The Mistakes Amateur Hellcat Modders Make That Gearheads Can’t Stand

The Mistakes Amateur Hellcat Modders Make That Gearheads Can’t Stand

Known for its staggering output figures and unique sounds, the Hellcat engine is a popular engine that combines genius artistry and impressive engineering.

Despite Dodge ending its production after 2023 – to make room for electrification – it’s still recognized as one of the most powerful engines ever conceived. But, whether it is the Durango, the Challenger or the Charger, each Hellcat model is equal on all fronts, appearance, structure, and function. The stock form might seem normal to some. But to others, this can be a bit boring.

Thankfully, that’s where modifications come in, which allow users to add a custom style personality to it or give it some extra performance, bringing their car to the next level. And when it comes to modifying the Hellcat, your options are truly limitless. Sadly, there are many ways that amateurs go wrong when modifying their Hellcat.

Here are the 10 common mistakes to avoid when modifying a Hellcat.

10 Over Modding The Hellcat

The Mistakes Amateur Hellcat Modders Make That Gearheads Can’t Stand

With so many modification options for the Hellcat, it can be tempting to add every modification available, or what we might call “going too big too soon”. Furthermore, amateurs may try to install a large turbocharger or add other high-performance parts without considering the impact on the engine and other components.

But, despite how attractive this might seem, it can actually have a negative effect on the car’s overall performance.

Generally, adding too many modifications to any car can not only put stress on the car’s systems but also reduce the car’s reliability, which is not a good place to be.

9 Skipping The Basics

2023 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Most Powerful And Fastest Mass-Produced Sedan

When it comes to modifications, a lot of amateurs just want to dive right into it, forgetting about one key element -maintenance.

It’s important to make sure the car is well-maintained and in good condition before you start performance modifications. Skipping basics like routine maintenance can actually hinder performance gains.

RELATED: 10 Performance Vehicles We’d Rather Have Instead Of A Dodge Hellcat

8 Neglecting To Resolve Any Existing Issues

2015 Dodge Challenger with HEMI SRT Hellcat Engine

It’s always important to replace worn-out components before modifying any car. If there are pre-existing issues with the car, adding modifications can worsen these problems, leading to reduced performance.

Besides that, with those pre-existing issues already in the picture, the Hellcat may have compromised safety. So adding modifications without looking into any of these issues can make the car even more dangerous to drive. Also, the mods may not work correctly or may need to be removed and redone after the underlying issues, which, to be honest, sounds like a big waste of time.

7 Ignoring Safety Concerns

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat - Front

You can’t keep safety at bay. It can be very dangerous to modify a car if safety is not taken into account. For example, amateurs may install high-performance parts without considering the vehicle’s braking or suspension systems.

It’s important to make sure modifications are safely done. Also, take appropriate safety precautions while driving.

6 Choosing Low-Quality parts

Bring a Trailer

There are so many parts on the market. When you’re searching for parts, the mistake most amateur modders make is going for inexpensive, low-quality parts. Yes, they might seem more desirable because they’re typically cheap, yet the truth is, using low-quality or poorly designed parts can actually do more harm than good. There are so many low-quality parts that it’s worth paying attention to. It’s always important to do your research on the quality and reliability of any parts you plan to install. And with proper research, you’ll avoid adding parts that aren’t meant for the Hellcat.

5 Not Tuning Or Testing The Hellcat After Mods

A peek inside the Dodge Durango Hellcat's interior.
Media Stellantis

As we know, modifications add extra performance to your car. But, after adding all the significant modifications, it’s important to optimize the car’s performance. That’s where tuning comes into play.

Unfortunately, this is a step that a lot of people forget. Some amateur car modders may not test their modifications properly, leading to issues down the line. After modifying the car, tuning is an essential step necessary to ensure everything is working properly.

4 Focusing Too Much On Appearance

blue 2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat quarter front

While visual modifications can be appealing to all of us, we can agree that they don’t generally provide performance benefits. Yes, the car will look better, but those mods do not make the car faster or handle better.

This is the mistake of some amateur modders – focus too much on appearance, such as adding aftermarket body kits, while completely neglecting engine upgrades. This also reduces the car’s resale value, as some gearheads prefer cars with tasteful modifications that improve performance too.

3 Underestimating The Costs

Bring a Trailer

As with most high-performance cars, modifying a Hellcat can be an expensive endeavor. While the cost does depend on the type of modification you’re going to do, costs can still add up very quickly.

So one thing amateurs neglect is a strong budget. It’s important to budget carefully and make sure you have a realistic understanding of the costs involved. Without budgeting, this can lead to financial strain and unfinished projects.

RELATED: 10 Cheap Cars That Are Faster Than A Hellcat

2 Cutting Corners

2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Super Stock

Because modifications are expensive and time-consuming, some modders may try to cut corners to save time or money. Often, this can result in poorly executed modifications that can compromise the vehicle’s safety and reliability.

Also, cutting corners can lead to reduced performance. For instance, if you install a turbocharger without upgrading the fuel system, this would cause the engine to run lean. As a result, the car will deliver less power. Needless to say, this move may potentially damage the engine too.

1 Not Seeking Professional Help

Hennessey HPE1000 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Hennessey Performance via YouTube Channel

This one is a no-brainer, really. As an amateur modder, it’s tempting to do everything yourself – after all, it’s easy to modify a Hellcat. But, the best thing you can do for a successful Hellcat mod is to consult with a professional.

Seeking the help of professionals who have experience with these types of modifications is vital, as it not only ensures that the modifications are safely and effectively done, but also helps in preventing costly mistakes.

Sources: Stellantis, Hellcat Forums

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