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R/T Engine Whistling

NOTE: This pertains to the 4.0 Nitro Engine Only


Nearly all R/T Nitro owners may notice an engine “Whistling” noise under acceleration. Like me, many have satellite radio volume high and their windows up, so they don’t hear it or care. This all changed when I added the MOPAR CAT-BACK-exhaust system and the MOPAR CAI unit.



I now want to hear the engine noise and do drive my Nitro more aggressively at higher RPMs.

If you follow many Internet Sites as I do you will find many complaints on this issue from Nitro owners. From what I can see many Dealers just brush this off saying this noise is just the “nature of the beast” and nothing can be done and all Nitros on their lot sound the same and have this whistling noise. Up till just recently they were correct!

After many Dealers replaced alternators and other parts with no luck a Factory Rep figured it was in the design of the head gasket used on the 4.0 Nitro engines that is also used in some minivans mounted sideways. The placement and large engine cover on those vans reduce any whistling noise complaints from those owners.

It has been reported that the oil passages are smaller in the original 4.0 head gaskets and when hot oil is pumped through them a venture effect cause the whistle. It is also said that the 3.5 HO head gaskets were used on the 4.0 engine and just maybe the 4.0 Nitro engine should have had their own head gasket!

I have read that a newly designed head gasket is now being installed on the 4.0 from the factory at the Trenton Michigan Engine Plant. The date is something like August of 2008. I’m sure someone at Chrysler knows s the exact date but that would be 2009 Nitros, NOT any 2007 or 2008s!

I took my Nitro in expecting a hassle. To my surprise the Service Writer didn’t want to test drive it saying he knew about the “Whistling” but had not known anything about this fix, with head gaskets. I gave him the part numbers I had found to correct this issue (4792753-AD & 4792752-AD) but when he went to the parts department to order he found they had been changed again to 479275353-AE & 4792752-AE.

He told me to bring the Nitro back in two days and they would start on it. I did, but one day later he called back and told me I might as well pick it up since the new gaskets are not scheduled to be released for another 3 or 4 weeks.

It sounds believable since I did get a copy of a repair order that I signed stating these gaskets are verified as ordered. I suspect they got paid to check out serial numbers and got paid and received approval to do this repair from Chrysler.

I will follow up after this repair has been performed, but I am hopeful that this will correct this issue. Since my Nitro only has 9K miles there was no issue with mileage, but I suspect it may only be available for the first 36,000 mile or 3 years. It is still not listed as a TSB as of this date.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Gaskets in

Special ordered head gaskets are in. Nitro went to shop today for install. Will update.
 

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OK got my NITRO back from my Dealer yesterday after they installed these new head gaskets per my request. They did a great job, even replaced the water pump just-in-case, since it was already taken off. Everything was done at no charge under warranty.

I guess I am not totally happy with the results, but since I have only driven it 10 miles or so, maybe I will change my opinion. If I do I will re-post. See I have had many many high performance vehicles and love their engine noise. Maybe I expected too much but on hard acceleration at 5,000 RPM or more there is still a screeching noise from the engine. It was there before adding the exhaust or CAI so they are not the cause. Maybe it is some secret built-in governor put in R/T engines by Chrysler to tell us to slow down, these engines have a Lifetime Warranty! Ha Ha
 

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State of My UNION

Hey Rick. Mine has had the whistle since new. I now have 30k + miles.
I have pretty much gotten used to the noise. I still can't hear it with the windows up, so I don't think it is as loud as some other R/T owners. I don't understand the sound you hear at 5000rpm. That would kind of concern me. Mine sounds fine all the way to red-line. Since mine is a 2007 model, I don't have a lifetime warranty. The dealership that sold me the vehicle and had done all service work was one that was forced to close by Chrysler. Now I will have to carry it to the Jeep dealer. The warranty may expire before they see it.

I have also had the toot-toot sound since new which is caused by the valve body in the transmission. Since it shifts just fine, I ignore that sound also.

