Sorry for the lengthy post, but having gone through two projects with NS, and spending 10s of thousands of dollars, I would like to share a few of the highlights of of my experiences with them in the hopes that it will help potential customers make a more informed decision about using National Speed.

In May 2020, NS installed a Whipple SC on my 2014 Charger R/T AWD, plus a set of stop tech rotors and pads, and braided stainless brake lines. After a long wait, I was informed that front rotors and front brake lines for the AWD weren’t available. So I went online and located the correct front brake rotors and stainless lines. The were eventually installed.

I also had a combo boost/AFR gauge installed.

They tuned the engine to 10 or 11psi boost, which sounded high on a stock bottom end; but they assured me up to 12 was fine for the stock 5.7 bottom end. It produced ~530 HP/TQ, measured on a DynoJet.

On Christmas eve, 2020, the engine threw a rod and took out a piston, and destroyed the block. It also took out the supercharger.

I called NS the next business day, and they had it towed. They also collected a $1,000 ‘deposit.’ They quickly said the engine wasn’t covered under warranty.

Five months later, thanks largely to parts supply issues, I got the car back, with a forged, rebuilt and stroked engine (390 or so), a rebuilt supercharger, a set of long tube headers, a larger fuel pump, a hellcat cam, and a tune. They kept the power and tq to less than I had previously, due to newfound concerns about the drivetrain (particularly the transfer case) being able to handle it. Oddly enough, when they first got the car after it blew, the shop manager said they could give me “Hellcat power.” No mention of the AWD being able to handle it.

Since it’s an AWD, the headers they specified (Stainless Works) wouldn’t fit. I found that out by going to the mfg website, just to check, as I have learned to do with NS. I informed NS, and told them I also located some headers that would fit. So they said sorry, and switched brands of headers to one specifically made for AWD (American Racing Headers). The person i spoke with said that they could have made the SW headers fit, but they may have to take a hammer to the undercarriage to make room. Seriously.

And the engine was supposed to be a rebuilt 5.7. I contacted Better Built, the supplier, again because I’ve learned I have to do that with NS, and they informed me that it was instead a stroked 5.7, making it a 6.4. I told NS, and they hadn’t realized it. They again apologized for the confusion.

In the process of towing the car, the tow truck driver apparently messed up the console pieces on either side of the shifter plate, so he could get it into neutral. But Chargers have a very simple means of doing this, which involves lifting out the cell phone liner (by hand) and using a screwdriver to move a very obvious orange switch, allowing the car to go into neutral. It’s in the manual, but the driver didn’t know that. They didn’t mention it to me; I noticed it and called them, and they acknowledged that it happed, but didn’t offer to fix it. They later agreed to send me the parts to fix it, but that hasn’t happened yet.

When I got the car back, it was a bit hard to start, would idle at 1500 rpm, then settle down to 1000 rpm, higher than stock. It also surged when cruising. It just didn’t feel right. I asked NS about it, and they said the high rpm at startup was to get the engine warmed up quickly, and that 1000 rpm idle was ok. They didn’t comment on the surging.

Also the boost was 9, and increased to 12 at the upper end.

Having lost my confidence in NS, I took it to a Mopar tuner at another shop, and he found that the tune was off, and the boost was high at the upper end because the VVT settings were incorrect, and cam was actually restricting airflow at upper rpms. It’s now down to 8 or 9 across the rpm range. He also fixed the high idle issue. He also installed a Dings trans valve body, which should make the trans more capable of handling the power (~550 whp, not on a DynoJet). He’s putting the finishing touches on tuning the engine and transmission, and I’ll pick it up next week.

Three things he discovered are 1) the transmission bolts were put in the wrong locations - they worked, but weren’t where they were designed to be (an example of sloppy work); 2) a small oil leak at the rear of the engine; and 3) the hellcat cam that NS installed is actually not all that well suited to a stroked 5.7. It works, but there are better options available, and I am stuck with a substandard cam.

Due to the labor cost of getting into the oil leak to diagnose, we’re going to leave it for now. If it gets worse, then I’ll get it fixed by another shop. I plan to inform NS of these three things, plus the apparent poor quality of the “tune” that NS did. We’ll see what they say. Whatever they say, though, they are not going to touch my car again.

Overall, they talk a good game, have plenty of friendly and helpful staff (too many, in my opinion), and have failed to deliver, at least on my car, twice.

My recommendation is that if you are looking for a performance vendor, you would do well to avoid NS, at least for Mopars.