off is the best and easiest time to upgrade or replace exhaust manifolds on these beasts....except, no one makes shorty headers for the Jeeps.
Also that these are the most restrictive part of the engine for us with these ridiculous logs, so upgrading nets the biggest performance boost. I have already exhausted my research with ideas and attempts. I know there's a few GCs and a few of you who have full custom builds, or using stock SRT headers, etc etc etc. Seems like no matter how I go, I'm going to have to have some custom parts. Which gets expensive, and possibly time consuming, in a hurry. I did find that American Racing makes a set of long tube headers (w/ or w/o cats) for the GCs that, I believe, bolts right up to most Cat-Backs and should work on the Commander. Dyno testing with the Borla Cat-Back back for one guy was about +30 or 40hp with everything else stock. BUT at $1500....ehhhh...not to mention, I have to put the heads back on first because long tubes- so this upgrade can be done at any time....however it'll suck. I do already have a Borla Cat-Back, so that's something....
All intake things can be done at any time, so that's not a concern to me at this point.
Other minor things I will be doing:
- 180* thermostat
- High Speed fan temps reprogrammed?
- New Rad cap
- Belt looks fine, might replace anyways
- Belt tentioner?
- EGR valve
- O2 sensors worth replacing?
- New oil, coolant.
And obviously a tuner to round it alllll out! I know there's a lot of threads here on tuners, and I haven't dove too deep; but it seems Superchips is the more popular here, all the other Hemi vehicles seem to swear by the Diablo Predator, though. So I'll be diving into different threads more geared on that when I actually get this thing back together!
SOOO...thanks for any input or suggestions!