MyGIG lost all the songs I loaded on it about 3 months ago. I treat it as no big deal as I have a 16GB MP3 player anyway. But, you wouldn't have thought that on the day I found everything gone! This past Monday I was treated with the complete loss of the audio control in the radio. Mysteriously, it reset itself about three hours later when I left work for the day and has worked fine since. (I haven't turned it off since either!) It has been 102-103 here every day for a week, so it may have just overheated the amp.

Overall, I am still very please with the vehicle. It is still getting between 17 and 18 mpg in city driving.

Hope you get everything worked out and happy with your ride again soon.

Tim
 

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Hey Rick. Mine has had the whistle since new. I now have 30k + miles.
I have pretty much gotten used to the noise. I still can't hear it with the windows up, so I don't think it is as loud as some other R/T owners. I don't understand the sound you hear at 5000rpm. That would kind of concern me. Mine sounds fine all the way to red-line. Since mine is a 2007 model, I don't have a lifetime warranty. The dealership that sold me the vehicle and had done all service work was one that was forced to close by Chrysler. Now I will have to carry it to the Jeep dealer. The warranty may expire before they see it.

I have also had the toot-toot sound since new which is caused by the valve body in the transmission. Since it shifts just fine, I ignore that sound also.

MyGIG lost all the songs I loaded on it about 3 months ago. I treat it as no big deal as I have a 16GB MP3 player anyway. But, you wouldn't have thought that on the day I found everything gone! This past Monday I was treated with the complete loss of the audio control in the radio. Mysteriously, it reset itself about three hours later when I left work for the day and has worked fine since. (I haven't turned it off since either!) It has been 102-103 here every day for a week, so it may have just overheated the amp.

Overall, I am still very please with the vehicle. It is still getting between 17 and 18 mpg in city driving.

Hope you get everything worked out and happy with your ride again soon.

Tim
Hi Tim! THANKS for your reply. Not something that happens here very often for some reason. I am accustom to it anyway with a Home Theater Site I put up back in December 04 and updated again this year, with a total of 52 pictures. That Site has received over 44K "Hits" but never receive questions or comments? (rickaren103's photos and albums on webshots)

Anyway with my Nitro modifications I now want to hear powerful engine noise like in the good-old-days. Sure they were big blocks, but 340's sounded great, too. If anything is wrong with this engine (must be O.K on the top side) I should be covered since I also have the expensive Maximum Care 100,000 7 year coverage plus the lifetime that became part of any Nitro purchase on or after July 26, 2007.

Hell I even bought the Scheduled Maintenance 3,000 mile Care Plus Contract.

I have had no issues with MyGig but have had ALL the upgrades and even bought the new GPS mapping. Since I have only about 9,500 miles on mine after two years it has received really excellent care and I do plan to keep it a very long time.

I really just love this Car/SUV/Truck that is really like a hobby. Never had a car (starting @15) that I did not modify to make it unique. Same here. Really can not justify purchasing it, but sure glad I did.

Happy Nitro Owner
 

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Interesting thread. I get some sort of humming whistle noise at 2K rpm and above. If I let of the gas it goes away. I hear it with windows up only. Not sure where it comes from though? Inititally I thought perhaps it might be the diff.
 

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Update

OK I have not found anyone else in any Forum that seems to have the same issue that I do at "High RPM" under full-out acceleration, around 5K RPM and up. I had hoped that eliminating the low speed "Whistling Noise" with the newly designed head gaskets would also solve this issue. Sadly it did not. It appears that the head gaskets only are a cure for a much lower RPM noise. Wife said it is a screaming noise not a whistling noise anyway. With the windows down and radio off, at times when engine is hot it is so loud that you can not even hear the engine! I checked in about Factory Fix on 07s replacing the serpentine belt and tensioner but that addresses a taping noise. No tapping noise here.

Goes back into shop tomorrow to address this issue, plus also the malfunction check engine light came on Monday. I doubt that this is related to the screaming noise, but that would be great, if it is.

Dealership Service Department is very supportive, thus far. I would feel better if I could find someone with the same complaint. Anyway will report back and hopefully this whole issue and any resolve will help others. This is what this thread is all about.
 

