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Is the Dart a Rattletrap By Nature? Solutions?

Discussion in 'Dodge Dart / Viaggio' started by iNeon, May 23, 2016.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Probably, they usually are ;)

    I still don’t know if I made the right choice, but I do know I wish there’d been a 2.0 stick available. Pretty scarce on the ground. Lots of used 1.4s ... ha ha.

    I believe the selling price on this car was originally $24,000 or so. Depreciation on the 1.4s has not been kind except to the used-car buyer. I apparently got one made later than the brake change but am not sure I escaped the suspension problems. I wonder if they will extend warranty coverage for that? (I'll have to find out when the changes were made.)

    Probably would not have bitten if the car didn’t have the UConnect 8.4 with USB+SD. Great sound. Fiat can only dream of that. The Fiat 500 is more fun in many ways but I'd get tired of fighting to get the seat belt on, then fighting with the radio, and putting down the back seat to store things in the hatch.
     
  2. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I just found a listing in my city for a 2014 Dart SE, silver, 31K miles, power everything, 2.0L 6-speed manual, for $9995. KBB lists value in excellent condition as about $9650. Looks clean. Despite being really strapped for cash due to the house addition, I should seriously consider this. The 93 Daytona badly needs repaint, has a rotted rear crossmember, several smaller rust spots that I can repair myself. Has 256K miles and gets 31 mpg. My daughter can no longer rest her head against the seat back in the rear, and will soon find her head touching the ceiling. It might be time to replace it if I can swing it. As much as I love driving it, it will start eating money within the year. Right now I can have the crossmember patched safely and sell it with almost new tires and working A/C.

    The ad says brakes, rotors and tires were just done on the Dart.
     
  3. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Doesn't sound like a bad deal.
     
  4. Stratuscaster

    Stratuscaster Vaguely badass...
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    I'd seriously consider that, too.

    Then store the Daytona for your daughter's first car. ;)
     
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  5. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Can't keep 5 cars - no room. And I need to sell it to pay for a newer car.
     
  6. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    I would have gotten that if it had been available somewhere near here. Great deal. The 2.0 is IMHO the best economy engine — the 1.4 has too much compromise and the power is all over 3,000 rpm and if you do that, you burn enough fuel that the 2.0 ends up being just as good, but without the drama. Also the 2.0 is known for being much more reliable...

    Check everything but I don't need to tell you that!
     
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  7. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    Put a piggyback ECU on your Dart. It really woke mine up. Cost $200/used with the harness and all(it's Madness branded) and you can feel the difference.

    For the first couple of months, I drove my Dart 1.4/6m like my old PT n/a 5m and it felt terrible. You have to wring this one out in a way you don't in other cars. It only seems poky though it's quite robust once you're acclimated.

    After 6 months and the new ECU, the lag is still there prior to about 2200rpm, but I find myself goosing the car just past the turbo swell (2500-2750) EVERY gear change. It's a blast.

    The car feels bloated. Like its wearing it's clothes too big. That feeling won't go away- it almost feels like they just put wheels with a huge offset on to make a narrow chassis wide enough for the new body(I know they didn't, but you can really feel that this car was meant to be smaller than it is)
     
  8. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to add: there are two 'flips' in the engine- one that I assume is multiair working, and the turbo's swell second.

    I put the rpm figures in the previous post, but they happen about 500-1000rpm apart at 2000-2500 and about 2500-3000

    There is an additional piggyback device that reprograms the drive-by-wire system to add a more traditional throttle feel.

    We bought the wrong model and should have found Rallye models. The Aero is a fantastic starting point for a home-built 'racer' but FCA did their homework and it is purpose-built for economy-- not a smooth/satisfying sedan experience.

    The clutch pedal damper is something I will never acclimate to because it is impossible to acclimate to a clutch that's bite point is variable.
     
  9. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Clutch pedal damper?!?

    Dang it, there were two for sale and I went to look at the Aero rather than the Rallye. I was unaware they had been programmed differently. (At some point I probably knew.)

    Piggyback ECU or pedal thingie?
     
