Talk to the folks at Crutchfield.com. They should be able to help you. It's very possible that all you need is a steering wheel control adapter module. But if your deck won't accept any outside control, they can help you there as well.
It kinda looks like the hood was closed with some object in the way where it's buckled up. Has it been anywhere for service recently? Even if it has, since you didn't spot it while you were there, it's going to be very difficult to get them to accept responsibility.
I believe that is a form of a spring isolator. It helps reduce spring clunks and noises. It won't effect performance.
Glad you got it fixed. I have to admit, that's the first I've heard of loose bolts like that. Might be worth re-torquing the rest of the engine bolts as well like the front cover, pan and maybe exhaust as well.
The only real difference I can see with the Speed Engineering headers is that they don't come with cats. If you need them like I do, they won't work. Their pricing is awesome though. I wonder if they have the heavy flanges like Kooks or Stainless works?
Are we 100% sure that's engine oil and not trans fluid? The only possible things that could leak that much oil back by the Bell housing are the oil pressure sending unit and the cam position sensor. I think the 12 still has the cam position sensor next to the oil sending unit. Pull the intake manifold so you can get a good look back there.
I would hesitate to put a real locker in the 8.2" front diff. Maybe a limited slip would be a bit easier on the small parts in that small diff. Particularly in the 2500 with it's additional weight compared to the 1500.
Very true. But I have seen rough idle when the gaps are different from plug to plug. They all work, but they all work a little differently. As long as the are all basically the same, I agree, anything in the range you mention works.
You may need new wheels with deeper dish, moving the tires out a bit. Turn your existing wheels/tire combo to full lock on both sides and measure the remaining clearance to things front and back of the tires to see if the larger tires will fit.
I always put some dielectric grease on both ends. Double check that they are fully "clicked" on and fully seated. If that doesn't work, ohm the wires. New doesn't always mean good. Did you gap the plugs or just trust that they were correct out of the box?
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