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I changed my oil today to Mobil 1 10-40. Engine sounds sweet and I think the low rev whistling is gone. Took it for a long test drive :)
 

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I changed my oil today to Mobil 1 10-40. Engine sounds sweet and I think the low rev whistling is gone. Took it for a long test drive :)
Let us know how your replacement tensioner works out. My Service Manager ran a check on my serial number today and it did not show any issues to address. Don't think changing my oil to 10W40 will help but if all else fails will have Dealership do it since I have a Maintenance Contract and they change oil & filter every three months regardless of mileage. Hopefully they will find what is making my engine noise and I told them they could keep it as long as they want.
 

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I changed my oil today to Mobil 1 10-40. Engine sounds sweet and I think the low rev whistling is gone. Took it for a long test drive :)
Frederick:
If the sound returns, as some have stated in the past, would going to a 10W50 or 20W50 work long term? I raced a drag car years ago and ran a racing oil of 10W50 and never had an issue with the oil. Might be something to consider if indeed you engine noise returns before the next oil change? Good Luck hope just changing the factory oil to Mobil works. Much better than changing head gaskets! However it was covered under warranty.

Interesting Link about using 20W50 engine oils

Shell 20W-50 vs. GTX - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 

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50 sounds a bit too heavy in all honesty. I was being extremely critical today. I can hear a faint whistle noise but really its very low. Question is, do I really want them to rip my engine apart for just this? 99% other faults tend to get introduced after such a major overhaul.

10-40 mobil 1 was good choice for me, I am pleased.
 

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50 sounds a bit too heavy in all honesty. I was being extremely critical today. I can hear a faint whistle noise but really its very low. Question is, do I really want them to rip my engine apart for just this? 99% other faults tend to get introduced after such a major overhaul.

10-40 mobil 1 was good choice for me, I am pleased.
Again I hope 10W-40 works but 20W-50 is just an option that would not damage the engine and the 50W comes into play when needed, as I understand it. This would be something I would try if the noise returns within 1K miles or so.

If it is a faint sound and it does not bother you YES, I would not have the gaskets installed either. But some want to drive with their windows down and satellite radio off. This is not me, I really did not care till I modified the exhaust and intake.The noise I have in my NITRO I have had since I bought it new and put up with it till I saw a fix was available (head gaskets) so why not have it repaired? Dealership I use for service (did not buy from them) is great and when I went in with part numbers, I asked when the next visit from the Factory Rep was scheduled? They said he had not been in for nearly two years! What? Why? Service Manager said they resolve all their own issues and don't require a Factory Service Rep. Maybe BS but they did order my revised head gasket part numbers that day. I suspect they did also receive advance approval from Chrysler, but maybe not. Who knows?

I too was concerned about having the engine torn apart, but it does have a lifetime guarantee. My engine noise is much louder than yours I'm sure, and I thought it would be corrected with the new gaskets, but was not.

I am impressed with the Service Department even as it went back into the shop today. Yes the malfunction engine light might be caused by something that was done by installing the new head gaskets since this is the first time it has ever come on, so you may be correct.

It appears they now understand my issue (maybe they have never road tested at full out acceleration at above 5K RPM?) and I told them they could keep it till they corrected it. They may call tomorrow and say they have found what is wrong. Unlike some Dealers they have never not repaired (have had two other vehicles serviced by them) or said they couldn't, or that all (Nitros) of their vehicles do that. It is now up to them and I am hopeful they will correct it. Will update......
 

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Interesting response. In all honesty the main reason for not getting the HG replaced is that there is always an element of risk involved. With that I mean returning back for other issues caused directly by the work. Of course no one is perfect. Worse case scenario also getting a few scratches and dings on the car. Personally I am very paranoid about this, hence my car is detailed to the hilt before my dealer visit.
I was quite pleased with my last dealer visit. In fact I will be taking the car back and requesting the same mechanic as before. He allowed me to hover around whilst he diagnosed my rear diff noise and also for free replaced the diff oil with royal purple, albeit to no avail as the noise is still present at 55mph. He even informed me about the tensioner and belt issue. He had the hood open and I was tapping the gas and he noticed the whistle noise. With hood open you can clearly hear it. I bet some hood sound insulation would have remedied this or least retarded the sound.

