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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Im new here.

I dont know if anyone is here still but i am looking for a tuning program like HP Tuner or something like that for my 2007 Caliber 1.8 5speed Manual.

I am planning on slapping a turbo on it but i need to know what management systems are available for this platform.

I have searched here but have only seen people talking about CVT, 2.0 and 2.4 and not to do it. nothing about the 5 speed other then the legend of
Turbo07RT

anyways all this was 10 years ago. It is 2020 and this is not my DD.

Thank you and hope to get some answer and to also be able to help if possible! I will be updating with my findings as well.

Kind Regards to you all.
 

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I had my stock 2.4L R/T manual transmission dyno tuned with HPTuners.

The car pulls much stronger now. See the attached before and after results.

It was well worth doing, but then my Caliber is a dedicated race car.

I had to search for months to find someone with HPTuners willing to tune my Caliber. Many HPTuners experts were not willing to tune my Caliber because they had no experience with the car.

D9720A79-3029-422C-9AC7-A6F4A95B0E43.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice man I am hoping to do something like that as well. Yes and that is the problem. Also on HPTuners website it dose not say that the 1.8 is supported. So I don't know if they just forgot about it or if it can be still since the 2.0 and 2.4 is on there. I also sent them a email about it and waiting.

How long have you been racing the Caliber?


I had my stock 2.4L R/T manual transmission dyno tuned with HPTuners.

The car pulls much stronger now. See the attached before and after results.

It was well worth doing, but then my Caliber is a dedicated race car.

I had to search for months to find someone with HPTuners willing to tune my Caliber. Many HPTuners experts were not willing to tune my Caliber because they had no experience with the car.

View attachment 16759
 

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I'd give them a call and ask directly about the 1.8.

As for my tune, I got a great power increase, we added timing, adjusted the VVT and tuned for 91+ octane (I run octane boost to control detonation). But it hurt my gas mileage (by maybe 30%?). Also, I have a serious overheating issue. The way our motors work, the coolant return pipe runs across the back of the engine from the water adapter on drivers side to the water pump on the passenger side (US cars). The means the coolant return pipe runs right under the exhaust manifold, and with my engine tune running the engine extra hot, I believe that the water is boiling in the return tube even before it gets to the water pump. I'm planning to put it in multiple layers and types of heat shielding to attempt to control this.

This was my team's first race in the Caliber and, aside from our overheating issues where we had to run dozens of slow laps to keep the car cool, we did well. 6th in our class and 29th out of 85 overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That is awesome man. With the overheating thing do you have the stock cooling system? I would think a bigger radiator and a lower temp thermostat would help correct this issue no?

Also HP Tuners just emailed me back saying that the 1.8 motor is not supported at this time. So i am kinda loss on this project atm lol. But i think i will still continue in hopes of something lol.I just don't want to have to swap to a 2.0 or 2.4 just to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So i may be getting my motor wrong. I may have the 2.0 so this is some good news lol. I checked the vin and it says 2.0 but under the hood the sticker says 1.8. Anyone know the sure way of telling like a code on the block or something?
 

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I would think a bigger radiator and a lower temp thermostat would help correct this issue no?
We experienced the overheating issue on a track test day with the stock cooling system.

The first thing we tried was the thermostats. This car has two thermostats and two separate cooling loops, one for the block and one for the head. The water pump pushes water into the block and head separately. The block has a 210F thermostat that feeds into a manifold that brings the water together after the water passes through the block and the head. The water comes into this manifold from the head directly (no thermostat between this manifold and the head), and then the water collection manifold has a 170F thermostat between it and the output to the radiator. This way the water from the block is passing through two thermostats and is held at a higher temperature while the water from the head only passes through the one 170F thermostat and is kept cooler. That is how these cars are setup from the factory.

We took the center components out of the high temp block thermostat and put the shell back in so that it is acting like it is always open and then put in a new factory 170F thermostat in the water collection manifold.

None of that helped, and we still experienced overheating.

We then put in a much (much) larger radiator. This one: Griffin UniversalFit Radiator for

It has more than 3x the capacity of the factory radiator. The factory radiator is only 5/8" thick, the new one is 3" thick.

That did not help either.

I believe the problem is the coolant return pipe... it runs right under the exhaust manifold, and with my engine tune running the engine extra hot, I believe that the water is boiling in the return tube even before it gets to the water pump. A larger radiator and lower temp thermostat will not help if the water is being boiled, or at least significantly heated up, on the way into the engine. I'm considering either heavily insulating the water manifold and the pipe, or maybe fabricating some different connection points for the hoses so that I can reroute them.

