Piston Slap: Calibrate AWD for an SRT-4?


Dodge Caliber SRT-4 AWD, Image: www.drive2.com Geovanni writes,

Hi, I have a 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT-4 and for a while I’ve been looking for someone that might be able to help me convert it from FWD to AWD. I was wondering if you think there’s a way of making an AWD Caliber SRT-4 without dumping more money into it than its worth? I think a guy in Russia did it but haven’t found anyone in the states willing to help me out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Sajeev answers:

I’ve avoided conventional wisdom by adding Fox-body Mustang aftermarket bits to a Foxy Mercury Cougar since the late ’90s, ignoring well intentioned “just get a Mustang” comments along the way. Just like me, you cannot do this without going upside down for two reasons:

  1. After the AWD conversion, would it sell on the open market for any more than the $11,000 full dealer retail on a perfect, low(ish) mile example? Perhaps a well-heeled forum junky will pay the premium. Going to Carmax for an appraisal would be heartbreaking!
  2. When I hear “someone that might be able to help me,” my cold, bitter soul says, “ain’t nobody gonna help you out of the kindness of their heart.” They’ll help you at anywhere from $50-$100 an hour, however.

Kinda like a dowry in an arranged marriage of two families (cough, not speaking from experience), installing Mitsubishi Evo parts into a distant relative of the GS Platform requires a large amount of cash, careful consideration fabrication and cultural electronic re-calibration.

We haven’t covered the purchase/storage/labor cost of those Evo parts, preferably the whole vehicle, wrecked from an insurance auction. But what exactly is involved here?

In a shocking twist of Internet fate, I found the best information in a YouTube comment.

Amazing SRT-4 YouTube comment, Image: YouTube Even with free/paid help, you’ll spend at least triple the value of your Caliber SRT-4 to go AWD. And it will absorb countless lunches, evenings and weekends to procure, modify, recondition, reprogram and install these bits. Only to have a car most people would rather spit on than sit in. Speaking from experience, mind you.

But hey, if my Fox-body Cougar is a bit of a head turner in the year 2018, why not invest in a future you are only gonna love? I encourage your financial stupidity for future dividends in automotive lunacy!


[Image: drive2.com, YouTube]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.