I also noticed lately ( perhaps I am now looking for faults? ) that the car occasionally makes a thunking noise from the rear area / floorpan sometime during the 20-39 mph gear changes. Also occurs when I drop it into neutral and coast then drop it back into Drive ( is this a good idea? ). I never owned an auto before.
 

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Had the ride taken to the dealers on Saturday for them to replace the serpentine belt and tensioner to the new style version. After a couple hours was informed an ABS flash failed, rendering my Nitro sticking in 1st gear ( limp mode? ).
I will now have to wait until tuesday for the ABS module to arrive and be fitted. They will also be servicing my diff for the humm that I get at 55mph. I think they will be replacing the pinions or something? Also told them to look at my sunroof issue. It creaks when vent only open /close.

I hate being without my ride, knowing its sitting there in the dealers lot for such a long time. I hope I dont get it back with scratches or dings :(
 

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Cation: Long Reply

Had the ride taken to the dealers on Saturday for them to replace the serpentine belt and tensioner to the new style version. After a couple hours was informed an ABS flash failed, rendering my Nitro sticking in 1st gear ( limp mode? ).
I will now have to wait until tuesday for the ABS module to arrive and be fitted. They will also be servicing my diff for the humm that I get at 55mph. I think they will be replacing the pinions or something? Also told them to look at my sunroof issue. It creaks when vent only open /close.

I hate being without my ride, knowing its sitting there in the dealers lot for such a long time. I hope I dont get it back with scratches or dings :(
Frederick:

Since we both have nearly the same model of Nitro (yours is a 4X2 I believe) with a very late 2007 production date, we have a lot in common. I guess we could do some Private Messaging but this is a Discussion Group with very little of that at present. Yes we do have good viewership here so maybe we can help each other, and help members and viewers too.

At present we both have our Nitro in for repairs with no completion date or if a successful fix will be performed. The main difference between us is I bought my Nitro two years ago but it has just 9,500 miles on it, now. It has had extensive add on modifications. It looks like yours must be a fairly new purchase and you are just starting to modify yours.

I too, am always concerned leaving my Nitro at the Dealership anytime and because of the numerous modifications concerned about having it stolen or damaged. I am so concerned I even added additional insurance coverage placed on it and covered that in another Thread.

I drove a Nitro R/T as soon as one was available but when I attempted to order one Chrysler had decided that they were not going to offer a full-time 4X4 as promised, but instead offer it on the 2008 Jeep Liberty, only. I then decided NOT to buy a new one. Didn’t want a Liberty but continued to follow all automobile news and the Nitro for more than six months. I even already had compiled a list of about 20 accessories I wanted to add to my Nitro with a list of suppliers and prices. As soon as Chrysler announced their “Lifetime Powertrain Warranty” I went in the next day to order one. I had previously submitted what I wanted to two dealerships and I suspect the Salesman at one ordered what I had submitted and it had just arrived! As my signature shows it has every option, even the rear DVD Entertainment/Gaming System with wireless headphones! Does not have the smoker’s package or engine heater and both are not needed here. SOLD!!!

Frederick if you don’t already know, your R/T is completely different than other Nitros using a different engine, five speed transmission not four, torque converter, rear end, suspension, tires and wheels. I bring this to you attention since not all Nitro TSBs, recalls or modifications involve our vehicles. In fact nearly all do not. It was plain to see early on the Nito had some serious issues involving engine, transmission and suspension. These were NOT on the R/T. All of this has now been addressed now, after Nitro was launched on August 15, 2006.

I have never seen any posting concerning rear end issues, or torque converter problems on an R/T. Guess you must be the unlucky one. Since you have a good working relationship with Service Department it might have been interesting to investigate changing the gear ratio under warranty since they are going to change the ring and pinion, anyway. I have the trailer tow package with a 3:55 gear ratio. Other R/Ts might have something else.