Here is a pic of my radiator install....



Screen Shot 2020-10-01 at 9.52.18 AM.png
 

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So i may be getting my motor wrong. I may have the 2.0 so this is some good news lol. I checked the vin and it says 2.0 but under the hood the sticker says 1.8. Anyone know the sure way of telling like a code on the block or something?
I'd take it to the dealer service and ask them to confirm.

It might be cheaper in the end to sell yours and upgrade to a Caliber R/T instead of trying to upgrade your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That is interesting. Maybe the water pump is going bad? Your car surely can not be getting hotter then the srt4 version. The srt4 version looks like the cooling is the same and there is a turbo back there for even more heat. Unless the srt4 pipe is bigger no?

I checked the vin on a couple of other sites and it says 1.8 as well. So i am sure like under the hood says it is a 1.8

Nah I'm really not trying to sell it either. Its been a very good beater car so far and i feel like there is potential lol

Also thank you for sharing your experiences with your dodge so far as well! I hope something will get figured out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also could i just find a RT ECU, Key, and Ignition. Im starting to think i can if the pins are the same. then just tune if from there?
 

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Also could i just find a RT ECU, Key, and Ignition. Im starting to think i can if the pins are the same. then just tune if from there?
Maybe, but then the challenge is to find someone to do it. You need someone highly experienced in HPTuners, and a shop with a dyno. The 2.4L ECU will have to be programmed down to properly run a 1.8.

I took me months to find someone willing to tune my stock 5 speed 2.4, and it took this guy hours to figure out how to get the tune to work on my car.

I'm not sure you will find someone willing to do a 2.4 ECU on a 1.8 engine.

Even with an optimal tune on a 1.8, if you can get it done, you would still be well behind the performance of a stock 2.4.

I'd leave the engine alone and think about suspension upgrades. Get the SRT4 sway bars, the R/T brakes and the KW V1 coil overs (or at least the stock SRT4 struts and springs). Get the R/T wheels and put on the Yokohama Advan 052 tires. You will be amazed by the handling and still have good ride quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maybe, but then the challenge is to find someone to do it. You need someone highly experienced in HPTuners, and a shop with a dyno. The 2.4L ECU will have to be programmed down to properly run a 1.8.

I took me months to find someone willing to tune my stock 5 speed 2.4, and it took this guy hours to figure out how to get the tune to work on my car.

I'm not sure you will find someone willing to do a 2.4 ECU on a 1.8 engine.

Even with an optimal tune on a 1.8, if you can get it done, you would still be well behind the performance of a stock 2.4.

I'd leave the engine alone and think about suspension upgrades. Get the SRT4 sway bars, the R/T brakes and the KW V1 coil overs (or at least the stock SRT4 struts and springs). Get the R/T wheels and put on the Yokohama Advan 052 tires. You will be amazed by the handling and still have good ride quality.

I think i may have someone. I just remembered something!😃

man i just bought some suspension parts as well! i should have looked into the KW's. I got detroit axle 🤣

I will look at the junkyard and see if i can get the disk breaks off of a RT good call!

I have a test turbo i use to use so i can do some test fitting. I just need to find a manifold that will fit the motor now.

I will keep you all posted on my progress
 

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So i may be getting my motor wrong. I may have the 2.0 so this is some good news lol. I checked the vin and it says 2.0 but under the hood the sticker says 1.8. Anyone know the sure way of telling like a code on the block or something?
What transmission do you have? ALL 1.8s had 5sp stick, ALL 2.0s had Jatco CVT.
Fewer than 1% of Calibers were 1.8s so no one does any aftermarket as there is no demand.
By 'Sticker' do you mean engine cover? They are all the same so someone may have bought a left over one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What transmission do you have? ALL 1.8s had 5sp stick, ALL 2.0s had Jatco CVT.
Fewer than 1% of Calibers were 1.8s so no one does any aftermarket as there is no demand.
By 'Sticker' do you mean engine cover? They are all the same so someone may have bought a left over one.

I have the 5 speed manual transmission. There is a sticker under the hood, On the hood that says the motor size. it says 1.8. I checked a couple of vin sites and the first one i checked said 2.0 but the other sites say 1.8. I think i can also check my emissions paper to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Also I think i will be going with the HPTuners program and just getting a ecu out of a 2.0 caliber plenty here in the junkyard.
 

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The 8th Character of your VIN is the engine code
B = 2.0 CVT
C = 1.8 manual
 
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