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Heavy Metal Mudder Phase II - Part 7: Wiring & Exhaust

Posted in Project Vehicles on March 1, 2010
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Photographers: Brian Lienhop

Over the past six months we've worked tirelessly to transform our '99 Dodge Durango into a machine fitting of its Heavy Metal Mudder name. With the Viper V-10 finally secured in place and the majority of the powertrain now complete, we turned our focus on some of the smaller yet extremely important items.

As the exhaust exits the V-10 headers, each bank merges into a 3-inch collector. Once the exhaust path is determined, a series of test fits and TIG welds begins and our custom dual exhaust system slowly starts to take shape.

As we continue wrenching alongside the National Speed crew in Wilmington, North Carolina, we're extremely anxious to hear the 8.3L fire up and get this monster in the dirt. But before we can even think about turning the key we have to tackle the intricate wiring, plus plumb out the remainder of our exhaust system.

To keep the build moving expeditiously, the Speed crew teamed up with the metal magicians at Momentum Performance to finish out the work on our custom exhaust system. This allowed National Speed's GM Chris Polanski to collaborate with our East Coast Viper expert, Tom Sessions, to focus on the electrical system.

We understand that not everyone has a veteran Viper tech working down the street, but if you're considering such a swap, we suggest at the very least finding someone who has in-depth knowledge of the Mopar machines and access to the technical data.

Wiring is one of the most crucial and time consuming parts of any build, and it's important when performing a swap as complex as this to have the wiring diagrams of both vehicles in arm's reach. Interfacing the pieces from the donor vehicle and the project truck will take a little work, but it's defiantly not impossible. Just plan on spending some time under the hood. This is especially true when you are merging A/C controls and tach signals and have as many power accessories as we have.

Next Month
We are literally an issue away from firing up our Heavy Metal Mudder and tackling the terra. With most of the larger hurdles out of the way, the finish line is finally in sight! Be sure to check us out next month to see what final touches it takes to get this monster Durango ready to launch.

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Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Auburn Hills, MI 48321
Tom Wood's Custom Driveshafts
Ogden, UT 84404
Momentum Performance
Wilmington, NC
National Speed Inc.
Wilmington, NC
Arrow Racing Engines
Belanger Headers

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