The sun roof is a non-issue I believe since my Wife’s Explorer has the same noise as my Nitro and it has been checked out.

I have kept track of all Nitro problems and the only “flashes” I have had performed were for the Uconnect and one for blowing hot air at startup from the A/C dash vents. Main issue was the roof rails that I had replaced before the Rapid Response came out. I suspect yours has been performed already, but worth checking out. It is important.
http://www.dodge-nitro.com/dodge-nitro/f11/roof-rail-mounting-rapid-response-2572/
I have focused on keeping the Uconnet updated and the GPS mapping. I really thought the Nitro would have been discontinued by now and wanted the latest software. In the beginning one had to voice enter their cell phone address book! Not now.

Being so knowledgeable about these vehicles may have not helped me with my engine noise. I choose not to have it checked out since I assumed it was the “4.0 Nitro Whistling Noise” until a solution was found. When I saw the head gasket resolve, I went to see my Service Manager with all the details and part numbers. I asked if he knew about this sound on the 4.0 engine he said “Yes” but nothing about the resolve, and read all the many pages I gave him on the discussion. Never test drove and I suspect the mechanic might not have gotten down on the accelerator after replacing the old style gaskets.

Anyway they now know what my complaint is and have not heard back from them so I can only guess it is not a simple fix and maybe they have something on order. I’m not going to bug them. Strange but I thought my noise was what everyone else had only louder at higher RPM. Still could be, but maybe not.

I asked my Service Manager why the TSBs and Rapid Responses are now so hard to find “On-Line” when they are on his desktop computer at the service counter. He said what do you think? I said “Chrysler wants to save money and not pay to have them performed!” He said actually “No”, there are many issues that affect only some vehicles and they are not serial number related. He said he had a customer come in with a list of 20 or more TSBs that he demanded be performed under warranty. None were done and the vehicle was out-of-warranty. This is why I do take care of my Service Manager when they go out-of-the-way to resolve my complaints.

Well I was bored today (no Nitro?) and posting this broke that up! Apologize for been so long winded if anyone is still reading. Wife said I was born with my mouth open and that is why I served on the local City Council for eight years. I love to talk!

Note: MS Word says this Post has only 1,031 words. That’s not much for me.

Ha Ha Good Luck with your repairs and let me know how it all works out. Will do the same.:)
 

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I wont quote your previous reply:)

The service manager contacted me today and informed me that they wont be replacing the pinion on the diff. Chrysler service has requested the dealer send my complete rear end back to them and that they will replace my whole diff assembly under warranty. They would have to order that part, hence they will replace the ABS module tomorrow and book me in for another visit for the diff.

The tech did mentioned that there were two updates for the ABS module - cue the reason the flash trashed my current unit. I asked him if he would update the new module but he informed that it would have already been updated?

I originally wanted a flash to correct the throttle pedal lag. Unlike yourself I didnt get a life time drive train warranty as I was not the original owner. I may spend the odd 1-2K later to get myself an extended manufacturers warranty before mine expires. In all honesty I dont read all the TSB's and expect them to perform them for me, neither do I go with all the TSBs to them demanding the work. In fact I make it my point to get serviced by the same tech at the dealer and I also tip him generously - I started on my last visit, which ironically ended up with my module failing LOL. After all he is taking care of my pride and joy.

As you know the belt and tensioner got replaced, so I will provide feedback when I get to drive her again. Hopefully tomorrow.
 

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You did the smart thing with the extended warranty. Vehicles cost so much to repair these days. My Wife's fancy fully loaded (too) Eddie Bauer 3 seat Ford Explorer with the Mustang V-8, had a small radiator antifreeze leak. I thought it was just the hose and may have to pay for the repair, but we do have an extended warranty on it, too. Anyway it was over 36,000 miles and out of Factory Warranty, but required a new radiator and was fixed for the $50 deductible. Visiting
myCarStats: Auto Recalls - Reports on file: 15,896. Plus Car Ratings and other Car Reports.

