The Triumphant Return of the Chrysler 300

Now I have owned a lot of cars. I mean a LOT. I am somewhere around the mid 50’s in count and one day I’ll post my (running) list of vehicles to the blog for you.  After owning that many cars, you start to hone in on what you really like to see in your ride. The format, price range, options, power, etc. These are all important when deciding what car or truck will work for you. Now my way of determining what I really love is looking at the cars that I have owned twice (sometimes 3 times).  My thought processes is that there must be something that I like about this car so much that I gravitate toward it multiple times at different points in my life.  That being said, here is a current list of cars that I have owned at least twice.

Dodge/Plymouth Neon
Ford F150
Jeep Cherokee
Jeep Wrangler
Chrysler 300

Now its no secret that I am a fan of Mopar. I think they have made some really great products. I am not a fan of the creation of FCA but I think they are still making good vehicles that stand up to the competition on the global market (and look better doing it). Anyways back to the list.

Your first car was likely not great, but you learn a lot from it.

A few on the list are pretty simple to explain. The first on the list was my very first car. I was gifted a 1995 Plymouth Neon that had gone through a hail storm and was totaled out (thank you sis, you’re the best!). I did unimaginable things to that car. I gutted it and put huge subs into it, I modded the engine, and I may have even gotten a few wheels of the ground at times but that’s a different story for a different time. You learn so much from your first car. It’s much like your first “time”. Its likely not great, but you learn a lot.
On that basis alone I loved that car and I still do today. I find it charming, extraordinarily simple, and not terribly ugly. I mean, look at it!

They were both mine but I was replacing it at the time and frankly, it was not really worthy of committing it to film at that point.

The next few cars are pretty straight forward. A truck is a truck and when you feel like you need one, you go buy one. I prefer F150s or Ram 1500s because I like the way perform and they are not Chevy…
The Cherokees explain themselves. If you have not yet, go drive a second generation Cherokee. You will love it. Simple, rugged, and capable as all hell.
The Wrangler… OHHHH the Wrangler. It has all the things a Cherokee has plus the ability to drop the top. Not to mention you can transform this thing into an off road monster and the AMC 4.0 6 cyc is a rock solid bad ass motor (read its interesting history here). Every human on earth should own one. It might be the secret to world peace.
Now that brings me to the Chrysler 300.  You may or may not know this but the 300 numbering system is more than 60 years old. Chrysler used the 300 naming for a line of “letter cars” built starting in the mid-1950’s. Read more about the origin of the 300 line here.  The modern versions of these cars are spectacular. They are comparatively affordable, offer an insane amount of options, and bonus, they can get out of their own way with its strong HEMI heart.
Every human on earth should own a Jeep Wrangler. It might be the secret to world peace.
I first owned a 300 back in 2012. I leased it and I picked out the one with the most options. Man, did I LOVE that car! It was huge, elegant, and powerful. What’s not to love?
While I had that car my partner and I moved across the country and both started working from home. A hefty payment combined with the fact that it barely left the driveway drove us to get rid of in in lieu of something cheaper and less… awesome (I believe it was a Kia Soul).  It totally broke my heart to get rid of it but I knew at the time it was the right decision. Ever since then I have occasionally cruised the lots to look for a 300 that had low miles and was in good condition.
Fast forward 5 years…
We moved back to Michigan, my husband now commutes to work, we have a few rides comprising of the GLK 250, the Wrangler and of course, the X. I found myself again with a hefty payment on the Mercedes which I just don’t drive that much since I am still working from home. However, this time things were different….
Its now been 6 years since the release of the second generation of the 300. This time the 300 IS the cheaper car that I can go find to lower my payment! YES!!
I was super excited at the prospect and we found one pretty quickly. Its a 2011 with only 58k on it and it is DECKED OUT. I got all the options that the car had to offer and I got it at a price that wont make me cringe when it sits in the driveway too long.
Since I last had the 300 I’ve learned a lot about what I want out of a car. I think that knowing what actually makes you happy whether is in a vehicle or otherwise is a pretty powerful thing. Just try to make sure it does not take buying over 50 cars to figure it out.




