The Dodge Charger SRT8 is a work of art. From the beautiful body lines, to the raw power of the Hemi engine, this car was built for car fanatics. Powered by a 425 horsepower V8 engine, it also features Brembo brakes and many interior and exterior upgrades above and beyond the basic Charger model. When it was released in 2005, the SRT8 engine was the most powerful V8 that Chrysler had ever put into a production vehicle with a 5 speed automatic transmission. We have a great customer of ours all the way from Lusby, MD who owns a 2010 Charger SRT8. He came to us interested in adding many of the features that are integrated in a 2012 Charger SRT8 from the factory, as well as adding several other types of technology. More importantly… He wanted to take the factory Kicker equipment out and have some real fun with the stereo! We put a ton of time and different products in this vehicle so bear with me. We will be covering each part of our work on this job.
Dodge Charger Dash Remake
Let’s start with the dash. The factory opening for the radio is a slightly awkward shape and size. If you buy a new dash bezel from Dodge to accommodate the factory navigation system, you can fit most any normal aftermarket nav system in what’s called a “double DIN” size. This is 4” tall and 7” wide. Here’s where it gets interesting… The customer wanted a larger screen. There is an option for an 8.4” touch screen in the newer 2012 Charger SRT8’s from the factory. After a lot of research and careful choices we decided to customize the dash to hold an Alpine 8” navigation system. This was a lot easier said than done. The dash bezel needed to be carefully cut out and a few buttons and indicators needed to be relocated. After that was done, we custom molded fiberglass around it to look as factory as possible. We also painted the bezel silver to match the original color. As you can see in the photos, this unit was the perfect choice for this vehicle. It looked like it came with the car even though the screen was massive! The large screen makes everything easy to use. The Bluetooth works seamlessly with most any cell phone. The iPod control was simple yet elegant. In fact, we couldn’t find anything about this navigation system that WASN’T top notch. It also gave us all the necessary inputs and outputs for the rest of our plans for this beauty.
We Can See You!
Along with the Alpine navigation system, we installed Alpine cameras on the front and rear of the vehicle. We installed the multiple-angle camera made by Alpine on the rear of the vehicle. This special camera allows the driver to change viewing angles when he wants (ie: normal, wide-angle, directly behind vehicle, peripheral views). The customer will be able to use the front camera to avoid hitting a curb with the low front lip of the bumper. While we were at it, we also installed Echomaster backup sensors in the rear bumper for added rear collision avoidance.
Because The Music Matters!
We wanted the stereo in this vehicle to sound great while having plenty of ground breaking bass. We installed German Maestro Epic components in the front factory locations and German Maestro Concept coax’s in the rear. We then built a custom enclosure in the trunk to hold two massive JL Audio 13w3’s. The back side of the enclosure facing the rear seat also acted as an amplifier rack. The amplifiers of choice in this car were a JL Audio HD600.4 to power the speakers and a JL Audio HD750.1 to power the subwoofers. The HD amps built by JL are incredible. They deliver an amazing sound quality while staying cool, not overheating, and they are small enough that they can be hidden if necessary. In this particular car we wanted them to be visible if and when the customer wanted them to be. We mounted the amps on the back of the enclosure and made a custom trim panel to compliment them. This stereo JAMMED when we were finished tuning it! It had plenty of output at ALL frequency levels; from crystal clear vocals to heart pounding bass. As expected, we had to solve many vibration issues throughout the trunk and door panels using Hushmat ultra damping padding. This special padding is made specifically to absorb obnoxious rattling noises that take away from the sound quality of the stereo.
An Insurance Policy
With all the horsepower and now all of this great sounding stereo equipment… the customer decided he wanted the best radar detection system money could buy. Escort’s 9500ci was the perfect choice for this application. The 9500ci system will detect radar from the front and rear of the vehicle, while legally diffusing laser in the front. Its laser shifting technology is pretty incredible. In order to keep this article from turning into a novel, please visit www.escortradar.com for further detailed information on this system. As you will see in the attached photos, we installed the controller for the system in the center console, installed the display in a custom molded bezel in the factory center channel location (we’ll talk about this later!), and installed the LED indicator in the center of the gauge cluster. We also added the new Escort “SmartCord Live” to the system, giving him live interaction and updates from other Escort users in the area. This is explained in detail at http://www.escortradar.com/escort-live/. We installed the SmartCord controller in the ashtray below the radio, along with the controller for the Alpine rear camera.
MobileEye: In James Bond’s World, Q Would Be Proud
There are some safety features the newer SRT8’s come with that the customer wanted to add to this vehicle. We were able to find a single solution that covered all the safety variables we wanted. This solution is called MobilEye. The MobilEye houses incredibly advanced technology. There is a small camera that is mounted to the windshield, and a round display about the size of an Oreo cookie. We removed the grill for the factory center channel speaker on top of the dash and made an entirely custom mount for the MobilEye display and the 9500ci display we discussed earlier. Check out the photos… This part we are particularly proud of. We designed it in a way that looked factory but still drew your attention to it because of how good it looked. This system will give you many warnings and indications that force you to become a better driver. It is unavoidable. Every teenager that is learning to drive should own a MobilEye for sure, but it is beneficial for drivers of any age. Here is a quick break-down of all the benefits of this kit:
- Forward Collision Warning/Headway Monitoring– Over 18mph, it will notify you of the distance (in seconds) between you and a vehicle ahead (yes, it recognizes vehicles!) and will warn you when you are too close.
- Lane Departure Warning– The system will watch the lines of the road, and if you touch a line while not using your turn signals it will alert you.
- Pedestrian Collision Warning – The system will warn you of a potential collision with a pedestrian under 50mph. That’s right! It can see and recognize a person as well!
- Intelligent High Beam Control– The system will turn your high beam headlights on and off automatically at night. It knows when someone is in front of you.
- Speed Limit Indication– In 5mph incriments, you can set the system to warn you when you are speeding. This is not using GPS… It’s actually reading the speed limit signs for you.
Check out a video of the MobilEye in action here!
Now that we had a whole lot of equipment in this vehicle, the customer wanted to make sure it was secure and keep an eye on the location of his vehicle at all times. Not a problem! We are a certified dealer for Compustar. The system we chose to install was the Drone with an EZGo. This elaborate system is both a remote start and an alarm system. The Drone connects to the customers smart phone and allows him to lock, unlock and start the car from literally anywhere he has data coverage on his phone. An added benefit is with the Drone he is also able to track the vehicle live. The Drone will let him set up certain parameters for notifications (such as perimeters) so he can also keep tabs on the car if someone else is borrowing it. We also added a window control module which lets the customer roll the windows up and down remotely on those hot summer days. The EZGo is an add-on for this system. It is a small RFID chip that is put on the customers key chain. The system recognizes when he walks up to the car and it automatically disarms the alarm and unlocks the doors, similar to the factory system on a newer Corvette, for example.
This customer was very pleased with the outcome of our design and our work. The big smile on any customer’s face when they are 110% happy is why we work so hard at what we do. That moment is priceless. So whether you are interested in just one small part or all of what we did for this customer, we can assure you that your vehicle will be in the right hands here at WSS. We take pride in our customers’ vehicles, and we are not afraid to show it. We are not interested in only seeing you once… We look to gain lifelong customers by earning your trust and proving ourselves to you along the way! So whether you also have a Dodge Charger SRT8 and you live 2.5 hours away in Lusby, MD… or if you drive a Chevy Silverado and live right here in Westminster, choose WSS – Westminster Speed and Sound as your destination and let us help you make your drive easy!
For more information, give us a call at 410-857-5300, EMAIL US, or just stop in and allow us to show you around!