  10. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    The Aero has so many fun/weird bits and bobs that it makes me happy. Mine has the TFT screens, turbine alloys, full-width tail light, automatic headlights, back up camera and navigation with SE trim(no , single-piece rear seatback) everywhere else. I think some pieces of the Aero suspension are made of aluminum instead of steel, and they come with more elaborate underbody aerodynamic treatment and active grill shutters. They don't come with the fancy door pulls or soft door panel uppers, the hood pad or trunk lid lining, either.

    The clutch in them has some kind of device on the hydraulic lines-- when you release the clutch, the disk always drops at the same rate-- not at the rate you, as the operator, have specified. Think of it like an automatic turntable. All kinds of funny things will happen when you release the clutch at different RPMs. The piggyback ECU basically has a wiring harness that connects to three sensors, and has a secondary ecu that communicates with the one in the car-- it tweaks it somehow. It doesn't feel like it's going to blow up, and it's a lot more playful.

    Dodge Dart - Engine Control Module - MAXPower by MADNESS Online Store - DART Parts and Accessories

    The drive-by-wire/throttle re-mapper is supposed to adjust the throttle pedal inputs to be more linear, which will feel more natural than a standard drive-by-wire system. I don't have this one, but people seem to like it!

    MAGNETI MARELLI Power Pedal w/out Remote Control Online Store - DART Parts and Accessories
     
  11. JA Cumbo

    JA Cumbo Enjoying the ride.
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    I'm afraid mine will be a rattletrap after the accident me and my wife was in the other morning. :(
     
  12. page2171

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    Bummer about the accident. :( Are you and your wife OK?
     
  13. JA Cumbo

    JA Cumbo Enjoying the ride.
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    Other than being shaken up and my wife feeling bad that she ruined my car, we are both ok. We were lucky.
     
  14. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    JA... at least you can get a replacement relatively cheaply...

    That doesn't sound right; I have an Aero and the clutch seems like much more than a switch. I've made enough bad shifts to think that ;)

    Though I'd normally opt for the Magneti device, it costs $100 more and requires a remote ...
     
  15. JA Cumbo

    JA Cumbo Enjoying the ride.
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    True that. Hoping it isn't totaled out though. We were able to move it off the road into a church parking lot. I'll find out Tuesday what the esitmate will be...
     
  16. page2171

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    Good to hear you are OK. Cars are relatively easy to fix or replace...people not so much.
     
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  17. PCRMike

    PCRMike Well-Known Member

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    Glad YOU are ok. Great crash rating on Dart, and you can get another car, but not another you.
     
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  18. AvengerGuy

    AvengerGuy Active Member

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    Sorry to hear about what happened to your sharp-looking Dart. But certainly glad to hear that you and your wife are OK. Hoping your insurance covers getting it fixed right. Otherwise, if you get a cash settlement, spend some time on AutoTrader.com, Cars.com or even CraigsList to find another Dart.
     
  19. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    Darts don’t get better with age.

    The rattle in the dash has multiplied— one has started low in the passenger’s door— there is one high in the driver’s door...

    And now the plastic cover for the rear view mirror has started. This one is by far the worst, cheapest plastic buzz in the universe.

    I don’t think I can make it through the loan on this one.

    That’s a shame, because I’ve always kept them a decade.
     
  20. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Still doesn't rattle as much as my 1974 Valiant, but yes, everything rattles. The mirror one is easy to fix, just get a little foam insulation tape and shove it in - or go to a craft store, they have a choice of felt and some sort of rubberized material, maybe a dollar per sheet. Shove it in until rattles go away.

    Otherwise, yes, it's a fun car in every way, but damn! our Neon didn't rattle this much when we sold it at 120,000 miles. Not since my 1970s cars have I experienced such a poorly engineered interior, from a noise perspective — okay, an early 1990s Ford Ranger was worse. (Far worse! it was a new press car and the moment you turned the key, the interior shook and rattled.)

    The one that really bugs me, though, is the dash cover of our 300C... that's a car that should be silent. I can partly blame the dealer for that.
     

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