Putting In New Valve Cover Gaskets

I’m really glad to be doing this job.  I have been smelling this nasty burning oil smell for months now and I’m ready for it to be done. Not only does it smell bad but burning oil isn’t exactly good for your health to be breathing it in and its certainly not earth friendly. The lion share of work is just getting to the covers, actually swapping out the gaskets is really not that big of a deal. The most important thing to watch for on this job is to be sure not to drop any shit onto the cams when removing the cover and cleaning the mating surfaces.

When I did the video I performed the job on the passenger side. On the driver side the only thing that you need to look out for is the main fuel line that leads to the rails on the intake manifold. Other than that the job is just about the same. There are a few additional connectors on the driver side including the O2 sensor wire leading to the exhaust. On a positive note you do not need to remove the Cam Positioning Actuator on the driver side so it just one less thing to deal with (however you should still unplug it).

Now lets talk torque spec and order. I know in the video I talk about the specs and order of the bolts on the valve cover and the throttle body but I want to include a few more.

As a refresher here are the order and the specs for the valve cover and the throttle body:

2 Rounds of torque. One round at 17 in-lbs and the second at 74 in-lbs
-These are all 10mm bolts
















These are a single round at 74 in-lbs









What I don’t mention in the video is the intake collector bolts/nuts and what the order and spec are for those. So here ya go!

The nuts and the bolts for the collector go in at 8 ft-lbs in the following order









Other than that the job is literally just reassembling it the way it came apart. When you are you reassembling be damn sure that you are not forgetting to plug anything back in! You will be kicking yourself if you removed a fuel injector plug under that intake collector and have to remove it all to plug one little thing back in.

Let me know how it goes for you! Mine actually looked good but was still leaking for some reason. Other people have said that the actual gasket had completely split into pieces. Comment below with some photos of where your leak was coming from. Talk to ya soon!


This post references the Ry The Car Guy video below

If you are looking for the gaskets I used in the video they are here: and here is the gasket maker I used as well:

Tools I used on the job:

10mm Socket
10mm Socket (deep well)
12mm Socket
Flat head screw driver
Needle Nose Pliers
Gasket Scraper/ Razor Blade
Gaskets and RTV as mentioned above

These damn animals!

I was cleaning the X the other day and when I opened the hood what did I find? ANIMALS HAVE BEEN TEARING UP MY ENGINE BAY!
Look what those little jerks did? They tore the entire hood liner apart!

How annoying! It looks like I will have a Fast Friday video coming out someday about replacing your hood liner!
Anyone else have intruders in your X? Tell me your story below, and add a pic if you have one!




I Found A Leak!!

For quite a while now when I drive my Xterra everything goes great until it gets nice and hot. Once its hot I can smell this burning scent. The first time that it happened I immediately panicked since I’ve had overheating issues in the past. So I grab my ODB2 reader and everything checks out fine. I have been driving it like this for a while now because if the truck is not overheating then its not that big of a deal (right?).
Well the other day when I was  removing the windshield washer tank I looked deep into the engine bay and I saw it! One of the exhaust heat shields was covered in oil!
Once that starts happening the oil that is on the heat shield will get crazy hot while driving and create that nasty smell I was smelling. Anyway, I was following the oil up and determined that its coming from the passenger side valve cover.
As annoyed that I was to find out that the X was leaking, I was still very happy to uncover what was going on. I hope to finish the valve cover gasket job this weekend and get the video out within the next few weeks…
In the meantime, check out this Xterra oil change video.



My First Post


People generally put too much thought into their first post. Only a few people are really going to take the time to read it. So lets get it out of the way….

Welcome to my website, I am really excited to get this up and running! My plan is to create a place where people can come and share pics of their projects, ask each other questions, and just have fun. The You Tube comments section can really only go so far. You cannot share any media on it. No photos, videos, etc. So when someone wants to show you something the only real option is to email and who does that anymore?

I have had more than a few people ask me about contributing to RTCG. I had a few ideas so in the future this is where I will put my merch store and any links that will allow people to donate to RTCG to keep the projects flowing! I wanted multiple options because if donating to the cause it not your style then you can buy a shirt or something that helps out RTCG but you also get something cool out of it.

Other than that I will be posting blog entries like this one to keep everyone up to date on big projects, what rides I’m buying, and other general car stuff. Check out my You Tube channel here.