I see several complaints about this failure out of warranty. Not only does this plastic radiator cost $700, but one owner's bill was $1,200 including labor to have it replaced! WOW that sure justified that Service Contract.

As far as the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty it was free for 2006-2008 Nitros sold and delivered on or after July 26, 2007 for the original owner ONLY.

With this Warranty and my Factory Extended Service Contracts I don't think I could get hurt too bad in the future. Right now I am still covered under the original three year/36,000 mile warranty.

Thanks for the PM. Looks like you have a resolve. Good Luck and enjoy that R/T!
 

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Conclusion?

CONCLUSION?


Nitro "Whistling Engine Noise"

Guess if you have this noise and it really bothers you then I would recommend you have this previously discussed newly designed head gaskets installed, under warranty. Since this is an invasive operation it may be better suited for those that have the Chrysler Lifetime Powertrain Warranty, just in-case future engine problems arise.

Nitro "Screaming High RPM Engine Noise"

Just got off the phone with my Dealer and they have been in talks with Chrysler. The malfunction engine came on because the rev-limiter, that did not help my case. As far as the engine screaming noise they have heard it too, but have not found any resolve. Chrysler says they do not have any complaints on this and since I am operating the vehicle in an abnormal way (@ above 5,000 RPM!) it is not a fault.

Service Manager says he was unable to find another Nitro on the lot that makes the same noise! Chrysler told him it must be because of my Mopar modified exhaust. I just screwed-up since this noise has always been there before any modifications, and never reported it. See I thought it was just the Nitro 4.0 “Whistling Noise” that many had complained about, just at a higher RPM, and thought I would wait till a solution was found.

Anyway this engine now has the latest head gaskets, a new water pump and since they had to take the front part of the engine apart everything there must be O.K there. Guess I will just have to put up with this Nitro “Screamer”. All my info was entered for future reference just-in-case others would have the same issue.

Would sure would like input from others and hope that the over 250 that have visited this Thread thus far are informed better than before with these issues. I had hoped for a real solution for both issues discussed here, but at least the most widely one is.
 

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Rick, I am sorry to hear that your shop can not find the cause of your "Screamer". Perhaps if it is not a mechanical defect you can look upon it as a one of a kind feature no other Nitro possesses. You can definitely say, "My beast really screams when I get on it!":D
 

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Picked NITRO up from Dealership after nearly one week in shop, today. They really tried to address my issue. Guess I should be pleased that with several road tests and calls to Chrysler, there was no charge and everything was covered under warranty. Service Manager said he really felt the noise is exhaust based and NOT engine. I asked that "didn't the engine management controls automatically adjust for the modified intake (Mopar CAI) and (Mopar) exhaust when it was added". I was surprised when he said "No". If he is correct that could be an issue, I guess. Not going to modify any engine controls because of warranty concerns, and will just back off. It is interesting that the engine is rated @ 260 HP at 6,000 RPM, but is limited to 5,800 electronically.

Have had some great sounding High Performance vehicles over the years. Even my Wife's last new Chrysler (Eagle Vision TSI V-6 but has a Ford Explorer w/Mustang GT V/8 now) sounded really healthy. It was only a 3.5 I believe, 214 HP, 24 valve running premium fuel. Have had vehicles with direct port nitrous oxide injection, dual 4B high rise intakes, one with a Paxton Supercharger, one 1/8 mile drag car running a 5500 stall-speed-torque converter with a 9" Ford rear-end with 5:43 gearing. and a drag bike. Guess I have been spoiled. Really like my Nitro's looks but not the sound. If a SRT Nitro had ever been built I'm sure I would have liked how it sounded! The Nitro SUV will be discontinued by 2012 or so as will as as this type engine, being replaced with the new Chrysler Phoenix Line or something from Fiat. Things just change, and must.

Has anyone noticed on Speed Channel's "Pinks All Out" how many old guys drive those cars? Guess I'm just living in the past! Bet not many listen to Sirius Octane (channel 20) satellite radio nearly all the time (have it on TV too) as both my Wife and I do, however. Ha Ha. We must not really be getting older but younger.
 
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